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Other Uses For In-Game Titles

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!]

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Features

Blizzard puts Hall of Fame in the Armory

Well it's not quite a row of statues, but, as Elizabeth mentioned the other day, Blizzard has created an Arena Hall of Fame over at the Armory. They've compiled, from season one, a list of all the teams that finished in the top .5% of their team bracket, and they're all browseable by battlegroup or realm.

Unfortunately, they don't show many overall stats-- I'd like to see, for example, the numbers of teams from each battlegroup or realm (checking my own realm shows me that no teams made it, but you'd have to check every single realm to see numbers across the board). Do you think PvP realms turn out more successful Arena teams? I'd also like to see the average rating of the teams that made it-- just a random browse across realms shows that you'd have needed at least a 2200 rating in 5v5 to get in. The highest teams hit around 2500, it looks like, and here's an interesting point: The arena rating is based off of chess' ELO system, and in that system Gary Kasparov, the best player in the world, was the first to break the 2700 rating. So my guess is that we'll see generally higher ratings than these in season two, and so on.

Anyway, a nice little tribute to players who were successful in season one. Hopefully, we'll see better insights coming out of these numbers than Blizzard has provided here, but in the meantime if you want to see who on your realm is a heavy hitter, the HoF is the place.

Filed under: Guilds, Odds and ends, Blizzard, PvP

How to calculate Arena Ratings and Points

If you've been playing arena PvP every week and wondering just how your rating translates into points, wonder no more. Our friend Boubouille has created a nifty and easy little Arena Rating calculator-- just punch in your ratings (or your points, if you want to know what rating you'll need to get a certain number of points, and hit calculate and you're set.

The mathematical relationship is a little complicated (hence the reason for the calculator), but the rules of earning Arena Points aren't real hard to figure out-- every week, you earn points according to the highest team rating you've got. And a higher rating on 5v5 is worth more than 2v2, because 5v5 teams are harder to both fight and keep up with. This leads to a little bit of system gaming (and a lot of team jumping), but so far Blizzard has been fine with all of that-- they want 5v5 to become the most rewarding type of arena match, and they're willing to accept that you can often earn more playing 5v5 than 2v2, even if you lose.

Unfortunately, the actual Arena Rating system is a little more complicated-- it's based off of a chess rating system called ELO (named after the guy who made it, Arpad Elo), and the rating of your opponent actually determines how your rating changes as you play. Unfortunately, with no way to tell who your opponent is before you play a match, it's extremely hard to figure out your rating depending on how many matches you play (players are generally saying that the fewer matches you play, the better, as the higher your rating gets, the more difficult opponents you face). But of course the best way to come out with both a great rating and lots of points is to, y'know, actually be good.

Filed under: Tips, Tricks, PvP

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