Disclaimer: This has nothing to do with shamans.
By now, I’m sure most of you are aware of a certain Greedy Goblin and his hilarious exploits. Well, I suppose not everyone finds him hilarious, but I sure do.
Anyway, his most recent posts focus on gear. Or rather, the relative meaningless of gear. Long story short, his guild cleared 10-man Ulduar in blues.
This reveals the strange little issue with how players decide to treat gear. To be blunt, a very large chunk of players view gear as a crutch for their character, rather than something that enhances their character.
Look at it this way. Say you’re a professional driver. You can purchase more responsive brakes, higher quality tires, invest in better fuel and superior engineering, but none of that makes you a better driver. All it does is make driving easier and smoother.
Give an excellent driver a crappy car, and he will produce incredible performance from it. Give a piss poor driver the pinnacle of German automotive engineering, and you will have a finely crafted fireball careening into a ditch.
To put it in WoW terms, getting better gear is not going to suddenly teach you how to play. The quality of your gear can make the difference between, say, 3100 DPS and 3200 DPS, but if you expect gear to make the difference between 1500 and 3000 DPS, you’re either wrong or naked for some reason.
Picture a tank. They upgrade a piece, giving themself 2% more dodge. In the long run, this means they take roughly 2% less melee damage, which is 2% less healing the healers have to do, which means the healer has more mana to spend elsewhere, if needed.
Assuming it’s a good tank, anyways.
Give that same 2% dodge upgrade to a bad tank, and it just doesn’t matter. The tank won’t be alive long enough because he let his healer die and forgot what AoE threat is.
It’s the same for anyone.
Sure, increasing your effective DPS from 3300 to 3500 is nice and all, but what good does it do if you stand in a void zone and die?
Raid composition and player skill is what gives you the vast majority of your effectiveness. Gear adds an extra edge on top of that, not the other way around.