WoW: Raids and Gear


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.

23 comments on “WoW: Raids and Gear

  1. Delerius says:

    I hate to say it, but I have to agree with Gevlon on this. I fully believe that a group of 10 skilled players in BLUES could clear ICC. With the possible exception of Festergut, thanks to the strict enrage timer.

    Gear… yes it makes you do a little more damage. But it does not make you un-stupid. Losing 1 player to stupidity hurts the overall dps (or healing) by a good deal… I’d rather have 10 skilled players in blues than 8 ok players because they died to fire/lava/magma/vortex/void/poison/slime/gas/whirlwind.

    Gear does, however, increase the margin of error. By making everyone else *slightly* faster/stronger, it means that I can pay a little less attention, be a little more sloppy… etc.

    Take our last attempt at Putricide for example: It was as sloppy as Joe. We had a slime/gas up for both transitions. We let the slime hit 3 people in a row once. We let the gas explode twice. Someone tripped a gas bomb. And we still ALMOST made it. Got him to 1% or something before we ran out of room to stand out of the slime.

    If we had made that many mistakes with lesser gear, we wouldn’t have gotten nearly as far. Now, we’ve had times where we made NONE of those mistakes, and just got unlucky. I KNOW we can do it, we’ve just gotta have everyone having a good day at the same time.


  2. Raven says:

    “Gear makes a good player better and a bad player prettier.”

    Quote of the month!


  3. Some Orc says:

    Blues in Uld yes, ToCr maybe, ICC is pushing it. Marrowgar could push over 2 tanks in blues in a few seconds.

    fire/lava/magma… /whirlwind. It’s not whirlwind. It’s agro. I know nothing there has anything to do with me but that last part. It just seems to be directed at me. I was doing what I’m supposed to be doing. Now that some of our tanks have gotten better at tabbing through targets I’m not dying anymore.


  4. slice213 says:

    Hmmm. ICC in Blues…probably not. Well maybe if you let the buff reach to the max cap of 35%. I dont see tanks having enough stamina etc to take those hits.

    Its true…Zug is not dying as much,…I dont have to throw a shield on him immediately into the fight, or Penance him. :)


  5. koalabear21 says:

    At the same time you have to balance what your experienced raiders are looking for.

    Yes you can run the lower tiers to get practice/experience/loot for the lesser skilled players, but you cannot forget the people who do know how to “WoW themselves out of a bag.”

    Arioch – I do know that you do this, just a general comment. :)

    Balance is a good thing. It is one of the tough parts of RL.


    • Imoh says:

      “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.”

      That’s only true up to a point in my experience, after the learning phase of your gaming is over you really should be focusing on more tangible increases in performance than “skill”, ie. talents and gear.


    • Imoh says:

      damn it, didn’t mean to respond to koalas comment


    • koalabear21 says:

      It is ok, not everyone can master the comment section



    • Tiræl says:

      Gratz on your LK 25 guild, Imoh. Btw, you have a lot of reres trying to get in your guild. (I was reading your guild forums/attempting to steal your internetz today ;) )


    • Tiræl says:

      kill for your guild*

      Why did that text disappear?


    • Imoh says:

      Thanks Ti, boring fight but satisfying kill.

      Hehe, I just put that link in because the officers are recruiting atm, not sure how many oceanic players read this blog though.


    • Tiræl says:

      I mean..who can’t read “Post outside of the color tags” and then post INSIDE the color tags…WoW.



  6. Hm. In my previous guild, 25m raiding ICC, egos really started getting inflated the more gear they got. I love to raid and don’t mind a few knocks if its overall successful and I see everyone doing their part. But, it hurts when the established crew doesn’t want to blow through old content, and/or treat it like a joke to be sloppy and forget everything they know about raiding. And it annoys the crap outta me to see new raiders expect loot to drop in their hands. The essential raiding conundrum.


  7. Some Orc says:

    Where is today’s post?!?!??!


  8. Andrew says:

    This information can come in handy. lol
    Wish Gears didn’t have to be so difficult for my age. :)


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