- 2014/04/03 05:13:00 AM
Thanks for all the feedback, and I understand that while much of the news was positive, most of the people who have worked tremendously hard for the realm-best titles are justifiably upset that they will not be permanent.
The realm-best titles were added with little fanfare in Patch 5.4. It's possible that they were a flawed idea in their conception, but the hope was to foster a bit of competition within individual servers, and to encourage people who had long since finished up their Gold medal collection to revisit the dungeons and try to dethrone the current champs. The titles were by nature transitory, where any day you might log in and discover that someone had beaten your time, and that you'd lost the title. We added Feats of Strength, which were permanent, to recognize and commemorate the fact that you held the title for a time. These Feats of Strength remain among the rarest in the game.
If we'd wanted to add a fixed Platinum Medal tier with additional rewards, we could have done that, but the point was to encourage friendly competition against people you see standing around town on a regular basis. We're also aware that while essentially any class composition can get all Golds, balance breaks down at the extreme high end of the spectrum, and we wouldn't want to set a formal benchmark that some groups couldn't reach even with expert play.
Looking ahead to Warlords, we were left with the open question of how to handle the realm-best titles once the current set of Challenge Modes ceased to be available. By default, if we kept the titles as-is, the final players who held them on the day the servers went down for patch 6.0 maintenance would have kept them. Unless they ever transferred servers. Or unless their realm got connected with another realm with faster record times. This is because by definition, the titles are tied to a specific realm, and were always meant to be. Keeping the titles around with that level of inconsistency and uncertainty was not an acceptable outcome in our eyes.
We considered an alternate option of letting all players who have the Feat of Strength for ever holding a best time, however briefly, permanently keep the title associated with that dungeon. The major downside there, as I noted on Twitter, would be the precedent it would have set going into the next Challenge Mode season. Should the first group on a server to get a Gold Medal in the Shadowmoon Burial Grounds (one of our upcoming dungeons), the first week of the expansion, earn a permanent title, while another group a few weeks later that clears the dungeon four minutes faster (but not a new record at the time) does not get that same reward because they waited too long to stake their claim? We also do not want to encourage groups to seek out less competitive servers just to grab best times and thus permanent titles.
The groups that set records this time around will surely be top contenders in the Challenge Mode season, and you do have a unique Feat of Strength to record your accomplishment in Mists. That said, we clearly should have settled these questions sooner, so as to better set expectations.