It is basically what we all had already assumed. Arena would take a soul system that is a nightmare to manage and make it even more of a nightmare. he is has been EXTREMELY straight forward in that thread.
We totally get that people want to have an outlet for competitive PvP. Wanting that isn't a bad thing. Delivering it to the quality level we believe it demands without upsetting the apple cart and creating an unsustainable amount of development work is a wholly different challenge.
We understand what an arena system is and does and we've contemplated it a number of times. RIFT however is an order of magnitude more complicated than most games out on the market today. Once an arena system comes in, a top COMP will come out, and unless we start micro managing spec balance and change spec balance even more dramatically things will ultimately not be a good experience.
If we don't adjust the classes more and more, everyone will just complain that things are not fair and that the FOTM group is V/W/X/Y/Z and the entire feature is a failure and that they are going to quit because it is not what they envisioned.
It will then spiral into making tons of class tweaks which we really do not want to make and have larger reaching impacts. Before anyone also says "its easy to just do the balance for PvP" - no, it isn't easy to do that on a product of RIFT's scale and complexity level. It becomes double the development time, double the bug count, double the QA time, and still results in sadness.
Creative Director: RIFT