Regional FlagArena Matchmaking System FAQSource
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#0 - 2009/02/05 06:07:14 PM
Why am I 1300 when my record is 50/50? 70/30?
Let’s turn the question around first. Why is my record 50/50? If your record is 50/50, that means your match-making rating (MMR) is almost exactly correct for you. It means we are finding teams that as near as possible match the ability of your team. It means that you are being matched as fairly as possible. If we matched 1300 teams at 1500 instead, they would only win 30% of their matches. We would rather those teams win half their matches.

But I’m 70/30, what about that?
If you are 70/30 and we think you are 1300, your MMR will climb to roughly 1533. You will then be matched with 1500+ teams, and your record should decrease to 50/50.

Yeah, so why is my rating still going down then?
The team rating will drop until it reaches the average match-making rating of the teams you beat 50% of the time. For example, if we are matching you against 1200-rated teams, and you are winning half the time, it will drop to 1200. If you are winning 70% of the time against 1200-rated teams, then your MMR and TR should move up to 1433.

But I’m not matching 1200-rated teams, I looked these teams up and most are near 1500.
It is likely that those teams have an MMR of 1200, even though their TR is 1500. This means that even though they look like 1500 or 1400-rated teams, they have been playing more like 1200-rated teams this season.

No matter what I do, my rating dives to 1300
If your team rating keeps diving to 1300 while you win 50% of your matches, then you are winning matches against 1300 players.
Being 1300 means:
-- You go 50/50 vs 1300 teams
-- You are better than 25% of all teams
It means that the teams we are matching you against have average MMRs well under 1500.

How will I get to 1650?
-- The definition of a 1650 team in both the new and old system is “Better than 68% of all teams on this BG in this bracket”
-- To be 1650, your team needs to be better than 68% of all teams
-- This means you will beat a team with an MMR of 1500 63 out of 100 matches, and go 50/50 vs. a team with an MMR of 1650

Wait, why 63%? Shouldn’t it be 68% then?
-- Smart question! The reason it’s not 68% is because a 1650-rated team does not always perform exactly at 1650. We take this into account.

But I’m stuck at 1300, I never get to play those higher-rated teams:
-- A 1650 player will win about 4 of 5 matches against a 1300 player
-- If you are at 1300 but belong at 1650, you should be winning 4 of every 5 matches
-- If you do that, your MMR will go up steadily, and you will face harder and harder opponents
-- Once you move your MMR to 1650, your TR will follow

How long will this take?
-- This depends on how much evidence we have that you *were* a 1300 team
-- If your team *Really* is a 1650 team, average case is 40 games
-- But it can go higher and lower. Great luck = 16, Terrible luck = 150

I guess that’s correct theoretically, but it’s very discouraging:
We do believe that we can improve the experience for teams that start at 1500 and go down from there. However, the changes we prefer merit waiting for the next arena season.

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#16 - 2009/02/05 07:17:39 PM
Q u o t e:
While I understand all of what you typed, it also means I'm done with arenas.

Because apparently I made the mistake of playing arena season 1-5 with my friends and most of the time as a protection spec paladin. It was fun, and it didn't matter. I didn't even spend on much, I had a set of S3 healing gear and ret gear. I used them in BGs. I pvp'd with a shadow priest as a protection paladin. We lost. A lot.

Now what I'm finding out is all that time I spent just having fun (and rarely if ever rebuying my teams, I was happy to spend time at 1300 rating before because I could win some) means that I basically have zero shot of ever getting above 1600. Because not only would I have to find a better class to pair with, but even if I rebuy my team I'm going to plummet right back down to probably 1200 rating and then win something like 8 of 10 games consistently to see much of a rating gain.


At least you could have let me know that I was hurting myself by not trying to be competitive before. Now I might as well level a new character to PVP with. Because for playing S1-4 as Prot Pally/S Priest and going 5/5 at 1300 rating, I'm screwed and will never get enough rating to spend arena points.


You are by no means pigeonholed in the 1300's, it simply means that to rise to 1600 you'll have to be able to beat 1600 teams half the time. As stated above, if you're still 1300 it's because you're still losing to 1300 teams half the time, which kind of means you really should be at 1300, not because a rating system is keeping you there out of spite.

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#24 - 2009/02/05 07:43:18 PM
Q u o t e:

The difference is, in other seasons I had a reason to keep playing at 1300. Beyond just the joy of 10 minute queues and then losing. Now? I have no reason to keep playing. Everything I can get with arena points at my 1300 rating, I already have with honor points. In games where I can actually tank Van, or otherwise be useful.

It's the same thing that happened in S4. I lost any reason to play arena. Except now, I also have no reason to expect to be able to restart my team and have a shot at hitting 1600 because I have a good week or two. Instead, I have to go back to 1300 and sit there.

I understand I probably SHOULD be at 1300. The difference is, I felt like I had a chance before if I really wanted to find the "right" class and attempt to get rating. Now I feel like it's going to take an obscene amount of effort to even have a chance to spend my arena points.

Completely legitimate gripe imo. Players in the 1300-1550 range definitely need more access to hateful quality gear, I can totally understand why you would be out of incentives to gain more points.

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#25 - 2009/02/05 07:46:34 PM
Q u o t e:
I like the new ranking system, but the reward system needs to be adjusted.



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#28 - 2009/02/05 08:00:27 PM
Q u o t e:
I find the rating system to be acceptable. However, I feel the measure of 'skill' is much more dependent on the current state of BurstVP. Until that is remedied, the system wont work very effectively, as Comps should not be a measure of skill.

Side bar, Kalgan. You hotfixed Explosive shot, but hunters were probably last in the group of "too much PVP burst". Allowing the "big 4" to continue into 3.1 (which is months away) will drive many people away from PVP. Changes need to be made now, not in several months.

There will be changes made before 3.1.

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#49 - 2009/02/06 03:15:10 AM
Q u o t e:
K, been doing arena this afternoon.

First off, this happened:

But beyond that, won 6 games, lost 5 so far (we're still going). Wins: 1 point, 2 points, 0 points, 6 points, 3 points, 4 points. Losses? All above 20 points lost.

So team rating is now below 1300.

We've never been that low. Ever. Not in BC, not in LK. i mean we're just doing this for fun, not top of the ladder stuff, but I had at least enough rating to get the legs in S4...

So I mean, I understand the concept. We apparently have a hidden rating that's horrible (how ?), so we keep losing tons of points, winning few. But umm... how low is this gonna get ? I thought we'd bottom out in the 1300s and go back up, but it's still going down ?

As I said, we do this for fun. And I suspect many people do. This is very discouraging. You're not making it fun for your target audience, which, let's be honest, is not hardcore players. So how am I supposed to enjoy this ? Let's not even mention the fact that I'll never see gear, although it was better in BC. I know I'll never get the top gear and therefore I'm doing it more for fun, but the easiest gear was at least a target before. Now it's not.

Is 1300 the middle point now ? Can we please get some sort of estimate of where most casual teams stand these days ? I don't wanna know how your system works, but give us some hope please. I keep seeing my rating dropping below 1300. I know we're not elite arena players, but we're not THAT terrible.

You know, I kinda just wanna keep losing games until it becomes less than 20 points a loss, then maybe I'll have a feeling of accomplishing something when I win a game

To me it seems you didn't know where the hidden ratings would land once you threw the new calculations at players. Turns out it's throwing most casual players around 1200-1300 from what I'm reading. Yet, your gear allocation and minimum ratings were all based around 1500 being the most common rating.

So we have gear requirements that do not match what the wow population is now at with the new calculations. I suspect the comments about gear in this thread confirm my theory. So we're looking at much lower gear requirements next season. Or you could shift up all the ratings by 200 points. And/or change the starting rating of 1500 since it's apparently 1300 now.

I just can't understand why you didn't check averages, standard deviations and other stats on your hidden ratings before pushing them live. Coming up with hidden ratings consistently lower than current team ratings should have raised a flag surely, don't you think ?

Signed: a rather discouraged player.

Shadoweric, to try to clarify what was happening under the hood here's a report of the games your team played. My following post comments as to what was going on with the system (it's too long to all post in this one). For reference, TR is your team's rating, MMR is your team's matchmaking rating (the "hidden rating"), OMMR is the opposing team's matchmaking "hidden" rating, TRC is your team rating change, MMRC is your team's average matchmaking rating change.

1/24/2009 2:50 1434 1350 Lost 1378 -15 -72
1/24/2009 2:57 1419 1278 Lost 1240 -19 -83
1/24/2009 3:04 1400 1195 Lost 1093 -22 -83
1/24/2009 3:16 1378 1112 Lost 1313 -16 -34
2/5/2009 22:08 1362 1078 Lost 1154 -23 -49
2/5/2009 22:12 1339 1028 Lost 928 -28 -77
2/5/2009 22:18 1311 950 Won 842 1 40
2/5/2009 22:23 1312 991 Won 923 2 41
2/5/2009 22:28 1314 1032 Won 689 0 13
2/5/2009 22:32 1314 1046 Won 1109 6 60
2/5/2009 22:38 1320 1106 Lost 1166 -21 -38
2/5/2009 22:42 1299 1067 Lost 957 -27 -62
2/5/2009 22:48 1272 1004 Lost 1133 -21 -29
2/5/2009 22:52 1251 975 Won 932 3 38
2/5/2009 22:57 1254 1013 Won 1004 4 36
2/5/2009 23:32 1268 1167 Lost 1061 -21 -53
2/5/2009 23:39 1247 1114 Lost 1000 -24 -59
2/5/2009 23:45 1223 1055 Lost 1132 -17 -29
2/5/2009 23:48 1206 1025 Lost 1035 -22 -39
2/5/2009 23:55 1184 985 Won 1090 8 45
2/5/2009 23:58 1192 1031 Lost 1015 -20 -34
2/6/2009 0:04 1172 997 Won 1042 8 40

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#50 - 2009/02/06 03:15:20 AM
Comments on the results...

- Your team started with the system believing that your skill as a team was around 1350, but with a low degree of confidence in that number because the system was new. Your team lost versus a team we believed to be of around 1378 skill, so the system starts trying to aggressively lower the quality of your opponents to see if you do better (the lack of confidence the system had in your rating is why it is changing your MMR quickly at ths point).

- Your team continued to lose versus teams we believed to be around 1240 rating, 1093 rating, 1313 rating, 1154 rating, and even 928 rating. That's six losses in a row to teams far below your team's currently displayed rating, your currently displayed rating of 1311 is pretty high considering the teams you're losing to and the game believes you are probably not 1311 skill.

- You win your first game, versus a team the game believes to be about 842 rating (as seen in their MMR above). Your team only gains 1 team rating, because after all your team's visible rating is already 1311, and this win was merely versus a 842 skill team. Your matchmaking rating goes up by 40 points though, as the game thinking there's definitely a chance you're better than 900 rating.

- You win 3 more in a row, versus teams the game believes to be of about 923, 689, and 1109 rating. Your matchmaking rating is going up meaningfully, but since these teams are rated so far below your team's rating, you aren't gaining much for it.

- You lose 3 in a row after this against teams of 1166, 957, and 1133 quality. These teams are significantly below your team rating, and the system is gaining confidence that your current skill is not 1300+, so it's moving you toward around a 1005 rating (this is why you're losing a lot of team rating for your losses)... the system is pretty confident based on who you're beating versus who you're losing to that you're overrated at your 1200+ rating.

- Your team wins a few versus teams of 932 and 1004 rating, teams we expect you to beat close to 50% of the time now, so the game is matching you against opponents that are probably close to your skill, but unfortunately your team rating is way higher than that already, so you aren't gaining much TR for the wins (no surprise).

- Your team loses 4 more games versus teams of around 1000 rating, indicating that maybe 1000 rating is even possibly too high, your team rating keeps moving below 1200 on it's way to around 900 pretty quickly (losing between 17 to 24 team rating per game).

- You win, lose, win versus teams of about 1050 average matchmaking rating. You're going about 50/50 versus teams that the game thinks is about your rating (1000 or so), so your team rating continues to move toward that.

As explained in the FAQ's, your team rating is moving toward a rating where you beat opponents about 50% of the time. To remain at the 1434 rating your team started at, you would have had to have been winning 50% of your games versus teams that were significantly more successful.

As some of you might see, the matchmaking rating actually adapts very quickly. By no means are you pigeonholed at a rating, it adapts more quickly in many respects than a traditional Elo system. However, you do have to be able to beat teams of a given rating about 50% of the time in order to get your team rating to a given level.

BTW, hopefully in the process of copy/pasting data and trying to get the formatting right I didn't mess up any of the data.

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#58 - 2009/02/06 03:48:57 AM
Q u o t e:
wonderful post, but how is this fun for anyone?

except for numbers people, this system is obscure by design and rather byzantine.

as a non arena player I just feel that the resources spent on this mini game are out of proportion to any entertainment it provides.

that of course is not my decision to make.

my decision is whether to play or not in arena, and that was decided long ago.

baring massive changes to the fun factor, I don't see any reason to reevaluate.

Part of the point of the responses I've been making are to try to illustrate a belief I have that many people are associating their lack of fun with the new math behind the rating system. I totally believe that Shadoweric (and players in similar situations) are not having fun, but not because of the math behind the new system that finds equivalent opponents for their team, but for two other reasons.

1. Teams that are below 1500 in terms of their effectiveness in arenas feel crappy because the rating they start a team with is as high a rating they'll see in a long time (until they improve, or possibly ever). Bunk.

2. Gear that most players consider to be worth their time (including the players below 1500 rating) have requirements that are too harsh relative to how hard it is to get "good" gear through other parts of the game (including by buying hateful gladiator gear for emblems).

Those two problems are solve-able, and we plan to solve them, but the problems/solutions really have nothing to do with the new fancy math itself.

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#61 - 2009/02/06 03:54:13 AM
Q u o t e:
What I'm getting from this is the system has a serious problem matching people way below their team rating.

Just consider the 4 wins he had where he only gained 1 to 6 points. Why was this match made in the first place. If thats all he's gaining its pointless to even have played those games. So the system can adapt, very very slowly.

It seems it would take 50 games just for it to figure out matches that were within 200 points of his actually rating/skill.

50 games is a lot, atm it looks like whatever new system this is.. has turned out to be a huge timesink.

Edit. Sorry if that sounded like QQ, its just very discourging.

Honestly, that appears to be the opposite of what's going on. The system is zeroing in on teams that they go 50/50 against. That's a good thing. Unfortunately for their team, the teams they've been going 50/50 against are way below their team rating, so when they win they don't go up much and when they lose they go down a lot.

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#86 - 2009/02/06 05:41:14 AM
Q u o t e:
Maybe this system might be easier to swallow if people felt they were working their way UP to their right rating rather than down =P.

That's what we plan to do, along with revising rating requirements and a few other tweaks.

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#132 - 2009/02/06 09:43:49 AM
Q u o t e:
What about the other end of the spectrum? I'm pretty much the opposite of the OP, with two teams in Gladiator range at the moment. You are investing a lot of resources in making sure the bottom rungs of the ladder are having fun; this is a good thing no doubt. But you talk about the need for gear rewards for the people playing at 1200 and 1300 ratings. Where does that leave the players who are actually good at arena? You seem to be saying to the low ranked players "we understand that playing the game alone isn't enough, and that you need a reward structure of worth to feel you've accomplished something." But if you start giving things of value out at 1200-1300 or whatever, can you leave things of value for the 1800-1900? More likely, you've shifted the "fun for funs sake" role from the bad players to the good players.

Is it simply an issue of scale? There are a lot more bad players to appease than good players to appease, so thats where you need to focus? Or are you also aware that through this, there needs to be a worthwhile reason to compete at the high end as well, and not just for competition's sake? WoW, to me, is about personal progression first and foremost; be it in professions, raiding, farming, or PVP. Are you prepared to devalue the achievements of the top end to appease the masses at the low end?

I've got Deadly Shoulders. This, to me, was an accomplishment. It sounds like you now view that structure as a failure. I personally find it rewarding. I know others do as well. Is this no longer a legititmate feeling in the eyes of Blizzard?

WotLK has been fun, but I keep feeling like I'm losing out because I'm a good player. I actually had the thought the other day "if only I were worse at WoW, I'd enjoy it a lot more." I can't imagine that's a feeling you want to cultivate, but this latest series of posts is starting to reinforce it.

Please tell me if you still have plans for the upper end of Arena other than hoping you can queue when teams even remotely close to your rating are, and you won't have to farm 2-4 points all night long. Please tell me good players still rate in World of Warcraft.

There's still plenty of room for some items to be pretty hard to get without causing most players to be left out of good gear. As I mentioned earlier, with the start of the next season we expect new teams and personal ratings to start much lower than they have before (not 1500). That way, everyone's experience is to climb toward the rating they're successfully playing at. So, knowing that, here's what our current thinking is on rating requirements for season 6.

Disclaimer: all of this is subject to change!
Other notes/caveats:
- items with no rating listed would have no rating requirement

- it won't be quite as easy to get deadly items via emblems of conquest as hateful items currently are via emblems of valor

- the new Archavon boss (a new boss located in another wing of the Vault of Archavon), will have slightly different drops than the current Archavon (he can drop Furious Gloves/Legs, or any possible random honor item in addition to tier 8 pve set items similar to Archavon's t7 pve set drops, but cannot drop the Furious Chest piece)

- honor/arena costs aren't listed but Hateful costs would be similar to current Savage, Deadly costs similar to current Hateful, and Furious costs would be similar to current Deadly

- you might note that the Furious weapon is still at a high requirement, 2k, the thinking being that most players are encouraged to get their weapon upgrade through pve, although hardcore arena competitors have an outlet to get an equivalent weapon through arenas (if you're hardcore enough for 2k, you can forego raiding for a weapon)

- additional note, "deadly trinket" refers to the current battlemaster's trinkets, "furious trinket" refers to an upgraded medallion of the alliance/horde

Hateful Gloves
Hateful Legs
Hateful Chest
Hateful Helm
Hateful Shoulders
Hateful Ring
Hateful Trinket

Deadly Bracer
Deadly Belt
Deadly Boots
Deadly Neck
Deadly Ring
Deadly Cape
Deadly Trinket

1300+: Deadly Relics/Idols/Librams/Totems
1350+: Deadly Gloves
1400+: Deadly Legs
1450+: Deadly Chest
1500+: Deadly Helm
1550+: Deadly Shoulders

1400+: Furious Bracer (honor)
1450+: Furious Belt (honor)
1500+: Furious Boots (honor)
1550+: Furious Neck (honor)

1600+: Furious Gloves
1650+: Furious Ring (honor)
1700+: Furious Legs
1750+: Furious Chest
1800+: Furious Trinket (honor)
1850+: Furious Helm
1900+: Furious Cape (honor)
1950+: Furious Wands/Relics/etc
2000+: Furious Weapon
2100+: Furious Shoulders
2300+: Furious Tabard (purely cosmetic and awesome looking)

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#134 - 2009/02/06 09:57:20 AM
Q u o t e:
I think the solution is pretty clear. Just make hateful gear readily accessible to lower rated players, and have a "gap" in between hateful and deadly gear...


In the time it took me to type this post, Kalgan has owned me. Great job there.

My pleasure. =]

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#137 - 2009/02/06 10:04:09 AM
Q u o t e:
How long can you keep this naming convention up? Season 7, the season of the really, REALLY Angry gladiator.


We plan to stop with that naming convention somewhere right before "foo jackin' gladiator".

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#141 - 2009/02/06 10:07:58 AM
Q u o t e:

tabard of the foo jackin gladiator should definitely be a gray drop in av...

Not too shabby of an idea there...

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#143 - 2009/02/06 10:11:52 AM
Q u o t e:

What exactly would be the point of having items that require sub 1500 rating. Couldn't anyone just remake a team to buy the items?

Hmm, I think I'll go back and bold some stuff at the beginning of what I wrote. =]

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#196 - 2009/02/06 06:08:08 PM
Q u o t e:

I think the reason the masses are still confused about the system is because they still have the mindset that 1500 is the average, or 50/50.

The problem can probably be solved if everyone's Arena rating was zeroed, and a new range of arena rating numbers are used.

I am quite interested in the mathematics involved with WoW. If there are any openings at Blizzard in the design of such systems, be it new designs or revamping old mathematical models, please send me an email. I have a computer engineering degree and have a lot of experience in using mathematics and logic to solve complex problems.

Well, 1500 is still average in the new system in terms of "half the teams are more successful than one at 1500, and half the teams are less successful". 1500 has never been defined as winning half your games, even under the old system.

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#274 - 2009/02/07 02:23:35 AM
To quickly answer a few common questions that aren't already answered...

Q: How good will the furious weapons be? Why would I want one if the PvE weapons are better?

A: In the case of the current deadly gladiator weapons, we simply botched the ilvls since at the time of their design we didn't account properly for the fact that Kel'Thuzad weapons would be as accessible as they are. Had we anticipated this better, the KT weapons wouldn't have been a full tier ahead of pre-KT weapons, and the deadly weapons would have been equivalent in ilvl. We expect that the best season 6 pvp weapons obtainable will be equal in level/quality to the best Ulduar weapons, even if that means we need more than one tier of pvp weapon to do it (ie: a 1750 weapon and a 2200 weapon). Note: the whole trick here is reasonably balancing what percentage of players get raid weapons of X quality versus what percentage of arena players also get a weapon of X quality.

Q: Why is the hidden rating hidden?

A: At some point, we'll probably expose the hidden rating and the calculations behind the MMR and such (although possibly only on the website rather than in game). We didn't expose the hidden rating in game because we felt it would be too confusing to see a 3rd rating, particularly considering players don't need to make any decisions based on it. You play the same opponents you would play whether you see the rating or not, and it isn't necessary to know the rating to be able to get points, buy gear, etc. However, I'm certainly open to at the very least showing the MMR of a team you just played against on the scoreboard, so that you can make more sense of why you gained/lost as much rating as you did, and at the very least showing your team's MMR on the armory. Exactly what patch/timeframe that might happen in, I'm not entirely sure.

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#286 - 2009/02/07 03:05:42 AM
Q u o t e:

Thank you very much for this FAQ; it's definitely the most clear and insightful post on the new system.

In the future, when implementing a new mathematical system into the game (be in in PVP or PVE), I think it would greatly help if this sort of FAQ was done right away. So much of the hatred aimed at the new system came about simply because players did not understand what was going on (I was certainly in that group).

Now that we can see what's going on - and where the system is going in Season 6 - I think players will be a lot happier.

Edit to add: Does each player have a single MMR rating, or a different MMR rating for 2v2, 3v3 and 5v5?

There's a separate MMR for each bracket (2v2, 3v3, 5v5).

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#307 - 2009/02/07 09:44:57 AM
Q u o t e:

You do realize that anyone can squat on a corpse right? Arena isnt about showing up and squating on a corpse, it is based on gear and skill. Those who have the gear already , thanks to retarded gearing options given to PVE'ers, will still continue to climb while those who were not fortunate enough to get in first will be forced to grind for gear still not good enough to topple those already on the monopoly. The solution is to make deadly available to all ASAP and well before the season ending. This way the people who are mediocre with great gear can be dethroned by people who truly deserve to be there.

Honestly, the fallacy that arenas are more about gear is getting a little old. From the best we can possibly and objectively tell, it is clear beyond any shadow of a doubt that skill is far and away the #1 factor in determining arena success, regardless of gear. You can put 2200+ players in the blue level 80 gear and they'll still convincingly trounce 1500 skill teams decked out in the best available gear in the game, by a clear and obvious margin.

While it is of course an advantage to have good gear, I assure you that highly skilled players have no trouble taking newly geared alts and "powering them up" to fully geared deadly gladiator gear in a relatively short amount of time. I believe that belittling that by declaring that arenas require people to already have good gear in order to advance is unfair to the significant number of players that reach level 80 and advance their ladder position consistently regardless of this disadvantage.

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#313 - 2009/02/07 10:26:19 AM
Q u o t e:
What are your thoughts/feelings on the the bingo game that Archavon is. While Naxx 25 isn't terribly difficult and for the PvP minded player making deadly glove/pants/chest isn't a huge acomplishment the Archavon encounter is a complete joke and drops gear that is way above his diffuculty level.

The Archavon bingo is simply a lottery on top of gear that is available purely through successful play. It is by no means a requirement to success, so we think of it more as an entertaining lottery on top of a non-rng based system.

So, in other words, Archavon isn't making or breaking anyone's chances at success in arenas.

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#370 - 2009/02/08 12:54:29 AM
Q u o t e:
No, my team does not have that kind of power over the 2700 team, but multiple teams like mine do have the power to effect say.. the 1600 bracket.

As for street fighter, EVERYONE has the option to choose the same character. The oppurtunity is there to chose who you want instantly. In Wow, you do not have this option, instead, you have the option to roll a FOTM and hope that it doesnt get nerfed by the time you hit 80. It's not comprable.

We have had this thing called the tournament realm, where all competitors had access to exactly the same template characters and character class choices. By no surprise, the same players that tend to top the ladders on their respective battlegroups were at the top of the pile in the tournament realm. Skill > comp/gear, it's that simple. A team's skill in the arena is capable of causing a shift of well over a thousand rating points, gear and class choice don't cause anywhere near that kind of shift. Even anecdotally, at Blizzcon 2008 everyone watched as the world champion team chose a comp of warrior/warrior/mage (iirc)... a rock-bottom "worthless" comp by anyone' estimation (not to mention one they aren't even used to playing) and dominated a team of above-average players using a reasonable comp.

So again, while both gear and comp absolutely affect a team's rating, the point is that the effect of skill on one's rating is far more significant than the effect of gear/comp. This of course doesn't change the fact that arenas should be fun for most players, that there should be compelling rewards for the vast majority of players to progress toward, it's merely to state that if a player were looking to improve their rating, the best thing they can possibly do is improve how well they're playing as a team, and let gear/comp act as a meaningful bonus on top of that.