Arena Season 4 is finally here. After a long wait of 30 weeks, longer than previous Arena seasons, Blizzard finally decided to end Season 3 and foist upon the public the widely regarded as brutally ugly Brutal Gladiator gear. The new season is different in that virtually all armor pieces and weapons will have personal ratings requirements in order to purchase them. What do we know about the new season and the events that led to it?
It's been a long time coming.
Arena Season 3 has dragged on long enough that we've speculated on the reasons for Blizzard's delay and even planned around it:
- Read our report on Drysc's comment about letting more Sunwell Plateau gear spread into the playing community before starting Season 4 in Season 4 and PvE progression.
- We examine the implications of a long season and how the new mechanics can help stem the flow of Brutal Gladiator gear too rapidly in The Long Wait for Season 4.
- We've been drooling over the gear as early as February when the first leaks of Brutal Gladiator items leaked through MMO Champion.
- The wait has been so long that a lot of people have been banking the maximum 75,000 Honor and 5,000 Arena points in preparation for Season 4.
Season 4 is a more brutal season in many ways, the most significant of which is the ratings requirements for most of the Brutal Gladiator items:
- We found out about the extremely prohibitive 2200 personal ratings requirement for Season 4 shoulders when items snuck out on the European Armory.
- Drysc talks about new team and personal ratings requirements for Season 4 of 2200 for shoulders, 2050 for weapons, and the ratings for everything else.
- Season 4 will continue to implement the closely tied relationship between personal and team ratings started in Season 3, which Bornakk explains in detail.
- With the new rules, there are new benchmarks for everyone to achieve, whether it be a modest 1550 or a lofty 2200. Of course, 2000 doesn't mean squat.
We've asked this question several times in the past, but now that the season is finally here, are you really ready? Read on a few pointers on how to survive the new season:
- Know absolutely nothing about Arenas? And by nothing, we really mean WoW Rookie-style nothing. Head on over to our completely n00b-friendly FAQ for Arena dummies.
- A new Arena Season isn't just for PvP players, it's for entrepreneurs, too. Read about how enterprising players can make money when Season 4 opens.
- Not very good at PvP? If your team can only scrape by and not make the personal ratings requirements for Season 4, there're always the epic gems for sale for Arena points.
- Just in case you want some pointers on how to do better in Arenas (and get more than just welfare gems), you might want to check out some videos of the best of the best.
- After Season 3 is done, we hope you made sure you qualified for the end-of-season rewards. If not, you can always prepare for this season.
- If you aren't too big on Arenas, Battlegrounds enthusiasts can take advantage of Season 2 gear going on sale for Honor in Season 4.
- Just in case you have the banked Arena points and manage to achieve the required personal ratings, are you really sure you want to buy that brutally ugly gear?
- So maybe you have decided to buy all that ugly gear. Check out WoW Insider's extensive Brutal Gladiator and Guardian gear guide to shed a little more light on your decisions.
- Maybe reading through our gear guide has actually convinced you that they're not so bad, after all. You can take a look at all the gear in detail in our Brutal Gladiator Arms and Equipment Gallery. Don't forget to click on the Hi-Res button for a higher resolution picture.