Selling arena titles for fun and profit

Death and Taxes has made WoW headlines for many things, mostly due to their raiding achievements. But today on the forums another aspect of the guild's performance made heads turn: their PvP arena teams. In the PvP arena 3v3 bracket Death and Taxes guild members have been using the current rule system to their benefit. What exactly does this entail? Well, to be specific, members of the top ranked teams are sharing their skill with lower ranked PvP players in order to raise their standings and get them the coveted Armored Netherdrake and an easy title. Seeing the success of one D&T arena team after another is frustrating their opponents, and therefore the vocal forum protest.

Members of D&T have naturally spoken up in their own defense, and fairly eloquently I might add. One of the accusations leveled at the guild was that they are using top crafted items to gain an edge in PvP, essentially using their power as a PvE guild to dominate the PvP domain.

In answer to this Schmity posted the following:

Just because people dont [sic] take the time out to advance their character to the fullest doesn't mean the people that do should suffer. If you want to PvP at the highest level, or do anything in life, you have to use the tools given to you. If you don't want to take the time, then settle for mediocrity.

The point he makes is a valid one. With anything in the game, be it PvP or instance runs, you have to prepare if you want to succeed. In our guild, for instance, we are requiring that our guild members build an arcane resistance set before we venture into Karazhan (we can argue all day long about whether or not this is necessary, but the point is we want to be prepared for what we may face when we are ready to enter the instance.)

When I asked D&T to comment on the arena team jumping issue, they explained that a lot of people simply neglect the 3v3 arena bracket, as so it is easier to dominate. Xi said:

... It's really easy to put teams into the top 5. You play ~50 games, give us the team, we put it in the top 5. Everyone wins.

It sounds reasonable enough, after all the rules state that the players on the team must play at least 20% of the games, but do not specify which 20% they must be. So there is no rule breaking here, only using the rules as they see fit. Or is there?

Something stated later on in the thread caught my eye and got me wondering. Both Xi and Schmity mention that the titles and Netherdrakes are not simply being given away to guild members, but are being purchased.

... we're not TRYING to screw anyone. If we were annoyed enough at the casuals in this thread we'd make 10 more teams in the next week and fill up the top of the ladder. At this point all we're doing is providing a service to some guild members who are willing to pay for it. It's simple.

One might also argue that the gold farmers are providing a service that people are willing to pay for, and 20% of WoW players agree. That doesn't make it right. The title of Gladiator should be a symbol of PvP achievement for each and every person who attains it, something earned through the blood and sweat of battle. Before this information came to light I was actually with Death and Taxes on this issue. It looked to me about the same as porting someone into Outland before level 58. However, knowing that they are just selling the titles to people in their guild definitely changes my mind on the matter. The title is no longer a symbol of merit, is now a symbol of commerce, and as inventive as their system might be, I can't see how it follows the spirit of the PvP arena system. If I had bought my Murky on eBay instead of getting at BlizzCon, would it have the same meaning?

I applaud the players of Death and Taxes for their skill, but I cannot agree with the sale of arena titles. It's less an idea of morality really. The more I think about it, the more it makes me wonder how close they are coming to breaking the ToS, if indeed they haven't already.

[via an anonymous tip]

This article was originally published on WoW Insider.