As it seems every week, I want to apologise for the lack of posting on (American time) Friday and Saturday. Both Jess and I are Australian, and those days constitute our weekend, hence the somewhat reduced/non-existent posting schedule. We try, but often our weekends seem to be busier than our weekdays!
So anyway, titles. Last week I did a post on reputation, and I’d meant to close it off with also a discussion of titles, but by then it was close to my bus stop and I had to cut it short. Still, it’s worth talking about, even if it’s only with a very short post: How do you handle titles? If someone is Katafray of the Shattered Sun, do you treat them differently than if they were Katafray, Champion of the Naaru? And do you treat either of them differently to just plain Katafray?
(It randomly occurs to me, since my brain seems a little frazzled on this Monday morning, that I’ve never actually checked on the Armory to see if there actually are any Katafrays out there. If so, hi. I’m not picking on you, honest. Actually, “Extract of Katafray” is a product in a high-end beauty cream, and this is what I’m referring to. If you do play Katafray and don’t know this, I believe name changes cost something like thirty dollars. You’re welcome.)
There’s a few factors to consider in this. First of all, and perhaps most obviously, what is the title? Because y’know, if I’m role-playing with Scarab Lord Katafray, buddy, I’m in freaking awe. Not just personally, but probably in character too. That’s an Azeroth-shattering event it’s associated with, and it’s one of the few titles that I probably feel justified in using even if the player doesn’t explicitly refer to it. If they’re displaying “Scarab Lord” then I’m probably going to assume that I recognise that guy. “Yeah, well, I’ve been trying to– Wait, you’re that guy, aren’t you? Universes exploding, it is you! Can… no no no. The Scarab Lord does not sign autographs, I’m so sorry.” There are precious few titles of this magnitude, though.
Secondly, there’s the question of how they use it. Pay attention to how they introduce themselves. If they cordially state, “Hello, I am Katafray,” then it’s probably the case that they’re just using the title as a fun doodad, and they’re not really putting much behind it. If nothing else, you can rule that you wouldn’t know of their title ICly unless they say so. By contrast, should they announce themselves, “I am Katafray, Champion of the Naaru,” then you can react at will.
But how? Well, I can think of a few ways. Genuine respect would be the obvious one, with phrases like, “It’s an honor to meet you, sir,” thrown into the conversation. One could express genuine or feigned curiosity, “Oh. Um, so, that… that Naaru guy. I hear he’s quite the poker shark,” or “Erm, so, what does that entail, being champion of the Naaru? Is there a good pension scheme in that?” Your own character will frame this as well, of course. A devoted patriot to either the Alliance or the Horde may well spit back, “The Shattered Sun Offensive is just another polite way of saying ‘consorting with the enemy’, turncoat.” to someone of the Shattered Sun.
Finally, the third factor to consider is your own titles. If you both share “of the Shattered Sun”, then you could quickly use the titles to establish a friendly camaraderie, as an example.
Now, with all that said, let’s talk about the big title controversy we know we all know we want to talk about – The Wrath titles. For those with sub-stone accommodations, earlier it was announced that Wrath of the Lich King was going to offer up very limited access titles for those who accomplished certain events within the game first. For example, the first person to level up to 80 in each class and race would get a title acknowledging this. (So we could have Katafray the Lion Hearted, as an example.) And these were some seriously cool titles; my personal favorites were “of the Ten Storms,” (for the first shaman to hit 80), “Salty,” (for the first person to max out fishing) and “Doctor” (for the first person to max out first aid.) However, due to an unbelievable amount of vin du fanboy, Blizzard backtracked and took these out again.
And you know what? I gotta admit, I’m kind of pissed off. Because these were some great titles. Not just for regular people, but for role-players. Not all of them, I admit, but I know one person in my guild who would have potentially killed a few people for the title of doctor. (Yes, that’s such a deliciously ironic sentence that I enjoyed just typing it.) “Salty” is such a great title that I would have taken up piracy with any character I had who got it, just to take advantage of it. And forget just the potential of getting one, imagine the fun of role-playing with people who have them! Engineers could role-play with Grand Master Engineers looking for favors, funding or advice. A Shaman of the Ten Storms could lead whole groups of shamans in ritual – There were huge possibilities!
And yes, I know. In all likelihood, the vast majority of the titles would have gone to non role-players. C’est la vie. But the possibility was there, and now it isn’t, all because a bunch of whinging bastards decided that if they couldn’t have it, then nobody else should be allowed to either. Good work, gang.
In the end, it’s not a big deal. I’m not as bitter as I seem. And you can always just call yourself a doctor, or Salty, etc. Especially if you use FlagRSP or MyRoleplay. But much like having A Steamy Romance Novel is more fun than just referring to an imaginary steamy romance novel, it’s more fun to actually have a title than it is to just allude to one. More titles, ergo, are a good thing.