I should just go ahead and flame myself for thinking this

I was reading an excellent post  (one with excellent comments going on I might add) over on Stabilized Effort Scope. Rilgon goes a bit into the hot topic of Pve vs PvP balance. Actually this started off life as a comment on his site, but kinda just kept getting bigger.

In particular he is bemoaning the fact that certain classes and/or specs are being nerfed into the ground from a Pve standpoint simply in an effort to balance things out in PvP. Arena PvP in particular, since the slightest imbalance there is a major advantage.

I may not be an arena player, in this game at least, but I understand PvP balance. I understand not wanting Pve changes to cause any one character to dominate in a PvP situation.

I can also look at it from the other side. As Rilgon says, when was the last time you saw a raiding frost mage? How about a subtlety rogue? Why should some Pve players not be able to play the spec that they prefer because it can be overpowering in arena?


I should learn from watching when others have tried to be reasonable about this that it could get a bit heated. Actually it often ends up downright hostile. Actually, I assume I will get flamed for this no matter what I say. 

Well, I never said I was the sharpest tool in the shed, so I am going to write this anyway.  

I am going to look at it from my own standpoint. Not as a player but as a person who fixes things for a living.

First thing is to figure out the problem, you can’t fix things until you know what’s broken. The way I see it there are several problems. There are probably more that I am missing, but as I said I am not an arena player.

  • Changes to any talent or class mechanic will effect PvP and PvE disproportionately.
  • Top end PvP arena gear and top end PvE raid gear are forced to stay roughly equal to avoid forcing players to PvP for their raid gear, or vice versa.
  • Top end PvP gear is only available to those who arena. Blizz is working on a better reward system for battlegrounds. It should be available soon (c). This causes frustration among some folks who would like to start playing in arenas but can’t get good enough gear to be competitive. I happen to be one of them, I am waiting on Cataclysm for the gear reset.
  • Blizz is trying to balance using only talent and class mechanics changes. Yet those effect both PvP and PvE equally. They are then forced to juggle changes to mechanics and try to balance these changes out with talents and glyphs. All this in an effort to balance everything for everyone. 
  • In reality gear imbalances effect performance nearly as much as anything else. Don’t believe me? try to arena in the blue PvP gear, it will end badly. Probably as badly as showing up in to a hard mode raid in quest blues.

Now I am not going to say that my idea this is the only solution, but I do see it as one. As an added bonus the functionality is already in the game for the most part.

Locker rooms.

The prospective arena player zones into a locker room with vendors similar to that on the tournament realm. Select the armor you want from one vendor, the weapons from another, gems from a third, and enchants from a fourth. 

Yes this would kill my own ability to make money as my cash cows of the moment are Enchanting and Jewelcrafting.

Anyhow, you select your gear, gem and enchant it, and save it to the in game outfitter. All for the cost of being on an arena team. This is the gear you will zone in with anytime you are appear in an arena. The trick is you don’t use it outside the arena.

You still get arena points, you still get honor, you still get PvP gear that requires arena points to purchase to use out in the world, you still get titles and drakes and all the bells and whistles. You just don’t get to wear your arena fighting gear outside the arena.

The way I see it this would do several things for us, mostly good.

  • Arena play would become much easier for Blizz to balance, as the gear would be able to be adjusted as well as talents and class mechanics.
  • PvE gear could also be adjusted to equalize the PvE effectiveness of certain classes/specs without effecting arena balance. Think set bonuses and stat allocation.
  • It would be easier for entry level players to enter arena play as the gear gap would only exist in the world outside arena.
  • Players who prefer arena PvP would get a true test of skill, as everyone would be geared equally.
  • Players who prefer one play style over another would not be forced to play the other for an item that would give them an advantage in their preferred play style.
  • Arena players would still benefit greatly over folks in world PvP and battlegrounds as they could use their points and honor to buy PvP-centric gear to wear out in the world.


Does it seem like I am persecuting arena players? If so, let me make it clear that it is not my intention.  The way I see it everyone would enjoy the same rewards as they currently do. The only difference I see is that with arena combat gear freely available, but used only in arena, the classes would be much easier to balance both in and out of that environment.

No one loses anything, it simply gives the develpers a few more tools to use in tweaking both the PvP and PvE playstyles while causing as little effect as possible on each other.

Everyone wins.

6 Responses

  1. This still doesn’t do a damn thing to the actual problem – abilities and talents getting nerfed due to PVP. See: 3.2’s Penance nerf. The Disc Tank Healer is all but dead now thanks to it.,

  2. In that particular case no, what it would do is give the dev’s more tools in their toolbox when it comes to this.

    * for instance, hypotheticily *

    Spirit bases mana regen is too high in Arena PvP. decrease spirit on the arena combat gear and move to an mp5 model – without having to change PvE gear to compensate.

    I am not saying it would fix everything, merely that it would give them more to work with in achieving a good balance.

  3. Cool post. The idea is good but heres some of the holes as I see them (and not a flame just constructive criticism).

    1) Just as you are better on a raid boss than a player who hasn’t raided and is in blues, shouldn’t I see some reward in gear level having done more arenas than you? The issue really is here the scale of the gear jump from scrub to “class hero”. The “I got crapped on in 10 secs while only doing 3,000 dmg” feels alot more steep than “i did less DPS”.

    2( The real issue is that arena focus’s too highly on some things (burst, ccs, longevity) and ignores some factors like kiting (limited space) and really turns the focus on certain abilities. If arena were based on other objectives than killing a player (capture a flag etc like a BG) then it would be less likely that dmg would need to be changed. The best example being in AB the single strongest spell on any player is parachute cloak/slowfall.

  4. @Shifttusk

    Good points, particularly about wanting to see some progress in gear. Perhaps something could be done based on all having the same gear but having difering levels of enchants/gems availible as you progress up the charts. Something where the gear gap would still be there, but would be much narrower.

    As far as objectives in arena that is something that is simply to do with the design of the encounter. In this case the geography and objectives are determining the tactics that are most successful.

    The only way those would change would be to change the design, and then you lose arena and end up with team battlegrounds. Since people really like arena I don’t think it should go away.

    I actually really like the arena in concept, I just think it could be implemented in a way that would be more balanced for its participants, without unbalancing the game for those who choose not to be on a team.

  5. As someone who recently dabbled in arena, I would support your locker room idea. I could see, however, a lot of experienced arena competitors qqing over this. Perhaps a good tweak to the idea would be to have a beginners bracket and an advanced bracket. Beginners get lockerroom gear to use in arena until they get enough realworld pvp gear (which would ideally be superior to lockerroom gear.) Once a beginner is geared enough, they could do advanced arena, which would basically be arena as we know it. I know this is wishlisting, but something like this would certainly have me playing arena a lot.

  6. I agree with your idea completely, I don’t arena AT ALL. As a matter of fact I despise PvP. However, I think PvP should have tier gear just like PvE and it should be upgradable just like PvE. Have different item levels of PvP gear and let players buy more/better gear. Division could be based on average I level of PvP gear. But definately keep it Arena/BG only.

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