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1-10-2010 @ 6:09PM
Good Lord. I mention the word Gearscore and everybody goes flying off the walls downranking comments.@agentbuckwald187I would be elated if you could show me one group that has successfully downed the first four bosses if ICC 25 wearing Ulduar level gear.To say gear should not be a requirement for a raid is simply the most absurd statement I have heard. The only thing more important in raiding than skill is gear. It doesn't matter if you are the best player who has ever had the opportunity to play World of Warcraft. If your gear is not up to par, you will not have a chance at clearing ICC 25. The first boss of the Plaguewerks requires an average of 7.4k dps for all dps classes. If the majority of your gear is not at least ilevel 232, your PuG does not have a chance in hell of clearing the place.If the majority of a player's gear is from ToC, that player's Gearscore will be around 5k. That is a fact. There is no refuting it. When I say (and this is my exact quote) "most groups require the equivalent of 5k GS", this means that if your gear is not mostly around ToC 10 level, you will not be allowed in.It is apparent the basic conflict about the Gearcsore addon escapes you, so I will outline it here.Throughout the history of the WotLK expansion, pugging has been undeniably easier due to the decreased difficulty of raids and Blizzard's new "Content for All" notion. This means that whereas in the Burning Crusade expansion most raids required a well geared, experienced guild to clear content, it is now possible to find PuG that can clear raids with relative ease (note: relative). This has lead players to develop ways of quantifying other players' ability to preform at the needed level in the only way possible: Gear and Achievements. It is simply not possible to screen PuG players beforehand with detailed interviews on their playstyle, or to asses each individual player via training dummy before inviting. This has lead to the production of websites which allow players to quickly identify whether a player meets these requirements (eg Wow-Heroes, Imba, etc). These websites, however, required a player to navigate to pages outside of the game. Around this time somebody had the idea of creating an addon which allowed quick evaluation of a player in ways similar to existing gearcheck websites.Enter Gearscore.With this addon, players are much easily able to check to see if a player meets the standards for the raid they are trying to enter. And this addon does a great job at what it is designed to do, which is look at a player's gear, and inform whoever is checking that player whether or not he is suited for the group via a number 1-6000+. The problem with this method of screening players however, has very deep roots. This was a problem in BC. This was a problem in Vanilla. This was a problem in EQ. This has been a problem since the first MMORPG was ever released. The problem is that skill does not equal gear.People look at the number provided by Gearscore that is associated with that player's gear and say either "Oh, that person has good gear and will do well." Or "Oh, that person has bad gear and will do poorly." And this conclusion is not unfounded. Speaking from a general sense, as a player's gear improves, as does his ability to preform. But there are exceptions. Everybody knows that player who is wearing all purple gear from Ulduar or ToC raids, but somehow manages to pull 3k dps. People might get a little upset that he isn't pulling his own weight, and that other players are "carrying him" through the content. But the effort required to explain to this guy why he is being removed from the raid, and then find another dps to replace him simply is not worth it. And everybody knows that other player. The one who somehow manages to pull 6k dps in nothing but Ulduar level loot. Everybody aspires to be this player, but chances are he is playing on an expensive rig with near-zero latency, and all the time in the world to research his class, and decide if he should put red gem 1 in blue socket 2 or to meet the socket activation requirement. But not everybody can be that person. And people would be angry that they were turned down for ToC 25 because their gear is below what is generally required for substantial dps output, when at the same time they can pull more dps than may of the people in the raid. And that was the first reason people began to dislike gearscore. People would say "Hey, I can do more dps that that nobody you invited to the raid, but I didn't get an invite because Gearscore said I wasn't good enough!" This is the pitfall of this addon, and nearly any system that ranks players based on their gear. And as long as gear is the way in which we judge a player, this outcome will be the same. There is another reason Gearscore has become despised though.As the current expansion progressed, as did gear inflation. The time the Gearscore addon really caught around patch 3.2. And 3.2 gear was at the level that Blizzard had originally intended to itemize ICC gear for. At point, many people had alts that were dinging 80, and they wished to begin to gear up for raiding. They would see a Naxx 10 run forming up, and would quickly jump on their alt and PST the person recruiting. And then it happened. "No, you can't come on this run. You're not geared enough and we don't want to carry you. You need at least 4k Gearscore". WHAT?? You can't even get 4k Gearscore from Naxx loot!! As people geared up, this pattern extended to higher level raids. "No, you can't come to Ulduar. You don't have the gear for it". But the majority of my gear is FROM Ulduar! How am I incapable of running it? Eventually this pattern moved up to ToC. People became used to running ToC with tanks that had 40k unbuffed health and dps with 5k Gearscore who could pull 6k dps on any given fight, that when they saw somebody who didn't meet this standard, they would laugh at him. "What? You want to tank ToC? But you don't even have 38k unbuffed health and your Gearscore is only 4600. You can't tank this place."As you can probably guess, people began to get upset. They have plenty of gear for the raid they want to run, yet people are declining to invite them due to their Gearscore. Because of Gearscore, players could no longer run raids they were plenty capable of running. This soon became a common notion. Anybody using Gearscore to evaluate a player should be shunned. Due to the nature of player communication through guild channels, raids, and Trade Chat in general, the idea that Gearscore was not a viabale means of doing anything spread like a wildfire. The consequences of this misconception were dire. Players who did not understand the underlying issue behind misuse of Gearscore began to shun the addon with the same absurd blindness that first caused people to start disliking the addon in the first place.And now we arrive where we are today. The entire WoW community was already abuzz with the idea that gear and skill are not the same thing. And here comes an addon which allows players to do just that. Now, the players who first advocated correct use of the addon, not using it to absurd extents, are trying desperately to explain to the rest of the community when the addon is OK to use, and when it isn't. But now that the community has in their minds engraved the idea that Gearscore is bad, this is a very difficult point to get across because these players appear like the idiots who used the addon incorrectly in the first place. And who wants to listen to an idiot?
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