I’ve been asked (repeatedly) recently for a gear list. Whether it’s for Heroics, 10 man or 25 man raiding, there are multiple somebody’s out there who want one.
Let me destroy your hopes right now. I will not, nor will I ever, provide a definitive gear list.
The reasoning is long-ish and suitably wordy to constitute a blog post. So here you go, you disappointed goons.
Before BC came out, it was fairly easy to provide a gear list. There were very, very few sources of quality gear, and even then most of it was crap. One could say, with absolute certainty, that a mage would need this hat, and this trinket, and everything else was total junk.
With BC released, it became somewhat more difficult. One could get quality gear from PvP and professions in addition to instances. Oh yeah, and thanks to a thing called “Heroics” and this new fangled “badge” mechanic, there were far, far more pieces of gear floating around.
Rather than saying “get this item”, gear lists leaned more towards the “get this, or this, or this, and this is good too, and so is this if you can afford it” style.
LK has gummed it all up even further. The amalgamation of Spell Healing/Damage into raw Power means that there isn’t even a genuine line between healer gear and caster gear.
Providing a gear list would be a monumental task, and largely pointless as anyone could get the exact same list with a modicum of effort on Wowhead.
Compound that with the fact that there are multiple raid viable specs, with different stat demands, and one would nearly need to provide a separate list for every spec.
Gearing up through PvP is the only route that is still just as restricted as it was before BC was released.
In short, there is no gear list. Only gear suggestions.
Between bouts of conquering the known universe, I wondered what causes the demand for gear lists.
It certainly isn’t laziness, at least I don’t think so.
I’m only taking an educated guess here, but I’m fairly confident that the hugest demand for gear lists come from people who aren’t quite clear on what to look for in their gear.
These people aren’t lazy, they’re just not as familiar with the class in question as they could be. Maybe they don’t have the time to spend hours sifting through blogs and various forumses (screw you, pluralization) to figure out every single facet of their class.
Or maybe they do, but this is an alt they’re looking at. Who the hell has time to master multiple classes?
In any case, it’s not that sloth took over, it’s just that they don’t quite know what they’re looking for. Gear lists are created for those who look at a drop or quest reward and say… “What is this? Do I need this?”
The first time somebody sees haste on a quest reward, and has no idea what it really does. The first time a Ret Paladin wonders what the eff armor penetration does. The first time a warrior starts to wonder about Agility…
It’s for these people that gear lists are created. At it’s simplest, all a gear list does is say “don’t do this, do this” without explaining why.
That’s enough for quite a few players. A BM Hunter doesn’t need to know why it’s a poor idea to stack Haste. A Ret Paladin doesn’t need to know why stacking Strength is a good idea.
Not knowing the why isn’t going to hurt performance, or really anything in day to day gaming.
A new healer has no idea if they need spell hit. Maybe my healing spells can miss, they reason. I’ve played games with stupider arbitrary things.
So they look at a gear list. Any spell hit there? Nope. Guess I don’t need it then.
Sometimes it’s just a reaffirmation. “Agility is good, right?” says the rogue, really not sure at all on the matter. These people already sort of suspect what stats they need, they just aren’t sure.
Perhaps a healy Paladin doesn’t know whether or not they need mp5. Maybe a Warrior doesn’t know whether to go for Parry or Dodge, or ignore both of them.
These people, too, turn to gear lists, though not so much for the actual list itself, but more so for the little blurbs at the start, like “always stack X when you have the chance”.
Gear lists on blogs strike me as strange. If someone found a blog, chances are they already figured out how to work Wowhead, and merely wish to know what kind of gear is good for them.
Gear lists on the official WoW Forums make a lot more sense. It isn’t difficult to find them, though honestly those should just be deleted as the screeching denizens of the WoW Forums aren’t deserving of help and replaced with a guide of how to manipulate the Wowhead database.
In lieu of my probably erroneous thinking, a gear list is not something I’m going to produce for the mage class. The relative value of stats change from spec to spec, situation to situation, and even has the stats themselves change.
For instance, crit is a very strong stat for raiding FFB mages, but a very poor stat for frost mages. Thus, providing a gear list that unfairly weights crit would result in frost mages running around in gimped gear.
What I can do is provide gearing suggestions.
I won’t say “get this hat”; I will say “your hat must have a metagem socket”.
Guidelines, nothing more.
(PS A seperate post will be created with these guidelines, which should be up in the next twelve hours barring disaster like the power going out. Again.)
((PSS If anyone remembers me asking Pike for a hunter gear list, I refer you to the “doesn’t know what to look for” part. There’s a distinct possibility I may have been a little too proud to say “I don’t have a goddamn clue how this class works”, so I asked for a gear list instead.))