Whilst flicking through the EU PvP forums, I noticed a rather large and heated discussion about the old PvP ranks and how people felt about bringing them back after all this time. Now I’ll admit I have a vested interest in this particular topic because I reached rank 12 on my Undead Priest and “General Dornroschen” is the only one of my characters to display a title even though I have a variety of PvE and flavour options available to me. I certainly wouldn’t have been happy if Blizzard had decided to remove all the titles across the board and make you re-earn them so I’m glad that they decided to let people who have them, keep them regardless of whether or not they choose to take in part in rated battlegrounds. I can’t quite decide how I feel about them being available again though.
It smacks of lazy design. Surely they could have come up with a few more military sounding names which would have made suitable ranks for the rated battleground system. I also have mixed feelings about people earning the same reward in two completely different ways. I know that applies to PvE all the time, people are still running Ulduar to grab the Ironbound Protodrake now in far better gear than I earnt mine in for example. Yes, I realise that other people getting a stuffed elekk doesn’t diminish my plush dinosaur at all but I remember all the bitterness, tears and pain that some people went through during the old rank system and since I don’t believe the new system will be anywhere close to being as nasty, at the back of my mind, I feel they shouldn’t give the same titles. That said, the new system from what I can gather also sounds rather grindy, just not as excessive as it’s original incarnation. You could obviously argue the opposite is also true. People who managed to farm High Warlord/Grand Marshall through account sharing, premades or afking in a corner at 5 am (like the guy in the screenshot below) whilst a bunch of randoms carried them probably shouldn’t be wearing the same title as someone who earned it through organising a team for rated battlegrounds.
Plenty of things are no longer obtainable in-game, (the Warbear from ZA, the Naxx Protodrakes, Hand of A’dal) yet Blizzard doesn’t seem to be planning on making them accessible again. So what’s different about the ranks? In my opinion, nothing. Although everyone who doesn’t have PvP ranks seems to think that everyone who does earned them by being afk or steamrolling in premades, the truth was often a very different story. Just as not everyone I know with a warbear or the “Hand of A’dal” earned them through good old fashioned raiding, in fact my old guild used to sell both for cold hard cash. Does something no longer being in-game diminish the game for new players or old ones who never got the opportunity to get the item? Personally I think not, I don’t have either of the Naxx protodrakes because we kept finding new and interesting ways to wipe on the Immortal and I wasn’t that interested in 10 man content, yet I still have a protodrake to ride. I could have multiple if I wanted, in a variety of shades and obtainable in several different ways. Molten Core at 80 is completely different than Molten Core was at lv 60 with 40 people all learning to raid for the very first time. The game changes, things come and things go. What we take away from WoW should be our own memories, the good times we had and the friends we made, who has what shouldn’t matter (although I’m sure quite a few of our tradechat heroes would disagree).
Then because I’m good at going around in circles, I started to wonder if it’s more like fashion than anything else. Take hemlines for example, they go up and they go down. Short tends to follow long and vice versa. Is re-using something which had it’s heyday four years ago, a welcome touch of nostalgia rather than anything more sinister? The battlefield is returning to Azeroth again, the Alliance and the Horde find themselves at each other’s throats once more. Perhaps, this is the perfect time to make those titles accessible to everyone.
The more I consider the issue, the less of a problem it seems. I get to keep my old title on my Undead and I get a chance to rank up my other priest who is currently a Knight-Lieutenant to something a bit more flashy sounding. It’s a win win situation really. Oh and the thought of proper battlegrounds with people focused on objectives… well that’s got to be heaven, right?
The thread can be found here and yes, it has been going for over a year now.