Penance Priest

Discipline Priest Blog

It's not your fault. You're not the original sinner. Your motives were pure, of that I'm convinced. But times have changed, and your services are no longer providing the benefits to the community that they once were. In fact, quite the opposite.

So I will have to put you on notice. You have one month to clear out.

Your only other option is to help us clean up this god-awful mess. The mess begins and ends with:

“LFM Ulduar10, 2300 required…”

Am I geared enough to ...

Stop. Stop right there. Look carefully at this simple question, so innocuous, so common, so flawed. Let's turn it inside out: “If I have X gear, then I will be able to down Y boss.” It sounds weird when you put it that way. We all know that gear does not kill bosses, people kill bosses. But answering the question “yes you have enough gear to down X boss” is feeding that very wrong idea.

Gear does not kill bosses. People kill bosses.

How much spell power do I need to ...

You're not listening.

How much mana ...

No. Not answering.

What gear score do I need to …

Wow-heroes, pack it up.

The Gevlon Experiment

If you haven't already heard about Gevlon's experiment, go read it now. A few months ago, he and his merry band of misfits re-geared themselves in heroic blues and cleared Ulduar. It wasn't pretty, but they did it. Full clear.

Be honest: the first time you heard that – perhaps it was now – didn't it shock you? Impress you? And make you question your own obsession with gear as a ticket to higher-level content?

I'm a fan of Gravity's response to the matter, in which he created a graph to illustrate the wide range of gear requirements for each raid. Because we all know that gear is not totally irrelevant. Just less relevant than many people think.

I know you know that gear isn’t enough

But if I hear one more person asking if they have enough spell power or mana or crit or haste in order to do this or that raid…

/shakes fist
/pummels people who actually try to answer the question earnestly
/quits trying to bring sanity to this crazy crazy world

Scratch that last one. I’m in it for the long haul.

(13) Comments

  1. 10/23/2009 6:46 PM Nymarie


    We have a resto druid that used to flaunt his stupid amount of gear and his topping the healing meters. Well, now we've all caught up in gear and he ends up last on the meters. Behind the paladin. Behind the disc priest. Before you add absorbs. Yeah, gear isn't everything. He's pretty quiet now.

    10/24/2009 4:47 AM Jan

    LOL @ Nymarie

    btw yeah, i always thought it is possible to clear ulduar in heroics gear... the funny thing is, that on my server they require ulduar gear to do heroics... -.-" (!!!)

    10/26/2009 10:15 AM Grokii

    Ready for a dissenting opinion?

    Most people think they are above average drivers. Some know they are experts and some know they are novices. But I'd like to invoke the 80/20 rule. 80% of the people think they are above average, 20% think they are either experts or bad drives. By definition 80% cannot be above average, but that doesn't stop American drivers from thinking they are.

    I think the same is true with skill in raids. Most people think they are above average.

    Now what factors come into play to killing a boss? Take your gear, your skill as a player, your raid composition and coordination level, and each member of your raid's skill and gear then throw it at a boss encounter and you will either succeed or fail.

    So lets look at the psychology of a PUG trying to get into a raid. Most believe they have above average skill at playing their class. They don't know or cannot control their PUG raid. So the only other thing they can look at is their gear/stats/gearscore/etc.

    So, is it really that bad to set guidelines to the player that comes to others for advice? If their gear is up to par, then if the raid fails it's either their own skill that is lacking or the gear/skill/coordination of the raid.

    It's nice to take one factor out of play and know if you are above, below, or on par for an encounter.

    10/26/2009 10:34 AM Paolo

    I don't find anything dissent-ful about this tbh. In fact, I sliced my post into two parts; the second part is about pugging. I lead 25-man toc pugs, and don't think I don't gear check!

    And as for someone wanting to know if they are at/above/below par... Well, if you're experienced with your toon, you should know the answer to that question already. It can be measured objectively, based on what bosses you've killed, not merely subjectively based on what you'd like to think about yourself. (Even boss kills isn't totally objective, as it doesn't include how much you might have been carried!)

    If you're not very experienced with your toon (welfare epics are so easy to obtain), then there's no easy way to know your true capacities. You'd need to have enough gear to make up for the skill gap and the experience gap. How much gear is required to close the gap? There's no simple answer to that question. Put all 245 gear on an ebay-bought toon and it still means nothing. The best thing to do is what we all do: progress. Run Ulduar10, and if you obviously outgear/outskill it, move up. Then Ulduar25. It should only take one run to know whether or not you're ready for more. Your achievements and boss kills will say more to me (as a pug leader) than any gear score number ever could.

    10/26/2009 1:07 PM Grokii

    My situation is I'm a bored tank. Pretty much max'd out and my guild only raids on the weekend.

    I leveled up a priest, like Disc a lot. But I don't have the option to bring the priest to our raids since our healers are usually online and I'm usually needed to tank.

    So I pug during the week. I was on 2 failed Ony-10 raids, a failed Ony-25 raid, and a failed VoA-25 raid. In all the attempts I kept my assignment up and helped with raid heals. I didn't get hit by deep breath, didn't get tail whipped, for VoA I didn't stand in the fire, and was generally one of the last 3-4 people alive.

    So if one pug fails... sure it coulda been the pug. When two, three, and four pugs fail you start to doubt yourself. I snooze through healing heroics with pug tanks and I've gotten the best gear I can for how I'm gearing out of heroic content. Naxx and OS I can breeze through. But there aren't a lot of PUGs for Ulduar-10/25 on my server. But there are PUGs for VoA 10/25, Ony 10/25, and ToC 10/25.

    Given 5-man H ToC and emblem of Conquest loot I think I'm pretty much in Ulduar-10 gear.

    That said, I doubt myself. I don't want to be the weak link. and it would be great to see 'an average disc priest should look for X spellpower/crit, and Y int/Mp5' for content Z.

    Disc is hard to judge. For other classes you can compare healing done vs. overhealing and get a picture of whats going on. For Disc you can assume and look at their frequently used spells. For instance I had an initial problem with Flash Heal tunnel vision. I self-diagnosed this looking at my healing meters and corrected the problem. I also didn't use PoM as much as I should, I corrected that. Now the only thing I'm working on is situational awareness and learning when to use our longer cooldown abilities like Pain Suppression and Divine Hymn.

    But all of that is moot if I'm critically undergeared for the content. For me personally though, I finally arrived to the answer myself. I consider myself ready for ToC-10 and lower content. If I join a pug raid, it won't fail on a lacking on my part.

    10/26/2009 3:17 PM Paolo

    I've seen plenty of people recommend specific values of spell power/int/whatever for different raids. Just not on my site :)

    My gut sense for you (Swaggart?) is Ony25 is a stretch that you can do if you're really on the higher end of the skill curve. Toc10 I wouldn't pug you in for unless the overall gear/skill level of the group was high enough to pull some extra weight.

    Look at the link to Gravity's post (above) and you'll see what I mean -- there's no single target number, like a "you must be this tall to ride this roller coaster" kind of threshold.

    10/26/2009 9:15 PM Sinespe

    Paolo, I'm sure you know that I was on the point of writing a blog post about this very subject, so thanks for covering it for me.

    10/26/2009 9:24 PM Paolo

    What did you tell me about one-upmanship?

    This is a huge topic, you should go for it. Plenty to rattle on about. I'm considering doing part 2, as I suggested above.

    10/27/2009 6:40 AM Sinespe

    Fear not. I have something far better than a blog post with which I plan to one-up you.

    10/27/2009 2:14 PM Fuubaar


    I just wanted to let you know that I had linked you to a post regarding Healing Resource blogs. I've recently hit 80 on my Priest & she is currently Disc Specced and I found your Blog very insightful and extremely informative. If you get the change to follow up with this questionaire that started at, I feel that this would really point new and old healers to wonderful resources such as yourself.

    Thank you and keep up the great work!

    ~Fuubaar / Abigora

    10/31/2009 7:17 PM Gravity

    Thanks for the kind words.

    11/17/2009 10:54 AM Sushicookie

    :) Nymarie sent me over to read this after linking me on my own post about gear in ulduar.
    I agree, it's skill and knowing a fight. I've done lots of hard content being "undergeared" I even started toc-25 on a 10-nax geared resto druid and did perfectly fine.
    People just need to pull their heads out of their butts. The trade puggers just crack me up with their gear score requirements.

    12/08/2009 7:01 AM sdumas

    I totally agree with everything you said and then some, but even before WoW-Heroes and GearScore, let me take you back in time to Kara. Even then people were using bench marks such as Spell Power (or then it was + Heals, or + Dmg) to measure your "skill."

    Either way, very nice post and insightful. Thanks

    Holyshrimp (US Lothar)


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