Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Nihilum realizes that raiding sucks

Rawrasaur alerted me to another interesting article on the Nihilum website: "Does Blizzard hate raiders?" The author claims that giving out epics for PvP points and badges destroys the World of Warcraft raiding scene, because many people rather get their epics by other ways than raiding if they can. Quote: "Guilds that are on TK/SSC atm are already obsolete, with patch 2.4 anyone raiding TK/SSC is out of their mind, and that is the majority of the (25man) raiding guilds out there, according to wowjutsu. 48%" You must excuse his erratic punctuation, that is just one of the mad skillz you don't really need as a top dog raider.

What surprises me most in this article is that I, as a casual raider, have a more positive attitude towards raiding than this member of one of the world's top raiding guilds. He thinks that people only raid for the epics, and as soon as you offer a different way to epics, raiding becomes pointless. Me, I see PvP, soloing, small groups, and raiding as equal opportunities for having fun. The more variety I get access to, the better. And even if PvP epics were better than raiding epics, I'd probably end up raiding more than PvPing, just because I personally like cooperative gameplay more than competitive one.

Far, far from making TK/SSC obsolete, patch 2.4 is making these places, and Gruul and Karazhan, more relevant. The patch even makes 5-man groups more relevant, as long as they are for heroics. Patch 2.4 introduces much better badge loot, and it introduces gaining of badges to TK/SSC and Gruul. The 48% of raiding guilds that are at the TK/SSC stage will advance faster due to patch 2.4, because they can complement whatever gear they find with gear they buy with badges. The Nihilum guy has a rather limited opinion of gear: "Players that really want to kill a boss usually have already done so, those that haven’t killed it so far are lacking something, usually the problem is a lack of dedication amongst it’s raiders and not the gear they have, gear is too easy to be the problem and bosses aren’t tuned that well in TBC." But while I'm sure we could argue for hours whether it is skill or gear that is more important, I don't see how you could ever argue that gear isn't helping. It is the sum of skill and gear that makes raid progress, to some extent you can compensate for lack of skill by getting more gear.

Are PvP epics too easy to get? Look at my warrior: He has the kind of decent blue gear you get when you did all the TBC dungeons in non-heroic mode. Now how many hours do I need to spend doing PvP to get one single epic which is a real upgrade, and not a sidegrade? I'd say several weeks of doing the daily PvP quest and a few battlegrounds every evening. Compare that to my priest: Last Saturday in one afternoon cleared out Karazhan in less than 6 hours, thus getting over 20 epics for the raid group, or 2 epics per raider. Even if I got just one upgrade, the T4 gloves, it would have taken me more than 6 hours of PvP to get an epic that good. And besides that epic I got 22 badges, which I can spend towards another epic.

What makes raiding less attractive than PvP is not the epics you can get once you master a dungeon. It is the barriers of entry, the hurdles you have to overcome to get to that point. The many wipes for learning an encounter. The difficult organization, juggling with raid IDs, raid class and spec composition, getting 25 people together for several hours. The thousands of gold you are expected to spend on having the very best enchantments on your gear (I recently realized that those enchants cost far more than even raid consumables and repair costs). The guild drama when not everybody in the guild advances at the same speed and the top raiders leave for a better guild.

The Nihilum guy, being on the top of the food chain, sees that eternal guild drama as a plus, and moans it passing: "I would say that this is the main reason why so many guilds are struggling or disbanding, they simply do not have a reason to exist anymore, and without that, guilds are doomed. An other problem is that every guild that disbands hurts the whole PvE scene, as all PvE guilds are connected. Or did you really think all the raiders that play in Nihilum started playing here? Of course not, most of us started in other guilds, normal casual guilds usually, but they did exist because they had something to offer to their members, gear and companionship. From there we all slowly moved up, joining better guilds till we ended up in Nihilum. Now what if our first, or 2nd guild had disbanded 'cause they lacked players that wanted to raid? I doubt we would be here today." Well, what if most players had stayed in the guild they were with from the start, and not ditched them for better raid gear? Apart from a break due to guild drama not related to raid gear, I'm still in the guild I signed the guild charter for 3 years ago, and I'm not the only one. So our guild doesn't feel there is a risk that we disband because everyone is suddenly doing PvP.

The one thing I agree with the author from Nihilum is that World of Warcraft is currently moving away from group play and towards pseudo-solo PvP play. But I don't agree that taking away epics rewards from PvP would be the good solution to that. The good solution would be removing some of the barriers of entry into cooperative gameplay. PvP has organized arenas and come-who-may battlegrounds. PvE groups only have the organized variety. Why isn't there some large group PvE event, lets call it "public quest" *cough* *cough*, where you can log on, jump in, stay for an hour or so, and get some reward based on how long you stayed and how well you performed? The equivalent of a battleground for PvE, with you accumulating some sort of points and badges over time, and being able to buy gear with those. I bet that would make WoW swing back towards cooperative gameplay.

Well, I'm afraid that such innovation will be for new games, and we can't expect Blizzard to change WoW that way. But actually the badges added to 25-man raids in patch 2.4 are a step in the right direction. There are a lot of minor improvements possible, like changes to the raid ID system. And the frequently discussed here option of "easy mode" and heroic raids to the same raid dungeon would also make cooperative gameplay more attractive. And again I agree with Nihilum and say that cooperative gameplay is the strength of a MMORPG, and should be fostered. Only that Nihilum only wants cooperation rewarded for the top players, and I think that cooperation should be better rewarded for everyone.

The author claims that giving out epics for PvP points and badges destroys the World of Warcraft raiding scene, because many people rather get their epics by other ways than raiding if they can

You can see this very weird attitude towards gear amongst 'high level raiders' on the wow forums as well. They seem to think people only play the game to get epics. As soon as a somewhat more casual posts about rewards, they think casuals only want free epix. TBH I couldnt care less if my armor is blue / purple or green, as long as it lets me do the stuff in game I want to do. Apparently these raiders have a totally different mindset.

So you dont like a good lootdrop ? Ofcourse I do, thats part of the game and it's fun to link it in guildchat :). But it's not my goal in the game.
Here we go again..
Aside from skewed risk-reward ratios, I don't see BT level badge rewards as a risk. WoW is not a zero-sum game. If you get something, I don't lose anything. If these rewards help people see Black Temple, great. It is a fun instance and we don't need an another Naxxramas debacle.
well blizzard, you breaked the game style giving more importance to pvp, breaked the expansion cycle not releasing one this christmas, now your pve, hardcore players dont want to play, wow seems to be like guild wars to most ppl

i predict massive success for the next game with a nice raiding-pve in the short term
Well, IMO the guy from Nihilum misses a very important factor:

IMO, the introduction of an option to PvE-raid for PvP gear would have been a bad idea for TBC release, or patch 2.1. But we're talking about patch 2.4, the *last* planned patch for TBC. This is the patch that has to implement Blizzard's plan to 'bridge' players through the 3.0 compatibility patch to WotLK. So Blizz took a look back and saw that when the 2.0 compatibility patch was dropped into WoW 1.0, the general trend was that raiding died and everyone went into the PvP battlegrounds. So IMO Blizz is simply accommodating, in advance, the anticipated trend.

After all, will Nihilum be raiding for Leet TBC Epix when compatibility patch 3.0 hits WoW?
Of course not!
They will have already farmed Sunwell for everything they want and will stockpile crafting mats for quick skilling in WotLK, and then will move into the WotLK PTR scoping out everything as soon as it becomes available.
In response to anon: raiding in the EQ/WoW mold is a niche activity. A MMO which was purely centered around raiding in this mold would probably top out at 500,000 to a million players. If it was a desirable activity, more people would do it in WoW regardless of the rewards. Even now, the rewards from raiding in WoW are greater than any other activity and people are moving to other ways of gearing their characters.

Raiders have to face the fact that WoW is too big to cater to just them like it did pre expansion. Just like it can't cater just to PvPers, RPers, etc. It needs to be all things to all people and thus it'll be a little watered down at the end of the day.

Also, it's funny how the Nihilism guy talks about how they feed off tother guilds and how those guilds breaking up removes their 'farm teams'. You think those guilds may have broken up because their most geared players left for Nihilism thus causing the guild to get stuck in Kara for another few months? The type of behaviour he describes as positive is exactly the type of behaviour that drives people away from raiding and which kills guilds. Who wants to be the farm team perpetually stuck in the mid to low tier?
hehe, the author from Nihilum AND most other coments on the nihilum forum miss a lot of points.

they think progression is only fun, if you are among the first in the world to acieve this, which is utterly wrong.

My Guild has started to kill the first 2 Bosses in TK and SSC and i am allready looking forward to see A'lar, Morogrim, Leotheras, etc. to fall.

I am absolutely ok, that i am not in the Top Raiding-Guild of my server, but i am playing with friends.

When others progress faster than us, so what?

I do like, that Blizzard is "nerfing" encounters, so the Guilds, which don't have a strict attendance schedule of 3- 4 raids a week (or even more) and a shifting group of characters can down former hard bosses more easy and are able to progress into Mt-Hyal and Black Temple, so they can also explore this content.

Badge Loot and PvP Gear is the icing on the cake (and not the cake itself), nobody ion their right mind will farm Karazhan and Heroics to get all the Badge Gear. People will use their spare badges to upgrade one or two Gearslots.
he is absolut right with what he says and i have a feeling that the more casual players just pretend to not care about loot like he does.

loot is THE driving force behind raiding and endgame progression period.

why else is it, that still nearly noone, that didn´t experience it before BC, has seen naxxramas and its last bosses till now ? right, the loot is not worthy anymore.

so bringing the availability of certain loot out of balance destroys parts of the game.

raiding ssc to get t5 when you get pvp honor and arena gear solo with not much effort ?

which leads to the all so often talked about entry barriers of raidcontent. did i miss something or are most players today raiding kara za and ssc with pvp gear the equals t5 - t6 ?
content that was designed for all blue equipted people with 1-3 t4 mixed in is no raided with epics that were optained at the end of ssc?
still to much of an entry barrier ?
These guys are just mad because they can't be the only ones on their server with the best gear anymore.

WoW is becomming more accessible for everyone now. Blizz has tried to keep it fun for everyone and not "just the one uber raiding guild per server gets the epics" drama like it used to be.

I never saw Nax bre-BC and I've never seen BT. That's not right because I've logged just as many hours as everyone else.

Hopefully before the next XP I can see the places I haven't seen before and if making gear easier to come by helps then so be it.

Realize that gear resets happen, have fun and enjoy all facets of the game.
WoW seems to be running into problems with the "gear as reward" model that it was based off of, rather than having some other rewards (NPC recognitions, say, or announcements of victories for kills, or even just extra money to cover repair/material costs plus a bit extra). (Other people have of course mentioned this, but it could use repeating as much as possible.0
Oh I LOVE to play advocatus diaboli! And as a former hardcore raider I'm even able to do it ;)

The first thing you should have in mind is that those people play WoW from an other side than you. You log on whenever you like, do whatever is most fun and leave if you get bored. To describe the other view, I'd like to quote an old friend of mine who is still into hardcore raiding: "I dedicate *all* my time to this game, I simply have to be on the top or my efford is wasted".
And "on top" is defined as having the absolutely best equip and having seen (and beaten) things other people never get to see.

And then Blizzard introduces resilience rating and says "you raiders got nice gear, but its only good for raiding, in pvp it sucks". This single fact made their uber gear only worth half as much as before.

And then Blizzard announces a PvP where you play one hour per week and get epics of similar quality as those hardcore raiders. If you are a good player you get them faster, if you suck it may take a while but you get them. This makes the remaining half of uber gear worthless.

What remains is having seen more places than other people and having beaten monsters that would rip apart most raids.
Thats like getting a medal for rescuing a comrade in a war and then the government tells you that you are not allowed to show it to anyone.
Those raiders can tell you anything, but only their epics are proof they really killed a certain boss and if those epics are not the freakin best you've ever seen then the boss can't have been very hard, can he?
Yeah, sure, no doubt some people are loot-driven; what percentage I wouldn't know. It seems pretty much a given that hardcore raiders live for virtual loot (which I think is pretty sad, but that's just my opinion).

But I feel compelled to point out that not all people are loot-driven. Just the number of 'vanity' mounts I see in Shattrath City tells me that people will spend a lot of time to get something that is basically pointless other than 'it looks different' or 'it looks cool'.

On my server, raiding WoW 1.0 content has picked back up in the past two months. There are PUGs into the 'old' raid content (and they fill up quickly when someone gets on General looking to fill slots). And not long ago an organized group claimed in the General channel -- oddly enough -- a server-first kill of some WoW 1.0 raid boss (they did get the boss down, but the server-first part I couldn't verify).
Why do they raid WoW 1.0 content?
I don't know -- but I do know that it's *not* for loot.
Maybe they were tired of wiping on Kael and Vashj?

Also, in the casual raiding guild I'm in, most of the raiders don't have many, or any, PvP epics. As for me, I have some PvP epics, but about six of those are specific to PvP or are enchanted and gemmed for PvP, so I swap them out for PvE drop, badge, & crafted items which are better for when I dabble in PvE raiding.

The higher-end raiders I know typically have done enough Arena to get the weapon(s). But pretty much across the board they say that, for them, PvP was such a pain and such a grind and took so long that, No!, they are *not* interested in PvP epics because getting PvP epics takes too much time from their raiding and raiding prep.
Bottom line: They'd rather be raiding.
I wish these Nihilum people would go away. They don't speak for 90% of WoW players. The game is getting better with each patch, let Nihilum go play something else if they are mad that other people can have epics too.
People can basically play TBC solo, guildless and get the same rewards as being in a raiding guild. So what do raiding guilds have to offer to their members in TBC? Well eh, companionship, but that’s about it.

tobold this comment from that article pretty much hits to the target of several of your complaints.

BC is so solo friendly it actually discourages grouping. Add that to the fact that guilds have nothing to offer people other than a weak social experience there is not much to hold them together.

While I don't agree with everything the author said. I do agree that blizzard seems to be intent on slowly killing any and all group activity that requires more coding than the arenas.
People hate's a fact!

If someone is used to playing 60hrs a week to get uber gear, they hate someone who can get equalivant gear with less time.

If someone plays 10hrs a week, that hate someone who can spend all their time in the game and see areas they cannot because of their time limit.

Wow basically sucks right now. There is no point in playing really. Beating content at this stage with pvp weapons & toned down raids is not an accoplishment. There is no reason to continue. Just wait until WotLK comes out and then enjoy the new areas.

WoW is not a game that can be played endlessly. One day those that have spent the past 4years in this game will awaken to that fact. Sure there are people that have played Eq since release...I feel so sad for them.

WoW is beaten when you reach your goal whatever that may be. Me? I don't want to pay $15/month when there is nothing less to do in the game. I'll enjoy that money in other areas until Wotlk and then play it for 4 months or so and "beat" it moving on to the next game. WoW is not all that, but some people think it is and that is fine, it's your money.
Well, i was starting a lengthy post on the virtues of raiding and how it's impossible for everyone to reach the same objectives.

Bollocks to that...

In everyone's life when you worked your ass off to reach an objective you won't like if someone else got it easy. Period.

You pay 15€ to be in WoW. You don't pay 15€ to have a tailor made game built around your playing time. You want to play 30 minutes a day and still have the same gameplay experience as someone who plays 6 hours? That would be the same as working for 7 hours a day and claiming the same wage/benefits as someone who works 14! It doesn't work like that in RL and it doesn't work in WoW.

This discussion is getting old. I just wish that everyone who can't speak about the game without complaining that the game caters to hardcore raiders would just try to raid a bit (really, just a bit, so you know what you're missing) or else would just go play Second Life. Hey, free game, everyone has access to the same content, no hardcore raiding, no server firsts!

This post is still lengthy, but what i mean is the majority is winning! WoW is becoming a watered down version of itself and those people will only be happy when everything in the game is just a on-rails, effortless attraction.

...and then they'll complain because the game is too easy...

Bottom line is: if you don't have time to play, don't blame on those that have.
I've long thought that the way raiding has existed since EQ is flawed, monotonous, and needs to be put out of its misery ASAP. When this day comes (and it will as games are tailored more towards the casual player) MMORPGs will make a huge step away from timesinks and grinding.

Don't get me wrong, raids can be great fun in small doses--and I still consider myself a "casual" raider. But the lack of flexibility of most class roles (even though Blizz improved this with BC), the grind for a slim chance at better gear, and the sheer time commitment makes raiding on a hardcore level the terrain for jobless shut-ins and people with OCD.

Sure, you're grinding the same content over and over again for PvP epics in a game like WoW, but the fact that you are fighting against other players rather than sleepwalking through annoying scripted events and bad AI adds a level of spontaneity and randomness that raiding lacks.
"and the sheer time commitment makes raiding on a hardcore level the terrain for jobless shut-ins and people with OCD."

WTF do you know about me or my life to say this?

Our guild will try to enter BT before summer. We all have jobs, families and the ONLY thing we miss are a few hours sleep in the nights each one of us raids. Why aren't we among the server firsts?

Trust me, we will in next expansion.

And no, nobody is on the verge of divorce or loosing his job...

Any doubts? Check After Hours in EU Eonar. I am Anroth there.

At least someone here gives some ID instead of "in my server" or "in my main" or "in my guild"...
More like offering options to non-raiders than hating on raiders in my opinion. lol Get over yourself.
The Nihilum player might have a point. I haven't raided in TBC. I haven't been to Karazhan or any other TBC raid instance. And yet there isn't a single piece of loot in Karazhan, Gruul or Magtheridon that I can use, and I think only one item in SSC. And that does make raiding obsolete for me. I'd love to go and see what those places are like one day, but I don't think I'd like to clear the instance over and over again for several months like we did with MC back in the day.
I don't get the whole "Blizzard favors PvP" angle that some people are claiming. Last I checked, raiding can now earn people both PvE /and/ PvP gear, and PvP is a one-way track. Regardless of the claims, PvE is earning participants more options for gear that PvP is, and I've yet to see a raiding guild succeed by using nothing by PvP gear.
I guess at the end of the day, it will always come down to -

Do I pvp for 6 hours for gear i KNOW im going to get, or farm badges for gear i KNOW im going to get?

Or Do I spend 6 hours Raiding, where even if the item I want drops, I might not get it anyway?

Dont get me wrong, Im in a SSC/TK guild myself and enjoying the content that for me - is new. Also as a consequence I no longer get badges that often (I cant play much in the day, and I no longer sign for Karazahn to allow other healers to gear up).

At the end of the day, Everyone is their own person, and we will see what they do. All the naysaying really annoys though. (Not you tobold :P)
Xaylissa: Come 2.4, you'll get badges in 25-man raids as well.

I think it is rather funny that so many people still get their panties in a knot about who does and does not deserve what. It's actually pretty simple, now that I think about it.

#1. BT/Hyjal gear is not really that special. Black Temple and Hyjal were introduced on 5/22/07, which means it has been roughly 9 months since they opened. That was 9 months of time players who were in there had to feel 'special'. If you had the gear from Black Temple at that point, you were a special snowflake.

It's been 9 months. As the old adage goes, "Nothing stays uber forever". Adding better badge gear will aid player advancement through old raid content and see it consumed at a larger rate.

There will be new shinies from Sunwell Plateau that will also be pretty good for a few months, before the expansion comes out and resets everything. You can go ahead and get those items too, but you know what? Eventually those will be outdated too.

#2. You are not a crotchety old man who tells the kids that he had to walk 10 miles through the snow to get to school, uphill both ways. You spent your time doing it because you enjoyed it. Or at least, you should have been enjoying it. If you didn't enjoy it, then you're probably one of those OCD people who has more problems than just playing a game.

Like Shalkis said... WoW is not a zero-sum game, unless you make it one in your head. There is no finite amount of "fun". Somebody else advancing their character does not take away from your advancement.

If you really dislike the fact that easier rewards will come for the more casual players months down the line, you're probably playing the wrong game. After they removed attunements to SSC and TK, they let it go for 4 months (may to september), where they then introduced Zul'Aman and added T5-quality badge loot. They let black temple run for 9 months (and it may likely be 10) before introducing T6 quality badge loot, and a whole new instance.

Once again... "Nothing stays uber forever". Enjoy your time in the sun, but you must realize that it is, indeed, fleeting.

To Anroth, you haven't worked your a$$ off you have Kara/ZA gear. Plus you are wearing a Vindicator's belt! Hardcore raider my a$$
I like what Rawr said. Gear will always get outdated. What if there was an "Accomplishments" tab your profile. Or "Kill list" type list of all your accomplishments.

Slayer of Gruul.
Master of Molten Core.
King of Rosy Palms.

Anyway, you get my point/idea. People could still retain the recognition of downing bosses.
Dear "Anonymous",

Your point is?...

Anroth, EU Eonar
Well I see both sides as I once was a hardcore raider and now just a casual player.

I would like if wow end game had some activities that had some other motivation than gear mongering. Like some strong story telling elements (not the stupid quest texts that nobody reads thanks to questhelper). I'm talking about stuff that you do just to see what comes next. What would get people to play them? Dont know, maybe some status symbols as reward or something.
See, this is why I currently like UT3 so much :) I'm better than you, I kill you. A large enough amount of time can make up for that gap by simple means of giving you training, but you won't have "better gear" or weapons that 2-shot me while I have to chunk at your armour 5 times or more. Dedication pays off in that it gives you even more training.

So if I'm killed over and over in UT3? I know he's simply better. If I get killed over and over in WoW? He might be better, but I wouldn't know, because his gear is so much better he can play crap and still beat me.

Skill > Time, that's the way it should be in PvP, and with raiders having gear that's so much better than the PvPers (like it was pre-TBC) it isn't anymore. And - yes, so what, they get epics, is your gameplay detrimentally influenced by that somehow? Except those only in your guild for the phat lewt might eventually find another way to get purple pixels? I think not. The only thing hurt is raider's egoes...
trebormojo, what you're describing there is pretty much identical to the City of Heroes/Villains Badge System
The issue of gear is still there in UT3, it's just more accessible. If you go toe-to-toe against a Leviathan with your starter gun, you're probably going to lose. It's even true in duels. If your opponent gets the health packs, the armor, the best weapons and the powerups faster than you, you're probably going to get swept aside all the time.
i hate raiding.

i love pvp.

i would love it if they modified the defense/attack power ratings somehow so pvp gear would get people nowhere in raids and raid gear would be worthless in pvp, but if that happened the raid people would cry that they cant go slaughter people in battlegrounds with their hard earned t6.

whatever happens the so called 'elite' will always complain that they are being hard done by.
People want to show off, whether it is T6 or S3/4 pvp gear, whether it is a Netherwing flying mount or an Engineering mount, a Frostsaber, or whatever.
People want to show they are different/better than the rest of the herd, same as in real life.
Why else do people link gear in guild chat, other than to say 'Look what I have, I'm better than you'?
Why else don't people go to AQ40, BWL or Naxx any more?, because the gear in those places isn't special nowadays. The encounters are the same, nothing has changed with them, and yet, you won't see many people walking around in IF with their T3 gear on, unless they are RPers.
90% of people want loot, and loot better than that worn by other people. End of story.
(this is Yunk)
"People can basically play TBC solo, guildless and get the same rewards as being in a raiding guild."

The only people that say this are people that DO NOT try it. How the hell do you get badges without a group? You can't. And ever try getting PUGs for heroics? Or for Kara? yeah right. And "one hour" per week for pvp epics is pretty silly. More like 6-10 hours if you want an item per week. PvP is as much of a grind as anything.

I've never seen so much whining as in that Nihilum post. I mean, wow, how big of a loser do you have to be to get upset that someone is getting pixels that were harder to get when you did it in the past?

I can still point back to my accomplishments and say "I did this". If someone else can do it easier now what do I care?
yes it's an exaggeration that they can get the same rewards solo.

But the game has made soloing more and more viable and for some classes especially clothies you can never group and hit tier 4 equivilant. Now I'm not saying alternative paths for gear is bad. But I think it's gotten too solo friendly. The social atmosphere the game used to have seems to be slowly dieing.

I'm sure part of that is the age of the game but even some of us who aren't hard core raiders are really getting frustrated at our MMO becoming world of solocraft.
(yunk again)

ah I see what you're saying. Yeah I agree it is impossible to get pugs for heroics, or even get my guild to go to heroics sometimes. And I'm a holy priest!

I was just looking at it from the other angle. You can get good pvp gear solo (though long and frustrating :) ) but hard to get badges or good pve gear.

However, that shouldn't make anyone who has a good group to back them up very upset. they can still do everything much faster.
"Are PvP epics too easy to get? Look at my warrior: He has the kind of decent blue gear you get when you did all the TBC dungeons in non-heroic mode. Now how many hours do I need to spend doing PvP to get one single epic which is a real upgrade, and not a sidegrade? I'd say several weeks of doing the daily PvP quest and a few battlegrounds every evening. Compare that to my priest: Last Saturday in one afternoon cleared out Karazhan in less than 6 hours, thus getting over 20 epics for the raid group, or 2 epics per raider. Even if I got just one upgrade, the T4 gloves, it would have taken me more than 6 hours of PvP to get an epic that good. And besides that epic I got 22 badges, which I can spend towards another epic"

which is actually wrong. you forgot that for a full time PvPer you're doing PvP every day, but raiders usually raid maybe 1-3 raids per week. So you're looking at roughly the same progression rate BUT... PvP has no pre-requisites and you don't have to roll on PvP gear. But in the end it comes down to whether you'd rather fight CPU generated mobs or other players.
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