Saturday, July 3, 2010

The GearScore debate

1) I'll be getting to the Cataclysm information soon. I'll probably start with classes that I know well- pallys, DKs and Warlocks and then touch upon the other classes I know decently- Feral Druids and Combat Rogues.

2) I can't remember or be bothered to look up whether it is GearScore or Gear Score.

Anyways, I know huge numbers of people who are supporters of GS and those who are not.

If you've been living under a rock, GS evaluates your character and gives you number. It only looks at the Item levels of your gear tosses in some multipliers and poof, you have a score.

More recent versions have been able to look more carefully at the gear and determine if it is right for the spec.

In my opinion, GS is both good and evil.

For the argument of evil, which is the more commonly voiced, is that it simplifies too many things. It doesn't take into account experience, achievements, maturity and skill. Many players forming pugs require a certain GS. You will often see in chat "LFM ICC 10, GS 5500 or better".

The con argument says that you don't need a GS that high to do well in there. When TOC started ICC, I had a GS of under 5k, and I was one of the best geared players at the time.

Now people in RDF pugs look at your gearscore and judge you. If you have a GS under 3k (according to some) you are not fit to run heroics. Of course, people started heroics back in early wrath with what would have been a GS of about 2-2.5k.

So essentially, GS is now another way to discriminate, and it can get you kicked out of pugs or not invited to raids. If you're kicked out, consider your ability- if you aren't def-capped and can't hold threat, you need more gear, if you're pulling under 1-1.5k, you should probably get more gear. If you can't keep the DPS up while healing the tank, you need more gear. And if you can't get into a raid and you feel you have the gear for it, make your own pug.

Now, for the other argument, the argument of good. Yes, GS doesn't take into account experience, achievements, maturity and skill. But looking at someone's armory page can only give you their achievements.

You could look them up on WoW-Heroes or and see what content they are geared for (and with the latter, what their experience is like). GS however, used properly, is a very valuable time saving tool. If you're lfm ICC-10 and someone with a 2-3.5k (maybe 4k) GS says they want in, they are severely undergeared, and you don't have to go through the process of armorying them.

If they have a 6k Gearscore, but you need them for their offspec, well, no data easily collected will tell you how often they use that. If you need a tree to tank for you, they may have all the achievements, they may have downed LK 10/25 hm and not have any tanking skill at all.

In a pug, if I'm dpsing on an ICC geared toon, I can see that the tank has a considerably lower GS than me, and so I pay particular attention to my threat. A healer can see if anyone will need special focusing and the tank can figure out how fast he can pull. If I'm dropped into H-UK and everyone has a 5k+ GS, I'll chain pull as much as I can at a time, because I can estimate that they can handle it.

Plus, looking at it go up bit by bit is fun, it gives me something to shoot for. And, even when it doesn't go up from loot drops, it encourages me to go out and get more gear when someone else closes in on my score.

So- if you use duct tape well, you can patch a boat a save lives. If you use duct tape to kidnap someone, bind them and cover their mouth and nose, you can destroy lives.

Just like gearscore- except not as extreme. Used well, its a useful tool, not used well, its, ummm welll, its a not useful tool. Go figure.

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