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

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