Home > Alts, Failure > Gear Score, WoW’s Catch 22: A Fail Concept

Gear Score, WoW’s Catch 22: A Fail Concept

Alright, so I’m borrowing an idea from this blog entry by my guildie, Kitts. I intended on simply responding via comment, but then my brain started rowing through the gears, and what would be a comment will instead go here.

Over the past month or so, notably with the release of 3.2 and ToC, I’ve noticed this new trend of “gear score”. Initially, I never thought much of it. But over time, it has become more and more prevalent with pugs and in the LFG system. The other trend is that you must link the achievement for having completed said instance/raid already. While in Wintergrasp after a victory, a discussion formed in general chat when someone was requesting a 4400 or 4500 gear score in order to do 10 man VoA. For reference, I asked a friend of mine that has this gear score mod to provide me with my gear score, which is 4660 or somewhere around that. I’m in 5/5 T9, 2 of the 5 being ilvl 245; a large majority of my off set items are ilvl 245 also. Therefore, people were wanting folks that are pretty much in ToC gear in order to run VoA, which can easily be done with folks that are in Naxx/T7 level gear. The newest boss, Koralon, would be a PITA with a T7 tank, but T8ish tanks are easily available now…hell, my paladin alt could MT for most guilds.

Part of my last sentence leads to my next point: Alts. An alt will not have a full set of badge gear once they ding 80, so they will rarely meet these outlandish gear score requirements for things such as…Naxx? Yes, there have been people forming Naxx pugs with gear score requirements! 10 man Naxx requires no more than some crafted epics/blues along with some heroic drops as far as gear goes, yet I’ve seen pugs insisting that you have ilvl 226 gear in order to go. Give me a fucking break. Even better: This weekend, a guildie of mine (on his rogue alt) was kicked from a heroic group because of his gear score. That’s right, he was KICKED FROM A FUCKING HEROIC GROUP BECAUSE OF GEAR SCORE. Seriously, people? Cmon.

Back to that chat in Wintergrasp over the gear score requirement for VoA; another group forming was requesting the achievement to be linked rather than a gear score. An argument ensued over which method was the best for weeding out fail.

Person A: Any scrub can be carried through and get the achievement.
Person B: Well, any scrub can be carried through to gear and gear score.

Upon seeing this, I seized the opportunity:

Me: “Any scrub can be carried”
Me: There is a pattern here.

Afterwards, the argument ceased, and I received some forms of applause via general chat for the point I made.

With the upcoming emblem change in 3.3, I can only see this gear score dilemma becoming worse and worse. Folks will be able to faceroll their way through heroics en route to tier 9 gear along with other assorted ilvl 245 items. Blizzard’s new mantra of having every raid accessible to everyone in some form looks like a double-edged sword; I can see pugs requesting gear scores equivalent to what I have in order to run Ulduar 10 or some other easy mode raid, like ToC 10.

I may as well get prepared to get denied/kicked from groups on my upcoming druid because he won’t have a gear score on par with my main as soon as he hits 80. Fortunately, I’m in a guild full of solid players (regardless of whether they are on their main or an alt) and will be happy to take me along for any heroics and even some raids. With the ridiculous requirements PUGs are suddenly having, being in a solid guild with people you know and trust (and who know and trust you in return) is critical.

Now, as much as I’m ragging the whole gear score concept, it CAN be used logically. For instance, I’m forming a pug, and 4 of us are at, say, 4200. I get the last person, and they are at 3950. Do I immediately boot them? Of course not. I exam their gear and try to get an idea of WHY it’s lower. I make this statement based on the idea I actually have a gear score mod running, which I don’t and won’t. Person with said 3950 score could be having piss poor luck with drops, or they recently hit 80. Now, say this person was a warlock, and they were gemming for agility and strength…GTFO.

I declare the concept of gear score to be a microcosm of the old catch 22 from back in Vanilla; in order to raid, you have to get the gear, but to get the gear, you had to raid. Nowadays, you have to get the gear to get a decent gear score, but you need a decent gear score to run a raid that will drop gear. Hell, apparently you can substitute the word heroic for raid, based off what happened to my guildie this past weekend. Heroics have been on farm ever since Wrath was a week old, and that was using crafted items and quest blues. Why someone would need more than that to run them now is beyond retarded.

To paraphrase Kitts, who summed it up best: If people would actually use their brain and think while playing, life would be a lot easier and better. Apparently, that’s asking a lot of the general WoW population.

Disclaimer: Last sentence is coated in sarcasm. Not all WoW players are morons.

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  1. Nafian
    October 13, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    The only reason I have gear score is so that I can quickly see a guildie’s or PUG’s value and tell if they’re geared enough to go into a raid. As obvious as that sounds, that’s what I thought it was used for! You don’t want to pick up someone and realize 3 min into the fight you’re not going to have the dps to down the boss, for example. And it sure as heck beats alt-tabbing into Armory. But I’ve seen this same trend of “must have gs > 4200” in trade/general for a Heroic run and, I agree, it’s completely stupid.

    • October 13, 2009 at 5:08 pm

      Maybe I’ve been playing too much when I can say I can look at most people and get an idea of whether or not they are geared enough for what we’re doing. If I see something I don’t recognize, I’ll examine them and find out. I’m not advocating taking someone in all greens to a heroic, though. There’s more than enough BoE blues (and even epics) available to fresh 80s that they shouldn’t be packing a bunch of greens (some slots like trinkets, though, can be a different story).

      I’ve seen people in ilvl 219-226 gear barely break 2k dps while folks in blues and ilvl 200 epics are breaking 3k. Gear score isn’t a good indicator of player value, if you will.

  2. Kaelysta
    October 24, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    Thank you for this! This is a very prevalent issue on the realm I play on, and I find it equally disturbing. I’m in a very, very small guild and we don’t use gear score for PuGs of any type. And you know, we’re successful in our PuGs. Why? Because we tend to run heroics with people we invite to our raids first. It became common for us to do this in BC, and it really gives us valuable insight to more than just dps, healing or tanking ability. We also get an insight to the player’s personality, which if you’re going to spend multiple hours in a raid with someone is pretty useful information. I wish the trend of running heroics with people before inviting them to raids came back in fashion. I believe you’d see gear score disappear back into the mists from where it came from.

    • October 25, 2009 at 8:07 pm

      Running 5 mans/heroics/etc. with others is how I learn whether or not people know what they are doing or not. Only way to know for certain; with the way gear is being handed out on a silver platter to everyone, there will be plenty of wolves in sheep’s clothing. That is, we’ll run into plenty of people decked out in decent gear, but they have no clue as to how to perform in a raid situation. Perhaps more heroic bosses need to put fire and/or void zones on the ground. 😛

      Your desciption of how you and your guild decide to pick up people for PuGs would be how everyone should do it.

  3. Anon
    October 27, 2009 at 2:30 am

    just came by this topic looking for something else, but anyway, heres the biggest failing of gear score. gear score just itemises your gear and gives it points. people decked in high level pvp gear get the same rating as people decked in high level pve gear. as you know, pvp gear absolutely sucks for pve.

    its a good rough guidline, but, it is only that. also you can get people in missmatched gear, bad gemming and enchanting (or no enchants for that matter) getting a good score because gear score does not take account of these things.

    i also think its odd that someone above commented ‘I’m not advocating taking someone in all greens to a heroic’ ummm why not? if the 4 others have good gear then its not a problem really. most heroics can be 3 manned by people in good gear, some with 2 and even some of the stronger classes can solo. i think if theyre in all greens though theyre doing something wrong. most new 80’s have at least one or two blues, but thats beside the point, i did ok DPS in a stack of greens.

    theres also an addon available that fakes achievements, so is achievements the right way to pug folk?

    puging will always be a gamble, and whether theyre geared, have the achievement, or, anything like that. theres so many ways these things can be falsified and cheated that theyre barely mentionable. the best way to do it is either dont pug, or for raids, ask a simple question about tactics, THEN use gear score to quickly check their item level should you have some doubts. most of all, be resonable. no point in looking for folk with item level 245 when every drop is a good few levels below that. i guess in this topic though i’m preaching to the already converted..

    • October 27, 2009 at 12:42 pm

      To clarify, I would not take a random PuG in all greens to anything. As for why, you provided one good answer to that question when you stated that they’re doing it wrong if they are in all greens. Questing alone will cover folks with enough blue quality gear, combined with some crafted blues/epics, that greens should be out of the question. I had nothing but blues and a crafted epic or two when I started running heroics way back when.

      Perhaps I’m being too overbearing and unreasonable in this age of “OMG GIEF EPIX PLZ”, heh.

  4. melinca
    October 30, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    I /applaud you for this. My biggest grief over Gear Score is the fact that Gear Score does not equal the skill of the player. I’ve acquired the habit of running around in a level 0 cloth robe with the rest of my gear in my bag when I’m not questing, raiding.

    • November 4, 2009 at 4:38 pm

      Toss on a Chef’s Hat for good measure. 😛

  1. October 24, 2009 at 9:32 am

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