Ring of Valor
The arena is large and oval formed with players starting on each side. There are four roughly circular platforms at that rise and lower, two at a time throughout the match, obstructing movement and blocking line of sight when raised. Because they are essentially temporary pillars, they create an ever-changing dynamic of line-of-sight and kiting opportunities.
- In general, teams that combine constant, coordinated movement with opportunistic use of the pillars will rule the day.
Prior to patch 4.2.0, the staging areas were in the middle of the map and would slowly rise out of the ground until they emerged at ground level, mere yards apart. Players were hidden during the waiting period, but started 10 yards next to each other.
There were only two pillars, moving up and down like they do today. There were also two sets of spikes on triggers for when the pillars moved, which dealt damage and blocked line of sight. On either side of the staging platforms was an intermittent fire wall that blast from the ground. The two fire walls triggered at the same time and inflict damage equal to a percentage of total health per second to anyone passing through or standing within the flames. The walls did not otherwise break line of sight or inhibit player movement.
The original Ring of Valor
Earlier in the game, the arena was an in-game zone in Orgrimmar. It looked quite different and only the spectator area was accesible. It was supposed to serve the same purpose as the Gurubashi Arena, except there would be no treasure in the middle. This feature never got implemented however, and the only purpose the old Ring of Valor ever served was a duel between Thrall and Garrosh Hellscream during the Scourge Invasion prior to Wrath of the Lich King.
Here warriors fight to honor the Horde, not for the amusement of bloodthirsty crowds. Young orcs practice here with blunted weapons, but occasionally fight to severe injury or death. It was also used to train some of the Crimson Ring's gladiators.
During the Shattering the arena took heavy damage and is currently being repaired. The interior has been closed off to the general public.
Mists of Pandaria
This section concerns content exclusive to Mists of Pandaria.
The interior of the Ring of Valor is now accessible via portal for everyone, the inside has been refurbished as the Brawl'gar Arena. A horde pandaren questline takes place in the Ring.
- Hotfix (2012-10-16): "Teams queueing for Arenas will temporarily no longer be placed into the The Ring of Valor."
- Patch 4.2.0 (2011-06-28): The Ring of Valor has been added to the Arena rotation once again.
- Hotfix (2011-01-18): Ring of Valor has been temporarily disabled until select bugs can be fixed in an upcoming patch.
- Patch 3.2.0 (2009-08-04): The flame wall has been removed.
- Hotfix (2009-03-06): "We applied a few key arena hotfixes over the past couple days to both the live realms and the tourney realms. [...]
- We removed the gates. Players are now free to begin combat as soon as the elevators reach the floor of the arena. This one was a doozy but we think we finally have a good handle on it now.
- We modified the small side pillars to start in the up position. They used to rise up a few seconds after the start of the match.
- We made a fix to the flame wall that allows it to break fear / root / etc. effects just like any other type of spell damage would. (ie. x damage taken and overall % health)
- Hotfix (2009-03-02): "We also added a sound to the Ring of Valor to let players know that the flame wall will be opening up in the next 5 seconds. Again, just more early warning so you can plan accordingly. We cleaned up the art on the gates a bit too. It should be easier to see the gates opening now."
- Patch 3.0.2 (2008-10-14): Added.
- Orgrimmar subzone
- Patch 4.0.3a (2010-11-23): Subzone removed.