PvE and PvP are the two basest planes of gaming existence in MMOs. We know that, for years, games have been trying to harmonize these two concepts in the best possible manner, and none have tried harder than World of Warcraft. There have been numerous tries to get this right, and there have been numerous failures, but that hasn’t at all deterred the MMO titan from continuing to do so. Warlords of Draenor heralds the greatest attempt to marry these two and people feel quite mixed about its ideas. PvE and PvP purists alike balk at the idea that there will ever be a balanced game in this sense, but perhaps it is never the game’s fault, but mostly at the fault of the players themselves. Maybe, if we understand more, as players, on the greatness both spectrums have to offer, we’d have a better shot at finding that special blend of WoW.
Sadly, PvP is one aspect of MMO gaming where many fear to tread. It is that one facet that encourages competition more than anything, as well as having the strongest of social interactions anyone can ever experience from all other elements within WoW. The extremeness of the environment often turns off players from continuing to play, or even from trying to PvP in the first place. For years, WoW’s PvP population have dwindled from its golden age, reduced simply to a number of hardcore purists and some stragglers trying to penetrate the metagame with their own brand of action. And, again, WoW has been trying to breathe newer life into the failing aspect through a variety of methods. One such method, however misguided, is their insertion of a PvP portion in Mists of Pandaria’s legendary cloak quest line. Players were forced to participate in the Temple of Kotmogu and Silvershard Mines just to be able to progress further the quest line and closer to the best piece of equipment in game. At this present time, however, it’s not so much of a burden to do, but back then, when the that specific part of the quest was current, all sorts of anguish from PvE-only players flooded the WoW forums, complaining about the difficulty of winning even a single one of those. It was simply a forced solution by Blizzard to get players to PvP more, and a bad solution at that.
But why was that even an issue? Sure, PvP in a faction-based game becomes lopsided from time to time, but there was no inherent impossibility of winning so long as players were competent enough to try and actually play another side of the game they do not frequent. Most of the time, players who failed these battlegrounds simply knew too little of their own class and the game itself, and, of course, the lack of any PvP gear. But if this happens again in the near future, will PvE players simply frown at the idea and give up all entirely?
It might be best to actually try and get into PvP. This is by no means any call to take it as seriously as PvE if that’s where you started off, but only a call for the improvement of one’s self and for the well-being of the game. Sure, it might be daunting to keep seeing losses on your first few tries, but isn’t it all the same as PvE progression? In both sides, perseverance is a big factor; you learn how to play in accordance to what you face against. PvP will not only improve that specific trait, but it will also teach you a little bit more intimately about your favored class. PvP isn’t just all about who has the best gear and strongest skills, but it takes a lot of tactical know-how to come out victorious. Aren’t you playing in endgame to get better at WoW? The lessons learned in PvP will most definitely translate well to PvE, and I can see no other reason to not attempt it other than the complete disdain for the spirit of competitiveness or just allergic to losing.
Situational awareness is one big lesson that can be learned from PvP. What skill to use, where to go, what might happen, and many other factors are thought about here, mostly in split-second time, honing your reflexes and decision-making skills to the utmost; PvP can only make you a better player in every aspect of WoW. If you’re concerned about the nasty attitudes of some people that can be found loitering in battlegrounds, don’t be. The people there aren’t any different from those you might encounter in raids; they’re pretty much cut from the same cloth. With this in mind, prolonged exposure to PvP gives you thicker skin, able to withstand sordid amounts of insults and overbearing attitudes that I’m sure anyone will find very useful in any situation.
Now, PvE is naturally in the same boat as PvP and the people who loathe it. There are still a lot of PvP players out there that find PvE to be such a trite thing, failing to find any enjoyment in what they regard to as a repetitive fight against AI controlled opponents in a neat and easily manageable environment. Manageable, yes, but I’d hardly call PvP unmanageable either. WoW has gone a long way from the simple tank-and-spank mechanic; it has gone much farther in the realm of PvE since vanilla, and is host to quite a number of challenging boss fights. Some may complain that it’s easy, but I’d chalk that up to the expertise of the general populace considering the time MMO mechanics have been in existence. Raids have generally improved in quality through the years and WoW’s expansions from WotLK onwards are a great leap toward the right direction. I imagine that WoD will take things to a whole new level as well.
PvE has a lot to offer those who have never bothered to explore it, especially in the aspect of endgame raiding. The first thing that comes to mind when asked what raiding has to offer is teamwork. Yes, there is teamwork in PvP, and is especially important, but it does not dilute what can be learned from PVE. Though fights are scripted, it still requires the cooperation of the entire team to take down a boss, and a mistake from a single one can pretty much make or break the raid. I would have to agree that the fights current in MoP aren’t terribly difficult, but no single player, no matter how well-geared or well-versed in the fight he or she is, can power through the countless mistakes of the other members. Raiding, especially with a group of people you know, can be so enthralling in the sense that each and every one of you play a significant part in the success of the team. Coordination and cooperation are what really shines in PvE, and it could only help how you view PvP and even improve it.
Outside raiding, there are those certain instances that can improve your personal skill as well. A very good example would be the warlock’s green fire quest where the last boss of the class scenario, Kanrethad Ebonlocke, will require the challenging player’s full knowledge of the class’ skills and style in his preferred specialization. Unless you are obscenely overgeared for the scenario, this will be the greatest challenge a warlock can ever give him or herself as it requires great reflexes, quick thinking, complete class mastery, and simply always being on point at all times. Believe me, even though you’d only get fancy green fire as a reward, you’ll definitely feel a dps increase the next time you raid as if you’ve received a significant gear upgrade. This sort of difficulty and challenge can also be found in the Proving Grounds or the Brawler’s Guild, though, none of them are as specialized to a certain class like explained above. Hopefully, Blizzard will do these kinds of scenarios for other classes in the future.
Be All You Can Be!
While I don’t ever see the harmonization of PvE and PvP come to a reality in WoW any time soon, we as players can help by simply getting over our fears and inhibitions about one aspect over another. There is greatness to be had in both and they can be just as fun as you want them to be. We play to have fun and get better at what we love, so I’m sure both PvE and PvP will be of great use to you as they give us the best WoW has to offer. After all, we’re cheating ourselves by forgetting an entire half of the game; let’s try to see the awesomeness of each side, and maybe we’ll get closer to that nearly perfect MMO experience. That is, unless you want a repeat of the PvP portion in the legendary cloak quest line.Related: Blizzard Entertainment, Column, Fantasy, MMORPG, PvE, PvP, World of Warcraft, WoW Wednesday