Now that I am pretending to be a blogger with people who read my out-of-the-ass ranting I’ll try to put down one my biggest rants on paper (or computer screen as the case may be).

GearScore. Live by it or ignore everyone who mentions it but chances are your WoW life has been somehow touched by this plague. As a disclaimer I’d like to state that I have nothing against the author of the addon or indeed the addon itself. I can understand the attraction of having a guideline number that approximates your character’s progress. However as soon as people start taking GS for anything more than a near-meaningless number all hell breaks loose. And people do that. All the fricking time.

The problem with having GearScore  around is that people are starting to think in terms of GS. “LFM ICC25, must have XXXX GS”. Trade channel is drowning in similar messages. And it seems for a lot of people it’s all that matters these days. When you are picking players for a raid based on their GearScore all you will get is people in gear with high item levels. And more often that not that alone doesn’t tell a damn thing about the player.

There’s a whole new generation of players who, once they hit 80 on their first or 14th character, prioritize getting a high GS over everything else. Checking web sites to see how you could improve your hunter’s rotation? Nah, pet and arcane shot do enough DPS. Checking theorycraft to see what trinket would be best for your arcane mage?  Purified Lunar Dust gives highest GS duhh. Learning to judge wisdom on your retribution paladin? Nope, I can live with standing half the fight idle and OOM, but I better get those Relentless (spell power) gloves off Toravon, they have leet GS.

And I wish those were made-up examples but they are not. People don’t care about their rotations, stats or talents and now they have an excuse – “as long as I got high enough GS I am a good player”. Well they are not. If they care about GS at all they have completely missed the point of the addon as well as the point of playing your character at 80. Which is to become a better player not to boost an imaginary number.

In all honesty I can say I wish we could all go back to the days when damage meters were used to determine a persons worth. At least then the problems with people with high numbers were excessive tunneling or standing in fire. The problems with people with high numbers in GS era are more profound – like not knowing how to get back into ICC after not getting a rez.

A grim state of affairs all in all. If you have low GS, you are a worthless being who can’t even hope to perform well in a raid. If you have high GS, you are a demigod and bosses will hand over their loot after you’ve merely stood around them for a few minutes. It is this kind of mentality that drives more and more people to care about their GS above all else.


~ by Shale on July 16, 2010.

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