Greedy Goblin

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Point of decency

While I consider the belief in gear a myth, it's undoubtably true that the same encounter is easier if the same person have better stats, period. That's why all raiders, including myself have raiding professions and not herbalism/skinning. Better gear = better stats, so even if the effect of the gear upgrades is vastly overrated, there is an effect.

Tobold commented that "Fact is that every challenge in WoW can be overcome by a COMBINATION of gear and skill. And the person who says that he or his guild is "ungeared" uses that as short form for: "We would need either more gear or more skill to beat this, and gear is a lot faster to acquire"."

Well, on both gear and skill, there are diminishing returns. Every next 1 DPS, gained either from skill or gear is harder to get. No one doubts that buying an ilvl 200 blue piece for 50G is easier than getting an ilvl239 epic, yet the difference between them is smaller than the difference between the blue and a random green. Also learning how to not clip explosive shot during lock&load is harder than learning not to shoot arcane shot, and gives smaller DPS increase.

What I want to say is that contrary to Tobold's (and most players) belief, skill is much easier to get after the "point of decency". This concept is not a hard-coded mathematical value, rather a group belief. While everyone agrees that both skill and gear is a point on a quantitative spectra, also, even unconsciously everyone believe that there is a certain point (or region) where qualitative distinction can be made. For example, a 32K unbuffed HP tank is worse than a 33K HP unbuffed tank. A 18K HP unbuffed tank on the other hand is not just mathematically worse, but "he is a sucker who cannot call himself a tank".

Because of the Myth, the point of decency in gear is very high. The blue Ulduar run was so shocking exactly because the group had "indecent" gear, something that no one wears except a total faliures. Actually the highest spellpower I've seen on druids is 2600 (cow/elf form). In blue gear I had 1600 of it, 61%. The point of decency, the level where you are not dismissed without consideration is full epic in mostly Naxx25 stuff. That's around 2100 SP, 80%.

So just by having "decent" gear, you are so high on the diminishing gear curve that any further steps give very little reward. Just count: you need around 40 badges to get an ilvl 226, that's 8 heroics. Even if you chain-run it without forming a group every time, you need about 4-5 hours for that. And you get like 20 spell power over your old ilvl 213. That's 4 SP/hour increase!

On the other hand the point of decency in skill is much lower, for three reasons:
  • skill is hard to measure and compare
  • skill include boss tactic knowledge and you cannot measure one's knowledge on a different boss you are fighting with him
  • the average of the playerbase is so unskilled that unless you consider 90% of the players useless scum, you have to set the point to 30-40%.
My point is that there is not a single person in the world, not even in Ensidia or Stars or Method who has better skill ratio (current skill/theoretical possible) than gear ratio (current gear/theoretically possible). This is the product of the following factors:
  • gear decency point is high, so the average gear ratio of the playerbase is pretty high, about 60-70%, so just by being "decent", you get near the end of the gear curve.
  • skill decency point is so low that unless you are a complete idiot doing 1200 DPS, you are above it. And anyway, wipe is just bad luck, right? So there is 0 social pressure to spend more time learning.
  • After you get into one of the few a decently skilled groups, epics rain down from the sky, so you get gear without even noticing. Just on the way up to Steelbraker once a week I found myself 14/17 ilvl 226, although I skipped farm raids. I already have 2 ilvl 245 that no one else wanted. So if you do serious content, you get gear easily. Not best in slots of course, but good enough.
  • skill is "nerfed" every patch as new bosses are introduced and game mechanics changed. Gear on the other hand get just slight nerf (by introducing the next tier), since Blizzard doesn't want the "casuals" to feel hopelessly left behind.
What I mean is that it doesn't matter where you are in progress, Algalon or Anub'rekan, it's never your gear what holds you back (unless you are hacked and naked). It's either your skill or the M&S around you. Gear is like air. While you can't live without it, it's so abundant, that you shouldn't really care.

PS: Theoretically we could imagine an Utopian society where people are so smart and lust for more knowledge that they read all EJ before they hit lvl 20. WoW progress in such society could be gear-limited. But as long as we are on planet Earth and not in a 10K subscriber niche-game, you can be sure that everything in the game is skill/group limited.

PS2: tomorrow you'll find out why this series was here, so save your "go back to the AH" comments, it saves me a delete-confirm-reload cycle.

PS3: Windwalkers, the guild clearing Ulduar10 in blues is recruiting. If you have the skill to do hardmodes (currently Firefighter), apply.

PS4: Tobold is being very funny today. My comment on the topic is this, and no more, all comments on my blog about Tobold's joke/experiment will be deleted.


Sid said...

Another pretty well written article, Gevlon. Though you still stick to a definition of casual that is not the only one valid. Let me do a distinction:

Gevlon's casual: Plays very little time, but uses it to it's maximum. Doing things the right way and not wasting time wiping for not reading the strats (that takes less than 15 minutes).

The other casuals: People that plays an average (or over-average) period of time, but "play casualy". That is, priorizing the social aspect of the game over performance, and playing "loosely", not focusing too much on acomplishing a goal. I think this is what Gevlon calls a "social" person.

M&S: The main difference between these people and the category of casuals I metioned above, it's that these do not care about performace at all, YET THEY EXPECT TO BE REWARDED FOR DOING NOTHING. Morons and slackers, welfare leeches, call 'em what you want.

It's a pity Blizz seems to be tuning this game in relation to the latter group I mentioned. =(

Anonymous said...

Hmmm so Skill>Gear. Who would have guessed that?

People who lack skill will want to compensate by leeching and having better gear. I don't know why you have to make entire articles off a basic concept.

Now you have to do an Ulduar 10 man run in only greens =P.

Daniel said...

btw - don't forget scaling - different classes scale differently. for melees and especially for warriors gear have immense effect on performance, by just replacing my death's bite with edge of ruin gave me and DPS increase from around 250DPS - and this is just 6ilvl more. so where a caster in blues can preform acceptable, a warriors in blues 200 will do maybe two times less damage then in 219. So this generalization in not always right.

Jkaen said...

Not sure about the nobody in the world on the ratio thing.

Lets say you (or for the sake of argument the best WOW player) starts an alt.

I would then argue for at least a few days playing time (1-80 levelling plus running a couple of heroics/raids)that character would have a better skill ratio than gear one.

Wooly said...

You completely lost me in this article, but the conclusion got me back I think.

Can I just conclude from this all that intelligent (/skilled) AND available AND willing (to raid) players are just very rare bloody hard to find. My GL can talk about that, recruiting is making him slowly lose his mind. And he never lets gear level be an issue, he even got me in while I was still in blues and lvl 70 epics (was afk during the whole 3.0).

Yes, the game is ridden with idiots. Best is just to forget about them and try to avoid them at any cost unless they're willing to buy your stuff.

RFairney said...

"Also learning how to not clip explosive shot during lock&load is harder than learning not to shoot arcane shot, and gives smaller DPS increase."

I've recently had to unlearn arcane shot from my own rotation. for completely different reasons.
Are the hunters you play with still using survival spec? I would have thought that with your level of gear they'd get better damage from a marksman spec.

I do agree that every point counts. One of the reasons i'm into the goblinesque methods of gold making, It wouldn't be unexpected for me to spent 20k gold on a new BoE from a hardmode encounter we can't reach as a guild.

I do have to say, When someone in my guild shows interest in improvement, I will take them to a target dummy, and we will spend at least an hour or two going over the mechanics of every attack, and doing the math behind it to get the most out. Using the target dummies so they can "see" the results as we find ways to improve.

I am also guilty of using gear as a stepping stone on my alts. I recently rolled a resto druid healer, I am learning to heal still, and I have used gear to get a slight advantage (53,100g spent) but with the practice while levelling, and in heroics and 10mans, i can now successfully heal ToTC10 man without any problems.
Used correctly the gear can help you find sitations where you can "jump in the deep end" and learn fast.

On Ratios:

There is a reason you haven't mentioned, That is the SOURCE of both. Effort and Inteded Improvement.
Any player should know that efficiency is the key to maximising output, no matter the aim. If the aim is personal improvement, then they can improve their gears potential performance, Or they can improve the realisation of this potential

When you reach somewhere like 98% realisation, it becomes much more time efficient to work on improving the potential. This a re the same aim - Personal improvement, and the same resources used - Effort and Time.
Putting in effort and time to make gold to buy new epics, can actually be a better usage of time to improve personal performance. It should never be the first step, As tightening a shot-rotation is always much more effective in improvement, but it is a highly effective method used correctly.

It's a shame that your guild is horde or I'd be tempted to apply

Gevlon said...

@Jkaen: starting an alt from the same class/spec as my main is just as weird as vendoring all my gear.

In both cases my gear would be limiting me, but the situation that caused it is artificial and "unnatural".

Jkaen said...

I was not talking about starting the same class/spec.

Surely your skill starting as the same part of the trinity (ie priest rather than druid) or even any class is likely to be much higher than the average S&M starting that class.

And obviously your gear at L1 is at the lowest ratio possible (while your skill is maybe at the halfway point)

Gevlon said...

@Jkaen: my gear at lvl1 is perfectly adequate to defeat the lvl1 plainstriders. It's not Ulduar hard modes that the lvl1 character has to complete, but reaching lvl2.

Topher/Menglor said...

Skill > gear, no one will argue that.

problem is, you cant put a number on Skill.

Whats my Skill rating in a Pug? or whats my skill raiting if I am joining a new guild?

You cant measure skill, without looking at person's gear.

But even having the gear doesnt mean he has the Skill, but you know at least he has the experience.

If your going to run a pug with 100% of people you dont know, are you going to go by what they say their skill level is? or are you going to look at their gear?

True the person on an ALT may have all the skill's in the world, but if he is your tank, and isnt un-critable, then your going to need to depend on your healers abilitiy(skill and or gear) to survive.

You seem to think that gear is irrelevant, but you keep missing its the only quantitative unit you can use, Unless you have been with said individual.

Pangoria Fallstar said...

@Topher, do what everyone else would, do an interview. Even in guilds without applications (casual/social), an interview can occur before an invite.

Interviews with the right questions can tell you more about someone than you can imagine.

Anonymous said...

where is the video, please?

Astmathic said...


We are trying to edit the video, however it became rather big (4.5 hours of footage just from me) and we had some difficulties getting it over to the guy that knows how to edit it to a more fun video to watch.

I doubt you want to watch a video thats in total over 7Gb and around 8 hours long :)

Anonymous said...

@ Astmathic
You are damn right, many thanks for the answer! :)

Iiene of Kul Tiras said...


SOLID, solid series of articles. These should be linked to by every guild that raids anything higher than Hogger.

I was discussing this with a friend in a different guild, she was solidly in the "We need better gear" camp, but understood that they have slackers that need skill.

It basically went:
Her: "We can get these people better gear. But we can't make them play better".

Me: "Not without leaving them out of the raid, no."

Her: "But we play for fun, not just beating the boss."

(I could see the cognitive dissonance starting to kick in)

Me: "Wouldn't it be MORE fun to have a full raid of competent people?"

I contend that you can find people that are JUST AS FUN to play with that value performance as people that only value gear. You will have to look harder... as the "Will not perform" crowd greatly outnumbers the "Wants to learn how to preform" crowd.

Tragically, I don't have any WWS reports with me fighting Patchwerk as a Shadow Priest. (I'm also one of the guild's top healers.) But I have gotten my DPS against the boss dummy to over 2700 just by changing my rotation slightly (More Mind Blast, less SW:Death). That's gotta be close to 90% of potential.

Anonymous said...

World Firsts on content, with wide margins until #s 5-10 appear, prove skill > gear.

Anonymous said...

Nice articles. So how does a person get skill? I watch videos, read fight reports, etc. But nothing replaces experience. If I am not in a guild that lets "unskilled" people into raids, then I'm forced to PUG. This is more a wipe-fest than learning. Anyway, it's harder to get "valuable" experience than one would think.

Also, some people (including me) are never going to be able to perform as well as the best players (there will always be a skill spread). I try to learn the fights, but my reflexes are what they are. How does a "B" player fit into the game without being carried?

Lastly, if the game was really that "easy," many more people would clear Ulduar, etc. I suspect there are quite a few players who could clear it in the right circumstances, but those circumstances don't often present themselves.

sid67 said...

There are a couple of big holes in your theory.

The first is that there is a practical limit to the skill needed for an encounter.

Meaning that the best players can only get X out of Y gear. WoW is a relatively easy game, so this practical limit is actually set very low and easily reached by quality players.

On the other hand, reaching the gear limit is much more difficult and time consuming. It's because we are at the skill limit that the small incremental benefit from gear upgrades is so meaningful.

Secondly, there are artificial game design decisions that limit skill. The most notable being cooldowns and global cooldowns which make faster reactions are meaningless.

Likewise, most boss fights are about position. From a "skill" perspective, how do you improve upon always being in the right place at the right time.

And lastly, I have been playing my class for three plus years. I "know" how to play and have been an active raider in WotLK. So how do you explain the 150% increase in DPS when I went from iLevel 200 blues to iLevel 213 gear?

There certainly wasn't a 150% increase in my skill level. In fact, there was NO increase to my skill level.

Gear simply provides the illusion of the player becoming more skillful because the challenge lessens over time.

Reinder said...

Well, i only recently started to follow your blog, and worse, i'm in one of the so called social guilds ( yes i'm also class leader, healing assignment leader, officer, and raid leader in that guild ) <-- referrence to one of your previous posts in responce to "why do we play" things from tobold.

Anyway, regarding the gear vs skill discussion. I'm glad you took some time to nuance ( do you say it like that? English isn't my native tongue ) your opinions.

Whenever players ask me why i'm not raiding ulduar i reply my guild isn't ready. If they then ask why i usually toss the gear argument in their face.

One thing i feel you may have missed in your post though is the following. Though gear not being everything the amount of time you spent to get it, equals experience ( or skill ). Seening as how most players in this situation are not in the best of gear and the current mindset about boosting on my server. That means they have spent roughly 80% of the time farming for those epics in 5 mans with similarly lowly geared players.

Since you can only get a few tier pieces from the vendor ( and it takes ages to aquire the emblems for it ) they will have gone to pug raids, chance at drops and get emblems at the same time. To get anything out of a pug raid with all the unskilled just dinged players around is a hassle. You're pretty sure that someone who actually managed to clear nax in a pug will know about the encounters.

Anyway its my opinion that the players that have geared up through progressing through the content, trying countless of times on clearing nax 10 and 25. Getting the gear from it will know something about raiding, and will in general have learned how their character should be operated. I'm not talking about perfect rotations here, but the simple stuff that everyone should know about yet still eludes all the M & S out there. Hitcap, or iceblock dumping agro on the healer that was trying to save you for instance.

This even accounts for the unsocials that just guild hop, get all the loot they can get on the content lvl their current guild is at and then join a guild to advance on the gear ladder. Even they need to participate in the raids, ( though usually these are the players that get boosted a lot. ) All in all even they pick up some skill while getting their gear. Its not uncommon that some of those guilds will even force them to talk to class leaders that force them to revisit their spec's and tell them about the perfect rotations. All without investing too much time in their book.

Anyway as far as i'm concerned skill certainly beats gear, this is why its possible for ungeared players to still perform in hard environements. Gear just cushions the difference and lets you slack more ( or make mistakes for that matter )

However, good gear ( and i don't mean craftables, but bop drops will tell you that player has participated in content. And doing that he is likely to have picked up some skill. ( unless they got it in one of those title selling runs that go on on my server. )

Ayonel said...


I find it very difficult to believe you saw a 150% increase in dps going from lvl 200 to lvl 213 gear with no other changes, unless maybe, just on the outside, you went from the lowest level lvl 200 blue that wasn't right for your class/spec to the BiS lvl 213 drop from Naxx 25 with top line enchants and epic gems, and maybe some raid buffs.

I am relatively hardcore in my approach to theorycrafting and I feel comfortable saying that proper talent spec and rotation make a bigger impact than gear upgrades. (In my case, respeccing from demo to destro and changing rotation yielded an instant 40% improvement.) Indeed, as an example, going from the lvl 200 T7 gear to the lvl 213 T7.5 gear provided only incremental improvements, and certainly nothing that would account for a 150% improvement. If you were able to list both sets of gear side by side, I think you'd find that the math would show improvement of much less than 20% on an item by item basis simply based on the item budgeting formulae.

Iiene of Kul Tiras said...

Just because someone has BEEN to a specific encounter many times doesn't mean they have learned the encounter or increased their skill at all.

I've seen MANY MANY people, week after week, stand there in Anub'Rekhan's Locust Swarm and die. Over and over again.

Some people have no interest in their personal performance, and just figure their DPS will go up as they are given free gear for tagging along with the group.

sid67 said...

Ayonal wrote: "I find it very difficult to believe you saw a 150% increase in dps going from lvl 200 to lvl 213 gear.[...] proper talent spec and rotation make a bigger impact than gear upgrades"

2k to 4k is a 100% increase. 2k to 5k is a 150% increase.

And honestly... any player worth his salt already knows the best talent spec/rotation. And if he doesn't that's ignorance not skill. It's truly pathetic and elitist to think knowledge of a ROTATION makes you the more skillful player.

That's like saying you are a more skilled player because you use an addon to notify you when a boss is making a special attack. Whoo!

Research has nothing to do with skill. And that's actually part of the problem with WoW. It DOESN'T take a lot of skill. It just has the illusion that it takes skill.

What it actually takes is knowledge and gear. Real skill has almost nothing to do with it.

Ayonel said...


Okay, so you've attacked me and insulted me, but you have avoided my point.

I appreciate your explanation of what a 100% improvement is compared to a 150% improvement as well. That is very helpful.

However, since my initial response to your comment was not an attack on you, and I am not the trollish type, back to the discussion...

First, if you are telling me that with no changes in buffs, gems, or enchants you went from 2k dps to 5k dps, well, I'd have to see the gear, because I don't believe it without proof. In upgrading from blues to T8 I have seen much less than that. Note: I am simply asking to see the gear stats so that I can verify your assertion.

Next, I dont' agree with your conclusion. Let's assume for a minute that we weren't all born knowing everything about our toons, which you state we should. The learning process, which develops both skill and knowledge, involves different things for different people. For some people, this may mean going to EJ and copying a spec and rotation, or simply talking to others of your class, or maybe just playing. Any of these can lead to a skilled player. However, it is the desire to play well that leads one to put in the effort of researching other rotations and specs, to install add-ons, etc.

In fact, yes! I would argue that using add-ons to tell you when to step out of the fire, or when the boss will do something you need to respond to, is an indicator of a skilled player, because that player is using tools available to improve their play.

An unskilled player doesn't have any add-ons installed, or has them and still gets hit by firewall. You can argue that a player who can get through boss fights without add-ons is more skilled than one who uses them, but it is hard to measure how much more productive one is when they can focus on doing their job until it is time to switch to the next phase or replace their dots. A function of intelligence is using tools to automate mundane functions. The correct use of those tools is an indicator of skill.

I'm not really sure how it is either elitist or pathetic to think that someone taking the time to learn their class and play it properly is not an indicator of skill, or at least the desire to be skilled. Skill is defined as proficiency.

I realize that there is a lot more to playing a character than simply selecting a spec and planning a rotation; you have to use the right one for your desired purpose. More importantly, skillful playing requires the ability to know how to react to constantly changing environments.

However, my original response to you was simply that I think that if we are talking about the typical M&S, and we were, then getting them specced correctly and playing their character properly, even if that means button-mashing, will contribute more to their performance than dragging them through naxx so they can have shiny new gear.

Tonus said...

"Just because someone has BEEN to a specific encounter many times doesn't mean they have learned the encounter or increased their skill at all."

But unless they're poor players they are becoming more and more efficient each time. The learning curve will grow flatter. Even without gear upgrades, they are more effective and contribute more to the fight.

The person who doesn't adapt and become more efficient over time is unlikely to be invited back unless he is with a guild full of similar people. The kind of people who figure that they'll "get better as we get more gear."

Anonymous said...

"My point is that there is not a single person in the world, not even in Ensidia or Stars or Method who has better skill ratio (current skill/theoretical possible) than gear ratio (current gear/theoretically possible)"

I don't find that true. My guild cleared all adds in spider quarter and got anub'rekhan to 50% and we were all in heroic gear. What's so special with that? We were 10 persons and we were accidently in 25 man.

All in all, it was a very funny evening when we realized, too bad we didn't get the boss down though.

Our guild consists of mostly mature and experience players. Although our gear ratio is higher now, it wasn't back then(before ulduar was released)

Goreon said...

I think the underlying message is still the same though.

Why settle for 'decent' gear when 'epic' gear is so easy to acquire?

Because the AH and Heroics is 'hard' - amirite?

Anyone that can step into a heroic to farm up those 'decent blues' is also farming up epic class gear at the same time.

So the arguement for me doesn't wash overall. If you front up with just blues to high end raid content you're just lazy IMHO.

Yes it's 'possible' to clear Ulduar in blues. GG. Well done.

But that won't be a valid excuse the next time you login with your guild and expect to run Ulduar where everyone else is geared down to flasks, enchants, gems, food buffs AND gear and you rock up with blues claiming 'it's decent enough, what's your problem?'

sid67 said...

@Ayonal (again)

My apologies if you believe that was a personal attack. My initial reply was in response to Gevlon's article in which he is measuring two components: Gear and Skill. In that context, the actual "skill" required to play WoW is actually very low and is even artificially limited by game design. Skill in this context is a measure of your reaction time (both physical and mental) to the situational encounter.

My response to you added a third element: Knowledge. One that mistakenly gets misconstrued for "skill" but is actually more a product of research outside the game. All of the things you describe are things that come with knowledge and can be EASILY aquired in a few hours of reading EJ forums or even talking with a more experienced guildmate.

In other words, learning how to properly execute a rotation is more a product of knowledge than it is of any actual skill. The reason this is elitist is because some players (perhaps you) believe that because they have this knowledge that they are superior to other players. The truth is that the only reason you are superior is because the other player is ignorant. Something that can be easily be fixed with a little research.

That's not "skill" that's the illusion of skill granted by your superior knowledge of game mechanics. It's really no different than having better gear and believing the reason the encounter is "Cake" because of your leet skillz.

Addons that make you more informed do just that -- make you more informed. They don't grant you some amazing skills that you can now use to become a WoW god. Again, this is a product of knowledge -- not actual skill. Likewise, reading a boss strategy about how to kill a boss and then executing that strategy is NOT skill. You are just using your knowledge to follow a proven recipe for success.

The point here is that there are really three parts to being a good player in WoW: Knowledge, Gear, and Skill. Ironically, skill is the least important of the three but everyone credits THEIR success to it.

As for the 150% dps increase thing, I'm not going to get into a big theorycrafting discussion about it, but there are several reasons. The easiest to point out is that stat itemization is more important than item level. That's why there are plenty of examples of items that offer better contribution despite having a lower iLevel. My rogue had a lot of BiS items -- so it wasn't JUST the item level but WHAT items I was using. I also had a lot of side grades to choose from in order to optimize my stat budget without exceeding any of the hard caps.

The other major reason is that some stats have a compounding benefit on other stats -- an effect which can be greatly magnified with raid buffs. For example, assume a 10% haste buff: At 1800 dps, it increases your dps by 180. At 4000 dps, it increases your dps by 400. Same buff, twice the effect.

Michael said...

Good point. The potential increase due to skill is greater than the potential increase due to gearing.

This makes sense since when you "work" on a boss over multiple wipes you tend to progressively wipe further and further into the encounter until victory. During a single night of continuous wipes you improve, but no gear is added between attempts.

The only historical footnote worth adding is "gear check" bosses, basically old-school patchwork where it required certain tank HP, healer HPS and flat out DPS. Or say Ragnaros where it was almost 100% necessary to have 315 FR tanks. Even then the gear check is mostly for the tanks and not really for the DPS (since the skill variation in DPS/HPS is significant). I say historical because Blizz delibrately removed these challenges of requiring Resist gear or X HP/armour.

Brian said...

Although it would be much more difficult to test, I think the "gear myth" point would be made much clearer with the opposite test. See what happens when a bunch of FL wiping players are given absolute BiS gear to run with. My guess is that they would STILL fail horribly.

Gevlon's experiment was cool because it proved that skill can overcome lower quality gear. But it also proved that the gear checks in this game are set pretty low. No amount of skill could make up for each DPS being 1-2k DPS lower than usual and thus hitting the enrage timer...except enrage timers in WoW are too mild for that to happen. Skill can't prevent tanks from being one-shotted by a high damage boss attack...except single hits don't do that much damage (except in a few cases). As long as you have the low level of gear required to meet the mathematical requirements of an encounter, you can technically beat it. Most fail groups meet this requirement, and probably exceed it by quite a bit.

The problem is that while gear checks are easily passed by many WoW players, SKILL checks are not. And what's worse, most skill checks are constructed in such a way that all the gear in the world won't help you do any better at them. Moving out of the fire, switching targets when you need to, etc, etc, are all necessary skills that many WoW players don't possess. And those skills aren't helped even a little bit by more gear. Full BiS gear won't save you if you just stand there when Kologarn's eye-beams hit you.

The myth isn't that gear doesn't make a difference in the general sense, it's that the reason YOUR group is wiping (or you are dying) is gear-related...when 99% of the time it isn't.

Ayonel said...


Thanks for clarifying. I understand your point much better, and I agree. While thinking about it more after my last response, it occurred to me that in your interpretation, there is really no skill in the game, simply applied knowledge. My follow-up was going to be very similar to what you wrote.

Personally, I don't have much of an ego problem. I gathered a lot of knowledge of this game so I can play it as well as possible. I am not so much concerned that I am better than other players (except the Alliance whose bones crunch under my feet) as I am that I am able to show up for a raid and do what is expected of me, which is do as much damage as possible while providing raid support ulitity between fights. I do see your point. however, that many people think that they are awesome because they got a spec from EJ.

The one area I am not sure we agree on is where skill comes in. Once I have the knowledge and I know the recipe, are the results due to my skill, or am I a trained monkey doing tricks to get my banana?

pugnaciouspriest said...

I've had big arguments with a friend who tried to explain his poor performance because his average gear level was 10 points below others, I like Gear, but definitly agree that skill is more important, and gear will not move you out of a fire anyways.

Anonymous said...

go back to analyzing the AH

Jira said...

I'm sorry, but I still don't understand how you jumped from 2k in blues to 5k in epics. As I understood you play a Rogue; I easily pushed out 3k+ dps in enchanted and gemmed sunwell epics and 80 blues raidbuffed back when naxx was "new".

I did also jump up to 5.xk dps (which then would actually only be a ~60 % dps increase) in Naxx, but I think the point gevlon tried to make isn't that gear does not highly improve your dps/heal output; but that with enough knowledge & skill you can still clear most, if not all, normal modes.

I haven't yet seen a situation in WotLK where gear was the limiting factor, except for hardmodes and some bosses pre nerf (ignes was kinda annoying the first days, our 2 maintanks weren't available and our third guy had way worse gear)

Btw: your Haste calculation isn't correct, for most, if not all, classes 10 % haste does not increase dps by 10 %. Dunnoes if you just wanted to give an example or whatever, if so, then ignore the last part.

Pierre Goldbloom said...

I've just finished writing about this topic and the whole 'Myth of Gear' myself. The post is over at

For the most part I agree with you. While my post doesn't specify that this whole charade is about Blizzard's secret master plan to reel in casuals, the great attitudes that casuals display is positive and is such an attitude that we should all hope to emulate.