Oh boy, is gear a fun topics for raiders.
I saw this somewhere on a forum and immediately took it to heart.
We do not raid to gear. We gear to raid.
Gear is NOT the reason I spend hours fretting about balancing raid compositions. I worry about raid compositions and bringing in skilled players because I want to see us succeed and master the challenges of raiding.
A while back we had a bunch of applicants to the guild, all friends of a returned guild member.
We have a question on the guild application, “What are you looking for in a guild?”
To a one, they all responded with some variant of “loot.”
Hint: This is NOT the answer I’m looking for.
Do I like handing out loot?
Hell yeah! It means we worked together and killed shit. We did what we were supposed to do. We didn’t stand in the fire. We stacked when the raid leader said to stack, we scattered when the raid leader said to scatter. We switched to adds when we were supposed to. We worked together as a cohesive unit and we won.
Gear is the tangible (as tangible as pixels are) reward for defeating an encounter. But the real reward is making the kill.
Does it suck when I don’t get to hand out loot?
Hell yeah, it does. Not because I’m sending my raiders home with an empty bag slot. Because it means we weren’t good enough to make the kill. We weren’t doing something right. We were not functioning as a team.
When a raider is just in it for the purplez, they aren’t part of the team anymore.
When my entry-level raiders are coming up the track and working on earning their gear, we will also be training them how to raid. This means going into older raids like Uld or Trial – even if there is no loot for us and little loot for them in there.
Progression content is not the place to train new raiders. It’s frustrating enough for the skilled people, why would I want to compound the raid’s anxiety by adding fresh meat into the grinder?
This means that older raids are going to be run and we need experienced players to help the new raiders.
This means that geared raiders are needed to run raids for which there is no immediate reward for them.
It’s a pain in the ass in the short run. But in the long run, we expand our stable of raid-worthy members and can take on harder content.
But if a player is only in it for the purplez, I’m not going to get any support from them in paying back what we did for them.
I peek at WoW-Heroes from time to time to see how the guild is advancing in gear.
It’s not perfect, but it gives a quick snapshot of where the guild could be expected to perform passably at.
Generally, I have an idea of what level an individual is performing at.
For some, I’m rather pleasantly surprised when I see how low they are listed on the rankings compared to their performance. I get a kick thinking about just how much better they’ll be when they are appropriately geared for content they are already crushing.
And other times I’m saddened by seeing that someone is in all pretty high-ilevel purples and still can’t WoW their way out of a paper bag.
Gear makes a good player better and a bad player prettier.
Gear is a very temporary boost. Gear can be sharded, replaced, made obsolete, nerfed to the ground.
Skill cannot be removed or nerfed.
I’ll admit it, I whine on occasion about not having gotten a new piece of gear in a while.
I also whine to myself that I haven’t gone shoe shopping in forever or gotten a new pair of jeans.
Or gone out for a steak dinner. Or won the lottery. Or gotten my pony from Ghostcrawler.
In short, I like to complain.
But there was a turning point for me when I moved from Entry-level raider to Focused and it was when I realized that the next purple wasn’t going to fix my problems, I had to fix my problems.
In the long run, there will always be another tier of gear to set your sights on (until they stop developing them anyway). Chances are, there will always be someone geared better than you. Gear rolls will be won and gear rolls will be lost. Next patch all your hard won purplez will be available for ez-mode badges to the next batch of scrubs.
If all raiders focused a little less on gear (with the exception of hitting your required hit/defense caps) and focused more on pushing the right buttons, using the proper tools, and working together we would all see more kills – and more gear.
- For a guild’s benefit, gear cannot always be the motivator.
- For improvement in play, gear is not the answer.