Friday, November 6, 2009

My love/hate with GearScore

This little rant of mine may share some similarities to Big Bear Butt's rants on hating damage meters.  The reasons for that are simple.  A lot of the idiots with regards to damage meters are idiots with regards to GearScore too, and for a lot of the same reasons.  I suppose it's a little better with GearScore, because you can usually tell the idiots before you get knee deep in a raid, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

I love GearScore.  It gives me a bar on which I can judge my own gear and how well I'm doing.  It's definitely not perfect, but I don't think anything that simply evaluates your gear and chunks out a single score can be.  While it's not something to focus on, a little friendly competition with it is nice, and it's good to see, sometimes, how you are compared to your friends.

I hate GearScore.  A player is better measured by how well they play their class than how much item level 245 gear they've managed to sling together, whether they've gotten lucky by whacking the Vault loot pinata or taken the time and effort to put it together through ToC25.  Much like with damage meters, a player is not simply how high they can go.

I love GearScore.  For the folks that are really trying to push harder content, it can be used as an indicator of who simply is not ready to take it on.  You need to be careful with it though - if you're going to judge based on gearscore, you need to tell people in advance that you are trying harder content and require a certain level of gear to come along.  I'm personally of the opinion that even if folks don't have that level of gear, you should still let them try, but make sure they understand that their gear doesn't look like it will withstand the test, and if we have issues you'll be watching your damage meters and threat meters and healing meters and if the person with a little lower gear is not able to pull their weight, they'll be the first to look for replacement.

I've had that happen, quite recently, with a TotGC run I was invited to heal on.  I'm ok with that, I understand that harder content requires higher gear, the leader told me upfront that he thought I wouldn't be able to push out enough healing, and I told him that was ok, if he thought I wasn't there I would sit out.  He had me try anyway, we were a little behind on the healing for a couple of tries and I stepped out gracefully.  That's fine.

I hate GearScore.  Idiots try to use it as bar for entry into raids for 5-mans where there should be none (or it should be much lower).  Let me share a little story with you.

The other night I'm trolling around doing some dailies, and since I'm not running any guild raids this week I've set myself up in LFG for Ony and ToC 25, and ToC 10, and I'm occasionally announcing in channel that I'm looking for any Onyxia or ToC raid.  Although my feral spec doesn't fully support DPS (and therefore it's a bit low), my gear is high enough that I can fill any of the three roles on non-heroic versions of any kind for those two raids.  Someone whom I haven't yet realized is an idiot advertises that they are looking for healers and DPS (some ranged, some melee) for an Ony 25 run, and "gear will be checked".  Seeing as I already heal this raid every other week on my guild runs I happily volunteer to heal and promptly get invited to the raid.

And promptly removed from the raid group, before I've even had a chance to switch from my tanking set and spec to my healing stuff.

A little confused, I ask why and I'm told that my "gs is to low" and he's looking for "44 min gs," by which he means 4400.  Aside from grammatical errors that I try my best to ignore when gaming, there's so much wrong with these statments... well I was going to say I won't go into it but that's kinda the point of this part of my little rant.

a) Hey jerkface, I'm still in my tanking set which has 4600 gs.  You have no idea at this point how good my healing set is.
b) My healing set actually is at 4340 gs.  Even IF I'm going to set a gs requirement for a raid, I'll let that small of a deficit fly.
c) If you're going to set a gs requirement, make sure you're being reasonable.  My guild beats down 25 man Ony every week, and only about half of our raiders top 4400gs.

Despite my better instincts and the fact that I already know I'm dealing with an idiot, I'm limited on time and so I offer to fill a melee DPS slot and get to deal with more idiocy.  Oh well I troll for a bit longer and get picked up for an Ony 10 as a tank.

I love GearScore.  When running Ulduar (which I rarely get to do anymore,) it gives me a quick way to figure out who will get us the most health out of driving a vehicle.

I guess I should say, really, that much like damage meters, I love GearScore as a tool, and hate the idiots that use it improperly.  Both are ways for people to wave their electronic private parts around, but really do have solid uses for those of us who know what we're about.

Coming up, the grand finale of the bear primer!

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