Arena PvP is one of the most rewarding aspects of World of Warcraft, but it can also be one of the most frustrating and confusing. For those of us who don’t know much about arena but are curious or interested, I’ve compiled a list of 10 of the most important things you should know about this challenging aspect of the game, so hopefully if you decide you want to strap on your sandals and get to pwning some noobeez, you’ll be well-informed and know what to expect.
In case you didn’t know, Arena is a team-based player vs. player component in which teams of 2, 3, or 5 are pitted against like-numbered teams in all-out deathmatches; the team with the last member standing is declared the winner, and points are awarded to participating teams each week that can be cashed in for epic armor sets and weapons.
OK, without further adieu…
1. You must be level 70 to join an arena team and reap its benefits. Though you can play in unranked matches to your heart’s content beforehand, you won’t be able to get into the real meat-and-potatoes of arena pvp until endgame.
2. Your team must play at least 10 games during the week to get credit for that week. In order to be listed among the rankings, your arena team must play a minimum of 10 matches for any given week. If you play less, you will get no arena points whatsoever at the end of that week. Even if you perform poorly you can still get a decent point reward at the end of the week, so even if you’re on a losing streak, it’s important to get in those 10 matches to get credit for your efforts. Also note that it may or may not be beneficial to play more than 10 games. Your point reward for each week is based on your team’s rating, which shifts up or down depending on whether you win or lose.
3. You must participate in at least 30% of your team’s matches during the week to receive points that week. It doesn’t matter how well your team does, if you aren’t in on at least 3 of 10 matches you will get no points. This is extremely important, as if a team does not coordinate matches well, some teams (especially larger teams) may leave some players out even if they participate. It’s vital to think of your teammates when deciding how many matches to play!
4. The larger the team bracket, the heftier the point rewards. According to Blizzard, when calculating point rewards at the end of the week, 2v2 teams by default earn 30% less points than 5v5 teams, and 3v3 teams earn 20% less than 5v5. If you’re serious about earning PvP rewards, the easiest way to achieve that goal is to do it on a 5v5 team! A very important thing to know is that you can participate in teams in all three brackets, and you’ll automatically receive the largest reward of the three, so it may be wise to meet your quota in all three brackets! 5. Arena gear is epic and comparable to middle- to upper-tier raiding gear! I may do an actual hard-number comparison later this week, but if you put an arena reward piece up next to a raiding epic, they’re going to be very similar.
6. Battleground honor rewards complement the arena sets very well! The arena rewards feature a head, shoulder, chest, hand, and leg reward, plus weapons; to complement these, you can get epic wrist, waist, foot, back, ring and neck pieces from battleground rewards, and they’re even designed to coordinate visually – Blizz definitely intended these rewards to go hand-in-hand. With both arena and bg rewards, you can deck yourself out entirely in glorious purples.
7. Strategy is key! A good, cohesive team can easily take out a team. Be sure to support your other team members – help them survive and focus DPS on one foe at a time whenever possible. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your role, as your PvP role can be completely different than your role in PVE (and often if you switch it up, your foes won’t expect it)! Unranked matches can be a good warmup, especially for a team that has never worked together.
8. Strategy is key… but not the only factor! Yes, arena PvP is skill-based to a degree, but many other factors are involved. All QQing aside, it’s hard to deny that there are some balancing issues with some of the classes, and it may be very difficult to overcome some teams just by the sheer nature of their composition. In addition, gear is a huge factor, and can easily slide the balance into one teams favor. Don’t get discouraged! It can be easy to get frustrated, but once you start earning the rewards and your team starts to gel with strategy and teamwork, arena becomes not a grind but a challenging, enjoyable aspect of the game.
9. Respect your teammates! If you decide to reprimand another team member based on skill, gear choices, etc. in my team, not only will you earn a free /tkick (and possibly /gkick depending on the severity), but you will also be missing out on one of the most enjoyable aspects of the game. All of us come to the table with our own playing styles, and if you see yourself as “better” than your teammates, then you don’t belong on a team at all. Suggesting team strategies is one thing, but scolding a teammate for their performance in the arena is unacceptable. The goal is teamwork!
10. Come for the cameraderie, stay for the epics! Have fun! If you’re not having fun, it’s never worth it, no matter how epic the rewards are, and I personally would rather see you doing something you enjoy. Remember that there is never obligation to anyone for this.
I personally am very excited about this arena season and I’m happy to see many of you are excited as well. I’ll be planning some arena events very soon, and I can’t wait to hear what you all have to say as well.