Is my gear good enough for X?

Periodically I amuse myself by reviewing the search terms that people have used to somehow wind up on my blog.

I feel very sorry for some of those people – either they were sorely disappointed by what they found here or they must be very bored.

A common theme that crops up is the search of “Is my gear good enough for (name of random instance or raid)?”

I’ll give you an easy answer.


You want a more complicated answer?

Fine. Be that way.

It’s like being in a fancy restaurant or high-end store. If you have to ask how much it is, you can’t afford it.

Likewise, if you don’t think your gear is good enough, it isn’t.

The problem really isn’t the gear, it’s the player behind the gear.

It has been proven that Ulduar can be thrashed in blues. I’m too lazy to find Gevlon’s post over at the Greedy Goblin about it, I’m sure anyone that wants to know about it can go look it up.

If you’re asking about your gear quality it indicates to me that you’re attempting to skip content.

On your first character.

You’ve been grinding heroics, you’ve got your T8, maybe some T9. But since you’ve bypassed Naxx/OS/EoE/Uld you’re confused about where your gear fits into the progression.

This means you don’t have raiding experience and should not be attempting to PuG your way into a 25-man Heroic Trial of the Crusader.

On top of it somehow you’ve completely missed sites like WoW Heroes.


Benefit of the doubt, you’re trying to be responsible with your raiding. What I mean by that is you’re looking for some sort of reassurance that you’ve done enough of the previous content to not hold the rest of your raid back due to your poor ilevel. Here’s the problem: you’re asking the wrong question.

“Is my gear good enough?” is super vague.

“What is the hit cap for fire mages?” would be a much better question.

“How much defense rating does a tank need for raids?” would result in useful information.

See the difference?

“Is my gear good enough?” is the equivalent of “Am I old enough to drink?”

Depending on the laws of your locale, that answer can vary – for legal purposes. It does not address issues such as, “Am I old enough to drink and know when I’ve had enough and stop instead of continuing to drink and end up puking in that hot girl’s purse and waking up naked the next morning in someone’s driveway?”

For raiding that translates into things like “Can I, as a player, get my ass out of the fire? Do I know what my rotation should be? Do I have any understanding of how my class benefits from or provides for other classes in the raid?”

If you’re poking around the interwebz using gear as your gate to content, chances are you’re pinning too much importance on the numbers and not enough on the knowledge.


19 comments on “Is my gear good enough for X?

  1. Xanthippe says:

    “This means you don’t have raiding experience and should not be attempting to PuG your way into a 25-man Heroic Trial of the Crusader.”

    Or, you know, my main is a healer and I’m not sure what 3k on a dummy means for dps. Good thing I asked someone helpful instead of someone who wanted to get on a hyperbolic soapbox about bad pugs.

    You really think, “What’s the hit cap?” is equivalent to, ” I’ve run Naxx10 a couple times and got some badge gear; can I handle Uld/Toc25?” And you think not knowing either of those of the top of your head is equivalent to not having raid experience? Please. I don’t think there’s a fight in LK where I don’t know what dps is supposed to be doing/watching out for (except for dps going into the portals in phase 2 of Yogg, since I’ve never gone in on my healer). I’m the person screaming at them in vent. I still don’t know what dps generally pulls on a given fight. And you’re going to get bitchy with people for ASKING? Trust me honeybear, the people you want to pms at aren’t the ones googling for answers.


  2. some orc says:

    Well you know what dps roles are for all fights so u got the knowledge.

    Knowledge is POWER!


  3. telanarra says:

    what about Y


  4. Slo says:

    I liked this post, because I think I probably early on did a search very similar to the one you described, and I can attest that it doesn’t provide any helpful information.

    I have learned that knowledge and skill far outweigh gear as factors in whether or not you will succeed in a raid. But I do also admit to using Wow-heroes and the like to at least know where to focus my efforts for improving gear.

    Anyway, interesting take on the matter, thanks.


  5. Narvien says:

    Xanthippe, I think you missed the point. In your situation, what you should be asking yourself, what you should be using Google to find out, is not, “Is my gear good enough?” It’s “Is my DPS good enough?” (Well, actually putting a question into the search field is silly, but that’s beside the point). Getting better gear can help improve DPS, true, but so can a good number of other things, such as a better rotation, proper gems and enchants, or as Arioch mentioned, being at the caps you need to be at.

    That’s my take on it at least.


  6. theerivs says:

    I don’t think I ever asked is my gear good enough for anything. I’m way to arrogant, even if I was sporting green I would be like, I can handle this instance. LOL!


  7. shieldbreakr says:

    @Theerivs: It would be an interesting experiment to jump into a H ToC25 team, let them inspect my gear [avg iLvL 236 and climbing now], then switch to the super awesome quest greens you get all over northrend and see if anyone notices my performance. As I’m a tank, I have to think they would, but if I was dps.. maybe, just maybe?


  8. Kaldreth says:

    I think that you and I are kindred spirits. I am attempting to jump-start my guild into doing raiding again after a leadership debacle and I’ve been reading your blog through google reader (I’m not sure if that shows up in your stats or not). Your blog has hit quite a few key notes in not just mage blogging, which I’m interested in regardless of being a priest, but also in raid leading and how to tell my new 80 friends that they’re not ready for content (ToC especially). The semantics about which you talk about the questions being asked are very near and dear to my heart as and English Grammartarian. I am a firm believer in asking the right question and making the person think rather than just spoon feeding them sentences/words/gear. Thank you for writing these and keep em coming!


  9. Shyste Chris says:

    Have we gone drinking before???

    Ah, memories of youth…


  10. Kaldreth says:

    I don’t usually have time to proof the comments I make since I’m at work and spelling is about the only thing it’ll check auto-magically. The “and” before “English” should be “an”. Awesome catch :)


  11. Kaldreth says:

    @ Arioch
    Well, I’m just a Computer Science major with a few tech writing classes under my belt. I wish I used it more often, but I don’t. I’ll keep reading your blog. Wish I was on your server though. I could bring a few people :-p


  12. telanarra says:


    The Q is talking to me


  13. Fish says:

    I’d rather someone ask questions than proclaim awesomeness, be mis-gemmed/not gemmed at all, and make life generally horrible for those around them.

    I’d be an asker, how else would you know? There is a lot of information online, but sometimes it is too much. I have still not seen anywhere what acceptable elemental shammy DPS is. 3k? 5k?


  14. jong says:

    I’m gonna call you honeybear from now on.


  15. Melanthor says:

    Hi, first of I like your page very much. Probably one of the Top5 currently. But this time, the post is really not clear.
    My first impressions where the same, like those of Xanthippe. Sure, you are right with gear and dps are different kind of a picture.
    I have visited ToC hard 10 yeasterday. Due to 3 healer each of the 5 DPS had to be top of their game.
    unfortunalty i was running only close to 5K dps. Which is very close to the lowest possible, at least it felt like that.
    So my question would be: How much DPS is necessary for a conent X?
    Or how much DPS should I be able to pull out of my gear?

    Whatever you put the question. There is a hugh part of uncertainity. At least still for me.


  16. Jaedia says:

    My highest searched for topic is pretty much Frozen Halls loot… if it’s not on frigging dataminingandruininganynicesurprisesalongtheway MMO Champ, then it won’t be anywhere else.


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