One of the things I’ve been reading a lot lately are comments from gamers who say that they either left World of Warcraft or refuse to play it because of the repetitive grind to obtain epic gear. Whether it’s reputation dailies, daily Heroic dungeons, raiding, PvP, or whatever else, there are complaints. This is one of the more frequent complaints I read, short of perhaps the old “recycled content” argument. But one of the things that catches my attention each time is when people complain that they don’t want to raid but there’s no other way to get the best gear in the game. All I can say to that is…
..why do you need it?
First, the facts. Raiders get the best gear in the game for one reason: to raid. The gear you obtain in one raid will not only let you progress into the NEXT raid but also allow you to clear the current raid much easier and faster. That is the sole purpose behind epic raid-only gear. Does it allow you an easier time in dungeons? Of course, but dungeons - even Heroics - aren’t really that challenging anymore, even if the only gear you ultimately wind up with is a direct result of those Heroic dungeons. Does it allow you to PvP better? Marginally, I suppose. Your core stats will be higher but without Resilience, you might as well be a paper cannon and any respectable PvPer will tear you apart if their gear even comes close to yours.
So why do people want the gear when they aren’t going to raid?
The only reason I can think of is the status. The status of purple, if you will (HE SAID IT!). Fact is, WoW is a community and just like every other community in the world, many people will judge you based on what you wear. If you’re loaded up with epic gear - whether PvP or PvE - others will look on you with a little bit of respect. At the very least, respect for what you’re capable of. If you’re donned in iLevel 378 epics from head to toe, people naturally assume you’re a capable and experienced raider. Others may also assume you’ve got no life in the real world, but those people are (generally) pretty ignorant.
All in all, the hunt for gear is one of several motivations people have for playing this game but some folks are confused that it may be the ONLY motivation. Honestly, it isn’t, and if you have no desire to raid then you don’t need all of the best gear in the game. However, if you really need that shiny purple text, you can still get pretty well geared out without ever stepping foot inside of a raid (or at the very least without ever killing a single raid boss).
A.) Random Dungeons: Since the release of the most recent tier of raid content, it’s become even easier for newly minted level 85 players to get quickly geared out. By using Justice Points which are a reward from repeating the Random Dungeon finder and killing Heroic Dungeon bosses, and Valor Points which you’ll get by doing random Heroic dungeons, you not only have the entire Tier 11 selection of gear available to you but all of the like-level accessories that go along with it.
B.) Crafting: Every crafting profession can produce epic-quality gear not only of the previous tier of content but also the current tier, if you’re willing to spend the money or farm up the mats for yourself.
C.) PvP: Sure, maybe you’re not big on PvP, but it’s a good way to get shiny purples. Running battlegrounds is a good way to earn Honor Points which you can ultimately redeem for a lovely selection of epic-quality PvP gear which, in all honesty, will still serve you better in dungeons and Heroics than your lame ass iLevel 300 blues.
D.) Buy It!: Yes, this goes back to the wealthy, but what better way to demonstrate your contempt for the lesser player than to simply buy your way to power. With all that time spent not-raiding, you’ll be able to do dailies, complete end-game quests, farm mats, or play the Auction House like a sweet golden fiddle until you amass a hoard of precious gold. Why fight for it when you can simply buy your way to epicosity?
These options, and more, are at your disposal if you truly, truly need to be wrapped in velvety purple text. Will you be as powerful as the Great and Mighty Raiders™? No, definitely not, but you know what’s great? You don’t have to be. You know what they say, fame and fortune will only get you so far. Then again, maybe a top guild on your server is selling raid spots, in which case…