Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Blizzard Boosts the smaller Arena Brackets

One small item from the patch notes states that once again Blizzard has increased the amount of weekly points earned in the 2v2 and 3v3 arena brackets. Its unclear at this moment if this means that weekly points have been reduced for the 5v5 bracket though it wouldn't be a big surprise if this was a case. Ever since Blizzcon several developers have highlighted their concerns with the reward system for the arena system. Most of these concerns seem to involve practices commonly seen only in the 5v5 bracket.

One issue has been discussed here before involves the practice of simply reforming an arena team once its rating has dropped too low. In this manner many raiders were getting top tier weapons from the arena system without seriously competing. It got so bad that the developers decided against resetting all ratings back to 1500 at the end of season 1 which was the original plan. The developers are so set against the top tier weapons being available to point farmers that they are introducing a rating requirement for next season's weapons.

The other issue which hasn't been discussed here before is the practice of players selling temporary spots on their high end 5v5 teams. The amount of points a high end team brings in each week runs in the range of about 1,000 points. These teams quickly earn more points then they can spend and thus are open to selling spots on their team on a weekly basis and risking a small loss in their rating. The actual risk of their rating dropping is very small since 4 experienced PvP players can usually carry an average game with one payed tourist along for the ride. The 2v2 and 3v3 brackets have less room for error and reports of selling spots in those brackets are almost non existent.

This practice of selling spots is slowly changing how Blizzard thinks arena points should be distributed. Originally the thought was that smaller brackets should earn less points since its harder to organize a full group each week for arenas. However, since arenas have quickly gained in popularity its become very easy to find active team members for the smaller brackets. Yet some players are finding it even easier to simply buy a spot on a high end 5v5 arena team for a week or two rather then spend 7 weeks playing on an average 3v3 or 2v2 team. As a result Blizzard has slowly been increasing the amount of points awarded for the ratings in the 2v2 and 3v3 bracket.

This strategy is similar to how Blizzard introduced daily quests in an attempt to reduce gold buying. Most of the daily quests don't require a player to be good at DPS thus even healers and tanks can complete them for gold. Increasing the points for the smaller brackets is similar to this since it make it easier for non PvP specced classes to earn arena points without thinking they have to buy them. Who knows if it will work in the log run though since some people would still rather just pay gold then practice their PvP skills.

P.S. Had a chance to examine the new formula and Blizzard basically made it so that 5v5 bracket teams recieve less points if they were under 1500. The rest of the brackets seemed to have come away with a higher point gain based on their ratings. Check out the new formula yourself at


Anonymous said...

Hey Blizz, I wouldn't have to farm Arena points if you'd actually put an epic offhand DPS sword somewhere in any of the following:

1) A heroic
2) Karazhan
3) Gruul
4) Magtheridon
5) SSC
6) The Eye

Not a single freaking one. I'm the rogue captain for my guild and we've all pretty much been forced by the crappy-ass weapon itemization into the exact same spec.

No fist weapons either until bloody A'lar. If you're early in the raid game, a rogue has to - HAS TO - be daggers.

I know other classes feel the same way about the utter lack of availability for certain pieces of armor (healing priest bracers come to mind).

Zul Aman damn well better fix this.

Relmstein said...

Yeah I'm hoping that Zul'Aman fills in a lot of the gear gaps that Karazhan and Heroics fail to address.

Rumours so far say that its filled with off spec gear which would probably include off hands.

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Plasma tv wall brackets said...

thank you for the arena-calculator lik! its been so helpful!

I read this and thought you might find it interesting:
"Q: Rating system-- with the new changes for ratings and weapons aren't you worried this will go back to the old honor system?

A: No, because you won't get rewarded for playing more and more and more like the old system. The arena system rewards skill, not just time investment."

Great post!