What does it take to get epic gear? Well you can do arenas or battlegrounds and save up points for gear. It takes a few weeks of arenas to get a piece of the most recent releases. A good weekend of battlegrounds might net you a piece or two. You can do raids for epic drops. It can take weeks to learn fights and clear raids. A hard night of raiding could earn you nothing but a repair bill.
Among raiding and PvP, which shows more dedication and skill? The term "welfare epic" has popped up to describe gear that some believe is given to a player without the appropriate level of effort. In his official forum post, Kaizersosay of Spirestone asserted that there are no welfare epics- that every piece of purple loot takes effort. He said that the phrase welfare epic is elitist. The thread sparked a lively discussion of welfare epics for both PvE and PvP players.
Players can get PvP gear without a single win or a kill by doggedly queuing up for battlegrounds and arenas. Blizzard has been making this type of gear increasingly easy to get by introducing daily quests that give honor. They have also made arena gear available for honor points rather than arena points. In this scenario, it could take several weeks to get a piece of season three equipment. You don't have to be good, just persistent.
The other side of the argument is that raiding gear in many circumstances could be considered welfare epics. A single player does not necessarily have to pull their weight to get the best gear they just have to be present. (Though guilds would likely have words with such a player) Also, once a guild has an instance on farm status, they may trade out their mains for alts and gear up those toons without putting in an extraordinary raid effort. Again, you don't have to be good, just persistent?
What is a welfare epic?