Sunday, June 13, 2010

No one cares about your gear score

This topic has been discussed to death in trade chat but it quickly turns into "I know you are but what am I".   But this one little mod has turned the tables on raiding.  The game elitists are no longer progression guilds but these pug raid leaders.  Their reliance on gear score fails miserably and any decent guild knows this.

Gear Score Means Wut?

Most people's knowledge of gear score comes down to the little tooltip number that pops up when you mouse over a player.  They have no clue what it really means.

There's a hugely complex formula for calculating gear score.  I had no idea what it was myself so I traveled over to WoWWiki .  It was math and it gave me a headache.  I am including it here in case my guild leader stops by, math makes him very happy.


G is the calculated Gear Score
j is the slot index
i is the attribute index
V is the associated attribute weight

Now we've all heard trade & barrens chat.  Do you really think they have a firm grasp on the math?  Stop laughing.

ZOMG Spell Power for Explosive Shot!

The average player doesn't really take the time to research their own class, let alone any other.  With heirloom gear and random dungeons any trained monkey can get a new character to 80 without having to actually learn how everything works.    I will use my own class as an example because, wait for it, I've researched it.  Most people know that a hunter in spell power gear is a bad bad thing.  But what if I'm sporting 20% hit or say 1000 haste.  You would not know these stats without looking at someone's armory.  You would also probably not have clue that these are bad stat values unless you know the hit and haste cap for a physical ranged class.

There are some sites that will let you not only see the player's gear score but their armory as well.  Even the gear score mod itself has an online gear check option.  Sadly most trade chat raid leaders are lazy gits and don't bother alt-tabbing to a browser.

Why a Serious Raid Guild Doesn't Care

1) Your gear doesn't play for you.  The ilevel of your gear does not tell anyone if you can get out of the Coldflame in the Marrowgar encounter.  It doesn't tell anyone if you can do more DPS than this here wet noodle.  Gear doesn’t automatically grant you situational awareness, spec understanding, reaction time or when its time to follow a kill order and lay off the AoE crutch. If you lack these skills all the gear in the world won’t make you a good raider.

2) Gear is silly easy to get in the game.  Anyone can run heroics till they puke and get a gear score over 5k.    Now just because you are in full triumph badge gear does not make you a mindless gnat.  Again using hunters as an example, a smart player in lower gear will know to take Focused Aim to compensate for low hit levels or run as a Survival Spec until their gear was enough to support a more gear dependent Marks Spec. That player is going to be taken more seriously than than the random player in full ICC gear that equipped whatever he could get his hands on without understanding why. A player that understands what gear he or she should be getting, how to spec, glyph and gem based on content, gear and raid make up is invaluable.

3) Your ilevel doesn't mean its the right gear.  What stats will you be losing or gaining if you equip a new piece of gear? Do you lose good set bonuses? Are you wearing gear with the stats you need?   I spent valuable EPGP to replace Band of the Night Raven with Nerub'ar Stalker's Cord.  Why would I sidegrade?  Because I was over the hit cap and my ArP is still lagging behind where it really should be.  It was a smart sidegrade and I know enough about my class to realize it.

 4) Gear score is a not indicative of  performance.  Gear score does not mean you’re a good player with a high number, or a bad player with a low number.  It tells nothing more than you claiming you do 12k DPS in a raid.  (btw I'm pretty sure at this point in the game my dog could volley on ICC trash and pull 12k dps)

You know what does shows how well you will perform in a raid?  Logs.  Oh how I love World Of Logs, and that it shows me where I failed and where I succeeded.   Logs show the spells, rotations, targets and damage taken.   By the way, everyone who wants to can see that tank died because the healers were saving your fat Draenei-not-moving-out-of-Coldflame butt.

The Gear Score requirement has spiraled out of control. It keeps lesser geared, good players (and their alts) out of runs, and has led to stupid pug requirements (5500 for Naxx? Really?). It's making the average player more concerned about boosting an artificial number than using the proper gear, and has led to a the thinking that if your gear is good enough, you don’t have to understand what you’re doing.

Back in vanilla I was in a hard core progression guild  We were accused of being elitist – that we didn’t want the casual players having raiding gear. Real raiders don't pay any attention to gear score but Bob Stand In Fire is using this to look down his nose at everyone else. Meep meep I'm an irony jeep.


  1. GS calculation is interesting in that it looks like it works much the same way as the GP calculations for EPGP.

    I know that's completely unrelated to the post. But you posted math. My brain tends to focus on that when it sees it.

    Also, for some reason, I always imagined Gimli being a little more...bulldogish. I don't know why.

  2. He's much tougher outside of the banana suit

  3. Hey, I care about gearscore!

    Not for getting into raids, but just so I have an excuse when you or Azucar beat me on the meters. I can point to your gearscore.

  4. The nice thing about gearscore is that I'm only 3 WG wins away from being able to totally fake out lazy/stupid raid leaders and sneak into ICC raids and get phat lewts.