Undergeared players…

are way better than under-brained players, despite what many of Tobold’s commentors seem to think.

It’s amazing how so many people still subscribe to the fallacy that WoW is all about the gear. Again, my theory is that this is an issue of personal accountability. Many people are just bad players and lack common sense, but they cannot accept this and instead find external excuses that allow them to pin their bad performance on factors beyond their control, i.e. they do not have time to do instances for gear, they were unlucky with drops, they have no gold to craft items etc etc.

WotLK, and to a lesser extent TBC, made it such that gear is almost completely irrelevant to completing any PvE content, barring the tank meeting some minimum requirements such as health and defense. There are very very few boss fights barring pure dps races like Brutallus that absolutely require a certain gear level, and even then gear upgrades provide significantly less dps upgrades than simply using brains.

We’ve been doing a lot of heroics lately and met a few choice examples of how amazingly uncommon common sense is.

Specimen #1

Did heroic Violet Hold with a pugged holy priest when my wife was still elemental on her shaman, together with Psin our warlock friend and a rogue from our guild. Of course, we encountered the voidwalker boss which many people say is one of the hardest bosses. This by itself is bewildering since we’ve fought him before and he goes down like a trash mob when we play with our friends (also helped that previously we had to kill him like 4 times because we kept wiping on the ethereal boss that came after him, so we had lots of practice killing him >.<). The boss will put a debuff on someone that allows them to see some adds that spew aoe shadowbolts, and only this person can kill them, similar to Jindo in ZG. It’s trivially easy as long as whoever has the debuff kills the adds, they die in 1-2 hits to my druid with lousy bear gear.

So the fight starts, and right off the bat the priest gets the debuff. She does absolutely nothing, and we eventually die because of the huge wave of adds spewing shadowbolts. She then started whining that it was a dps race and our dps was like those of level 70s and there was no way she could heal through that damage if we didn’t down the boss fast enough. This from a priest that was healing by spamming CoH even if I was the only one taking damage and the warlock was lifetapping. Fortunately Psin somehow got bugged and ended up with the debuff permanently, which allowed him to easily dispatch all the adds the next time we fought the boss.

The priest eventually lost the roll on the frozen orb after Cyanigosa went down and went on a tantrum complaining about how she did 7 heroics that day to get the orb and always got outrolled. When I told her it was only 70g on the AH (it’s now only 40g) she said she didn’t have 70g to spare. I don’t know whether to feel sorry for her or sorry for the rest of the human race that there’s someone at level 80 who doesn’t have 70g. That’s one priest that’s now on my /ignore.

More gear would allow a group to just zerg dps the boss down without killing any adds, and let her spam CoH without running out of mana, but do you NEED it? Of course not. But you can bet that idiot is now thinking “man that voidwalker boss is hard without good dps, we need to gear up”…

Specimen #2

We did heroic Nexus with a pug, with my wife healing so we just needed 3 random dps. One of those we got was a mage.

Bad sign at the start when she afk’d for a long time after being summoned, we were sitting around waiting in the instance when she finally came back and said “ok was fixing headset”. We weren’t using voice chat, so what was she using a headset for, talking with her buddies? Anyway it wasn’t a big deal but warning bells already triggered…

I think I did double her dps as a tank during the run, because she just WOULDN’T STOP MOVING. She would cast a spell, move in and blastwave my mobs away, stand around, strafe behind a few steps, cast another spell, then move sideways… She spent more time moving than casting. When we asked her to polymorph one of the clones that the first boss in Nexus spawns, she took forever to select her target and then stood around after she polymorphed it. And died to blizzard.

Just before the last boss, I told my wife that the mage would finally be useful for once because the dragon has a stacking freeze aura that requires you to keep moving periodically to “warm up”. She then wryly observed that it was more likely that the idiot mage would just stand still and die. Guess what happened… she refused to move until she had 9 stacks of the debuff. And it wasn’t even like it increased her dps to stand there and nuke, because the debuff slows casting speed.

Even if this idiot had 3000 spell damage, she would barely break even with the tank on dps. But she probably went away thinking “i just hit 80, its normal that my dps is poor I need to gear up. Also, mages were so nerfed and feral druids are OP”.

Specimen #3

This one isn’t actually from our heroic runs, but actually our rogue class leader back when we were doing BT and Hyjal. He was some dumb American  who kept coming to raids specced as subtlety, which was the common rogue PvP spec. Eventually on Illidari Council I asked him why do we need to keep checking on his spec during raids, to which he replied that subtlety helped to keep him alive and he did more dps alive than dead. Keep in mind that this guy was our rogue class leader, pretty decently geared, and we were raiding BT and Hyjal pre-expansion nerf. When I asked him why he couldn’t just avoid aoes like, oh, the other 2 million other rogues, his idiot brother then chimed in saying “i don’t really know that much about rogues but imo hemo is a great debuff for the raid”. They then said that he was 6th on the dps meters so his dps was fine. Out of 25 players, 4 were tanks, 9 were healers, leaving 12 dps. As a rogue, he had no other job besides to dps… and he was 6th. “But that’s great!”

Tobold says that it’s difficult for players to improve if people don’t tell them how to, but the biggest problem is that most of these players don’t even want to improve. They’ll say “it’s just a game, I play to relax” or “your gear is so much better than mine”. There is a term in psychology called cognitive dissonance, which means that people tend to reject reasons which imply that they, as people, are dumber than others and will always seek to rationalise it on an external factor. For example, they didn’t do poorly on the test because they have low intelligence, they didn’t study enough because they have a life. Or they didn’t get that job because all those foreign immigrants are taking them for lower pay, not because they have poor qualifications.

As long as they keep thinking that PvE content is all about the gear, they will always keep randomly hitting buttons and blaming Blizzard for making it so hard to raid and having to farm consumables to beat bosses.

3 thoughts on “Undergeared players…

  1. […] met one prima donna healer who really give healers a bad name. She has previously featured as Specimen #1 in Pockie’s post about under-brained players. Or maybe it was part of her tactic to avoid healer blame. What better […]

  2. Um gear is alot more important than people are letting on. I find that people that say “gear isnt a factor” are usually people I have to cary trough dungeons. As a healer its teribly annoying to heal a group of undergeared dps. The encounters are needlessly long, wich equal mana waste and more chances of screwing up.

    I check everyone’s gear on wow heroes and it pays off. No nightmare runs ever. Dont walk away from this article thinking its just skill and no gear. That is complete bs. Sure a healer and tank can carry you, but they shouldnt have to.

    Its incredibly insulting that people assume they can waltz into heroics and raids with no gear. Considering I put the time in to get geared everyone should.

    Also someone with junk gear is usually someone that didnt put anytime in learning the game and will cause you to phail anyhow.

    this is the damage trend in my groups

    tank 30%
    DK 30%
    rouge 23%
    mage 17%

    This is all because ppl think gear doesnt matter. You can have all the skill you want but gear make a huge diff. Think about it. If i have the same skill as you, but my gear is 2 times better than yours… id have to be retarded not to bury you.

    All im saying is you might not “feel” your gear phailure is a factor, but when you’re the tank or healer you sure do.

  3. Hi Mike,

    I think you’ve touched on the real reason for the people sucking in your comment. It’s not that gear isn’t important at all. Decent players tend to have decent gear. There is a huge difference between the performance of someone with 0 spell damage and someone with 1400. But a sucky player won’t even bother to get decent gear, so of course they suck even more. “But it’s because my gear sucks!” Therein lies the problem…

    The thing is, there isn’t such a gap between someone in blues and someone in epics. I can be 400 spell damage behind someone and still do much better if I play smart and he doesn’t. Having a 100 dps advantage in gear is easily lost by 3 seconds of not doing anything.

    The problem I have is when people use gear as an excuse for poor play. Even in your comment, your first point is on their gear. But you later mentioned they are just poor players. How much do you think their dps could have improved if they actually l2p compared to giving them epics in every slot? I think that if you actually went and calculated how much extra dps you get from gear alone you’d be surprised at how low it is compared to suboptimal play.

    The next time you run anything with “under-geared” players, check what spells they are using and whether they are running around unnecessarily. I bet you’ll notice that the majority of them will still suck even if they were epicced out.

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