Right, so a ton of great comments have come out of the incredibly cranky PvP gear post I made.
Enough comments that I’d like to move the discussion somewhere fresh.
The thing that seems to have emerged is a common thread about people that feel that they have to PvP for the gear upgrades, whether from Arena or from Battleground Honor, in order to be able to gear their mains or alts up to be viable for joining their progressed raiding guilds that have moved far past the starter raid content.
Some of these folks are already raiding, have progressed quite far, and just want to be able to get another alt up to speed to shore up a week slot in the guild roster, but are frustrated having to ask the guild to stop raiding T5 or T6 to fall back on the low end content to run them through earlier progression raids for drops and badges to get them up to speed.
Other folks have made it clear that, when you have minimal time to play, certainly not the kind of time that a serious raiding guild takes, or if you mostly play solo because you can’t reliably find 4 friends of the right class balance to join you, PvP becomes the best solution to get excellent gear upgrades that fit your schedule or style.
The reason that PvP has become the solo gearing route, in my opinion, is simply that the gear that was intended to allow PvP players to compete equally on the field with PvE raiders of end game content has now been released with a reduced difficulty to obtain it, while the corresponding raiding gear it was meant to match remains at the same level of difficulty, in general terms of time investment involved, to get.
We can talk about to what extent Badge rewards have sped up the gearing process, it’s been talked about as part of the way Blizz has sped things up. Also, many encounters in raids have been retuned to be easier. Not easy, just easier. Valid points, certainly.
But the fact remains, PvP gear comparable, for some classes, to Tier 4 and Tier 5 is available through solo play and a variable time investment while the similarly ranked PvE gear still requires large group commitments and significant time.
Is the problem simply that Blizzard has made PvP gear more accessible to fresh starting PvP players to encourage them to join in and have a fighting chance, while not making the equivalently ranked PvE gear similarly accessible to new raiders to encourage raiding guilds to step up the difficulty of the content they attempt?
I think that everyone could agree that raiding more difficult content requires more powerful gear to succeed in the fights. You must step up your survivability, damage output, healing capability and overall endurance as a raid in order to have a solid chance in the higher difficulty raids.
At the same time, however, the early raid content was intended as a training ground, introducing progressively harder challenges requiring greater skill at managing multiple adds, effectively conserving mana over long durations, moving as a team and coordinating attacks or activities in timed sequences… many things that all come together to be used in future fights the higher up the progression chart you go.
Is it that raiders that have learned on the way up are PvPing and getting that gear for their alts so that they can be viable in raids, and since they did learn as they went through the first time, it’s just a question of needing to get the gear now?
Maybe for those kind of raiders, what is needed is a token system similar to what they have now for turning in PvE tokens in exchange for PvP gear… but instead, the token can be transferred to another character owned by the same account only. So you could gain tokens from your T6 raiding that you could mail to one of your other characters, that could be turned in for gear of the next lower rank, Tier 5 in this case, to get them up to speed without redirecting the time of your entire guild.
Or maybe what is needed is something like what I mentioned in a previous comment, where there are more daily quests that guarantee a single Badge of Justice drop, dailies that you can start doing at level 65, so that as you progress through levels you can be doing solo activities at your own pace that will ensure you can have gear that will make you powerful in your solo play, and will give you a good start on early raids.
Or maybe you folks have far better suggestions on how to balance the availability of PvE gear with PvP gear, so that you can still get to the point where you can join your friends and have fun, without bypassing content that you’ve never seen before that helps you learn how to work together and overcome different PvE challenges, and still let people that already have those skills gear up to join their friends at the top.
Or maybe you think that if someone wants to bring an alt to their T6 guild to play a character other than their main, they should find a way to gear it up on their own, without bothering their guild, and quit whining about it. (An opinion expressed in an email I got).
One thing is clear, and that is that equipment you can get through PvP play must be on an even footing or better for PvP than what is available to PvE raiders.
And PvP players enjoy World PvP a great deal, so making their gear only usable in Arenas and BGs isn’t a simple solution… if you have the gear, it should be yours all the time, anyway. Limiting where you can wear it just seems very wrong to me. As wrong as the folks that got cool mounts in AQ40 and can only ever use them there.
I think that the best solution has to involve making it equally as attractive to gain your PvE gear as it is to obtain PvP gear. And since PvP gear of Merciless rank can be gained through solo PvP play in battlegrounds, then I think the equivalent PvE ranked gear should be able to be obtained through the exact same level of effort.
Maybe expand the Badge of Honor system to the Battleground gear, and balance the gear available from Badges of Honor to match the gear levels released with each PvP season?
I don’t like that because it doesn’t address a player needing to learn the earlier game mechanics of raids, and it still forces players interested in PvE to PvP for the gear even if they don’t want to. But at least it would have the benefit of giving every player the same chance at gear upgrades via PvP, not just those whose class mechanics make PvP gear equally useful in PvE.
Okay, I have to go do some engineering stuff. So tell us… what do YOU think?