PvP and Raiding – Why so few people do them?
There’s been quite a bit of talk in the blogosphere lately about why so few people do two of the types of endgame activity – PvP and raiding. What I find the most interesting about this is that many of the “serious” blogs and message board systems are heavily geared toward one or the other of these activities. Certainly, there’s other information out there, but even WoW Insider spends a whole lot of time talking about getting ready to raid, how to PvP and so on. So, then, if there’s so much information out there about those two subjects, why don’t many people do them?
I suspect the answer is two-fold. First, to do these activities requires commited time to do well. This time is not only the time while you’re actually doing the activity, but also time to prepare your character – which might not seem like much, but can be quite extensive. Additionally, in a raid group, you are often expected to help provide the resources for groupwide benefits.
Second, these are not activities that you can just go in and figure out, like questing. The questing experience, in fact, does not prepare you at all for what you need to do in raids or PvP. When you quest, you either pull a mob or run up to it, then stand more or less still while you kill it. Sometimes it might be wise to take a step or two so that you’re not standing in some ick the mob just dropped, but it’s not imperative to get out of it. Generally, the ick won’t actually kill you while you’re questing. You just kill the mobs too fast for it to be an issue.
In raiding, you have to know how the encounter works before you get there. In PvP, you have to know what every class can do that might be troublesome, and what you can do that is particularly difficult for them to deal with. In both cases, you need to know what you can expect from your teammates and what they expect from you. For PvP especially, there’s a big complaint that the bar for entry is set too high, because the gear you get in PvE (questing) doesn’t actually work for PvP very well. On the flip side, the bar for getting into raiding is equally high as soon as the first patch hits. If you weren’t already raiding by then, you might as well give up on it.
And then, there’s the aspect that no one talks about: Drama. I would guess that 90% of the drama in WoW is over gear. Most of the gear drama comes from drops, which mostly matters in raids. My guess is based on how many forum threads there are, how many resources are spent on sites like WoW Insider (Two columns come to mind immediately: Drama Mamas and Officers Quarters.) and how many people talk about drama in comments all over the blogosphere.
For me, it’s the drama and the time that make me disinterested in raiding. The time is easy to explain. I don’t like to have to spend a lot of time preparing to play. When I’m at home (where I could do research about boss encounters, etc) I want to play, not read. I don’t mind the farming, but I do mind being told that I need to do x, y, and z to raid. I understand that I need to accomplish certain things, but generally the x is not get your item level up to a certain point, it’s do Heroics until you get the gear or the justice points, and do it as fast as possible. Hello! I’ll do it at the pace at which I have the time and energy. Thanks. Done now. I don’t think I need to talk about drama.
PvP? I’ve never had an interest in PvP. I suspect that many folks who like to PvP play other games where PvP takes center stage, instead of being a side activity. But that’s pure speculation, I have no proof. As I said before, though, I believe that the gearing bar is a big problem for PvP. Back in Vanilla, before there was this stat called Resilience, the best PvPers were raiders. Folks who only PvPed didn’t like that (understandably) and Resilience was added to help. The problem is that there are two ways to get resilience: crafted gear and PvPing. The crafted gear is baseline gear. It’s “good for starting out”. The problem is that not everyone is starting out at the same time, so it’s not good enough unless you’re PvPing very early in the endgame stages.
I remember back in Burning Crusade, that there was one trinket you could get via PvP (purchased with honor points) that was highly beneficial to one raid encounter. I was offered a spot on a raid team, but told that I had to PvP in order to raid with them. What? No. You do not tell me how I need to play. You can tell me what I need to be able to do, but I will figure out how to do it. Thanks.
Blizzard tries to help fix both of these problems.
Rated Battlegrounds are the attempted answer to PvP. It’s an attempt to get the high-end PvPers against each other, letting the rest of us play in the shallow end of the pool. The problem there is that non-rated PvP is still accessible, and why not pick up some easy honor if you can do rated BGs?
For raiders, every time a new raid comes out, the previous raid gets a bit easier; and frequently vendors start selling items (usually for justice points) the equivalent of a couple of raids behind. This does actually help a bit, but more for the folks struggling in raiding than the ones trying to get started.
Is there a solution to the problem? Probably not, without disenfranchising the folks who want the challenges provided by the newest raid and the rated battledgrounds.