Wednesday, May 4, 2011

PvP Gear in PvE

Since the ZA/ZG instances have come out, I've heard complaints of people gaming the system by showing up in these 5-mans while wearing PvP gear. As someone who does both PvE and PvP, though, I wonder what people mean by showing up in PvP gear.

Are they talking about PvP blues or purples? If they're complaining about blues I have some sympathy, but I don't for the epics.

The reason I wonder is because the epics take time to earn. Even with the accelerated access to PvP gear that prompted the nerf to conquest point gain, it still takes real world time to purchase them. One week of capping just for the purpose of gaining a higher ilvl gear would net... what... a bracer? A relic? A off-hand?

Conquest points aren't like honor. You can't grind them all day long saying that you'll reach that item level come hell or high water. So where are these people coming from who got PvP gear just to game the queue?

Chances are they've been there all along, healing, dps-ing, and maybe even tanking heroics the whole time. (I ran into one pug tank who swapped on his PvP gear for one of the H VP boss fights to great success. He knew what he was doing and was smooth as butter to heal.)

I do understand that some of the itemization budget that could have gone to haste, spirit, and other things is lost in PvP gear due to resilience. I get that.

But would a pug group rather my paladin wear Vicious Gladiator purples or my remaining 333 blue gear that just happens to be better itemized? For some of my PvE gear slots I've just never gotten 346 blues, or the Vicious Gladiator gear pulls ahead despite the wasted budget on resilience.

I ran my paladin through Ask Mr. Robot for a quick sanity check.

The way Mr. Robot works is through stat weights. It's not the best way for a healer to determine which stats to go for. A lot depends on personal playstyle, who they run with, the content they're doing, whether they need speedier heals or more regen. What Mr. Robot does is let the player set how valuable they consider the different stats and Mr. Robot recommends the best gear for those stat weights. So for a quick "Am I doing it wrong?" Mr. Robot works in a pinch. Mr. Robot also comes with default stat weights.

For Gillien I set my gearing parameters to the content I've had available leading up to 4.1, which was just heroics and PvP gear. (I set myself to "I'm Good at PvP" which opens all PvP gearing possibilities that do not require an arena/rated battleground rating.) I did not touch the default stat weights, so as to avoid my own personal biases as to what makes good holy paladin gear.

It lists four pieces of my current Vicious Gladiator gear as the best in slot for pre-raid and recommends three pieces I currently do not have, one of which I made a conscious decision not to get. (I don't have mana troubles in arena, so I opted for the Vicious Gladiator's Greaves of Alacrity instead of the Meditation version.)

Now Mr. Robot is a robot. It doesn't turn its nose up at where the gear comes from. It's saying that even though resilience counts for crap this gear is better for these stat weights than any of the blue heroic gear in the same gear slot. Now there's a different argument about trusting stat weights since they're blind to an individual player's situation, but if you want to compare individual pieces of gear in a vacuum, this piece vs. that piece, conquest PvP isn't necessarily that bad compared to heroic blues, which is all you need for ZA and ZG. The additional spirit, the additional intelligence, can outweight whatever secondary stat is lost to resilience by virtue of the higher item level.

I wouldn't expect Gillien to perform in ZA or ZG as well as a raid-geared holy pally of equivalent skill and ilvl, but he should do just as well or better than a holy pally with nothing but blues.