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Something’s been bothering me about Guild Wars, the “Defender of Ascalon” title to be more accurate. There are other ridiculously demanding titles (The “Drunkard” title does have a certain charm to it, though.), but the Defender title is a staggering milestone in pointless goals. It looks simple enough: “The Defender of Ascalon title can only be gained by attaining level 20 in pre-Searing Ascalon, the tutorial area in Guild Wars Prophecies”, until you realise that you don’t get any experience from enemies that are more than five levels below you and the highest creatures in pre-Searing Ascalon are level ten.

The only proven way of achieving the title is “death leveling”, which involves leveling up the enemy by letting the kill you. I think there was some kind of mistake when they we’re creating the titles; somehow this one was called “Defender of Ascalon” instead of “Masochist of the Realm”.

According to the Guild Wars Wiki article, it takes months of dying in order to level up enemies just so you can kill them for a meagre amount of experience. The only real progress you’ll make in the game is reaching the level cap, which even a casual player can hit in a few weeks. Swirl that around your head for a bit; months of dying, for a title, some text below your character name, a bloody E-Penis.

Now it could be argued that this is the terrifying reality that lies at the core of all MMOs; we’re all putting hundreds of hours into achieving utterly inconsequential goals, but this is just taking the piss. Instead of drawn out, backwards, goals like this they should really be taking note of the x-box live achievement system and adding a larger range of titles that are relatively easy to acquire. They should be a bit of fun to spice up the main game, not encouragement to punish yourself. There’s far more interesting things in MMOs than grinding for a bit of text that says “I got killed for months for a fucking title”. People don’t pay attention to titles anyway; they’re too busy fawning over the guy with the Flaming God-sword of Much Death.

Good for you though, “Sir Diedalot”.

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