Welfare epics exist
WoW Insider’s Forum Post of the Day dealt with a General Boards post that the idea that the term “welfare epics” is elitist and that there is no such thing.
This is wrong, there are certainly such a thing as welfare epics.
I’m sorry, those shiny purples that you got from playing matches in the arena are, indeed, welfare epics. My reasoning?
The arena system rewards failure.
Pay for an arena charter. Sit through interminably long queues long enough to play 10 games. Even if you get savagely eviscerated in those 10 games and lose them all without even killing a single opponent (or to the furthest extreme, do a single point of damage or healing), within a few weeks, you will be able to get a piece of gear that is the equivalent of Tier 5 or beyond.
Unless I’m mistaken, Kael’thas Sunstrider, Lady Vashj, and hell, even good ol’ Attumen the Huntsman aren’t going to go “well, gee, you made some good attempts there, here, have some epics” if you can’t kill them.
The arena system ignore skill and rewards failure. Something for nothing, I would argue, is welfare. You’re given epics. Thus, welfare epics. (Aside: It would totally be amusing if arena gear was blue, because “welfare rares” rhymes.)
My extra frustration from this is the old adage “gear does not equal skill.” More than once, I’ve raided with a DPS class decked out in S2 and S3 arena gear. They outgeared everyone in the raid easily. And then rocked an embarassing ~500 DPS, coming in 4th-5th in damage. But they sure had plenty of hit points.
The welfare epics worn by this player did not lead them to believe that there was any sort of problem, especially when they gladly passed on some drops designed for their class, though it had some badly needed hit rating in exchange for some stamina and a couple of points in other stats.
Sure, skilled players decked out in S2 and S3 arena gear should be able to absolutely clobber all the 25 mans through Kael’thas. But many people seem to forget that once you have eventually saved up those arena points to purchase epics play skill is still not included.
This isn’t QQing that such-and-such player is better geared for me. Sherm does not have a single PVP/arena item and has lead dps meters in both Karazhan and ZA. The problem comes from those who believe that they’re the ultimate PVE endgame pieces and that they make up for bad play. It’s happening more than you think.