So last night I logged on and started running around, taking care of some errands on Dueg, when I did something I’ve never done before. I changed my settings to see my own name. I know, vanity, thy name is Dueg, but I was still feeling some pride, so I wanted to see what it looked like. As you can see, it appears as though someone has dropped a sack of letters all over me. I’m sorta glad I don’t have to see that all the time actually.
I’m sure I’ll wear this title for about a week or so and then go back to being Elder Duegathalas, because I like the look of it. What I keep meaning to work my way to though is the Ambassador title. Just look at it: Ambassador Duegathalas. Fucking gorgeous. Anyhoo, my point is that our reasons for having titles and choosing which one is on display are legion. Some will say that it’s all about customization and being that much more unique with their chars and I can certainly understand that draw myself.
I’m old school in the sense that I used to play Everquest way back when and I remember one of the greatest feelings was when you hit level 20 you got to type in /surname and enter a new last name for your character. For some of my characters, this process was easy (such as my main, Confooshus Say) and for others it was a process (my cleric, Justarius Souldeceiver, took a bit of thinking), but the point of it was the customization of it. The fact that it gave you that little extra bit of a sense of “this is my character” was one so enticing that I still long for it when one of my WoW chars dings 20.
The thing about the title system though is that it also gives you this feeling, only to a much lesser degree in the sense that there’s almost no entirely unique titles. A very few, select people have unique ones for various accomplishments or whatnot, but generally titles are going to be available to the WoW community en masse. So what is it that draws us to one particular title over others even though we know that half the server could have it tomorrow?
Well, for some people, there is no draw, they just want title after title after title because they see it as something to do in game. It gives them a sense of accomplishment to open up their character and scroll through the 20 or so titles available to them while they giggle with childish glee. They’ll choose whatever title suits their current mood without much thought and that title may sit over their head for weeks and weeks or get changed out every time they log in. Others still are more like innocent bystanders, running around, doing achievements for whatever reason or fighting a particular boss and all of a sudden they’re immortal, or a diplomat or whatever.
Then there’s the RP draw of it. Even on regular servers there are people who connect with their characters to the point that they begin to breathe a certain personality into them. People who have never RPed before can still occasionally see their character as someone with wants and needs and goals even if it’s just a projection of themselves into the avatar. Because of this you sometimes just see the title as just fitting on your character and will happily put the title up and leave it there forever.
For some though there’s usually a particular title that their shooting for, one that they’ve had their eye on or stumbled across and love the way it sounds. I was never a title seeker till I found out I could be Elder Duegathalas, then you better believe I was running around all the continents like a crazy man, shaking my walker at all the kids. For me it was purely an exercise in vanity. I was only half interested in the lore and all that jazz and didn’t really want to run any instance in the new or old content, but I wanted those five extra letters in front of my name. In this sense, the achievements system accomplished what it was implemented for and gave me a reason to log in and play my level 80 in between raiding.
Some people even go so far as to plan their character’s actual names to match up with titles they’re planning on getting. Usually as jokes, but sometimes with a thought to how it will actually sound. You can even tell what era a character is from based on their titles since certain ones such as the military ranks and past one time event titles are no longer available. There’s even the “I’m better than you” titles with two new ones for server firsts coming in the next patch to go along with the current uber difficult ones of The Immortal and The Undying.
So now I ask you, what do you look for in titles? Is it all about aesthetics for you or are you simply an achievement hunter who thirsts for the ding of that little box popping up at the bottom of your screen? Maybe there’s one particular title that you’ve been slowly meandering towards forever (ah, Champion of the Frozen Waste, you shall be Dueg’s someday) or maybe you had a particular one within a week of being 80 just like you always planned. Or perhaps you’re one of the humble few who refuses to wear a title, satisfied with the fact that you’re just you.
Oh, and a quick congratulations on the newest member to the Title Club: Ms. Cadistra Jenkins, may she always have chicken.