Blizzard never ceases to amaze. Their recent Arena Tournament announcement revealed that they are taking World of Warcraft’s eSport side to an all new level. If you haven’t heard about this yet, or need a refresher, here’s the spiel from their faq:
The 2008 World of Warcraft Arena Tournament is a competition based on the Arena System in World of Warcraft. However, as distinguished from standard Arena System matches, all teams participating in the tournament will be competing on regional tournament realms — separate from the live realms — for a spot to play at live events and win prizes. In addition, there is a registration fee to join. This new format provides a means for professional-level players to face off in a highly competitive environment that emphasizes strategy, skill, and execution over all other elements of play.
The tournament will consist of two rounds of regional qualifiers, followed by live regional finals. Winners of the regional finals will be invited to compete in a global world championship. The cash prize package for this tournament, including prizes awarded at the regional finals and world championship, amounts to more than $200,000.
It’s actually a really good idea and exactly what I would expect from WoW. Blizzard is making it clear that they want to transform WoW into a game of competition. I definitely think it’s total crap that they charge you $20 – more than a month’s subscription – just to participate. Ever since Arenas were first released it became clear to me that Blizzard was most interested in providing an almost side-game of PvPÂ for the team based play style. As their faq states, solo players need not apply – you won’t be able to participate without a team of three.
It’s been said more than once that this is another of WoW’s responses to Warhammer. I’ve read everything from “You can’t make money in WAR!” to “GG WAR, It’s over. WoW remains king!”. Maybe I’m confused. Have you people even bothered to educate yourselves on Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning? You folks really need to do more to broaden your knowledge than watch a few gameplay videos and walk away saying it ‘looks just like WoW’. I’ll break this down for you all.
- WoW is a game where PvP is arcade-like.
- WoW focuses on the individual (or groups of 3).
- WoW’s pvp is instanced in arenas and battlegrounds.
- WAR is a game where PvP is the game.
- WAR focuses on the realm as a whole.
- WAR’s pvp is first and foremost open world PvP.
Both systems work. One is not necessarily better than the other. I really do not think Blizzard is adding this feature to try and best Warhammer. This system is far too obscure and away from the mainstream. WoW will take jabs at Warhammer and other soon-to-come mmo’s by playing to its strengths. Mainstream content for mainstream interest. Charging players $20 to participate in a chance to win prizes that add up to $200,000 (I can’t believe how many people out there really think you can win $200,000) is neat, but nothing to cause any other games out there to shake in fear.