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- "Arena" redirects here. For other uses, see Arena (disambiguation).
Arenas are areas in which teams of players can compete against each other in deathmatch-style PvP. Instead of participating in objective-based PvP, these contests center around your team's ability to obliterate the other team. The Arena PvP system matches teams of equal size together to increase fairness and make advancement to the highest tiers more difficult and more rewarding. The arena allows for 2v2, 3v3 and 5v5, but your team may have up to double the amount required for one fight (i.e. a 2v2 team can have four people in it). Unlike normal PvP, the arena also allows intra-faction competition.
Only level 80 player characters can gain a team rating or Arena Points (this was level 70 before season 5). Characters below level 80 can engage in practice matches. Teams require an Arena Team Charter in order to create an official team.
Arena Points are used as the currency to purchase Arena Rewards, which are considered to be on par with some of the mid-to high level PvE rewards; season 1 items being roughly equivalent to Tier 4, Season 2 to Tier 5, Season 3 to Tier 6, and the Season 4 to Tier 6.5 (except for the obvious fact that Tier gear is designed to kill mobs and PvE content, while PvP gear is designed to kill other players and offer high survivability for PvP; many players have full PvE and PvP sets and switch depending on content).
Five Arenas are currently available:
- The Ring of Valor in Orgrimmar
- The Ruins of Lordaeron in Tirisfal Glades (released in Patch 2.1)
- The Ring of Trials in Nagrand
- The Circle of Blood in Blade's Edge Mountains
- The Dalaran Arena in the Underbelly of Dalaran
- Main article: Arena PvP strategy
Other PvP modes involve holding or running flags, which emphasizes team makeup rather than strategy. In arena PvP, the goal is simply to kill your opponents. Thus, class synergy is crucial, and tactics and coordination are much more important.
Players can participate in the Arena in two ways. The type you wish to participate in is selected when speaking to the Arena Battlemaster.
All players of any level can participate in a skirmish battle. No Team Ratings or Arena Points are assigned and you do not need to be a member of an Arena Team to Skirmish.
Note: Due to the newly introduced War Games in Cataclysm, the Skirmish mode no longer exists.
Players who are level 80 and on an Arena Team (created with an Arena Team Charter) may participate in a Rated Match. After the match, each team has its Team Rating adjusted accordingly (see below for details on Team Rating Calculations).
Creating a Team
As of Season 9 and Cataclysm, arena teams are created simply in the Arena Teams tab of the honor interface. You click on an empty team banner, which brings up a creation menu. Select your team name and design your banner, then click create. After your team is created, selecting the banner in the Arena Teams tab will allow you to see your roster, your stats, and will include an Add Member button. The player you are inviting must be online at the time of the invite. You must be 80 or 85 to create a team.
As of season 6 (Patch 3.1) newly formed teams have their Team Rating set to 0 that you must raise by fighting against other groups. Before patch 3.1 the first time the Arena Team is created, it starts with 1500 Team Rating. To leave or disband a team, you can type /teamdisband team_type or /teamquit team_type (where team_type is 2v2, 3v3, or 5v5).
- You cannot use any item that gives you buffs such as or , however items that give temporary buffs upon proc like will still work.
- You can't drink any potions (flasks and elixirs included), except for and arena specialized potions sold by honor vendors of your faction.
- You cannot use any explosives such as .
- Some engineering tinkers such as cannot be used.
- Any skill with a cooldown of 10 minutes or greater cannot be used.
- You cannot swap specializations while inside an arena, but you can swap gear sets.
Upon zoning into the Arena instance, players start in a "holding area." Health, mana, and energy are all restored. All buffs and conjured items are removed and pets are dismissed (debuffs will remain, and pets can be re-summoned once you zone in). Players are also given the Arena Preparation buff, which removes the casting cost of all abilities (including Soul Shards).
After 60 seconds of preparation, the match commences. All buffs with fewer than 25 seconds remaining are removed and rage/runic power is reset to 0.
Players battle it out until all the members of one team are defeated or choose to leave, or until 45 minutes have elapsed.
Abilities with a cooldown longer than 8 minutes cannot be used during Arena combat (including Rebirth). Conjured consumables, bandages and Star's Tears may be used. Any water that requires level 85 can be used such as Highland Spring Water, Highland Spring Water or Highland Spring Water.
Once a player dies, they can choose to release and observe the remainder of the match as a ghost.
Much like the Battlegrounds, after a match is completed a statistics window is shown that displays total damage and healing done. The Arena window also shows the Team Rating adjustment as a result of the match.
Arena rating system
|It has been suggested that this article or section be moved to Team rating .|
Arena rating calculation of each match is based on the ELO Rating System which is used by the international chess rating system.
The ELO system takes the score of two opponents and calculates a statistical chance of winning based off those scores. After the match it uses the difference between the calculated chance of winning and the actual results. The difference between the two probabilities is then applied to the maximum amount of points allowed per match. Having a maximum amount makes sure teams have to play a large number of matches instead of just getting lucky and beating one team with a high ranking score.
Example of a match rating calculation:
- Team A's Current Score: 1500pt
- Team B's Current Score: 1580pt
- Team A's Chance of Winning: 1 / (1+10(1580 - 1500)/400) = 0.38686
- Team B's Chance of Winning: 1 / (1+10(1500 - 1580)/400) = 0.61314
- Now Let's say Team A won the battle then
- Team A's New Score: 1500 + 32*(1 - 0.38686) = 1500 + 19.62 = 1519.62
- Team B's New Score: 1580 + 32*(0 - 0.61314) = 1580 + (-19.62) = 1560.38
- Now Let's say Team B won the battle then
- Team A's New Score: 1500 + 32*(0 - 0.38686) = 1500 + (-12.38) = 1487.62
- Team B's New Score: 1580 + 32*(1 - 0.61314) = 1580 + 12.38 = 1592.38
The K value used by Blizzard is 32. So each match, the maximum rating gain/loss will be 32pts. And if you play with a team with same rating, you will gain/lose exactly 16pts.
As you can see when a team with a higher ranking score wins a match against a lower ranking team, they receive fewer points than if the lower rank team won.
Arena Point Calculation
- Main article: Arena point
"The transformation from your Team Rating to Arena Points starts off as a linear function, but once you go beyond a certain rating threshold, the function becomes logistic. This means that you will see a significant payoff increase once your Team Rating goes beyond a certain point, but the high-end spectrum of the ratings will eventually notice a decrease in how much bang they get for their buck." You can stockpile a maximum of 5,000 Arena Points.
On 26 September 2007, the formula used to calculate Arena Points were changed, as outlined on the official site about WoW arenas.. From season 5 onwards, arena teams below 1500 rating gain points as if they were at 1500 rating.
- 2v2 teams earn 76% of the points of a 5v5 team with the same rating
- 3v3 teams earn 88% of the points of a 5v5 team with the same rating
To be awarded any points on Tuesday morning (midnight) on US servers, Tuesday night (~6:45 P.M. for Oceanic; to ensure points for the week, finish your games before 4pm) or Wednesday morning (midnight) for EU servers, your team needs to have fought a minimum of ten matches that week and a player must have been in at least 30% of all your matches to be eligible for that week's points (i.e. it is possible to fight only 3 matches and get points - if your team did 10 matches total).
It is important to note that the points you receive in a given week is determined by only one team, and not by combining all your teams' points. Whichever team you are a member of that would receive the most points after accounting for Team Rating and team type becomes the sole source for your points for that week. Note that 2v2 and 3v3 teams are subject to a handicap where they receive fewer points than a 5v5 team with the same Team Rating.
Arena Point Calculators
The WoW armory includes an Arena Point Calculator to help you plan earning and spending your arena points. Several community-developed alternatives are also available.
Arena Rewards include both class-specific armor sets and a selection of unique weapons, off-hands and relics. All Arena Rewards cost only Arena Points to obtain. See Arena Rewards for a full list of current and past Seasonal Arena Rewards.
At the end of each Arena season, players that rank among highest ratings within the 3v3 and 5v5 brackets are awarded titles marking their accomplishments. Team members who have been in at least 20% of a top Arena team's matches and are within 100 personal rating of the team's rating,  in each Battlegroup, will receive a title according to their standing (highest to lowest):
|2||Duelist||0.5% - 3.0%|
|3||Rival||3% - 10%|
|4||Challenger||10% - 35%|
- Gladiator title also grants a Swift Nether Drake.
This page shows all available Titles.An estimation of the ranking needed for each title can be found at:
Every year an Arena Tournament is held where players of all battlegroups compete against each other for cash and prizes. If players meet the prize eligibility requirements, they will receive a title according to their standing:
|Standing||Title||Number of Players|
|1||Vanquisher||Top 1,000 overall.|
The seasons are used to determined the winners of Arena Titles and the armored Swift Nether Drake. Teams must be at least in the top 20% to earn any kind of reward; to receive the Swift Netherdrake reward, you must be in the top 0.5% of your battlegroup.
At the end of the Season, team ratings and Arena Points are reset; honor, however, is not.
Generally, as a new Season begins, the last Season's gear becomes available to purchase solely through honor points (rather than requiring Arena Points). After Patch 3.3 (during Season 7) Season 6 gear was available through purchase for Emblem of Triumph.
Season 8 became active on February 2, 2010 and is still ongoing, becoming the longest-lasting arena season (30 weeks) as of August 31st, 2010. Players must be level 80 to participate in ranked matches starting this season.
|Season||Title||Start Date||End Date||Duration||Notese|
- The top team in each bracket in each battlegroup gets the title "XXX Gladiator", where XXX is the title of the season, with the exception of Season 1. Additionally, the season titles correspond generally to the gear for that season (Brutal Gladiator's XXX for Season 4 gear) with the exception of season 5, which had Savage, Hateful, and Deadly gear all introduced with WotLK.
Season 3 Controversy
|This article or section contains information that is out-of-date.|
The third season among the Arena PvP system's implementation proved to be the most turbulent to date. Though many players were 100% content with the way Season 3 played out, there were many who did not share such experiences. Although even debate over the existence of the issues themselves brought much controversy over their legitimacy, these sentiments were indeed marked as some of the most pressing issues of Season 3 and the arena PvP system to date.
PvP balance in the arena has been an ongoing issue throughout the first two seasons with the third being no exception. With resources such as http://www.realmhistory.net/ class builds, representation, and team composition data has never been more easy to access, showing the glaring biases which currently exist within the Arena's third season. Such examples being the dominance of Rogue and Warrior classes among many team compositions and overall class representation in 2000-2200+ rated teams. Nearly 50% of the 2000-2200 rated teams within the 3v3 bracket consist of Mage/Priest/Rogue Team Setups, and the popularity and success of the Druid class healers within the 2v2 and 3v3 brackets. Such debates point to improper balancing by developers for the cause of such calamity within the system, and although essentially one would like to believe any class setup or talent specialty to hold viable success based on player proficiency, a blatant pattern arises to suggest otherwise.
Point/Personal Rating Selling - Win Trading
A popular phenomenon among players were the acts of purchasing large amounts of arena points and personal ratings required to purchase high level PvP equipment. The process involved paying large amounts of gold for invitations to hold spots on high rated Arena Teams. These high rated teams would then fill the maximum amount of spots the team bracket would allow with individuals looking to purchase Arena Points or Team Personal rating. These teams would then find another Team to act in cohesion with and take part in a process known as 'win trading.' These teams, through various methods, would be able to fix fights, and assure those who they would combat against in matches would be those in which they were planned to either throw or win fights. This would essentially create 50/50 win loss ratios to assure high rated teams could maintain their high rating, while allowing players who purchased spots to reap the benefits. Such processes were put to an end with the release of Patch 2.4.2  and many players involved with such acts had Account suspensions, Arena Points, Rating and Gear removed. 
Season 3 was, until Season 8, the longest Arena season, which caused a marked outcry by the WoW community. Reasons as to the seasons length have been speculated to exist with two major factors.
One factor being the parallel of PvE type equipment following that of similar quality among the PvP type equipment. Some believe Blizzard would not allow the existing PvP equipment to be of a greater quality than any PvE type gear acquirable through instanced 25 man raid encounters. There has been developer commentary to support the idea of not releasing higher PvP quality gear till it feels obsolete in comparison to PvE.  With the recent World first defeat of Kil'jaeden,  the toughest existing Boss that resides in WoW, all the highest PvE loot is currently available for players cunning enough to acquire it. Blizzard has stated that the seasons do match PvE progression. The final door in Sunwell Plateau opened up on May 20th. Blizzard wants that gear to begin circulating a bit before the next season starts. Blizzard states that's how every season works, they wait until a reasonable number of people are able to grab gear from the highest raid before kicking off a season. How much and when, blizzard declines to state. 
The other factor consists of the season 4 release with attachment to the current Online Arena Tournament hosted by Blizzard. Blizzard stated that gear that is for use on the tournament realms is roughly one season behind the gear acquirable on live realms. Since the arena tournament does not foresee any upgrades accounting for the currently available S2 gear, live realms will remain only available to S3 until the tournament's conclusion July 15th.  This also is for measures so that those participating in the Tournament event will not lose interest and be more inclined to focus on their characters on live realms to acquire S4.
Arena Queue System
|This article or section needs to be cleaned up to a higher standard of quality.|
Many are upset with the way players are matched by the arena queue system. For instance, those who are part of a lower ranking team are frustrated that they must often combat teams of a higher rating team or face against players who are far better equipped for the arena than they are. With the implementation of patch 2.4.2., it is possible through new means for higher ranking teams to play those who are far beneath in terms of rating through the new designs in matchmaking made by players Personal rating. Though gain and loss of points is directly equivalent to team match ups this doesn't make players feel any better when they participate in the arena. Because even a tiny loss in points by defeat to a much higher team, can cause some players to feel that higher rated teams can just easily 'farm' those of a lower standing without much effort on their part. Teams that are facing low ranking teams are also upset because if they lose to a team that is well below their rating they can lose a large amount of their points in the process. If they make a mistake or miss a CC they can lose up to 25 points or more from their defeat. While playing those teams it could take 3 games or more to make up those points since you only get 7 or 8 points for a win at a time. If you win 4 out of 5 arena bouts then you still are going nowhere. So, the people who have a low ranking in the arena are not the only ones that are suffering there, but the higher ones as well.
Minimum personal rating
Welfare epic(s) is a term used by WoW lead designer Jeffrey Kaplan for epic items gained through PvP. It comes from a notion that players can get epic items with little effort. To deal with the problem, a minimum 'personal rating' requirement was added to shoulders and weapons in Season 3, and was expanded to include head, chest and leg items in Season 4. In addition, arena personal rating is required to purchase some honor-based items as well.
- Hotfix (2009-04-24): "We are making a hotfix (any minute now probably) so that Replenishment in Arenas will only affect the character and not the whole team. It will continue to function as it does currently outside of Arenas.
We feel Replenishment is balanced for larger groups, but just makes too much of a difference on smaller Arena teams. Making the rules work differently in PvP and PvE isn't a solution we like to use often, but in this case we think it fixes the issue cleanly, while still making the talents in question useful to the character who takes them. Alternatives, such as nerfing the amount returned by Replenishment in Arena or making it not function at all, seem like more punitive choices from which we want to stay away. "
- ^ Logistic function
- ^ Arena Calculator at the official WoW Armory
- ^ Drysc 2007-09-28. Re: Selling Arena Teams?. Retrieved on 2009-05-28.
- ^ Drysc 2008-04-22. Season 4 Requirements and Arena Changes. Retrieved on 2009-05-28.
- ^ Tyren 2008-05-12. Arena Win Trading Account Action. Retrieved on 2009-05-28.
- ^ Same as blue.cardplace.com, but at MMO-Champion: Arena Win Trading Account Action #0 by Tyren - 2008/05/13 02:25:29 AM
- ^ Kalgan 2008-02-21. Re: Season4 Guesstimate. Retrieved on 2009-05-28.
- ^ Boubouille 2008-05-27. Kil'jaeden kills, WWI Tickets, Onyxia solo kill. MMO Champion. Retrieved on 2009-05-28.
- ^ Drysc 2008-06-06. Seriously Blizzard... Season 4 this year?. Retrieved on 2009-05-28.
- ^ Vaneras 2008-05-22. Schedule for 2nd Qualifier. Retrieved on 2009-05-28.
- ^ Zarhym 2009-04-17. Replenishment Change For Arenas. Retrieved on 2009-05-28.
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