Upcoming patch 5.1 is bringing with it a lot of changes and new content. One of the most controversial items seems to be the Brawler’s Guild. Despite the first rule of Brawler’s Guild being “don’t talk about Brawler’s Guild”, there is a lot of talking going on – primarily about the way that a player can gain access to this content. For those who don’t know anything about this feature, here’s the description from the patch notes:

Brawler’s Guild

  • Underground fighting rings have sprung up in Stormwind and Orgrimmar that will give brawlers who have their mitts on an invitation a chance to earn bragging rights by testing their solo PvE mettle against some of the toughest creatures found in World of Warcraft.
  • Players will prove their skill, and increase their rank with the Brawler’s Guild, as they win matches against some of the most difficult solo encounters in World of Warcraft.
  • Entry into the brawler’s guild is by invitation only. Invitations can be found on the black market auction house or by invitation from somebody within the guild.
  • As their Brawler’s Guild rank increases, players will unlock additional rewards and activities within the Brawler’s Guild.
  • Brawlers on a realm will gather together into the blood spattered ring to watch as their peers face down their own opponents. They can watch the battles in progress to learn from hardened Brawler’s Guild veterans as they wait for their own turn to fight.
  • If this is your first night at Brawler’s Guild, you have to fight.

Black Market Auction House invitations means that only the wealthiest players will have access to the Guild at first and has some people upset. I think it’s awesome and can’t imagine a better way to handle it.

More from Blizzard about the Guild

What Brawler’s Guild Is

  • A fun, but small diversion that could grow in time
  • A venue for a realm’s community to come together
  • A unique way to earn some solo PvE bragging rights
  • A cool place to hang out

What Brawler’s Guild Isn’t

  • A means of solo progression
  • A major patch feature accessible to everyone (at first)
  • A way to earn lots of in-game rewards
  • Proving Grounds where you can develop class skills (that’s a different feature arriving later on)

The Naysayers

Many complain that limiting access to content, particularly based on something like gold, is insulting to those unable to get in right away. On commenter on a recent WowInsider post said, “I’m sorry, but you can’t have “small, underground” features.  Not in WoW.  Not with official content.  Not with something that is announced in patch notes. With the invites going to the BMAH, this is literally a millionaires’ club.” The writer of the article herself questions Blizzard’s right to declare it a “minor aside” and not a big feature. Some have been getting excited about this new content and are very disappointed that there are any limitations to get in and start brawling. Are these valid concerns?

A Small, Underground Thing

When you think of a Brawler’s Guild or “Fight Club“, if you will, what do you picture? Aside from the actual space they used in the movie, I envision a shady (both in terms of character and light availability), sleazy basement/warehouse where the nondescript door is being guarded by someone as shady and sleazy as the venue. The kind of place you can’t find unless you know a guy who knows a guy. The kind of place you don’t want to accidentally find yourself without said connections. This is a place for wealthy businessmen to let loose their darker sides and for those who revel in the underground to make a buck (or a fortune) while working the game. Limiting the access keeps that illusion of a secret warehouse where the elite and the underworld mix. It keeps the illusion that you gotta know a guy. Well, in this case you really do have to, since there will be a limit of 10 people per day buying access and they can only invite 10 other people. Here we come to the core complaint. Should this content be available only to the wealthy? The answer: it doesn’t matter. 10 invites from the BMAH per day with the ability to invite 10 more people. This means, every day, 100 new people can gain access to the Guild. Http://wow.realmpop.com/ shows my server (classified as high population) as having 3744 level 90 characters (there’s over 90k in total, but only max level can participate and therefore are applicable). If 100 new people gain access per day, every max level character on the entire realm will have access in 38 days. This of course assumes that every level 90 is a unique person (or someone who wants multiple characters in the Guild) or is even interested. It is unlikely that anyone who cares about gaining access will have to wait more than a week or two, if that long. With this rapid accessibility, the cost of the actual purchased access will plummet in mere days. Have a little patience, wait a couple of days (will help avoid some bugs anyway), and get in when it’s cheaper. This isn’t really content for the elite of the wealthy, it’s not really that secret or underground, but at least let us keep the illusion of the dark, dangerous, elusive place.

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