Is It Possible To Endgame Raid And Play Competitive PVP Simultaneously?

As anyone who has engaged in either endgame raiding or competitive PVP knows, there is a lot more involved than just showing up to raids and/or arena matches.  Each endeavor requires significant time and effort be invested by the player outside the raid or match in order for the player (and by extension the raid and/or team) to be able to compete at a relatively high level of play.

Endgame raiders need to spend time farming raid mats, earning emblems for gear upgrades, studying boss strategies, gemming/enchanting new gear, improving rotations, learning and gearing an offspec (and/or alts), maintaining guild relations, etc.

Competitive PVPers need to spend time farming honor for gear upgrades, earning battleground marks, studying player/team/bg/arena strategies, gemming/enchanting new gear, playing with teammates, etc.

And while the descriptions of these secondary activities seem fairly similar, there is not a significant amount of overlap in the actual secondary activities required to raid and PVP. 

Therein lies the rub.

Let’s examine some of the secondary activities and see whether they benefit just one or both endeavors:  

Raid Mats – The flasks and buff foods that raiders are expected to always have on hand are largely worthless in arenas and battlegrounds due to the high frequency of death in PVP and the limitations on certain consumables in arena matches.  So the time farming and/or gold spent acquiring raid mats has little to no utility with respect to PVP.   

Gold – Endgame raiding typically means lots and lots of progression wipes.  And after every wipe (unless your BFF plays a Paladin) you get a hefty repair bill.  If you are going to raid, you need to be able to pay for the repairs, which means that you need a steady supply of gold.  Although having gold is a good thing, it is once again of limited use for PVP.  Since death is such a common occurrence in PVP, the repair costs after a trip to your friendly neighborhood Spirit Healer are almost nothing.  So the gold produced from your farming / questing / auction housing doesn’t really benefit your PVP activities in any meaningful way.

Strats – The time invested in studying raid boss strats provides virtually no benefit in PVP.  The beastcleave team you are facing in the Nagrand Arena will not be any easier to defeat because you know that when you get a mutated infection you need to be purged and then kite the slime to the off tank, wait until it merges with another slime, and then run back into the raid to dps the boss. 

PVPers need to understand the basics of virtually every spec of every class in the game, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of combinations of those specs and classes.  While the PVPers knowledge and insights would certainly be of use to a raid leader, they really won’t help improve the play of the typical raider.  So all your time spent learning wtf a beastcleave team actually is, why it works, and how to stop it won’t help a bit when you get the great news that the slime is flowing again.

Offspecs – Most raiders, especially those in hybrid classes, are expected to be raid ready in their offspec.  Doing so requires both offspec gear as well as familiarity with the play style.  In contrast, PVPers typically only use one spec for PVP, since mid-battle respecs are impracticable or impossible in many case.

Gear Upgrades – Generally speaking, gear upgrades for raiders and PVPers run on separate rewards systems.  Raiders acquire emblems for their gear upgrades (not exclusively), while PVPers need honor, marks, honor and arena points, or a combination of honor, arena points and arena ratings for their upgrades. 

There is some overlap here, however, in that emblems can be used to acquire main set pieces of PVP gear.  (There is no corresponding system by which raid gear can be acquired with honor/marks/arena points/arena ratings.) 

It should be noted that the relatively high emblem cost of raid gear upgrades (as well as the PVP gear upgrades) makes the use of emblems for PVP gear incredibly controversial.  A raider who uses emblems for PVP gear would potentially set back his or her raid gear progression timetable to a significant degree.  Most guilds would consider this unacceptable conduct by a raider. 

Gear Enhancements – Because gems and enchantments utilize the same resources pools, there is some synergy with respect to enhancing one’s gear, whether it is for raiding or PVP.  Raiding and PVP gear typically have very different stat priorities though, which means that the two gear sets are competing for those resources if they are limited.

Socializing – Raiding happens primarily in a guild environment, and maintaining one’s guild status/affiliation generally requires social interaction with the membership.  Such interaction, although potentially useful, is not necessary in the more limited realm of an arena team however.

Given the limited overlap of the secondary activities necessary to play the primary activities at a relatively high level, a player who pursues endgame raiding and competitive PVP simultaneously must either have significant amounts of time to devote to the game, or find a way to balance the various demands on the player’s time.

Assuming you don’t have unlimited time, I am not sure that both endgame raiding and competitive PVP can be done simultaneously.

Maybe it’s just me though.  I certainly don’t seem to be able to do both at the same time.

I raid four nights a week, from roughly 8:00 PM till 11:00 PM server time.  Although I can normally play an additional hour or two after raids, one of my arena team partners (on my 2, 3 and 5 teams) generally cannot.  That leaves us with just Thursday through Saturday to try and get our rated arena matches done. 

Mrs. Vesserion generally frowns upon gaming Thursday and Friday nights, since she is basically a gaming widow from Sunday through Wednesday.  My 2s partner has the same issues with Mrs. Wrathien.  That leaves us with only the weekend to try and get 10+ matches (preferably a hell of a lot more than that) done in each of the three brackets.    

Throw in some RL conflicts, and it is easy to have an entire week go by without getting in any rated matches.  Which makes it hard to be (or even consider yourself to be) serious about PVP.  ((I just want to cry when I look at my arena ratings.  I like to think that it is not because I suck, but because I am failing at managing my time efficiently.  The difference in the number of rated matches played by the average 1500+ rated player and me is astounding.))

Even finding more time for rated arena matches will be difficult without further limiting my time spent on secondary activities.  I have already borrowed significant resources from my raiding efforts to fund my PVP efforts.  I ditched the random heroic daily runs for Frost Emblems months ago, which has slowed my Emblem acquisition rate.  I used 95 Emblems of Frost to acquire my Relentless Gladiator’s Mooncloth Robe before Season 8 started, and just this week I burned 60 emblems on the Corroded Skeleton Key.  (Although I didn’t ask my raid guild for permission, I did inform them in advance that I was going to be using emblems for PVP gear.)

Doing the BG daily quest has gradually replaced doing the cooking and jewelcrafting dailies, and my bank/auction alt wonders why her mailbox is empty so often. 

TL:DR – Although I believe that you can participate in both endgame raiding and competitive PVP simultaneously, I don’t think that you can excel at both simultaneously.  I think the secondary activity demands are just too steep, with too little overlap, to enable a player with limited time to play at a high level in both endeavors. 

That probably means I need to pick one path or the other on which to focus, or make peace with the fact that I won’t be able to play at a high level in both. 

(Right this second, not being able to play competitive PVP at a high level is bothering me the most.)

Does anyone else feel this conflict?  Or do you just focus on one aspect of the game?  Sound off like you got a pair!



5 comments so far

  1. CoupeeDalaran on

    I’ve always been mostly focused on PvE, but recently I’ve really enjoyed getting into to PvP. I don’t need any PvE gear from Frost Emblems, and I don’t need PvE gear from any raids except ICC 10/25. So I focus on getting those two raids done every week, and I’ve been saving Frost Emblems to buy the 251 PvP gear. I’ve also been doing random Battlegrounds over and over to farm honor. However, as you noted in your post, I have noticed a huge decrease in the profitability of my Jewelcrafting, which is where I usually make the largest chunk of my money. I’ve come to the decision that PvE will be my largest focus, but I will pursue PvP with the spare time I have in a fashion that doesn’t cause my PvE capability to suffer.

  2. Dadruidess on

    Eh I for one manage (somewhat) to do at least my 10 3s matches every week for my Tree druid, plus the weekly on both my druid and my hunter, with the dailies every day I log on. For the gems, I use Triumph badges from the random dailies, and the repair gold comes yet again from the random heroics. I also manage to do ICC 25 on my druid once a week with my guild (although it recently transfered server and I had to switch to a new guild). All this, and I can’t log during weekdays. (altough I play a lot during weekends ;_; and wish I had more time, and feel the conflict)
    TL:DR – you can possibly PvP and raid semi-seriously if you really want to.

    -Dadruidess, Blackwater raiders-

  3. Locken on

    I don’t personally pvp, but a good in game friend of mine is one of the best hunters on the server, raiding heroic icc25, as well as being in a 2500 2v2 and 3v3. I don’t know how he does it, but he is rarely offline, so I guess he doesn’t have to work for a living. Shows that it is possible, just takes a lot of time.

  4. […] The Wanted Priest asks the question, is it possible to end-game raid and play competitive PvP simultaneously? […]

  5. Shinafae on

    I do honestly think that the pursuit of the two paths simultaneously is possible; it just requires a sort of perfect storm of conflict-free raiding schedules and the availability of team-mates who are both skilled and able to devote much the same amount of time to the game as you can.

    As you observed, there is little overlap between the secondary activities required to excel in PvP and PvE. This can actually be seen as advantageous as it means that there are few junctures where you are forced to choose to commit your resources to either PvP or PvE. Badges and possibly offspec choice are the only examples that immediately come to mind, although the most zealous amongst us likely have no problem at all changing weekly from a PvE- to a PvP-centric offspec as required by the guild/team.

    It appears that your problem arises primarily from the fact that one or more of your Arena partners does not have a schedule that meshes well with your own. I had this problem myself when my Arena team’s holy paladin found himself in a new job that limited his playtime to odd hours of the afternoon that the rest of us were simply unable or unwilling to make, given our four hour raid nights. For me, the solution was simply to find another healer with a schedule more amenable to my own. It was unfortunate that I could no longer play with Mr. OP Healadin, who’d in fact transfered servers with me a few months before, but he and I both understood that it would be nigh impossible to continue playing on his new schedule, and he supported my decision to look elsewhere. End of the story, with our new healer, we’ve been able to fit in 30-50 games per week on a consistent basis, and recently broke the 2000 rating barrier (finally! 😀 :D… I’m a nub, I know. >.>).

    Perhaps you can come to such an agreement with your team-mate ? Don’t give up your desire of excelling in all aspects of the game, for it is possible. The most important thing I believe is to find people whose schedules harmonise well with your own, so that you can make the very most of the hours you do commit to WoW.

    Best of luck. =)

    ~ Shinafae, Bane of the Fallen King (Staghelm – US)

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