What’s In A Title?   16 comments

Over the past few months I have received a number of queries from members of our server’s Horde Faction regarding whether or not we, Monolith, were (or would be) offering to sell Lich King titles, as was being done on the Alliance. When I started getting the queries a few months back, I opened it up to the guild on if this is something that they wanted to offer or not. There was some discussion on it, with people on both sides of the fence on the matter, and ultimately it was decided that it was not something that we would offer at that time.

However, I continue to receive queries from people seeking to experience the Lich King, and are desperately willing to do whatever it takes to do so.

Today, someone opened the thread back up for discussion in the forums, so I have been giving it more thought again.

The last time that we discussed this, there were three big arguments against doing so:

1) If people want the title they should earn it. To offer to “sell” it belittles the achievement of all those that spent the time to learn the encounter.

2) Once the buff reaches 30% everyone will be steamrolling Lich King anyhow, and PuGs will be killing good ol’ Arthas with no trouble. It will be available to people if they wait.

3) We, as a guild, need to clean up our performance on the encounter (so as not to embarrass ourselves) before we consider offering this as an option to the server.

I think all three of these concerns/commentaries are viable objections to the question “Do we want to fill this gap” at the time the question was discussed. Two months have passed since we discussed this as a guild; and because I’m still getting queries, I wanted to go back and explore this a little more.

People should earn the title, not pay for it. I am a little bit back and forth with this argument. I do believe that the title represents your successes as a guild. That it is proof that you had the fortitude it took to kill The Lich King, and that you put forth the requisite effort to achieve the final encounter of this expansion. Yet, as the title becomes more prevalent amongst the player base, doesn’t it lose some of its value, its uniqueness? And if that is the case, then doesn’t this argument lose some of its weight?

That being said, I also understand that there are a lot of people out there that find themselves in a position, for one reason or another, that they do not have the opportunity to experience the Lich King encounter. It could be because their guild fell apart, it could be because they don’t have the playtime available to them to raid, it could be because their guild was hit hard by summer and they can no longer field raids. A good number of the people that talk to me want the experience of defeating Arthas more than they actually want the Lich King title. They want to have the opportunity to “beat the game”. And they are looking for a means to accomplish that feeling of completion. I get that, I really do.

I wonder what people would say if we offered two people a week from the server the opportunity to come in and kill the Lich King with us, free of charge. Just as a “thank you” to the server community that we have been a part of for 5 years. Would the same objections exist?

Once the buff reaches 30% even PuGs will be killing Lich King! I’m going to be 100% honest here…I never believed this. Ever. The ICC Buff does a lot of things to help a raid push through hurdles that they have been experiencing in the zone, but one thing it doesn’t do is correct stupidity and situational awareness. And it certainly does not teach you the mechanics of an encounter.

I mean, come on…how many times did you want to reach through the computer and beat the shit out of the person that just dropped that defile in the middle of the raid? Yea…no amount of buffing is going to teach you Defile. No amount of buffing is going to teach you positioning.

And when push comes to shove, dealing with Defile is quite honestly 80% of the challenge associated with the fight.

Let me give a really good example from an experience I had last night: One of the guys in guild chat asked “is anyone free to help with a Lich King 10 kill, we have an 11/12 instance”. The raid had seven people that have been part of our core progression team and have killed the Lich King regularly in our 25 man raids. Mostly alts, but people with experience with the fight. Of the remaining three people, two of them had some Lich King experience, but not a kill. One of them had zero Lich King experience. It took us almost three hours to get that kill done. Six people in the raid became 10 man Kingslayers.

We didn’t struggle because we were lacking on the DPS to get it done. We didn’t struggle because we were failing at tanking and healing to get it done. We struggled because we were struggling with the mechanics of the encounter. And the majority of our raid had LK experience!

Just as you never really saw true “PuG”s killing Yogg Saron, I very much doubt you will see many true PuGs get the Lich King down.

Before we bring guests into our house, we need to clean up the mess! Of all of the oppositions, this is the one I agreed with the most. We certainly aren’t perfect, but sometimes we have our special moments, and I’d hate to have brought someone into our raid to have them experience wiping to the Lich King repeatedly…even if it did give them an “authentic” experience.

While our performances aren’t always pristine, we have undoubtedly cleaned them up sufficiently enough that I think we could probably bring in outsiders without embarrassing ourselves…much. Of course…I think 90% of the people who came in wouldn’t have cared if there were wipes, as long as they walked out with a kill.

So, what is in a title? When it comes down to it, what is in the title “the Kingslayer”? Does it devalue it to offer it, either for free or for a fee, to those who haven’t “earned” it? If you were in a position to offer the experience to others, would you?

16 responses to “What’s In A Title?

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  1. Re #2: You are absolutely correct, no 30% buff will push a pug, or even a guild stuggling at LK, over the proverbial edge into the realm of success. If it was a tank-and-spank, definately, but the LK fight requires so much proper positioning, awareness, etc that to say a buff to your damag and health will mean the difference is just crazy. Crazy, I say!

    For the most part I think a person should earn it, but quite honestly, I don’t condem the choice of any guild selling a Kingslayer title to someone willing and able to pay. It may be a nice infusion of gold into the guild bank. If it’s a mutually agreed upon contract by both parties, let’em have it. I wouldn’t do it, but I’m not 100% against it either.

    • I am still unsure on my “earn it” feelings. I know a lot of really good people who have had unfortunate things (guild implosions, etc) that have prevented them from seeing that final fight. Part of me very much wants to help them see it.

  2. I always argued against running people through Ulduar for the achievements/mounts/titles.

    My reasons were twofold, for one raids weren’t taken that seriously and having randoms who are paying watching our shenanigans wouldn’t have been good for the guild.

    Two, none of this stuff is crucial, therefore if people can’t get it the old-fashioned way, I tend towards they don’t deserve it. I haven’t raided since December, I don’t have Kingslayer and I can’t say not having it alters my gameplay in any way.

    • I agree that it isn’t crucial, but I do think that some people would certainly consider their time in WotLK “unfinished” without seeing Arthas down.

      Sure, it doesn’t alter gameplay in anyway, but I do think it’s important to some people.

      • I understand that and it’s one of the things that annoyed me slightly about my own guild breaking up just before Icecrown was released. However, I don’t believe paying to stand around watching other people kill Arthas is much different to watching a video on youtube.

  3. While I can see the point of people arguing that you need to “earn” a kill, but I have been playing warcraft in different forms for so many years, and a lot of them have been with Arthas in mind as the predominant threat. If I had been unlucky enough to not have found myself in 2 guilds on different toons that both have “been there, done that” when it comes to the lich king, I would’ve felt pretty devastated. For any other instance I would’ve agreed, but the lich king kill isn’t, for me, about a title or ‘dalaran street cred’, it’s about closure. Like it or not, even people who don’t raid a lot might have been part of this universe for very long, and as such being part of beating back the scourge would mean a lot to most.

    • While I do think that a small percentage of people that have contacted me just want the title, I think that the larger majority do want to experience Arthas dead. And I very much think it’s for the closure reason you mention above.

  4. Soon enough, the Kingslayer title will be the new Patient or Jenkins.

    It is a title. Nothing else. For those who managed to get it early at the release of ICC, I am sure they are proud of what they achieved. They know it was hard with X buff percentage or none.

    What I do understand, though, are people willing to pay to experience the fight itself. I could include myself in such a thing. But many are also willing to pay just to get the title. Some guilds are even offering, for X amount: “We’ll let you die so you don’t disturb or screw up the fight”. I don’t see how anyone could be proud to wear a title after that.

    But then again, a title is just… a title. Deep inside of you, you know when you earned something or not.

    • I agree that “the Kingslayer” is going to be watered down, much the same way that “Twilight Vanquiser” was.

      I know that there are a lot of people that arne’t fortunate enough to be part of a LK capable guild, but desperately want to see the encounter. I can’t say that I blame them for seeking out ways to make that happen.

  5. Post-30% buff my guild has been asked (and even offered 1k gold per person in the raid that’d be carrying the dead weight, as of last night) whether we’d sell Kingslayer titles. While we work on LK-10-Hardmode (which still no 10-strict guild has downed) we still like seeing him DEAD each week for the strife he puts us through, but the loot and titles are a waste on us (complete shards) and we’ve been rotating our casual folk in each week so they can see the fight.

    Do they deserve it? In most cases, yes. These are the people who hang out with us, fill in when we’re running short, and are often great players that just don’t have the time available to be a (even 2-night attendance) raider. Did they put in the blood, sweat, and tears learning the fight in 251 gear and a much smaller zone buff that the raiders did to earn it? No, but I frankly don’t care at this point.

    Some may not deserve it, and those are the ones we would tell to die to a valkyr cone-breath so they don’t wipe us with defile later. We haven’t yet brought in a stranger to hand the title to (unless you count applicants), but we are considering it.

    If a player wants to spend gold to see the WotLK end-game content when s/he can’t do it on their own, I don’t really have a problem with it. I’d rather not withhold a person being able to experience the story for the fear that they’ll act as if they put in the same work we did to get the name over their heads. As Paraprax said, a title is just a title, and they’ll know deep down whether they earned something or not.

    • I think I feel quite a bit as you do, Kae.

      When push comes to shove, I think that we have the ability to offer the experience to those that don’t have a way to experience it on their own, and I think that it is something I’d like to offer.

      However, the more I think about it, the more I think I may want to offer it free of charge, or with the option of making Monolith a donation, but not requiring a fee for the experience.

  6. Sorry, that was Rholm who said that, not Paraprax… I misunderstood the comment layout :)

  7. We’ve been selling lich king kills for a while now, and I have no issues with it. Our first sale went to the guild leader of a casual raiding guild on our server who had no chance at killing LK at the time. He was left tanking the floor and just watching the fight so he couldn’t screw anything up for us. I’m sure it wasn’t the most exciting kill for him but it was also totally worth it not for the title, but for the chance to unlock hard modes for his guild. Letting them play with hard mode marrogar and lootship was worth the price of admission for him, and I can totally respect that. I guess some people would have an issue with that since they didn’t “earn it,” but it is just a game and his purchased kingslayer title helped his friends have more fun. Now we get 1 or 2 people a week, and I care less about the reasons. Their gold helps pay for guild repairs being turned on full time for core raiders, and that makes me a happy camper when we’re working on the heroic version of the fight. :D

    • I definately think that many people would love to be able to say “I finished LK”. While I do understand the thoughts behind why some people are against it, I find myself leaning more towards wanting to offer the experience.

  8. I find that layout confusing too, Kae.

    To see the name at the bottom of a post is odd.

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