Season seven is here! The new season brings the same familiar arena combat that we've come to know, love, and sometimes hate. However, the season of the Relentless Gladiator also has many meaningful changes for arena enthusiasts.
- Abandonment of 2v2 bracket rewards.
- New ratings requirements on gear.
- Match Making Rating - is it still busted?
Before season seven had started, 2v2 rewards were slated to be completely cut. 3.2 patch notes indicated that Relentless Gladiator gear could only be purchased if a player met the requirements with their 3v3 or 5v5. 2v2 teams, however, could still be used to purchase the previous season's gear (Furious Gladiator gear).
This change, of course, would have nullified almost all important benefits of 2v2 other than getting points each week. A player who played lots of 2v2 would still need a 3v3 or 5v5 in order to spend the arena points they accumulated with their 2v2. Cruel and unusual punishment indeed!
After a great deal of public outcry, Blizzard rethought their model for 2v2. Bornakk explained that Blizzard had reflected on their view of 2v2 and opted for a change. He detailed that the development team recognized that many players prefer to play in the 2v2 bracket; Blizzard is still going to allow the 2v2 bracket to grant access to the current level of gear with three exceptions: Relentless weapons and Relentless shoulders will not be available for purchase, and players will not qualify for end-of-the-season rewards unless they earn the appropriate rating in 3v3 or 5v5.
So, there we have it. Relentless Weapons and Shoulders are no longer able to be purchased with team rating / personal rating from 2v2s. Gladiator titles and 310% speed Relentless Gladiator Frost Wyrms will not be given out for 2v2 either. Blizzard's iron hand is falling swiftly on 2v2.
Update: Players can buy tier one PvP weapons with a 1800+ Team Rating / Personal Rating in 2v2. Titles such as Duelist, Rival, and Challenger might still be obtainable through 2v2 (unless Bornakk meant all titles and rewards).
Gear Rating Requirements
Via Bornakk, here are the current personal rating / team rating requirements for arena gear in season seven:
- No Rating Required:
- Deadly Bracer
- Deadly Belt
- Deadly Boots
- Deadly Neck
- Deadly Ring
- Deadly Cape
- Deadly Trinket
- Furious Bracer
- Furious Belt
- Furious Boots
- Furious Neck
- Furious Ring
- Furious Cape
- Furious Trinket
- Rating Required:
- 700+: Furious Relics
- 800+: Furious Gloves
- 900+: Furious Legs
- 1000+: Furious Chest
- 1100+: Furious Helm
- 1200+: Relentless Bracer (honor)
- 1250+: Relentless Belt (honor)
- 1300+: Relentless Boots (honor)
- 1350+: Furious Shoulders
- 1400+: Relentless Gloves
- 1450+: Relentless Neck (honor)
- 1500+: Relentless Ring (honor)
- 1550+: Relentless Legs
- 1600+: Relentless Chest
- 1650+: Relentless Trinket (honor)
- 1700+: Relentless Wands/Relics/etc
- 1750+: Relentless Cape (honor)
- 1800+: Relentless Weapon - lvl245
- 1900+: Relentless Helm
- 2000+: Relentless Shoulders
- 2200+: Relentless Weapon - lvl258
- 2300+: Relentless Tabard
There are still no "battleground-only weapons."
You'll have to wait until Cataclysm for those. You still need a 1800+ personal rating / team rating (in addition to honor and arena points) to get any level 80 PvP weapon. Hateful, Deadly, and Furious Weapons are no longer able to be purchased by any means.
What's that? Tier-two relentless weapon (ilvl 258) only requires 2200 rating? Didn't last season have a 2350 rating requirement on tier-two weapons?
Season six was somewhat problematic for rating requirements on tier-two furious weapons. The items in question were boosted from a 2200 requirement to 2350, as it was apparent that rating inflation had become a significant problem. However, Crygil mentioned this would be a season-six-only thing; in season seven, and onward, the requirement would be lowered to reflect a more balanced match making rating system.
The match making rating system was supposed to change at the end of season six.
Many high-end arena players report match making rating losses of 200-300+ points in 3v3 and 5v5 from the end of season six to the beginning of season seven. However, 2v2 match making ratings seem to be affected very little, if at all. The players describing large MMR losses are at the top of the arena ladders; some teams are hundreds of points below the rating they had when they ended season six.
It should appear quite surprising then to learn that there are 3v3 teams already in the 2800s -- the highest 3v3 team last season was rated 3016. That's a difference of just ~200 points, and it's only the third week of the season!
Blizzard's attempt to recalibrate the system appears to be removing copious amounts of superfluous match making rating points from the proverbial "top of the arena pyramid" rather than changing the way the MMR system actually works.
The system is probably due for some changes; we'll likely see that some time this season. Regardless of whether we see any differences in how MMR is calculated, season seven looks to be a promising and exciting time in WoW's arena history.
Want to ascend the arena ladders faster than a fireman playing Donkey Kong? Check out WoW.com's articles on arena, successful arena PvPers, PvP, and our arena column, Blood Sport.