Even with the things I like there are things I dislike. It is just a natural thing. Nothing is perfect but there are some things that PvP has over PvE that PvE can not even hold a candle to. I would love to see some adjustments made to PvE to get them closer to PvP in these terms, but for some things it is just not possible, never could be, as I will explain.
First I will start with the fact that I do dislike that there are different sets of gear for PvP and PvE. There is no reasonably acceptable explanation why there should be two completely different sets of gear. Sure we need to suspend belief often playing a fantasy based game but some things are just not acceptable. While I am willing to accept the fact that I can stand toe to toe with a three story tall dragon with a talon larger than my entire body smacking me and breathing fire on me and I seem to live for some odd reason I can not accept the fact that you need to change gear from killing that dragon to killing a person. Excuse me, I need to take off my dragon killing gear and place on my people killing gear before I can fight you. I call bull shit. My blade would strike just as true against a dragon or a person.
With that said, the PvP design for gearing is leaps and bound better than the RNG hell that is PvE. You can not even compare the two, that are in different leagues, hell, they are different sports. PvP is a system designed to reward participation and that is the best design you could ever have for any game.
When new gear comes out there is always a full set, as in complete for every single body slot, of gear that is craftable for PvP. Sure it is not the best gear, but it is still gear and it is still for every slot. All that and it even has set bonuses. What does PvE get when new gear comes out? Two pieces maybe. Oh joy, I can make legs and a waist. And I would not even want to use the legs because I would prefer the tier legs. And I need top level crafting materials, and lots of them, and I need to kill current raid bosses to get those, and then disenchant those things and a lot of those things to make one single piece? No thank you. I'll go with the PvP design every day. Every piece, everyday material, and you are ready to roll.
PvE can easily adopt the PvP design. Just like I need 7250 honor collected this season to buy the honor weapon you could put I need 72 boss kills to buy the valor weapon. That is good design, that is rewarding me for my work, that is well thought out and rewarding design. Instead we just have to kill the same boss, once a week at that, over and over for months and hope luck lets us have a piece of gear. How exactly is that fun or rewarding? It is nothing but annoying.
The bottom line is that gear in PvP feels rewarding and gearing in PvE feels frustrating.
Performance and Replayability: (What you do)
PvP needs skill, more so than PvE does in many cases, but unlike it's PvE counterpart you can not hang your performance on numbers alone. As a main damage dealer in PvE it just feels like no matter what you are always judged by your numbers even when your numbers no longer matter. When you can down a boss with 150K and are doing 350K, like you would be now if you are a normal geared player, you still look at the end results and if you are 4th or 5th in a 10 man you did poorly. You are still judged by numbers.
With PvP your numbers do matter of course, but sometimes, most times, nearly every single time, the little things matter more than the numbers. There is something rewarding about dropping that CC just at the exact moment you need to, or peeling a player off your healer, or kiting that warrior with concussive, or disengaging the second a DK gripped you, or knocking off a pack of horde from the lumber mill my with explosive trap because of the glyph. All those things matter just as much as doing 350K would, actually, even more. The 350K might not really be needed to get the job done but getting that player off my healer is needed if we want to win.
With PvP it is more about how you play than it is about the numbers you throw around. If that makes sense the way I am saying it. It is not about completely raw numbers. If I spend the entire skirmish protecting the healer my numbers might be lower, much lower, but it will be the reason we win and a PvPer will notice that. At least a good one will. So it is not just about your performance based on numbers, it is about your over all performance based on everything you do and I must say I like that.
Now to part two of this "what you do" header.
I've been hunting that trinket off shaman since, well, week 1. I've been fully geared except for my heroic ToT trinket I would like that to replace for some time now. This goes to the annoying gearing factor I mentioned for PvE but is meant to speak more for the playability of PvP over PvE. When I was first "geared" and only needed that trinket I was probably pulling around 270K on shaman. Not great but more than acceptable for normal, well more.
Doing it each week does have its appeal. I've gotten better at it and have seen that translate with numbers. Moving up from 270 to 280 to 290 over the weeks up to 350 and 360 all in basically the same gear, with the exception of maybe upgrading to a warforged piece, shows I am improving as a player on the fight. But it is the same fight each week. Sure I am getting better at it but who really gives a flying fuck if I can do 350K on a fight you only need 150K to down easily. Sure it feels nice to see I am getting better and I do like seeing that and trying to do better each week but at some point it just gets boring. It is the same thing week in and week out.
It is why I needed time off from the game. The prospect that I am already bored with doing the same fights over and over again and then blizzard is going to make me keep doing it for another 6 months or maybe more because they will not give us something new. No thank you. We need new content. Or in this case, for me, we need PvP.
I can do a battleground, the same one, over and over again and it will never be the same. Even if I do a million and one of them no two battlegrounds are ever the same. Arena to some extent can be the same old same old if you match up against the same team enough, which I have had happen, but battlegrounds, not so much. Each fight is brand new. It is one of the reasons that PvP is better than PvE. The shaman fight is the shaman fight. It is why I have been able to work on it and get better. It never changes. But a battleground is different each time.
With PvP you are always learning, you can never take it easy, you need to be on the top of your feet at all times. With PvE you can basically get to the point of just coasting. I did the celestial boss the other day, auto shotting, just for fun, and did 106K with no buffs. I was outside of the group. If I hit a key here and there once in a while I could have did 150K no problem which is all that is needed for normal content. See, you can get to the point of going on auto pilot in PvE at some point. Try defending the flag auto attacking or maybe just randomly hitting a key once in a while. Not going to work. Not at all. PvP just stays fresher longer and it is why PvP does not actually need new content, ever, because the people are the content and the people will not let you just stand there and auto attack them to death. Well, at least the ones that are not AFK will not let you.
I titled this world PvP but it is not just about world PvP only, it is the concept of the anywhere at any time that comes with PvP. Be it dueling in front of stormwind, having a skirmish in the celestial court or a knock down drag out brawl on the deeprun tram you can PvP anywhere at any time.
Sure it helps to have a group, even more so when you want to do things like rated battlegrounds or arena and that comes with setting times where you assemble to do such but you can PvP otherwise all the time. There is always a chance to do it. It is not like raiding when you can only do it at a set time. Also raiding needs a chunk of time, not only is it at a set time, but you can not just do it for 10 minutes or a half hour. It does not work that way.
You can grab one person, two people or go it alone and walk into a battleground. You can just flag yourself and start attacking some NPCs to create your own PvP. You can fight where ever you are in the mood to fight and be PvPing. A raider can not just raid whenever they see fit. And please do not say LFR, LFR is like dog shit on the bottom of your shoe. You just want to wipe it off and forget about it and hope that the stink it left behind won't last long. LFR is about as far from raiding as moscow is from new york. Sure they are both places on earth and inhabited by human but that is about all they have in common.
The thing is that with PvE unless you are playing at the top of your game, which requires other people capable of doing it as well at a set time and you have a nice chunk of time set aside to do it, you are not doing anything or having any way to progress personally but with PvP even when there is no one else around you can still make some personal progression. Even if you only do 5 minutes here and 10 minutes there. Even if all you do are battlegrounds and all you do is lose them, you are still getting solid practice, you are still earning honor, should you need it, and you are still playing your game, even if on a lesser level.
I used to love running around on my priest flagged. I would do it just to see who would attack me and it was fun seeing people pass me. They would stop for a second, think about it, and then move on. Or they would flag themselves and wait for me to attack them. It was a game of cat and mouse. Oddly enough no one ever attacked me when I was on my priest flagged unless I was already fighting, then they would join in, but it was almost as if they feared me one on one. But I think everyone fears a disc priest one on one.
My hunter has no such luck, my hunter is free kill city. Even me as a hunter loves when I see a flagged hunter. It is like they are wearing a sign that says "free honor here". And in a way that might seem like a bad thing, but it is also a good thing. Whenever I want some action, I get some action. I'll flag myself and in a matter of minutes, if not seconds, someone is attacking me and I am PvPing. Anywhere, any time. It is one thing to love about PvP. Just wish raiding was that easy. If I wanted to kill garrosh on the spur of the moment I should be able to just go kill him. We need solo options for raiding too.