Gripe of the Week #5: GearScore

by on Oct.18, 2009, under Gripe of the Week

You’ve probably heard of GearScore already, but it was something new to me when I transferred to Sargeras.  It had never really been used much on Area 52.  This whole phenomena around GearScore amazes me.  If you’re not familiar, GearScore examines your gear and assigns a rating value to it, and when you mouse-over a player you get a summation of the gear score, similar to WoW Heroes and a few other websites out there.  This has been the new de-facto “go to” add on for running PUGs, and PUG leaders tend to treat it as gospel.

To give you an example, my druid (which I’d say is decently well geared) rates at about a 5260 gear score in balance gear.  (And I’m penalized for having lower item level trinkets, even though both the [item]Illustration of the Dragon Soul[/item] and [item]Eye of the Broodmother[/item] are better then many trinkets at a much higher item level.

Ironically, my resto set gives me a higher gear score by about 100.  Using the gearscore ideology, I must be a better resto druid then a balance druid!  GearScore also doesn’t see any difference between PVP gear and PVE gear, allowing many people to ‘slip in’ to raids by wearing PVP gear for the invite, then putting their lower rated PVE gear on once they start.

I think all of us here know that gear doesn’t make a player.  Unfortunately, most PUGs now don’t see that.  My hunter, after a /played of 1 day and 6 hours, already has a GearScore of over 4800.  (Mainly due to a couple lucky ToC 25 and Ulduar 25 runs).  That’s a higher gearscore then most players who don’t raid ToC 25 consistently, yet I will be the first to attest that I know hardly anything about hunters, and I can barely get the rotation down right.

Anyways I’m beginning to soapbox here, but tell me if you guys have ran into GearScore at all and what your opinions are of it.  Personally, I’d rather take someone who’s under-geared but has the knowledge of the encounter (ie, an alt of a guildie) over someone who’s well geared but no clue what they’re doing.  (Because gear’s so hard to get now, right?)  I beginning to think, however, that this mentality is not shared with most of the world.



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7 Comments for this entry

  • Lobo BiZARro

    Whith each expansion comes a new mechanic to prove your “worth”. The GearScore addon I dont use because it greatly differs from WoW Heoes. You could have a GS of 5k and barely 2k on WoW H. In all honesty its stupid, but I use it to give me a perspective what I should be aiming for. Just because WoW H tells me I am geared for Uld25 doesnt mean I wont suck at it for not knowing fights. Thats one HUGE variable that isnt included in your GS… At least on WoW Heroes they show what Raid achievenents youve done in case they are not being honest. But even that is bogus ’cause that char in specific could be an alt of someone that has tackled all end game and knows their stuff.

  • Sunfyre

    The other bonus to WoW Heroes is it also checks enchants, gems, and makes sure you a) have them and b) they’re appropriate for your class/spec. I’ve seen it downrank balance enchants when I’m spec’d resto, rightfully so.

  • Xiera

    I had first heard of be.imba in late TBC and was intrigued by where it said I “should” be able to raid based on the gear I had. More importantly, it gave me feedback on my gems, enchants, spec, etc. Now, it doesn’t seem to be maintained quite as well as it was back then, but whatever.

    That said, I think any kind of gear score analysis is fail (hence my favoured term “fail-heroes”). Sunfyre covered most of my complaints, but I have another one to throw out there: just because someone has the gear and knows their rotation doesn’t mean they’re gearing *right*. They could be way over hit cap, have inappropriate levels of haste, not have expertise (for melee), etc. If they’re not gearing right, it doesn’t matter what their gear score is, they’re not getting the most out of their character. Now that’s not to say that there’s only one way to gear a class/spec, but, for example, if I saw a feral druid stacking haste, I’d probably laugh pretty hard.

    “Achievements checking” is only marginally better. It’s pretty easy to get carried through a raid, so I usually laugh when someone asks me to link my achievement for a given raid.

  • Ballerkin

    HAHAHAH — my old guildies were talking about this with me just yesterday, I think he may be on your same server, too.

    It seems that servers vary with how they fill pugs — in Stormscale most PuG leaders would do something like: “LFM FOR (instance), need xx, will be armorying.”

    Then, in Illidan, it seems that achievement linking is all the hype: “LFM for ToC, pst class/spec/achiev.”

    Funny enough, my friend was trying to get into a ToC25 last night and hasn’t done it before, but he just linked my achievement and got it, hahah.

  • Astrantia

    I haven’t encountered the addon you mention but being looked up on wow-heroes or in Armory for pugs I think is fairly common as is the requirement of having the ach to be part of a group. Personally I think just looking at gear score and ach is quite stupid. As someone said, you could have been carried through an encounter and got the ach, that doesn’t guarantee you know what you are doing. And gear score: gear with the highest ilevel isn’t always better, like you said with trinkets for example.

  • Church

    I know what you mean Sunfyre, we never had that on A52, but when I transferred to this new server whenever I look for a pug people always send me like “My gs is 4892″ and I reply link me achive and stats, those numbers don’t mean shit to me.

    I think it is a stupid system. As we all know people can get carried through content and get free purps to go with it. Not to mention doing the H daily every day will eventually get you some T9 ilvl 232 gear. Its pretty funny though because I have had people they wont take me if I don’t tell them my Gs, but since I don’t know it they turn me down. And you have seen my tanking gear >.>

  • Mister K

    I love Wow-heroes and Be-Imba (use them both because each has strengths and weaknesses) for evaluating my own gear, but not for telling me whether someone else is a good player. I am fully aware of the difference between having gear and having the skill to use it. I will always tkae someone who looks and sounds like they know what they are doing then someone who just has awesome gear but really doesn’t know what they are doing

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