Today's blog post is prompted by my guildie Siha over at Banana Shoulders, who rants against people who say that PvE is easy.
I wouldn't say PvE is easy, exactly... but I do think that PvE is easiER in terms of personal skill.
Because PvE is pretty much the same thing, every time. You know what to expect - watch for void zones for this boss, cleanse for this boss, kill this mob first in this trash pack, taunt at 10 stacks of debuff, heal this target.
In my guild, I've been one of the highest DPSers with my crappy non-DPS spec since level 60 raids... and up until halfway through BC, I clicked and keyboard turned for everything except kiting.
So... compared to competitive PvP, I do think PvE is easier in terms of personal skill. However... I also think PvE is hard.
Because to progress in a difficult heroic raid zone you need TWENTY-FOUR other people to be as good, or better, than you in terms of personal skill. You also need a raid leader that is good (and patient!) enough to lead all 25 people through.
This, of course, is easy for high-end raiding guilds. Someone isn't good enough? /gkick and replace them; there are plenty of applicants eager to prove their worth. That shadow priest keeps dying on Heigan but is usually an excellent player? Bring in a warlock for Heigan only, and the priest can come back in when Heigan is dead.
For most "casual" raiding guilds, this isn't an option. The guilds are based on friendships rather than skill, and there's always that one hunter who can't keep their pet alive, that one warlock that has lower DPS than the tank, that one shaman that falls asleep in raids, that one pally that turns up drunk.
We have to motivate them, wake them up, spend more time explaining, show them what to do... and if all else fails, "carry" them through content by DPSing harder, overgearing the encounter a little, or even resorting to a little raid stacking until we get it right.
We do it because we'd rather wipe a few times and laugh at people failing frogger than give up our friends... and that's what really makes PvE hard.