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Archive for November 11th, 2009

Gear, LFM and the Loot Piñata

My main character is a mage. My main character is also a druid.

See, I’ve found this particular (im)balance with WoW since just prior to WotLK being released. I started this game with my mage and leveled my druid to help meet guild function. And it was clear that if our guild wanted to do 10-man dungeons together, my druid would be needed for that. Plenty of DPS and healers, but we needed another tank without sacrificing a healer. And I was happy to do it: I liked playing my druid and tanking was pretty fun (and I suck at healing).

The downside about this is that the character I started with wouldn’t be able to get into any raids. He would miss out on gear and such opportunities. That was, until a lot of people were pugging the content.

The most common to be pugged was VoA. After battling it out for control of Wintergrasp, most people would PUG that instance. So, I was able to get into that with both my characters. PUG with Darth and the guild with Natural.

Then after awhile, Naxx was starting to get PUGs. So every so often I would be able to get into that instance with Darth. I had learned all the fights from the guild runs while using Natural, so it was an easy transition.

Then there was the Ulduar patch. Suddenly the majority of guilds had packed up and left Naxx to get through Ulduar. Our guild, as we raid only when we can, didn’t really make that next jump. We had only cleared Naxx once and most of us could use some extra gear, so we didn’t move onto that just yet. And as I didn’t know the fights, Darth didn’t join up into any Ulduar PUGs either.

But for Emalon, the new boss in VoA, most people still had to PUG that. So, I tried pugging that with both toons, only to find success with my mage. I wasn’t quite sure why… it could have purely been raid composition. It could have been awful healers. But I unfortunately started to think that my druid wasn’t ready for it.

And now we’re even further along, with ToC-10 and Koralon in VoA, and my druid hasn’t seen any of it. But I’m quite happy to wait and progress when the guild is ready. But for Darth, well, he’s downed Koralon 10 and 25 several times. He’s got the only 2 pieces of T9.25 you can get from Koralon, now affectionately known as “The Loot Piñata”.

So, that’s got me thinking about something I sure most already suspected: Carrying a DPS character seems to be easier than carrying a tank. This isn’t to downplay the importance of DPS in a raid, but moreso to say that gear on a tank is a bit more critical to the survival of the raid.

For example, if the minimum dps to beat a boss is 2000. If one person is down to 1800, they’re likely to be carried by two people with 2100 and have no one care. Should a tank need to mitigate 2000 damage and can only mitigate 1800, the whole thing could potentially end up in a wipe. (Yes, I’m fully aware that this is an extremely simplified example and tanks can be carried somewhat by amazing healers. Just work with me, folks!)

So, it’s because of this that I think I hesitate to try to PUG VoA with Natural when I normally do on Darth. Because if he’s a little short on gear, it can probably slide by unnoticed. (Ironically, Darth actually has mostly better gear than Natural because of those VoA runs). Now, if my tank is a little short, then I’ve given everyone a lovely repair bill. It may not be the right way to think, but that’s kind of where I’m at.

Again, I’m happy to progress with the guild and do Ulduar and ToC content with them. We work great as a team and have a great time doing so. But it would be nice to be able to hop into a VoA now and then to maybe get some free candy from busting Koralon open.

Anyway… what sort of thoughts do you have on this? Is gear more important for a tank? Can tanks be carried easier than I think?

Or am I just over thinking it?

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