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Archive for May 20th, 2010

I’m sure that I’m not the first blogger to ask this question, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about quite a bit lately.  As I’ve gone from PvP on my druid into the world of PvE (raiding being my eventual goal), I’ve had to return to the world of being relatively undergeared for just about all the content that currently gets run.  I CAN usually make it into a weekly raid, but that’s about as far as my gear will carry me, and too far into Ulduar, I still can’t handle the content.

So, in a world of ilvl 277 BiS wearing raiders, the question that comes to mind, is just how important is gear, really?

Let me give you an example.  Yesterday the random dungeon finder saw fit to stick me into Heroic Pit of Saron.  Now, I was under the impression that without sufficient gear, one could not get into these new heroic 5 mans, as they are reasonably difficult.  All the same, clearly the RoF (Random Occulus Finder) counts my ilvl 245-251 PvP gear as raid pieces, and ignore the fact that they are of origin in the arena.

So there I was, stuck in the second hardest heroic 5-man in the game, with less than half my triumph gear.  BUT I managed to get through it.  It was a little tense at times, and one or two of my party died on each boss, but we made it through without any wipes.  I was pretty impressed with myself.

Later that evening, I found myself facing a new loading screen when I queued for a random heroic, and my heart sank.  “Please don’t be Halls of Reflection,” I prayed silently.  I knew that HoR was actually considered pretty tough, particularly in heroic mode (and since I was queued for a random heroic, of course it would be.

And yes, it was HoR.  For the second time in a row, I was put into a random ICC 5-man, in heroic mode.  For this third member of the ICC 3, I knew I was seriously undegeared.  We wipped twice on the third of fourth wave of mobs (right at the beginning) and I got a charming “wtf.  Bad heals”, and group leave by the tank.

Thus the question.  Were my heals really bad?  Resto healing in heroics is not complicated.  I stood where I should have been standing, and popped the same HoTs that some ICC veteran would have used.  I like to consider myself a fairly competant healer (if not in PvE, I’ve been PvP healing for quite some time).  I know my role.  But I just wasn’t geared for the content.

When gearscore first made a big splash on the scene, everyone all over the game, and the internet were all freaking out about it.  “What if my gearscore isn’t high enough?  What if I get kicked for not having raid gear?”  The same questions were asked again and again.  At what point does gearscore constitute skill at the game?  When does experience and capacity to play your role start to matter less?

The conclusion most bloggers reached, of course, was that both were needed.  You had to have skill, but without the right gear, all the skill in the world was irrelevant.  I can’t say I disagree with this stance.  I could have healed my way through HoR easily with better gear.  But, when it comes down to actual raiding, I have a somewhat different opinion.

Once you step into ICC, and you’ve been at it for a while, the gear really levels out.  Everyone is at the same level of content.  A good chunk of all the raiding guilds out there, are now reaching the Lich King, and that means the gear curve is leveling out.  Everyone is running around in tier 10 gear, with ilvl 264-277 raid epics (unless you only run 10 mans, in which case your gear is a little lower).  At that point, gear stops muttering.  On the leading edge of content, where you’ve stopped regularly upgrading your gear, most of the upgrades you get are going to be pretty minor.

Once you start min-maxing, and playing around at the endgame of endgame, gear isn’t really what it is where I am now.  What really matters is skill.  Although yes, I’m not a raid leader, if I were, I’d rely less on “Dude, wth, you’ve only got 3.2k gs- what are you doing with your life?”  And more on, “Hey look, someone who can play.”

In a world full of idiots that just like to brag about how good their gear is, I think people should really take a step back, and look at what really counts.

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