Musings on minting money on Malygos…and more

Stirring the pot II: PvP is the pinnacle, and high performance goldmaking is more challenging than raiding

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Big Bear Butt has a nice little tribute today to the challenge that is PvP.  His basic point: excellence at PvP is the pinnacle of WoW performance.  Far more challenging than the most challenging PvE.  I would agree.

In PvE, really it’s all about bringing someone that could survive the attacks and hold the aggro of the stupid old monsters, while someone else heals and the rest of the crew just buckles down and does damage, tosses some CC as needed or bulls on through. The monsters never, ever take that moment in mid-fight to realize, “Hey, I bet if I ignored this fur-covered haunch of Bear meat that keeps snarling all up in my grill (no matter how hungry I am) and focused on killing the healer first, this would go a lot better.”….

The PvP… in the back of my head a little voice whispers that PvP is the hard mode of WoW. To demonstrate true skill and mastery of the game, you have to excel at PvP. If you cannot truly dominate in PvP, then you are not a master player of the game, no matter what bosses you’ve killed in which raid or dungeon.

Gevlon of Greedy Goblin can go on and on about M&S, and extolling the virtues of a non-social raiding system (one which doesn’t come close to top tier, btw), but when it comes down to it, excelling at raiding is merely the act of optimizing a team against a scripted encounter.  Think about it: raiders know in advance what their opponent is going to do.  They can simply read the strategies necessary to succeed, and then it’s a matter of gearing and execution.  Basically, raiders have to be able to follow a recipe.

Much of Gevlon’s writing is just about the best way of selecting ingredients.  Doesn’t change the fact he’s still following a recipe.  His Tol Barad victories rely on recruiting dummies for the other team.  Excellent way to win, but no proof you can actually defeat talented opponents.  Heck, it’s functionally the same as recruiting children as opponents.  Effective?  Heck yes.  Talent demonstrating?  Not so much.

In PvP, on the other hand, your opponents are humans, and you need to be able to counter anything they throw at you.  The level of skill required and the challenge your opponents provide is an order of magnitude tougher than raiding, imo.

As proof, I submit the game of chess.

Consider for a minute that it took decades of worker years, probably centuries’ worth, for electronic chess game coders/builders to develop an algorithm and machine that could beat the top players in the world.  This despite the fact that chess is a game where movement and action choices are SEVERELY constrained: a limited number of pieces and limited number of moves.  And the computer only had to defeat a single human opponent.

In PvP, how many spells / abilities / talent trees / team composition / team behavior subroutines are possible?  I can’t even begin to get my head around that one.

A group of the toughest human opponents are much harder to defeat than a scripted, transparent raid boss.  Hands down.

Just so we’re clear, WoW is a game, and as such, whatever aspect of it you enjoy, you should pursue.  I’m not suggesting raiding isn’t challenging, I’m just saying that like many things in wow, your average player focused on doing well and committing the time to it will be successful.

Big Bear Butt simply reminded me how much more I could do to improve my PvP, if I had the will to do it. But when you’re busy making gold, how do you make the time?

I bring this up because – my perception – lots of folks seem to think raiding is the pinnacle of performance; and that competitive PvP is far down the list of activities that demonstrate wow-überosity.

I’d agree that raiding is not only far easier than PvP; I’d go as far as to say that raiding requires far less than excelling at goldmaking.  I’m not talking here about someone who is able to make gold by sinking tons of time into the process (farming for hours, camping the AH, etc.).

I’m talking about getting good at making lots of gold without spending much time doing it.

It takes knowledge to become a good goldmaker.  You have to read up on goldmaking possibilities, tricks, tools, and tactics – just as you have to read up on raid bosses begin learning about the encounters.  You have to make mistakes, figure out on your own what went wrong, whether it could happen again, and what to learn from the experience.  On top of that, as a goldmaker you have to deal with shifting supply, demand, and human opponents – all three of which offer unpredictability your next raid boss can’t begin to match.

Let the flaming begin.


  1. I agree with the general premise.

    What I would caution though, is that just because synchronized swimming or dance choreography are scripted activities, that does not necessarily mean they are easy, or easier than PvP equivalents like, say, a swim meet or dance competition. In PvP, your excellence is limited by the skill of your opponent – Michael Phelps is not impressing anyone in the kiddie pool. In PvE, your excellence is limited by the skill of your teammates and the depth of the encounter.

    Like I said, I do believe a lot of people denigrate PvP for essentially no reason whatsoever. Indeed, my time spent PvPing made me a better raid leader because I had a pretty rigorous understanding of other class’ abilities because, as noted, you have to to win; knowing that DKs can Icebound Fortitude out of your Hammer of Justice, for example, not only will keep you from wasting it but also might allow you to trick them into wasting IBF by hitting them with Repentance (I believe they can activate it, but it won’t break the Incapacitate).

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