Alright. My last post? August 22nd, 2009. That was four months ago to the day.

I was struck down by disease this past week, and with nothing better to do, and a still-running subscription, yours truly started playing WoW again.

I started doing random heroics for gear, and met a recount-topping death knight who liked my style and was on my server. Now, I'm in enzo, which is four regulars who know each other IRL, some of their less-regular friends IRL, and me, the only person who they don't know the name of. It's interesting, but I mesh well enough provided they speak little about real-world events.

I went from ulduar-10 gear (a range of ilevel 200-226, mostly 219) to mostly 232+ gear. We're talking going from just getting 2 pieces of t8 to 4 piece t9 (including ilevel 245 legs, not just badge stuff) with some good offpieces. We're talking "whoo I just broke 30k hp" to 34k in one week. 26k hp to 30k probably took me six months if not more.
We're talking "worried about my hp on some heroic trash pulls" to "I can tank every heroic except Halls of Reflection (and the last boss of Pit of Saron) with my eyes closed"

Now, I was always ambivalent on the issue of "welfare epics". In some cases, it allows people with good gear to get into guilds and raids, while still learning their class. This issue is compounded by the whole gearscore phenomenon, which I think is disgusting--because I firmly believe in the "bring the player" philosophy. I can tank WAY better than someone who's never tanked but has a character with a higher gearscore, and I'm sure that there are warriors with inferior gear that can outtank me.
However, in other cases, it allows people who stopped playing for four months to get back on track quite quickly. It allows skilled alts to get competitive. And, in an ironic twist, it totally destroys the gearscore phenomenon.
You see, when the WoW community released Gearscore (even though welfare epics were already around) they planned on culling the weak for pugs. Yet, I still see pugs with ungeared people--I was in an Ony-25 where some DK had more than one green and no epics. And in all raiding guilds, gearscore is still used as an epeen measurement, but as far as applications go, nobody cares. If I submit my application to a guild, they'll say "oh boy, he can fail his way through heroics repeatedly and got lucky in some pugs". The good news, though, is that the same panel of judges will say the same thing about ANOTHER applicant--and maybe it'll be true. This requires guilds to actually pay attention to the performance of applicants, more than ever before.
Which means that guilds start caring about "bringing the player", not the empty shell of gear with a brainless gibbon inside. Which is good for me, cause my gear is still merely alright--I'm not tanking ICC anytime soon, but ToC? Sure!

And, on that same note, though the argument against welfare epics is that "but then you're homogenizing the playerbase", it falls apart when you realize that now the playerbase is required to separate the good from the bad by themselves. "Good tank/bad tank" is not about "38k hp versus 30k hp" (something I have been kicked out of groups for, even today), it's actually about Good Tank Versus Bad Tank. This is important. This is new. This is awesome.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Contact us!

We would love any feedback you can offer us, any questions, comments, buzz, discussion, input, judgement, notes, observations, reviews, reports, troll posts, recommendations, ideas, suggestions, theories, theorems, hopes, dreams, loves, hates, two coppers' worth, eludications, explications, remarks, statements, pronouncements and thoughts on anything we talk about here: Warcraft, Blizzard, Tanking, Warriors, Acheivements, Dungeons, etc.
So hit us up at ""