You'd have expected a little more in-depth Arena discussion from the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational. You'd have been wrong, but you'd have expected it. We've covered the new Arena maps, but something from the Question and Answer periods really stuck out for me. What's the future of the Arena going to be like...for crowd control? Should we expect more, less, or about the same? What's going to happen to that naughty little Cyclone?
The answer from Tom Chilton was predictable -- without crowd control in its various forms, Arena matches become little more than DPS races. Crowd control (and its cousin line of sight) helps Arena fights take a little longer, and introduces viable strategies that are based all around controlling the other team. (As opposed to just blowing them to heck.) But the forums are alive - alive! - with complaints about Cyclone, Sap, Sheep, and hell, even Scatter Shot. No sir, folks don't like crowd control. Often, it seems like they'd rather get killed than sheeped.
I think it comes down to a pretty basic thing -- we have fun in these games by controlling our characters. Anything that jeopardizes the control of our characters on either a short-term or a long-term basis is therefore anathema. No one wants to stand there, helpless, while some Rogue performs their billionth stun on you. It seems to me (in my rosy-glassed retrospect) that we heard less complaints about insta-kill POM+Pyro than we do about a 3 second stun.
Your mileage may vary, but I think until Blizzard finds some way around that dichotomy -- CC is good for interesting fights, bad for fun -- we're going to continue to see tumultuous forum fights about the issue. I'm forced to agree with Chilton -- crowd control adds a layer of strategy and depth to the tactics of the Arena. Still, I hope they do something about it.