Last night I was having a discussion with one of my favorite pallies about Gearscore. He informed me that he had the add-on, and having heard so much about it in the blogosphere, but never having witnessed anyone actually using it on my server, we started a discussion about the tools one can use to estimate the gear of other players.

See, I don't use Gearscore, though I certainly don't have a problem with it. If I'm trying to put together a raid, and I want an estimate on others' gear, I use wow-heroes. This gives me a pretty good idea of the content for which they are prepared gear-wise, and it's also a very solid interface for quickly determining if they have put forth the effort when it comes to A) Enchants, B) Gems and C) Sons of Hodir rep (oh yeah, I went there.)

But in a daily pugged heroic, I don't bother with this. I have a slightly more ingrained way of determining someone's "Gearscore", and it's called... your health bar.

It wasn't something I intentionally began doing, but truthfully, I spend so much time staring at your little green-light-indicator, that it just became a natural thing for me. Note that I did not equate someone's health bar with their ability. But if a DK tank walks in with 50k health, I know he's probably got some pretty purple gear... or at least a LOT of Stamina gems (which is probable).

I'm a Disc Priest with somewhere between 20-22k health when buffed for a five man. If the elemental shammy in my pug has 16k health, I know he's starting out his gearing effort.

Because Stamina scales with item level on gear, your health pool tells me everything I care about in regards to your gear.

The thing is, I really don't mind quick gear estimation tools. To me, it's sort of like Recount. These things are tools to help you estimate some abilities or your gear. If used properly, they can be solid indicators. Yes, there are ways to fool the meter, just as there are ways to "fool" the gear estimation.

But it actually IS important for me to have a rough idea of your gear in a 5 man. I don't really care about your DPS to be honest - I'm sure you'll do fine, and if you are slacking, someone else can pick up what you lack. But I do need to know what your health is like. If you only have 16k health, then I may just keep you bubbled all the time in an effort to keep you from dying too quickly. I don't mind doing this - but I do need to know before hand if this is something I should be doing.
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23 Responses
  1. Fuubaar Says:

    I see how it is. I leave vent for 20 minutes and you find a new "favorite" pally.


  2. @fuu

    OH NOES! "One of"!!! "ONE OF"!!!

    Actually when I wrote that, I thought to myself, how is it that I know so many awesome pallies, and mine sucks so bad?

  3. Fuubaar Says:

    Because none of us care for the Holy Tree :P

  4. The problem, per se, doesn't really lie with the *gear score*, it's more the people that use it as an end all be all for everything.

    LFM Naxx 10 - 5K GS Required is just plain stupid. And sadly...it is probably the people that are making that requirement that are the same people that are going to die in the fire.

    So, I suppose that my issue is more with the masses that don't really understand what GS is there for, and completely abuse and mis-use it. And, unfortunately, so many people are uneducated/uninformed that they just go with it and it completely perverts any value to be had with the mod. At least that has been my experience.

  5. @Beru (fallingleavesandtwigs)

    Now, that is a very interesting conversation I would like to have. I've been more than a little hesitant to post on the topic, because I actually don't have a problem with people who do that for pugged raids. And i seem to be one of the few who feels this way, so I'm trying to figure out what I'm missing!

    The thing is, if someone is putting together a PuG, why would I care at all about how they choose to evaluate assembling that pug? I mean, if I don't like it, I could just put together my own pug, and that is the assembler/raid leader's perogative... right? What am I missing?

  6. Juzaba Says:

    The issue I have with using health as a metric for gear (which, as a healer, I occasionally do as well) is that there are still plenty of nubcakes who queue for heroics in mostly full PvP gear.

    Mage with 24K health? Sweet, this guy has to be in 245's! Oh... wait... it's 213 gear and a lot of resilience, which means that not only does this player have very few stats that are going to contribute to killing mobs, but that he's also either a fuckwad or a dumbtard for not even collecting a set of PvE gear from the heroics that he is running.

  7. mike Says:

    "but that he's also either a fuckwad or a dumbtard for not even collecting a set of PvE gear from the heroics that he is running."

    Um wow, aggressive much? Have you ever considered that that's exactly what he's doing by running heroics, after leveling/spending a lot of time in PVP? Way to be judgemental

  8. @Juzaba

    I would think that of all the places for nubcakes to be, it would be in an heroic... learning to not be a nubcake, honestly.

    I mean, if you want to build a set of PvE gear when you normally just do PvP... wouldn't you do that in an heroic?

    Regardless, from my standpoint as a healer, I honestly don't care. It's a heroic, and heroics are cake now (unless it's one of the new ICC heroics). From my perspective, my main priority is your health.

    I would encourage anyone in full PvP gear to run heroics with me in order to get a good PvE set. I'd rather see them doing that in an heroic than in a raid.

  9. @MM

    I suppose the problem I have with its misuse is that it creates a very nasty Catch 22 in the gearing process. One where you have to have the gear you are trying to get to get the gear you are trying to get.

    In my opinion this is largely because most people don't understand gear score past the point of "higher numbers means better", so they just arbitrarily pick some absurd number that is quite unecessary and often is close to where my 258/264 raiding druid sits.

    So...you want someone in 25 TotGC gear to run....Ony? ToC? What about the people in the 232 gear that actually need upgrades from ToC 25 and are likely more than capable of handling the instance? (you know...the one designed to be done in 226 gear). What about my alts that are more than competent and will likely out perform many others in the raid? I should be excluded because I don't already have the gear I'm trying to get? Regardless of my skill level as a player?

    Now, I have no problems starting up my own PuGs, and have done so on many occasions.

    What is my issue is that the general lack of understanding by a good majority of the community about what is realisticly required for success is uneducated and causes new players, and the community as a whole, to be put down because they don't already have gear and yet they are being excluded from the very places that they can get that gear from. And this isn't limited to raids, I see people in flippin' heroics getting told how awful they are because "lol ur gear score sucks". WTF...exactly where are these people supposed to gear up if they are being ostracized in the very places designed for them to get gear?!?!

    In a nutshell...that is my biggest issue with gear score! :) (Oh, and I shouldn't forget the obligatory gear does not equal skill plug). I don't know if that puts a different light on it for you or not!

  10. @beru

    okay so I started to respond to your comment, and instead i maxed out the number of characters. sooo maybe i should just make a post about this topic and invite discussion on it! thanks for your input!

  11. I look forward to reading it :)

  12. Kurnak Says:

    @Juzaba: keep in mind some of the servers of your battlegroup will be PVP realms, so you'll see lots of people (specially during the first weeks of random pugging) wearing pvp gear. I also found strange this at the begining, seeing lots of people from certain server wearing pvp shoulders. Then I realized that was a pvp realm. Anyway as days have passed I see less everyday.

    I'm not a fan of GS too. I know it can give you an estimation of the player, but will only tell about the probable potency of the char, not the real performance. You may want to give a try at Elitist Group, an addon more focused on "gear skills" (enchanting, gemming, combination of stats, etc) than just spewing out a simple score based on gear ilevel.

  13. Cayleb Says:

    You might want to try out Elitist Group. It's a relatively lightweight addon that gives you a summary of the character's equipment, enchants, gems, raiding experience, and notes on them if you or any other EG users you choose to share data with have grouped with them before.

    I'll be posting in detail about this add-on later on this week, on Thursday, so check it out if you want more ideas on how to vet your puggers.

  14. Eversor Says:

    Gearscore is the devil I tell you...the devil!

  15. Khaelie Says:

    i find it amusing when people are checking gear score passively, and you always know when they are doing that. you see the /2 LF healer Ony10... you reply to it and then there is a 3 minute delay on the invite. cracks me up because i know that the only reason i even go in there anymore is boredom and hopefully to make the run a bit easier on people in there because they need gear. i even once got a whisper back after an invite once... "lol, sorry for the delay, we had to check your gear, you know how it is, lol." my gearscore was higher than everyone else in the run, including him.

  16. Vailladin Says:
    This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. Vailladin Says:

    Long and short of it, if you get 2 shot by trash in a heroic. Im not looking at your gear score, your Wow-Heroes score, im not even gunna inspect you. I am going to, let you die.

    I am all for helping people thru gearing up, I was there once but if you are extra squishy in a heroic you need to...

    1. Watch your agro
    2. Watch out for bad stuff (fire)
    3. When you do die, ask what killed me and why ? Then learn from that so that next time thru it doesn’t happen. (and i lied, i would TRY to keep the squishy alive)

    I will always help someone who is new to an instance and learning and gearing up. Even if you have 14K health and put out 1K DPS. But on simple easy things that you should learn well before you get to 80. I just cannot find it in me.

    If that is you, wait 3 sec after the tank attacks before you attack, simple.

    If the ground under you lights up like Saturday Night Fever, no they did not add a John Travolta grenade to the game and your defiantly NOT staying alive... so move!!


  18. G-Rebel Says:

    Gearscore, healthbar, whatever the tool one uses, I think it would be important for a group or raid leader to know and understand what is required for that partiulcar run. It is sad to see people excluded because somebody has an unreasonable and unfounded expectation of gear.

    Just look at what a particular raid or dungeon drops, in terms of loot, and you got to believe that the loot is meant to be an upgrade, not the standard BEFORE entering the fight. We didn't require ilvl 213 before going into Naxx. ilvl 219 or 226 was not a prerequisite for Uludar. But the better the gear gets the higer the expectation seems to have become (from my own experience and observations).

    I don't hate such tools, but even the right tool in the wrong hands can destroy what you wish to build, a successful group.

  19. You may call me nuts, but i actually like this method very much. Why ? Very simple. When it comes to keeping someone alive, i truly couldnt care less on why his health is at x. Knowing it is there, and having an idea of the damage we will face gives me a plan on how to heal them (or the chance to question if the designated tank might not be a tad too squishy)
    And that is something the gearscore will never give you.
    Now i just wonder why i did not think of that.

  20. gnomeaggedon Says:

    Health bar is good, GS sucks, but gives a vague idea, recount is nice for knowing who will potentially pull aggro (I tend to forget about the healy bits of recount, just leave it on damage done or dps).

    Ultimately it's the 1st few pulls that give a better (maybe not complete) story.

    - Who stood in the bad.
    - Will the tank keep the mobs of the dps and more importantly me.
    - Is 40k health a furphy. I had a tank the other day with 40k helth that could only take 3-4 hits.

    When I finish each trash pull with 40% mana left I beg for the boss to come so things will settle down.

    But then... High gearscore = snorefest healing (generally).

    I had a great group in the ICC 5 mans the other day. Somehow my GS was marginally higher than theirs.

    We wiped, we wiped again, we wiped so much we had to leave and repair, but then came back and did it all again.

    it was challenging, and you know what... challenging is fun!

  21. Sinespe Says:

    I don't see how it is possible to "fool recount". Sure, if you're looking at the "DPS" portion instead of having the Total Damage portion active, then it's going to give some squiffy numbers for Arcane Mages, say, but you can't trick Recount into attributing more damage to you than you actually do.

  22. @Sinespe

    Well, I was thinking of it more from a healer's perspective. I.E. I can just spam Prayer of Healing all day, and up my healing output.

    It's not so much fooling recount as fooling the people who read it, and don't know HOW to read it properly. Obviously someone could look at my healing output, balance it against my overhealing and look at what spells I cast... but too often people don't.

  23. bhorg Says:

    So, I am often more afraid of the player with the huge gearscore, than I am with the lower gearscore player.

    As a healer, if tank has 30k health and can keep threat of me and dps. IDC if he's wearing his winter hat.

    As a tank, if everybody (or nearly everybody) is alive after each boss fight, idc what the healer is wearing.

    If I'm 500dps above one of the dps-ers as either a tank or healer, then I'm worried.

    BUT - my most common problem is the guy shown here:http://wowmostwanted.blogspot.com/2010/01/well-weve-got-one.html

    Who had a big GS and a horrble attitude. That is worse than doing a 25 minute run instead of a 15 minute run.

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