Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The myth of the "casual"

The Myth of the gear, while shared by good players too, is a central idea in the M&S thinking. Actually, without the Myth, the M&S could not even exist.

No one wants to suck. No one wants to be (and be observed as a) failure. So the normal process of learning would be a newbie with 0 knowledge arrives, learns the basics during the solo leveling process, then learn from group members during group play. He would be directed by group members to class forums and wowwiki, learning there. From this point there would be three ways for him:
  • Learn from these sites, becoming a good player
  • Decides that he does not want to learn so much for a video game and do no more group play, just hang out, fish, chat, do dailies harming nobody
  • Decides that he does not want or unable to learn so much for a video game and stops playing
The Myth of the gear creates a fourth group, the "ungeared", the person who perform like a sucker yet he is not a sucker, as his non-performance is not his fault but the gears. People love this "gear = result" idea. It removes all responsibility for their actions.

Since the only way to get gear is clearing content over and over, gear level seriously depends on play time. So we reached to "result (= gear) = play time". This is the myth of the "casual". According to the myth he is not a sucker in Plague Quarter, he is a happy and good player, who just have too many real life activities to farm enough gear to go to Ulduar, unlike the no-lifer hardcore players.

Despite most of these "casuals" level several alts, spend lot of time boosting each other or grinding daily quests, do insane amount of 5-mans and such, they claim that they play much less than raiders.

They also tend to ignore that their gear level is not so bad at all. They are usually not running around in blues, they have a variety of Ilvl200 craftable epics, Naxx10/25 loot, badge loot and PvP items (even if they are worse for PvE than blues, but who cares if it's purple?). However since anything less than best-in-slot is "ungeared", they are not responsible for their 1200DPS right?

I had the plan to disprove this nonsense long-long time, and finally I had a guild where people had enough skill to do it. Some came to do something challenging. Others came for the 5K prize I offered. Life provided an extra proof for my plan: Dadan signed up literally in the last minute, after someone "forgot" to show up. He collected his gear in 82 minutes. Yes, in less than 1.5 hours a naked character can be geared for Ulduar. Is there any "casual" out there who don't have 82 minutes as lvl 80 to gear up?

If you read this blog, you are most probably reading class blogs and EJ. You can do enough DPS/HPS/avoidance to do clear Ulduar. Probably you would be good to go for some hard modes too. Yet you suck in Naxx and Siege. You are unable to follow your own interest and serve some group of M&S. You boost them and while you do it, you even make up an excuse for them why do they suck: "we can't play enough to be geared for Ulduar. I must help my friends who play less then me, it's not their fault".

No more excuses! No one can ever use the word "ungeared" again (for normal modes) without being laughed at. If you have enchanted-gemmed blues, you are geared. If you have non-enchanted, gemless greens, you are ungeared, but "total slacker" fits better. If enchanted-gemmed blues are not enough, than learning and not grinding for +15AP +0.08% crit is in order.

Binding yourself to some "friends" who do 1200DPS has the same result, therefore equal to be someone with 1200DPS. If you are with such losers, /gquit today! If you stay in a group that sucks, you suck.

Let me quote my orignal post: "Even the "smart beginner", in enchanted, gemmed quest rewards can provide 75% of the No1 guild's member. Is 75% too low? If you want world firsts, definitely. If you want hardest achievements like Sarth+3, maybe. But otherwise? Blizzard want to open raiding to everyone. Do you think they set 5-10% gear margin? There are even achievements to do the content with 20% less people than full or in 40% less time than enrage! How could these achievements be earned if there wouldn't be at least 40% error tolerance in the original enrage timer?" Point proven right? Farming gear is not needed at all if you do just normal modes. If 10/25 skilled player gets naked characters with tradeskills, revered reputations and 2K gold (all can be gained during leveling), in 10-15 hours they could clear all normal mode raiding content of WoW. No lifers right?

You can be a casual (someone with little playtime) and clear all raid content in normal modes. You just can't be with "casuals".

Fun fact: Nesalie, the holy paladin from the blue geared Ulduar run is in "friends and family" rank. Was in Ulduar 10 twice, in some altrun that reached half keepers, and now with the blue team. In 25 man she did some random bosses, most probably jumped in when there was an empty spot. Seen Vezzax and Yogg with the blue team first. And come out top of heal both fights (if the DPS don't stand in the fire, AoE healers are out of luck, but still). This is being casual, not farming 500 badges and having 1200 DPS.

PS: Windwalkers, the guild clearing Ulduar10 in blues is recruiting. If you have the skill to do hardmodes (currently Firefighter), apply.


Bascule said...

I agree with much of what you've said. I'm a person who pugs a lot and I'm convinced, that when Blizzard tunes HC dungeons and raids, they calculate with about 20-40% brain-dead people in the group or raid. Any given HC instance can be cleared with 3 good players and 2 total idiots.

To me gear has given the ability, to tolerate a higher percentage of clueless players in my raid. On the other hand, I sometimes I have the luck to be grouped with a higher-than-average ratio of good players and then I feel like god's smiling down upon me.

Myridin said...

The myth of gear is so permeating among most players. Yesterday I was in a VoA25 pug where a guy claimed that it was all fake, when I linked him to your blog and also mentioned that TwentyFifthNovember killed Maly25 in 3 days after WotLK launch. His arguments went along the lines of 'you can't do 2k+ dps in full blues' and 'the tank will be oneshot'. I know I'm coming from a backwater realm PvE-wise, where even FL pugs wipe, but still - being so bad that not even being able to believe for it to be possible - what the hell. : (

Astmathic said...

@Myridin: Our tank was definately not oneshot :) What did he say after reading the blog?

muhQ said...

Absolut correct what you say. You can be a casual player (in the sense of playing little) and raid end-content.
You just need a group of people who know what they are doing and are observing. Everything that looks like it could hurt, will hurt you, so step out.
But the most important thing is using the time spend raiding effectivly. After a Wipe everyone runs in, buffs, short analysis what went wrong and try again. No afk-ing and waiting 20min until the next try.
People waste so much time going afk after every trashgroup.

Myridin said...

@Astmathic: he said it was all a fake and impossible and so on. This is why I wrote my comment, it was so mind-boggling. Even when one other raid member pointed out that they had an unhitcapped warlock in blues in a naxx25 pug, that still managed to pull off 2.7k dps, he still didn't believe it. Think of the Star Wars/Trek fanboys, but instead fanboying slacking. :3

Evildutch said...

The video should be here soon, some issue's with downloading the parts to make the movie.

So that should prove it is note fake at all.

Wooly said...

What I'm a bit afraid of now is that this project you've been doing, the ulduar10 in blues, will backfire within the game.

As soon as this reaches the M&S, their internal voice, which constantly repeats: "u r awesome! And all evidence that proves otherwise is just bullshit, and can be explained by all others being retards", will tell them that they're awesome enough to do anything in blues now. Just them, no one else of course, because it only applies to awesome people, hence only applying to them.

I'm just waiting for the M&S using this as excuse to even dismiss the common decency to get some decent pre-raid gear before trying to get their filthy useless hands on "teh real big epixxzz lootzz". The gear might not be needed, but getting it still shows you're willing to put effort in it.

Anonymous said...

Some feedback Gevlon:

Your posts on raiding are becoming increasingly prejudiced and make all sorts of assumptions about why people log in and play world of warcraft. I would prefer to read more about the economy in wow and about your thoughts on how this virtual economy correlates with the real economy.

A bit of humility would also not go amiss.

Okrane S. said...

Masterfully proven point!

Smeg said...

Ensidia et al. cleared the game so soon after release, it was clear you didn't need heroic/naxx gear etc. as the ilvl of sunwell is about the same has high level blues in wotlk.

so if you don't need gear, then you must need some knowledge. well of course if you played the 3 months leading up to release on the PTR then you're going to know exactly how to smash it.

we've always know you don't need gear evident from ensidia et al. all you need is to know wtf you're doing.

Conversely my guild manage to kill felmyst pre3.0 lulznerf and yet used to wipe incessantly on malygos and s+3 because we'd never seen those encounters before and had to learn.

surely you agree there is nothing new here. back to scamming noobs on the AH i think.

Inquisitor said...

We got this the other week, actually. An alt DK, played by someone with a lot of raiding experience on another server (and, more relevantly, a 'skilled' player) rocking blues and about 4 purples, stepped in to fill a slot for some Ulduar.

On XT he produced... erm... 4.2k? Something like that. Favourably stacked 10-man raid, no bloodlust.

So far, so-so. What was interesting was the reaction of one of our Fury warriors. He'd been chundering along at 2.5-3k DPS, and attempting to 'gear up' and get it higher. His gear, needless to say, was a damn sight better than the DK's - at least in terms of ilevels.

So, pleased to say, he basically got a kick up the ass, and asked the guild 'why aren't I doing that?'. A week later, he's digested EJ, acquired and learned to use a spreadsheet, respecced a couple of times (in an informed manner), regemmed down to the soft caps, and spent a few hours practicing a rotation.

Which was nice.

(Of course, the DK, by then, had picked up a load of purples from ToC, etc - but it was a damn sight closer the following week...)

Azzur said...

Quoting Inquisitor:
So far, so-so. What was interesting was the reaction of one of our Fury warriors. He'd been chundering along at 2.5-3k DPS, and attempting to 'gear up' and get it higher. His gear, needless to say, was a damn sight better than the DK's - at least in terms of ilevels.

So, pleased to say, he basically got a kick up the ass, and asked the guild 'why aren't I doing that?'. A week later, he's digested EJ, acquired and learned to use a spreadsheet, respecced a couple of times (in an informed manner), regemmed down to the soft caps, and spent a few hours practicing a rotation.

This is a great story. There's hope if everyone thought and acted this out. And I bet the Fury Warrior is enjoying the game so much more now.

Criven said...

Nobody here thinks "good gear=good player" or "experience doesn't matter". It's not the type of player this blog attracts.

In that vein, if you can find 9 good players who haven't been in Ulduar before*, and lead them through Ulduar successfully in blues - that might make the point you want to make better, that for a good player gear isn't important even in learning circumstances.

*(say a pre-nerf sunwell raider who is just back in the game)

Azzur said...

Quoting Criven:
Nobody here thinks "good gear=good player" or "experience doesn't matter". It's not the type of player this blog attracts.

I guess the purpose of the experiment is the show that the excuse 'gear matters' is not valid.

The follow on point is that good players cannot make this same excuse for M&S they are boosting.

I've seen it many times: "Let's run naxx more times to get the gear to do ulduar", when this has clearly been shown to be false.

If your dps is subpar, you also can't use the same excuse for your performance.

If you're one of these good players, you have a choice:
1) Leave
2) Make excuses for them

It's fine if you decide on 2) because after all, playing with friends without pressure is what some people choose to.

But Gevlon is basically saying that if you decide on 2), your 'undergeared' excuse is not valid.

Copra said...

I agree with Gevlon pretty much in everything he's written in this and the former post (Ulduar blues). Though from the casual side (I guess in Gevlon's book I would count as M&S) the problem is pretty profound: the way to get into 5 mans, even in normal setting, seems to be "achievement is a must" already. The grouping for 5-mans, let alone 10/25's is already twisted into requiring certain gear and certain achievements to even apply for the group.

Now, PUG's are always lacking in several things, communication being at the top of the list. If I was to find a PUG which could communicate effectively, I'm sure that group could tackle even heroics without the currently generally accepted minimum gear requirements.

Why? Because in group content, co-operation could be considered to be one of the main weapons of the team.

The PUG's I've ran lower 5-mans haven't had a single in which the communication would have been other than name calling, blaming others or boasting with level capped raiding mains. And gear. Instead of letting out that crap the groups could have gotten through the instances without deaths and unnecessary gear damage.

As long as gear is considered as the threshold to the end game instances, there is no hope for a casual newcomer to PUG them. Or the hope is very, very thin.


Lapis said...

It always amuses me when someone comments on someone else's journal/blog about what they can/can't write about. Like they are your employer and paying you to write about a specific topic. (See Anon above)

At any rate, I enjoy your posts, Gevlon, even if I agree or disagree, I think you give another insight to things.

On topic, my husband was not let into a VoA PuG due to his "gear" not being "up to scratch" alone. Forget that he already knew the fight and is a very skilled player with his class and reads everything he can about making himself a better player. Raid Leader didn't care, because he didn't have the "right" gear... their loss.

Las said...

I have a friend that plays a Bm hunter. He works so (i thounght) he didn't have much time and wish to search in internet for dps improvements like optimal gear or spell rotation. I have searched for him this stuff and i gave him some advice (even if i never played a hunter) and now he is doing a very nice dps.I discovered that One of the things that made his stile of playing different from mine wasn't the lack of information (he gave me some very good gear list sites) but simply the will to always look at the castbar. When i play i most of the time look at the castbar to see cooldowns, so i didn't see constantly the game; he didn't do the same but he prefeared to look more the game and less the castbar so he saw slower the ending of cooldowns and was slower on using abilities. he was well geared but this radical playing difference made his ability in dps worse than for example mine.
I gave him an addon that shows cooldowns ending so now i convinced him to look this addon and now he is playing very well, even if constantly looking at addons is very similar to look to a castbar, but i had to use this trick to convince him to look a bit less to the panorama than the castbar. This is an example of different playing stile than a normal good player.
At the opposite looking a lot the panorama made him good to avoid boss spells.
Sorry for my bad english :)

Astmathic said...


If Im aloud my normal gear and someone pays for my repairs I would gladly set one of those raids up. I need to kill Algalon first though.

It would have to be on the condition though that the players would have the ability to install vent and follow instructions. Can't promise you I would make through all of ulduar in 1 night, most likely not since it took us 2 nights for this run.

Interesting thing is though that the communication gets less and less with experience. I have been playing this game more or less since release, done all raids there is except for Algalon. What makes that interesting is that those that I still play with, that also have been playing and raiding for that long, can recognize a boss ability and act accordingly instantly, on reflex.

For example, Mimirons Laser Barrage, we called it "Dark Glare" on vent for at least the first couple of kills. Now its more "hands" that gets called.

In 5 mans, we don't bother on assigning stuff or communicating about it. Partly that is because of gear but mostly it is because that Blizzard reuses a lot of boss abilities (Last boss in VH is the same as Azuregos, minus 1 or 2 abilities for example) and we already know them and how to counter them.

So good communication is needed in the start, but after a while you can do it while watching tv, practice, experience and a mind of your own is worth a lot. Good example is to watch Fusions yogg+0 kill video. In p1 they are talking about drinks. P2 they are still chitchatting a bit but vent goes more quiet. P3 everyone is quiet except towards the end when everyone gets excited.

Anonymous said...

"From this point there would be
* Learn from these sites, becoming a good player"

ha ha. Sounds like gevlon has never tried this. I can tell you right now that no player thats never been in Utgarde Pennicle(heroic) is going to be good at it from reading guides/watching movies. A lot of the parts that trip up newbies aren't in the guides, and the gauntlet takes practice.

1) most dungeon/raid guides leave things out.
2) takes time and practice to learn an encounter. This includes not standing in the fire/frost.
3) experience >>>> knowledge for wow.

Anonymous said...

"clearing whole content" that's if they already did it on mains.
Most bosses got a learning curve for the whole raid, especially when you're undergeared.
15 hours will NOT cut it, they didn't even cut it for world-first guilds in full 213 when ulduar came out.

Anonymous said...

only because, they decided to attempt hard modes from day 1.

Ayonel said...

I think you are right on the money, which, sadly, means that I suck.

So, a bit on the perspective of one of my ilk:

I am in a 'casual' raiding guild that expects raiders to be online Thursday-Sunday at 8 PM to raid, even though most of the time we don't have enough people to run a 25. So we either short-man it and wipe or we take warm bodies and wipe. A few weeks ago we burned 5 - FIVE! - nights in Naxx 25, and got to KT(but couldn't down him, because 12 people got one-shot at the start of phase 2, every time) the one and only time the guild has done it. To belabor the point, the twelve or so of us who did not get one-shot(the core raid group) in phase 2 got KT down to 25% three times. Imagine if just 3-4 more people stayed alive.

I don't stay because I revel in being top dps, or because I feel needed since 90% of the people don't bring feasts, flasks, pots, or other consumables and I do. I stay because from what I can tell, most of the other guilds on my server are no better. The people in my guild pass the 'not a douchebag' test, even if a lot of them don't pass the 'is a good player' test. If I could find a guild that raided 3 nights a week at a time that worked for me and was capable of clearing content, I'd most likely jump. If my guild would get a little more serious, I'd be perfectly happy staying. It isn't that complicated.

Sadly, in talking to people in pug heroics lately(where party dps is north of 10k, so these ppl don't totally suck) I've noticed a recurring theme: a lot of players are not happy with their guild or raiding situation. It comes back to the point that you made some time ago; every guild needs a small core of decent players, and most of the rest expect to be carried. The end result is your guild can't clear content.

We who suck by association don't want to do the carrying, but finding a compatible group that doesn't suck is harder than it seems.

So what I hate about guilds calling themselves 'casual' is that first, it's hypocritical, and second, it's a cop-out. Being 'casual' makes it okay to suck, makes it okay to quit after three(why is it always three!!!) wipes, and makes it okay to bring along people who are going to cause the raid to fail because they are a buddy.

I often argue, though it falls upon deaf ears, that we are not a casual raiding guild, we are a serious raiding guild on a casual schedule. It is the desire of some of the officers to not be 'hard-core' that is 90% responsible for us sucking, because it makes the constant failing okay.


Happyending said...


Transfer. Seriously, go take a look at the recruiting forums.

Alliance -

Horde -

I took that advice about a month ago and couldn't be happier. I found a guild that needed a Prot Pally, was just finishing Ulduar and was about to start hardmodes. they were right about where I wanted to be.

Don't let others dictate your play time. A transfer is only $25, and you'll be a lot happier when you find a guild that is doing what you want to do.

Astmathic said...


You know that we, Gevlons guild, Windwalkers only raid 3 nights per week?

If you are in the EU just give us an application if you feel you are up to the challenge to have your application torn to shreds :)
(Shameless promotion for our recruitment!)

I see it as people always misinterpret Casual with "go ahead and don't bring consumables, its ok to wipe due to stupid things, won't try a boss more than 3 times before calling it because it's too hard and we need more gear".

I see casual as being able to spend less time ingame raiding than other guilds clearing the same content. But when you raid you do it with your brains. You come prepared, you have feasts, you know basic tactics etc. Hardcore in how you raid, casual in time spent.
Casual has nothing to do with skill.

Arnock said...


If only you guys were US, I'm looking for a good guild atm.

Anonymous said...

A goblin on crusade. Fearsome stuff. Go go Gevlon!

Inquisitor said...

"This is a great story. There's hope if everyone thought and acted this out. And I bet the Fury Warrior is enjoying the game so much more now."

It was interesting, actually. I saw the raid where he got blown away by someone in blues, but missed the follow-up where he asked the guild for advice. (Asking, although I'm not sure he knew it, the real-life brother of the player who'd shown him up - who happens to top the meters most runs).

At first, I think he got training distilled from an EJ thread - but the really nice bit was when I saw him talking about some fairly involved point (something to do with improved slam talents), and the original source of help say "Well, I certainly have no idea about that - looks like you've overtaken my understanding of warrior DPS." Really good vibe, then.

(Actually, our top DPS' attitude to EJ annoys me. He'll quote verbatim the conclusions without reading and thinking about to whom they apply. An awful lot of stuff they produce applies only at or near BiS gear - so you need to read a bit further to see if it applies to your situation. This would be why I ran Kara as a trispec rogue after they 'went out of fashion', and why I can still beat his DPS on my alt hunter, never mind that her gear is a tier lower than his... That was why I was pleased to see the Fury making decisions that were very obviously taking his current situation into account, rather than just following EJ's TL;DR.)

Ratshag said...

"No one can ever use the word "ungeared" again"

So, do this mean yer guild's gonna go inta Ice Crown wearin' these here blues? Or better yet, they's skivvies? Or is they gonna be sportin' the best epics they can?

Sure, lotsa folks overrate gear. And lotsa folks don't play at they's full potential. But doing content what all 10 already memorized (and know everyone else in the group) while undergeared don't prove nuthin'. Don't even prove ya got skillz, much as it strokes yer ego ta think it do. It just shows how much of PvE raiding is about memorizings fight mechanics. Which be a damn sight tougher ta do if you's undergeared.

Nesalie said...


Anonymous said...

You're preoccupation with this "M&S" topic is a bit much Gevlon. Who really cares about the "M&S"?

Get with a guild that plays the game the way you do, and go at it. You've found a home in game, revel in that.

This pissing all over folks because they don't play the game the way you do, is total nonsense.

Topher/Menglor said...

Good gear is required is still quite valid.

I understand your point that you think that if you can do it in blues, having good gear doesn't make you a better player.

But its not 100% trues , If I can pull off 3000dps in blues, but a bad player would need epix to pull off that same DPS.
Then its proof positive, that better gear makes you a better player.

The DPS needed to kill any particular boss is calculated by DPS required before the enrage timer.

so, if you need 3000 DPS to kill it, then you can take a bad player in good gear, or a great player in mediocre gear. but its the gear that puts them on level playing fields.

And because I cant rate how good you are based on what I can query (armory), I have to go with the Known's. And its MOST LIKELY going to be the guy in the better gear, because he is already raiding anyway.

Tristan said...

Should point out that the guild I run with has been clearing Ulduar 25 with PUGS on our alts for a few weeks now and we're already doing a few hard modes... 3.2 really did take away any excuses.

Sid said...

I think Gevlon is just using one of the multiple meanings that the term "Casual player" has.

My case, for example. I'm not a casual in the sense that I play very little time. But in the case that I "play casually". That means, just doing random stuff in-game, without having any ulterior goal to strive for. If I feel like raiding, I raid. If I feel like PvPingm I pvp, If I feel like playing alts... well you get the idea.

My entire guild has this casual mentality that I expose. Therefore our slow progress. Most of my guildies don't read strategies, don't use basic addons like DBM, or even Vent. The RL doesn't care about raid composition, either.

My point is: Casual can also be a term for "doing stuff without caring about performance".


So we wiped 'cause the healer was alt-tabbing to watch porn... who cares?

Guillaume said...

Any chance I can see the gear that this guy got in 82 minutes? I'm not saying that it's impossible, I'm just wondering how much was luck from heroic drops and how much was just bought outright on the AH.

Darraxus said...

@ Las: I had the same thing with a friend. He was a very casual hunter rocking mostly blues with 4-5 epics. He was only doing about 800 dps when I first started breaking it down for him. Now with the knowledge he did not have before, he is doing 2.1-2-5k in 5 mans and tons more in 25s. It also helped that he remembered to train all his new survivals skills (rank 1 in Black Arrow and Explosive shot it fail).

He was willing to learn and it made a big difference. He even paced top 10 in a VoA pug with much better geared players.

Robert said...

Gear is only so huge a factor in PvP, where a single tier in itemLevel upgrade can be a rating difference of 50~100.

Ayonel said...

@ haters

I think that you are missing Gev's point, which this blog is about: Being a casual player doesn't mean being a bad player, but bad players say they are casual as an excuse for being bad. The point of this experiment was to show that it is possible to run Ulduar in a state that most players would describe as 'undergeared'. Responding, "Yeah, well, you're good players who know the fights" plays into the point exactly. Why don't guilds that have Naxx 10/25 gear take the time to learn the fights? Why do they fail at Ulduar?

What I take away from many of Gevlon's posts is that it really doesn't take a lot of time and effort to play this game well. If this is supposed to be fun, then being good at it should make it more fun: as with any game, winning is much more fun than simply playing. Otherwise, no one would keep score.

That said, and Gev said it in this post, the people who play by themselves, quest, explore, etc, can be good or bad, it's their game, no one else is harmed. But the people who sign up for parties, raids, and battlegrounds and don't take the time to learn how to play well are now having a negative effect on those of us who put time and effort into playing as well as possible. Essentially, guilds and raid parties become miniature welfare states where the top carries the bottom, and the bottom is huge.

But since this is a game, why should the top carry the bottom?

And I'm very bemused by those of you who read this blog every day and then comment on how you don't like the blog and Gevlon's a mean old man? Why are you reading? Not to say that i oppose you criticizing him, but if your only point is that you disagree with every post he writes, you're not adding anything, and Gevlon probably doesn't care.

Anonymous said...

Hey Gelvon, I read your blog alot, and I really find enjoyment from your posts and alot of information, when I read you went through Ulduar 10 Man in all blues, I looked at my guild, I am the guild master of a 13/14 Ulduar 10 man and 9/14 Ulduar 25, I looked at all their gear and noticed several of them are geared too 236, I took them through 10 man, I don't usually run with this group, I was shocked, and I mean really shocked to see 2 of the dps dpsing below me (the tank), and their were geared really well, I inspected them and saw they did not have a single enchant, a Single epic gem, and 2 of them had recently got epic flying, and a Mechano-Hog, and the other had his mammoth. so I warned them, if you do not have the gems and enchants to the best of your ability, you will be demoted to Probation, and if within a month you do not have it, you get booted. Alot of them bitched and moaned about what I said, but my officers they were upset at first at the idea, but i soon directed them to your blog. They Read you did Ulduar in Blues, and then they agreed with me about it. After they read it me and the other 9 officers, we ran Ulduar 10 man, cleared up to yogg in 2 days, while also doing Heart Breaker, I am now glad to say because of your blog, we have Killed Yogg-Saron, when we were having trouble on Vezax, so I thank you.

P.S. this was the first time we ran a full officer/gm run.

Ooke said...

It's a fallacy to say that gear doesn't matter. It's also a fallacy to say that gear is most important.

Knowing how to play can significantly improve how you do. What you did prove is that lack of gear is no excuse for piss poor results.

Being smart and being able to do the monkey dance is important too.

I'm finding that with enough practice that even most "M&S" as you call them can do Ulduar fights if things go exactly as planned.

Sure they can't adapt very well when things go to shit but if they "know" the fight the likelihood of them having to learn something new is minimal and they can do the work. This is why the faux PvP of boss #3 of the coliseum is so hard for them because of how random it is.

I'd like to see a raid in blue gear try twin valkyries this week and the last boss next week and not have issues.

What that eliminates is knowledge of the fights and gear and all you can rely on is skill. I can imagine how difficult it would be to learn with no prior knowledge and the gear buffer that "epix" brings to learn the process. That extra 30-100% (depending on class and job) can mean the difference between wining and losing this week, but next week it's not as much of an issue.

If I was Horde and in the EU I'd apply to your guild no problem. It sounds like fun. But alas I am not.

Good luck with Firefighter, I still haven't gotten that one down *shudders*

William said...


So we wiped 'cause the healer was alt-tabbing to watch porn... who cares?"

Uh... that's just not just terrible raiding, it's disrespectful to the other members of the raid. Imagine someone who is constantly chatting on the phone in a casual game of baseball, instead of playing the game. It's just rude.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Gevlon for posting these last few days content. I've been trying to prove this to people for some time, and now you've given me the proof I needed to embarass my friends into raiding more often. No more " I'm not geared enough for Ulduar/TOC" anymore.

Goreon said...

Myth or no myth, when you are in /4 looking for PUGgers for heroics or raids, you'll have a dozen or so inv requests - why on earth would anyone bother with someone in blues on the 'offchance' they might be decent when you can take the epic class player too?

You have to look at the averages here as well.

Take the player in all blues. Are they more likely to be a good player or a scrub?

Same with the player in Epic. Are they more likely to be a good player or a scrub?

Fact is, you don't KNOW how a player performs based on their word alone. But chances are - more often than not - the player who has the epic class set with the correct gems and enchants is MOST LIKELY to be the best player for your run.

And when you have a dozen or more PST's for players to join your raid - honestly - are you REALLY going to bother with taking a chance on someone in blues 'hoping' they will actually be a skilled player?

Of course not. Fuck that. I'm a MT and it's my job to be paranoid about such things. PUG scrubs don't give a toss what my gear costs to repair or what consumables I have to bring - it's up to ME to ensure that the idiot jumping up and down asking for an inv isn't going to cost me an hour or more of my time and 100g in repairs without due reward.

Now if you're doing content with GUILDS or FRIENDS that's a totally different subject. But this article losely refers to such discussion in any forum and especially concerning randoms in /4, I can't accept this ideology as a way to approach my recruitment philosiphy.

Bottom line is simple. You want an inv? Get the fucking gear.

End of story.

Nobs said...


Wow dude... calm down.

Gevlons point is what Ghostcrawler and Blizzard has been working for. Bring the player, not the class/gear.

We aren't talking about pugs here, because you are right, other than gear and their word you have no way to validate the quality of the player.

That's why we have guilds though. Your nerd rage is funny though, i hope you post another reply. :)

Sid said...

@ William: Well, that example I gave was a bit exagerated. I only remember it happened once to us (It wasn't a porn, but some TV show, and I don't know if it was the healer or a dps, but we wiped and he was off-vent) that's the point.

In a non-"casual" guild, he would've had to give explanations to the other 24 raiders. In our case, it was just "ok let's try to not wipe this time".

I think it's what Gevlon calls a "social".

@ the rest:

What Gevlon tried to prove with this experiment wasn't a new system to filter PuGs. It was made to eliminate the excuse that "We wiped cause we don't have good gear".

Of course that you can use gear to filter PuGees when you have more than you need (though as I said before it's still a poor filtering method because gear it's too easy to get since 3.2, I'd use the enchant/gem method).

But if you are wiping in a full naxx 25/ulduar 10 geared raid and still wipe, don't look for the less geared members to blame/kick, but instead try to check who's the moron that's slacking.

If the Rogue is doing 1500dps in a 10-man, don't accept "I don't have good gear" as an excuse, instead tell him to L2P. And if he still sucks, kick him.

Sorry for the long post.

Gevlon I disagree with you on a few things but I think your blog is great!

Ilikegold said...

I wish my RL friends who play would understand this but if I tried to tell then they'd be like "I don't have that much time to waste on a game." when they play like 3 hours a day >.<

nugget said...


Your comment is one of the reasons i quit WoW when WotLK came out. Quite a few others, but that was one of them.

Yes, da goblin is right about gear not mattering as much as 'people' think it does. But the atmosphere of 'thinking it does' matters more than how much gear matters. (lol)

One of the results of the gear mentality is that with at least one of my characters (resto druid), by the time I was 'geared enough' to do Hyjal with a (nice) raid group, although I didn't have a single piece of Hyjal gear, I couldn't find upgrades to the gear I already had either. -_-

I raided with them for quite a while, they were great folk. (Probably about 4-6 months?) And in all that time I think I got two whole pieces of gear from them. Two. Not because I didn't have the DKP to buy it. More because nothing dropped when we downed things that was an appreciable / even an upgrade to what I already had.

Kinda chicken and egg. XD

Astmathic said...

The movie will have me inspecting everyone just before we pull Freya, it was around that time I remembered it would be a good idea :)

For the gear I was using it was the following:

Hat of Wintry Doom - Tailoring
Necklace of Stolen Skulls - Think its argent tournament
Shroud of dedicated research - dont remember
Turtle-Minders Robe - Rep with Kaluak
Ancestral Sinew Wristguards - Wyrmrest revered
Frostsavage Gloves - Tailoring
Sash of the Wizened Wyrm - Wyrmrest Honored
Frostsavage Leggings - Tailoring
Silky Iceshard Boots - Tailoring
Ring of Northern Tears - JC
Earthshadow Ring - JC
Figurine - Sapphire Owl - JC
Figurine - Twilight Serpent - JC

ArchDruid Angela said...

I find that sometimes raiders spend less time online than "casuals." I mean, I never have to wait around hoping for a run, I know when I'm raiding and I'm on at those times. That's not to say that some raiders aren't on all day... but some certainly aren't. I know when I first started raiding seriously I was on a the time, then my real life got more busy, and now I play a lot lot lot less outside of raid hours. If I had to PUG heroics and raids, I know from experience on my alts I'd be spending hours in LFG only to get a group that will likely fail!

Goreon said...

Gevlon has stated that all things considered equal, a person in blues roughly has 75% output of those in full epics.

The question remains, why would you want to go into a raid environment at 75% capacity when 100% capacity isn't hard to acquire?

We have heard time and again people lament how WotLK has 'dumbed down' the game by handing out epics to any random, so why all of a sudden this radical shift in 'don't bother with the epics'?

Doesn't this just dillute the game even further where people can't even be bothered to get decent baseline gear to raid with?

And what's more, do you think such an attitude is fair on your other guild/raid members who *do* take the time to gather gear and min/max as much as possible?

If you're in it for the 'challenge' and have everyone in your raid group in aggreeance, then that's cool and I say good luck to you. Gevlon proved it can be done and that's great.

But for the real world, when you come to a raid you're expected to be in the best gear you can have. You're expected to have full raid buffs. Food buffs. Elixirs and flasks.

For 25 OS I agree, no one gives a shit (and I laugh at people who expect ridiculous gear requirements to get a run). But if you're fronting up to Ulduar or the ToC 10/25 in blues and expecting an inv 'because Gevlon has done it' you're quite frankly living in a dream world.

In a day and age where you can almost buy a full set of BOE epic class raid gear from the AH and farm Heroics for easy high quality PvE badge loot to fill the gaps, fronting up to higher end raids in blues and expecting entry because of a proof of concept experiment done on Greedy Goblin is just plain presumptuous and rude.

Get off your lazy arses and farm up the gear. If you're 'that pro' to be able to farm blues from heroics then the badge and epic drops from that content should be just as easy to do.

Sam said...

I think you are missing one of the aspects of "Casual" play.

Yes, casuals probably spend as much time as hardcore players do playing WoW. But what they don't do is have a WoW schedule.

There might be many reasons for this - they might have kids, or they might BE kids who have to go to bed when their mother is in a bad mood. Or more generally, they just aren't good at planning ahead and making time for things like raiding.

One of the hardest things about running a 25-man raiding guild is simply getting everyone in the same place at the same time. For that reason, most of them have very strict raiding schedules and require 75% attendance or higher.

Casuals can't manage this, even though they might play WoW more in total than the people in hardcore raiding guilds.

So they never get exposed to people who take the game seriously and study their class, and their skill never improves. They are stuck to pugging with other people who don't have the organisational ability to be good at raiding.

Zach said...

I like this post... I am a "friend of the guild" in the top guild on our server (they are also in the top 20 US)

There are plenty of people who see the guild tag and immediately say "You have no life - you spend all your time raiding..."
This from the people who spend 5 nights with their guild wiping on the content...

When I did raid with the guild... we cleared all available content in 2 nights (pre 3.1)

The point here is that it's not the time you spend, it's how you spend the time...

If we can raid and clear all the content available in 2 nights, and you spend 5 wiping to that same content... who is spending more time? we are just using the time we spend better...

Gibbiex said...


Couldn't agree more. I was hardcore raiding for a year, the guild was typically dead until raid time, lots of people, then dead again. Point being not many 'wasted time' on alts, BGs, etc. We raided, and we were serious. No running heroics, when a full kara clear would yield 5x more. So we raided almost every night, getting gear, bringing bosses down. We were good at it.

Then i went casual and started a guild horde side. We did light raiding but were 'casual'. We started around the time of wraith, and waited 2-3 months to start raiding naxx. We *JUST* got down KT. Until recently we only raided 2x a week for 2 hrs each. That's not much time at all. And typically we'd do OS10 first. So, 3 hrs in naxx every week, with a constant rotation of new people. Eventually people stopped rotating out, and everyone knew their class roles, and we started learning bosses, and did one boss a week or so, which is pretty typical for most guilds on progression.

So for the casual guild, we're on a lot more than a raiding guild, we spend way more time doing other things, and raiding. We're not as buffed up as we should be. Raid stacking is a dream, we go with whoever we got. If one guy is in greens/blue, unenchanted, it would be pretty hard to bring the boss down.

I think blizz designed naxx well, in that you can't be a total idiot and expect to do well there. Yet, i see it all the time. Last pug, it was stated "we are going for badges, dps pls be 3k or more'. Well, all expect one person, who was doing 1.5k dps as a lock, and had to be told every fight, and died on every fight (if it was possible to die), and didn't buff the group, and....

I guess the condundrum is, why do we play with people who suck? Who obviously dont care and are insulting those of us who do care. In my case, i really dont have much choice. I cant really gquit without hurting my best friend of 20 years. I can't spend enough time with my group to get everyone on the same page and desires. And that's the point of the social guild, they aren't there to do hardcore raiding, they dont want to learn fights, they dont want to research classes, or enchant, or gem, or anything. They want to show up, listen to some direction, and see what they can do. But the raiding game doesn't work that way, everyone has to know how to play their class and how the boss works.

For those who have choices, real choices, transfer or quit the game. FOr those who are stuck with 'casuals', either accept it or stop raiding. Those are the only choices I see (and sorry this is rambly, really interesting series of posts).