Sunday, December 09, 2007

Welfare Epics, Part II

As I was reading the comments to the previous post, I realized that I had ignored one of my own ideas, that of the Two Views of Loot: Loot As Reward; and Loot as Investment.

My post was entirely from a Loot as Reward perspective, while many of the comments in opposition were from a Loot as Investment perspective. So let's break the problem down and look at it from both perspectives.

Loot As Reward

Under Loot As Reward, PvP loot is far easier to obtain than PvE loot. If we contrasted a new raid guild starting out now against a new start up PvP team, the PvP would get T6/S3 quality gear first. As well, they need to put in far less time and don't have to worry about repair costs.

The quality of reward matters under Loot as Reward. You want the best reward possible, which translates to the best gear. While the new raid guild is earning T4, the new PvP team is earning S3.

And that's unfair to PvE.

Loot As Investment

However, looking at the situation through the Loot as Investment prism reveals an important difference. The raid uses T4 gear to beat T5 content, uses T5 gear to beat T6 content, and will use T6 gear to beat Sunwell. In contrast, a PvP team needs S3 gear to beat S3 teams.

Because of the level playing field, you need to be comparable gear-wise in order to have a fair fight. Otherwise, the best teams will always have a lead on the lower teams, and it will be much harder for a new PvP team to make an impact.

So a hardcore PvPer, one who wants to compete for the Gladiator title or the epic flyer, needs to get S3 as fast as they can.

Conclusions

It's important to note that under Loot as Investment, the pace of PvE rewards doesn't really matter. Victory is measured by different standards: killing bosses, or rating achieved. Unfortunately, both views of loot are valid and deserve to be taken into consideration.

If Loot as Reward did not matter, why make S2 and S3 armor? Blizzard could have stuck everyone in S1 armor and kept the playing field level. They could have tagged armor with a "PvP flag", and only allowed you to wear PvP armor in the arenas, maybe with a heavy debuff if you are wearing a piece of non-PvP armor. But Loot as Reward is important to us, and thus we get new upgrades every season.

I think it's clear from the above analysis that Loot as Reward conflicts with Loot as Investment. Loot as Reward wants a slower, smoother upgrade path. S3 must be earned, and part of that earning is gaining S2 and S1. Loot as Investment wants a faster, spikier upgrade path in order to get everyone to a level playing field.

So how can we resolve this conflict?

My thought is that different areas of the PvP spectrum are dominated by different views. Low-rated teams are more likely to be PvPing for the gear reward, and are not really in contention for any of the higher rewards. In contrast, high-rated teams are competing against each other for titles and ranking, and the armor falls into the category of investment, rather than reward.

There is an inflection point, probably somewhere around 1750 rating, where you cease to look at PvP as a source of epics only, and look at it as a competition for ranking. So I would suggest a solution that took this shift into account.

My solution would be to have two purchase prices. An S3 epic would either require (numbers made up for an example):

1) 1750+ rating and 2000 Arena points

Or

2) The equivalent S2 piece and 1500 Arena points

The idea is break up Arena rewards into the areas that they dominate. Where Loot as Investment dominates, we have a fast progression that must be earned through skill. Where Loot as Reward dominates, we have slower, more natural progression.

The key idea here--which I did not consider in my original post--is that both views of loot are valid, and both need to be considered in any potential solution.

36 comments:

Jason said...

What you're forgetting in all of that is that the fresh 5v5 arena team is going to be wearing nothing at all of note. It will take them quite some time to afford an entire set of S3 gear, especially if they're well below 1500. So, while it is a reward, it is not a reward without a signification investment of time.

Likewise, PvE gear is also based on investment of time. However, there are double or more mitigating factors that will keep people from obtaining PvE gear on the same rate of speed that PvP gear is obtainable on.

The evening out factor is that eventually, you will have gear of a quality that will nearly completely mitigate any challenge in either situation. The resolving factor between the two then,is that PvP will likely get boring far sooner than PvE, simply due to the lack of overall content when compared to PvE.

Augustian said...

I think this system of variable prices would punish new PvP'ers too much just for being new. A BT guild can gear up a new 70 priest inside Kara within 2 weeks. For a new PvP'er it would take 2 months to get the S3 legs if they cannot break 1750, which is kinda silly.

Gwaendar said...

I just don't get the raiders here. PvE appears to be more and more broken, since there seems to be less and less people willing to put up with that form of progression.

Yet totally similar to the average nerf cries who'd rather clamor for everyone else to be brought down to the same crappy level as they are at, all I read in the various raiders point of view about arena gear is how to "fix" that one. Never mind that it obviously works so well that raiding becomes an unattractive proposition in comparison - it HAS to be PvP which must get fixed.

Sorry guys, all Arena gear does is expose raiding for what it is, a 3-years old broken system. Instead of getting on a limb to find whatever original ways to put PvPers through new hoops and trying to separate them into "those who do it for gear and those who play for the ratings", why don't you spend 10% of that energy you put into decrying pvp loot into coming up with constructive propositions to fix raiding?

I believe there's enough on your plate for that, like better loot distribution methods (make all token-based for instance, allow token redemtion when moving to the next tier and stuff), raid ID and lockout times, trash respawns, healer and tank burnout being some of the topics you could spend some thoughts on.

The problem isn't PvP at the moment, it's PvE. Don't fix what isn't broken. Concentrate on raiding.

Gwaendar said...

Oh, and BTW, have you actually tried getting to 1750 rating yourself? Do you have any notion how tough it becomes when you're sitting at 1650ish and just can't progress because you've hit a gear wall?

Rohan said...

gwaendar, the fix to make raiding rewards equivalent to PvP is trivial:

When Season 2 came out, the T4 bosses such as Gruul should have had their loot tables reworked to drop T5. When Season 3 came out, Gruul would start dropping T6.

That's the equivalent system, in my view. And I think that's a terrible system.

Raiding rewards are fundamentally linear. Challenges are harder and harder, and you are rewarded with better and better loot.

PvP is not linear. For any given season, you are earning whatever the top-of-the-line reward is, regardless of the actual challenge involved.

Maybe it's elitism speaking, but I don't think you should be able to lose 10 games a week and end up with T6 level gear. You should be able to earn something, but not the top end stuff.

Also, I have written extensively on most of the raiding flaws you talk about.

Rohan said...

I think this system of variable prices would punish new PvP'ers too much just for being new. A BT guild can gear up a new 70 priest inside Kara within 2 weeks. For a new PvP'er it would take 2 months to get the S3 legs if they cannot break 1750, which is kinda silly.

The quality of reward matters! The BT guild is gearing the priest up with T4/S1 level gear. The PvP'er is gearing up with T6/S3 gear. That's the difference.

I Pee Vee Eee said...

I really liked the fact that all of the people who posted that the pvp system of progression is perfect ignored Megan's comment in the previous post.

Yes personal ratings should be on all the gear. The only people who would be unhappy about that are the unskilled players in a 10 loss per week 5v5 who will soon have their iLvL 141 epics in all slots but shoulders and weapon, at which point they can cheaply buy s2 gear which is quite sufficient for what they are going to be doing anyways.

If you want PvP based around skill, make a clear path of progression around the personal rating system.

If you want PvP based around time invested, leave it the way it is.

If you want raiding to be free of PvP gear, then you want a higher Item budget on resil.

If you want free epics for ten losses per week I bet you can find a better use of $15 per month. (and if you cant, feel free to send it to me I PROMISE that I can)

Augustian said...

"The quality of reward matters! The BT guild is gearing the priest up with T4/S1 level gear. The PvP'er is gearing up with T6/S3 gear. That's the difference."

True. The simplest fix is probably to just slap a required personal rating on everything and tada, you have a skill based system that allows for character progression and lets skilled players get better rewards.

Daemion said...

For example, most DPS will sport the best PvP weapon, and PvE weapons will be sharded when they drop.

I feel the problem here is more about how PvE lootdistribution works then PvP. Bossdrops are random and the reward is diffrent for everyone in the raid in PvE. While in PvP everyone gets rewarded equally. If you want a certain weapon, chances are you'll have to wait several weeks to see it drop and then still have to compete with others in the raid to get it. While with the PvP system it will take you several weeks too, but you are guaranteed to get it. Why spend DKP on something when you can get something that is equal/better within a reasonable timeframe, and is guaranteed?

Also I think it isn't that easy to get full S3 gear really. Cheapest piece is 1150 arenapoint i beleave. It would be a nice accomplishment for blue geared players (pre kara) to keep a constant 1500 rating. This would give them about 350ish points / week (?) still needing 3-4 weeks to get one slot upgraded and no chance to get a diffrent slot upgraded. When the same player joins a raidingguild, just with Kara - Gruul on farm, he might not have as good gloves dropping as the S3 ones, but he has a chance to upgrade every slot. A player that combines both has 'optimal progression' ofcourse.
The situation changes when members from a BT raidingguild decide to form a pvp team. Imagine they would meet the 'blue geared' people that I used as an example after they have been pvping several weeks, having upgraded 1-2 slots. They would most likely wipe the floor with them. If they would encounter a 'full S3' team they probably still would be able to put up a decent fight, or atleast not be without a chance just based on gear, eventhough they are still 'newbies' in the arena. The suggestion of keeping PvP gear restricted to PvP content should go for PvE gear too, but this would probably be impossible to implement.

Something that also deserves to be mentioned under the category of welfare epics but seems to be left out: The crafted items. Spellfire, Spellstrike, Frozen Shadowweave, etc. Those are the 'true' welfare epics in my opinion.

Daddy Gamer said...

Dont forget the fun-factor
(I havent read all comments thouroughly so someone might have mentioned this)

I will take me as an example. I had to downsize my playing time for a while. When coming back I wanted to play again - something, and with my old friends.
Before I was a warr tank - that road was closed because getting outgeared since they had progressed further.
Well. Getting the PvP gear was a souloution and go dps. It is fun, I can play with old friends (they are still better geared though) and enjoy the game.

The lowering of tresh holds that Blizzard is doing is to keep everyone still playing - even if they cant keep the pace of hardcore gamers.

The other soloution would have been me stop playing or doing starter heroics w unknown peaople (which would have made me quit too)

The other question is: Do the "easy" PvP gear lessen your gaming experience as a hardcore player? Or do you just want to be far better than others to feel good.
I could imagine that if it is only a pyramidic progress, it will be very empty on the higher levels of progress. Now more ppl can join in for the fun.

Daddy Gamer said...

Oh and btw why dont all play arena then? If it is just sitting and loosing 10 games a week. Then you can fill out your gear nicely.

Dont say "I don't wanna PvP" - its a bit like saying i dont wanna go heroics to get better gear. Well at least before 2.3 now they drop in raids few go heroics at all. Very few complain about that.

Oh, and just a thought about the needing previous arena piece to get the next one. Wont be that good. Will make it easier to keep high ratings and hard to get them for they who dont.

Gwaendar said...

@Rohan Maybe it's elitism speaking, but I don't think you should be able to lose 10 games a week and end up with T6 level gear. You should be able to earn something, but not the top end stuff.

You know, I think I'm going to simply dismiss anyone still bringing this argument up as being of utterly bad faith and disingenuous. You guys keep telling us that raiding is its own reward, what do you care about other people's gear? The people getting their one single piece of S3, the hands, within 5 weeks won't be running MH /BT with you. It doesn't impact you in the slightest.

@Augustian:
The simplest fix is probably to just slap a required personal rating on everything and tada, you have a skill based system that allows for character progression and lets skilled players get better rewards.

That's not just ignoring the PvE loot distribution problem, that's slapping it onto arena, spreading out the crap instead of fixing what is broken. Why don't you guys who all have those brilliant ideas about fixing arena post your team ratings so we actually know the true extent of your experience? Doesn't even have to be your current S3 score, just give us the highest rating you achieved. Seat buying doesn't count.

In the business world, one of the more widespread business process improvement methodology, six sigma, has a basic rule: you aren't supposed to work on processes to which you aren't a stakeholder. Show us you're a stakeholder in arena progression and gear distribution, or stop QQing with your jealousy and pathetic gear envy.

Joanadark/Brekke said...

A couple thoughts.

A) 1750 rating is not hard. Anyone who tells you such is;
-playing with a subpar team setup
-not willing to spec for pvp
-wearing greens

I say this from experience. Myself and a warrior I just picked up off the street recently ground up to ~1750 not too long ago.
I was speced prot for much of the grind. He was initially speced fury because he didnt have a decent 2-hander, and was wearing questing blues and some kara items.

It's not hard.
If you're seriously having trouble at that level than you are simply not putting in the necessary investment, or else can improve yourself as a player in pvp.

Breaking 1900 rating requires season 2/3 gear.
Breaking 1700 does not.


B) Season 3 just started. All the teams got reset.
As a result, there are a bucket load of EXTREMELY nasty teams running around at sub-1850.

If you got the floor wiped with your broken bodies by a team of players all sporting a gladiator tag, it does not mean that arenas REQUIRE you to get full season 3 before you can even start to be competative beyond the 1500 bracket.....it simply means the season just started and you had the bad luck to run into a team of gladiators.


C) Most people, even most gladiators, do not have full merc. Nor do most people have s3 weapons.
In all honesty, the scariest teams you're going to run into as a 1500-rating scrubbin-for-points team is going to be wearing Season 2 with a couple scattered peices of merc.
A team like that is actually not that much different from the scariest team you'd run into pre-season 3.

Just like in PvE, the gear scales, but not that much.

As it has ALWAYS been, the only major gear discrepency that actually makes a difference is that between "0 resilience" and "moderate resilience".
The difference between "season 2" and "season 3" (or even between season 2 and season 1 + the vindicators peices, all gained entirely through honor alone) is almost unnoticable by comparison.

Things like your group composition and simple skill level make a far bigger difference than which season you're wearing.

Doeg said...

Required ratings for gear rewards have already been tried and discarded:
We now call it the "old PvP rank system".

kiryn said...

"Something that also deserves to be mentioned under the category of welfare epics but seems to be left out: The crafted items. Spellfire, Spellstrike, Frozen Shadowweave, etc. Those are the 'true' welfare epics in my opinion."

This has made the most sense to me out of everything in the past 2 posts. I'm a holy/discipline healbot-spec priest. Let me give you MY perspective as a pure PvE player.

As an alchemist/jewelcrafter, I must admit I am somewhat flustered at these newbie priest tailors who come in with their primal mooncloth and whitemend sets who have considerably higher stats than I've gotten from my months of running heroics, gathering badges, running Kara, and more recently getting in to an SSC/TK guild and starting to replace T4 with T5 and ZA drops. There are complete noobs out there with practically no healing experience who have better stats than I do! I can't feel proud of the gear I've worked on getting, because of this. I can't say "yay, I hit 1600 healing" because there's somebody who just hit 70 last week and splurged all their money on crafting mats and already has 1800+ healing. That makes me GRR.

As far as PvP rewards go... I PvPed on my priest at one point, but stopped because I didn't think it was fun in the slightest, and the "work" of PvPing wasn't going to lead to a reward for me because the PvP healing epics are only good for PvP healing. Seriously, the PvP-reward healing stuff has zero mana regen and S1 epics are therefore barely on par with my blue non-heroic Hallowed stuff. That's sad. What's the point? So I don't PvP (at least, not on my main, that's what alts are for).

But I think it's a good thing that PvP epics are good and easy to get. If other people in my guild enjoy PvP, more power to them. If PvPing earns my fellow raiding guildmembers gear upgrades that make our weekly boss kills faster and easier, all the better! If they don't, what do I care what they're doing in their spare time? I don't see a conflict.

Doeg said...

Sorry for the double-post...

Am I the only one who has to spend days or even weeks PUG-ing BGs for single pieces of PvP gear? (RL gets in the way, you know...)

I would agree with comments that assert that it would be an error to respond to complaints by breaking PvP -- rather, fix raiding instead!
IMO, the bottom line may be a time problem aggravated by the reward system.

Raiders need 10 persons minimum, and 25 persons for advanced raids.
PvP-ers can PUG the BGs anytime, and need as few as 2 to form an Arena team.

So a raider might spend two or three 5-hour raid sessions in a week for a 10- or 15-hour total (some of that just waiting around). They probably spend some hours in preparation, and may have to farm gold or do dailies to finance raiding.
PvP-ers PUG-ing BGs can put in as many hours a day as they choose because of automatic queuing (no coordinating 10+ persons) and flexible time (since BGs generally last less than 30 minutes and you can pretty much come and go as you please). And repair and consumable costs can be minimal in PvP.

Therefore, my guess is that a moderately-serious PvP-er could easily spend FAR more time in the BGs than a raider can spend raiding; it's therefore not surprising that PvP gear is earned faster than raid gear.

And on the reward side, the PvP-er also takes advantage of a system that allows buying the item outright without reliance on a broken (IMO) drop system.

Skillgannonx said...

The way i see it is there is a huge problem with the aquirement of pvp epics compared to pve gear. You can spend one bg weekend getting enough honour points to aquire 1 mayb 2 peices of s1 gear(say 12 hours) getting a far better s3 peice will take around 3-5 weeks for an average team. To get adaquet pve gear for clearing t4 raids and some t5 u need to put in as much effort as you do to get a 2000 rating in the arena.
The introduction of welfare epics has lowered to standard of pvp in general and is farnkly annoying for pvpers and pve'ers, allowing the most casual,non-driven and unskilled people to get their hands on decent gear fairly easily.
My best arena rating was 1910, as a ret pally non the less, bringing welfare epics availability about so readily has not increased the skill of the teams just the gear and resiliance they have, making s3 gear available to relatively unskilled/casual people trivialises hardcore raiders and pvpers accomplishments in my eyes and should have a minimum rating. Even if this prevents people getting into the top tier of pvp from the get go, it will no prevent the most skilled people from getting a high rating and earning gear as they put in the time. Making this gear alot more worth while as a status symbol and an upgrade.

Megan said...

"The quality of reward matters! The BT guild is gearing the priest up with T4/S1 level gear. The PvP'er is gearing up with T6/S3 gear. That's the difference."

This is incorrect, and if you really believe this, then I have this Freezing Band to sell you for 2K, it's purple and epic and great, buyitnow.

T4, T5, T6 are itemized for raids and bosses. Just look at the set bonuses you get from 2-4 pieces, little boosts here and there to skills and abilities---increase your DPS by a smidge here, increase your HPS a smidge there, add it up x25, maybe a dead boss? Longevity is the key here with this gear, having to chew through millions of hitpoints or healing through X amount of incoming damage means your gear better last.

S1, S2, S3 are itemized for PVP. Resilience is only useful for things trying to crit you (sidenote, still not perfect for PVE Tanking because Resilience does not affect crushing)---something that only happens in PVP. Out of all the other stats, STA is heavily slanted, and 2-4 set bonuses give more Resilience and feature some set bonuses that have been around since when Warsong Gulch and Honor Gear was first implemented (I'm looking at YOU -5 sec off Intercept and -5 sec off Hammer of Justice). Survival is the name of the game with this gear.

End result---if a PVP'er is getting S3 gear, then expects he can app and join into a BT raiding guild because of the "quality" of his gear is "like matches like", I'm pretty sure the raiding guild will:

1) Reject him because his gear sucks for what they like to do.
2) Make a forum post about it somewhere laughing.

On the otherside, if a T6 player came up to a 2300+ rated team (last Season's cutoff for Gladiator was around 2300+ serverwide), and app'd for a spot---"hey, T6, S3, same thing!"---they would:

1) Reject him because his gear sucks for what they like to do.
2) Make a forum post about it somewhere laughing.

This is a good thing. You get the type of gear from what you aim to do, PVE or PVP. Like matches like, find me an instance where a full Arena/BG geared player app'd into a hardcore raiding guild and got in because of same gear quality and I'll reconsider my argument.

Cyndre said...

@ skillgannox: I suppose how you view it, is that people without your dedication should have a chance to beat you?

If you value your own skill, you would want every opponent to be on equal footing, so that your superiority, can be demonstrated with every match.

In the old PvP system, I would enter as a AQ/ Naxx geared Warlock, and run across players trying their best in UBRS/ MC gear. I could easily kill 4-5 of them at once, and frankly PvP was utterly boring and unfulfilling.

My gear won my battles, not my skill.

In the current PvP system, When I best an opponant, or I lose, I can look at it and gauge my mistakes, perhaphs I simply outplayed them or was outplayed myself... But by and large, the fights come down to skill now, and when I win, I feel fullfilled. If people were running around in Heroic/ Kara gear, it would continue to be a joke, and PvP would remain wholly meaningless.

Megan said...

For quick look at the other side of things (Rohan, you got me started, heh), I'll play "Armchair PVE" now (thanks for the phrase Gwaendar).

I'm going to separate raiders from the hardcore to the casual. Now you may say this already exists, but not like you think.

After a new instance is released, there are guilds who have them cleared within weeks time (hell, sometimes they clear portions of the instance during the PTR months in advance).

They kill bosses even if said bosses aren't working perfectly and bug out alot, they kill bosses when most of their raid isn't perfectly geared for every little aspect of an encounter.

If they encounter something unique about a boss ability or spell, something key to beating it, they will just flatout write an addon to better respond to it. If the boss has an enrage timer, you can bet spreadsheets of required DPS are posted up for different classes to go over and make sure there's enough before time runs out.

They also "explore"---they try to pull bosses out of rooms and into different ones, or if bosses can be reset. They'll try to see if certain trash can be skipped and find out the hard way if they are linked. They'll chug 25 Invis Pots and run around the zone seeing if anything bad happens.

They will also have beat X boss before X boss gets nerfed in a later patch (see: Gruul, Kael).

The above is the hardcore raiding guild, they will be allowed to loot TX tokens for their TX gear.

--

The rest are casual raiding guilds. If any of the above criteria isn't mean while you raid, it affects your "Personal Raid Rating" which will cut you off from weapon drops and certain TX tokens (at this point in time, the TX Shoulders).

Kaziel said...

Kiryn said:
...and the "work" of PvPing wasn't going to lead to a reward for me because the PvP healing epics are only good for PvP healing. Seriously, the PvP-reward healing stuff has zero mana regen...

Megan said:
T4, T5, T6 are itemized for raids and bosses. Just look at the set bonuses you get from 2-4 pieces, little boosts here and there to skills and abilities---increase your DPS by a smidge here, increase your HPS a smidge there, add it up x25, maybe a dead boss? Longevity is the key here with this gear, having to chew through millions of hitpoints or healing through X amount of incoming damage means your gear better last.

S1, S2, S3 are itemized for PVP. Resilience is only useful for things trying to crit you (sidenote, still not perfect for PVE Tanking because Resilience does not affect crushing)---something that only happens in PVP. Out of all the other stats, STA is heavily slanted, and 2-4 set bonuses give more Resilience and feature some set bonuses that have been around since when Warsong Gulch and Honor Gear was first implemented (I'm looking at YOU -5 sec off Intercept and -5 sec off Hammer of Justice). Survival is the name of the game with this gear.


I have to agree with both of the quotes made above. This is why I can't get past seeing the entire argument of "Welfare Epics" as anything other than raider loot-whore whining. And this is coming from a long-term raiding PvE player.

As megan so eloquently said, the arena sets emphasize resilience, Stamina, along with burst damage or healing stats (normal and spell crit).

On the flip side, they put minimal emphasis on important PvE stats such as +hit, +spell hit (just enough to hit an equal leveled player), Intellect, Spirit, and Mp5. Obviously they are completely unsuitable for tanking due to the complete lack of any form of avoidance.

In fact, of the seventeen arena sets, in my opinion only two of them are worth using in PvE. First is the Vengeful Gladiator's Vindication (Retribution Paladin Set), which is only preferable due to the intended change to Crusader Strike, and the probable future change to other abilities, deemphasizing spell damage and strongly emphasizing Strength. Since the Vengeful Gladiator's Vindication was redesigned to take these changes into account and the Lightbringer Battlegear (along with the other Tiered Ret sets) have yet to be changed, this one currently puts Retribution Paladin talents to best use. The second set is the Vengeful Gladiator's Aegis along with the other Aegis sets. This set is the only case of a purely DPS oriented spell damage plate set. While each Aegis set has approximately the same amount of spell damage as the matching Tiered Paladin Protection set, the addition of +spell critical makes this a superior DPS set for a tank that doesn't want to make a Ret set.

The only explanation I've heard that I feel that holds any water for viewing Arena gear and Raid gear equal are the weapons. Both the spell damage, healing and physical damage weapons all give damage bonuses very similar to each other. Of course this is one of the few areas that Blizzard stepped in and put personal arena rating limits on. Blizzard saw that people were doing Arena just to get S1 and S2 weapons then taking them to places like Karazhan thus causing people to shard good weapons that would normally be upgrades in place of "E-Z mode epix". So Blizzard placed the Personal Arena Rating restrictions on them, while it's annoying for people just getting into Arena like I am, in a broader view of things I think it's a fair move.

Maybe I'm just not seeing something, but as I said earlier, the complaints that people are able to get access to "welfare epics" just seems like people who are loot-whoreish to me.

Vaerlin said...

Regardless of the PvE vs PvP discussion. The game is about loot.
Your guild's progression can depend largely upon how they're outfitted.
Your Arena Teams standing (past a point) depends upon your gear.
Skill is assumed once you get to a certain level of game-play.

It's not entirely fair to call a player or group of players or guild loot whores for making game-play decisions based upon loot received. (Or if it is, I've never met a non loot whore in the end-game, period)

It's amazing how players are willing to spend hours participating in an aspect of the game that is not their favorite, in order to excel in one that IS their favorite. (Farming, grinding, PvE in PvP or PvP in PvE)

The motivation of loot is obvious, and a progression oriented guild has loot always in mind... Any guild with a dkp system or any formal system has guaranteed loot whores and is in place to placate them.

As a player who likes to dip into every aspect of the game, and have been hardcore at PvP and PvE at various points in the past... I feel the issue is twofold, and our gracious Blog host has already mentioned them.

1) Looks. They matter. No matter how much you think they don't, no matter how much you say they don't, you strut around in your shiny epics. Why? Because you're proud of them. You had to work for them and have some sense of accomplishment associated with them.
PvP epics shouldn't look anything like their PvE counterparts. Nuff said.

2) Progression speeds. While people keep commenting that you wouldn't use PvP epics for PvE, it's not true. I know tons of players in BT guild that got 3-4 pieces of S3 the day it came out. Why? Because it's instant, fast gear progression. You can farm Kara for 2 months and not have an epic weapon (Trust me, you can also farm MC for 6 months and never get T2 pants).

This is more true for dps (particularly warlocks) than healers/tanks, but it's very true. But as long as the looks and item levels between new raid gear and new Arena gear is the same, people will equate the progression in their minds.

I like PvP. I think it should be a sideshow to PvE because it will never be balanced, but is still fun. And most good raiders realize it's a great place to get EZ epics for minimal time investment. You know, the welfare epics.

The solution is simple in my mind, balance progression. Every time they increment the Arena season, they should INCREASE the number of epics their last raid instance drops.
EX: Season 2 Starts, Kara bosses, Grull, and Mag all start dropping 2-3 times the number of epics/tokens per kill. Season 3 starts? SSC and TK bosses have 2-3 times the number of drops per kill.

The alternative is, as BoK has mentioned, is to slow the PvP progression in some way. But PvP progression is simply relative gear (how much better than your opponent's it is) and any method of slow PvP progression punishes new PvP players.

The game is the way it is, and it's a lot better than when 2.0 came out. But the slow PvE progression and loot distribution method has retarded the progress of formerly high-end casual raiding guilds and destroyed the PvE community on a number of servers. The coupled with the easy PvP progression method has only exacerbated the issue. Hardcore raiders will always find a home, hardcore PvPers will always have top end gear.

The question is: Is blizzard willing to lose it's casual playerbase? I think they've said "Yes" to the casual PvE playerbase because the development time on raid instance and "No" tot he casual PvP playerbase because of the ease of setting up Arenas/BGs.

Nifen said...

I have to say I mostly don't understand why anyone should care about so-called welfare epics. I haven't really PvPed since honor points were introduced. I just got bored with PvP, and I don't want to do it anymore. But it doesn't bother me in the slightest that people are doing arena or BGs, or whatever to get gear. The honor system and arenas have been in place for awhile, but they haven't changed a thing about the way I do PvE. It's not like some PvP grinder is going to waltz in and steal my raid spot.

I'm the one with the social bonds to the rest of my guild. I'm the one who has done many raid fights and can be trusted to know what to expect. I'm the one who can use that experience to improvise when I don't know what to expect. And I've advanced as a raider because of that. I wouldn't have tried to get to this point simply by doing PvP, I'll say that much.

Now, I do kinda enjoy thinking about the idea some of the PvPers are putting forward here: that PvE is the broken system and is the one that needs a fix. I don't know how true or false that is, but it is interesting. Does a PvE system that works like the PvP one have to be like the one Rohan imagines? Tokens and heroic badges have been a step in that direction (I guess?), but how about they get rid of drops altogether? What if all boss kills awarded not drops, but "raid points" that raiders could use to buy gear? And you can't access the highest level stuff without being present for an appropriate boss kill. That would retain the need for progression, while making it easier to get the gear you want. There's probably a host of problems, and I guess people like the anticipation of seeing what a boss will drop. But it might eliminate a lot of loot drama, and remove the need for guilds to formulate complex DKP systems. Oh well...mostly I don't care what gear I have, or what gear anyone else has. The gear someone is wearing tells me what activities they pursue...and I don't assume anything else.

Augustian said...

@Gwaendar I played on an 1850 priest/warlock/mage team where we couldn't go anywhere higher because my partners were lazy b*tches and didn't BG for gear, so when I deleted my mage to curtail my WoW addiction, the priest and warlock had 150 resillience apice. You try PvPing at 1850 with 150 resil healers and then talk.

You talk about a problem with PvE like it's an abomination and the whole loot distribution system is completely broken and eveybody who raids is a fool and needs to die. Calm down, you're getting too excited. What I think is that you're probably cranky that nobody wants to take you past KZ because you're not willing to respec dps from SL/SL or something of that sort. PvE IS FINE. Would it be nice if BT was more accessible? Perhaps. Everyday there are guilds that post "Illidan down." That's why Blizzard releases big instances with 3-5months in between, so that a big proportion of the people can see the content. Not everybody can see Illidan in the first month. PvE is fine.

Tego said...

I had a really long post I was working on, about what I, as a relatively inexperienced raider, and PVP'er see here in this debate, but that got long and convoluted, so here are the cliffs notes

1. One reason that PVE sees PVP epics as welfare/cheep and from what i can see PVP doesn't agree is that there are other status symbols in PVP than just the gear. Titles visible stats in the armory etc. When a player who just saved all his arena points since s1 till today comes out with most of S3 on, but without the ranking you know it. You know it without fighting him, because you can see his rank isn't par. For PVE the ONLY tangible evidence that you took down x boss or are in X raid is the gear from that boss/raid. Therefore it is much more important to the PVE than the PVP for status, which we all seek at the top end of the game.

A PVE player who is happy about the months of work they put in through kara, into gruuls, ssc, tk etc and sees something that looks almost exactly like what he has on someone he knows hasn't been 70 for that long is going to be annoyed because it seems to cheapen the investment he or she made.

I think that changing the skins would go a long way to fix this, but it still leaves most of the skills intact. It would be nice to see that either gear wise both were competitive and useful if not the best, or that there was a bigger disadvantage in the PVE world for PVP gear. Since there is defiantly one the other way around.


For all those who will see this as a pure complaint about PVP gear, and say i am trying to fix something that isn't broken, Tell me what the symmetry is when someone can do ZA in near full PVP gear, and then go off to PVP and do well, when someone in kara/ZA gear entering PVP will get blown away

Gwaendar said...

@augustian
I fail to see the logic here. So if PvE loot distribution is fine, why are we even having this argument? If all is hunky-dorky, why are raiders desperately trying to "fix" arena? Why are they complaining that arena empties their recruitment pools?

If everyone is happy, what's the point of reintroducing ranking barriers on arena loot like we had when you had to catass BGs to death to get GM gear? And beyond that, who the heck are you to dictate what kind of gear I can get for my $15? I'm not in your raids, ruining your day with kit having all the wrong stats. You aren't in my BG either because you wouldn't find 1850 rating trivial. Why do you care, exactly? How is it your business?

And for the record, I arena with my pallie, thanks a bunch. And I don't play at hours where any KZ raids happen, nor any raids whatsoever. My PvP epics allow me to fill a spot when I log on and the raid would otherwise be called because someone had to leave. And that's perfectly fine with me. I have no envy of the raiders, my choice is either raiding or being married. I play a game, I don't gamble with my family. Any attempt to read some kind of BT envy will miss the mark. What I care about is why the raiders want to dictate how my 15$ translates into gameplay.

Stale said...

Currently im in a Kara/Gruul/ZA guild and feel the same as Megan and a few other posters here.

I have a priest and a rogue. Both decently geared and I PVE/PVP on either one when im asked to/feel like it.

On my Holy Priest, I use 1 piece of S3 for PVE and that is the wand. All of my other Epics are Boss drops... This is because the PVP gear is only good for PVP.

On my Rogue, I have 2 weapons, gloves and (after today) the Chest Piece. They are all massively better for PVP than Kara gear and Blues so why not.

IMO, a really good battleground idea for WotLK would be to have a Pug arena. 20 people per team and 1 life each. First team to kill everyone wins.

This would give competition to all and when you win, you can get rewards similar to the arena stuff. I think this would be fun as it would require you to think more and work as a team that isn't pre-made. A personal rating would also exist that gets you more points each week depending on how many you play and how many % you win.



On a side note: My opinion of the s3 ratings should have been a # of wins system. For 1 gear you need 50 wins. 2 piece is 120. 3 piece is 200, 4 piece is 300 and 5 piece is 500. Weapons require 200 wins for a 2h or 100 wins for a 1h / ranged weap.

This stops people loosing 10 games a week for gear and also allows people who put in a decent amount of effort a chance to get the gear after a certain amount of time. You also can't buy a team as it requires you to get your personal wins up to be able to buy/wear the gear.

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Dazanna said...

@Gwaendar, aside from your argumentum ad personam that all BT raiders have no lives and families (which I take very personal offense to), you seem to be missing the point.

The RNG raiding system is broken. It has been since day one. Very few people would argue otherwise. But in Vanilia it was the only reliable system to epics, so there wasn't a huge amount of complaining. Arena (and heroic badges to a lesser extent) changed all this drastically. The availability of ilevel gear that is on par with something that takes a huge commitment to get (raiding drops) for a very small investment of time has worsened the problems that were inherent with the RNG system even further. So you're right. The problem is with raiding, not arena. But arena is the catalyst for all these loot problems.

And whether you like it or not, the lack of progression in PvP is a huge detractor. You can go from quest greens and blues to full ilevel 141 epics by logging on and playing 10 games a week. Yes, it will take forever to complete the set, but you will eventually. How is that fair to the guy who spends hours pouring over stats and practicing his PvP to the maximum and playing with a 2400 5v5? How is it fair to the guy who spends loads of time learning boss strats and farming consumables for hours and then has to compete with 25 other people for 2 drops from a boss?

As I said in the last post, by catering to the "casual" player Blizzard has made a mistake. Is this elitism talking, yeah. Someone who puts the time and energy into playing at the maximum should have something to show for it. And the old system, dispite all its flaws, did have this sence of accomplishment. Maybe you only did look at the GM's and HWL's with distain for "neglecting all their families and friends and jobs", but I still see it as a hell of an investment (and they have been rewarded for it with a lasting title).

And seriously, cut the "its my $15" bullshit. No one cares. And as an aside, its your little PvP system that is screwing me over right now because Blizzard is having to balance everything around PvP (which screws over a lot of PvE). So don't act like the evil raiders are out to get you, PvP causes just as many problems in this game.

@Everyone else, the problem with arena gear is mainly in the weapons as I see it. Namely, weapons have very little budget spent on Resil and have huge DPS values and offensive stats (AP/Crit/SD). With the ever increasing ilevels the weapons are incredibly easy to get for the amount of time before they become obsolete (yeah, Season 3 requires a personal rating, but Season 2 doesn't and they are as good if not better than most tier 5 weapons).

Rohan said...

megan, S1 and T4 are equal for purposes of Loot as Reward only. That's why they have the same skin. I completely agree with you that from Loot as Investment, they are very different.

But you are not weighting Reward enough. Like it or not, the majority of people in this game follow Loot as Reward. And there is nothing wrong with that. People like making their character more and more powerful, and see that as an end in and of itself.

So each path should be reasonably equal in terms of Loot as Reward. But right now, PvP is a much better path because of the quality of rewards that are easily available.

gt said...

Forgive me if I am repeating someone. This is super long and I think I read most of it.

I find the term "welfare epics" to be insulting. Whether you are good or bad at PvP you are still investing time and effort into getting those times. Also, if you are just a PvE player who wants that Epic PvP and you are just going to lose until you earn it... its going to take you a LONG time. Also losing over and over again isn't good for the soul. Emotional strife is part of gear progression is it not. lol. If you get there all the faster via wins... you earned that via your skills.

PvP should be progession based on skill not on gear. However rewards are needed and thus seasons of gear are needed. Locking all of it behind ratings is just going to kill the newer teams and put the time grind back into something that should be skill based.

IMHO, they should just make PvP rewards unusable outside of arenas and battlegrounds. Why the PvP items? Because the opposite just seems odd. I once hear the suggestion that they should put a new color of text to PvP gear and thought it was a good idea too.

The blend between PvE and PvP is why its kind of borked in some ways. Some Guild Wars style separation of the two would be nice.

Gwaendar said...

@dazzana:
that all BT raiders have no lives and families (which I take very personal offense to)

I did no such thing. I talked about my situation and my context. But if it stings you when it shouldn't, maybe you'd have some questions to ask yourself.

How is that fair to the guy who spends hours pouring over stats and practicing his PvP to the maximum and playing with a 2400 5v5?

How is the 2400 rating player impacted by the mythical scrub sitting at 1000 rating and getting a full glad set in 66 weeks exactly? What has been taken away from him? How have his accomplishments in the game been lessened by the mythical arena dancer I still have to meet someday?

How is it fair to the guy who spends loads of time learning boss strats and farming consumables for hours and then has to compete with 25 other people for 2 drops from a boss?
Has it to be fair? And who is forcing that guy to actually spend all that time for 25-men? So if he does it out of his free choice, because as he says, raiding is its own reward, how does the mythical Arena Dancer detract anything from the Illidan killer's accomplishments? Does his presence in the game suddenly nerf Illidan?


As I said in the last post, by catering to the "casual" player Blizzard has made a mistake.


So cater to 10% (at best) hardcore and ignore 90% of the customer base is what you're advocating? Makes perfect business sense to me.

Maybe you only did look at the GM's and HWL's with distain for "neglecting all their families and friends and jobs", but I still see it as a hell of an investment (and they have been rewarded for it with a lasting title).

Except most of them quit the game after getting rank 14. There's been many stories posted by people who did invest 10 hours + a day to push to GM / HWL a couple of weeks after, and how now that they were there they felt totally drained, burnt out, and how it wrecked their lives. On my old server, most GM / HWL names I remember don't play anymore. The old system was the most dreadful grind in the game, and there's simply nothing to glorify about that time, sorry. It's about on par with SW:G's initial implementation of the Jedi in terms of horrible design.

So don't act like the evil raiders are out to get you, PvP causes just as many problems in this game.

Raiders, or should I say the vocal raiders, the pampered ultra-minority, have started and are perpetuating that argument. Get raiding fixed, root for that, ask for it, pester Blizzard about it, suggest, request and petition relentlessly. Stop trying to drag the rest of the game into the same broken state, don't require everyone wallows down in the mud but clamor for a ladder so that you can admire the panorama.

And first and foremost, I'm still waiting for one of you guys to explain to me how the mythical arena dancer takes anything away from you or lessens your achievements in any way, shape or form.

Gwaendar said...

Tack,

If you lock PvP kit inside arena and BG:
- how do you handle PvP servers?
- how do you handle outdoors PvP?
- why would you force PvPers to get an additional set of gear to farm? What does that solve anyway?
- and how many raiders do you believe would actually accept the reverse also, that raid gear stays in raid instances? (hint: close to 0 is probably a good guess).

gt said...

@gwaendar -

I see exactly where you are coming from and you make a bunch of sense but from either side of the fence many people aren't happy about this situation? Or is it a vocal minority?

You think that like Megan suggested, the incredibly different stat values would have stopped this whole mess but in the case of weapons it clearly didn't.

I guess to make the idea work with your questions... PvP realms would be flagged differently. In non-PvP realms Outdoor PvP zones such as the new one in WotLK would flag to allow PvP armor. This is feasible with reworkings of the new system that allows Blizzard to flag parts of zones differently.

PvE people farm multiple sets of gear for all sorts of situations so how would this be new?

And honestly if it would solve the issue I would lock T6 out of the arenas though I think Megan was right that T6 isn't meant for the arenas anyway.

No I don't run on an arena team yet and so I might not have the experience to suggest things on this sort of issue but, no point in not suggesting things? Mind you I don't actually think there is an issue... I just think their are a lot of bitter raiders who need to be silenced. Will that happen? No. :/

I simply meant... PvP shouldn't be punished or resticted in ways that PvE is because the progression is of a different nature. Separating out the two should solve the issue.

Arkhan said...

Hmmm... In the end it is about making the stage as fun as possible for all parties. I think framing it as Reward vs. Investment really is clouding the issue.

The current trend is to keep the game going. By that I mean encourage players to go further in exploring the content. S1 is indeed far easier to get but the fact is most people don't just do 1 thing (by which I mean most do PVE and PVP).

Younger guilds will find clearing Kara to be much easier when their dps and healers are in most of S1, then its a straight ride up the raiding band wagon.

Really loot is the reward for the time invested. The question simple become what is the price of that reward? Of course there are going to be some hard feelings and by extension, derogatory statements whenever the answer to that question become less then it was last month.

So as bliz lowers the wall but keeps the bar high we see time invested vs. effort and luck go down.

Simple fact PVP and PVE are not the same but playing the game is playing the game. So as long as your having fun what does it matter if other people are making progress in a way that you couldn't before?

Doeg said...

One element that seems to be overlooked, or at least not mentioned, to this point:
WoW is not about skill, it is about time investment!

- If PvP was a test of skill, then the participants would be issued identical gear and buffs upon entry into the arena
- If PvE instances and raiding were tests of skill, then those entering the instance or raid would be issued a stock set of gear upon entry that was tuned to the boss difficulty

But as was discussed a few blog-posts ago, WoW isn't really about skill. Put another way, WoW is generally aimed at a rather low skill threshold, and greatly equalizes RL inequities. For many people I run into in WoW, it is literally the first time they have been serious about a video game in their life, and many are far past the prime age for twitch-skill and motor skills.

After all, what do you hear in the game?
We need to gear up for Kara, or skill up for Kara?
Want skilled PvP-er for 5v5, or want someone with 300+ resil for 5v5?

Everyone has the same carefully-balanced attacks, spells, talent-trees, cooldowns, and access to the same drops, rewards, and crafted items. Blizz tweaks these to try to keep both PvE and PvP in balance, where raids are beatable and no one class outperforms another too much. PvP get nerfs to gear reward access, but let's not forget that raid encounters get nerfed too! The beauty of it all is that WoW fools us into thinking we've really DONE something (but if that wasn't the case, neither you nor I would still be playing this game after all these months or even years).

Bottom line:
WoW is about progression, and all that is absolutely necessary is time investment.
HOWEVER, it is left up to the individual whether that time investment will be mixed, or focused on raiding, PvP, or something else.
Applied to the endgame, it's the all the same for everyone:
More time = Better gear

And this whole "welfare epic" discussion, in the end, is about perceived rewards for time spent.
Period.

That's my take, for what it's worth... :-)

Anonymous said...

i think its great pvp weapons can be used for pve. that means in a pve guild alot of your mates can go pvp for a couple weeks and get a weapon, leaving the pve weapon drops to go for less outrageous amounts of dkp.

coming from a naxx guild spending 6 months in that place not to get a single piece of loot its a slap in the face for me to have to blow my whole wad on a single item, my dkp meant nothing cause i joined a naxx guild that had inflated dkp from aq to keep their veterans happy abut getting lot first, but they continued to get all the loot til tbc came out. my 6 months got me nothing but a dkp wipe and a gkick when 40 mans turned to 25 mans.

sure the pvp skins are a slap in the face.

and the fact that pve'ers cant go in and rape in pvp anymore cause pve gear doesnt have resilience, that just makes those pve'ers upset but get over it. resilience takes a long time to aquire so if you lose at pvp in your pve gear its cause the person who beat you spent a long time on their gear too.

personally i think 25 man format is broken. its very cut-throat compared to the more friendly 40 man format.

also blizzard made a fatal mistake by introducing a 10 man kz with purples. most ppl who just want purples will get to 70 and get inside kz for a few weeks and be full epic, and then quit raiding all together.

much like mc was for casuals, but kz takes MUCH LESS time to gear yourself. 3 months of mc to get tier 1, or a few weeks to get kz epics...

casual mc guilds never had the time to practice bwl, much like kz ppl who just want purples to replace blues, dont have the time to practice ssc/tk etc. blizzard made 25 man guilds cut-throat.

so you have guilds looking to progress in 25 mans its very cut-throat now. you have to spend 6 days a week for 5 hours per night. 40 mans were similar but with 25 mans the selection process is brutal. 40 mans you could handle a few ppl not knowing boss fights on their first day.

also like bwl/aq. guilds recruiting for aq/naxx required you to already have bwl gear. so you had to leave a bwl guild to join a naxx guild. much like hyjal/bt guild, they require you to have vials to join, so you have to leave a tk/ssc guild to join a hyjal/bt guild. this destroys tk/ssc guilds apart, knowing the bt guilds have a high burnout rate and are always recruiting.. the players who play WoW 60 hours a week will see all the raid content. then they burn out and quit.

i guess this is more of a rant at the broken raid system. i dont see pvp as a problem. whatever helps players get gear is good for all levels of raiding guilds that have to recruit to replace burnouts or guild hoppers. do you really wanna run every recruit through kz/ssc/ to get them gear? or just steal another guilds player? or if they have purples from badges/pvp weapons they can join a 25 man guild nd not hold them back too bad on cut-throat progression..