After following the blog roll (yes I link to blessing of kings and BoK links to everywhere else for me :P) and being confronted with a seemingly endless discussion on various blogs about why you need to enchant and gem your gear or 'please transfer off of the server noob' I started to wonder a little.
I've gotten my share of whispers commenting on my enchants and my gem choice as well as 'lol what's with the green pants' and frankly I am a bit confused.
What prompts people to comment on your gear out of the blue? They don't know what you do in WoW. They merely assume you either raid or you pvp and that you're serious in either direction. And of course... if you are serious in either direction that enchanting / gemming your gear will help you towards your goals.
On top of that if you're serious in PVE you get laughed out of even 'casual' PVP and PVP geared people are very rarely welcome in PVE instances (at least that seems to be the general behaviour I see).
I've always been a 'freeform' player. I enjoy the ability to solo things as much as I enjoy the grouping aspect. I enjoy PVP and PVE but can also regularly be spotted sitting at a remote pool just fishing or flinging myself off of a mountain repeatedly for that 1 nice to have screenshot.
I am never going to hold a 2000 arena rating nor will I ever be invited to raid sunwell with the T6 guilds and my gear reflects this. It is not uncommon to see me walking around in PVP gear that is gemmed for PVE or vice versa. I take from both worlds what I can because I am not on a specific path of progression but need to be viable in solo, multiplayer and pvp alike.
People have become so pidgeonholed in their end-game specific class / spec / aoproach that they exclude more flexible freeform choices as viable options.
Have people really become so narrow minded that they exclude any possibility of gameplay beyond end-game raiding and pvp?
How satisfying is end-game raiding really? Do you enjoy the challenge of teaming up and taking down a boss? Of course you do... but after the 20th run on the same boss the challenge is gone, you may still have some fun but you're there for the gear.
Freeform is finding the fun without chasing after the gear. Gear is a means to an end, a thing you may need to do what you want but not something that should dictate your game.
Your gear will become invalidated with every expansion. I for one don't want to look back at 200 Karazhan runs and decide I did it for the gear. If you can run Kara 200 times for fun, then by all means do. If you're just doing it for gear then you're on the path that blizzard laid out for you and you should curse your lack of creativity.
Come WotLK your brutal gladiator set and your T6 epics will be for looks only (and they're not all that pretty)... but the ability to polymorph something into a turtle will still be priceless and that sporregar tabard will still be one niftiest tabards around.
By all means, claw your way to 70, burn through the instances you want to do and then look back... because there is a world beyond Raiding and PvP.