They'll have to wait a little longer, but Arena fanatics got some good news over the weekend. Principle Game Designer Mike Donais confirmed that Blizzard is removing the bonus applied to synergy cards for the first two picks of each draft. Since the change, those who frequent the game mode have decried the change, arguing that it's made for a frustrating experience with less than optimal choices.
Sadly, the change won't be going live too soon. We're due for a balance patch which will nerf Innervate, Fiery War Axe, Murloc Warleader, Hex, and Spreading Plague. Donais says this update won't go live until the patch after that
"This won't be removed in the Balance patch as that was added as a quick bonus patch.
It will be removed in a patch after that though."
Because of this response, the community has been questioning other aspects of Arena, like if it should be Wild once again. Game Designer Dean Ayala commented:
|The plan for arena has never been to keep the current format forever. We have some other ideas for how to make arena more interesting we look forward to sharing in the near future. We didn't think purely Wild was a sustainable format for Arena because it's hard to feel like anything has changed when the card pool is so large. There are certainly ways for Wild cards to come back to arena that would be fun and interesting, and we're open to exploring some of those options in the future.|
Ayala also clarified that Blizzard doesn't want to "split [Arena] off into two separate modes," saying, "I think we'd rather change the main arena format in some way that keeps things fresh. Arena has been purely standard for awhile, and we're approaching a time where we think doing something new is appropriate, if only for a short-time."
It remains to be seen how the Arena will adjust to these being changed back. We haven't yet seen the Frozen Throne cards without the synergy picks.
In addition, the upcoming nerfs will certainly have an effect on the Arena meta as well.
We spoke with ADWCTA, an Arena expert, and he surprisingly believes that the nerfs will be a great thing for the game mode in the long run.