Seriously though. What's the point of this thread? How are we supposed to give feedback on something we haven't even seen gameplay from? We don't even have a full explanation of how it's supposed to work.
The point of the mega thread is to create a place where discussion of this new addition to the game can take place, it reduces the likelihood of multiple duplicate threads on the forums and it can easily be found/bookmarked/watched and read by developers, community and other interested parties as well as encouraging a debate which includes everyone's ideas and feelings around this new idea.
Having listened to the panel, a summary of which can be found via the link below, the feeling I get is that the Arena is a way to provide small condensed experiences of what might happen over a longer time period in the main game, for those who are time poor, who are looking for that more intense experience and who've been suggesting rewards or incentives for pvp.
I think we all come to this discussion with preconceived notions of what an 'Arena' is, what a 'mode' is, depending on our experiences and what we've seen in other games and this colours our ideas of what this might mean in Sea of Thieves.
If we take a step back and look at what was said yesterday I'm going to draw the following conclusions -
Rare are committed to developing a game they love alongside the community. They've heard the calls for a stronger pvp experience but they know players also love the variety of encounters that are possible on the seas beyond just combat.
Creating a separate space where mini games, short focused events, competitive activities can take place is a way of addressing this.
Those who prefer a more relaxed experience can still find that in the main world, those who want more sustained action based encounters might prefer the arena. I think I'll be playing both, even though I'm not a fan of other competitive games that are out there.
I think we need a better way to describe what this is and a better way of accessing it so that it feels very much a part of the whole Sea of Thieves experience, rather than having to choose between the two before you even get into the world because I think this will modify those expectations that players reading about the 'Arena' might come with, which might well lead to disappointment.
I don't think this is anything like a hardcore pvp mode, 'Arena' sort of implies a gladiatorial aspect, I'm starting to think of it more like 'Circus Maximus' where a variety of entertaining events are possible. I could be wrong of course.
There are some very valid concerns and I hope that this megathread will collect those and that they'll be taken into consideration during the development process as well as when this arrives for pioneers to test.
What it does show, is that we have a community that cares passionately about this game, this world.