Blizzard continues to test potential Arena improvements.
Responding to a user complaining about the apparent imbalance between win-rates when going first versus second and having The Coin, Game Designer Dean Ayala gave some insight into what Blizzard is thinking about and considering for impending Arena changes.
My thinking (mostly a theory) is that this has to do with decks being so heavily minion based in arena. Traditionally, decks that are more reactionary tend to do better with the coin. Priest, Rogue, Etc. I imagine the reason for this is because they would rather wait and respond to what their opponent does instead of playing minions proactively. The coin does a good job helping those reactive decks respond at the right moment. So in a world where decks are more reactive and the minion to spell ratio is a bit closer together... maybe going 1st vs going 2nd win rate feels less imbalanced than it does now. There are a number of game-to-game quality changes coming for arena, this is one of them.
Most of the problem with testing is that there are so many other variables involved. The gap in win rate in terms of 1st/2nd turn is much lower in constructed where there is a more even ratio of minions to spells, but that isn't the only thing different between the two modes.
A Reddit user asks if the team has considered increasing the chance that spells are offered.
Right now we're testing at about a 20% increase. We think having spells occur more often and the card pool being standard is a good idea, but the thing we fight a bit is that when you have a smaller card pool and increase the rate of any set of cards....those cards appear quite frequently. I'm fairly certain it's not a good idea for every Mage deck to have 4 Volcanic Potions or every Shaman deck to have 5 Jade Lightnings, but it might be a good idea to increase the rate at which you get spells or the most recent set. In any case, we have a number of changes in test now and hope to announce the final changes in the nearish future.
Update: Ayala says the team will independently adjust Flamestrike and Abyssal Enforcer on an individual basis as well.
I think we'll start with 30-50% reduced rate for Flamestrike and Abyssal Enforcer. Those are the only two cards we want to adjust the individual rate on though, at least initially.
Earlier this month during a special Developer Insights Live Blog, Ayala confirmed that the team was looking into making Arena Standard and it looks like that's still the case nearly a month later. The community's response was relatively mixed. The most vocal of them were those that wanted it to remain untouched and a safe haven for the Wild cards which many believe don't see enough play.