Two days ago a Real Life friend transferred his warlock to my server to join our Guild of real life friends. He transferred from a low pop server where he was in an average guild for that server. He was a big fish in that Guild and constantly sat at the top of the DPS.
I wasn't sure how good his DPS actually was but Wednesday night I put in the effort to get him an invite into our 10 man raid. I went on my priest to heal opening a dps slot for him to take. So how did he do with our experienced group? Around 3k dps which netted him dead last amongst the rest of the dps.
He was really excited and enjoyed running with a good group of skilled players and he picked up some nice upgrades to boot. In a few months I'm sure he will catch up to the rest of the group but it still brings up an interesting topic.
Can people grow at the top?
It takes a lot of time and effort to reach the pinnacle in any field and playing WoW is no difference. The warlock was a big fish in a little pond on his old server but here on mine he is just a little fish in a big pond. With a larger server comes more talented and skilled players not to mention that the economy on high pop servers is much more stable. He mentioned that epic gems on that server cost upwards of 1200g each where as on ours you won't see any over 200.
I wonder if he had stayed on his server would he have gotten better as a player? Without competition would he look into his own flaws and mistakes to try and improve them? I'm sure that some people have that internal motivation to constantly get better but it still begs the question of with a limited pool of additional resources (more people), do people reach a cap of what they are capable of?
The group I play with is a very skilled group of people. They are very intelligent and take raiding very seriously. I've grown pretty accustomed to them, yet I wonder if I would do better in an actual hardcore guild. I find myself slacking because my performance and gear is "good enough". I generally keep up regardless of not min maxing my gear as much as other raid members.
In a more hardcore guild I would be lower in the dps rankings and therefore have more incentive to min max my gear and focus on just one character. Unfortunately I don't have the dedication to be a part of a hardcore guild. Fortunately though I have a group that fits in very well with my skill level.
Last week we had a rogue with us that was only doing 2800 dps in mostly 232 gear. I was frustrated because the raid leader was still going after hardmodes in ToC even though it was obvious that this rogue was dragging us down. I said something out loud about it and my wife just stared at me.
"I do 2800 dps!" She said.
I had to stop and think about that one. While her gear isn't as high of quality as the rogue's she did have a point. The few times my wife has pugged she has commented on how she is always the highest in dps and yet when she runs with us she is lowest.
The rogue had a suboptimal spec and that was a big part of why his dps was low. Should I have said something? My past experiences with trying to help people improve their dps has left me wishing I would have just bit my tongue instead.
That rogue may have gone back to his guild and said OMG I just ran with the most awesomest people! Maybe it would even motivate him into getting better! Instead he got bitched out in our 25 man run by behindya who just recently started raiding again and destroyed pretty much everyone in dps.