WoW's Arena system is Hardcore mode?

I’ve written in the past my suspects about this system but today someone posted an anonymous comment on my site saying that Arena “PUGs” aren’t even remotely a possibility.

He says that to be able to queue you have to form a “static” party, pay an admission fee of 50 gold coins and then you have the right to participate in the fights for that season and get your ranking (and here I still suspect that the rewards will be ranked and the points gained wiped at the end of the season).

I don’t think you can participate with more than one group, either.

Is this true?

If it is we can pretty much forget the scenario where we thought we could use the Arenas as a quick & fun way to pass some time between an instance run and another.

That was basically my understanding all along, though – that the idea was that you put together a set “team” (players and a bench, so maybe four people for a 2v2 team) and only team members can compete each season, with rankings and prizes and so on that presumably reset each season. It’s like joining a softball league. 50 gold seems pretty steep, and I wasn’t aware that you could only join one team at a time (although maybe that makes sense), but other than that this is what I expected.

There’s a “set” team, but there are also pug arenas, and a whole new battleground. I’ll try to get Garoun to comment, and/or make him do some more PvPing on the beta server. I saw him go into a pug arena last night, except it ended up being 3 on 1 instead of 3 on 3. (nobody else was qued up at the time evidently) But there are definitely 2 different types of arena matches.

This is also what I expected. I think you can join unranked matches where you only get honor from hks, but other than that this is obviously something for teams. I see it mainly as a response to get rid of the pvp grind. In the arena system you don’t really benefit from fighting more than ten times every week.

As far as I can tell the rewards are just based on the points gained every week, and I haven’t seen anything about points being reset every season. I think that the point cap of twice the maximum reward price is there in place of a reset, otherwise the cap would be pointless. I also remember reading something about the ranks being mostly symbolic, maybe you can get a tabard or something with a high rank.

I say this because my original guess (that was criticized) was that I thought they were creating a two-tiered system.

The point is that it’s basically the same we have now, just reworked to make a bit more sense.

  • The first tier is what we have now with the factions grind. This tier will basically bundle faction rewards with other honor rewards. As the factions work currently there’s no decay. So they are basically unifying factions with honor.

  • The second tier is the arenas. This tier is the “hardcore” one, from where the real good loot will come. And my point is that it’s essentially the same we have with the current ranks. Instead of having a grindable treadmill, they are going to make seasonal competitions, with ranks working essentially as they do now. You get “x” points for that season, get ranked and you are allowed to pick one reward for your rank. At the beginning of a new season the points are reset.

So the point is that the system just juggles with what we have already and doesn’t do much to make things more accessible than how they are currently. It doesn’t shrink the gap between gear and players, and it doesn’t make the best rewards eventually available also for casual players.

I got confused reading the title on this. With Blizzard I associate “Hardcore” with permanent death.

Arenas have always had the team as “mini-guild” concept. That is, if 5v5 is the biggest arena size (for example), a team could have maybe 10 people on it. Any 5 can fight in the arena. Just like a guild could have 70 members, and any 40 could raid MC or whatever.

For 5 people, 50G is trivial to create a team. For a bigger team, it’s even easier.

You’re still capped at what you can earn per week, so playing 100 arena battles doesn’t give you a huge advantage over playing 10-15 (numbers aren’t “law”, just an example).

I think you’re off the mark again.

I’m not contradicting that. In fact I believe that while the new system doesn’t change much things, it still works with some more sense.

While before it was based on a “points over time” form of catass that required you to play full time and almost never log out, now the system rewards “skill”.

Point 1:

  • The best rewards will still be in the hands of 1% or less of the playerbase, as only the top ranks in the arenas will be rewarded. So the ratio between “haves” and “have not” is the same as it is now. And PvE is still a much simpler way to progress.

Point 2:

  • “Skill” is a false concept, as “skill” = “gear”. So the point is: who has the BEST gear from raids will be also at top the ranks of the PvP Arenas. Which means that always the same guys will be there at the top, exactly as it is right now.

The more you have high end gear, the more you win. And the more you win, the more you are rewarded, and so continue to win. Recursively. While the more you lose (as you don’t have access to the best gear) the more you continue to lose without a chance to compete with the beefier guys. Ever.

Which means, again, that the gap between casual and hardcore is essentially unchanged.

Btw, I’ll explain the other position so that you can see the difference between what I’m saying here and what other people thought:

They thought that you could PUG the Arenas. This mean that you would likely lose more, or course, leading to less points overall.

But the hope was that if you got 10 points with your PUG, while the catass got 100, you would simply need 10 times his time to get the same reward. “Eventually” you would be there. It would just take longer.

This means that there’s always an incentive for EVERYONE to queue and get some points.

But if instead PUGs aren’t even ranked and if points are wiped at the end of the season, your “fate” is just about to rank at very low levels forever without a chance to improve.

Which is basically the same thing that happens now. The new system gives you the “illusion” that you can compete and get something out of it. When in reality things are pretty much as they were.

"Point 1:

  • The best rewards will still be in the hands of 1% or less of the playerbase, as only the top ranks in the arenas will be rewarded. So the ratio between “haves” and “have not” is the same as it is now. And PvE is still a much simpler way to progress."

Blizzard devs have said that you can save up your points. This means that any reward is within reach of anyone who plays on a team and does the arena fights. They have never once mentioned anything about wiping points at the end of a season. They have said that the number of points you can have will be capped at the price of the most expensive reward item.

I’m not really sure what your complaint is. Yes, good teams will earn points faster and get rewards more quickly. It is not a ladder system, though, and points are not wiped at the end of a season as far as I know. Why would they be?

The best rewards are always going to take a bit more effort to get. That’s almost a given, isn’t it? They’re lowering the raids from 40 to 25, and I’ve heard that the best raid rewards will be in the 10 man raids on heroic mode anyway – not sure if that’s true, but if it is, then they are even more accessible. There are also numerous new faction rewards that look fantastic, but I have nothing to compare them with so I don’t know how they will stack up against arena stuff.

What is with you HRose? You keep making this kind of assertion and you have been corrected at least half a dozen times? You know it doesn’t work like you suggest, what is with the campeign of misinformation?

The only gripe I have about arena teams is that you character can only belong to one team of each type. IE: You can’t do the 5 lock concept team, and then also be on a normal 5 person mixed team or another 3 or 5 sets as far as team builds go.

You can probably at least do arena in the practice mode like you suggest, however. I wonder if you still get honor points in that mode? I’d guess yes, but you don’t get points toward arena rewards.

As far as I know you can be in three teams at once, 2v2, 3v3 and 5v5. At the end of the week you are given points equal to the highest you got from one bracket.

I suppose you could say it’s the second tier of pvp but it’s much different than the old honor grind was. In fact once you’ve done the required 10 games for the week playing anymore could hurt your standing. To me this system sounds so much better that having to worry about not playing enough in one week and going down in rank.

While you can’t “pug” the ranked arena games like you can bgs, I would imagine people will still make pug like arena teams. Much like people from one server make premade teams for bgs since they introduced cross server queues.

Another nice thing is that 10 arena games should be doable in a single evening – games only last a couple of minutes.

Do these arena games have any objectives or gimmick powerups? I like skill-based gaming as much as the next guy but I don’t really want to just meet in the middle and fight for a few rounds and then be done with it.

I’ve only done a couple of matches. It’s in an arena with some objects that you can use to avoid LOS, etc. I think one may have elevated areas, but I haven’t seen it.

The fights are fast – it’s not like the BGs where you fight for objectives and may die a number of times. You die you’re out.

With Blizzard’s unofficial stance being that PvP isn’t balanced around 1 on 1 fights, is anyone concerned that the 2 on 2 arenas are going to be dominated by the top two or three 1 on 1 classes? Afterall, 2 on 2 isn’t that much different than 1 on 1.


1- This thread was about the fact that you cannot join arenas with PUGs and get ranked. I wasn’t sure about this, but it was confirmed.

2- The “disinformation” is only about my suspect that the arena points will be wiped at the end of the season OR the rewards ranked. This is the part that is still unconfirmed and I remain with my belief simply because of game design consistence. I’m simply waiting the moment when I can say “I told you” or “I was wrong”.

Now, depending on the concrete implementation of that second point, in one case or the other, things will change ENORMOUSLY for the average player. This is the most important point of the new PvP system and Arenas. And the reason why I continue to bring this up.

I suppose you could say it’s the second tier of pvp but it’s much different than the old honor grind was. In fact once you’ve done the required 10 games for the week playing anymore could hurt your standing. To me this system sounds so much better that having to worry about not playing enough in one week and going down in rank.

Before it was ALL about time commitment. If you have time to waste, you had the possibility to climb the ranks. If not, you would get your “maximum rank” performance and then stay there.

What I’m interested about is the gameplay expectations of the average player.

What I criticized (in the case in the point 2 above I’m right) is that to be able to win the arenas, you have to get good gear. But in order to get good gear, you have to win the arena. But to win arenas you need good gear.

That vicious circle is simply what will bring to a very static situation where it will be really hard to modify your position on the ladder once you get ranked.

That system makes stronger those who are already strong (it offers power-ups to those who are already at the top, so giving them even more advantage), and weaker those who are at the bottom. Simply put: it creates a gap. It removes the possibility to improve.

So we have a three way scenario:

1- The current one. Where “time” is king. The more you invest time, the more you are rewarded.

2- My hypothesis of ranking rewards. Where the strongest are made stronger, and where the average players will have his progress negated. He will sit at the bottom of the ladder without any chance to get good rewards and improve. Not anymore “time” is king, but “gear”.

3- The one that is perceived more “fair”. This is a mix of the previous two. “Time” and “gear”. If you have “gear” you’ll be able to rank near the top, so get more points and get the best rewards sooner. But since the points aren’t wiped, this also means that the average player, even if gaining less points over “time”, will eventually get the best rewards.

That’s all.

There’s actually a fourth scenario. That works like the third, but that feels like the second. Which may be what we’ll have. The difference of this fourth scenario is that the “ranks” and points awarded will scale exponentially, making the possibility to get the best gear impossible as a matter of facts EVEN if the points aren’t wiped.

Concrete example:
Rank 3 (average player) gets 100 points monthly.
Rank 10 (top tank) gets 100000000 points monthly.

Sword of Catass costs 200000000.

For the top rank player it’s a matter of two months.
For the average player it’s a matter of… Uhm. Two millions months.

Have fun.

In a small-scale setting, who can overcome a Paladin+Warrior combo? I’m scared!

A Warlock+Shadowpriest.