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The Crowd Chose You: Upcoming changes


We told you a change was coming, and as Blizzard Community Manager Lore posted late last night, Blizzard has an idea in the works to replace The Crowd Chose You, the controversial arena match-ending buff. It seems from his post that it isn't quite ready to go at this point, but nonetheless, they have a plan.
With Patch 5.4, we added a mechanic called "The Crowd Chose You" to Arena gameplay. This mechanic was added to suit two primary goals: keep the game from dragging on too long, and make sure matches always end with one team declared the winner. However, we wanted something that wouldn't make players feel they needed to change how they played the game. Unfortunately, the implementation of The Crowd Chose You that went live with Patch 5.4 is not filling that last requirement.

So, we're going to take a different approach. In an upcoming hotfix, we'll be removing The Crowd Chose You entirely, and replacing it with a new mechanic called Dampening. If a match should last for 10 minutes, all players in the Arena will begin to receive a stacking debuff that reduces healing done by 1% every 10 seconds. This will continue until one team is eventually able to claim the victory. In the extremely unlikely event that neither team has won after 20 minutes, the match will end in a draw.

We feel that this mechanic will have a much smaller impact on playstyle, team composition, and decision making than The Crowd Chose You, and thus result in more fun and exciting matches. We're currently testing the hotfix internally, and will provide an update when it goes live.

Lore follows up in the thread to clarify a couple of posters' concerns:

Will this also lower absorbs?

It affects absorbs as well, yes.

This change HEAVILY favors double DPS.

We disagree. Matches with double DPS comps rarely (if ever) last long enough for either The Crowd Chose You or the new Dampening mechanic to even become a factor. It'll take a full 10 minutes before Dampening even begins to stack.

What's my take on it? Well, if you read my earlier column on what should be done, you'll already know that I think a stacking debuff is a bad idea. What I only just touched on in that column, which several forum posters rightly bring up in the thread, is that this is still a system which can be gamed.

It'll be fine in the vast majority of matches, I suspect, as many matches where players aren't using The Crowd Chose You to their advantage don't run long enough for this buff to even appear. But, if you are looking to game a system, you still have one to play with. So will we see teams staying mounted? Kiting their opponents around the map? Teams hiding or stealthing or CCing until the debuff ramps up and only then going in for a kill? If you have no interest in killing your opponents, then it's easy to stay away from them. Wait until the buff renders healers utterly useless, then attack? Why wouldn't you? I won't be at all surprised when this turns out to be what happens.

And what's more, as it stands, there are concerns that it favors certain classes over others. Classes with percentage-based heals and mitigation abilities, for one, classes that eat, potentially DKs with Necrotic Strike, as we're not sure how that will stack. There are also classes that rely on healing as a defensive cooldown, and classes that don't. Guess which group is more affected?

PvP-focused EU CM Nakatoir has been responding to a huge number of forum fears and issues, as you can see here. He addresses many concerns on specific spells, as well as agreeing to seek out more information where he doesn't have access to it already. If you're worried about a specific aspect of this, do check through the blue posts he's made. They're too numerous for me to repost here!

We can take comfort, at least, in the fact that it doesn't appear to be completely ready yet. Oh, but wait, that means we have The Crowd Chose You for a while longer. In seriousness, though, I'd rather they spend longer and get it right.
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