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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