Monday, April 28, 2014

PvP Gear: A Problem Worth Solving?

This is the current plan, as described by Olivia Grace of Wowhead, of how PvP gear will work in Warlords:

This is how PvP gear is going to work in Warlords of Draenor - it will have one lower item level for PvE content such as questing, dungeons or raids, as well as a higher item level for PvP. You can see that this piece's item level is 660 in PvE, and 690 in PvP.
The PvP/PvE gear split is getting excessively complicated. At this point, maybe we should take a step back and ask ourselves: Is this a problem worth solving?

Is it really important for PvE gear to be mechanically different from PvP gear?


The origins of the split comes from TBC. At that time, PvE was strict-progression, while PvP was seasonal. Thus as new PvP seasons appeared, it became easier for people to get gear from PvP, even if they were stuck on hard bosses in PvE.

But now PvE is seasonal, just like PvP. When a new raid comes out, everyone moves to the new raid and gets new gear. It is far less likely that someone will get "stuck" and have to resort to PvP to gear up.

There will be about 5 levels of PvE gear: LFR, Normal, Heroic, Mythic, Mythic-Warforged. Three levels of PvP gear, set at about LFR, Heroic, and Mythic-Warforged would be good, especially if the costs and requirements for that gear is set to match PvE.

With PvP and PvE gear being set at roughly the same level, people could more easily cross over and dip into both activities. I have very fond memories of working in Alterac Valley to get my [The Unstoppable Force], even though I was primarily a PvE player. However, since the gear-split, my desire and inclination to build multiple sets has really fallen.

Is it really so terrible that top PvP players have good enough gear to do high end PvE? Or vice-versa?

Really, the only items that caused significant imbalance were trinkets. Perhaps only trinkets would work differently in PvP and PvE. As for Best-In-Slot, the people who chase Best-In-Slot will always be crazy and go to extreme lengths. Is it really worth forcing the rest of us to navigate these complexities?

Basically, I just don't think it is worth jumping through hoops to maintain the PvP-PvE gear split any more. PvE has changed from progression to seasonal, matching PvP. Using the same gear for both activities would allow people to participate in both activities more easily. People could get away with maintaining one gear set per specialization.

The PvP-PvE gear split is complexity that we don't need anymore. As such, the game would be better off without it.

12 comments:

Redbeard said...

I'd much rather get the problem of Alliance winning only AV and IoC and Horde winning everything else fixed first before we address gear issues.

That said, I've no problem with combining PvE and PvP gear, as long as they stratify BGs so that people with high end gear don't simply farm the people with low end gear. It's bad enough to get into a BG and realize you have no chance because only a few people have a Honor tier set, much less a Conquest set. I've given up on playing most BGs other than AV and IoC simply because I --as a Rogue-- was often the highest health on my side in a random BG.

RJ said...

It's important to make PvP gear mechanically inappropriate for PvE and vice versa if you believe that progression in one shouldn't be necessary for progression in the other.

Even when content is seasonal, there's still requirement for "catch up" mechanics. In fact, seasonal content pushes catch up mechanics a lot harder then before, in my experience from coming back to the game after a year away.

You only need to look as far away as Raid Finder to see that people still wear PvP gear simply because it's an easier way to beat the iLevel requirements if you only need one or two pieces. Conversely, it's far easier to get a fuller set of the newest season of PvE gear then it is to get the newest season of PvP gear.

What's really driving this separation is the core PvE and PvP bases that just plain don't want the other part to intrude on "their game". Just look at the PvP section of the legendary cloak quest, for example. Because of this, the dynamic between the way item sets are acquired (PvP) and iLevel requirements (PvE) interacts feels like players who want to dedicate to one side are being forced to do content they don't want to do in order to progress.

It doesn't matter that Blizzard has constantly insisted that WoW is one game, and they want players to participate in all facets of it. There's going to be some people that only want to do "one" side (for sake of argument; when broken down further, you're going to get people who never want to raid next to people who only want to raid, for example), and there's going to be people who enjoy it all.


As such, I return to my original assertion. If you believe that there needs to be a division between what is PvP and PvE play, based on Blizzard's current design that requires unique PvP stats to make the difference between mob and player HP/damage match up, then it is, in fact, vitally important to make the gear also diverged.

While I agree that on it's face it may seem complicated, I don't agree that it actually is when in practice. After all, PvP gear explicitly states it is PvP gear on it, and you have to specifically engage with separate vendors and systems to earn it, so you know what you're wearing. A more elegant solution would be to no longer have a need for PvP stats entirely, but that is a far more complicated and involved solution then making gear that dynamically changes it's iL simply to make it less viable for spoofing LFR queues.

Honors Code said...

"You only need to look as far away as Raid Finder to see that people still wear PvP gear simply because it's an easier way to beat the iLevel requirements if you only need one or two pieces."

And this is the core reason Blizzard is making this change. They don't want people fudging the LFR iLevel requirements with PVP gear.

I'm not sure why though. It's not like LFR is hard or that the same mindless, almost effortless farming you can use to get PVP gear isn't also used in LFR to get PVE gear.

nyohahahah said...

"I'm not sure why though. It's not like LFR is hard or that the same mindless, almost effortless farming you can use to get PVP gear isn't also used in LFR to get PVE gear."

I suspect it might instead be for the benefit of PVPers who'd be playing with these people that are trying to get PVP gear to do LFR.

Liore said...

I'll be honest -- the PvE vs. PvP gear differences are why I don't really PvP in WoW any more despite the fact that I enjoy it. My preferred way to run BGs is as a healy priest, but the pain of being so squishy at first without any PvP stats and having to maintain an entirely separate set of gear keep me out of it almost entirely.

I can just jump into LFR with my Isle epics and be moderately successful.. why can't I just jump into a BG and have it be the same way?

RJ said...

@Honours Code:

And this is the core reason Blizzard is making this change. They don't want people fudging the LFR iLevel requirements with PVP gear.

While that's something they're certainly trying to do, at first brush, the only thing a 30 iL difference does is push the content that it qualifies for back slightly.

If we use MoP as an example, this just means that current tier PvP stuff would let you get into last tier's PvE content. If you're trying to catch up from scratch, then you're running 2 tiers back for PvE gear, while you're running current PvP to get last tier's PvE gear, so you can get this tier's PvE gear.


If they actually wanted to have PvP gear entirely ineffective for LFR queuing, it should be iL1 for PvE content. I don't think they really want that, because they still insist that WoW is one game, not two. But that doesn't stop the people who specialize on either side from complaining about the gap not being large enough. The only real way to resolve it would be to somehow basically fudge player stats in PvP so that they are considered a boss mob of sorts, and get rid of the idea of PvP stats. But having PvP-only stats is probably easier on a gearing, mechanics, and balance standpoint.


I'm not sure why though. It's not like LFR is hard or that the same mindless, almost effortless farming you can use to get PVP gear isn't also used in LFR to get PVE gear.

Due to the nature of PvP gearing (ie: all gear is bought, except for a small amount that can also be gotten as a drop from PvE world bosses), it's very easy to use PvP gear as a filler for one or two slots that you are are unlucky about.

For example, even though I was using an iL528 staff, I prefer using 1h/off-hand on my Warlock. Since I had no luck getting any iL528 off-hands over the last couple months, and there's none that are on vendors, I went and spent some extra honour I had to get the iL522 PvP off-hand.

The next week I ended up getting a proper PvE offhand, but regardless I made use of the fact that ALL gear slots are on the PvP vendor in order to fill out a gap I was missing when it came to random drops, even though I was capping out on the raids I could do through LFR.

Balkoth said...

"Is it really so terrible that top PvP players have good enough gear to do high end PvE? Or vice-versa?"

Possibly not, but that's not even the issue.

Part of the problem is that your idea would result in people gearing up twice as fast in order to stay competitive (have to get gear from PvP and from PvE). Now, perhaps you could have a "combined" point system like you get Valor to buy Mythic level gear from only 2000+ Arenas/RBGs and Mythic raiding while Justice comes from 1700+ Arenas/RBGs and Heroic raiding. Then give another currency for LFR/BGs.

But this then removes the RNG from raid loot (since it would all be point based) which is a major problem. So even that won't work.

Balkoth said...

Oh, and that would obviously lead to 2000+ Arena players having a better set of gear than 1700+ Arena players which is another can of worms.

RJ said...

Arena stuff is one of the main reasons why people should really be saying there's no point in having separate PvP gear.

Maybe the real solution is that no gear applies in PvP at all, and it's purely cosmetic. Then you use your points on getting transmog looks, with the better teams and players getting rarer transmog options.

Carson 63000 said...

"The origins of the split comes from TBC. At that time, PvE was strict-progression, while PvP was seasonal."

That was the origin of the split, but I think the desire to split originated pre-TBC, when enthusiastic PvPers were getting absolutely roflstomped by raiders in BWL raid gear - and it got even worse as AQ40 and Naxx introduced even better raid loot.

At the time, there was nothing much PvPers could do in response - battleground rep gear only filled a few slots, whilst honor rank gear wasn't actually that good (just had more stamina than PvE gear) except for GM/HWL weapons which were only accessible if you had a team of friends playing your character 24/7 until they hit top rank.

j3w3l said...

It's a noble argument though, to create a more inclusive environment and allow people to contribute and complete all the content but, for wow in particular there needs to be a level of advancement with gear.

Unfortunately the level of QQ when it's not split is just insane. At the start of a new expansion the raiders complain that it's too easy to get PvP gear then later on the PvP'ers complain that the PvE gear is better.. but be damned if either wants to comprise and let the other side get a free handout.


The one idea I was thinking that maybe top gear from one side could be comparable to a level below the top gear in the other mode.

Tenaka Furey said...

The gear split is, IMO, not just overly complex - it is actively detrimental.

Players need to be able to use ONE set of gear in both PvP and PvE.

AND - this part is controversial -that gear needs to have zero impact. In addition, PvP and PvE need to be separated out with different values and effects. PvP should be fixed, while PvE scales with gear.