I believe this is an interesting question and I suspect that I will get a wide degree of opinions about it. Many most likely calling me out for asking too much of people that are casual players. In a recent discussion about raiding and some people using gear as an excuse for not doing well it raised two questions in my mind.
1) What gear do you need to do current content? (which I will not address now as it is not all about gear and that is a topic in and of itself)
2) How geared can you get even with no raid drops?
So many people keep saying, when trying to get into our 25 man, that they just can't get any gear. I've become relatively fed up with hearing this. If someone makes an effort, even a minor one, they can gear up. But what constitutes a reasonable effort?
I have one character, which while they do have a few raid kills they have never received one raid drop, that is currently sitting at 516. They have every item you can buy with valor, the only thing they do not have is the shoulders you can buy with gold as they are not exalted with the shado-pan assault. They are an alt that I play once in a while here and there and if I raid even the LFR with them once a month it is a lot.
They have managed to not only get every single valor piece they can get, but they got one piece from nalak. They do not have the legendary cloak because quite frankly I have not even tried to get it on any character besides my main. The have one trinket that is 483 and the rest of their items are 502 raid finder level. So 516, with little to no real effort put into gearing them up.
I have another character, which as well raided and has one raid drop, that is 517. I have two others that I have not even played at all in any way shape or form in a month that are 512 and 514 respectively. Just from the little I did play them.
I have one character that has just been lucky with heroic scenarios. They have yet to even finished the LFR version of ToT but they are rocking a 518 item level. A 518 item level and they have not even done all four of the ToTs yet. Not kidding.
So if you were to ask me I would say that a 510 item level is the bare minimum anyone that has been playing since the patch came out should have even if they are a part time player if they have the intention to try to raid.
So basically when someone comes to me and says, "If I get some drops I can do better" I just want to ask them, what are you doing with your time online to not even have a 500 item level yet?
I see some people online every day. As in every single day they are on and for substantial amounts of time. These are people that want to raid, they keep asking to raid, so what are they doing with their time online to only have a 485 to 498 item level?
Am I just being too demanding to think that someone that is online at least a few times a week should have at least a 510 item level if their intention is to raid?
How is 510 too much to ask of someone that is online most days? With valor gear alone you should be able to get mostly there. Running the LFRs, heroic scenarios, nalak, oon, and even crafted items if you are willing to spend the money, 510 does not seem like all that high to me.
As a matter of fact, looking over my raid team I see people that have been raiding since the get go this patch and two of them are only at 517. How the hell do you raid every single week and be only at 517 at this point. Sure, I know we are not downing a lot of bosses each week and there might not have been many drops for you, but to be an every day raider since the patch dropped and be only 517 shows you are not trying.
Sure, there could be the issue with drops, but you should have your cloak by now, you should have every valor piece by now, you should have 1 or 2 nalak pieces if you got lucky and maybe even an Oon one. You should have everything upgraded or near upgraded. How is it possible to be only at 517 as a regular raider at this point? If my tank was that it would be acceptable as it is an alt, even if I used it, and I pass on everything so mains can get it first. And I still have higher than that having passed on everything.
More and more I wonder if people just do not try. If they take the fact this is a casual raid guild to mean that trying is not needed. That gear is not needed. Well, it is needed, even if doing mechanics right is needed more, the gear is still needed. I do not care if we are casual. If you can not cap on valor each week to make yourself better when we are not downing bosses or you are not getting drops, you are not trying and sorry, you are not a raider.
A raider, even at the casual level, in my opinion is someone that tries to do what they can do. That means the simple things like capping valor, upgrading items, working on reputations needed to buy things. I do not except casual as an excuse for not trying.
While I believe that 510 should be attainable by anyone that even tries a tiny bit I believe that 520 should be the absolute minimum anyone that considers themselves a raider, or wanna be raider, should be at by now in the patch. I understand it is really hard to get much further without luck or without actually raiding. But 520 should be an easy mark to get to if you are really trying and 510 should be an easy mark to get to if you want to raid.
Unless you are a new 90 or super casual, as in only one once or twice a week, anything under 510 means you are not really interested in raiding or not really dedicated enough to want to raid for me to let you raid.
I think the appropriate item level for a non raiding character to be 510 or near it. What do you think? Or do you think I am over estimating that mark as easy to get for a casual player or wanna be raider?
It would be easy for my view to be tainted as I have a few characters over that level. So perhaps I am being too harsh in saying that at this point anything less than 510 is not really trying. What do you think the appropriate gear level for someone that does not raid is right now?
Note: LFR does not count as raiding for this example, it is just another method to grind gear, rep and quest items, nothing more, nothing less.
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