They should have never got rid of dedicated teams. This style of *play with people until we lose once and leave and never play with them again* is the dumbest shit I've ever seen and is probably why the game feels so dead.
People used to transfer to play with one another, and if you didn't win every game in your first session... tough shit. You kept playing with them for that amount of time until you could transfer again/find another team/got better as a team.
I think the thing I miss most about arena is having dedicated partners. I played with the same people from s5 until s13. I still play with one of them, but we spend most nights looking for a third or not playing - orrrr we find a third for a one and only session until we lose our first game then they're gone forever.
Because nobody wants to try anything, when you ask other people to play something weird, they will answer "Mumumumu we can't beat turbo, it will be bad against ww/dk or shatter mumumumu".
So you are here, playing the same comp because nobody has the balls and the motivation to try something exotic. I asked lots of people to play just to try differents things, and they didn't even want to try.
And then, you have some people saying on AJ that the game is dead after playing countless hours and thousands of game on the fotm comptheyhavealwaysplayedsincevanilla.
Who wants to play sp/affli/hpal? Nobody.
Arcane/demo/hpal? No, it's bad.
Firemage/monk/hpal? Rmd will farm us.
Hey, friend. I played my Demon Lord Dark Mage last season with the John Stamos Cleave you have mentioned (both with Thunder Shaman and Totem Warrior specs). Totem Warrior is definitely better of the two. Your strategy is pretty on point, but not your rotation of spells. Save up fury as much as you can - Demonboltx2 into Chaos Wave with Dark Soul is SUPER DUNGA DAMAGE and that person will be warped into space.
In 2008, #wowesports had a very thin metagame layer. You outplayed people after the gates opened and won because of raw skill on the arena floor. Maybe you showed a bit more rage when you won/lost, breaking peripherals and calling out teammates.
In 2012, #wowesports gained a very thick metagame layer. You outplayed people at character lock-in and selecting your charter/roster to minimax your chances. People also increased their metagaming of the tourney structure, tactically dropping into loser brackets when it suited them, doing musical chairs and psych/mindtricks with questionable disconnects and technical issues.
In 2015, #wowesports emerged a metagame layer for its metagame. Now you just drown in the rules and get owned by the tournament organizers themselves. Outplayed by Activision seriousness and paperwork.
In 2017, #wowesports became self-aware, emerging a recursive structure known as a meta(meta(meta(...))-game. This system abducts all who are involved and the only winner is itself.