Thursday, December 06, 2007

Welfare Epics

Well, time to wade into the PvP epics, or "welfare epics", controversy. Basically, many raiders feel that PvP epics are too easily available, and are having negative effects on raiding. For example, most DPS will sport the best PvP weapon, and PvE weapons will be sharded when they drop.

First off, I am happy that PvP is another way for a player to advance their character. I like raiding, but you shouldn't have to raid in order to progress. But there are two main issues that I see with the current setup of PvP rewards.

First, the decision to make the PvP sets recoloured versions of the PvE sets was a bad one. It cheapens the accomplishments of both sides. PvP armor should look visually distinct from PvE armor.

Second, and more importantly, PvP rewards seem to lack the same sense of progression that PvE has. In PvE, you have to go through T4 content/rewards before you go to T5 content/rewards, and T5 comes before T6. You can't really skip vast amounts of content. I mean, the reason I don't have any T6 is because we're still working on T5 content.

PvP really seems to lack this. Alts in blues are now sporting S3 gear. In some manner, I think you should have to pick up some S1 gear before getting S2 gear and then S3 gear.

Someone who is in full S2 and with a 2000+ rating definitely deserves T6/S3-level gear. She shouldn't be outgeared by raiders just because she chooses to PvP. I'm just not sure that someone with a 1500 rating should be allowed to jump straight from blues to S3.

Perhaps a system where you had to have the S1 weapon and 2 pieces of S1 armor before you could purchase S2 armor would be good. Then you'd need some S2 armor and the S2 weapon before you could move on to S3. A sense of progression, of moving up steadily, rather than making large jumps.

This would also help the raiding side, as people wouldn't be able to PvP just for the weapon.

The old PvP Honor system, for all its flaws, provided this sense of progression. You got your blue boots and gloves at a certain rank, and as you rose through the ranks, you got better and better gear, eventually earning epics. But there was no sudden jump. A player with a Grand Marshal or High Warlord weapon had earned every piece of armor before that. You couldn't have a player with blues and a Grand Marshal weapon.

I think that PvPers shouldn't be allowed to skip tiers so easily. Having a more natural gear progression would also work well in PvE. A player might go from a T4 weapon, to an S1 weapon, to a T5 weapon, then to a S2 weapon, instead of jumping straight to the S2 weapon.

So those are my two issues with the current PvP Arena reward scheme. The armor needs to be more distinct from PvE armor, not just recoloured, and the rewards need a better sense of pacing and steady upgrades.


  1. As someone who enjoys both the pve and pvp aspects of WOW, I wholeheartedly agree that PvP armor should be distinguished in looks from PvE armor.

    However, I have my doubts concerning forcing gear progression onto players when it comes to PVP gears. There is simply no compelling or good reason for doing so.

    Whether someone "deserves" certain gear is highly subjective. Denying players cerain gears because they are not "leet" enough or "hardcore" enough smells of loot envy. After all, whether or not they get their gears ultimately does not affect other players' enjoyment of the game.

    I also disagree that "This would also help the raiding side, as people wouldn't be able to PvP just for the weapon." Assuming that one member in your raid has horrendous luck in getting a certain drop, won't it be better for the whole raid as a whole if he could supplement that slot with a PVP item and the progression can carry on?

    On the other hand, if progression is enforced for PVP gears, this would lead to great unfairness in PVP. The greater the disparity in gears between competing PVPers, the harder it is for the lesser geared player to win over the uber geared player, regardless of their skill levels.

    Further, the achievements of good PVPers are already amply recognised and rewarded with arena titles, arena mounts and the ranking system (public recognition!).

    Those are just some of my thoughts.


  2. I agree with Gon. Forced gear progression is something the raiders want to impose upon arena, but it doesn't mesh with the competitive arena. If you force a progression, you basically create an elite cadre of 2000+ rating teams which cannot be reached by a new team during most of the season.
    Competition on equal footings is the name of the game, that means anyone skilled enough will bridge the gear gap as fast as possible and compete with his natural peers.

    Gear progression in PvE appears to be more and more of a deterrent to raiding, a sign that outside of the top brass, that activity is less and less fun to more and more people. Forcing the flaws of that system onto the other available system instead of fixing it is the worst thing you could do.

  3. Surely the thing to remember is Arena PvP gear misses a lot of stats that are needed to work in the PvE Environment.

    Healing gear lacks Spirit, and mana regen. Becuase these things are simply not required in a 5 minute arena battle.

    Thats just 1 example of this.

    In PvE my dps in incredible for a paladin. In PvP its not even close especially when i'm coming up against fully arena-gear packing teams. Resiliance seems to have been invented to stop insane burst damage from paladins!

    How do you counter Resiliance?

    You cant to my knowledge without getting full t6 quality epics which will just boost your dps to a point where you might start doing similar damage to what you get in PvE.

  4. In regards to Firelight. The original post was referring specifically to weapons.

    I personally agree with Rohan. Some kind of progression would be worthwhile. Going from 70 DPS weapons to 100 DPS weapons is a huge jump for a little bit of time/money. Depending on whether you choose to work your way through arenas or buy your way through them.

    There could be different arena brackets based on your gear to keep arenas balanced.

  5. The problem with gear progression in PvP is filling the competitive gap. When raiding, you fill the gap between the raid group and the raid instance with the drops that you get from the raiding instance. When doing BGs, you are facing people having Full S1/S2/S3 down to people in blues and greens.

    Arena has a similar system. You can't advance up to certain point unless you get new gear. And to get new gear, you need to get "wiped".

    Another limitation of the Arena/BG system is that current easily attainable is two seasons old. Currently, it's not uncommon to see a Kara PuG getting organized.

  6. I agree on the cosmetic difference between PVE and PVP Tier gear---it will let me spot the PVE scrubs quicker and kill them with their little Resilience.

    Forced progression is not the point of a ladder system (see Warcraft 3, Starcraft).

    Also, blame Blizzard itemization that people are seeking PVP items (esp. weapons) instead of raid drops, or improve raid drops so that people don't have to go months without said drop or unlucky dice rolls.

  7. I agree with the previous response that a basic problem in PvE is the "drop and roll" concept. We're all familiar with the complaints about how item X never drops off boss Y -- and when it finally did, it the roll was won by some noob! But on the other hand, I suppose some endgame raiders may be motivated by the rush of "what dropped". If raiding is hurting, it may be because people are more willing to pay hours into a PvP reward that is certain that into a raid drop that isn't. Perhaps drops should optionally "shard" into a "currency" that can be used toward the purchase of an item on that boss' drop table?

    I fully agree that alternate paths to good gear need to be provided; I for one do not want to return to the pre-TBC days when the ONLY gear path was raiding. And given the time estimates I've seen for obtaining the top BG PvP gear (S1 + Vindicator), and the introduction of PvP BG notifications, it is hardly a welfare system :-)

    I also agree with the call for better gear skins. Back-in-the-day, the High Warlord (Horde-side) gear was the coolest-looking and most distinctive gear around. Now I can hardly tell gear apart, and it just doesn't catch my eye.

    As things stand now in BG and Arena PvP, IMO, gear disparities are too great for the current system to support a gear-progression scheme. It would seem to have the effect of entrenching the "haves" at the top, while the "have-nots" would have no way to overcome all-important PvP gear disparity.

  8. Just to make a quick point, you can't just "improve raid drops" randomly. Any increase or decrease in stats on an item results in a change in the ilevel, which is supposed to remain constant per boss/instance. In other words, if you're going to bump up one weapon to make it better, you have to increase every other drop with it.

    The problem in my opinion is twofold. First, Arena weapons are badly itemized. They spend few points on Resil and still retain huge DPS ratings. If blizzard knocked the DPS on the weapons down and increased the Resil (or simply made the Resil more expensive on the item budget) it would solve a lot of problems, as they would no longer be as good for PvE.

    The second problem is how easy it is to obtain arena gear. You can take a 1500 rated 5v5 and in three weeks have gear that is the same (or greater) ilevel as the Tier 6 gloves I've spent more than 9 months grinding through PvE progression for. Yes, the better you are the faster you will get the items. But it is far too easy to go from quest greens to ilevel 141s right now.

    I suppose I am one of the few people who miss the really old PvP system. When you saw someone walking around in Ironforge with a GM Sword you knew they were awesome at PvP. In their quest to make the game more accessable to casual players Blizzard has basically cheapened the accomplishments of both the raiders and the true masters at PvP. In a few months I'll be walking around in Shatt in my Lightbringer, and my 12 months of hard work will look just the same as some guy who only logged on for 10 games a week for a couple months.

    As a side note, the ease of getting PvP epics could also be one of the causes for the lack of interest in raiding. Why spend the hours farming consumables and repair bills for a marginal shot at getting gear when there are better things available for much less investment?

  9. @Dazanna: arena requires equal gear to remain competitive and if it's not on par with the best PvE gear, people will have to raid again to be competitive at PvP. The real problem here is PvE loot distribution, nothing wrong with the PvP loot at present.

    Under the old system, someone with a GM claymore wasn't top of the top in PvP, he was the absolute worst of the no-life grinders. Since you were around in these times you simply cannot ignore all the testimonials of how people had to forsake jobs, friends and family in order to make that final push to rank 14, but not through skill, just grinding honour for 10 hours a day. It was the most gruelling task in the game, and plenty of the Grand Marshalls disappeared from the game within a couple of weeks of getting rank 14. There's nothing glorious about that system, and fortunately these days are over.

    As for the fact that raiding suddenly isn't attractive anymore, that too shows that there's an issue with raiding, not with PvP.

  10. I'd like to differentiate between what the old system rewarded, and how those rewards were handed out.

    The old system rewarded time instead of skill, which was moronic, and which I've commented on extensively. Arena is *much* better in that higher rated people are generally better players than lower rated people.

    However, the way the old system handed out rewards, with people moving through the ranks and steadily upgrading felt better than the current arena reward system where people randomly spike from blues to S3 gear.

    As an example, if you want to tell how good a PvPer someone is, you don't inspect their armor, you inspect their rating.

    However, the comments above have given me food for thought, and I'll put up a new post fairly soon.

  11. @ dazanna - I meant improve raid drops as in the actual drop rate, not the iLVL. Or put in more tokens/badges.

  12. I agree, full 5/5 Merc is not something that everybody and their mother should have. Like in PvE you shouldn't be able to get a certain level of gear before you reach a previous level. The personal rating requirements were a step in the right direction but should have been applied to all the gear. Something like this...


  13. PvE gear should be more token based so that several classes can use any item that drops. The randomness of the current loot system was originally chosen to copy the same rush that gambling has. But eventually it just becomes a pain that the day that really good priest staff drops all your healers are shamans.

    The real reason raiders went to the arenas for weapons was that there were no weapon tokens in the raid zones.

  14. There is a very simple solution to the arena gearing situation. Simply make sure that once you have any Gladiator item equipped in an item slot you automatically get the equivalent Vengeful item while you compete in the arena.

    Then getting the S1 gear is fulfilling the item as investment requirement since your relatively cheap item allows you to compete and by adding further rating requirements, or progression requirements to move through the different arena seasons of gear you also provide an item as reward incentive for arena players.

    It also means that more teams can become competitive faster by getting the S1 stuff and you can make the S3 stuff truly meaningful outside the arenas.

  15. "Welfare Epics" << OMG it's Loot envy gone mad.

    Have you any idea how much time you need to spend in AV, WSG, AB, EoS getting honor and marks just to get the S1 gear ?

    And why do we get the S1 gear ?, so we can compete in Arena's for S2 and S3, if thats not progression then i dont know what is, do you ?

    Welfare Epics - do me a favour, stick to pve, and stop applying your silly pve rules to pvp.

  16. i find this a very intresting topic. i dont have the energy or time to voice my views deeply but as simply as i can put it i believe they need to make pvp more structured like raiding.

    if u have ever done any raid u will know it takes coordination between 10-40 people. this is a very hard thing to achieve, it takes alot of time and effort.

    most of u should hav also done a PuG every now and again and u will kno that these are much more challenging on the group because of many factors such as "not being fammiliar with the play style of non guildies" " having the wrong builds / specs/ and having undergeard and underexpiranced players""having power struggles and loot issues" generally PuGs kind of ruin the enjoyment of raiding (i see BG's (WSG / AV...) as the pvp equiv of raid PuG's).......

    how this applys to PvP is that there is no structure. wellfare epics should be the only type of epics u gain from PvP. i find PvP to be littered with noobs who play way to much but dont have any skill. generally these people dont get to raid because they dont hav the capacity to. so insted they join BG's and run around chasing there tails while gaining Honor (slow n steady). it is tedious annoying and frustrating having to group with these people. i personally dont believe epic loot should be avaliable to people with lack of "playing skill" and lack of general regard for others and generally self centered. not working as a team with there fellow allies but instead only having only reguard for them selves and no one else.
    its actually the exact opposite of what raiding is (productive, aiming for a goal and reaching it with ur fellow players, exploring the game, seeing others grow along with you gear wise and skill wise and having that feeling of self achievement.)

    personally i feel that pvp is to highly respected in the WoW community.
    A high percentage of PvPers, (not all but alot) are either kids, who dont understand that you still need to be polite on the internet and would rather spam swear words in /bg then think about how they got killd and why, and mayb it was ther fault not everyone elses.....
    40 year old virgins... (no offence to any one, i use that term lightly) who hav play computer games for way to long and either cant get there heads around the complexaties of raiding or why u would help other people out.
    orr simply enjoy running around and beating down on otherpeople just for kiks. yes it is a game i kno but still i find BG's to be quite crude some times... on both sides. recievign and giving.

    anywayz thats a brief self expression that i hav after playing wow since it came out.
    i hope u all gain something from this and if u have a problem with what i think i stand to be corrected about PvP if u can give me some reason to belive pvp is productive and not based around self achievement.

    "loners BG, people with friends who like to make more raid or arena"

    Enjoy ur WoW days everyone

  17. Very old topic to be commenting on, but I feel something should be said. The "No skill no coordination" in PvP comment is ridiculous to the point that I don't even need to argue with it. So, moving on, the point is that maybe a "Progression" system could be established for PvP gear, well, there is one. If you had to get to a certain point to gain certain gear, (You do to a degree,) but in order to do so you need to beat people with that certain gear already and can't to progress.. it just doesn't work. Anybody with any form of intelligence should see this immediately. I don't think it "Cheapens" the previous progression from the "Masters of PvP". (Yeah, masters not because they beat others at a disadvantage but at a huge advantage.) It simply focuses on the aspect of PvP which players find most important - skill level and coordination amongst teams. PvE =/= PvP, and so they should never be compared or treated the same.