In my experience, of all the guilds I have been in, gear is very important. From WotLK bringing gear score to the masses, to today’s tier 12 being the best. I remember chasing gear, like a pro. I would be hooked on what it meant to have a “full set” or to have the status symbol at the time.
Did that really make me a better player? Honestly no, it was the motivation to kill new bosses (or the same ones for loot), but it certainly didn’t make me better. What did make me a better player was learning to play differently to defeat different enemies. Taking on board feedback about my play style and not accepting that it was completely outside my control. I.e. they are cheating.
I am not suggesting that someone who has just hit level 85 in the gear they gathered along their travels is now ready for the Firelands. I am however saying with some time to get into Heroic gear and with a few items from the valour vendor you can be ready for the raids. It’s the one tier to another I am looking at.
Does the gear really make that big a difference to me?
The difference in gear is what I want to talk about. For instance, I have got angry or felt unfairly treated when I have lost a /roll for loot in a guild run. The fact of the matter is that with or without it, I am unchanged. What does change is my play style.
I have been told I am a terrible healer by some tanks, but others think I am more than good enough to heal through dungeons and raids. I have to ask myself, is it my static item level score, or perhaps it’s how I & my party are fighting this particular boss or group of mobs.
I want to challenge the idea that gear is make or break when we are talking a difference of about 19 item level points. Across 17 item slots on your character that’s only 323 item level points extra. Which isn’t even one extra item’s worth.
I have said in the past to my brothers and others that learning the fight so that you avoid 30k damage, or dispell a stun, is way more effective than those extra stat points you get from a full set of item level 378 gear.
As a shadow priest I appreciate how competative I get with DPS, and not having the gear is an easy way out when it comes to why I don't do 20k dps. The fact of the matter is, I am not even sure with it I could. Certain badies have certain weaknesses. Certain classes can output more burst damage than others. I guess I want to say, being a good player is more than gear and numbers.
Practise what I preach...
Even as I say that, I know I succumb to the want for new gear (look wise especially with t11 priest toilet shoulders) and will have to re-read this and take a step back. Blizzard make these bosses so we can defeat them if we are smart and stay on our toes.
As always this is my opinion and feel free to disagree!