I hate Gearscore, but I hate idiots more

Gearscore has now embedded itself in WoW’s online society. Pretty much every PuG you see in trade asks for it, and unless you have something impressive to show instead of it, you’re not getting into a lot of groups without that little number. Now, you may have guessed from the title of this post that I don’t much care for Gearscore, but perhaps not for the reasons you think.

To understand what bothers me about it, and why people that moan about it bother me even more, we need to look at why it emerged, and why I think it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.


Gearscore wasn’t around back in vanilla and BC, not because no one had thought to create it, but because it wasn’t necessary. Raids weren’t easily accessable like they are now, and people weren’t used to instant queues for dungeons, and raids that could be done in a couple of hours. Heroic dungeons were much harder, and would take a fair amount of time, so even then people took the time to check out the people they were inviting to their groups, because they didn’t want to spend 2 hours to find a tank only to find their group was full of people who couldn’t play their class.

Jump forward to Wrath when ToC had been released a month or 2. People could do raids for decent gear, such as ToC or VoA, in the same amount of time as a heroic dungeon or 2. People didn’t want to spend half an hour building a group that only needed to last 20 minutes, but they also didn’t want to just invite whoever was first to whisper them and end up with a bad group. Enter gearscore.

The majority of people that hate this addon don’t understand how its supposed to be used. The idea is that people that want to setup PuG raids can get a snapshot of someones gear level, and therefore a rough estimate of how much they’ve raided on that character, and they’re average health/dps/healing. Is it lazy to want to just force everything that a person has done to gear up their character properly into one number? Yes, but you can hardly blame people for not wanting to spend more time building a raid than actually doing it. In fact, trying to inspect people for anything but a very difficult raid will end up with people leaving the group as its taking too long to get going.

While I understand the addon, I still dislike it because of the way it encourages bad gearing. It pains me to see people with the 245 trinkets from emblems of triumph equipped even when they’re terrible for their spec/class. You can’t blame the player though, because if they stuck with trinkets that were actually good for them, they would probably be ilvl 200 ones, their gearscore would suffer, and they’d get into less groups. Its ironic that the addon made to display how good a persons gear is, is actually causing players to gear badly, and that’s why I hate it.

But the bulk of people complaining about it still annoy me a hell of a lot more. First off, yes, it is difficult to get into raids when you haven’t raided before, because everyone asks for a high gearscore, but this isn’t the fault of the addon nor the players that are using it. If you join a guild, its in the guilds interest to get you into raids for experience, and to get you gear. PuGs are setup by people that are only interested in themselves – they want to run a particular instance and are going to look for people to join them to make it as certain as possible that they manage it.

Very often I see people complaining ‘why are you asking for a 5.5 gs for ICC 10? People had lower GS when it was released and they still did it’. Yes, yes they did, because they had no choice. Now, when someone wants to run ICC 10, do you think they want to go through it with a group that needs to learn fights and only just make enrage timers, or do you think they’ll want a group that will steamroll straight through it to get as much done as easily as possible?

‘But Kallix, if everyone wants a high GS for ICC, I’ll never get a raid spot! QQ’. Tough shit. You turned up to raiding late, and now you have to work harder to catch up. Trying to get a break in PuGs is difficult because PuGs aren’t built to give people breaks, and even without GS things would be the same, because people would find something else to use instead of it.

To some degree you should be thankful, because before GS people asked for achievements, and while now if you can provide a high GS you don’t need the achievement, back then you had to have the done the instance to get into the instance. And also remember that while you won’t get a 5.5k gs from spamming heroics, you’ll get it high enough. If there is still gear that you can get from emblems of triumph/conquest, then you have no right to complain that you can’t get into raids, because with the dungeon finder you have it much easier now than we did after raiding Ulduar/ToC…

… because we had to walk 5 miles uphill in a blizzard, and other generic ‘kids these days’ statements.

At any rate, the addon isn’t the problem, and unless Cataclysm makes content harder to the point where PuGs rarely succeed, its not going away. If your a person that doesn’t want to put up with GS, and just wants to raid to see content and down bosses, not just get gear, then you’re the sort of person that guilds want, and you should look for one that you like – trust me, if you find a good guild, you’ll have a great time and never have to worry about the stupid addon ever again.

If, however, your a person that wants to avoid GS requirements, despite only wanting to raid to get the best gear and therefore highest GS as possible, then your out of luck, because the people running the PuGs are the same as you, and you know full well that you wouldn’t care about them were the situation reversed.

To finish, I just want to say that mocking people for saying ‘yay, that piece of gear got me up to XXXX GS!’ is stupid, because its no different that smiling when you see your health reach a certain number, or seeing a big number on a damage meter. Of course a high GS doesn’t mean your skilled, just like a high number on a damage meter doesn’t. But its those little victories as you see your character progressing that make character customisation fun, and whether a person wants to reach a certain GS, have a certain trinket or just get rid of a piece of gear they’ve had a long time, its moving your character forwards that everyone in this game enjoys, so think first before calling someone a noob when they cheer at their GS, when you cheer at something just as superficial.

/end rant

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2 Responses to “I hate Gearscore, but I hate idiots more”

  1. GS has just been exploited in the wrong way, it is a good addon… but i think it needs to be worked on to get better, or like an achievement score lols 😛

  2. Gimme a break Pipsy

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