I've always said that I play for the fun of playing. I raid because I like beating the big baddies in a group challenge working out patterns and accomplishing something. Even if gear is not a priority of mine it is extremely important to me. The better the gear I have the better I can do my job be it tanking, healing or dealing damage. So even for someone like me that does not raid for gear, gear matters. Simple enough right?
But then we go to the people on the forums and their logic. "If you don't raid you don't need raid gear."
Excuse me? What planet do these people live on that they really believe that?
Just because my rent is not three million a month doesn't mean I don't want three million a month. Just because I am eating a hamburger doesn't mean I don't want a steak. Just because my girlfriend is not Jessica Alba it doesn't mean I wouldn't want to date Jessica Alba.
So just because you don't raid doesn't mean you don't want gear. To think that non-raiders do not want, or need, gear is ignorant on the part of any person that would ever say it.
I am a raider and I am all for valor gear. I am all for BoEs. I am all for other ways to get top end gear for people that do not raid. I am all for it because of what I mentioned before, I do not raid for gear. So I do not judge my own self worth on the gear I wear and I do not get upset because someone else that doesn't raid has the same gear I do.
Sure, I might get jealous that it took me 26 DW kills to get the bow for my hunter because it never dropped but that is jealously because someone less skilled that rarely raids got lucky on his first and only kill. I do not want it taken away from him. His getting it does not diminish my ability. His getting it does not make mine any less useful when I finally got it. All him getting it does is make me hate the random number generator more than I already do, and that is a lot to begin with.
It is easy to see how gear is the great motivator for raiders. Some raiders like to get it to show "how good they are". Some raiders like to get it to "prove their self worth". Some raiders like to get it, "so they can do better". Some raiders like to get it "because it makes getting into pugs easier". Some raiders like to get it for various reasons I did not mention.
I fall into the "so they can do better" category. I like new gear because it helps me do better and that is always my main aim. To be the best player I can be. I might never be the best player but I sure as hell can be the best that I can be if I put in some effort and of course, get the gear that allows me to be that good.
So if it is easy to see why raiders want gear why is it so hard for people to understand that non raiders want gear too?
Just because someone does not raid does not mean they do not want to do the best they can do. Just because someone does not raid does not mean they don't want to be able to do better.
Gear is a great motivator and argumentatively it is actually a greater motivator for non raiders, or lesser skilled players, than it is for raiders or what are commonly refers to as better players.
There are people that were capable of doing dragon soul full runs with everyone in 380 gear, or 385 gear, or 390 gear. It all depends on the groups level of skill and if they needed a little extra help that gear can provide. When they need that little bit of help gear is a huge motivator.
But once again, I delved into raiders and raid gear. The point I am trying to get to is why non-raiders need raid gear and how gear is a great motivator to them as much as it is for the raider.
I'll go to myself for an example. On one server I have three hunters, 2 death knights, 2 druids, and one of every other class. Yes, 14 characters that can raid. I do not raid with all of them but I like to be raid ready with all of them if I can.
So while my warlock has never stepped into a current raid. And by never I mean never. But that does not change the fact I would like him to be raid ready. I have absolutely zero intention of ever raiding with him but there is nothing wrong with making him capable of raiding.
So while I do not do anything with him, gear is still a huge motivator for him. I will get him crafted gear, valor BoEs, drop BoEs and HoT gear. It will not be great stuff, but I can get to a 380+ item level at least and that is more than ample to be raid ready, as long as you know how to play the class. Even more so now that we have the 30% buff flying around.
So to all those people that say "If you don't raid you don't need raid gear" I call bullshit.
I can give you a list of reasons why non-raiders need raid gear. And I think I will.
You can do 25K in 380 gear maybe, but a non raider that does not have the same skills needs all 397 gear to even come close to that. If anything, the non-raider needs that gear more than the raider does if they want to perform at what is deemed acceptable numbers.
Non-raiders do a lot of questing. They, just like anyone, would like to be able to do what they do faster and more efficiently. More gear means you do it better, which means things die faster, which means you can do more quests and if that is how you have your fun, more quests means more fun.
A quest geared character lands to pick an herb and gets into a battle, it takes time to kill the mob. A raid geared character lands to pick an herb and gets into a battle, one shots the mob and moves to the next node. Gathering is so much easier when each time you land it does not turn into another epic battle of man vs wild.
For drops, for mats, for whatever. Non-raiders do a lot of grinding for various different reasons. Killing mobs for skins, looking for a certain drop, killing for level 78 and 79 cata greens, etc. The difference between hunting foxes for the fox kit and it taking 30 seconds or more per fight or two shots is huge over the course of a few hours grinding and could be the difference of killing hundreds of foxes or just a few dozen.
Raiders get their progression in raids. Good or bad makes no difference, even if you are only 4/8 normal, that is your progression. Not great at all, but that is how you judge how you are doing and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. For the non-raider your progression is your gear. If you are 330 you are starting, if you are 350, you are advancing, if you are 380 you are doing well and if you are 390, you are basically capped as far as you can go without raiding. For the non raider a 390 item level is basically the same as 8/8 heroic is for a raider. You got to the end of your quest.
Non-raiders often dungeon. Why do you need raid gear to do dungeons people ask. Well, let me answer for you. Doing 20K in a dungeon or doing 6K in a dungeon. Which is going to make it go by faster? Which is going to make it easier on everyone there? Which is going to make it more fun with less wipes as long as you are doing mechanics correct? 20K of course. Sure, the non-raider might only be doing 20K in 390 gear and you would do 30K but you know what, for them, that is awesome and that is fun.
Non-raiders often like to solo old content and some current but easier to solo content. I started soloing VP and Stonecore for the drakes as soon as I hit 85 and I can tell you from first hand experience that it is a lot different in 400 gear than it was in 330 gear. We are talking not even in the same ballpark here people. Not even the same sport. 330 was an effort in pure skill and effort. 400 I just blow through it and can even ignore some mechanics because I know the thing will die fast enough.
Gear is a great motivator for even the non-raider because it makes everything they do easier. If anything gear is a bigger motivator for non-raiders than it is for raiders. For raiders they know they will get their gear from raiding, it is the true example of welfare gear, raiding gear is welfare gear. You are going to kill the bosses anyway for your progression, so anything that drops is pure bonus. That is welfare gear.
It has always annoyed me when people call valor gear welfare gear because you have to work your ass off for valor gear. If you are working for it, it is not welfare. But that is another story all together.
No matter what aspect of the game you play, gear is the ultimate motivator.
For quality raiders, the better your gear, the better you get and the further you can push your progression. For average raiders, the better the gear you get, the easier the content gets. For part time raiders, the better the gear you get, the more likely you can pug with success and pull your own weight. For non-raider max level characters, it helps with all the things I mentioned above. Even when leveling, gear is a great motivator. The better gear you have the more efficiently you level. For PvP the better the gear you have, the less damage you take and the more damage you can put out.
So while I do not raid for gear as my focus myself, gear does matters.
And for all those people that say "If you don't raid you don't need raid gear" I have some bad news for you. They need that gear more than the raiders do. They need it because it is their only way to measure progression. They need it for those reasons I mentioned.
So to answer my own question, yes, gear is the great motivator.
I am glad to see that they are offering valor for daily quests in mists. I just hope they keep offering valor gear as well. I think you should be able to fill all slots with valor gear. So non-raiders can have a continued feeling for progression. It will also be a nice way for me to keep my warlock raid ready without needing to raid or do dungeons. So maybe, just maybe, that one day I feel like raiding with him for fun, he can.
Yes, gear matters. For everyone that plays the game. Not just raiders.
I think raiders need to get off their high horse and start realizing that just because they raid does not mean that no one else should have gear. Everyone needs gear, no matter how they play the game.