MMO-Champion was able to take a sneak peek at some items released on the official WoW Armory and discovered some truly brutal news: if the items go live as they appeared on the armory, the new personal rating requirement to wear Season 4 shoulder pieces will now be 2200. This is a steep ratings increase from Season 3, where shoulder pieces required a personal rating of 2000. As of this writing, the two items that MMO-Champion was able to scope out cannot be searched for on the official WoW Armory -- either hidden from searches or removed from the database entirely. The Brutal Gladiator's Mooncloth Mantle and Brutal Gladiator's Ornamented Spaulders no longer appear in the item database although MMO-Champion was quick to take screenshots. [EDIT: Apparently, the items are viewable in the EU Armory, you can view the Mooncloth shoulders and healing plate shoulders. - Thanks, BaboonNL!]
There is no guarantee that these item changes will make it live or if the weapon requirements -- currently 1850 for Season 3 -- have also been raised. Although Tharfor has gone on record to state that it's likely that Season 3 items' ratings requirements will be lowered in Season 4, Blizzard didn't mention raising the rating requirements for Brutal Gladiator pieces. According to Realm History, this means that roughly 12% of players rated 2000 and above in 5v5 teams will qualify for the shoulder pieces; 11% of the 3v3 bracket; and about 9% of the 2v2 bracket. That means an even smaller percentage of the general population. As much as Patch 2.4 catered to casual content, if these details make it live, it seems as though Arena play has become even more hardcore than ever.