Check out the word of Drysc after the jump.
When Season 4 begins, Season 3 items will be reduced in personal and team arena rating requirement to:
The new Season 4 items will have the below personal and team arena rating requirements:
In addition, some of the Season 4 quality items that will be purchasable with honor will also carry a personal and team arena rating requirement:
The Season 2 items, which will move to the honor system when Season 4 begins, will continue to have no rating requirement.
Drysc also announced some new arena rules for the upcoming season:
1. If a character's personal rating is more than 150 points below the team rating, they will earn points based on their personal rating instead of the team rating.
2. If the average personal rating of the players queuing for a game is more than 150 points below the team's rating, the team will be queued against an opponent matching or similar to the average personal rating.
Together, these rules (which Tom Chilton alluded to but did not reveal in a recent interview) should mean that a person cannot simply ride a high rating team to victory, but will instead need to fight their way up the ladder to gain points regardless of what team they join.
It looks like the era of "welfare epics" may well be over now. With these new requirements, teams will have to genuinely work hard to get the gear they desire, and it should hopefully lead to a bit less resentment between the PvE and PvP factions. These new rating requirements, combined with the new rules meant to prevent people from buying points, should also hopefully lead to fairer arena games between equally geared teams, at least within another season or two.
With the revelation of these rules, the speculation of the start of the new arena season can probably begin in earnest as well. Saving your points (or even your honor) for Season 4 may not be as effective anymore though, if you can't also muster up the ratings to purchase the gear.