Thursday, July 3, 2008

Yet Another PvP Gear Rant

Yep, again. This time, I'm moved to speak by a recent post by the guy who (indirectly) got me into blogging: The Big Bear Butt himself, who seems to have a number of misgivings about the gear system, himself.

Now, while I've spoken a number of times about how I dislike the alternative routes by which a person can obtain epics of equal or greater value than the raid gear available to myself, I feel like I have yet to really hit the nail on the head. Not only do I feel like I keep coming out of it misunderstood and misrepresented, but I feel that I have yet to even fully pin down why I loathe PvP and badge gear in my own mind. I just know that I do. But bear with me, while I try once again.

I've come to realize that my problem isn't that the PvP gear system is "E-Z mode Epix", but is instead that most people seem to BELIEVE thats the case. And because of that, everybody and their brother, especially these days, seems to do nothing but grind out PvP gear. Now sure, there are plenty of people who enjoy PvP, but I see people who hate it even more than I do in there, every stinking day, grinding out honor and Arena points (And shush, I know you can't truly grind out Arena points, just like you can't grind out Vashj drops). And while 90% of my guild, and the server as a whole, is in doing PvP instances, my PvE oriented self rarely, if ever, gets to do a 5-man instance run or, god forbid, a Kara badge run.

Quick sidenote: I still hate the fact that there are badge rewards better than the T5 gear I currently wear. I absolutely loathe that I have to grind Karazhan to keep up with my guildmates in gear, even if I make it to every single raid we have, simply because you can get better gear running Kara than you can running SSC/TK. But, as BBB said, "If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying, to use an old Marine (or Navy) saying… meaning, if you’re not using every advantage you can to win, you didn’t deserve to in the first place." Of course, that requires actually getting badges, which requires getting people to do PvE instances (unless, of course, blizzard decides to replace battleground tokens with heroic badges, which ironically would both enable me to upgrade my gear more easily, while simulatneously making me hate the system even more).

So anyhow, its not that I begrudge people that want to do PvP the opportunity, but instead is the fact that the people I used to run instances with (On, mind you, a PvE server) are no longer available because they're too busy grinding in PvP for the next "Phat Purp", because for a server like mine, PvP gear is the best raiding gear you're going to get your hands on. Sure, if you happen to be in a guild that has Illidan on farm and is working through Sunwell Plateau, the only reason you need to PvP is if you want to be good at PvP, or get PvP gear for, you guessed it, PvPing. Though honestly, I haven't compared the season 4 gear to top end raiding gear, so even that may not be true any more *shrug*.

Wait a second, this sounds familiar. A die-hard PvEer, complaining that the people that do PvP get an unfair advantage outside of PvP? Now is it just me, or was it only a couple years ago that the PvP community was constantly complaining that raiders, in their shiny T2/2.5/3 epics, had an unfair advantage in battlegrounds? I mean, I could be dead wrong here, having never been a PvP-oriented person myself (Like I would be a druid back then if I was . . . ), but I'm fairly certain I remember hearing a rather loud volume of QQ over the gear imbalance back in the day. And while it isn't completely the same (Top-end PvP gear is comparable to top-end PvE gear, as opposed to towering over it in quality), I think the similarity bears mention.

But there's another factor in play here. Like I said, people used to complain about top-end raiders decimating PvP with their overpowered gear. That was before resilience. Nowadays, raiding gear is really only good for raiding. PvPing in raid gear these days is like healing in a moonkin set: It's technically possible, and better than nothing, but if you want to be any good you really need to get a set of gear tailor made for the task at hand. The reason for this is resilience. When Blizzard introduced resilience rating to the game, it changed the face of PvP forever (well, not quit forever, but we'll get to that). It used to be that a huge health total was the hallmark of a good PvPer. Nowadays, that huge health pool needs to be augmented with a huge chunk of resilience rating to do you any good. And guess what, 99% of raid gear has exactly 0 resilience on it. So while your 50% crit rate and 4000 attack power might have made you a ganking God back in the day, the guy you just attacked with 350+ resilience is going to /laugh and /spit in your face when he absolutely rips you apart.

Now, to a degree, resilience also limits the usefulness of PvP gear in raiding. After all, resilience eats up item budget, but is a (near) useless stat in PvE. However, as any decent feral druid will point out, having a part of your item budget spent on a useless stat *coughintellectcough* does not necessarily make an item useless. Missing a vital stat entirely, on the other hand (Sunwell T6 feral pieces with no stamina during beta testing, anybody?) does. Thus, we have this double standard, where the PvE gear I get from raiding wouldn't really help me in PvP, should I decide to cross over, the Gladiator gear Joe Schmoe got from PvP allows him to keep up with my raiding gear rather nicely. But, from what I hear, that won't last forever. . . supposedly, Blizzard is looking to remove Resilience in WotLK. A move which, ironically, will help raiders more than it helps the PvPers who complained about the stat in the first place.

So, there you have it. My current two complaints about PvP gear: it kills (or at least seems to kill) the instancing pool, and PvP gear functions much better in PvE than PvE gear does in PvP.

PS: The next time someone tells me I should just go grind PvP gear to equip my alts, instead of complaining about a lack of people willing to run 5-mans, I'm going to smash my keyboard upside their head until they hear me when I say I don't like PvP in this game, I do not like it Sam I Am. . . er, wait, what?

/equip flame retardant suit


Kiomi said...

Your a stronger man then I. I see the pvp epics that are better then my raiding ones, and yeah, I'll grind my ass off to get them. Pvp on an Ele Shammy? Painful. But I'll do it. I did it for my vindicator's crap and I'll do it for the S4 bracers/neck. I don't like pvp. If Al'ar's bracers didn't completely blow compared to the pvp ones... It sucks. Suck suck sucks.

Working when everyone is online doesn't help either. I -want- to do Kara with my hunter. But I'm either working or passed out when everyone is on. Thats another story for another day.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
K said...

First off, Anonymous, have you ever heard of the saying "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all".

This is a blog. This is an opinion web journal. You are not required to read it. If you find it boring, instead of telling Rambling Bear to stop posting or to put it private, maybe you should stop reading? Free will, my friend. Rambling Bear can write. You can stop reading if you find it boring. Have a nice day!

K said...

Secondly... as for PvP gear and getting it... if you can respec resto, it's a lot easier to do. Just keep yourself and other people alive. Buy the honor PvP gear for some survivability. Heal your tuckus off. You get lots of HK's, and sometimes are the difference between 1 mark and 3 marks. :) Then you can buy the gear you're really interested in for your main spec.

However, I disagree a little bit in terms of PvP gear being as good if not better than PvE gear. I'm sure it can be, in the hands of a skilled PvE'er. However...

I would rather take a blue-geared rogue who runs tons of instances and knows how to PvE into a heroic over a PvP-epic-geared rogue who has no hit rating. For a few reasons. The epic-geared rogue (not saying it's only rogues, but for my example it is!) seems to think that gear > skill. They seem pre-occupied with damage meters rather than threat meters. They don't listen to tactics as much because they're kind of used to doing their own thing. And when things go wrong, it's never their fault.

Not every PvPer.
Let me repeat.
Not every PvPer.

But the stereotype exists for a reason.

What I will say... is that PvP gear makes nice gear gap fillers. And it's something I can do when I don't have time for an instance but I do have time for your average WSG or AB or AV or EOTS. And as a feral tank, resilience actually is kinda nice to have. I can drop some defense (which isn't exactly the easiest thing to find on leather gear anyway) to get better gear for those spots with some resilience.

Groups of Words has an interesting line of articles going on right now about the difference between PvP and PvE play.

If your guild is really busy with PvP all the time, you may have to ... *whisper*PuG. I know it's horrible and terrible and usually ends with a lot of crying, but ... then again, if you start your own group you can always kick the idiots and sometimes will find a new person who is kinda kickass.

Svenge said...

Thankfully there aren't any PvP upgrades for Vymes or Svenge to be had, unless I wanted to build more parts for a Ret set for Vymes.

Inisule, however, has a laundry list.

I liked Kara runs as they were so laid back and everyone had a good time in a piss-easy instance. Sadly I can't make them lately thanks to work.

Delaraga said...

Personally I have to do pvp. My work schedule doesn't work at all with instances. My pvp gear from what i've noticed when I do sun dailies. I get around 900-1000 dps and when I'm in the BG I do about 300 dps. If I didn't get pvp epics I would have been done with this game a long time ago. I agree with K, I would be absolutely terrible in instances. To this date I have been in 1 and thats ZF to help lower leveled guildies. I get too stressed out in instances, I don't want to let the group down.

Delaraga said...

I dont know why I put in my DPS in that comment,it didn't make sense. Its early and I thought I was going somewhere with it.

SuraBear said...

Its all about finding the right group when you're new to instances. I actually ran ramparts last week on my shaman with a DPS warrior who had never tried tanking before, but wanted to give it a shot. Fortunately, we not only had a backup tank should things get rough, but we had a very understanding group who was willing to work with the guy and forgive his shortcomings.

Of course, the guy would have had an easier time if I wasn't there. . . aggro control on a shaman is something I have yet to develop (and probably never will, since Kornaq'll be a chain heal spamming spacegoat once I get him to 70 and maybe grind out SSO rep).

Mitch said...

Well, the worst part is that I'm kind of forced to PvP to get good stuff. I've been in Kara to at least Curator probably 20-25 times and cleared about 10-15 times. Still haven't even seen my Garona's Signet or T4 helm, let alone have a chance to roll on it. My point being is that it's nice to have a decent alternative to know you can get with a certain amount of diligence, rather than throwing your mouse across the room when you see those two items drop the first two times your priest enters Kara.

RNGs can go to hell, lol.

Will said...

Sura please enjoy the honeymoon. You deserve it and so does your wife. I just want you to know that I am eagerly waiting for a new post. TY sir.

Typhoonandrew said...

I really like the badge rewards, pvp gear and in general all the ways gear can be obtained in wow. I respect your gripe, and it makes sense.

Try this on though: Where do you get Tank gear for Paladins except by running instances over and over (and over)? PVP helps most classes get a foot in on PvE gear. It is no substitute for good PvE drops, but then PvE drops are managed in a totally stupid way.

Why is the drop method stupid? Because I can do the same friggin instance 12 times and got get a single item I need. I was gearing my Tank through Shadow Labs, trying for a trinket and shoulder. It took 14 runs to get both, and I got them both on the last run.

All the other runs were a total waste of time. If that was pvp I would at least be acquiring points and badges, and it would not have taken a 5th of the time to get a simple upgrade.

2ndNin said...

Thats the problem with Paladin (and many other's) gear paths through the game, there isn't one.

For Paladins pre-badge-of-justice gear our Progression was:

D3->T4->T5->T6+BT/MH drops

Now its
.....------- BOJ-------->

Its still messed up, but its a lot better because there is actually gear in many of the slots for us now rather than being simply badly optimised. BoJ + tier tokens looks like the way to go for gear in the expansion (imo, not Blizz) rather than cluttering up the loot tables with small loot sections that get DE'd otherwise.

Mind you, I am / was essentially a 100% BoJ tank since I only recently hit BT.

Nyx said...

I feel your PAIN. What ever just happened to raiding for raid gear? And instancing for raid gear? It doesn't exist anymore, and you aren't the only one frustrated and depressed about the whole thing. Its only going to be getting worse, as the game seems to be 'dumbed' down a bit.

mattys said...

The real issue here is accessibility. Blizzard tried to make pve accessible with their LFG functionality, dropping raids from 40 to 25 man and introducing heroic dungeons. All that was helpful...but...then they tried to make PVP accessible.

Cross realm battlegrounds meant your pool of players to play with was multiplied by about 20. This encouraged tons more PVPers because you could play any time. The cost of entry was easy, no setting up raid times, no long waits while getting people to start. So more and more people started pvp'ing. Blizzard continued to shift their focus to PVP as more and more of their player base shifted that direction.

So the real issue, IMO, with pve isn't the gear disparity but the focus the players put on it and hence the effort Blizzard puts in to it.
If Blizzard were able to figure out a way to do cross realm PVE, or the equivalent in terms of PVE accessibility at the high end, I think you would see a large shift in player focus, and shortly thereafter a shift in design's focus.

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