is already shaping up to be a big one, and today Blizzard announced some major arena
changes in addition to the tie-breaking system
. Aiming to improve the arena experience by making it easier for anyone to compete, arena players will no longer need an arena team
(in fact, arena teams don't even appear in the UI on the PTR): in patch 5.4, queuing for an arena match will work similarly to queuing for rated battlegrounds. You'll be matched with other players queuing to fight with and against, based on your rating. Additionally, matches are no longer limited to your battlegroup: you'll be able to play with or against anyone in your region, and even be able to compete in cross-realm groups with friends on other realms. Matches themselves will stay (mostly) the same, though your conquest point cap and requirements to purchase items will be based on your personal rating.
These changes are live on the PTR now
if you want to check them out for yourself. See the full text of Blizzard's announcement under the break.
Big changes are coming to World of Warcraft's Arenas that will make participating more convenient and competitive than ever before, and some of those changes may begin appearing on the PTR very soon.
Today, competition is limited to the realms within your Battlegroup, and your ability to participate in the Arena system requires having a static team with friends on the same realm. In the upcoming Patch 5.4, we're building on technological improvements we've made over time (such as region-wide matchmaking) to expand the pool of competitors and improve the Arena experience for all World of Warcraft players. One of the first things you'll notice in Patch 5.4 is that you'll no longer need to join or create an Arena team to compete. Instead, queuing will work much as it does for Rated Battlegrounds: you can queue for an Arena battle in a party of the appropriate size (still 2v2, 3v3, and 5v5), and your opponents will be selected based on the average Match Making Rating of your party.
For the most part, the mechanics of Arena will remain the same. You'll still gain and lose personal rating based on your wins and losses, though your Conquest Point cap will now be based on your Personal Rating. The rating requirements to purchase items will also be based on your Personal Rating.
The change will confer a few advantages over the old static-team-based system:
- You'll no longer need to worry about invitations, joining, or leaving an Arena team. Now you can play with who you want, when you want.
- You'll be able to join a cross-realm group and queue for Arena matches with friends from other realms.
- The Arena ladder will no longer be sorted according to Battlegroup. Just like Rated Battlegrounds and normal Battlegrounds, now all Arenas will be region-wide. You'll be competing with a field of opponents that includes every Arena player in your region.
As before, at the end of an Arena season, the top players will still earn titles and mounts. We're excited for these changes, and we're eagerly looking forward to hearing your feedback. Please join us on the PTR when these updates go live to check them out for yourself.