The more that I play 2v2 arenas, the more my issues with the current PvE gearing solidify. It seems strange to find PvE clarity through PvP, but I suppose it simply serves to highlight that Blizz can still do things completely right. And make no mistake, I think the current gearing path for PvP is completely right. Sure we had that slight snafu during the transition from season 9 to season 10. But if you throw that bit of confusion out (which we were probably over-compensated for anyway), it's really proven to be a pretty good system.
I wish I could say the same for PvE. The word painful comes to mind, and that's it. What I think Blizzard forgot is that we enjoy getting new gear. That's part of the... what's that word? Oh yeah. Fun. Gearing is fun. Yet, the whole expansion has been focused on limiting the speed of gearing. We've been forced to throttle our fun, lest we exhaust it too soon.
I understand why they slowed us down, but I'm not sure that it's been done evenly. The more I play arenas, the more I believe that PvP has hit the nail on the head, while PvE has missed the mark... by about a week. I would conjecture that what takes me one night of casual play to accomplish in PvP, takes me a week in PvE.
I guess my main complaint is simply that PvE gearing is too slow and arduous. That is to say, I don't feel like I'm adequately rewarded for my time and effort spent. Spend two hours playing arenas, and you can cap your CP for the week. Spend two hours running dungeons, and you can get two done... if you're lucky. And what is that? ~300 VP on a good day? Compared to ~1200 CP. And we're not even "killing it" in arenas. We lose as much as we win. I'm sure we could cap a lot faster.
The difference, as I see it, is that I can put in a good two hours of playing, cap out for the week, and net myself a gear upgrade (Or significantly closer to one. Some are more expensive. Like weapons. And I'm totally okay with that). To get the same treatment from PvE, I basically need to run each day of the week for two hours. Hardly equivalent.
And I know, we're supposed to be raiding to get gear upgrades. But the VP isn't exactly falling from the sky there either. Also, the loot tables seem horribly tuned. We routinely get drops we can't use. Or the same drops we got last night. Or the same slot that dropped from the last boss. I mean I'm sure it's not "by design," but it certainly feels that way a lot more, doesn't it?
In Wrath, there were always one or two slots (I would argue now there are like 4 or 5, but let's throw that one out for the moment) that were hard to get. And you could chain run the super-quick heroics, be rewarded with a good (it seemed) number of token points, and fill a lot of your slots with purchased gear. Now, I can agree that it led to some crazy patterns of running and gearing out super quick. So I'm fine with capping. I just want a fun way to reach the cap, and the current answer of heroics are not it. Raids aren't really cutting either, though maybe they're working on that with all the nerfs.
Here's what I know. As a player and long time customer, I'm really looking forward to arenas tonight. I've been capped all week, and that has simply built my anticipation. They're getting the same money from me whether I log on Tuesday excited, or log on Saturday frustrated with the same troll-roics I've been running each day. Wouldn't you rather have an excited customer? And I have to believe a lot of that is simply due to the feeling that I can get somewhere in PvP. It has been tuned correctly, in my opinion (as far as gearing goes... class balance is a whole 'nother post).
So what would I like to see? I do have an idea. I always try to have an idea when I whine. Try this one on for size...
While we all hated the idea of a one room raid (ToC), I don't think we similarly hated the idea of one room dungeons (think Violet Hold, but there really hasn't been one of these in each expansion). Let's take that assumption and run with it. Arena-ize it, if you will. Arenas are fun because you can queue up, be thrown right in to the mix, be done in 10-15 with a moderate reward. They're a quick fix, balanced nicely with other, longer options.
I think we need that option on the PvE side. We need a PvE arena. Want to be radical? Make it 2vB, or 3vB, or 5vB options. Throw in a random boss. Scale the health depending on the players, but don't change the mechanics. Part of the fun might be: do we go in with two DPS and try to burn and kite? Do we need a tank? How about a healer? It breaks away from the holy trinity... and that's what I love about this idea.
Now, I grant that that would be a pretty ambitious projects so deep into an MMO's life-cycle. It may not be worth it, from a business sense, to commit so many resources to a project. So here's the lazy version: One random dungeon (maybe even a scaled raid?) boss, 5 players enter. You get one shot. If you wipe, you are awarded no points and my the Light have mercy on your soul. Otherwise, you get a nice little hit of points. No gold. No drops. Simply VP. Maybe like 50 with a ~1200 cap. It'd still be somewhat slower than arenas, but boy would I think that'd be fun. And it'd give us a quick fix option that it seems we're lacking.
Is this a horrible idea? Would it ruin some aspect that I'm not thinking off? Let me know what you think.
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