I have to give my aging eyeballs credit for this story. I was reading news feeds this morning and didn't have my glasses on and completely misred a word from this post from Windychan121 on the Livejournal WoW Chicks community. I thought she began her blog entry with "Ninjas need to get a title". Yeah, I really need to start using "Large Fonts".
It got me thinking though, even after I figured out what Windy really meant to say. For a great part of the history of World of Warcraft, the game used player titles to reflect PvP rank. Although this was a dearly beloved part of the game for some people, it got removed (even though people got to keep their existing titles) when the first expansion was released when the PvP system was totally changed.
Fast forward to present-day Azeroth and we're seeing a lot of people in the capital cities with new titles which reflect their status in the Arena ladder, with titles like Gladiator, Duelist, Rival, and Challenger.
Going back to the ninja topic, why don't we give ninjas titles? Before you start throwing overripe produce at me, sit back and think about this for a second. Think of a system where you would have an option at the end of an instance, when you zone out, to rate the conduct of players in your instance or raid. It could be as simple as a good or bad rating, perhaps with a drop-down menu to specify the type of activity the player engaged in. People who consistantly got bad ratings from a high percentage of the members of their groups would start to accrue points towards various less-than-desirable titles. Of course positive player reviews would have the reverse effect. While I think this is a tremendous idea, I don't think it will ever be implemented for the simple reason that it could have a negative impact on the subscriber base. But do we really care if we lose those people? It's something to think about.
What other uses can you foresee for player titles?
[Special thanks to 'Aello' from Gnomeregan for lending a hand in the screenshot!]