Come patch 3.3.3, it will be possible to vote kick players immediately – from the start of the instance.

So, you zone in, and see that the mage has a gearscore of 2k… do you boot the player? Does their bad gear mean a longer run? Does kicking actually benefit you? It you think vote kicking the undergeared dps means a shorter run, two things must be true. First, it must be the case that higher gearscores are generally associated with higher damage output. Second, it must be true that more geared groups will clear heroics more quickly.

The results: the effect is tiny

**TL;DR:***Better-geared dps certainly do more damage, but the effect on the speed of the run is fairly small.***A 1000-pt increase in gearscore results in a 50-second shorter instance.**

Part 1: Gear and DPS.

As before, I’m using data on approximately 100 runs through LFD, where I collected information on the performance of players. For this section, I’ve excluded my own characters from the analysis.

In order to make the numbers comparable, I’ve re-computed DPS to be* *

*DPS = total damage done / time in combat of the highest dps in the run*

This penalizes players who are afk or late to enter fights, which happens surprisingly often in these runs. (These players are doing less damage, slowing down the run – and if that is more likely for players with a given gearscore, its important to penalize appropriately).

Below, I’ve plotted the relationship between the adjusted DPS of players and their gearscore. The points are coded by the class of the player.

Surprise to nobody: better gear means more damage done. Regardless of class or instance run, an additional point of gearscore is associated with a 1 dps increase, for the average player.

But does the link still hold between gear and the time to finish an instance?

Part 2: Gear and time to finish

At a basic level, if more geared DPS means a faster run, then the higher the total gearscore of the DPS, the shorter the run should be (on average).

Below, as a first cut at the data, I’ve plotted the relationship between the time to finish the run (in seconds) and the total gearscore of the DPS.*

The relationship might be there, but it isn’t strong. However – instances vary in how long they take to complete (in particular, because of the intro scene, Culling of Stratholme takes much longer than the other instances). So I need to control for those effects. In addition, because the gear of the tank has an effect, I’ll need to account for that too.

Below is a partial regression plot of the time to complete a run on the total gearscore of the group. (A partial regression plot is like a scatterplot, but the plot is controlling for the effects of the instance run and the gear of the tank.)

Accounting for the instance being run and the gear of the tank, higher gearscores are associated with shorter heroics. Raising the total gearscore of the dps by 1000 shortens the instance by around 50 seconds (I’ll try to find a way to add the results of the regression to wordpress… in what follows I’m interpreting those results).

In other words, replacing the 2k gearscore mage with a 4.5k gearscore mage (the average for DPS in the sample) would shorten the instance by just over 2 minutes.

But what about the tank? The tank’s effect on the speed of the group is roughly sixfold the effect of the dps. On average, a 1000-pt increase in the gear of the tank results in a 5-minute reduction in the time of the instance.

(I should note: the gear of the healer has virtually no effect on the speed of the instance.)

Part 3: So what does this mean?

I want to be clear – I’m not endorsing kicking anyone from heroics based on gear. The difference between “omg, this guy is in all greens and heirlooms” and a 264-decked ICC’r… is about 3 minutes off the run.

Three. Little. Minutes.

So what you need to ask yourself – is `saving’ at most 3 minutes really worth being a jerk, and raining on someone else’s day?

Consider this my little plea to relax while playing the game, and just enjoy the run.** **

**[Confirmed – But don’t be a jerk]**

Related note: stop dropping Oculus. Its 2 minutes shorter than even AN.

*For the attentive, yes, I was in a 50-minute PoS run. I died both digitally and inside.