Gear Score as a recognised universal measurement

Image from Think Geek – Equal Measure Product page

I’m just going to say –  I get an little thrill when I see my GS getting higher
Come on – Don’t lie and say that you don’t.

You know you’ve made it when you break the GS mod  ( anyone over 6000 broke mine)  I’m not there yet.   Getting close.

People fervently hate Gear Score.  Why?  Because it gives  you a number and puts you in your place  – and a way to compare just how many people are better than you.   Or Because  It’s measurement is too easily  manipulated.

Why does this epeen metre mean SO much  – why does it get you so worked up?

It’s not like Gear Score = Skill.  Everyone knows that.  But it’s still used.


It’s a Universally recognised measurement tool – and no other in WOW has become so legitimised by use, and popularity.

This post here is legimising it.   Me boasting about my gearscore legitimises it,  linking a gear score measurement website  ,  your comments legitimise it  Your downloads  legitimise it.

 Using it as a measurement tool. Talking about it,  downloading the mod.   We are acknowledging it as a universally recognised gear measurement system.  Perpetuating it’s use  – making it part of our experience, and expectations.

Much like we measure I levels, and Blues, and Plum.  We recognise the value it stands for.

Remember the days when Rum  was a currency – it was given a recognised value and used. ( early colonial Australia)  – or even consider the our own  RL Measurement systems,  regardless off the conflicts between  Metric and Imperial.  You say Inch, I say centimetre.  The values of that measurement is drummed in to us by, our times, our country our laws, and cultural expectations bred into us via society,  the family we grow up in,  religion,  schooling – all these things. 

 We perpetuate it.


And again.

And again.

OH LOOK  – Blizzard has now put it as a feature available to all users.  We don’t need a mod anymore  ( Future possibility This is not currently true.)

Your not going to change culture by complaining about it.  We have grasped this need to measure Epeen,  We now have an identity.  I am Shadow Priest 5.9 Gear score.

Complaining about Gearscore is not going to make it go away  ( unless Blizzard doesn’t like it)  A hole,  a need has been filled.

I feel so much better that I know my place in the world.  Don’t you?

In order to change it – we need to replace it with a better system.

I am Shadow Priest AIL 260.24

I am … WH – A  22

I am … BEI 725.42

I am… WCGS 2124

I am … NE F P S 4t10 10/12 10icc 10/1225icc HM 10-2 10-3 10-6 25-1 25-3 25-6  ( Better stick that in a Macro)

I am …  Frack this.  This isn’t working.   Look me up on the damn armory.

Oh? You want me to link you my  armory link.

Url too long?

I could  make you a Tiny URL

What?  You don’t have a Chat mod to use links in chat.  You’re going to have to type my name in and look it up then and every other noob that Pst you.

Q Whats your GS?

A 5.9

Easy. Simple.  Done.

Find something as simple as using GS has become,  and you have a winner.  You will change culture.  You will change how we measure each other,  but untill you find that new something,  or blizzard takes it away.  You are stuck with it.

21 Responses to “Gear Score as a recognised universal measurement”

  1. 1 HP May 21, 2010 at 7:35 am

    You are probably right, it takes too much effort to pug by armorying everyone. I remember when we used to need to do that. It was such a hassle and made pugging a slow painful process unless you didn’t care about gear, which meant the pug was usually bad.

    I think no matter what GS is something people will hate because it summarizes everyone to a number, which is also the same thing that makes it so attractive.

  2. 2 Aloix May 21, 2010 at 7:58 am

    Interesting post. I don’t mind GS per se, I understand how it can be a ‘quick and dirty’ filter for PuGging, and I do even use the mod (Light version though), although I will also armory people on my 2nd monitor if the situation/curiosity warrants it.
    My biggest issue with it BY FAR is that it tends to cause the ‘bads’ to make stupid/inappropriate gearing decisions to inflate their GS. I HATE that.

  3. 3 wojtek May 21, 2010 at 8:21 am

    Nothing wrong with GS, but it’s important to teach people it’s far from skill. And yeah, people wearing wrong gear just to pump-up their GS is sad :/

  4. 4 nekomancer May 21, 2010 at 11:11 am

    I don’t perpetuate GS, don’t care about it and ignore whispers asking for inv based on it. But it probably affects me – I automatically consider ‘GS’ people to be fools…

  5. 5 leah May 21, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Wall of text inc

    before gearscore, there was be.imba. between be.imba and gearscore, there was warcrafter (too detailed, didn’t take off becasue of it – like you said people want simplicity) and wow-heroes. All of those had a number that summarized your character and all but gearscore actually took your spec, gemming choices, etc into account. be.imba even showed your hit cap for dps. the problem with gearscore outside of the fact that ilvl >anything in its formula is that there is not scale that shows you where the person should be based on their gear.

    wow-heroes has such a scale (though, and I beleive its due to gearscore example – people are asking forhigher then nessesary scores even though wow-heroes scale shows the gear of the person in question as more then capable to complete the instance). be.imba had such a scale. with gearscore? the higher available gearscore becomes, the higher the requirements for pugs get EVEN despite the gradual content nerf.

    I hate it becasue gearscore, much like a caste social system puts me in a complete and utter rut. I’m currently unguilded. I don’t plan on being guilded for a while yet. that leaves pugs. as an unguilded person, on my own I can (with serious effort, a bit of gold and some lengthy farming and/or luck) shoot myself to about 5k.

    if I want to go higher, I have to farm longer (which considering history will still keep me hopelessly behind as the requirements will keep on going – 271 loot in regular ruby sanctum anyone?) to get my starter t10 and/or (probably “or” since gearscore is king and who cares about tier bonuses or upgradability) frost badge 264 pieces. crafted icc pieces are still selling for approximately 10k and up on my server and crafting them myself will save me maybe couple of thou, but I’d still need to buy saronite (14 badges a week, 19 if you manage to get a weekly group – pray hope its something easy like Naxx, 23 if you gt super lucky and get into both VoA – you pick and chose whether you buy saronite with them or frost badge loot)

    you have to have ICC lvl loot to get into ICC. that’s what it comes down to. but you cannot really get ICC lvl loot if you want to actually see ICC in a forseeable future. My warlock, after spending something like 30k gold and getting very very lucky with VoA 10/invite to icc 10 from an old friend and getting one piece of loot from it is at about 5300. I already bought BoE shoulders and at 20k, I simply cannot afford to buy a neck from blood queen (that’s how much its going for on my server). My priest is slightly higher, but healers have slightly easier time getting into pugs. I’ve currently hit a wall. Unless I commit myself to endless heroic grind in hopes of maybe some day getting into a pug – I have nowhere else to progress.

    my only option right now? server transfer to somewhere where GDKP is run relatively often and successfully and hope that people take me as a buyer. At least I’m not completely inept at making gold so I have a fair amount plus I have more time then a lot of people to play. Now imagine someone with less time , less experience trying to get into end game? it is now officially worse then end of TBC. at least then you had more badge loot options (that were faster to farm) that people would still accept for all but possibly sunwell. At least then Most if not all raid content was still current and if you weren’t quite on a level of BT or sunwell, you could raid with the TK/SSC guild and everyone was running Kara and ZA.

    And yes, gearscore is partly to blame. by making it so damn easy to exclude people, by being so damn trickable (people start getting pvp gear just to up their gearscore, they get invited, under perform and of course what does pug leader think? need moar gearscore) by providing no scale of where the person should be raidwise.
    it makes it much much easier then be.imba and wow-heroes ever did to exclude people, not based on their quality as a player, but based on the time they spend grinding the game and/or their luck.

  6. 6 Klepsacovic May 21, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    I don’t know my GS or what is considered a good GS. At some point 5k sounded like it was good, so I pretend that’s good. I won’t let it dictate how I play. Perhaps it’s a bit socialist to say it, but I blame capitalism and the conversion of worth to a number: salary. Perhaps that’s better than the old system of nobility and peasants, but perhaps it’s also time we moved on to something better.

  7. 7 Elleseven May 21, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    When you close down your account, Blizzard needs the option: Left because of Gearscore BS.

  8. 8 Ngita May 21, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    I preferred achievements personally sure it can be hard if you don’t have them. It took me 45 minutes and about 5 wipes to coach a group for malygos 10 back in 3.0. Then of course I could join any group I wanted.

    GS is just arbitrary, you cant argue with it.
    LFM kara, must have full epics.
    Doing 6/12 ICC 10 must have achievements for 9/12.
    Doing 6/12 ICC 10 must have 5700 gs. Two are blatantly stupid. the 3rd is just a stupid buts its just a number you cant argue with it.

    If gs was seen as just gear, fine. But its not, its seen as skill when you can reach a level suitable for the lich king doing nothing more then pugging a lot plus a bit of luck.

  9. 9 Nosnum May 21, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    GS is interesting in that it can be used in reverse. I’m at 5.5K currently on both my mage and rogue, and I’m in a good guild running ICC so I don’t have to worry about getting into raids. But every now and again when I need to run the weekly raid quest, if I miss the guild run or any guild alt runs and have to pug it I’ll watch the chat. When I see people advertising for more in chat looking for 5K GS minimum for Naxx (and NOT because they want to do achievements), I absolutely know that is a raid I want to stay away from because that group has no clue what Naxx entails (which isn’t much).

  10. 10 Shiva May 21, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    GearScore is terrible and atrocious.
    In my guild we make it a point to mock GearScore; we also frequently decline applications who mention the GearScore. We feel those are the type of players who we don’t want and who won’t help us.

    GearScore doesn’t even work all that well. I frequently see people with subpar choices, bad gems or just downright terrible items. For example, perhaps the best one; the best Libram for a Holy Paladin at level 80 is the ilvl 200 Libram from Naxxramas. Unless you are strictly pvping, the best Libram is from Naxxramas.

    I do think Achievements are a better system, if for no other reason than familiarity with the fight.

  11. 11 typhoonandrew June 3, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    The issue I have (which is not new) is that the itemisation determines the iLevel, which in turn generates a GS value. Now itemisation is meant to be based on a balanced approach for the race/level/class/gear set that you have. But folks are making itemisation choices based on GS.

    Upgrades of gear is seen to be like adding bricks into a pile with GS. Higher the brick is seen as better. No way folks – the materials and the pattern have more affect than the bricks themselves.

    Thus I can have a craftable caster Cloak of ilevel 200, and know that the next best item for me is a drop from a few places, each around ilevel 245+. Why? Because the itemisation on the cloaks in the game between the two points is of no benefit to me, due to the other stats I have.

  12. 12 Draknareth June 16, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    Personally I think GS can be helpful to guage a persons gear. Please note I said “helpful”, it is a tool. Maybe not the most effective tool, personally I believe WoW heroes gives a better idea as it does take into account stat values. As well, using WoW heroes you can actually take a look at exactly what gear someone has to know if they are “buffing” their GS with high iLvl pieces which do not suit their spec.

    Basically use GS, it works for a base number, BUT use other things AS WELL!

    Obviously it will never be an indication of skill, but between guildies for example who you have raided with, GearScore, BeImba and WoWheroes can give an idea of how well geared they are and through knowing them you can rate their skill.

  13. 13 DickyDick June 17, 2010 at 6:03 am

    Gearscore may not be the monster some people want to see it as, but still it’s not pretty. GearScore is like a loaded gun, if you don’t know how to handle it, it’s dangerous.
    Personally I prefer ElitistGroups, which is kinda like be.imba ingame.
    It shows a gear summary, but more importantly shows you the experience a character has in instances. If someone is experienced in a lot of instances or even killed Yogg-Saron I wouldn’t hesitate to take that kind of person to ICC, even if his gear is lower than you would normally expect. So if you’re looking for skills dont’t trust GearScore but use ElitistGroups.

    • 14 Pugnacious Priest June 17, 2010 at 6:30 am

      I used to use Elitist groups in instance runs, but it ate up a fair bit of memory – it got depressing having to tell people they had not used one of their talent points – and them saying ” really?” or even worse “I know” or having to ask tanks ” are you seriously going to tank in that spec?” Sometimes eg 5 man heroics much better not to know

  14. 15 ImARaider June 17, 2010 at 6:59 am

    PuG Groups that are the most successful, are the ones that require a GearScore & Achievement check, it is far from foolproof, but it is the best level of assurance you will get without asking for referees and conducting a formal job interview!

    Also the first 4-5 bosses in ICC can cover a handful of players that just dont know the encounter, heals can prop them up, or their death is no big deal. Beyond that it only takes 1 person who doesnt know the encounter to wipe your raid.

  1. 1 GS facepalm thoughts « TyphoonAndrew's – Eye of the Storm Trackback on June 3, 2010 at 8:06 pm
  2. 2 The Daily Quest: Gearscore | playgames video games Trackback on June 16, 2010 at 6:05 pm
  3. 3 The Frozen Gnome » Blog Archive » The Daily Quest: Gearscore Trackback on June 16, 2010 at 6:20 pm
  4. 4 World of Warcraft - The Daily Quest: Gearscore Trackback on June 16, 2010 at 7:03 pm
  5. 5 The Daily Quest: Gearscore « Sto « Best Mmorpgs Blog Trackback on June 16, 2010 at 7:13 pm
  6. 6 The Daily Quest: Gearscore | WoW Strategy Trackback on June 18, 2010 at 7:13 am
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