I'm not going to harp on about why I like Brawler's Guild so much yet again, or about why I think the invitation method is far from optimal. Nor am I going to talk at length about how the invitations will not fix the queues, and how it seems clear to so many players that it should be instanced to mitigate its inevitable popularity. Daxxarri deals with some of this in his post.
Yes, we're breaking the first rule of Brawler's Guild.
For those of you that haven't been following along, the Brawler's Guild is a new feature being introduced to World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria in patch 5.1. This new part of the World of Warcraft has generated a lot of excitement--not to mention a few questions--so we're going to try to provide a clearer picture of what we're hoping to accomplish with the Brawler's Guild in this thread.
First, a little bit about what it is, and what it isn't:
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)
So, to sum up, we're trying to give the Brawler's Guild a tight knit, underground kind of feel, and we expect the Guild on each realm to slowly grow to encompass more and more of the population over time. Because invites will be so limited, it's likely that a lot of the players that join the Brawler's Guild will have had some kind of interaction with one or more existing members before they ever step into the ring. Finally, a smaller population will help keep the queues low for quite a while – since a big part of the Brawler's Guild is watching other players fight their own battles, right now instancing arenas or using phasing isn't an attractive option.
About Those Invites
Invites to the Guild will (at least initially) only be available for purchase on the Black Market Auction House. We've taken this approach both to control queue times, and also because the Brawler's Guild is meant to be kind of a small, underground thing, and a way for players on a realm to come together. At first, that will happen because invites will go out from one player to another based on who buys those initial Black Market invites. After reaching a certain rank in the Brawler's Guild, each of the new members can eventually earn one new invitation of their own to pass out to someone else on the same realm, so the Brawler's Guilds on each realm should get progressively larger and larger over time. We may also investigate alternate methods of acquiring invitations or making them more plentiful.
We've also decided that attaching a realm first style achievement to the Brawler's Guild isn't necessarily the right move. Rest assured that there will be other achievements to earn in the ring though.
We know you've got questions, so ask away, and we'll try to clarify where things are hazy.
Firstly, it's great news that Blizzard has decided against attaching a feat of strength to this. It felt so wrong that an achievement like that should be associated with gold. But their explanation of the lack of instancing just doesn't seem to fly.
One of the parts about Brawler's Guild that is so enjoyable is the fact that there are other players there, watching. Other players to chat to about how annoying Epicus Maximus is with all his bombs. It doesn't seem that any players would want that feature taken out by instancing with just a solo player. It would remove the feeling of the Guild altogether. No, what I want, and potentially what others want too, is a way to split the Brawler's Guild up so that the waiting doesn't get out of hand. Let 20 people go in to one instanced ring, then move the next 20 to another. Maybe 40 is a better number. That way the spectators remain, the feel remains, but the queues are measured in minutes rather than hours.
What do you think? Are you reassured by Blizzard's words? Who gets to decide if Brawler's Guild is a big feature or a minor aside?
Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.