So, hypothesis: RBG matchmaking/ladder issues are negatively affecting Arena PvP.
I'd like you all to take a look at this:
EU RBG ladder: http://eu.battle.net.../battlegrounds/
US RBG ladder: http://us.battle.net.../battlegrounds/
These rating ranges are much more inflated than they are in Arena, where the absolutely highest teams with the most ridiculous winratios are 2.6k - and there's only 7 of them in EU and US combined. This is both due to how the system itself works, and a number of exploits and workarounds that existed or still exist. A result of this is that reaching, say, 2.2k in RBG is easier than reaching 2.2k in Arena - even past the extra logistics, and even if we forget about the exploits and workarounds. 2.2k is viewed as a trivial RBG rating, while 2.2k in Arena is a challenge. It's human nature to choose the easier path, and this is where Arena suffers.
On top of that, RBG has a better Conquest cap formula that everybody complains about; even if you remove the bonus formula, doing RBG is still much more profitable due to its inflated ladder. I like the analogy with 10 and 25 man raiding. The difficulty is almost the same. World firsts for 10 and 25 man are only a few days apart, if not the same day. 25 man drops extra loot, which is a fine bonus for the extra effort organizing it - just as the extra Conquest cap from RBG is totally fine, but only if the difficulty is the same. (PvE had this exact same issue at Cataclysm release when 10 and 25 started dropping the same ilvl loot, by the way, it took Blizzard at least two tiers to balance it out.)
This is what we should complain about. Fix the RBG system (some of the exploits are so trivial, it makes you wonder why it takes so long to fix them), reset it to wipe the inflated ladder, and try to keep RBG:Arena ratings similar. RBG will stop killing Arena once it stops being a much easier alternative to get gear, for all the wrong reasons.
Something that bothers me and everybody else since MoP, what is up with the capping system? You can cap the last bit only and exclusively via RBG. Even if you play RBG before playing Arena, those Conquest points you get from the RBG wins will count towards the Arena cap if it's still available. So, a situation like this is fully realistic:
1) You play and win a couple of RBGs;
2) You play and win a couple of Arenas, reaching the maximum Arena cap;
3) You now must do more RBG in order to finish capping, because the RBGs you did in "1)" went into your Arena cap, not your RBG cap. You're now confused why the hell it says you didn't earn any points via RBG this week even though you did.
Is this really intended? I thought the idea was to have two separate caps, just counting towards a shared maximum. Like it was in Cataclysm.
Also, wins in random BGs used to go into either cap, so you could finish capping via random BGs. I don't really mind if this was intentionally removed, but it makes no sense to me.
Edit: this really screws up 2v2, by the way. All the high rated PvPers rush to get their arena cap done on tuesday/wednesday after reset, which makes lower rated players really suffer. Lots of people saying they keep meeting Gladiators at 1700 MMR in 2v2 - official forums are full of these complaints, you can open just about any thread. You can also check streams on reset days to confirm it yourself. It's standard practice by now. Not healthy for the game.
Edited by Thaya, 08 April 2013 - 10:55 PM.