World of Warcraft ‘Warlords of Draenor’ ditches Trial of the Gladiator, adds Skirmishes and Spectator system

Blizzard has decided, based on community feedback, to cancel development of Trial of the Gladiator, a new form of ranked Arena competition that was to be included with the Warlords of Draenor expansion for World of Warcraft. The original goal of the mode was to concentrate "high-level competition to specific times" and make combat exploitation by opening the mode only during certain hours and requiring players to use a special Trial-only set of gear.

"Ultimately, players who couldn’t play during the pre-set times for Trial of the Gladiator might feel like they’re missing out, and it was possible that normal Arena games would lose a lot of their replay value without rating to push for. Because of these issues, we’ve decided not to continue development of Trial of the Gladiator and to focus our efforts on giving players more ways to find PvP that suits them," Blizzard explained.

So instead, Blizzard will revisit the idea of Skirmishes, a type of Arena mode that allowed players of any level to participate in with no Team Ratings or Arena Points awarded. Removed with the release of Cataclysm, Skirmishes will now return as a form of unranked Arena play in Warlords of Draenor. It will allow you to queue for 2v2 or 3v3 battles, and winning will reward you with Honor and a random bonus which could be gold, more Honor, Conquest Points, or "possibly something entirely different."

Blizzard is also working on a new Spectator Invite system to simplify the process for tournament organizers. 

"Our new Spectator Invite system will allow a match organizer to invite two teams to play against each other in a PvP spectacle called a War Game. Then, when the match begins, everyone in the match organizer’s party will be able to watch those two teams duke it out."

Blizzard will open this feature up to add-on developers "so they can come up with tools for tournament organizers to customize how the match is presented on the screen." And lastly, Blizzard will provide Tournament Mode gear — a special set of gear that can only be used in War Games — to ensure all players are on "equal footing."