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?