Secret Design of WoW PvE: PvP vs PvE

The series: [Intro­duc­tion, and a call for com­ments, Solo Dif­fi­cul­ty vs Group Dif­fi­cul­ty, PvE vs PvP, Vari­ety vs Spe­cial­iza­tion, Solo Per­former vs Group Util­i­ty, Your role in a PvE raid]

No class is glob­al­ly bet­ter at PvP than every oth­er class. WoW PvP is a huge rock-paper-scis­sor game, where there’s an answer for every move, or in WoW’s case, Class A always feels over­pow­ered to an oppo­nent of Class B, Class B over Class C, and Class C over Class A. (except expand­ed out to an 11-way graph) While no class is uni­ver­sal­ly dom­i­nant in PvP, some builds are uni­ver­sal­ly bet­ter than oth­er builds in that envi­ron­ment.

For exam­ple, pro­tec­tion war­riors are a PvE tank­ing spec. They don’t pro­vide a heck of a lot of con­trol or dam­age, and no heal­ing, to a PvP group. (They do get to annoy cast­ers and melee dps though. Also, reflect­ing pyrob­last back at mage is joy.)

Like­wise, a char­ac­ter that is heav­i­ly invest­ed in pvp is spe­cial­ized in abil­i­ties that don’t mat­ter in pve, like extreme sur­viv­abil­i­ty or crowd con­trol. The extreme sur­viv­abil­i­ty does­n’t mat­ter because of the basic nature of PvE: you have an absurd amount of dam­age com­ing into points of the raid whose job is not to be instant­ly killed by it (the tanks), you have peo­ple’s whose job it is to keep those peo­ple alive (the heal­ers), and then every­one else has to remove the source of that absurd dam­age (the dps). If your raid’s sys­tem breaks down and the boss starts run­ning around the raid and killing non-tanks, your priest or war­lock­’s improved fear won’t help, your rogue’s cheat death won’t help, your arms war­rior’s and pal­ad­in’s plate won’t help. Var­i­ous class’s abil­i­ty to recov­er from crit­i­cal hits does­n’t mat­ter when the boss hits you for four times your max­i­mum health. All those PvP tricks don’t mat­ter.

Run­ning a PvP spec toon in PvE raid­ing is ped­al­ing uphilll while oth­ers are on even ground, and some are rolling down­hill. If you’re a PvP spec and are awe­some in raids, then con­grat­u­la­tions: you are a great play­er! How­ev­er, your guild also knows you’re a great play­er. There are many oth­er peo­ple of your spec who are frus­trat­ed and con­fused as to why peo­ple pass them up for groups and instances. PvP specced peo­ple are even more reliant on hav­ing out­stand­ing gear and greater skill than an equal­ly-geared pve spec play­er in order to do the exact same job in a PvE raid.

This is fair. PvE spec peo­ple are less effec­tive in bat­tle­grounds and are­na. (Unless by “effec­tive” you mean “eas­i­er to kill”, in which case they are much more effec­tive.)

Both ways, the aver­age expe­ri­ence can be over­come with suf­fi­cient skill, but giv­en two equal char­ac­ters played by two equal­ly skilled play­ers, one built for pve and the oth­er built for pvp, with no oth­er vari­ables a raid or group lead is going to take the pve build, because it’s designed to be suc­cess­ful in the con­tent that they want to run.

More Words!

6 thoughts on “Secret Design of WoW PvE: PvP vs PvE”

  1. I’m a PvE’er. I like my mobs to fol­low a set rou­tine. I like know­ing what I can do and know­ing what they’ll do (giv­en cir­cum­stances).

    In a PvE world, I’m a pret­ty good play­er.

    I hate PvP. Hate it. Detest. Loathe. Abhor. I PvP’d as my war­rior (don’t recall what spec) pre-BC to get a ram, sim­ply because I was­n’t doing the cloth grind ever again. I was pos­si­bly pro­tec­tion and my method was to shad­owmeld and wait by a node or flag or what­ev­er. And then keep them busy until rein­force­ments could arrive. :P

    So now I won’t do the cloth grind ever again nor the PvP method ever again! :) Soon… I won’t do any­thing ever again. It’s great.

    Er.. sor­ry. Digressed.

    My druid is a fer­al tank. There sim­ply IS no shoul­der piece that drops in an instance or hero­ic or even badges that is bet­ter than mere­ly rare (or more geared to fer­al DPS or rogues). At least not in any place I can get her to. Con­sid­er­ing I’m OTing in high end Kara and start­ing ZA… I real­ly want to try to get out of my blues. Final­ly, I gave in and said I’ll go for the PvP shoul­der pieces. A friend of mine con­vinced me that I should go in as a heal­er and I’ll make out like a ban­dit.

    He was right. I did a bit of research and I bought the hon­or-pur­chasable PvP heal­ing set and I’ve start­ed to PvP as a balance/restoration druid. And now I have my tank­ing shoul­ders and a pair of tank­ing gloves. Woot. The meth­ods are so dif­fer­ent. Sur­viv­abil­i­ty, what the goals are, what peo­ple will do. How peo­ple will play. Still hate it at times, espe­cial­ly when the oth­er side goes ‘Aroo? Is that a heal­er?’ and come and kill me. *cry* But sur­pris­ing­ly, if it’s just one (and not a stinky evil rogue), I’ll usu­al­ly out­sur­vive him or her. HoT’s = Love.

    Any­way… my point is, dear gods is there a dif­fer­ence in PvP and PvE. And I can’t tell you how many times some­one is invit­ed into a hero­ic with us with amaz­ing sta­mi­na! … and no hit rat­ing. And they get out­dam­aged by the tank… but they’re in full epics, they cry.

  2. I agree entire­ly. Well-cho­sen pvp pieces can real­ly sup­ple­ment a pve gear set. I also agree that peo­ple in all pvp gear end up under­per­form­ing in raid­ing, and are fre­quent­ly con­fused as to why. Sounds like a good top­ic for anoth­er arti­cle. :)

  3. Hehe. I don’t write love­ly infor­ma­tive blogs the way you do. My blogs always seem to turn into digress­ing qua­si-rants that end in war­lock love.

    *shrug* Who knows? :)

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