Since our brief discussion on Legendary Episode 97, and Olivia and Mike B‘s earlier discussion about the Brawler’s Guild, there’s been a rather controversial update to the Patch 5.1 PTR notes:
“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.”
What exactly does this mean? Brawler’s guild invitations will only be available on the Black Market Auction House. Once one person has purchased an invitation, they can invite as many or as few people as possible, up to a maximum of ten per day. The only way to gain access to the Brawler’s Guild is by purchasing one of these invitations, or by talking someone who has purchased one into passing you one over.
Why have the developers decided on this? From one of Community Manager Zarhym’s tweets
@CM_Zarhym: “@oliviadgrace Don’t think much change to the setup is planned. Minor feature with very trickled access to keep one fight at a time feasible.”
It seems like this “fix” is designed to keep player participation at a minimum, in order for the one fight at a time structure to remain without excessive queue times. It seems that this will be a temporary solution at the very best, given that players can be invited by those with the gold to access the BMAH invitations with relative ease. With only 15 people in line ahead of you on the PTR, the queue was already 15-20 minutes for a bout. It won’t take long for queue times to grow, and it seems instances, or phasing, or even just adding more arenas would be a far better solution.
Furthermore, this is gating in the most objectionable way. There’s a realm first for 5 consecutive wins, that only those with access to gold will be able to achieve. Even if this were to be something given to the gold-making community, it doesn’t really tie in. And those who do buy the invitations will be able to make even greater profits selling them, if they are able to control the market.
It seems highly unlikely that Blizzard will revert this change, given Zarhym’s tweet, but we at GAMEBREAKER live in hope.