I just wrote a comment over at clearcasting about these badge changes that have got everyone's knickers in a twist. Then I thought hell, if I'm going to go around posting long-winded comments that are basically posts in themselves on other people's blogs, why aren't I posting here?
So, inspired by this, here's my take on the upcoming badge changes. I realise this topic has been done to death, but I haven't heard anyone make this particular point before.
First of all, what other people are saying...
Lots of folks are sore that their gear won't be special anymore. Even more people are upset that there will be noobs running northrend in awesome gear, "taking your raid spot, stealing your lootz" all while standing in the fire because they are -still- crappy raiders, just like they always were.
On the other side of the virtual fence, we see the people who love the change, are looking forward to gearing up their alts, realise they will have all the best gear first anyway because they are successful progression raiders, and are generally in favor.
I obviously lean over to that side. I won't be fooled into thinking someone is awesome because they have great gear. I'm not fooled by gear now, and I don't plan to start anytime soon.
A perfect example springs to mind here. There is a rogue who we shall call noobX on my server. I first grouped with this guy when tanking outland dungeons. He was chatty, obviously friended me and was always wanting to run dungeons with me. He was nice enough and I really paid him no mind to begin with.
Then I started noticing his dps was poor. Really poor. Like, you are doing something wrong or you are doing nothing at all poor. Like my pet is doing more dps than you poor. Like is your weapon broken or something poor. Like... anyway you get the picture. It was terribad.
So I mention this to him. Friendly like, because I'm all friendly and stuff. It went something like this:
Zupa: "So mate, your dps is pretty bad. Whats going on? "
noobX: "Oh lol I need some upgrades for my gears. "
Zupa: "Ok link me your weapons." *links 2 blue daggers*
Zupa: "Well, they look fine to me. What items do you need upgraded? I can have a look at my atlasloot mod and help find which dungeon we should run next. "
noobX: "Oh that would be great I need a helm and gloves."
Zupa: "I see, we should be able to find something. Link me what you are using now."
noobX: "I don't have any lol"
Zupa: "Why the fuck not? What the hell man?"
noobX: "I had to solds them to get repair money."
Zupa: "OMFG are you serious? so you have NOTHING? no helm? no gloves?"
noobX: "Yeah lols I need upgrades but dont know which dungeons to get blues from."
Ok thats it. Friendly Zupa has left the building. You-just-wasted-more-than-your-quota-of-my-free-time Zupa will be your host for the rest of this conversation...
Pissed Off Zupa: "Dude that is ridiculous. You have no business in any 5 man group without a full set of gear. Go buy some greens from the AH to use until you get the drops you need."
noobX: "Oh I don't have any money"
Pissed Off Zupa: "Go do some quests or farm until you do then."
noobX: "Id rather do dungeons with you, we never wipe!"
Pissed Off Zupa: "Ok how about this. I'm not doing ANYTHING with you until you at least have a full set of gear. It's just retarded."
*fast forward about 2 months*
Scene: Random group for random heroic with random pugs. I see this rogue (noobX) is in the group. He goes "oh hi remember me?"
LongTermMemory Zupa: "Have you got a helm yet?"
noobX: "Lol you still remember that?"
Like I was going to forget the single most incompetent player I have seen with in WotLK?
Not likely little rogue. Not a chance.
Naturally I check out his gear, and cut off me legs and call me shorty, but this guy is decked. Proper decked. All tier gear and naxx 25 epics and valor badge gear, not a blue item in sight.
WTF?Zupa: "Holy crap man you geared up nice."
noobX: "oh what? yeah I got a naxx run on wednesdays... blah blah." *not listening...*
We start the instance. Things go OK.
So how much DPS does this rogue with the OMG hectic gear manage to pull off? 2k. not 2.1 mind you. not 2050. 2k flat.
WTFBBQ FAILBOAT AHOY
So... he might have talked his way into a guild and a naxx run. He may have kitted up his toon with all manner of sweet gear. But a shit player is still a shit player until such time as they make an effort to not be shit anymore.
Sadly, making an effort was never on this guys agenda. He always wanted someone else to make him not shit anymore, either by me running him in dungeons so he can get loot without pulling his weight to earn it, or by talking his way into whatever raid he is now a part of, regardless of his blatantly poor skills when it comes to playing his own class.
Well, noobX got his gear, but he never got his skills.
Gear means nothing. If you are shit, you are shit.
If you are good then gear is much less of an issue.
The same applies to healers, but that's for another post. There are plenty of healers in full epics who struggle to keep my tank alive in heroic dungeon X, but a healer who knows what they are doing can keep me above 80% all the way through a heroic wearing nothing but the blues they dinged 80 in.
So hows this all actually about the upcoming badge changes in 3.2???
Well, I guess this rogue, noobX, is an example of what the doomsayers are predicting will happen a lot.
Poor player gets good gear and still fails. (omg?)
It's already happening. It may happen more after the patch, but essentially the number of poor players vs good players is a static number, and no amount of welfare epics will change that.
So for me, nothing changes.
Anyway here's my comment from the post over at clearcasting...
I have made it purple because purple is awesome.
How do you feel about people who are unable to obtain tier gear in the current state of play?
There could be any number of reasons for that to be the case. It could be anything from a physical disability that means they simply can’t raid properly or constraints on their game time. Perhaps they cant afford a PC that is stable in a 25 man group. Maybe they don’t speak the native language on their server.
I think these people should be able to get at least some of the best gear around. They pay as much as anybody else to play. I remember very clearly not being able to play properly for a week due to an injury i received. I could still log in and run around but couldn’t do anything that involved pressing two keys at one time.
I’m lucky as it was temporary. Not so for some others.
Lets fast forward to the point where these unlucky players have some tier 9 gear, obtained slowly and painfully over a long period of time.
They still can’t raid for the original reasons, my gaming experience is entirely unaffected, but perhaps they are a little bit happier playing the game in whatever capacity they are able?
Nobody would assume they are more skilled than they are because of their gear. They still wont have a heroic sarth + 3D achievement, but perhaps they won’t feel like second class players anymore?
So while Tier gear is your holy grail, and very important to you, can’t my buddy with the disability get some too one day without it affecting you, your game play, your raid, or your personal sense of achievement?
I think he can. You probably wouldn’t even notice =)