Bugger all really...
Often you’ll see people touting renown rank as evidence of how good or bad a player is, but that’s just total bollocks. The only definite thing that Renown Rank means is that a character has more renown points to spend on abilities. To a certain extent you could say it also shows that the character has done lot of PvP, but it does not demonstrate how that time relates to the characters /played times and as such bares no relation to how successful (or not) they were in PvP.
Sure you could compare a character’s /played to their renown rank to give an idea how quickly they progressed through the renown ranks. Certainly a low /played time and a high renown rank would seem to indicate the character has won a lot of scenarios and killed a lot of high renown players, but it’s not perfect and unfortunately it falls apart for high /played times because it can’t demonstrate what the character was actually doing during that /played time. If someone does a mixture of PvP and PvE, it could well be that they’re /played is high, with the time inflated by all that dungeon crawling, yet their renown rank is relatively low despite the fact they’re actually God’s gift to PvP gaming. Likewise for a low /played character with high renown rank, for a start they could have just leeched in a solid scenario group and renown gains today are massively increased from the first year or so of WAR.
So what else can renown rank be compared against to indicate player quality? Killing Blows, player death/kill ratio, damage totals? Meh, all of them can be picked apart. It just doesn’t work; there is no definitive relation between renown rank and the quality of the player. It’s just a number that goes up the more you play within a particular aspect of the game. Of the enemy characters that I know drop royal crests (and therefore are very high renown ranked), there are some I consider free renown, they’re just not that good. Where as there are other up and coming characters that have proven themselves to be really bloody dangerous.
In which case, how do you recognise someone as a good player?
It’s not because their names are listed on Mythic/GOA’s rankings, it’s not because someone is a famous epeen forum troll, nor is it because they have a blog. In fact it’s nothing to do with someone being part of WAR’s extended community or having a large number associated to their character. The clue was in the word recognise. The good players are those you recognise from the battlefield, the ones you’ve learned to respect from fighting in-game. The names people cry out on ventrilo, the names you see at a start of a scenario that mean you’ve got to be on top form. It’s the player that consistently kills multiple enemies solo, it’s the Archmage that just won’t fucking die, or that sneaky Engineer git kiting like a shooty pimp through the streets of Praag.
It’s the same with guild rank, a big number doesn’t mean they’re good, just that they have put the time in to get it. Again what matters are the guild names you learn to recognise as decent opponents from the battlefield, those enemies that can really lay the smacketh down. They might be blob style bombers, melee trains, small scale skrimishers or scenario whores, whatever… they’re the good at what they do and earn a reputation, perhaps even grudging respect (normally hidden by the flames :P ).
Unfortunately that’s just not possible for Mythic to record in a nice numerical format.