EDIT: I want to make it clear that this is purely hypothetical, and imagined! Blizzard aren't doing this. I'm wondering what's stopping them.
Now, I understand that back in the halcyon days before The Burning Crusade, resilience didn't exist in its current form. Please note, however, that this isn't meant to be a discussion on that period of WoW. So what would be the positive and negative aspects of such a system? One area where I see a bit of a struggle emerging is as follows: How do you get this gear? How does it scale? Where does the best gear come from?
If I were a dev (with or without my coffee), I'd have to say that one's a tricky one. I suppose you could let people earn points from both PvE and PvP and have them spend those points, similar to valor or conquest now, except both are taken to the same vendor. You could still have lower tiers of gear available for honor or justice equivalents that are easier to reach.
But no drops in instances, just points? Boring! Would you need to add drops into PvP somehow, too, or raiders get the best gear faster ... or is the current system OK? Do PvP ilevels need to replicate PvE ones, or is scaling good?
Would you change how people earn those high-end points on the PvP side? The conquest point cap is higher than the valor one, but I would imagine that fewer people reach it per week. And looking at heroic raiding gear, you'd need an equivalent for PvP. 2,200+ rating gear? I would hazard a guess that even fewer players see 2,200+ rating than see heroic raids.
It's important to me that a hypothetical single gear set system doesn't mean PvE or PvP players have to do the other gameplay style in order to get the best gear for their preferred discipline. So when new raid tiers came in, PvP gear would have to be upgraded accordingly.
Leaving that aside, though, what would be the problems when it came to actually using the gear? Well, procs, perhaps. Looking at Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa's Rest's proc as an example, it's great in PvE, really comparable to the difficult task of assembling the weapon, and what's more, it's fun. In PvP, it's troublesome, just like Vial of Shadows was pre-nerf. Blizzard has tried to move away from very high-burst damage in PvP, and I think it's appreciated. But those facts don't mean that a single gear set is impossible, just that cool procs may have to be left out.
I think the biggest problem of a single gear set could be the feeling of unfairness. Would hardcore PvP players feel cheated if a hardcore PvE player rocked up and facerolled them wearing raid-acquired gear? Would hardcore PvE players feel cheated if a hardcore PvP player came and blew them all off the DPS charts? Would people constantly feel that the "other side" had it better?
Am I exhibiting a falsely divided view? Ignoring the above, would a single gear set mean a focus purely on a player's skill and not on the "right" gear? Would this help to iron out elitism from one side or the other? Would it bring world PvP back to the fore?
Finally, would only having to grind one gear set for both disciplines remove a necessary hurdle to gameplay duration? I think this may be the crux of the issue.
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