Why Have PVP Gear?

A Farewell to Gear

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I have to say that still, months after the  announcement of Warlords of Draenor, the most surprising and interesting change that has been announced still relates to the gear.  During Blizzcon they made an announcement that gear would change its primary stat based on the spec you are currently equipping it under.  This means no more healer plate that no one wants, but instead multifunctional items that can be equipped in theory by any plate class.  The catch however is that secondary stats will not change, meaning we will have a situation similar to the Timeless Isle.  On the isle you can get tokens for 496 epic gear, but the stat assortment is random, meaning you will end up with several items that are less than optimal… but still functional for your current spec.

That said, having gear that transforms for you should at least in theory cut down on the sheer number of items that you need to carry around in your bags.  Since the advent of dual specs, this has meant that pretty much every player carries with them two full sets of gear, which doesn’t take into account any weird situational fight based items (yes I have a few of these).  In a game with as small of bag sizes as World of Warcraft, this quickly becomes painful.  Yes I consider 28 slots to be small especially when you consider I am used to having 6 44 slot bags in EQ2 with another 20 44 slot bags in my bank.

Why Have PVP Gear?

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One of the big disappointments from the announcement however is that they seem to have stopped short of making this strategy work for the whole PVE vs PVP gear divide.  One of the odd things about coming back to WoW and playing it seriously after spending several years playing other games, is it gives you a unique perspective that many devoted WoW players simply do not have.  Quite frankly other games do a lot of the same functionality that World of Warcraft has, far better.  I have noticed a big trend in these games to jettison the concept of PVP only gear, and in most cases I have to say the games are far better off for doing this.  My question is… if they have this wonderful new tech that changes out the primary stats on gear based on the spec in which you are equipping it… why not carry these changes to whether or not you are in player vs player combat?

I don’t know for certain the specifics of the gear change, and honestly at this point I think the only people that do are knee deep in the bowels of Blizzard actively coding on it.  However I have to assume that most of this functions based on the Item Level of an item.  There has to be a direct correlation between ilvl X equates to X Strength or X Intellect.  Why not carry this same logic forward to PVP gear in general.  At a certain ilevel every single item tends to have the same resilience and pvp power etc.  Why not make these latent stats on every single piece of gear in the game?  There will always be players who only care about PVP and always be players that only care about PVE.  However without really meaning to you are asking players to choose which game they want to play.

What about Dabblers?

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In both raiding and pvp you have drawn lines in the sand based on gear determining at what point someone actually becomes effective.  In order to be anything but canon fodder in on a PVP battleground you need a certain level of the PVP focused stats.  This makes breaking into PVP a horrendously frustrating experience for most players.  Sure there is a crafted set of PVP gear, and anyone with enough cash or tradeskill expertise can knock this set out and be relatively competitive.  However this is a pretty huge chasm to cross going from the PVE world to the PVP one.  The same is not really the case going from PVP to PVE, since the majority of PVP gear is functionally effective to start raiding without being too much of a drain on the raid group that is hosting you.

Additionally since Blizzard seems to relish forcing PVE centric players to PVP… I am looking at you legendary cloak quest line.  It seems only fair to simply do away with the stark difference between PVP and PVE gear at this point.  I am sure there are PVPers out there that can make the same frustrated argument that they hate being forced to PVE.  Making all gear function in both situations seems like a win across the board to me.  Gear should be gear, regardless of how you got it… and so long as the “effort” requirements are the same…  either through weeks spent learning PVE content or weeks spent gaining honor…  the end result should provide similar rewards.

The strength of World of Warcraft is that it is the total package.  Like I said before, there are many games on the market that do this or that aspect of the game better, but no product offering has as many high points for as many different play styles as WoW does.  It is because of this that the line in the sand between PVP and PVE feels all the more arbitrary.  Let players play the game however they like and reap similar rewards from whatever activity they choose to do.  Then again my whole multiple paths of progression diatribe is another topic for another day.  I feel like WoW should embrace the “Wal-mart of MMOs” moniker, because it isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  There will always be niche games that do certain things far better, but it stands alone as the best complete package.

11 thoughts on “Why Have PVP Gear?

  1. A bit late to comment, but I’ll echo what Dobablo said above: allowing gear to be equally applicable in either situation gives you strange situations like where a high end PvPer could be geared for the highest level raid without going through progression, and a high end raider would be one of the best equipped PvPers on the field. The goal is to allow people who just want to focus on one or the other feel a sense of progression that isn’t invalidated because someone from the “other” part of the game waltzed into a high power situation without paying dues.

    This gets more complicated if one route is perceived as “easier” than the other. If PvP were easier to gain gear from, then the way to gear up new raiders would be to have them run a bunch of PvP. I remember during parts of TBC where some best-in-slot items were PvP items, and there was weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth as the raider “scrubs” would go PvP and just do the minimum required to earn their items. This caused the team-focused PvP events to suck because you had someone who just wasn’t invested into the PvP game.

    You’re right, it does suck for people who want to dabble, but the hard-core in each area probably see that as a benefit, not a curse.
    Brian ‘Psychochild’ Green recently posted..Python: PartialMatchDictMy Profile

  2. I tend to agree that the differences between pve and pvp need to be lessened. Lately a lot of games have specialty stats for one mode or both that make the set from the other mode practically useless. Like you said this leads to the situation where you can only really be one or the other but this runs counter to a lot of people that like to play a bit of everything.

    The issue with allowing creep over to other areas is that both areas aren’t balanced in how they release new content and gear. usually in a big update or expansion PvP gear will be more powerful until the raiders catch up, then pve passes pvp power as more raids and dungeons are brought out.

    the solution in my mind is to focus more on crafting the various sets with the actual components needed being completely tradeable
    j3w3l recently posted..Searching for Something in Star Trek OnlineMy Profile

  3. I no longer play World of Warcraft, but I did. I agree with you completely.

    The game dramatically changed since The Burning Crusade, when easier to obtain PvP gear and a PvP-only stat were necessary to counteract just how powerful PvE gear had become. If you PvP’ed primarily (which I did in Vanilla), you had no real shot if a raiding guild decided to have some off-hours fun.

    Though it was definitely needed, I hated the division even then. I love doing both PvP and PvE, so it always felt awkward having to get even more gear. It was also less fun to acquire earlier sets of PvP because you needed it to even be able to enjoy the experience, not just to be drastically more efficient at it.

    I agree that it should just be tied to Item Level, with PvP-specific gear having a more efficient use of other stats (and bonuses to Power and Resilience, if necessary). If it causes people to do more of both, then good. I hate how so many MMORPGs players separate themselves into a PvP/PvE dichotomy, often without really even attempting the other with any real seriousness.
    Murf recently posted..Shut down the Black Lion Trading Post | Life As A Digital SaladMy Profile

  4. @Dobablo honestly I am fine with the BEST gear for PVP or BEST gear for PVE coming from the respective camp. I just would like to see all gear be able to functional in all situations. Maybe not for the min/max crowd… but that is fine because they will be super focused on getting those stats they want. However I would like to see the PVP gear thing far less of a deep dive into shallow water. If all gear had functional PVP stats, and then the best season gear have the best stats… it would be more equitable to all players. This just seems like the ideal time to move away from the harsh split between gear types into something that makes more sense for more players.

    Then again I don’t mind players doing both to gear up faster. We used to do weekly arena teams during burning crusade for this reason. I hate pvping with a passion, but I was serious enough at the time about raid performance… to do weekly arena teams for gear to fill out what I was missing. If you want to grind your ass off to get gear… I have no problem with that. Thing is that is only ever going to be a top 1% of players type thing… I care far more about the 99% that would benefit from giving pvp a less stark entry point.
    belghast recently posted..Why Have PVP Gear?My Profile

  5. Several reasons to keep a PvP/PvE gear divide.

    1. Making equal gear obtainable from equal paths for the same degree of effort if is very tricky especially when you consider that PvE drops are essentially random.
    2. The most efficient method to gear up would be do PvE for drops & PvP to purchase items that haven’t dropped yet, forcing both PvP and PvE players to compete in the “other” game.

  6. Yes this. I am a dabbler, but I have no desire to procure THREE SETS of gear (one for dos, one for tank, one for pvp), and I know that the pvpers would rather me not be there because I cannot provide pvp power. So, I pick pve and only enter battlegrounds during those dreaded holiday weeks…where pvpers should get cookies for all they put up with.

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