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World of Warcraft's upcoming expansion pack Warlords of Draenor will bring a few big changes to the MMO's player-versus-player combat. Blizzard has explained the major features in a new blog post.
Blizzard originally intended to include a new ranked Arena format called Trial of the Gladiator. Trial matches would force players to wear only specific sets of gear and would be restricted to certain times of the day. However, the developers opted not to include this form of PvP in Draenor.
"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," said Blizzard. "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."
They will, however, bring back the Skirmish mode for Arena. These 2v2 or 3v3 matches allow you to battle alongside friends or random strangers. The results don't affect your Arena rating at all. Blizzard removed Skirmishes from the game around Cataclysm's launch but have decided to bring them back to the game in a modified form. You'll now receive Honor points and possibly other rewards for victories. It's a low-pressure way for newbies to try out Arena. Skirmishes also give vets a chance to practice new team comps, strategies or specs.
Warlords of Draenor will also make it easier for players to organize their own PvP tournaments. There was no official way to do this in the past so players had to rely on add-ons and workarounds. However, the expansion allows a tourny organizer to invite two teams to a War Game match. Everyone in the organizer's party can then watch the match.
"We’ll also be opening this feature up to add-on developers so they can come up with tools for tournament organizers to customize how the match is presented on the screen. Finally, we’ll be providing Tournament Mode gear—a special set of gear that can only be used in War Games—to help tournament runners ensure that all players are on equal footing."
Draenor is the fifth expansion to WoW. The expansion introduces a new world filled with quests and dungeons for level 90+ characters. Players will also be allowed to create their own garrisons and upgrade them over time.
Purchasing Draenor will give you a free boost to level 90 for one character. Blizzard also plans to sell these character boosts separately for $60 apiece.