20 February 2009

Tiering Up

I wanted to launch part 3 of my healing series this week, but it's not going to happen. As Crash Davis said, "We're dealing with a lot of sh*t!" I was going to zip it out, but I'd rather it be worth the time. I'll be out on vacation next week, so you'll see the series pick up early in March. Thanks for your patience!

Last night was a milestone for Alamein because she got her first piece of T7 gear, the [Heroes' Dreamwalker Robes]. In itself it's a minor upgrade over the [Robes of Crackling Flame] I was wearing previously, but my hope is to add more T7 gear to it over time. The set bonuses will make a significant difference in its value.

The odd part about getting that piece, though, is that I bought it with Emblems of Heroism rather than getting a drop. In some ways that's a bit cheesy; you'd rather know that the gear represents a raid accomplishment. Some players will complain that you can run 20 heroics and get the same gear that requires a full raid otherwise.

There's a couple of sides to this. One is that I can say that I've killed Four Horsemen (who drop the token for this) a few times now. We always have at least another Death Knight and Rogue in the raid, plus we usually have either a Mage or another DK along. I don't remember how often the token has dropped, but the others have won rolls on it when it did, and frankly everyone who's won it has needed the gear more than me anyway. Token drops are a nice way to mitigate the randomness of drops, but they're still random, and especially with the plethora of DKs around, I think your odds on the Lost Vanquisher token are slightly lower (despite its increased drop rate).

The other side, though, is that I have no patience for the arguments about how you earn your gear. When I hear complaints about 'welfare epics,' I hear people who need to define their success externally. I don't care how exclusive your gear is, it's never going to be the single signifier about your skill or accomplishments.

You and your friends and your guildmates know what you accomplished. They know if you were dead in the first 30 seconds of the fight, if you are #1 in DPS in your guild, or if you have been around for every Naxx run plus helping newer players run heroics for gear. Or all of the above. The external signifiers should be treated as a bonus, not as the evidence.

I like having current tier gear on Alamein. We never raided seriously in BC, and I never had any T4 drops until people started PUGging raids late in the game. But it's more important for me to know that our guild has worked hard on Naxx. It took us a few tries to get Four Horsemen down, and when we did, that felt really good. I didn't need to win a roll to make the effort worthwhile.

No comments: