i really like the idea of the brawler's guild, for some of the same reasons i like pet battles. it is a line of pve progression independent of raiding. it is completely soloable content. you can go at your own pace. the fact that other players can actually watch you fight is a really nifty addition. the only catch was that, since it is one fight at a time and players have to queue for it, there's the danger that waits would become frustratingly long. but i expected blizzard to handle that through a sensible method such as, say, grouping players into batches of 20 (or 40, or whatever) and putting them into an instanced version of the guild (similar to how battlegrounds work). plenty of people to make a respectable audience, but nobody has to wait all day to fight.
but now we have details of how blizzard plans to keep the queue lengths in check: the guild will be invitation only, with invites auctioned off ten a day on the black market auction house (minimum bid 1000g, no maximum bid). once brawlers reach a certain level in the guild (currently rank 7, which as i understand it is rather non-trivial) they can start issuing their own invitations, with nothing to stop them from charging whatever price the market will support.
blizzard's been trying real hard to make us think of fight club without actually violating copyright laws, but does anyone remember the scene in fight club where a small-time gangster comes down to the basement and interrupts the club's clandestine activities?
tyler who are you?
fat man (lou) who am I?! there's a sign on the front that says "lou's tavern." i'm fucking lou. who the fuck are you?!
tyler tyler durden.
tyler extends his hand for a shake, but lou slaps it away.
lou who told you motherfuckers you could use my place?
tyler we have a deal worked out with irvine.
lou irvine? irvine's at home with a broken collarbone.
everyone glances guiltily at each other.
lou he don't own this place, i do. how much money's he getting for this?
tyler there is no money.
tyler it's free to all.
lou ain't that something?
tyler yes, it is.
but not the brawler's guild. it will go to the highest bidders. now, i have no idea how much these invitations will ultimately sell for (other than "over one thousand"). but i do know that when i try to picture how the brawler's guild will look in my head, i don't see a lost, frustrated generation searching to escape the meaninglessness of their lives in some dark basement. i see distinguished gentlemen drinking tea and discussing market trends in an oak-paneled lounge while waiting for some properly attired servant to discreetly inform them that the arena is ready for them now. and that makes it all sound a lot less fun.
blizzard's had a great success with pet battles. brawler's guild clearly has the potential to be another one, but they could screw it up with this nonsensical gating scheme.