Wednesday, July 29, 2015

You'd Be a Good Player if You Had Some Gear

The title was something that someone whispered me the other day in an LFR.  He was in mostly mythic HFC gear and I was keeping up with him on the fights with my awesome 670 tier set.  One day I would like to get gear, I want to be the good player he says I can be.  That line was sarcasm if you had not guessed, well, not the wanting to get gear part.

It was after the second boss when he said that.  He was rocking the charts.  Did 88K on the first boss, I did 68K.  Second boss he did 96K and I did 83K.  During the trash to the next boss he sent me that whisper "You'd be a good player if you had some gear".

I was not exactly sure what to make of it.  Was it an offhand insult because he beat me?  Was he saying that if I had the same gear he had I would have beaten him?  Was he saying because I do not have good gear it means I can not be a good player?

I inspected him to see his gear and that is where I saw his gear was pretty sweet and made me a little jealous, well, a lot jealous really.  He had three mythic tier pieces and one heroic warforged one with a gem slot.  I have one normal tier piece I can not even use until I get three more.  Insert sad face here.

I was trying to think what I could reply to the guy without sounding like a jerk.  If I wanted to be honest I could have replied, "I am already better than you" because with his gear lead he should have been beating me by a lot more than he was.  But that was when I thought he meant it as an insult.

I saw that there were other people from his guild there and they were all doing fairly well, so maybe he was making an offer.  Heck, I've recruited people I found in an LFR before, so maybe that is what he was doing.  Maybe he wanted to talk to me to try to recruit me.  Not saying I would go, but I would entertain the idea if it were bought up.

In all truth, recruiting from LFR is a great way to recruit.  There are often some good people in them that just never found a raid team.  If you can grab one of those people and get them into a raid you could get yourself a new regular sometimes.   Not saying it always works, it doesn't more than it does, but it could, and has for me in the past.

I ended up replying, "Thanks, I am doing pretty good today, thought I could take you that first fight but you pulled away at the end."

I had him for almost the entire fight.  He jumped past me and skyrocketed at the end.  have no clue how but he went from being behind me the whole fight to moving over 100K and settling at the 88K mark he ended at.

He did not reply again.  The rest of the trash passed by, the boss died.  At the end of the run I hung around in the group a bit to see if he said anything, as he was hanging around too, same with his guild mates.  But he said nothing.

Maybe he did say it as an insult, a shot at me of some sort, or maybe I came off as arrogant in my reply.  Either way our exchange was just those two things, the line he said to me and the line I said to him.

This morning I was thinking about the line he said and how wrong it really was.  If you break it down it makes it sound like he was of the school of thought that gear makes the player.

I don't agree with that, never have and never will.  Gear increases a players potential.  Having good gear does not mean you are a good player and having bad gear does not mean you are a bad player.  So saying if you had some gear you would be a good player is actually wrong.  A good player is a good player no matter what.  Having gear just means you are increasing the potential of said good player.

It seems to be the thought that the higher the item level a player has the better that player is and that is flat out false.  It just means that the player with higher gear has more potential.  They still need to play the class to the best of their ability to get something out of it.  Sure, at some point even a piss poor player will beat a good player thanks to gear and gear alone, but that is not the point.  That person, even with gear, would still be considered a bad player.  So someone with less gear that does well should still be considered a good player right?

The time walker dungeons are the perfect place to test this theory out.  Everyone is equal in terms of gear and with the exception of if one person has some gem slots and the other doesn't, two players will be equals.  Skill matters more than gear there.

Two people in equal gear have a competition based on skill (and luck), but two people of extremely different item levels can not be compared looking at the numbers.  The one that did more should always be the one with the higher item level gear because gear increases potential.   The one with the better gear should do more.  It is simple math.  If someone in much lower gear is beating, or even competing, with someone that out gears them by more than 30 item levels that just means the person with more gear is not the better player.  Not even a good player.

Was it an insult?  Maybe it was, I will never know.  But one thing is for sure and that is this, the guy thought gear made the player, because he thought gear would make me a good player.  That right there shows he is not a good player.  A good player knows that gear increases the potential of the player, but the player still need to do well to get the most out of it.  Maybe he just phrased it wrong.  If he wanted to say what he intended to say, if it were not an insult, he should have said, "I'd like to see what you could do with more gear."  To me, that is a compliment, no misunderstanding that one.

Remember, what you do matters more.  Follow mechanics, avoid the avoidable, and rock the charts.  Even if you finish behind someone like that who really out gears you, know that you are still better than them.  Just do the best you can do.

Gear does not make the player, the player makes the gear.


  1. That comment comes over to me as a back-handed compliment. I'd have phrased it as "If you had my gear you'd be dangerous ;-)".

    Always the problem with straight text with no emoticons to show how you intend the statement to be read.

    I suspect his dps shot up because he saw how close you were getting to his figures so he put a bit more effort in. Always hard to tell how hard folks are working in LFR. I only ever use the Crystal and cheap food, I certainly wouldn't waste an Augment Rune, so I'm never at my max levels in LFR.

    1. As you said it, it surely would have been a compliment.

      Communicating online can often be taken the wrong way. Sometimes things meant to be said as a joke come out as mean. That is why, although it seems weird, I think emoticons are important when talking in text. So you can show what you mean.

      Even something as simple as adding a :) after what might be considered a rude comment shows you did not mean it to be rude.

      I've been using the ever lasting rune, being I have it anyway, the frenzy fish, as I have enough to last 2 lifetimes, and a flask. As an alchemist I always have one on anyway. I do not use potions in LFR however. Seems wasteful and there is no real reason.

      I would guess that too. He must have saw me bursting and said, let me catch up. I think he actually held off at the get go because hero was not hit and then he poured it all on when hero was hit. It is really rare to see someone double their DPS in the last 30% of a fight unless they were planning for it.

  2. That definitely sounds bad, but it's hard to tell what he actually meant. It used to much less of a difference between the lowest gear in a tier and the highest so a good player could still beat a better geared player. With the vast power difference now within a tier of gear now though it's hard to compete even if you are the better player if you don't have the gear. It is sad that so many people fail to realize that gear can be gotten easily (if he had brought you to a few mythic runs chances are a lot of gear would have defaulted to you as it doesn't take long before a lot is just shard bait), but skill is hard to come by. I know back when I still raided we would gear up tons of people just trying to find one good one that could help us when it came time for progression again. And during Cata when I no longer raided I still got to see every fight on heroic because I still was a good player able to handle the mechanics of the fights even if I didn't have the gear that someone would normally have to do those fights.

    1. I miss those old days when skill actually mattered in the game. I remember back in wrath, the last time skill could beat gear, I would routinely destroy people in better gear than me. And I am not talking beating them by a little, I am talking 30% or 40% more than them. It was fun beating them because I knew they had better gear but I had more skill. Of course, if they were skilled, with gear and skill, there was nothing I could do but get jealous.

      I wish the game would go back to that style of play were skill mattered more than gear. I miss it. Mostly because I do not have luck with gear. Maybe if I always got my gear fast in a tier I would not care, but being I don't, I want skill to outweigh gear.

      I don't think he "bought" his runs. He had guild mates in there equally geared, so it was a guild thing. Also I doubt anyone would be stupid enough to buy a mythic run, at least not this soon. People would be charging thousands for it. When it gets to hundreds for it I can see people buying. But hey, you never know.

    2. You misread, brought not bought. Back when I still raided we would take people who seemed to be skilled and bring them on a couple of runs and dump gear on them. If after a few runs they didn't seem to be working out all we were out was a few shards. I'm suggesting that he should have geared you up to see what you could really do.

    3. Opps, sorry. lol

      That makes perfect sense actually. We do that often too when we are capable of carrying people and most of us do not need anything we will grab a few people we can funnel gear to so we can see how they can do with better gear if we saw potential in them.

      That might have been his angle. It is usually a safe bet to think if someone is doing well in lesser gear that they will also do well in better gear. Not always the case mind you, but usually. I have seen a few people who do great in LFR and even normal but I do not invite them on heroic runs because, well, they are not so great at mechanics. But more often than not if someone is good at a rotation, they are good at mechanics.

  3. Funny story. No way to know what they really meant. I'm betting he pulled away at the end due to the combination of Kill Shot and instant Aimed Shots.
    Don't worry Grumpy. Someday you'll figure out this game:)

  4. I took it as your numbers as being on the cusp for Mythic content, and after looking at your gear he attributed you being short of (whatever his standard is) to gear score rather than player ability.

    I think it speaks more to the player psyche. Good is X amount over the enrage, providing slack to me and my raid. Bads are people who are not carrying your group and are some level of hindrance even if negligible.

    IE, Good players progress me thru whatever I want to get thru, Bads are literally everyone else.

    1. I think that is what he meant as well. That is why I looked at it as maybe he was trying to recruit me and seeing if I would bite.

      Your example is perfect. Like that thing I posted a couple of weeks ago about asking someone to sit.

      He was keeping me from getting through something, so he was bad, in that sense. But if we downed it no problem, he would be good, even if he was not really a good player.

      Sometimes kills, at least at the normal and heroic level where I play lately, come down to "If it doesn't target bob we got this". Which is really messed up. But I can not tell you how many first kills came down to just not targeting that one person that could not handle the mechanic. So when it targets them, they are a bad player, when it doesn't, they are good? Sounds about right.

      I still get turned down for pugs when I try to join a heroic because of my item level. Makes me sad every time. Oh well, such is life.

  5. Wait, why does he even think looking at meters on fights that require 0 brain power even matter? There are rarely any other metrics to measure against.

    Anyways, I found the most disturbing part of WoD and the biggest gripe that I have is that there is very little I can do now as a warlock to actually SURPASS anyone 17+ ilvl above me no matter what I do. The day I received my first 700 item from a cache made such a big difference without ANY change to how I play.

    I think the scaling of secondary stats are just too great. He would find that the performance of most "good" players actually increase as the fight's difficulty also increases.

    1. The game has become more about gear than skill. It happened a long time ago. Back in wrath it started to go bad but has been out of control since. In wrath you could beat someone in better gear based on skill (use to do it all the time).

      Now, if the gear is enough, they could just slap their keyboard throughout the fight and beat you. It is really sad. I'd like to see skill return to numbers in the game. Now it comes down to who has more gear in many cases.

      As for why numbers matter? Looks like him and his friends were challenging each other. And they must have mattered to him that I was in between him and his friends or he would not have mentioned anything at all.

      No matter what level of content you do, numbers matter. The better they are the easier it is. If it is easy to begin with means nothing. Seemed like they were just having some fun.

      People do have fun in LFR. I might not be one of those people, but some do. He was probably just having fun. I actually wish more people like that were in LFR. It makes the run so much smoother having a few solid DPS doing decent numbers.

      As for me, been tanking lately so I run it on my hunter to not fall to far behind. If it were not for the tomes I would not be there either. But I still try when I am there. It helps practice the rotation. And more fun than just mindlessly hitting anything while watching TV.

      There is a direct connection between fight time and DPS. Shorter fights really help numbers, with that said, LFR DPS should be more, if you have a solid group, because the fights will be shorter.

    2. You are right that it started in Wrath with the multiple levels of gear per tier. At least during the end of Cata you could be in LFR gear and at least be in the same ballpark as people in much better gear (beating them if they were less skilled, lower but not astronomically so if they were equally skilled). By MoP though the scaling just got to be too high. Ohh you have heroic gear ok you're doing double or higher the damage of someone in LFR gear with equal skill. There shouldn't need to be that big of a power difference within a tier, but it's their way of "nerfing" the content over time without actually nerfing it. There were only three tiers in MoP and yet dps numbers went up by a factor of like 20x or something like that over the course of the expansion.

    3. End of mists was crazy like that. I could beat anyone in LFR just by auto attacking in my full heroic (mythic) gear. It should never be like that. If all I did was auto attack anyone half way decent should be able to destroy me.

      As I said, I miss the days when skill mattered more than gear.

      I disagree with making gear too powerful and letting it be a self nerfing way. I much prefer the gear being closer and skill mattering and the nerfing to come from an ICC buff or a DS debuff sort of system. It is just better design in my opinion when compared to letting the stats get out of hand as a way to nerf things.

  6. I don't think it was an insult. I think he meant good as in doing good numbers. Gear is such a big factor, it's not even funny. Discrepancy between classes and between geared/undergeared has never been this big.

    1. It is way to large if you ask me. I liked it back when skill matter more than gear. When I started playing I could be 20 item levels under someone and I could destroy them if I played well. Now, even playing perfectly, unless the other person really screwed up badly, (or made horrible gear choices for those 20 levels) I will never come close.

      Blizzard needs to go back to the skill design and ditch the gear design meaning everything. Just my opinion of course. I understand why they are doing it, I just do not agree.

  7. @Grumpy: I'll freely admit that I've never seriously raided in WoW (LFR doesn't count). My work schedule is such that my rest day moves as the weeks pass, i.e. could be Monday this week and then Tuesday the next. As such, I cannot join guilds who have a fixed raiding day. As to PUGs, I'm not sure I can put in the effort to make the group work.

    I started playing WoW due to memories of WC 3, and roped in a friend who was a LAN partner back in those days. So, I'm not playing WoW to hunt for raid gear, and I don't think I can ever develop that desire to do progression raiding.

    1. LFR is perfect for people like you with no set time to raid. Perhaps if you ever think of moving on to normal you could try to group finder. But personally, if that is not a focus of your game and you are enjoying it otherwise, LFR is fine enough to get that part of the story you might otherwise miss. The key is as long as you are enjoying it, than all is well.

  8. I wish there was a way to make intention clearer in games. A person once randomly said to me 'you're nice' and I couldn't tell if they meant it as a compliment or being sarcastic. I'd try not to read too much into it, although it has made for a really interesting read. I agree, you sound like you were the better player here. Gear can make a difference, or you can also become so reliant on it your skill improves at a slower rate.

    1. I try to add emoticons at the end of things like that to show what I mean. Like in that case I might have added :) to the end of it showing I was saying it nicely. But then you never know if someone will take that to mean something else as well.

      Gear can become a crutch. I have seen it so many times I could not count. People say "if I had more gear I would do better". Sure, but you do not need to do better, you just need to get better at the mechanics. It seems a lot of people try to use gear as a way to not have to do mechanics. Sure it works, but it is not the best way to play in my opinion.

  9. Just like a follower if you have a successful raid a you kill the boss you should get a token that upgrades a weapon or armor piece 3 levels. Rarely 6 very rarely 9 levels. That way if you go on raid after raid after raid and nothing good drops due to RNG gods, at least your making some steady progress.

    1. You just had one hell of an awesome idea. I doubt we could convince blizzard to do it, but it is great.

      Problem is that item levels would skyrocket that way, so like followers each piece of base gear would have to have a cap, on how much it could be increased. And make the upgrades 1, 2 and 3. So it lasts long. Blizzard would be more likely to bite at that. ;)