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Trial of the Gladiator

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The Trial of the Gladiator was a new arena system planned for Warlords of Draenor, providing a new environment for PvP competition which removed gear advantage to put all players on an equal footing. Due to the potential issues from only being available at certain times, development was ultimately canceled during the expansion's alpha.

Official preview

If you’re looking for some great Arena action, then Trial of the Gladiator is for you. Building on the same system used for the Arena Tournament realm, players who take part in Trial of the Gladiator will be able to enter and purchase gear, enchants, and gems from a vendor, and then match skills with other players. Similar to the Arena Tournament realm, an array of equal-quality gear and items will be available to all players, putting everyone on the same footing from the start of competition.

Any player will be able to queue for this new feature once it’s available, but you’ll only be able to earn a rating during specific days and times of the week that rated competition opens up. This will help make the pool of serious combatants more concentrated, allowing the system to match players more accurately based on skill and helping ensure rated battles provide a highly competitive experience.

You’ll be able to practice whenever you like outside of those times, but if you want to earn the prestige awards, you’ll need to hone your skills and climb to the top of the ladder at the appointed times. We also don’t want to penalize people too heavily for missing a scheduled combat or two, and we’re looking into ways to make sure the system strikes the right balance between flexibility and cutting-edge competition.[1]

Cancellation

While there were a lot of potential benefits to that system, ultimately we agree with some of the concerns community has raised about the way it worked. 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. 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.[2]

References