Logtar was born during TBC. I have been to ZG to farm a mount and to Molten Core and ZG to farm achievements. In those days the only 10 man that Logtar ever saw was Kara. I learned tons of bad habits when it comes to evaluating people for groups and I am sad to say that for the longest time I thought gear matters more than skill. I honestly thought that gear was about 80% of what a player needed to be successful at raiding. Then that notion was not just questioned, it was shattered.
I started doing dungeons with my main group during WoTLK. DTK is my favorite dungeon because nobody knew how to do it, nobody looked any guides up, we just entered the dungeon and figured out each boss on our own. I still enjoy doing speed runs there, heck we might have to do our first BoondockSaints video a timed run there. All the people that ran that place with me became better players because we all have to sharpen our skills to be successful. We learned where and where not to stand, we learn where to DPS and where to hold back. I then started suspecting that gear was not a factor, because doing that place was all about knowing the fights and doing the right things and not so much having the right gear.
The first time I saw someone in greens “outheal” someone in purples it did not compute in my brain. Then when that person told that they had no mayor UI enhancements and that they were still a “clicker”, I was floored. All notions that I had learned in the past playing this game were incorrect. The constant gear checking or achievement checking was pretty mute from that point on. Gearing people up becomes pointless if when they have the gear their skills are not already there. That is why I wrote the “Raiding, Am I ready” post because it is all about going back to the basics.
Its been a couple of months since that rude awakening. The 3.2 patch made gearing people up just a matter of grinding. Theydrin made another DK and was doing 2K DPS before he even hit 80. A group of people cleared Ulduar in only blue gear, and that alone cements the view that skills matter more than gear for me. TankLikeaGirl goes as far as saying that putting gear into the myth category.
Our guild has been blessed to get one of the coolest groups of people in our server together. We are going a lot stronger than I thought we would in such a short period of time. We are not only close to running our own 25 mans, we are ready for Ulduar 10. A casual group of friends is getting to see content that just weeks ago seemed months away.
The toughest thing about all of it is having to tell people that they are just not ready for something. Being realistic about progression is the only thing that can move a guild forward. I think the Greedy Goblin is a little extreme, but his ideas are applicable. If we don’t start moving ahead on content until everyone is ready for the step, we will be running Naxx 10 for months to come. What makes me even happier is that I am not the one doing the push, the guild as a whole is, and we have been able to do it while having fun, without minimizing talking down to anyone and constantly improving on everyone’s skills. We even have 4 people now that can lead a raid successfully. Gear is pretty much a non issue and we have gemmed and enchanted pretty much every single new piece anyone gets that same night.