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Why Raiding Guilds don’t care about your Gearscore.

Because it doesn’t tell us jack shit about what a raiding guild is really looking for in a player.

Thanks for reading! See you next week!

What, you actually want an in depth answer? No one wants an in depth answer any more ! No one wants to THINK! If they did, we wouldn’t have this WUTS UR GS mess in the first place.

Fine, be that way. First, let’s look at how the GearScore mod actual works:

The Forumla for Gear Score

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

Items are assigned an ilevel, relative to the content they drop in, and have a stat allowance based of said ilevel. GS mod assigns a number based on ilevel & item ‘rarity’ (ie blues vs greens vs purples) and adds them up. Yeah, that’s pretty much it. Now, the full mod actually has an armory like page that lays out stats for viewing, but there’s a few issues with that:

1) No one uses it. Most players’ knowledge of GS comes down to the little tooltip number that pops up when you mouse over a player, without any clue to its meaning. I’ve seen it all: Naxx weekly groups wanting a 5800 GS to join, ICC 10s requiring 5000, TOTC wanting 5500 – do you know what it means? I don’t. I’m sure they don’t either – they’re just pulling numbers out of their ass.

2) Most of these players don’t understand their own stats and class; you can’t expect them to know someone else’s too. Now some can understand the hunter with spellpower is bad (and I say some – not all), but how many would catch the 800+ haste or 20% hit? Or the priest gemmed for pure sprit? The DK in shield block gear? Anyone that has pugged lately knows the answer is depressing.

I know what you’re going to say: Gearscore is just a tool to evaluate a player’s potential based on gear – and I’m sure that’s what the original mod author had in mind. And in the hands of a competent pug raid leader and equally competent players, this certainly would apply. Unfortunately, in the land of “Faceroll Ur Way To Epix”, one or both is a rare occurrence.  Which brings me to my first point on Why Raiding Guilds Don’t Care About Your GS:

1)      Your gear doesn’t play for you. Maybe in the next expansion it will, but for the time being, your output is still determined by the hunk of meat behind the keyboard. I really don’t have to go into detail about the player in 5700+ gs sets that couldn’t outdps a wet paper towel, or the healer that couldn’t keep a plastic plant alive – we’ve all seen it, multiple times. In fact, you see it so many times that it completely negates any redeeming value GS may have. With gear so easy to obtain, many players miss the step of learning how to play to acquire it. Gear doesn’t automatically grant you situational awareness, spec/ gear understanding and how to adjust it based on raid comps, reaction times, or numerous other things that are required of a progression raider. You lack these and other things, all the gear in the world won’t make you raiding material.

2)      Gear is easy to get. Anyone can get gear. Anyone. However, finding a smart player – that’s the tough part. However, for smart players who don’t have access to decent raiding guilds, they are at the mercy of PuGs and random rolls for loot, and may not have that awesome gearscore. Or maybe they’re amazing players, returning to the game after a break. Whatever the reason, regardless of gear, the smart player will understand how to spec accordingly with his current gear level and be able to explain his or her choices. The player in T9 that says “I take <talent X> to compensate for my low levels of <stat>; I would run a <x/y/z> spec once I acquire <gear a,b,c> is going to get way more consideration than the app in full ICC gear that equipped whatever he could get his hands on &  copied his spec off EJ 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, and gearing them up in a raiding guild is a non issue.

3)   Higher iLevel gear does not mean it’s the CORRECT gear. I’m still amazed how many people don’t grasp this. You can’t have blinders on when evaluating gear & focus on just one piece – very rarely can you just do a <item x> vs <item y> comparison. Your OVERALL gear is what matters. What stats will you be losing/gaining if you equip a new piece of gear? Do you lose good set bonuses? Are you wearing gear with the stats you need? Hell, I didn’t replace my Pandora’s Plea until well into ICC for some of my setups, and we still go back and try to get Reign of the Unliving for some of our casters. Raiding guilds want you to equip the gear that is going to give you the most potential, and that is not determined by an item’s ilevel.

Toot toot! All abord the FailBoat!

4) Your Gearscore tells us absolutely NOTHING about how you perform as a player. This is probably the most important one. As explained above, the gearscore number doesn’t mean you’re a good player with a high number, or a bad player with a low number. But it doesn’t tell raiding guilds ANYTHING specific. How many times have you heard “I do 12K DPS” or “I’m the top DPSer in my guild”? How can you consider those metrics to determine skill? We don’t care what your DPS is on a target dummy, that you did the most healing in a PuG, or that you were the highest DPS with the guild <WEBREAKFORFATCHICKS>. That’s like saying your 1993 Ford Escort smoked a bunch of 1974 AMC Gremlins – not exactly impressive.

We want to see APPLICABLE information. We want LOGS. Raiding guilds LOVE World of Logs – it details EVERYTHING that occurs in a raid. All of the sudden, Mr 5900 GS with the 12K DPS becomes Mr “12K AOE DPS on trash, but didn’t do more effective damage than the tank on LDW”. It also shows that even though your guild as a whole didn’t progress very far, the applicant was doing the job correctly. It shows the spells, rotations, targets, damage taken (yes, we can see you standing in BAD SHIT!!!!!) and so much more. It allows a raiding guild to parse information and verify what you’re doing is correct based on what you were raiding with. The best part is ANYONE can run these – the basic account is free and keeps logs for 30 days. Parsing your own logs makes YOU a better player by helping you understand why things went wrong (or right!) and what you can do to fix or improve on it.

Now, it’s not a deal breaker to some raiding guilds if you don’t have these, but obviously, you can see why they are REALLY appreciated.

The Gearscore reliance has really gotten out of hand. It keeps lesser geared, good players (and their alts) out of runs, and has led to absolutely ABSURD PuG requirements (5500 GS for ToTC? Naxx? Really?). This forces people to be more concerned about boosting an artificial number than using the correct gear, and led to a mentality that if your gear is good enough, you don’t have to understand what you’re doing. In short, it’s making for a horrible player base with a huge sense of entitlement, and it’s making recruiting a nightmare.

Back in vanilla & BC, it was always the raiders accused of being elitist – the raiders didn’t want Joe Casual having raiding gear. I find it amusing that now, real raiders won’t touch this crap with a ten foot pole and Billy Baddie & Freddy Stand In Fire are using this to look down their nose at everyone else. It’s funny how things work out.  But not “haha” funny. Take a look around the next time you see some guild recruitment spam, or browse recruitment sections – the raiding guilds are not asking for GEAR scores. The ones that throw in “we have vent and 5 bank tabs”, are.

I’ve hung on to this cartoon for years ( I don’t remember where I got it, so props to the original artists – Edit: it’s from Dark Legacy Comics, thanks Golane!) – I think it’s pretty appropriate for the gearscore junkies, don’t you?


  1. Gear is ‘important’ but not everything. I shocked a good portion of my guild by healing in places as a holy paladin I should not really be in because of my ‘crappy’ gear score. The raid leader was in on the joke. When others finally looked they were like “OMG” but the important thing was, I did my job and did it well. My tank lived, I lived, that was what mattered.

  2. I can’t wait for the 30% ICC zone buff, I can see it now. Just for Bloodhoof fashion.

    “LFM 4 tanks 8 healers rest dps, pst w/ GS.

    1. Jeez you have it good on the horde side. On alliance, it will look like:


  3. Thanks Ava and Derev for all the work you put into this site. And also for all the hilarious tweets. My new favorite name for these idiots comes from @ranedor86: “little accidents”….priceless.

    1. Thank YOU!

      We do enjoy doing this – right now, I think it’s one of the few things keeping me interested in this game. Hopefully people find us useful, or at least amusing…like monkeys throwing poop at the zoo – disgusting, but fun to watch.

      I didn’t mean for this post to sound Rant-y, but for the last 2 weeks, I’ve just sat in trade and watched the stupidity get worse and worse. I didn’t join a single group for the first time on ANY of my toons because I was actually SO disgusted that I didn’t want to deal with this. And I’m known for being very “PuG-tolerant”.

      Add in the horrible apps that come in that completely ignore the questions we ask, or that we say flat out “don’t mention your gearscore”, & they make sure to put their gearscore right in the app title…. it’s frustrating.

      So maybe this was a vent. Maybe there was a slight HOPE that someone that thought like that would read this, or someone might pass this on to people who think like this…. I really doubt it, but I guess I feel better.

      1. I’m so glad you made this post. I feel like this has been needed to be said for awhile. I recently redid my UI and didn’t include Gearscore. I feel so free not even knowing my GS anymore.
        I try to avoid trade by doing heroics and VOA in vanity T5 gear.

  4. I get what you’re saying; we were PUGing ICC 25 previous week and the other 2 holy priests were healing almost exclusively with prayer of healing. They did however have higher GS than two thirds of us. I’m guessing our designated “raid leader” understood the situation at least a little, since he declined my offer to go disco.

    Also, I currently use a 264 dagger and 200 off-hand (too lazy to farm HoR), since it has higher throughput than my 251 staff. This doesn’t mean I don’t equip my staff when pugging, seeing how it raises my GS by almost a 100. Yeah, sucks.

    Oh, not to forget; your contribution to the priesting community is appreciated. :D

  5. I couldn’t agree more with this post. As the GL and RL, I HATE when my members try to push their GS on me, I tell them I don’t care, I care how you play and if you actually know your class.

    Hell I even have living examples of skill vs gear in my guild, where we have some folks with a lower GS doing higher dps, better heals than those with higher GS, why? Because GS don’t mean bupkis!

    I don’t care about GS, it could have been a nice tool to show potential, but it was perverted by morons a long time ago

  6. And I applaud your excellent use of Donald.

    For those of you who want to find the original (and an excellent comic site as well), it comes from Dark Legacy Comics.

  7. “the raiding guilds are not asking for guild scores. ”

    You mean gear score :) ?


  8. Oh MAN you’ve hit the nail on the head. I was playing my Hunter for about a year ish, I stopped raiding around January, and a couple of weeks ago decided it was best to go back to my Shadow Priest.

    I’ve skipped so many pugs (I’m guildless, my server is just THAT full of morons) because they were asking for way too high a gearscore, and talked my way into one or two by mentioning my past raiding experience and how much effort I’d put into my then 5k gearscore. Except, I refuse to “work on” my gearscore, my other half was telling me to use terrible trinkets and such just to knock the number up to get into pugs, but I refused, I don’t WANT to join pugs that need me to cheat/lie to get in. And

    I’ve definitely noticed the scales tipping. People who treat you like crap because the number your gear has generated is not as high as theirs make me feel bad about.. well.. people. The amount of idiots, tossers, and terrible players with excellent gear which has in turn been gemmed and enchanted to its’ grave makes me feel the need to join a guild in order to raid.

  9. When i came back to WOW, after my time in Iraq, I avoided Gearscore,thanks in part to some of your writings, . But since my lethargic, albeit loving guild, doesn’t really raid, I have been forced down the solemn road of PUG exploration. I recently downloaded the program and found that i stand at a limp 5010GS. What I find entertaining is seeing people with much higher scores who either A: drool aimlessly while staring at the pretty sparks B: attempt to control their charachter via the force or C: use their manboobs as a resting place for their bucket-o-chicken all the while leaving their fingers too greesy to accurately press their magic macro each global cool down. In any case I find their blundering amusing and unless something drastic occurs i’ll just enjoy my Shadow Priest in it’s mediocre at best gear.

    Your failed guild applications section makes for such an entertaining read! Radenor is pure genious.

  10. I love this post, but the problem is not gear score in the traditional way we would think it is. The problem is much more philosophical than that. It comes directly from the developers who make up cockamamie reasons why raid gear or emblem gear should not be BoA.

    They say things like “for now we are okay with individual characters earning the better gear in the game**” because, you know, a heroic mode ICC raider with a rogue is obviously incapable of earning his gear with a mage as well. Oh wait, that’s right the only thing really holding him back is time. Time they would rather have you spend playing the AH on your mobile phone while taking a dump instead of running their content on your main for an alt with your guild. The overall difficulty of most of the game comes from learning to play the environment, especially in PvE encounters.

    Because the progression of the game is gear based (I’m not so delusional to believe it will be anything but), why not reward the good players who can get the best gear with the best gear and not shards? That is to say, if a guild/player runs a raid and something drops they don’t need, why not allow a player to share it with its alts?

    The basic argument is the player may know how to play his druid, but not his warrior, but that is total crap. Being a good player doesn’t come from researching your class, but researching a class or a strat. It’s the ability to do so that makes the player, and one reason the world’s top guilds can test encounters with alts before they take hits on their limited attempts.

    We have already conceded that bad players end up in great gear, if just a tier beneath the greatest gear, why not allow the best players to farm ToC on their off nights with their uber geared mains for their alts? We know it’s not because Blizz wants to extend old content because there were completely content killing Ulduar with the joke that is ToC.

    Some thoughts on BoA gear over at


  11. It’s been a few weeks since I wrote this – the problem seems to be gaining momentum like a snowball down a hill.

    We have a theory that many good players have burned out & waiting until the expansion – leaving the pugs and trade chat filled with the after school specials.

    A few of you emailed me or mentioned on twitter you linked this to players and guilds, and received nothing but crap. I think arguing against it is a losing battle. You can’t argue with stupid, it seems.

  12. *sigh* It’s posts like this that makes me miss you guys and why I love you all so much.

    On Caelestrasz we have very very very few skilled players… so most of the playerbase relies on GS. That’s what happens on under-populated, skill dispersed realms.

    But, a good read! I’ll be sure to direct people whenever asked for mine from now on ;)

  13. It’s only getting worse. On Bloodhoof-A the gearscore requirements for ICC-10 are up to 5500. The funny this is – I spent 45 minutes in Dalaran to get into a PuG (wound up watching a movie instead so no loss), and the people looking for the high gearscore requirements were posting in trade the whole time. The few groups who weren’t only posted in trade once or twice (presumably they filled their group and got started).

    Who’s going to have more fun? The group that goes in with no expectations and is happy to kill Festergut and the mini-boss, or the group that thinks their high gearscore will carry them to Sindragosa and can’t understand why they are wiping on Rotface?

  14. Agreed. I think this point hits home when I saw a well geared DK today… with PVP legs gemmed with Spirit and Agility. I cried a little inside to think he was running around with some desirable melee gear such as Bryn’toll.

    It’s disgusting really. But retards will always measure skill by gear. One can easily tell where the run is going to fail miserably.

  15. Its amazing how much a mod can actually ruin this game.

    Today in a VoA25, I and another resto druid were healing. We downed Toravon and the other druid whispers me: “Hey I have a higher GS than you, but you outhealed me, how is that possible?!” I looked at my Skada and sure enough, I was on top and he was on bottom (Even below the disc priest!)

    I looked at the effective heals he pulled off and #1 was Regrowth followed by a close Healing Touch. It SICKENS me that Bleeding Hollow is overpopulated and only an eighth of them can actually heal well. GearScore is bad, and therefore your bad for using it!

  16. UP side, I have heard that Blizz is “throttling” Gearscore inspect requests to the servers. I know that when they do this there will be a lot of unintened results that will make me smile.

    1. I’m not sure – from what I understand, the constant pinging that mods like GS do are a bandwidth drain – I think it only will limit the ability of people to mouse over and inspect GS. I don’t see it stopping inDUHviduals from still asking for what yours is, or requiring X number to play in their sandbox. But man it would be nice if it just blew up, huh?

      1. I disconnect from GS inquiries (or something else, I don’t know what but I’ll blame GS) allot during raiding and playing about in Dal.
        I’m on a fiber optic connection and did not have DC issues before the mod gained its popularity.
        I use a mod called spam me not and during a raid evening I’ll see a huge spike in GS traffic just before a DC. My guess, from players zipping the mouse across screen / raid and sending 10+ requests to the server in less than a sec. Before a raid I ask that others kindly turn of GS to reduce on the unseen traffic and I do not use it. This change will hopefully help.

  17. In bloodhoof horde pugs, having a high gs means you’re a druid that pops tranquility on phase three Anub.

    Also, I found a BiS loot list for holy priests that still shows Spark of Hope #4, I totally went to the bank and grabbed it. I got a tell about it with in an hour from some random person! I love this game :)

  18. i agree with you 100% about how gearscore does not show what truly matters about a player. It does not show any of their skills or capability.

    However, a higher gearscore; actually I’ll say, with higher item level gear (assuming that it is the correct and suitable gear for your class/spec), a good player can easily be an even better player.

    of course you won’t know this about them from their gearscore, but the fact remains that an incredible shaman healer (for example) with a 4k gs will have a very hard time staying on par with even a horrible or decent shaman healer with a 5.8+ gs just because of the benefits from the higher level gear and their stats.

    gearscore is a decent tool to measure potential in players because of the stats that the gear gives them.

  19. I’m going leave the above post, not only for pure hilarity factor, but as a prime example of society’s issues. Rather than admit limited intelligence holds him back, he lashes out. Perhaps if he was hugged or encouraged more, he wouldn’t get so upset at a game or players. Don’t worry Hun – one day, you’ll move up to fries at your job. Keep at it!

    Ps – fake emails don’t hide who you are when we see your IP. Hugs n kisses!

  20. Ur momma,

    Simply WOW.

  21. How the hell did that guy even find this blog if he happens to have one of those life things he talks about so much, because I don’t really find non-WoW players stumbling upon WoW blogs, reading entire posts, and caring enough to leave comments very often. Clever boy, no?

  22. His tears of angst and frustration fuel me. Give me more. Can we get that guy a guest post?

  23. Ma’am (at least I’m assuming you’re a ma’am, considering you used the name ‘ur momma’), I only hope you can understand my mostly-correct grammar and spelling of English, since it seems you have relatively little grasp on this language in which you chose to communicate.

    There are these things called “hobbies,” where people like to spend their time doing things they love for the pure fun of it. Some people have great passions for their hobbies; for example, those of us who call ourselves “WoW bloggers” like to interact with a community of like-minded individuals with the common focus of discussion things in a video game that we truly enjoy.

    Is what we do “productive” in respect for the progression of our society at large? Maybe yes, maybe no. One could argue that uniting people across age, race, and gender groups is a noble goal, but that’s a bit subjective.

    Also, if you have such a negative stereotype of WoW players and gamers in general, why would you come to a WoW-related blog and read an entire article, only to post in the comments how superior you believe you are because you don’t feel the same way we do?

    Please, get over yourself, accept that there are people in this world that feel differently than you do, and move on.

  24. Awww Derevka banned him & it auto removed the post. Now we look like we’re talking to ourselves, instead of the hypocrite with the fake name, yelling at us for false personas. Make sure no one tells him what I do for the horror society – he might have stroke.

    TLDR – ur momma said his gearscore was over 9 million.

  25. you folks need to get a life for an entirely different reason than playing WoW.


  26. In addition to mention earlier, pomegranate extract powder is another useful and beneficial plant extracts.

  27. The self-righteous anti-nerd rage, it burns, it burns.

    Seriously, you’re the one yelling at a bunch of strangers about their hobby. And on something posted 5 months ago. WoW. Talk about irrelevancy.

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