The new World of Warcraft expansion isn't even out yet, and Blizzard has cut one of the promised PvP aspects of the game.
At BlizzCon in November, Blizzard unveiled its expansion plans for World of Warcraft, announcing Warlords of Draenor. One of the key components of the expansion was to be a PvP setup called Trail of the Gladiator that allowed players to only compete during certain times and with a specific type of "Trial-only" gear.
Well, you can now cross that feature off the list.
While the goal was "to concentrate high-level competition to specific times, to better match players against competitive opponents, and to make exploitation more difficult," Blizzard said that feedback led them to cancel those plans.
"Ultimately, players who couldn't play during the pre-set times for Trial of the Gladiator might feel like they're missing out, and it was possible that normal Arena games would lose a lot of their replay value without rating to push for," Blizzard said in a blog post. "Because of these issues, we've decided not to continue development of Trial of the Gladiator and to focus our efforts on giving players more ways to find PvP that suits them."
But, Blizzard doesn't plan on ignoring arena-style PvP all together. Instead, it will bring back Skirmishes, which were originally eliminated after Cataclysm. "Skirmishes will return as a form of unranked Arena play that will allow you to queue for 2v2 or 3v3 battles with friends or by yourself. Winning a Skirmish will reward you with Honor and a random bonus, which could be gold, more Honor, a small amount of Conquest Points, or possibly something entirely different. We think this will be a great way for players who haven't tried Arenas before to get their feet wet, and will allow experienced players to experiment with alternate specs or builds without worrying about tanking their rating."
Blizzard also plans to institute a "Spectator Invite System" which will give players and tournament organizers a spectator mode without third-party add-ons. An Organizer will invite two PvP teams to a "War Game." Once the teams are invited, anyone listed in the Organizer's party can watch the event. There will also be War game-only gear for these events. The new system will be made available to add-on makers to allow them to come up with tools for tournaments.
The timing of the announcement comes as Blizzard launches Season 15 PvP today with the new 5.4.7 update. Season 14 gear is now available for Honor Points instead of Conquest point. A few other changes were made to PvP and can be found in the patch notes. In addition, the new Prideful PvP gear will be dropping from the Celestial bosses on the Timeless Isle.
Check out the patch notes for all the changes.