No Epic Gems, No Raid Spot

What would you do if your GM told you your BiS (best-in-slot) Heroic DS loot had to be outfitted with epic gems in 48 hours or you were getting the boot from your raid team?

Well, Zivandrana on the WoW Forums is in that exact situation in his guild. And while it’s not surprising that the GM would push for a fully-optimized raid, it’s a jarring and sudden change for raiders.

Imagine you’re in a hard-mode raiding guild. Your raid leader and officers are preparing for this expansions’s massive DPS stress tests: H-Ultraxion and H-Spine of Deathwing. It’s understandable that they’d look at how to improve the bottom-line DPS. And the easiest way to do this is stack stats on every character. Boosting gems are a perfect solution!

But do the stat benefits outweigh the massive goldsink?

Pimpin’ Gear Ain’t Cheap

On Caelestrasz, we’re seeing uncut Queen’s Garnets sell for 4,000g on a good day. By now most hard-mode players are probably in 2 or 3 BiS ilvl 410 pieces, and each has 2-3 gem slots. How much would an average person have to pay to adhere to this new rule?

Let’s be generous and estimate the lower end: 2 BiS items x 2 slots per item x 4,000g Queen’s Garnets = 16,000g. Ouch.

You might’ve gotten lucky and snagged a few gems from Deathwing clears or guild trades. But you’ll eventually have 13 pieces of gear with gem slots to fill. If 2 pieces took 16,000g, imagine 13.

Oh, That’s Totally Reasonable

And what are you actually gaining from 10 more stat points per socket? Shadowcraft’s Combat simulation suggests epic gems are 50DPS better than blues. But you’ll only gain that full 50DPS assuming ideal simulator conditions (i.e. Ultraxion), so it’s fair to assume it’s only 80-90% of that. So let’s say 40DPS per socket.

If you’re fully outfitted, those gems will boost you ~1300DPS. All for a scant 104,000g. But Shadowcraft points out that any 2 upgrades would just as easily bump me up 1300DPS. It’s almost more cost-efficient to buy a Paragon or Blood Legion raid spot. Hell, asking them might even be cheaper.

Good Intentions, Poor Execution

Overall I think that the GM has good intentions at heart, and that the policy aligns with the guild’s classification. Hardcore guilds exist to min-max and tackle difficult content. But the cost-benefit ratio is extremely small. And they could be losing quality (albeit money-constricted) raiders.

If the guild was consistently facing sub-5%wipes on DPS races, I’d say this is a perfect approach to a solution. But forcing players to gem epics to keep their raid spot, when the problems probably lie with the players and not the gear? That’s like attaching a diamond aerodynamic hood to your car to make it run faster. It’s monetary overkill for nearly nothing.

Get It Elsewhere

Does seeing your own gear gemmed with blues make you cringe? It’s important to realize they’re only ~40DPS handicaps. Instead of investing gobs of money in epic gems, just spend 10 minutes cleaning up your rotation or watching a top player’s boss kill video.

You’ll gain a lot more than 40DPS. For free.

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