We got casual Duels which is great, so why not have casual Arena? Basically a regular Arena game but without the fee, without the rewards and the wins won't count towards the golden heroes. This could be cool to practice your drafting skills. Thoughts?
Who knows, they might consider it now. At least I don't see it why it couldn't be a model for Arena as well. And I think it would help Arena to become more accessible and popular.
I'm not much of an Arena player at all, like maybe 2 or 3 runs a year, but mostly because the entry fee always feels like a commitment, like you have to take it seriously, go carefully through the drafting and concentrate every turn every game. Just too much stress for playing a few games. And since I'd rather buy lots of packs whenever an expansion launches than grinding Arena for a month, the "break even" point is at 7 wins for me, so even "average" runs get me frustrated. I just don't care about the pack, and the 150 gold feels wasted, unless I can make it back numerically. I'm glad I can play Duels just to have fun whenever I feel like it. And it would be nice if Arena could turn into another alternative that you can go to whenever you are tired of constructed and want something else.
There might be an issue with having enough players in both Casual and Heroic. Maybe Duels would match up "serious" players with casual ones, because it won't really matter anyway. But whatever works for Duels should work for Arena as well.
However, I also hope that with the introduction of the exp-system, they give you small amounts of exp just for playing in any mode, and maybe step away from the "only wins matter"-policy as well. At least during the talk yesterday, it was already hinted at that progression would happen through quests and "just playing the game", though it was not specified what the latter would actually mean. Maybe you can get, for example, 25 exp for playing a game in Arena, Duels, Constructed and Battlegrounds (and maybe even some PvE content), and 50 or 75 exp for a win.
Specifically for Duels right now, there's no real incentive to play it outside of just exploring the mode for fun, not even contributing to 10g per 3 wins. Which is fine for now, but if progression forces you to always go back and grind in Constructed, it would be kinda disappointing. I mean, everyone wants to play the game for fun, but if you don't do that in Constructed (or doing it well in Arena), you end up making less gold, and then it feels like you have to decide whether you want to work on improving your collection or want to have fun. :/
I thought about it as well and 5 minutes into it, it hit me like
"damn, if you had a bad arena deck, you could just draft another one". and i think that's what is the good thing, but the bad thing as well. you really can not tell if you getting better at drafting and creating your deck, because maybe you fight 3 tryhards in a row who just got the complete nuts. even without rewards, it'd be frustrating.
nevertheless i'd like to play more arena, but i suck.