Tobold writes about guild hopping and other such goodies in a recent post. Near the end, he covers the idea of open PvP being more inclusive than PvE.
I couldn't agree more.
In PvE, you need a very specific number of players, and each encounter requires a very specific type of classes and gear levels. If you don't get enough people to show up, you can't raid. If you get enough people to show up, but they're all Hunters, you can't raid. If you get enough people to show up, but they've all got different levels of gear, you likely can't raid. If you get too many people show up, some people have to sit out. If you are half way through a raid and a player has to leave, unless you've got spares waiting around, your raid is done.
This aspect is the completely and totally exhausting part of raiding for me. I have no trouble farming for mats, researching encounters, honing my skills, ensuring my gear is repaired and my bags are packed. I do have trouble finding the proper 25 toons at the right time. Several times a week.
Contrast this with PvP.
I've never really participated in open PvP, but how about pre-made Battlegrounds?
Some of the most fun I've had in WoW is playing in pre-made Battlegrounds.
Form up a raid group. Who really cares about composition. Sure, its nice to have a couple healers. Its nice to have some tanks for flag carrying or NPC tanking. But, if you get 10 hunters to show up? Why not give WSG a shot? Or enter EotS for a partial pre-made.
Or, how about if you get your perfect 15 players and you're rocking and rolling in AB? You've got a nice blend of classes, specs, whatever. And somebody's mom comes into their room and yells at them to get off the computer and clean up the mess they left in the kitchen?
If you're in a PvE raid, the raid will stall at best, or maybe even totally stop, dependent upon the specialized role of that player and the availability of subs.
Playing in a BG? Ok, maybe find a replacement, or maybe just let Blizzard fill in the spot for you.
With BG's you still suffer the issue that if you get too many players, somebody will have to sit. Sure, if you have 15, and another shows up, you can go play AV, but if you're specifically farming EotS, then somebody's out. Those left out are not exactly up sht's creek though, since they can just PuG BG while they wait for a pre-made spot to open up. But in theory, the'll be excluded from the Guild activity.
Now look at open PvP, like assaulting an enemy capital or sieging a Keep in Warhammer Online? The more the merrier. Come one, come all, lets go rumble.
The key to opening up PvE raiding to the masses will be to bridge this gap. Allowing 10-man versions of all the WotLK raids is a step in that its easier to find 10 than it is to find 25, but you still need specific roles, and if 11 show up, someone is going to be left out.