First before you atuomatically post "OMG DAOC was better" without reading this big block of text, might as well adress a few common missconceptions:
Arena was a mistake, even Blizzard admitted it.
Not exactly, read it again Rob Pardo clearly said that he didn't want the game to verge between competitive PvP and PvE they were nerfing abilities that PvE players wouldn't understand why. He also states that the idea of arenas and esports was so popular, that's why they decided to "tact" it on to WoW rather than effeciently adding it. If they truly thought it was a mistake over all, why did they add rated BGS?
A paltry amount of players play Arena, so it's useless feature.
According to statistics, over 800K+ "active" teams exist in arena just for 2v2 alone in season 8.
*By blizzards definition active means, they played at-least 30% and 20 games.
Even if you where to assume that half of them were actually inactive because of the low limitations, that's still over 500k players. Take note this only counting 2v2, 3v3 and 5v5 wasn't counted.
Arena destroys balance.
Wrong, arena just shows which class synergies to well or which class is doing too much burst damage. It doesn't magically make things unbalanced. More often than not... the classes that are overpowered in arena are also overpowered in mass scale PvP too.
Arenas only has over 500k Players because it's required for gear, titles and vanity awards.
This is a common misconception, but in season 8 had limited 2v2 rewards. There were no titles that season, and shoulders and tier weapons were impossible to get. If you wanted those, you had to play 3v3 or 5v5. By this conclussion, either more casual players played 2v2 arena or they enjoyed it overall. Quite often, you could 2v2 with your friend.
Arena promotes FOTM Builds, and impossible counters in equal elo rating.
You're right, which is why it should never award gear or any advantages other than vanity overall. However, it's not completely impossible for you to kill the enemy. The whole point of arena is to kill the people who have won just as much as you. Killing your counter shows how skilled you are.
If you want Arena, go back to World of Warcraft... I heard it's doing well over there.
It also did well in Guild Wars, and SWTOR and Guild Wars 2 both will support arena, Rift and Tera are really the only games without arena in reality. (For the next generation)
But I prefer World PvP, if they make Arena I will never see it again?
Which is why games like Guild Wars 2 will feature both, because they know what they're doing. If Ranked PvP awards no gear, you can have both.
Arena players just want too look like a special snowflake, and gank those who cant get it.
Nope, many arena players in this forum agree they could care less if no gear was awarded. The point of an arena is to face people within the same skill level as you, and PvP progression... not gear.
So if you were told you would get no gear, vanity, and even titles would you still play arena?
Absolutely, I could care less about what the rewards are, it's a progression for me to continually increase in rating and defeat challenging opponents.
I don't like arena.
What's the harm of adding arena if it doesn't harm the game overall?
PvE balance get's destroyed by arena
Scott Hartsman mentioned a feature in Rift to be able to nerf abilities only for PvP without harming PvE, we have yet to see this. But we assume if this ever came, all nerfs for arena would only be in arena... and nowhere else.
In the end, I play arena to progress. My opponents get harder, and I have to overcome difficult challenges consistently. I'm one of those "small" crowd of 500k players worldwide.