Monday, October 29, 2007

Getting the New Arena Shoulders: Now Its Personal

Ever since Blizzcon the announcement of a rating requirement for top-end arena weapons has been met with disdain by the World of Warcraft community and labeled as red tape. Some players compared it to the hour long wait on auction house sales which was recently implemented. Most players saw it as another annoying rule being put into the game which could easily be gotten around by those who wished to exploit. After all wouldn't people just simply buy a one week spot on a top arena team so they could get the weapons? Well it seems as if Blizzard has uncharacteristically put more thought into rating requirement then originally suspected.

Basically the developer's hope to prevent farming the arena system for high quality weapons by implementing a personal arena rating which is associated to a single character and not a team. This prevents players from saving up points while doing badly in the arenas then purchasing a spot on a high end team. While a week on a high end arena team will probably improve your personal arena rating it wouldn't effect it enough to allow you to buy a restricted items. Also in a move which is sure cause some drama they decided to put an even higher rating requirement on the new arena shoulders.

While nothing specific has been revealed on how the personal arena rating will be calculated it's probably going to be similar to how team ratings are turned into weekly points. This means that winning a lot of 2v2 games will probably effect your personal rating less then winning a lot of 5v5 games. Also you can probably expect Blizzard to put a hump into the formula so that making a new team to reset your rating to 1500 has only a minimal effect on your personal rating. Don't expect that joining a 1200 rating team and winning 10 games in a row to effect your personal rating that much.

With all this math going into the arena system we're lucky that Blizzard is going to show our personal arena rating through the pvp tab. Hopefully it will be updated after each match since its a personal rating and should only be dependent on the matches you participate in. However, since this is a counter "exploit" feature it might be that Blizzard decides to only update it weekly to slow down the min/max number crunching crowd. Whatever time schedule they go with, the idea of a personal arena rating is a good idea. I can already see it being invaluable for teams trying to find a replacement for a lost member.

About the only thing I don't like about the personal arena rating is that its going to be used to restrict the new shoulder models. I can only assume that Blizzard caught on that the shoulders are every one's favorite piece of set armor and they decided to make it the "big reward" of the arena system. I blame all the forum whiners who bugged the CMs and developers when the shoulder models started shrinking on the public test realms. Now that they know we really like big, scary shoulder pieces of course they're going to put them behind a 2000 personal arena rating.