My thoughts on PvP gear in general

My previous post came out of playing a lot of PvP over the last few weeks, as you have heard about ad infinitum, ad nauseaum.

I started by identifying Shadow Priest upgrades, seeing what a big jump the merciless Gladiator’s Spellblade was over my crafted Eternium Runed Blade, and decided to go for it.

Along the way, I encouraged Cassieann to join me and go for her Merciless Gladiator’s swords, because I knew from talking with every other Rogue we game with that the PvP swords just kick the hell out of the other options we have. And agrees.

But then I started wondering… is there anything worth getting for my Druid? I knew I had just about the best gear I could get otherwise… but shoulders have always been my weak point.

So I went and checked them out, did my comparisons, and left Champion’s Hall flabbergasted. The Merciless shoulders are HOW good?

Now, I browse the Merciless gear for both my favorite 70s, and I see that, for example, the PvP cloth Bracers are equivalent to the Runed Spell Cuffs, or better… and wouldn’t cost me hard-earned Badges. I could take the Badges I’d earn and spend them on something else, like the Icon of the Silver Cresent.

So… what are my thoughts on all this?

It’s complete bullshit.

I’m going to be completely blunt about this; making it a shitload easier to get PvP gear that is equivalent to Tier 5, WITHOUT making it easier to actually GET Tier 5, is bullshit.

And no, I am not advocating making it easier to get Tier 5. Be patient, and actually read this before you flame.

No, I’m saying they should never have made it easy to get this PvP gear in the first place.

It was one thing when the Gladiator Season 1 epics were available from Honor. They were good, sure. Playing BGs would get you gear comparable to Heroics and Kara, a few wasted stat points on Resilience for the non-tank classes, but you could go get a few pieces to shore up your weak points. It was comparable to Heroics and Kara, and close to Tier 4 25 mans.

It was still a bit over the top, but I felt at the time that, even though I knew a few pieces were better than my PvE gear, it wasn’t such a large jump as to make me go PvP for it. And it wasn’t so good that I felt that I was actually doing less than I could be to be the best tank I can.

Now, however. Now, it’s just bullshit.

The point of raiding is supposed to be to learn to work together as a team, coordinate activities, learn strategies together, WORK together to overcome obstacles and succeed as a team. There is a reason that Blizzard has stated that there SHOULD be better rewards for those that succeed in a 25 man raid over a 10 man. Blizzard has made it clear they feel that, even though the content may be the same for 10 man or 25 man raids in Wrath of the Lich King, the rewards for completing it at 25 man difficulty are going to be significantly higher.


Because it takes more skill, effort and teamwork to get 25 people to excel together than 10.

BUT… what the hell is the point if I can solo in a BG, wandering around, lost and confused, having no knowledge whatsoever about how to play my class, and after a few weeks, or even days depending on how much time I have to play, get Tier 5 comparable gear anyway?

Sure, it’s not the same for very class. I’m sure that the balance of stats for PvP gear favors burst damage and survivability, things that casters and healers may not necessarily favor.

But for a feral druid tank, I used to be able to say, sure a few pieces of PvP gear are good, but on the whole you want such and such PvE gear to have the right balance of Health, Dodge, and Defense Rating/uncrittable. Taking too much PvP gear can be a bad thing. Now, with Merciless… not so much.

And there is another thing about it, too.

Let’s be honest. Wearing PvE gear tells me that you were there, and you at least did well enough that you didn’t sabotage your raid’s chances for success. The higher the difficulty of the challenge required to attain your PvE gear, the better your ability to work together with others, and your knowledge of your class, should be. I see someone in Tier5, I give them mental props for knowing how to play their class. Tier 6? Even more so. I don’t automatically assume they are rockstars, but I figure they know what the hell to do with an Ice Trap, a Feral Charge, or Seed of Corruption.

All I know when I see you in all PvP gear is that you showed up. Period. Grats, you.

Arenas set a skill bar, yes, damn right. A very high one, to do well. But in taking gear from Arenas and placing it in Honor, you are removing that bar.

Seriously, it’s bullshit.

And yes, I’m benefiting from it, and I am telling others to also. Because I play the game the way the game is, not how I think it should be. I won’t cheat, and I won’t buy gold, but if Blizzard hands out druid tanking gear better than I will ever see from raiding, just for showing up and melting faces or clawing butt, then I am damn well going to go get them. And I will tell you to do the same. I’m not just gonna sit here and bitch and whine about how they get the good gear.

Hell no, I’m gonna go get me some. 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.

To put it another way, screw the Marquis of Queensbury rules, get out there and FIGHT, you bastards!

But I still think it’s bullshit.

I’m already prejudiced against players that show up for raids in all PvP gear. God, you should hear me in voice chat with Cassie when we join a Kara pug and I inspect the other players… and see a Hunter in all PvP gear.

It’s not nice of me to do it, but time after time I have learned that the player in a PvE raid in ALL PvP gear just won’t know how to work well with others, or how to play their class in a raid. I know there are exceptions, but the people in 100% PvP gear just… don’t get it.

Because it is my personal experience, from actually playing a lot of PvE, that people that spend all of their time in PvP do NOT automatically know how to play their class well in a PvE raid environment, the opinions of Amanda Dean be damned.

Amanda Dean, on one of our recent WoW Insider shows, stated her opinion that people that are good at PvP are just inherently more skilled than raiders. They’re just better. And she shared why she thinks that way. It seemed to center around having to know other player’s abilities, what they are likely to do or try in a given sitaution, and knowing how to counter it by using your class skills and talents.

Sure, that’s awesome when your opponents are other players.

Sorry Amanda, but I’ve actually SEEN the PvE content, and I don’t buy it. PvP success and twitch gaming reflexes, dealing burst damage and high crit and knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your opposing player character opponents, while requiring tons of skill and knowledge, DO NOT TRANSLATE into being better at PvE content than the raiders that live there. 

Go gear yourself at Kara entry level, join a like-geared group of PvPers, and after you do your full clear by working together and understanding how you fit in the team, tell me again how superior you are. I’ll pay a lot more attention.

Until then, excuse me while I think that your PvP mastery has not taught you squat about mana conservation skills, sustained DPS and threat management. 

And while you may have learned to work together with your Arena team, practicing coordination and communication, I submit to you that the Battlegrounds do not FORCE you to work together in order to have any success. It is each players choice to do so, and if you choose not to communicate or work together, you will still eventually win your epics.

Not so in PvE. Not hardly. 

I think that opening up the gear to Honor was a slippery slope whose ramifications I, at least, am only now coming to fully realize.

Is it just that Blizzard knows Wrath is coming out soon, that all this stuff will be obsolete anyway, and they will release a new ranking system for PvP gear that prevents this from going too far? Is Merciless the last time we will see Arena gear released into the wilds of BG? Or is Vengeful up next?

The Arena ranking requirements for some of the pieces was a good start to setting a skill bar to PvP gear. I just think they set that bar too damn low.

Maybe they figure that, with the new PvP rules about destructible terrain, siege weapons and vehicles, and new BGs, that they can use that as an excuse to revamp their PvP reward system again, so the stuff you can get now is a last hurrah? That next time, if you’re not the uber leet, you’re just not gonna see it?

I just don’t know.

I do know that it irritates me to know that, while I make plans to have fun running content that I hope will provide me with a drop that I would really like to improve my overall performance, or those Badges I need to save up so someday I can get my Tier 4 equivalent gear, I could be in a PvP Battleground, watching foul mouthed BG chat, and earning my ‘holy crap’ epics.

I don’t like that feeling, the feeling that while I am having fun in PvE, that in some way I’m just spinning my gears and wasting my time trying to get a lucky useable drop when I could be in a BG getting something lots better.

I almost feel guilty playing and having fun, isntead of PvPing like a good tank should.

That’s just… damn it, I keep coming back to it, it’s just bullshit.


62 thoughts on “My thoughts on PvP gear in general

  1. Ok, BBB asked that we let this post and the personal attacks (not dialogue, but personal comments and emails of hatred and nastiness) stop and people are continuing. So rather than allow that to continue, the post will be locked now. And for the first time in the history of the blog.

    There will be people who will see that as censorship or something to additionally complain about, but the bottom line is this is a blog about a game that is supposed to be fun and enjoyable. Maybe people are using sarcasm and are joking, but it’s not coming across that way and there’s only so much constant flood of nastiness that a person can take before they start to take it personally and not as a dialogue about a game. 50+ comments and people making their own blog posts to point out how wrong they think someone is and personal emails that are vicious and nasty aren’t fun and ruin the game for our family.

    So it’s time to move on. Tomorrow will be PBEM story time and then hopefully we’ll return next week with other fun game play to report on. Thanks.



  2. **Just an FYI: In WotLK, resilience will not work in an instance. Not that this matters hugely for most people, but it might help the pve/pvp issue somewhat.**

    I think that is silly and solves nothing.


  3. There are so many reasons I disagree with this post. So many. But mainly . . . the fact that too many people can’t grasp that not everyone can play the game like they do. I won’t bother elaborating. You seem set in your ways.


  4. People who play on PvE servers have a distinct advantage to those who play on PvP servers: you chose when you can be vulnerable, if ever. That’s why the half-assed “Arena-only gear” solution won’t work. Highly progressed guilds will have a huge advantage over actual PvPers on World PvP. Staying unflag on high turmoil zones is not an option on PvP servers. And World PvP is one of the funnest things to do.

    If you want to do well enough on your area (be it PvE or PvP), you can (as of S3) bypass the other side’s gear offer.

    If you want to be great, you have to cross over as many pieces as you can. Most PvP healers will be drooling over the Pendant of the Lost Ages ( ) and many casters will be DKP-fighting for rings with armor. Mind you, there aren’t many PvP items in Raids, but those that do exist have a medium to high impact on Arena.


  5. Just an FYI: In WotLK, resilience will not work in an instance. Not that this matters hugely for most people, but it might help the pve/pvp issue somewhat.

    As to having great gear being a mark of PvE-quality: there are a number of people on my server who are making a ton of money in exchange for giving them 3pT6. Not T5, T6. Mother, Council and Illidan. 10k for the whole thing. 10k gold sounds like a lot, but 3.3k gold per T6 piece is pretty easily done, and is on par in a time investment with the honor rewards assuming about 100g an hour (which is pretty easily done).

    Then there was Alex Ziebart on WoWinsider who was advocating buying your Hand of A’dal title.

    Gear is not a measure of skill. Or at least most isn’t. Getting that armored netherdrake might be, but that’s about it. We have keyboard turner rogues who have dual warglaives on our BG. We have a T6-geared mage who does not know how to make food. That awesome gear your worked your ass off for someone else bought on eBay. That’s just the way it is.


  6. Restricting PvP gear to BGs and Arena and/or PvE gear to Instances and Raids is stupid. It really is, so stop suggesting it. It doesn’t even come close to solving anything.

    Which makes me ask, what’s the problem? Why do you have an issue with somebody sporting SX gear? You don’t want that guy in your raid? Why? What if he knows his shit, know how to control his aggro, and is a great guy to hang with? He shows up in Merc Gear and suddenly he’s got cooties?

    Yes, there are people in PvP gear that don’t know jack about PvE. Yes, there are people in awesome PvE gear that couldn’t kill a lvl 50 toon. Just don’t invite those people into your raid or onto your arena team. BUT give them a chance to prove themselves first. Give them a shot to hang or shine on their skill, not their gear.


  7. Siobahn makes an excellent point. As someone who did some BGs for gear because our tiny guild couldn’t even put together a decent 5-man heroic group, I’m not ashamed of my “welfare epix” (and lord how I hate that term!). However, I did work for my gear: I never gave up in any BG, no matter how badly we were getting beat. And at the time, it was the best gear I could get.

    Now, I’m one of the top healers in a T5-content raiding guild, and there are no PvP pieces on my Priest except the 8K trinket (why is there no badge equivalent, anyway??). My hunter, on the other hand–who once was my main and is now forced by raid needs to be an alt, still sports several pieces of hard-earned PvP gear. And when he gets to go on a 5-man heroic, or *gasp* even into Kara (but generally can’t roll until Mains & Alt-Specs roll), he kicks ass because I know how to play.

    But I agree with the point that one doesn’t really have to do anything but move once in awhile in BGs to get gear with outstanding stats. I DISAGREE with the point that one doesn’t have to do much more to get badge gear. If you’re only getting your badges by doing SSO dailies, you’ll never amass enough to get much, if anything.

    The only other way to get badge gear is through HEROIC 5-mans and raiding. I’ve yet to see the heroic instance that can be routinely 4-manned, which means everyone in the group has to contribute. And yes, Kara can be 9-manned, but it ain’t easy–and I’m pretty certain if someone’s just “along for the ride” they won’t be for long. So I guess I don’t understand the pooh-poohing of badge gear. If you can’t win the rolls or the bids for raid drops, badges are certainly an excellent alternative, and not one to be ashamed of.


  8. Lassirra… I am sorry you feel that I shouldn’t have expressed myself in that way. And I really hope that you don’t feel that the way I talked to him somehow means that I do not want, or value, any comment that you would feel like making.

    I’m thinking the core problem is, I still think of the people that come here to the blog as my friends. That’s how I started and how I’ve gone. When we get into a discussion on stuff, I figure it’s just a bunch of friends hashing it out.

    I think that, if you look back at that article I did ranting about the talk show hosts going off on people for respecting the confederate flag, that I certainly didn’t flame anyone in the comments, and most of the people that commented there were pretty explicit in stating they thought I was not only wrong, but dead wrong. Horrifically wrong. I think there were a few indications folks thought I was a clueless idiot, too. And that’s fine with me, I learned quite a bit from the comments there. In many ways, I came to agree that when so many people have deeply held personal convictions about the way the confederate flag has been taken as a modern symbol of racists and bigots, that my personal respect for the people that fought at that time for what they believed was right just isn’t really valid as an argument in modern times. I need to separate my respect for those that fought for their freedom, from the symbol that now is simply another rallying cry for racism. I may be slow, but I care about the opinions of my friends and try to think about what you say and adjust my own attitude if I’m wrong.

    This isn’t the official WoW forums. I blog here because I really like the people I meet here, including you. I really do. I feel that I am among friends. And I want to hear the opinions of my friends. That’s why there is no verification words or whatever to limit who can post comments. At least, there shouldn’t be.

    Lassirra… be honest, do you really think that I would ever shut down or belittle your opinions? Would a friend ever do that?

    Maybe I’m out to lunch, and the rest of you think that I’m wrong, but I do think I should get to choose to say ‘bye’ when I meet someone here I just don’t want to hang out with.

    I just don’t… I don’t think of myself as being that big. This ain’t an official production of the yadda yadda network, where I have to watch my mouth or the sponsors will pull their ads. Damn, if I am that big, then I need to seriously revamp my attitude, because I’m being all personal and stuff here, and talking about personal non-WoW projects and throwing up funny vids I find and personal writing projects and all sorts of stuff. I never intended to share that with asshats, ever.

    Just with you folks that I think of as friends.

    If someone actually comes here to take the time to tell me I am an epeen-waving braggard that hates PvPers and is an elitist raiding snob that needs to get over himself… well, is that someone YOU want for a friend?

    I’m sorry this has gotten so long. But I feel very badly that someone I enjoy chatting with and whose blog I reads and whose opinion I respect now thinks that I am all full of myself and that you don’t feel comfortable commenting here anymore.

    Edited, because I’m at the point now that I’m so burnt out I can’t think straight anymore. I do apologize to you for spelling your name wrong. At least I know you’re blog well. 🙂 My 70 hunter loves it.


  9. I understand and respect the position, but I just can’t agree, BBB. PVP gear has immensly helped my guild be able to run content. It has been a godsend for getting us to Gruul and getting a second kara team going. Glad honor gear helped get a truckload of new or undergeared lvl 70s that were not ready to go into a heroic, much less a raid instance, into a position where they could start earning badges, and learning kara. There isn’t a need to run old 70 instances ad naseum for rep or an elusive drop to replace a green, when someone could earn honor instead (solo or grouped) and with enough dedication and time, get gear that would let them move faster into the big leagues. It moved people from the lfg channel or bumming around shatt into instances where they could participate and have fun. Runs are now faster, smoother, and we have a bigger pool of people we can draw from for raids than we would without great gear being available through pvp. And it has gotten even better with merciless.

    The point is, ‘free’ or ‘easy’ epics have made it much more possible and practical for us to raid. I am having more fun now with the 4 hour kara clears than I would with a longer, two day clear that a less geared playerset would produce. And as raids get harder, and more gear is required, then stuff like tier 4 will fall by the wayside. No one sheds tears for molten core. Rather than make it harder to gear up, I like that blizzard makes it easier, since now more people can access content, but there is still a clear gap in determination and skill between a tier 5 guild, a BT guild, and a Sunwell guild. Merciless won’t change that much.

    But here is the solution I would go with: I agree with you that people shouldn’t be forced to pvp to get your tier 5 equivilent. What I would do is expand the badge gear system, and make pvp gear (and some new pve gear) available for badges. I would create new daily quests to get badges that anyone could do, but that would go faster for players with more skill. That way, people who are into pve can stay out of battlegrounds. Make the good gear more accessable to different kinds of players, and let them get it by playing the game the way they want to. Hell, I am still waiting for RP dailies that reward cool stuff. The midsummer blossoms were kind of close to that: go to exotic locals, get fun rewards and cash for doing so.

    I think nerfing all the pvp gear, or restricting it to battlegrounds and arenas would be a huge mistake. Would you wear gear that was only good in certain instances, and crappy everywhere else? would you feel as impressed when you got it? would you take as much pride in your character? ” I know I look like a noob in all greens now, but when I get into the eye, watch out!” I don’t see that being satisfying at all.


  10. And no, I am not advocating making it easier to get Tier 5. Be patient, and actually read this before you flame.

    That’s because they already did make Tier 5 easier to get when they removed the attunements. How many guilds that couldn’t get organized past Gruul’s are now in Hyjal and Black Temple? PvP equivalents always lag a bit behind.

    No, I’m saying they should never have made it easy to get this PvP gear in the first place.

    The only reason that this is really upsetting is because of mudflation. As new gear is introduced (S4/T6), it makes your existing gear worth less. You worked hard for that gear, so it makes your efforts feel trivialized. However, PvP players shouldn’t be punished because the system is broken. You should be mad that Blizzard won’t address the root cause of the problem which is mudflation and lack of foresight.

    Because it takes more skill, effort and teamwork to get 25 people to excel together than 10.

    For the honor gear (not the Guardian stuff, but the S2), I would agree that it takes more skill and teamwork than Battlegrounds. In terms of actual effort or time played, I think that’s pretty arguable. From a time played perspective, I think 1000 honor per hour is doing well on average. So the S2 mainhand weapon takes approximately 17 hours of Battlegrounds, and that presumes you can get 20 EOS tokens while achieving 1000 honor per hour. I think once you factor in the marks, it’s more like 20-22 hours per Epic.

    However, the one area that this honor gear has a distinct advantage is choice. This is a big reason why the weapons are a big deal for Rogues. You can choose the weapon type, so if you are Swords then you can be assured of having awesome Swords. In any PvE scenario, you are at the mercy of random drops. You could get what you need right away or you may never get it. Again, this is a problem that stems from the game design, not from any inherent issue with the PvP honor rewards.

    This is also a big reason Badges of Justice are popular. Speaking of which… You could easily make all the same complaints about how easy and powerful the Badge gear is to obtain. If you figure that the average Badge run (including the Daily Heroic) gives you about 4 badges and that each run takes a maximum of two hours, then each Epic will take you between 18 and 50 hours. And quite a bit less than that if you also run Kara once a week and can cut the average time of your run to an hour or hour and a half.

    wandering around, lost and confused, having no knowledge whatsoever about how to play my class, and after a few weeks, or even days depending on how much time I have to play, get Tier 5 comparable gear anyway?

    I’ve raided with a few people I could say that about… 😀 On a more serious note, I agree that AFKers and non-contributers are a complaint of mine in Battlegrounds. For one thing, I think people should have some system that works where they can kick out people. Secondly, I want to see RATED Battlegrounds instead of Join as Group. So, for example, S1 would have no requirement other than honor and S2/Guardian would have honor + RATED BGs. I’ve always maintained that I thought it was asinine that the only RATED matches were the equivalent of Team Deathmatch when they could also be Team CTF, Team Dominion, etc. A highly ranked AV team would be as difficult to organize as any 25-man raid.


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