OMG GEARSCORE SUX!1!11!!!!, or Why I Might Quit World of Warcraft

tier10_priest_male_hd Let’s get one thing out of the way: I hate GearScore.  I hate it.  Hate it.  HATE it.  It sucks.  It’s an arbitrary number that an addon assigns to my character in order to determine my worth as a player.  Not to mention that it’s a broken system that is too easy to exploit.

And yet somehow it has managed to be the be-all/end-all of social interaction in World of Warcraft.  Please make note of the “end-all” portion of that sentence.  Because GearScore might have finally pushed me past the point of no return.

Unless something changes, I think I may be done with WoW until Cataclysm, if not forever. The accessibility that I have praised numerous times as being WoW’s savior has turned out to be quite the opposite.

Just What Happened?

I can’t get a group, is what happened.

I’ve worked on getting my Paladin leveled and geared for the last few months.  I have been pretty casual about it, even taking a break to level my Priest, but eventually I was able to get him to right at 5000 GearScore, which is plenty enough to raid any non-hardmode content in the game.

While I don’t like GearScore, I do understand its place.  I get that people use it to help determine whether or not puggers are geared.  The problem comes in when players running these groups want a higher GearScore than is attainable outside of running the instance itself.

A 5000 GearScore should mean that the player is ready for a 10-player Icecrown Citadel (ICC), not that he or she has been raiding it for months and does not need any more upgrades. Unfortunately, PuG leaders want higher than that to facilitate guaranteed success.  They also demand that players already have their ICC Achievements before they can get into the group, which eliminates anyone who has not already cleared the dungeons at least partially.

But in my case, I can’t get the Achievement because I have to PuG raids. My schedule doesn’t line up with my guild’s raid  nights, so I am left high and dry on being able to get my achievement that way.  So on the occasions I can play WoW for any lengthy period of time, I have to PuG; it is the my only real way of seeing end-game content.  But to get into those raids, I have to already have done the instance.

World of Warcraft Paladin Tier 10Bam! Catch-22: PuG leaders don’t want players who have never been in the Instance.

And since I can’t get into the dungeon to get the achievement in the first place, I’m screwed.

And frustrated.

If this were an isolated incident, I’d write it off.  But I have tried extensively to get into ICC groups, both 10 and 25-person, with no luck.  I keep being told “GS too low.”  I was even booted from an Archavon PuG on an alt because apparently 4k GearScore is just too low to even exist as a human being.  I believe one guy told me to kill myself (seriously).  I now understand that I should be ashamed of myself for being so undedicated to gearing my characters.

I Work Hard For the Money

I worked hard to get my Paladin’s gear to the level where he would be able to actually contribute to a group.  I spent a lot of time grinding Heroics for badges (boring!) or queuing for Battlegrounds for Honor to be able to make sure I had passable gear.

And then I’m told I can’t play with the big boys because I’m too casual.  Because my schedule doesn’t line up.  And that groups—and I quote—“can’t take that chance on [me].”

All my work to prove myself as an adequate and dedicated group member has been for nothing.

I can’t get into the groups because I have never been in the groups.  I get told that I need to have the experience in the dungeon to be able to succeed, and yet I can never get into the dungeon for one main reason:

GearScore.

I understand needing a system to tell how geared someone is for an instance.  That’s just part of an equipment-based MMO.  “Oh, look, this guy has his 4-piece T9 bonus; he’s geared” would be fine.  “She has 2-pc T10? Bring her along!” is dandy.

I remember back in the day if a person had AQ40/Naxx gear at all, they were a Godsend for a pick-up-group. But no longer.  Now, it doesn’t matter what your gear looks like or how much you have of it.  If it doesn’t fall above some asinine cutoff, you (as both a player and a human being) are not worth playing with.

Handing an arbitrary rating system to the unwashed masses is a recipe for disaster.  Real life has proven again and again that giving unsupervised statistics to the general population means they will be misread, misused, and misunderstood.  Children are cruel; adults know that when given the opportunity, some children generally ostracize others based on superfluous criteria, just to avoid that ostracization themselves.

And I’m done with that kind of behavior taking over the game I play for fun.

The Straw That Broke the Camel’s Back?

World of Warcraft Cataclysm DeathwingRight now, I don’t see a lot of reason to stick around in WoW.  I don’t have fun gearing up through Heroics for no reason.  Leveling content is simply not fun on its own, and I only have fun in PvP when I have friends do it with me; however, our schedules don’t line up like they used to.

Maybe Cataclysm will be better.  GearScore will still be around, but maybe the changes to raid structure will help even the playing field a little.  Maybe rated Battlegrounds will be the bee’s knees.  And maybe not.  Maybe Cataclysm will just be more of the same.

Either way, Cataclysm is not now.  There’s a whole summer to burn before it is released.  And unless something drastically changes (or I can find a way to get into some ICC raids and fill my gaming time by not being ostracized), WoW appears to be on the backburner…indefinitely.

And it’s all GearScore’s fault.

GearScore and anti-casual elitism are my pet peeves that have potentially ruined my favorite game.  What about you? What frustrates you enough to think about leaving your MMO/hobby of choice?

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About B.J. Keeton

B.J. KEETON is a writer, teacher, and runner. When he isn't trying to think of a way to trick Fox into putting Firefly back on the air, he is either writing science fiction, watching an obscene amount of genre television, or looking for new ways to integrate fitness into his geektastic lifestyle. He is also the author of BIRTHRIGHT and co-author of NIMBUS. Both books are available for Amazon Kindle.

113 thoughts on “OMG GEARSCORE SUX!1!11!!!!, or Why I Might Quit World of Warcraft

  1. Don’t leave if you plan on trying Cataclysm.

    I left WoW for 3.5 months and just came back this week and my pain is soooo much worse. I am made fun of in normal heroics. I have a 2500ish GearScore and I’m laughed at in Heroic Nexus. My rogue has a tiny dps of 2k and I was told I suck. I’ve been playing a rogue for almost 6 years, I know my class. GearScore has ruined the game. I just resubbed this week because if the opt-in, but I am about to throw in the towel

    • I figure Cataclysm will be a fine time to come back and see the game if this sticks. I’ll be able to level with everyone and see a bunch of new content, not to mention that I would be able to get in on the ground-floor regarding the new uses for GS and silly addons the community makes mandatory.

      I feel your pain right now, though. I’ve left before and missed everything Ulduar and ToC had to offer. I was so behind the curve that it was almost impossible to catch back up. Even today, I can’t say that I have completely because most of my time has been spent in Heroics.

  2. I’ve never once encountered an issue with GearScore, thankfully. I’m ultra casual – I have yet to reach level 80. Then again, I play WoW as a duo with my wife. We’ve never been in a group (other than the 2 of us). It’s crap like GearScore that pushed me to play WoW as a duo. It is the only way I can play and have fun on my own terms.
    .-= Ethic´s last blog ..Comment Threads =-.

    • I can’t seem to get my wife interested in WoW at all. She played a Mage to level 2 and hated the way the game played, controlled, and looked. ;) I don’t think I’ll get her involved, though I wish I could.

      If I had that someone to play with all the time, GS wouldn’t be an issue. In those moments where I have my friends online, it doesn’t matter, either. I just have a hard time gearing and playing in between those particular sessions.

      • If I was having the experiences you are, I’d quit without hesitation.

        I didn’t think my wife would like it, and she didn’t at first when I was supervising her. Later she played by herself, met some folks online, and got hooked in. Soon she left my first duo character in the dust at 40 and she ran all the way to 80 without me. She promised to not let that happen this second time (and the triple XP refer a friend bonus did not hurt either).

        Yes my wife, the non-gamer, got to level 80 and I have not. In fact, she will have 2 level 80 characters by the time I have one.
        .-= Ethic´s last blog ..Comment Threads =-.

        • My wife told me tonight that she could see herself playing DDO far more easily than WoW. She said that WoW’s graphics are garish and cheap, while DDO was more the style she would be comfortable playing in. It also doesn’t hurt that DDO is far slower-paced and strategic than any part of WoW.

  3. Someone was actually asking gear score numbers for the weekly this week. It was patchwerk. Granted, they pretty much took anyone as one of our tanks had a 2500ish gear score and did fine. I was just shocked that it would even be an issue for Naxx. And I refuse to run the addon [elitist group tells me more useful info - average ilevel, gems, enchants, etc] so I had to scramble to the website and find out my poor lock banker’s gear score.

    Other than that [probably just one idiot], I’ve never been asked my gear score before or to link an achievement. Admittedly, I don’t pug much – and I’d never pug ICC.

    There is an addon that will let you link achievements to appear completed. I forget the name of it.
    .-= Askevar´s last blog ..Get Your Own Jubling! =-.

    • I need to check out that Achievement addon, actually. I’m generally very against cheating in any form (and that’s bordering on cheating, if you ask me), but I’m also against alienation and prejudice in a silly video game. Which, in my mind, justifies its use.

      I’ve heard about Elitist Group, but never checked it out for many of the same reasons I hate GearScore.

  4. I’ve been kicked out of groups twice for my gearscore, and I don’t hesitate to say that I was pissed when it happened. On the flip side, it was probably a good thing I didn’t have to suffer through an entire instance with the people that cared enough.

    As with any problem though, we really need to look at the root of this if you want to solve it. GearScore isn’t the real problem here, it’s Beej’s schedule. Why does GS matter? Because he has to PUG. Why does he have to PUG? Because he can’t raid with his guild. Why can’t he raid with is guild? Because his schedule doesn’t allow it.

    There may be more steps down that root, but I don’t know what’s going on his personal life so I can’t take it any further. But the schedule is the issue that needs to be addressed. Can you join a different guild whose hours line up with your own? I’d be willing to bet that you can. The only thing that might be holding you up is friendships, but if you’re considering dropping the game anyway, then you’re already losing those when your account goes inactive. If you communicate with them via social networking or other means besides in game chat, then you’ve still got that communication even if you leave the guild, and as long as you explain to them the situation and the reasons why I would assume that they’d only wish you the best.

    I have used GearScore in the past, not as a judgement of others, but as a comparison of myself to others. If I’m on my mage and I see another caster with a higher GS then I like to do a quick inspect before we get started to see what kind of upgrades I might be able to get and where they drop. If I’m on my tank I like to know in advance who the aggro monkeys are going to be simply because their gear blows mine out of the water. It’s a tool just like any other, but the person using it is the one who decides how he’s going to do so. I use it strictly for information gathering where others use it to judge.
    .-= Psynister´s last blog ..Druid Leveling: 1-30 (Resto and Balance) =-.

    • Regarding my schedule: Not a lot can be done. I never know which nights I’ll be free to play, so I can’t make a real commitment to any guild, even my own. I tried transferring servers when I thought I could (joined Matticus’ guild Conquest, actually), but it didn’t work out. Transferring servers is out because I have no desire to play if even the possibility of playing with my friends exists; I learned that on Ner’Zhul, unfortunately. If I could find a 1-night a week guild that ran between 10pm and 2am central time, I’d be all about it, and I might even be able to dedicate a particular night to the game. As it stands, though, that’s impossible.

      I have a friend who’s working on trying to get some ICC10s running in the afternoon, and that would be great. I might be able to make those.

      Part of the problem is that I don’t find WoW that fun anymore. It’s the social interactions that make it fun, so even PuGs aren’t the fun they used to be for me. I don’t know those people. The content and mechanics alone aren’t enough to keep me interested.

      In Cataclysm, I’ve thought about starting my own guild, one that raids later in the evening only a couple of nights a week, starting with the few people I know who might be interested. That /might/work, but I am still terribly afraid of being unreliable or not getting to play with those I want to.

      TLDR version: my schedule’s never set, and it’s the people I stay in the game for. I’ve tried transferring, and it didn’t work.

      • Having no set schedule at all is certainly going to make things rough for you. I know a guy who’s working on setting up a guild like you may be looking for, but I’m not sure which server he’s doing it on. I’ll see if I can get some more details together on that and see if it might be something that would appeal to you. Is Ner’Zhul where you’re at right now?

        I know part of our guild just broke away to set up a new guild that raids in the early morning hours around 2-4am central time. That might work for you, might not. There’s a lot of people that work the kinds of shifts that make those open though so you might keep an eye out for things like that.

        I hear you on the social = fun part. I still find WoW itself to be entertaining, but if you took away the social aspect I’d quit the second I found out about it. I’m a solo player, but the social aspect is what keeps me here.

        If social is the key though, then why worry about GS? I know it’s pissed you off (which reminds me, Variant Avatar posted something similar today: http://variantavatar.com/?p=738 ) and all, but have you thought about looking into doing something more centrally focused on being social, such as RP servers?

        As for starting your own guild and worrying about being unreliable, I wouldn’t worry about it. My guild is a casual raiding guild, we have two 10 man groups and we have a 25 man group each week, but there aren’t any sign ups, there’s no pressure to get you there. If you can’t raid or you just don’t want to raid that night, then you just don’t bother going. “Psyn, wanna hit ICC10?” – “Nah, I think I’m in the mood to play my level 8 hordie tonight.” – “Cool man, I might come join you and let the Marc play his healer tonight instead.” It’s the way we roll, nice and laid back all the time. When it’s time to raid then you can bet we’re focused on getting it done, but it’s all kept in a fun, friendly mood.

        Sometimes our GM is the one that’s not there, sometimes it’s the RL. You never know who’s going to show up and who’s not, but it’s all good. People study the fights, officers all take an active roll in actually leading and listening to the members, etc. Those guilds work just as well as any other, and they’re what really drives home what really matters; the people.
        .-= Psynister´s last blog ..Druid Leveling: 1-30 (Resto and Balance) =-.

        • Nah, I went back to Malygos after I left Ner’Zhul. I wanted to be with my RL friends there more than I wanted to raid. If your friend was 10pm-2am central, it would work for me. Those are about the only times I can make it.

          I’d love a guild like that; I’d actually like to start a guild like that, but I would have no idea where to find that many like-minded people because the people I know are either RL friends or in my guild already. ;)

    • Also: that’s the kind of use that GearScore is good for. Personal development, much like damage meters. It’s when people use them to justify alienating others that I have a major problem with them, which is all that GS has turned out to be for the vast majority of the population.

      • That’s basically all it is at all in today’s game. I uninstalled it a few weeks after I initially installed because I saw where it was going even then.

        I think I’m going to start organizing PUGs that require people to be under a certain GS for a while and see where that gets me. Sorry guys, 5k is too much for this group, go hang with the big boys somewhere else, I’m looking for a raid not a faceroll.
        .-= Psynister´s last blog ..Druid Leveling: 1-30 (Resto and Balance) =-.

        • I think someone says Gevlon did that with his guild in Ulduar. They did the whole thing in blues. Which I find incredibly interesting and would almost like to be a part of.

          And good for you! I love raids to be challenges.

        • Heh, this sounds similar to my current semi-project with my Hunter, which is trying to keep my DPS as high as possibile *in comparison to* my GearScore. Currently I’m doing 4k on bosses with a 3.7k GS.

          I’d be lying if I said one of my reasons wasn’t to make people who shout about others’ GS look like idiots…

          • Hugh, I was doing 6k DPS on my Death Knight in full Naxx25 gear (about 4k GS) early on in the expansion. Granted, I was fully raid buffed, but that’s one of the reasons I started to hate GS. People claimed you had to be geared from ToC/ICC to do those kind of numbers, and I rolled my eyes. As long as players know their rotation and can actually execute it, it’s possible with lower tiers of gear.

  5. Is there any possibility of raiding with a different guild whose schedule works for you? Or forming your own raids and making the linking of GS an automatic disqualifier?

    @Scarybooster: If he comes back for Cataclysm, he’ll not be coming back to the current PvE situation; there will likely be gear boosting from quests and some east leveling content.

    • The problem for me comes in that I never know what schedule works for me.

      I’ve thought about forming my own raids, but the GS culture is so ingrained in players that I’m afraid if I took someone who was “too low” by general consensus, I’d have too many people leave. I mean, I’ve had people drop from VoA groups because we had 3.8ks in the group before.

      People want not to work for things, and they don’t even want a challenge in their games, which is what makes them fun for me.

  6. It sounds like WoW needs to come into the DVR age. People don’t want to arrange their schedules around their entertainment; they want their entertainment to be available whenever they have a moment to spare. So I’ve gotta think that if the game is making it impossible to just pick up and play, that if the only way to enjoy it is to have a set raiding schedule, then that’s a flaw in the game, not in the player’s personal schedule or choice of guild.

    • Which is why I typically want to PuG. WoW is becoming more accessible, Jennifer, by making players more powerful in places like ICC so that pick up groups of random people can more easily succeed (the buff is at half of its max strength right now). The problem is that with that accessibility to not schedule the entertainment, people are becoming more elitist in how they recruit for it. Since things are becoming easier, they want them easiest. It’s a vicious cycle.

  7. Stop crying about it and start your own pugs. Crying about how someone else chooses to lead a raid is never going to get you anywhere. Stop being so passive. Take control of your situation. If you don’t know the fights, read up on ‘em or watch the many videos and then start one yourself with no GS prerequisite.

    • Like I mentioned above, the main reason I’m so “passive” about it is because of how ingrained GS is into the PUG culture of WoW. I know the fights, and I’ve seen the videos. But too many people leave pugs when /their/ sensibilities are distraught that I don’t know if I’d be able to get one off the ground, even with minimal GS requirements. I do think it has a place in checking out if a person is geared enough to be somewhere, but I don’t think that players have to overgear an instance to be successful, which is my main problem with the system.

      • People who are actually looking for a challenge are downing ICC-10 in nothing but blue gear. Gear is not a requirement.

        We live in the age of instant gratification, Beej. I want my purple shineys, and I want them now. No wipes, no deaths, no challenging my craptacular rotation in which I use spells that aren’t even in my tree, spec, or role in the group, just gimme my goods and then gtfo.
        .-= Psynister´s last blog ..Druid Leveling: 1-30 (Resto and Balance) =-.

        • And that makes me sad. I remember being able and willing to dedicate myself for hours trying to PuG MC before I had a guild who could do it. It was a blast.

          But you’re right. These days, people don’t want to wipe at all, even in the hardest content. I don’t mind a wipe as long as we learn from it.

          I actually left a group the other night that I got into because people kept pulling extra trash and no one could figure out who. My luck is that I don’t get into groups that aren’t filled with incompetents anyway. :/

  8. I also hate gearscore. If I had a dollar for every time I insulted someone in a raid, 5-man, or in trade for relying on GS, I could quit my job. Sometimes GS doesn’t mean you are a good player, it means that you are dating someone in a raiding guild and they are done gearing their A-team. The top GS person in our guild was one of the lowest DPS for a long time because that was his first 80, and he didn’t understand the toon.
    And aren’t you a healer?? I could care less what the GS of a healer was, because… it matters EVEN LESS. I could rant all day about this topic, because I hate it so.]
    Also, as far as ICC goes, we have started pugs with random people not knowing their GS, and done better than the guild runs. “Hey tank, are you def. capped? Yes? Ok then, pull.” (ok, maybe not quite that bad, but not much better lol. I know our healers aren’t tards.)

    • Yeah, I’m a healer through and through, Laura. That’s why it bothers me. I even had the last guy who irked me ask what my HPS was. Hell if I know, honestly. And I know that matters on Dreamwalker, but I don’t see a PuG making it that far.

      I’d be interested in actually hooking up with DG sometimes if the raid times lined up or you guys needed a healer.

      It’s that kind of situation (anecdotal as it is) that makes me hate GS. Sometimes a person has bad luck with drops or doesn’t run a Heroic every day to get Frost badges. Sometimes, people are good at the game and sometimes they’re bad, which is what makes GS a completely arbitrary system that only leads to a fractured community and ignorant generalizations.

  9. What frustrates me enough to drop a beloved game… hmm.

    Please let me answer this another time and let me comment on your experiences instead.

    Only so much about what made ME quit within one month after WOTLK release. I quit in WOTLK because dungeons became boring nukefests and it was all about raiding Naxx – apparently people did not want to do anything else anymore, and doing a weekly raid was not really doing it for me. The world died for me.

    Let’s take the perspective of a person that quit WoW quite some time ago. You noticed the pervert mutation of your beloved game, and I tell you, it was bound to happen. Maybe this is why they want to “reboot” somewhat with Cataclysm, but I think core problems will remain, as are…:

    1. Gear
    The game is getting old, as is getting more and more and ever better gear. Power creep gets boring after a while. The game simply puts too much focus on gear by design! This is also what should *not* have happend to UO, but did happen in Age of Shadows.

    2. Badgerism & daily quests
    As gear is the only thing that matters, a socialist mentality wanting perfect gear for everyone has started. I perfectly understand why, and I also like badge collecting to get some gear guaranteed. But this time consuming daily questing turns into WORK that might put the very casual gamer even more at a disadvantage than ever before, because he – notice the irony – cannot do his daily chore erm quest every day.
    While great Tier X gear gets devalued through Tokens.

    How about another loot system? The boss loot chest, everyone has a draw, is a perfect system. Everyone gets his random chance to get whatever he wants. No DKP system necessary, a system that puts emphasis on permanent attendance.

    3. Addons, Mods, Meters, Statistics
    Too much customization and automatization in WoW! Too much statistics for everything. Especially as the interpretation of statistics is too much for most players, sorry to say this. They see a somehow made-up number and it is arbitrarily either too low or high enough. Duh.

    Note that elitism is not only a WoW problem. I think Mike gave you the only advice what you can do in your situation: Start a pug with like minded players and maybe your own dungeon / raid group will evolve out of this.

    My WOTLK raid group was created from a TBC raiding PUG lead by the alt of a raid leader from one of the big guilds on my server for instance. His motto was it is easier to gear up a good player than to teach a bad player with better gear not to stand in glowy crap. ;) Note that there is some meritocracy involved there, you did not get invited to the next raid if you failed horribly.

    • I would love the idea of random chests for rewards. I think WAR had it right with the public quest system: based on performance within the system, everyone had a shot at rolling on the best loot. If one did the most, they got more of a bonus to their roll. If someone did slightly less, their bonus was slightly lower. But it was all fair based on the amount of participation within the system.

      I would love to see something like that in Cataclysm, though I doubt I will. PQs are ridiculously fun in Warhammer Online.

      And I didn’t mind the tokens at first. In fact, I embraced them. And then, like you said, it became work. I had to work to get my GS as high as I could to be included in groups. I hope that Cataclysm, with its move to points instead of badges, makes it so that I can spend a few hours here and there getting to the weekly cap without making it a 7-day-a-week chore like it is now.

      I’m sorely tempted to try starting my own group, but I don’t know. It’s been about 5 years since I was in a leadership position within WoW.

      • DDO has a similar “random treasure from chest” thing. Everyone gets something appropriate to their class, no matter what. Whether or not it’s an upgrade is just up to the player and their luck in previous runs. There is no competition with other players for loot, only cooperation to complete the dungeon.

        What an odd idea, cooperation.
        .-= Tesh´s last blog ..MMO Politics =-.

        • I actually think I missed one of these chests last night. I think I double clicked an NPC at the end of the Korthos dungeon with the dragon and ported out automatically before I could check around.

          I do love that idea, though. I did it with a Fighter, and we had a blast duoing the dungeon on Normal.

  10. My hate for gearscore is legendary. If someone asks me my GS, I tell them Suck my penis is my gearscore. I played both Alliance and Horde on my server, Alliance seemed the worst of it. I think cause Horde, well we’re hurting a little more for people then Alliance. Maybe think about trying Horde.

    First off having a good Gearscore does not mean your good. I seen someone asking to run Patchwerk they all had real good GS, but they still failed.

    I like this game though, and there are other things I do for fun. Right now I am amassing gold. It’s nice…real nice. Meanwhile I fell in with a great group of people. My suggestion is to join a bigger guild as a social person, not raider. I did, and now because of summer, and the Cataclysm Lull, I’m raiding with them.

    PvP, I suck at it, but I’m trying to build a PvP set just for shites and giggles.

    Run old dungeons for the hell of it. I run Live Side Strat for Righteous Orbs, and I just take my time look around sometimes, or Kill everything up in the place. I make quite a bit of gold each run too, sometime 50-100 gold. Not bad for 15 minutes worth of work. Heck run some lower levels through dungeons, might just make some new friends.

    Like I said there’s alot to this game I enjoy I’m not gonna let some douchebag ruin it for me.

    • I tried to make friends while I leveled the Paladin, but it never happened. Maybe I’m not nearly as nice, friendly, or sociable as I like to think. ;)

      I’ve thought about going Horde, but for the same reason I didn’t enjoy Conquest on NZ, I don’t think I’d enjoy Horde. I play to be able to–even occasionally–do things with my RL friends. That’s most of what keeps me going, even if it’s just a Heroic now and then or a BG late at night. I would love being Horde for the, you know, actually /winning/ PvP occasionally. ;)

      • One thing I’ve noticed overwhelmingly on Horde vs Alliance across over 15 servers, is that Horde players /in general/ actually have a stronger sense of being an actual faction. There’s a tangible sense of honor that goes with being Horde and people don’t mind going out of their way to give you a hand. You’re going to have your morons, griefers, and dickheads no matter where you go, but even though I play largely Alliance side now Horde is still home for that reason alone.
        .-= Psynister´s last blog ..Druid Leveling: 1-30 (Resto and Balance) =-.

        • I know a lot of people who are proud to be Horde. My old reason for liking Alliance was because I could get groups for nearly anything I wanted whenever I wanted. But we can see how that’s panning out now…

  11. Suffice it to say that I’ve been in this exact situation recently, even getting in a weekly VoA 25 sometimes causes problems for the 4.6k GS warlock on my brother’s account. I was actually offered a trial in the server’s top guild last week when I pulled over 7k on Toravon, putting a few leet 5.8k + GS people to shame! Not something I’d consider though, 4 hours a night, 5 nights a week is too much of *anything*.

    From my three-odd years of WoW, all I can say is that, if you can’t find time to play with friends, there’s almost no reason to play at all. It’d be infinitely more fun to play some Alan Wake or Mass Effect 2 solo than would be WoW.

    • That’s the main reason I don’t raid. I have been offered spots as a healer in the top guilds, but I can’t commit the time they require. Heck, I can’t even meet most guilds’ minimum requirements to raid even 50% of their nights.

      I agree, it’s been almost 6 years now, and without my friends, I don’t have a lot of reason to play.

  12. To answer the question, if it wasn’t obvious by now, I DETEST subscriptions. I purchased a box of WoW on sale, and had a great time playing it for the month, then quit as my time ran out. On top of that, I found that I played more than I usually consider healthy just so I could get to as many places as I could before the timer stopped (since I have to level up to go new places).

    To me, that’s exceptionally poor customer relations. I effectively quit WoW when I would have needed to start paying a subscription.

    I maintain that the game itself is fine, and good fun at times… but the sociological mess that is the endgame (nothing to look forward to but seeing new sights for me, in other words) and the asinine subscription model pretty much kill it for me. I like the game… but not enough to be abused.
    .-= Tesh´s last blog ..MMO Politics =-.

    • I’m not a fan because I have MMO ADD these days. I love a game for a month or two, then I want to dabble around. DDO, WAR, and STO may be my saviors from that, given they all have content-limited trials that never expire.

      I can understand feeling that you played more than you should have. Actually, I did that in DDO yesterday because the “ranks” within levels breadcrumbed me along, and I’d love to get to where I’m high enough level that I can play with Syp and the Massively folks on Wednesday nights.

      WoW is fun. It’s a great game. But it’s a fantastic game when there’s a community to belong to, and unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find one in a while.

  13. Bah. Someone ate my super-long comment. I’ll try a shorter version. I don’t think the GS users are elitists in the real sense of it. The elite players don’t have any use of that. GS is used by casual players who believe that this is what is expected from you, that this is the attitude and tool that the guys they look up to have. And they’re so wrong. Looking from the sideline I find it highly amusing. Fail players are telling what could be good players that they’re fail, due to that ridiculous addon. I can understand it’s not that fun when you’re in your situation and have to rely on pugs if you want to raid. It must be frustrating.

    As I see it you have three options. 1. Make a guild of your own or at least raids of your own that meets to your needs and ideas about what raiding should be like. 2. Rearrange your real life slightly so you can join a guild with low raiding requirements and a very light schedule. 3. Give up the ambition to raid and focus on other aspects in WoW. Have you really tried out all that the game offers? Everyone seems to be gravitating towards raiding these days , but you could try out other options. The themepark or sandbox, whatever you see it as, is huge.

    I’m afraid that I think that the gearscore attitude is here to stay.

    • It really is frustrating. I don’t like being told that I’m not good enough because of a score that essentially means nothing. But you’re right: it’s not technically GS’s fault; it’s the fault of those, like was mentioned above in the comments, who are given statistics and no training in how to interpret them.

      I’ve seriously thought about doing #1. But given that it’s the summer doldrums and raiding for /everyone/ falls down, I doubt that will happen. The closest I can think of coming is going to be getting a couple of people together I know and trying to run ICC PuGs at specific time(s) during the week when we can all make it.

      Numer 2 is happening. My guild is very easy on requirements and their schedule isn’t absurd at all. And I still can’t make it. :/

      And as for other aspects of WoW, I’ve done almost everything there is to do. I’ve played since release week on the same server. I love PvP, but I mainly when I have RL friends to do it with. I don’t like the themepark daily hubs (boo, Argent Tournament and Quel’Danas), and I pretty much hate alting. The only other alt I want is a Dwarf Mage, and I can’t get him until Cataclysm. I’ve done old-world raids, Heroic pugs, raid pugs, everything.

      The only thing I can think of right now that may keep me interested is grabbing the occasional PuG to Ulduar and trying to get a drake. I know my guild did that, but again, I never could make the runs. We’ll see, though!

      And you’re right. The GS mentality is here for good, unfortunately. I just hope that I’m able to keep up with the curve if I do anything in Cataclysm.

      And sorry abour your comment. Something about my host/theme/something hates Chrome, if you were using that.

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  15. Gearscore makes me mad… really, really mad. And I can’t even fathom why Blizzard decided to make the info publically accessible. There is absolutely no need what-so-ever to to allow players to access a numerical figure for item value. It’s utterly ridiculous and Blizzard should do the right thing and just remove it from the game. It’s freaking stupid.

    Sorry…. started on a bit of a rant there :D
    .-= We Fly Spitfires´s last blog ..Should I Purchase The Half Price LotRO Lifetime Subscription? =-.

    • I don’t mind the information being accessible. In fact, I rather like knowing my gear’s item-level. But it’s the application of that data that bothers me. I don’t see the inherent harm in giving players the specific numbers behind what makes Naxx items worse than ICC. That’s able to be figured out anyway. It’s the addons like GS that really grate on me.

        • It’s true. And I can appreciate GS in the same way I appreciate Recount and other meters, as a means of personal evaluation, like Psynister mentioned earlier.

          But using it as the sole criteria (that, and maybe a LINK ACHIEVE OMG) leads to me thinking these PuG leaders are idiots.

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  17. Gearscore, while frustratingly ubiquitous, is just a tool. It is not the problem. The problem is that people are idiots. Gearscore provides PuG leaders with an extremely lazy, and not particularly accurate, way of getting information about the people who want to join their groups. It’s really not the addon’s fault when pug leaders want people with ICC level gear only in their TotC groups.

    To answer your question: ignorant, lazy people are generally the only thing that could frustrate me enough to leave WoW.

    • I much preferred it when people just went to the Armory to check out puggers. I also like how GS tells how often people have defeated bosses on that character, but no one knows about that functionality because it’s not, like Gordon said above, the one score that lets t hem be lazy.

      So you’re leaving WoW then, Jasyla? I’ve been here since release, and I’ve found more lazy, ignorant people than the opposite. Tee hee! ;)

  18. Beej, I am totally, absolutely, 100% on-board with you on your hatred of GearScore. I detest it. As a matter of fact, I have never installed that add-on nor will I ever install it. I have no clue what my GearScore is and if people ever ask me my GS as a pre-requisite to getting in a PUG, I tell them where to go and put them on /ignore.

    That said, yes, I’m feeling the frustration. I love WoW and I’ve played it for 5 years. No other MMO has drawn me in like WoW has. But GearScore and the increasing arrogant, ignorant masses are driving me away more and more every day. These days my WoW time consists of doing 1 random heroic, checking auctions… and that’s pretty much it. I’m definitely in for Cataclysm, but if GS is still going as strong at 85 as it is now, I’m done.

    Sorry for the rant… but no other topic gets me as riled as GearScore these days. :)

    • I feel you, Moxie. I’m in the exact same boat regarding Cataclysm. I like to have hope that the new raid structure changes might help alleviate some of the second-class-citizenness that GS instills in people, but who knows?

      I do the same thing you do: I make sure I get my frost badges when I have an hour/half an hour to spare and see if my auctions for DE materials have sold. Other than that, I might…MIGHT…do a random BG, but those are ever fewer and farther between these days.

      I don’t know if a topic has ever gotten me as riled as GearScore has. I have it installed, but it took me forever to do. I decided I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, and since it is completely unobtrusive (UI-wise), I just keep it on. Now that I’ve actually broken 5k, I might deactivate it because there’s no real reason for me to know since I’m geared well enough for everything I do.

  19. There’s a lot here to provoke discussion on a variety of topics related to gear and raiding, but one thing that I think is missing in both the original post and the subsequent comments is the perspective of the PUG raidleader. He or she is trying to put together the best group possible. For players the raidleader does not already know, gear is often the best indicator of raid performance available. All other things being equal, why not take the better geared player?

    That said, it has been my observation and that of many others before me that skill trumps gear. I wonder if the (seemingly) ridiculous gear score requirements are used in order to select skilled players who happen to also be well-geared. As the original post notes:

    “The problem comes in when players running these groups want a higher GearScore than is attainable outside of running the instance itself.”

    In other words, if somebody has a gearscore of >6000, you can be certain they have experience with at least the first few bosses in ICC. Presumably, such players have some degree of skill as well. By contrast, there is no guarantee that a player with a 5000 gearscore has seen anything more complex than the standard heroics.

    Given this, what incentive does the PUG raidleader have to invite the 5000 raider over somebody with a higher gearscore? He or she isn’t trying to systematically screw over lower-geared players but rather to select players that give the raid the best chance of success.

    For Professor Beej, I think the solution is either to adjust your schedule in order to be available for guild raids or to find a way to convince PUG raidleaders that you are the sort of player that can perform well without especially strong gear. I think one way to create this sort of impression is to know the fights very well in advance of the raid. You can read about the encounter mechanics whenever your schedule allows. This might be enough to give you the not over, say, a high-gearscore player with limited knowledge of the fights.

    • I can see that, but then it brings up the question: if these 6k GS players are needing to PuG ICC, what gives? They’re geared to the hilt already, obviously have guild backing to be able to get the experience, so what happened to make them need to PuG instead of run with their guild?

      Sure, they could have missed the raid, been queued out, or any other legitimate reason, or it could be that they aren’t part of their guild’s A-team and only got geared by luck (I’ve seen this happen a lot) when the rest of the guild learns the encounters and carries people.

      To me, thinking as a PuG leader, it doesn’t matter if a person is at 5100 GS or 5500. They both pass the minimum threshold for ICC, which more than guarantees success. I actually got into an ICC PuG this weekend after posting this, and we had a variety of GearScores in the group. Most everyone had not been there before, and the only wipe we had was on the Gunship Battle (don’t ask me how; I still don’t know what went wrong).

      Why? Two reasons: the 15% buff helps even out even lower GearScores; 30% will be a joke by the end of the summer. And the raid leaders took the time to explain the fights beforehand for anyone who hadn’t been there. They told us what to do on fights even 1 person hadn’t done before. And it mattered. Most PuG leaders won’t take the time to do that in my experience and just run in, start the fight, and pray for the best based on GS numbers, which–like you mention–often include the assumption of experience, though that is not always necessarily true. I can go on the AH right now and spend 10-15k and buy myself a couple hundred more points of GS, putting myself with the Paladin to whom I lost the initial spot that caused this post. Does that give me more experience in ICC?

      Or what about if I’m unlucky with drops? What if I’ve killed every boss in ICC but Arthas and for some reason still only manage a 5100 GS because I’m unlucky with drops or /random? I have the experience but my GS doesn’t show it.

      And as for my schedule, it’s not going to change. Part of that is me being stubborn, though: I’ve gotten past the point where I schedule my life around gaming. I’ve had too many problems by doing that. If my hobby doesn’t fit into my life, then it just doesn’t fit into my life.

      Sorry for the novel-length reply, but you had some very good points I wanted to respond to! :D

      • “To me, thinking as a PuG leader, it doesn’t matter if a person is at 5100 GS or 5500. They both pass the minimum threshold for ICC, which more than guarantees success.”

        This statement honestly shocks me. If your standard for “more than guarantee[d] success” is meeting the minimum threshold, then perhaps Gevlon’s Undergeared Project (http://greedygoblin.blogspot.com/search/label/Undergeared) is what you are looking for. At least on my server, though, it is generally assumed that better gear will (all other things being equal) yield better performance.
        .-= Lujanera´s last blog ..The tank shortage solution =-.

        • Here’s the problem in that assumption: While it is possible that higher GS can equate to better performance, there is an equal chance (in my experience) that a higher GS player will slack off in a PuG and get carried along just as often as a low GS one. At least in a lower GS’d player’s mind, they might have to prove themselves, so they eke out every last ounce of DPS they can from their rotation. A higher GS’d player might realize that since white damage makes up for 40% of their damage anyway, there is no sense in giving an “easy” raid like ICC10 their full attention and all but AFK it, actually pulling less DPS than the under-geared players.

          I just don’t think that a higher average number across the raid equates to success. It’s the same problem that the educational system in the US has. There is such a focus on standardized testing that when students don’t measure up to a 25 on the ACT, then they’re less than stellar, when that 17 might work harder and get better grades than someone with a 36. By labeling people with arbitrary scores (even in a video game), we’re profiling them in ways that limit their potential, not giving them a goal to reach for.

    • Tbh one of the reasons a lot of raiders don’t use GS is purely because GS isn’t a measure of how good your gear is. For example take a holy paladin – in many BiS lists the badge iLvl200 libram and the Ulduar226trinket from Algalon10 are still there.

      On my server I’m within the top 5% of PvE hunters. Possibly less but I’m not the highest gearscore – purely because I have items that I’ve spreadsheeted worked out better. It’s only been in the last month when I was able to return to a better raiding schedule that I’ve slowly crept up. Why would I replace a set of 258boots for 264s when the stats aren’t suited for my spec? I even had a pug hunter making fun of me for being in a guild doing better content than him but having a lower GS (voa25, absolutely pwned the shit out of him on recount). In fact as a hunter its better to keep 2 pieces of t9 until you can swap to 4set sanc t10 purely because the set bonus is so good.

      In the end – make your own pugs and set the rules. I run a lot of pugs on my alt and I don’t use any addons like GS or EG. Friends of friends, guildies and PuGs who’ve impressed me in other pugs. If i’ve never met them I spend 5mins on the armoury looking at their item choices and how they’ve gemmed/enchanted as 9 times out of 10 that will tell you more about their knowledge than a number will. If you want to make sure they know the content – ask for an achievement but accept a 10version of it as well.

      Good luck finding something that works for you whether it be guild or pug.
      .-= Echo´s last blog ..Update! =-.

      • If I go back to playing a lot, I very likely will start leading my own PuGs. Over the years, I have stopped actually socializing with people outside of my own little circle of RL friends and guildmates. Maybe it’s time that stops.

        And that’s one reason that my GS has taken a hit, too. I’m using an i200 shield and libram, one of which is best in slot, and the other hasn’t seen a single upgrade drop in the time I’ve played the character.

  20. so quit…next!

    I left WoW 2yrs ago and haven’t looked back. I look at wow as a game to play for 4 months, then move to the next. Why give Blizz $120+ a yr when there are so many other games and things to do in life if WoW frustrates. And you care because some guy behind a avatar says you suck? well do you? does your real life suck? Because WoW doesn’t matter, only what you do in real life. Do you ignore your family, not finish a degree, not finish your novel, etc… because you play WoW so much? then quit! LOL

    I’m just saying, dont get so serious on it, WoW isn’t life by a long shot. I’ve enjoyed all the games I’ve played since I quit, the trips i’ve taken, learned to Scuba Dive, I could go on. Now I’ll come back and play Catalysm some but only for 4 months. That is how long I play a WoW expansion, (skipped WotLK), then I move on to other stuff. 2011 is D3, SWTOR, and probably a few other games as well, I only have a short window for WoW which I’ll only play about 20hrs a week. Too many woman in the bars, too much beer waiting to be drank, too much weights waiting to be lifted, too much beach & then snow to play in, live life and don’t fret over pixels…peace

    • You make a good point: “Does my real life suck?” Oh, God, no! I’ve never been happier, actually.

      I used to do all the things you mentioned; I was quite addicted to WoW. But I got over that a few years back, which is why I refuse to schedule time for it and typically PuG when I get the hankering to play. Now, I’m 2/3 done with my novel, happily married, and trying to figure out when I want to start a doctoral program. I’m in a good place.

      But you’re right: the frustration isn’t worth it. My wife asked me the other night why I play a game (and pay to play it, at that) that makes me mad 2/3 of the time I play it. I didn’t have a good answer for her, either.

      I do what I can to try and keep from getting too involved in MMO gaming and “fretting over pixels” as you put it, but as a life-long gamer, it’s in my blood. I’m doing better at keeping it in check, though, but GearScore irks me. The idea behind it bothers me, and it’s a sociological problem that can be construed into real life. The need for material worth over anything else. Maybe that’s what bothers me, and I’m just projecting… :P

  21. lol I can understand the dilema. I’ve quit WoW twice. The first time I wouldn’t even try it when it came out because having been a UO player, and then EQ, I didn’t want to get sucked into another MMO…but alas I tried it out and it “hooked” me in on session back in 2005 lol. So I played, and I played ALOT, too much actually. Finally I looked at the bug raids that had just came out and threw in the gauntlet. Plus I was sick of MC, sold my account.

    So fast forward some and about 6 months before TBC I decided to reroll and play again. Once again ended up HC lol, started on a brand new server and leveled pretty fast, started with a guild at 52 and we were the only pre TBC to clear BWL. Of course with PVP weapons available for the first time it wasn’t as “hard” as before the insane PVP honor grind. But my guild wanted to put together “perfect” groups in dungeon runs and I felt like I was spending too much time in the game after hitting 70 in TBC. So I quit again and never tried WOtLK.

    I know when the exp comes out I shouldn’t play or I’ll get hooked again haha but i will only play for a few months. It looks like you are balancing things pretty good but I’m the same way, I get competitive in it and would want to improve and have epics.

    Well g’luck on the decision. My next game will probably be Monster Hunter Tri on the Wii, wish it was on PS3. but i’m currently playing in Afghanistan so no gaming for me atm lol.

    This is the first time I came to your site, daily reader of Tobold for all things gaming, but I’ve marked it and will come back; you have interesting things and I enjoyed glancing at the book posts as I’m an avid reader as well. Currently looking at investing in an ereader and deciding between the Nook & Kobo.

    • Glad to have you here, Kaib, and I’m glad you enjoyed the stuff you glanced around at.

      I would suggest the Kindle over the Nook or Kobo simply because of the library that Amazon has. I haven’t used either other physical reader, but I’ve tried their iPhone apps, and the Kindle app is definitely better than both of the others. If that’s any indication, I would go with the Kindle reader, too.

  22. Rated BGs are gonna suck because all that will happen is someone will make a mod that shows your “PVP gearscore” and in order to do a rated battleground you’ll have to be in a premade group that will demand a certain GS. I think tobold summed it up the best though…WoW has turned into super mario. Can you jump over the flag? Oh oops, got soda in the control pad and I ran off without jumping. yay.

    • Rated BGs are going to require a group going in? Seriously? If that’s the case, that might just be one more nail in the coffin for me. The rated BG system is something I was very much looking forward to in Cat because it would allow me to progress at the level I want to at my own schedule. If I have to constantly have a premade, then that cuts it completely out for me. (PvPers are generally more jerkish than PvEers when it comes to groups even now).

  23. Anti-casual elitism is the bane of raiding? Hoo boy. Ok. Let me introduce my character.

    http://eu.wowarmory.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Twilight%27s%20Hammer&n=Kaaterina (Likely out in PvP gear, but you can see what I did in the game.)

    I’m a casual player. I don’t use Gearscore. I don’t even like Gearscore. However, it doesn’t bother me in the slightest. Reason? I do not PuG.

    The easy solution out of your dilemma is as easy as ‘Get a guild’. The decidedly harder solution would be to ‘lead your own raids’ but I agree but no one is cut for leading so we’ll just let that aside.

    But ‘Get a Guild’? Not a hardcore raiding guild, just a guild in which people are not terrible at the game. That means, no accepting people just because they’re ‘friendly’ but having some standard of joining, like an application process.

    Look at it from a raid leader’s perspective. PuGs suck. Ok? They suck so much that, in order for it to be successful, you need either to overgear the content, have experience to wherever, or both. Given that there is literally NO way to judge a raider a priori on his skill, you use the only other metric you get. The arbitrary number you rant against.

    So, ‘Get a guild’. I accomplished everything I did (which let’s admit, it’s not hardcore) by having a guild (not anymore, I quit playing for different reasons). I played on average, less than 3 hours/day in this expansion. With no schedule set for raiding.

    To reply, there is no anti-casual elitism. I’m casual and I do not feel discriminated against. However, what peeves me off is entitled casual syndrome. People that are so bad and claim that they’re bad because they’re casual. They ruin the name for true casual players. And they’re rightfully put down by ‘elitists’. (much as I hate that word, ‘elitist’ is a entitled casual term for ‘wah, that raidleader has standards. NREF!1′)

    Who are you? Solving is easy, the solutions obvious. Cry and moan, entitled casual. Actually DO something against your predicament, that’s being a true casual.

    Much like real life, some problems do not go away by throwing more money (loot&gear) at them. Solve them smartly, do not bruteforce them and hope a miracle happens.

    • I did do something: I leveled this character, I ran heroics until there wasn’t any Triumph gear I needed, and I bought what BoEs I could afford to supplement that. I PvP’d and grabbed the upgrades that worked as stopgaps until I could get better PvE gear.

      And I did it while being a member of the guild I want to be in. Not because I can make their raids, but because I like the people.

      And I’m not an “entitled casual.” I just don’t want to be treated like I’m a bad human being for working a full time job, having a family and social life, and hobbies and projects that have nothing to do with WoW. Which is what the GS/Achievement linking culture does. I don’t have time to play even 3 hours a day like you mention. I don’t /want/ to play that much, either.

      Being a “true casual” is not setting the game to a schedule, not working your schedule around a game, which is quite the opposite. Being casual is having fun with the game in whatever time is allotted to you, and not treating the game like it’s a second or third job. And you know what? I want to have fun with /can/ be accomplished within the timeframe I have. I don’t care about actually finishing ICC right now. I don’t care about doing heroic 25 LK. I just want to be able to go and see the fights. But I can’t because I never had before. Because even though I’m geared and a nearly 6 year vet of the game, I’m lazy and stupid because I don’t schedule WoW playtime instead of seeing my wife in the evenings.

      I made things happen. I made myself get as geared as I am to be able to run the groups. What’s fun for me is not running the group, but being a part of it. I don’t want the stress involved with putting it together because that’s not fun for me. I couldn’t leave or afk if something important came up in real-life. Which is the definition of casual in my book. I do play smartly; I play by the rules that make the game fun for me. That’s pretty smart. Because if I didn’t, I would be playing a game and not having fun at it, and what’s the point in that?

  24. Don’t really understand why on earth you complain about something that is actually pretty awesome. GS, when used right is a tool to weed out people just like you who don’t want to go through the same process with gear as the rest of us did. 5k GS is stupid easy to get, and anyone with a working hand (no, you don’t need two) can get that in 1-2 days maximum. I dinged 80 on my alt, and 3 days later, with 0 yes _ZERO_ raids, I got to 5.2k GS easily, without buffing it with stupid high ilvl items (trinkets). If I had a bit more gold, I could have broken 5.3k barrier easily.

    In conclusion. If you think that gearing up via heroics / crafted gear is boring, don’t do it. But don’t complain when people who have done it (aka, people with more GS than you) don’t want to play with you.

    • So you’re saying you bought your way into a 5.2k GS and didn’t really do anything else? Well my cash reserves are fairly low. What can I do? And how many hours a day did you play to get that kind of gearscore in that time frame? I can assume you average maybe 10-15 badges an hour chain running heroics, provided you get a good group every time, and even just the full 5pc T9 costs 210 total, so you’re looking at at least 15sh hours there. And that’s not including off-pieces that don’t include And I’m sorry, I don’t have the kind of life where I can dedicate that kind of time in a day or two. I don’t have the disposition to where I would /want/ to.

      Here’s the thing though, Realist: I /did/ gear up through heroics. I did buy some crafted gear that I could afford. I just didn’t do it in a day or two like you suggest I do. Where did I say that I didn’t do this? I think the heroic grind is boring, yes. So I spaced it out instead of bumrushing through it and making myself hate the game.

      And you know what? People /still/ don’t want me in their ICC group because I had never done it on that character–I had on my Shaman. And because, even if I had, the minimum requirement they set was so high that it didn’t matter. The group leaders wouldn’t take me because my “easily worked for” GS as you put it was not as high as someone who had been raiding ICC since Christmas. They wanted the game handed to them, which is strangely, what I’m being accused of in most of these comments.

      And it’s not what I want. I just want a fair shot at seeing the game I pay for, without being told that I don’t care about it enough to advance, which is ludicrous.

      • I want to respond to a portion of this comment, specifically:

        “The group leaders wouldn’t take me because [my gearscore] was not as high as someone who had been raiding ICC since Christmas. [...] I just want a fair shot at seeing the game I pay for, without being told that I don’t care about it enough to advance, which is ludicrous.”

        From the sound of this, you were given a fair chance: the player with the highest gearscore gets the raid invite. Other players had higher gearscores, so they got the invite. I think it would be hard to argue that the raidleader’s decision was made on the basis of personal bias.

        Put yourself in the raidleader’s shoes: why take you, at ~5000 gearscore over somebody with 5500 gearscore? Answering this question will get you a lot closer to a raid invite than making a bogeyman out of the gearscore addon or “elitist” attitudes.

        I think one of the assumptions in this discussion is that paying customers have a right to experience all the content. But when it comes to content that requires a group, the transaction is no longer between you and Blizzard; nine or twenty-four other people are now a part of the equation. You do not have a right to their time or attentions any more than they have such a right to yours. A good analogy here might be romantic relationships. Everybody should be free to seek out a significant other, but you aren’t entitled to anybody’s affections. It has to be mutual. At least to me, the complaints that you can’t get in a raid sound much like complaints of being unable to get a date.
        .-= Lujanera´s last blog ..The tank shortage solution =-.

        • I really do like that analogy of dating. It makes a lot of sense. And it gives me time to laugh at a lot of mental images it conjures. ;)

          However, the main counterpoint in taking someone with 5k instead of a 5.5k player is whomever contacted the raid leader first. Both are above the minimum requirement for the group, so in my mind, it’s first come, first served. The group could be full otherwise. Now, there can be other limitations, such as needing a Shaman for Heroism or wanting a Prot Paladin for an AoE pull or two, but class issues aside, I am sternly of the mindset that if a player meets the minimum requirements (in a game), then that portion of the game should be as open to them as it is to someone who vastly overgears the content.

  25. I agree with you 110% and I have had the same gripes for quite a bit longer already. Funnily enough in the beginning the situation was such that I was on the verge of making it into the raiding, but there was not room for another tank back then. Plus that the schedule was off my scale.

    Now the guild is seeking for tanks for the raiding teams (two tens and one 25′er), and they are doing that from outside of the guild. The group was excellent when I was levelling up my tank from around lv70 and I never felt left out. But when I hit lv80, the guild was raiding in Ulduar on progression and the whole atmosphere changed. I geared through heroics, made it up to that level and the emphasis in the game changed to ToTC10/25. My casual faulty was that I was one step behind both the raiding and the PUG scene.
    My patience (yea, I have two characters who are The Patient now) as a player ran out when I noticed that as I won’t fit into the raids (thus staying out of the boss achievements you mention as well as badges to improve the gear) I can’t make it to the PUGs, either.

    Now the situation has changed again: the progression raiding core has lost several members due to the fact that ICC has been seen, and only the hard core ones are still around for the heroic versions. They are lacking tanks, like I mentioned, but how could I apply with this gear? No wish to spend even more time to gear up…

    So I’m really considering quitting the game, too. Even though I have found the SAN people who are not into raiding in that guild, I still crave the one thing anyone capped inWotLK.

    I want to kill the Lich King.

    C out
    .-= Copra´s last blog ..Random of the day =-.

    • I’m with you, Copra. My goal for over the summer was to eventually kill the Lich King. With the 30% buff in ICC, there’s no reason that shouldn’t happen. But even with the inclusion of the buff, people have not slackened their stupid GS requirements any.

      I feel you with the guild thing, too. I love my guild. But until just very recently, all my characters were behind where they needed to be to actually hit a raid and progress. Now that I finally can get into the raids with them, I don’t have time. And when I try to PuG to at least not waste that week’s lockout, I get turned away because I didn’t have time before.

  26. Do let me get this straight, you don’t want to put any effort into gearing up through heroics because it’s boring, yet being carried through by people with much better gear and far more experience would be just fine? How about you start your own group and find people who are willing to go with you and either learn the instance alongside you or fill in a raid ID slot and share some experience with you and the group? Hopefully I will never have to run icc10 again, but god forbid if I ever do end up in a group for it I really would rather make sure the group I go with runs at 100% effeciency for the entire duration. I don’t have time to waste on random casuals to learn each fight, or any fight, for that matter.

    • When did I say that I didn’t want to run heroics? When did I say that I /didn’t/ run heroics? It is boring. It’s mindnumbing, actually, but I did it. I never said I wanted to be carried through by people with better gear; in fact, I said something closer to that I didn’t understand why people with better gear would even bother pugging with us second-class citizens to begin with.

      As I said earlier, I don’t want to start my own group. I don’t like the added stress from it in the few hours I get a week to play a video game for fun. It’s not worth it to me.

      And good luck even finding a raiding guild that runs at 100% efficiency these days. Especially in a 25-man.

      And if you have to waste those 2 minutes telling “random casuals” where to stand in a PuG, then I don’t want you to waste your time on us, either. You can’t afford the 10 minute setback that a wipe would cause the group if someone stood in the fire by accident? Then don’t PuG. Period. It comes with the territory, and players should know that going in rather than expecting every high-GS and linked Achievement to be the exception. It’s not going to be.

      You have the specific mindset that I am arguing against in this post. Your time is apparently more valuable than mine because you’ve done the fights before or you’ve been luckier on a few drops than I have. And let me tell, you, Afalach: it’s not.

      I don’t mean to come across as a jerk here, but what gives? Why the hostility and misconstrued words? And not just to you, but all the people who claim that I’m lazy and won’t treat WoW like work. Is it because I call myself a casual? Because I dare to say that there are systems in WoW that don’t operate on a higher plane? The game is fun, but the heroic grind is awful. So I spread it out. I did /not/ say I would not do it. The PuG atmosphere of assigning scores to people’s worth is not something I want to be a part of.

  27. Read all the comments above…..

    I left WOW for a year and a half after leveling 3 80′s in less than 2 months. I got bored. Saw nearly all the content and the game was too easy. Surprise surprise when I return and see GS and the same elitist attitude that has infested most other MMO’s out there. All I can say is Welcome back to High School everyone. Needless to say I unsubbed again and will not be coming back. EVER. I won’t spend my time and money to be chastised by someone on the other side of the screen because I don’t meet an arbitrary score. No thanks, not my cup of tea. There are other, more intelligent things, I can do with my time and money.

    If you are really torn about staying you may want to look at it this way… why pay good money to be laughed at?

    ZR

    • That’s actually one reason why I started playing DDO, ZR. I figured that if the game was half as good as I kept hearing, it would be a much more intelligent place to spend my time and money. And so far it has, even though I’ve spent no money on it yet.

      I don’t see a lot of good reason to pay to be mocked. I’m with you a hundred percent. The only reason I haven’t canceled my account right now is because I still have RL friends who play that I chat with when I log on, and that’s the one of the only ways I have to keep in touch.

  28. Quoting you here : I was able to get him to right at 5000 GearScore, which is plenty enough to raid any non-hardmode content in the game.

    This is where we kinda disagree. I’m not sure if 5k is enough for ICC 10 LK fight. Absolutely not for ICC 25 LK fight which is not a hard mode. From your text it was easy to assume that you stopped doing heroics (or started trying to get into raids) when you got all you can from Triumph badges, leaving you at 5k GS when in fact you can still get upgrades from ‘em.

    We totally agree on achievements. Those can be carried to and mean absolutely nothing, kinda silly to even ask for them.

    My Emblems/h were rather fast. Not as fast as on my main who is a tank, but on my alt (healer) I spent most 5 mins in queue, 10-15 mins in instance. Normally 4 instances per hour, minimum off 20 badges per hour, more on nice instances like CoS. If you are only a DPS, then it’s a bit harder, have to buy a tank to queue you/run with you (Or spec tank since yer a paladin for instant queues) or get a friend to run with you.

    After giving this a lot of thought. I don’t think it’s fair to blame GS and Achievements for you missing out on your fun and chance to kill the big bad guy. WoW is a timesink game, and to experience the end game content, you just have to put in the (unhealthy amount of?) hours. Even without GS, people would still cherry pick players, I do that too. I use GS + general sense (enchants and gems + talent spec. Elitistgroup addon helps) to determine if I want to raid with the said person. I think anyone who has done the heroic grind, has the enchants and gems with a valid spec is viable to raid at least ICC 10.

    I think you need some casual and friendly guild. I would suggest RP realms, even if you aren’t into RP, the “GS disease” as people call it hasn’t spreaded there, despite my best efforts ^^. At least on my realm (The Sha’Tar EU), the moment someone mentions GS on trade he gets flamed into oblivion for being an elitist prick.

    • What continued upgrades can I get from the Triumph badges? You say I can still get upgrades from them. I can’t find them. I have an i245 breastplate, 251 shoulders. I have the ring and the trinket. I have my T9 pieces. I guess I could buy the i245 helm, but I honestly think that would be a waste since it’s so margin and not inclusive of a set bonus. I checked the vendor again before posting this, and other than that one item, I’m done with Triumph badges.

      I’m with you on that anyone who has done the heroic grind, has the enchants and gems and a valid spec is able to do ICC10. That’s all I’m saying.

      RP realms are out, though; I’m not leaving the friends I have on this server, even has Horde entices me.

  29. All I’m saying is I won’t waste my time teaching people. We all had to start learning the encounters, i was there for everything from naxx onward in this expansion. If I don’t want to bother people that are where I was months ago, I won’t. Period. If you want to get where I am, do like I did and find people that are in the same boat as you are and learn. It’s not a sense of entitlement, but I only play wow for 12 hours total per raid reset, I show up at raid time and log off after the raid is complete. I don’t have time to waste in a group that is relearning any encounter, I’ve got enough to do with the last couple encounters I have left in this expansion. And if I do choose to pug, you better be damn sure that I won’t be in a group that is learning anything, I just don’t have the time for it.

    • You have more time during the week to play than I do. I don’t get 12 hours a week to play. If I did, that would be marvelous. Instead, I generally get between 5 and 8 (or, more accurately, I try to allot myself that amount so as not to go overboard and neglect other aspects of my life). So wouldn’t that make my time more valuable than yours? You say you don’t have the time to teach me (or players like me), but why are your two minutes for an explanation worth more than mine when mine are at a higher premium, relatively speaking?

      • And… normal raid strat prep from a proper raid leader takes more than that 2 mins you could be giving pointers to newcomers and so on. Afalach, I find it kind of idealistic to even think that there is such a group which would be on the ‘same boat’ at this stage of the game, condensed in one or two servers, who could take on the progression route which you – and so many other early raiders – have taken to learn the instances.

        Its not real, dear.

        Reasons why:
        progression is dead because Blizz has introduced the emblems covering the lower raid instances where you would have learned the raiding basics “naturally”.

        So pucker up and start giving the new raiders some guidance. Cataclysm is still few summer months away, and sooner or later you will be stuck with the newbie raid, because there are no veterans to run with.

        Oh, and don’t forget that we casuals are actually paying for your extensive raiding habits. Blizzard has already noted that by keeping the casual subscribers happy, the game has constant income. How long will it take from the elitistic raiders to realize that they can really help Blizz to this end?

        C out
        .-= Copra´s last blog ..Random of the day =-.

        • It’s true. The problem with TBC raiding was that no one who /could/ raid was attuned or had been taught how to through the older raids. Now, the content is open to everyone, but the raid mechanics are still at a loss. The playerbase of PuG raid leaders think that because /they/ know how to raid and have done it, everyone should have. And that’s just not the case these days.

  30. I always have issues with people who say they ‘Hate GS’.

    No, you don’t hate GS. You hate the people that have no idea how to use it properly and create those ’6kGS for ICC-10 Norm, Link Achieve first wing!’. And if you still say you hate GS, then you are simply giving those people a pass, because in your mind it’s gearscore and not them.

    Please remember, GearScore was initially created for one reason. To show that, due to item budget, someone in an Epic Chest, Epic Weapon, and the rest of the gear blues is ready for Naxx-25. Originally, for getting into Naxx most guilds were ‘All purps or nothing’. The very people that the addon was created to assist is the same group that the idiots out there are using GS to target them as ‘bad’. If you’ve ever listened to Arxkanite talk about his addon, he’s the first one to lash out at those people. Most of the idiots that use it just install it and use the mouse-over number, never even opening it fully.

    Anyone that uses it as a tool knows it is much more then a number. It shows spec, amount of gear that is PvP, raiding/achievement history. It also has a listing of what ‘Base’ gearscore is needed for things. If you notice, even some of the people who posted above probably have never opened the ‘suggested base’ page. Icc-10 is 4700, 25 is 5100. Beej is 300 points above ICC-10 starting.

    Why the long post and stand up for it? As someone who works on Rawr, I know what it’s like to have people condemn your addon/program for being ‘elitist’ when it’s the very people we’re trying to help that are doing the condemning.

    tl;dr: 4700 is all that’s needed for ICC-10 and gear score even says this. A simple check of the boss-kill tabs you can check how many heroic PoS and HoR kills they’ve had. The difficulty of these bosses are no more then any ICC boss, so if someone can do them, they can do ICC. So, hate the idiots who just use the score, not the addon that’s just a tool.

    • Anti, you’ve hit the nail on the head better than I did. I don’t like GS. I never will, as it’s a tool that creates that kind of elitist mentality. But you’re right in that the WoW GS culture is not a vacuum. It’s the people who only utilize the mouseover numbers that give the addon a bad name.

      But to give the addon a pass by just condemning them is wrong, too. That’s like saying that the nuclear bomb is harmless unless people use it to kill people, or that heroin is awesome as an antidepressant until it’s abused by a junkie. (yes, I know; those are /extremely/ hyperbolic analogies). My point is that neither can be judged without the other; they are not mutually exclusive once the problem has begun.

      I do think you’re right, though, in that my anger is misplaced in the addon alone. I hate Damage Meter junkies, too. But I don’t hate Recount. I hate it’s abuse when it makes Heroics or raids nothing more than an epeen competition. I’ve booted people from PuGs before for abusing it. And I didn’t get as up in arms about it as I do GearScore.

  31. I have two questions!

    1) How does this relate to your posts on a self-diagnosed ‘addiction’ to MMOs at one point in time? Why has Blizzard, with their hundreds of millions of dollars, been unable to retain your interest in their game?
    2) How does this relate to Flow (psychology)? Why isn’t Gearscore ‘flowing’ properly?!
    .-= Taemojitsu´s last blog ..Lame title is lame =-.

    • The reason I won’t let myself dig in and schedule raids is because of the addition I faced years back. I don’t want to fall into the same pattern I did before, and I know that I would. By keeping myself ultra-casual, I have no fear of becoming so enamored with the gear grind that I must be online all the time.

  32. Pingback: The Argument for Elitism – Part I « Life in Group 5 – A Resto Shaman Blog

  33. Hey, man. While I totally understand why you would feel that way, I have to say that I have never experienced that kind of Gearscore elitism. Maybe it’s my server, (Echo Isles) but as a player in exactly your schedule situation, I have never been turned down because of my gearscore, and I have seen only one player turned down because of his. He had 4500 and wanted to get into 25man ICC. Yeah, there are people who abuse it when forming groups, but those people are shut down when they try and recruit in trade.

    And, to be perfectly honest, I have seen more people frothing at the mouth out GS (no offense) than I have seen people actually abuse it. I was in a ToC25 pug. As you know, the gear requirement for that is much lower than ICC, so we had some lower-geared players. Someone pointed out, in a friendly way, that one of the healers had a low ilevel blue hit ring on, and suggested that he should get the triumph upgrade. The player immediately started cursing us out and calling us “gearscore whores” (pardon my french). He dropped group and spammed in trade for an hour about how the pug leader had kicked him for a low gearscore.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that while I do NOT in ANY WAY believe that GS is the “End-all, be-all,” I do think it’s a useful tool that can and has been abused, but not nearly as much as people are seeming to claim.

    ~PK

    • That kind of reaction (the one the player had in ToC) is absurd to a different level. It’s someone projecting insecurities toward the other players at that point.

      Any tool can be abused; I just get the feeling (from my anecdotal experience, admittedly) that GS is abused more than other tools, even damage meters.

      • Oh, agreed. I was pointing out that it goes both ways.

        I totally agree that it’s abused too much, just not as much as some people describe.

        • That’s very likely the case. As with all anecdotal evidence, the scale of the perpetration is often exaggerated for one reason or another. There’s no way I can list the times my gameplay has or has not been affected in some way by GS, but the negative aspects sure to stand out more.

          For every person left out of a group unfairly, I’m sure a run somewhere benefitted by not taking a 2900 to ICC. My only qualm is that the distinction could have been made by just inspecting that person and drawing a conclusion instead of assigning them a score. :)

          • THAT is what bugs me the most. I get the feeling that some folks like the number better than trying to rationalize that character as another human being. I have been in a few pugs where the leader was looking at GS to the exclusion of everything else. I remember one instance where he permitted a mage in some upgraded T9/some T10….who was stacking spirit and int on his gems….and had a mongoose enchant on his staff. >_< Needless to say, most of us left.

            • That’s why I hope that there’s an upgrade to GS that weights gems/enchants/PvP items in the future. There would be no way to really police it other than item quality, but it’s possible to program the addon to deduct a certain number of points if, for instance, a Paladin has spirit or a Hunter has SP. It wouldn’t be that hard of an algorithm to implement.

              I think that would go a long way to making the addon tolerable.

              • I think there may be an addon that does that….the name escapes me. Either way, there are websites that do that, like imba.hu. It’s been done outside the game, and it shouldn’t be too hard to do in-game.

                One thing, how do you feel about achievements being incorporated into this hypothetical number? Only raid achievements, of course.

                • I loathe the idea. To me, that defeats the purpose of being able to alt. Even GS makes not of it in the experience tabs, but to actually incorporate it into the number would do more harm than good. I mean, I could have killed Heroic-25 Arthas and be an awesome healer, but I would get penalized for not having done that on my Druid. I think that’s something we shouldn’t mess with as players.

  34. Let me offer you the flip side perspective. Is it fair for someone who took time and effort to gear up by running heroics, creating crafted gear, etc. to have to roll against someone who just jammed to level 80 is still wearing lvl 70 epics and took zero effort to gear up on their own because they think “I’ll just join a pug and get gear?” I’m not saying that one should require people to ridiculously outgear an instance, but putting in even a modicum of effort before expecting to stroll into ICC is just being considerate to your fellow players.

    • I think it is fair, yes. Because if that player who is wearing level 70 epics helped on the boss kill, then he or she deserves the loot. They spent the exact same amount of time killing that boss than anyone else did, regardless of the preparation ahead of time. If they were there for the kill, then they should get the loot. If they were able to be carried, then so be it. Their time is not any less valuable than mine, once the task has begun.

  35. Hi there,

    Just another person sick of the “GS as the only criteria to evaluate” crowd here. What is funny about this article is it reminds me of one I wrote a few years ago regarding gamers only playing to win and not playing to experience the game. You can find the article here – it alludes to Reese’s peanut buter cups for all you PB lovers out there :-D

    http://truthseeker1234.wordpress.com/2008/01/31/theres-no-wrong-way-to-eat-a-reeses/

    I think that article I linked was in response to the straw that broke the gamer’s back. I love the first Empire Earth game but the online multiplayer community had devolved from a mix of casual and competitive players to purely competitive players as people went on to other games. Thus when I came back to the game it was a totally different experience from the one I left. Instead of having fun building massive cities and pulling off epic world scale wars on varying technology levels I just kept getting harassing chat from my teammates over and over about how my “build order” was wrong. “Build order” is basically the “gearscore” equivalent of the Real Time Strategy game genre I guess. Anyways people were ruining my experience just because I didn’t build a Temple at 2 minutes, a barracks at 30 seconds, exactly 4 infantry by 45 seconds, etc… Needless to say I soon quit playing for good as the entire game had optimalized to the point of following some script – a task well suited for a robot – not a human. Waging epic world scale wars is fun – following a build order is manual labor.

    Anyway I played WoW back during the 2005 beta and way back in 2006 for a time. I recently came back to it a few months ago after quitting for nearly 3 years. When I quit 3 years ago there were no such things as gearscore and other such add ons to instantly evaluate players. Thus one would think that people weren’t as bigoted then as they are now regarding what other players are wearing. Unfortunately though it was still a huge point of contention back then. Back when I quit I was never that hardcore of a WoW player anyway so I had mostly quest greens and an occasional blue and purple at level 50 something. I remember being in Ironforge a while back and announcing I was leaving the game. All I got was harassing chat from no less than 40 or 50 people in succession about how I was a “noob” and how I should quit now because my gear sucked etc… It was the exact same experience as Empire Earth – the game had boiled down to people just wanting to be the best and not appreciating the art or storyline or social dynamic of WoW. It was a “play the game well or we don’t want you here” mentality. Maddening to say the least when my vision of playing the game is just having fun – not grinding for gear for 14 hours. As I tell many people I already had 2 jobs once – I don’t need a 3rd.

    To wrap this up a friend of mine told me the story of the Frog and the Scorpion once. I think this fable about the true nature of people nicely sums up the disappointment I have in gaming today. Link below:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Scorpion_and_the_Frog

    I think it is true what they say – that you can’t change the scorpion’s nature. In this regard – you can’t change the bigoted nature of WoW players and their obsession with gear. They were all “gear whores” then long long before gearscore came out so it doesn’t surprise me that they are all “gear whores” now.

    I agree with Frick’s point above though that players who put time in the game have the right to choose other players to join the group who put in an equal amount of dedication – no problem there. My problem is players who actively try to disrupt the enjoyment of other player’s by making rude comments about damage per second (dps), gear, and other such things. Instead of reasoning, “It would be nice if you didn’t join next time since you’re holding our team of players who put time in to learn the game back by having to support you” they just go into childish rants such as OMFG YOUR DPS SUCKS, WTF YOUR GEARSCORE’S ONLY 2k? LOL -FAIL. Yes very constructive and helpful commentary there – it really makes me sympathetic to your point of view :-P Anyway if WoW wants to deal with this they might have to do something odd like they did with battlegrounds – twink and non-twink modes. Basically maybe the game has to be tiered even more than it is now (especially at level 80) so that casual players can find each other and not get mixed in with the “play or die” crowd.

    • I do think the accessibility that I lauded for so long has been a major detriment to the playerbase because of GS. Casual players are no longer able to identify with one another and we get grouped in with hardcores. I would love to find a guild that does Ulduar hardmodes right now on my offnights. Will I? Not likely. I’d love to try and actually see the raids I missed. Which is why I am so irritated I wasn’t able to get into ICC for a long time. I want to see that content.

      The community truly makes an MMO. That’s why I am so disappointed in WoW right now. The community I fell in love with from pugging Strat and Scholo and UBRS back in the day is gone. Maybe Cataclysm will bring that back when dungeons require more than AoEing things and never talking. Maybe rated BGs will help. Maybe maybe maybe.

  36. I’m going to play the Devil’s advocate here for a minute so please bear with me. If I were to pug icc, I would not invite someone who doesn’t know the fights. If you don’t have an achievement on your alt. No big deal, link your main or a toon of yours that has the achieve. I will even accept a vote of confidence from one of your in game friends that has the achievement. Because I don’t miss the days of leading Uld pugs that I have to explain every bit of every encounter every week x3 Characters. Or TOC x5 Characters. And certainly not ICC x8 Characters. If you don’t know the fights. boobtube has them, tankspot has them, wowwikki can tell you what to do/expect. I put my effort into putting together a pug that I expect to go far. You put in yours. (Also if you are stoned or drunk while you are playing. Never ask me for an invite.)

    Now back to GS. Because you can so easily cheat GS by using PVP gear that only takes you about 2 weeks to farm and gives you a good 5600gs. You can’t rely on that alone. Pro’gall/Cho’gall puggers have been doing portal inspections to get that out of the way. If raid leaders don’t check my gear, I will not join that pug. Strong raid leaders will know that 3400ap as a Warrior is not going to cut it in icc. And they also know that a holy Pally with a 25000 mana pool and 5500gs probably wont be able to handle it either and is clearly wearing pvp gear or maybe even some ret gear. rofl.

    Love,

    Me and all the people who hate GS pugs

    • I still don’t get how the explaining the fight is so hard. To me, that’s part of leading a PuG. Spending 2-4 minutes before a boss explaining it comes with the territory. Does it get a little grueling and monotonous? Of course. But that’s because pugging isn’t the only way to play the game.

      I’ve seen videos and read strats on every ICC fight. But that doesn’t mean that I might not like/need a refresher directly before we pull.

  37. I had my first experience with GS within the last week. At first I had no clue what the PuG leaders on my server were talking about when they wanted my “GS” and to link achievement. I asked for clarification and when I got none, found out I had been put on ignore. So I did my research and have been these last couple of days and I have to say…I whole heartedly agree with you. It’s a good PERSONAL judging system, definitely one that should have have been made public to the masses. It’s further proving how ignorant the people on my server have become. I remember when PuGs were made based on skill and at the time, whether or not you really were ready for endgame content.

    In my case, I got turned away from a 10 man ONYXIA because of my GS (which, admittingly, is only 1300). I’ve been around since almost the start of WoW in general. I know the fight, I know how to work it and hell I’m sure that group still would have done fine considering I’d run a couple PuG 10/25 mans with them pretty recently.

    I’ve been running heroics since I got my account back (thanks hacker for leaving me over 2k gold in ore :D ) and have increased my skill, rotation, gear and changed my spec a bit. It’s proved a lot better for me after checking through things just a few hours ago. I was doing it personally to learn the new content after being away for nearly 5 months and find myself a new raiding guild. Instead I got slapped in the face by GS PuGs who care nothing for skill…and sadly there’s no program that can really measure a player’s skill. Basing a person on an invisible number and achievements they can’t get is complete and utter bullshit to the point I will be trying to get into more groups asap.

    I know what I can and cannot run right now. I know what I feel most comfortable doing until I’m READY skill and knowledge wise to move on. I ignore the ICC groups because I don’t feel comfortable going that far yet when I still haven’t even been able to “unlock” heroic use for about five instances. That irks the hell out of me. That Blizzard themselves is also in on it by basically saying “We’ll unlock this when we feel your ready, because to us, your gear sucks and you’ll die in .0005 seconds.”

    Really Blizzard? Really? Funny how that works huh? I’ve been dropping BASIC, not heroic, groups because of people who are not skilled and are continuous assholes just because they can. Hell just the other night I spent 4 hours on the last 5 or so bosses of Black Temple learning it (since I never got the chance) and helping others. It was a 25 man group that primarily consisted of 71-76 and only a couple 80′s besides myself. We did just fine until the Illidari Council where we wiped 10 or more times. Why? Because the person trying to describe the fight had us going about it all wrong. Knowledge and skill help more than GS does. I know BT is primarily a 70 raid instance, but when GREAT 80′s are wiping in it because of lack of skill that just further proves GS means nothing. I understood what was wrong after the second wipe, as did our two other tanks. By the 10th or 12th we told the fight leader to shove it, devised our own tanking strategy and OH LOOK AT THAT Illidari Council down in less than 5 minutes. Amazing how that works.

    I think it’s bound time we all message Blizzard and tell them to remove the aspect of GS. By doing so, it might force these morons to realize it means nothing and skill is what got them where they are today. Same with achievements. They’re nice, fun things to have (I love them for the xBox) but they really have no place in an MMO like WoW. That’s…all I have to say at the moment. I’m still at work and slowly falling asleep since it’s almost the end of my shift. Perhaps I’ll come back after a few more encounters with GS-morons.

    • I’d love to hear of more of these encounters. :)

      And your example in BT is just the kind of anecdote I love that proves that GS is not the ultimate tool of a raid leader. Instead, explanation is.

      The closest thing to a “skill” equivalency system WoW has are arena rankings, and those are as easily flawed and fooled as anything else. I have high hopes for Rated BGs to put some of that same kind of matchmaking in, but I have no idea how to measure PvE skill with a ranking.

  38. Pingback: If raid invites are like dating, gearscore is… « Lujanera's Tanking Notes

  39. hey,

    i agree only partially. with some frost badge gear from daily/weekly/tora and the crafted/boe items one can easily get to 5600-5700 gs without ever setting foot into icc. On my server missing achievements is the bigger obstacle. I encountered that problem on my twinks. I got around it by waiting for “last minute” raids on tuesdays before the reset when everyone has a desperate need for healers/tanks.
    Before gs there was already gear screening in the form of how many tier items one had equipped. Gs just expanded that to your whole gear.
    I am not a hardcore raider/player. I work full time and raid 2 days/week with my main + dailies on my twinks 3-5 days /week. With a lot of auctionhouse usage that puts me at 8h raiding + 3-5 * 45mins (1-2 dailies +ah) = 10- 12h of wow a week.

    • Oh, it’s very easy to get there in terms of “how”. The real difficulty in getting to 5500+ is the dedication of time. There’s either gold grinding, or just daily playing sessions to accrue frost emblems. And that’s aggravating to me. I shouldn’t have to play the game 7 days a week (even if it is only for an hour or less) to be able to experience what it has to offer. That’s my main problem with the newfound accessibility. Sure, it’s accessible to everyone, but now, the same amount of time is spread out over months instead of concentrated into weeks. I’m not sure if that’s any better. I’d rather something be hard than easy if it meant that it were actually accessible. Time is a far more valuable commodity than skill.

  40. As a long time WoW user, I completely agree on your situation. However, the ‘we need uber gear’ trend existed ever before that GS add-on was invented and it was usually laughable back then. But the problem in today is, better gives significant advantages even though the wearer is less skilled than one who have a step behind gears and skilled due to item design. Right now, we can only get iLevel 232 and a few 245 from Triumph badges and affordable AH prices. But ICC 10 man regular already drops 251 which is far higher than Ulduar hard mode gears that is harder to get even for now (with 20% buff? ICC is easier than Naxx in early 2009 with 5k GS as in my experience). What that huge difference in iLevel develops is basically ease up the ultimate end game content as to the entry level content which strangely leads to lazy and arrogant player base. This is all but the item design. They shouldn’t have implemented such a huge gap between contents. (and the most ridiculous item bank:ToC, I might add. I’m not sure why they’re still not dropping Frost badges from heroics)

    Gosh, I’ve been playing this game since 2004, from closed beta test in Korea. I had to discontinue the subscription due to real life issues just like you though. It’s really sad this game ended up like this. I might try Cata a bit, but I don’t expect much improvement from this state since their main direction is: Carrot on Stick.

  41. “I keep being told “GS too low.” I was even booted from an Archavon PuG on an alt because apparently 4k GearScore is just too low to even exist as a human being. I believe one guy told me to kill myself (seriously). I now understand that I should be ashamed of myself for being so undedicated to gearing my characters.”

    FIRST OF ALL! 4k gearscore? really? lets review what would happen in EVEN a guild run with 4k gearscore: Icewatcher (VoA10/25) will 1shot you (even his frozen orbs will kill you dramatically fast), Marrowgar’s bonestorm will kill you almost instantly! Even ToCr10/25 raids wont even let you in!

    SECONDLY!: I hate gearscore myself, but what ive been learning is with a higher gearscore the chances are you have more raiding experience, that shows me that you know at least some fights in ICC or RS. You have to raid this type of content in order to get where your gearscore is now! so wtf is everyones issue with it? i put 20$ on it says blizzard will eventually push gearscore out of the picture like they have been trying to do for a while now and they will put in there own “gear point” system so that you will not need the addon as blizzard ALWAYS eventually just makes your addons built into WoW because of popular demand. So Ya’ll (including me) can hate it all you(we) want to… fact is……. its here to stay…. so why whine about it when you have no say in the matter. People who judge by GS trump the amount of people opposed… so do yourself a favor and get a box of kleenex and stfu about it… just cause you guys cant get a pug(or group in general?) doesnt mean you should be bitchin about it, quit if you suck… so the games not for you! GO PLAY SOMETHING ELSE!

    Honestly! if you cant find a pug that will let you in? FIND A GUILD TO CARRY YOU AT LEAST! i just hate people that bitch about something when there “low” gs, but when they get higher gs? all of a sudden there hot shit and they dont bitch about the gs addon anymore. I have a lvl 80 DK, and lvl 80 Warrior (both dual spec tank/dps) with both gear sets…….. i never had the addon till about 2 months ago so i didnt even know my own gs,….. so i asked someone and they said that my tanking gs on DK was 6k and my warrior tanking spec was 5.8k… switched to dps on my DK and Warrior and was told that my gs on dps/DK was 6.1k and my dps/warrior was 6k… at this time i didnt know what that meants but i was told by the player that it was extremely good and that i was at least top 25 geared in my server…. so all in all……… STOP BITCHING AND JUST PLAY THE F*CKING GAME!!!! YOU MAY SUPRISE YOURSELF IF YOU CRY LESS!

  42. Just another typical WoW player…

    I guess you’re either underskilled or just a douche. 4k GS means you’re already cleared out Naxx 25 completely, in other words, equivalent to TOC entry spec. I’ve ran TOC 10 man with 4300 GS tanks and no-one had over 4500GS but we cleared 4/5 by the first try.

    Icewatcher isn’t harder than Hodir (10 man regular) in gearwise as far as my healing experience with my former guildies. Plus, he have 5.1k ish gearscore which is way overshoot for both ToC and VoA. With 30% buff, in case ICC, 5.1k GS is equivalent to 6.6k GS in terms of HP and spell/attack power. If people can’t down ICC 10 with bunch of 5k ish GS, they will never be able to even after Cataclysm since it’s not the gear but their skill.

    The fundamental problem is the game design. Blizzard dumbed down people by distributing tons of overpowered gears and deducing difficulties of raid encounters. The former obliterated the need of running low tier raids to remove any opportunity for new comers and alts to be attuned to their characters and basic raid mechanics while the latter transformed the game into a item farming fest which eventually led people like you to seek only ‘sure’ success on raid encounters rather than adventure.

    Moreover, being rude on people doesn’t help the game community at all. You might be ok with your current in game friends but no-one would continue subscription which leads to sure failure on game experience for MMO genre. If the trashy community continues to Cataclysm, I’m sure WoW won’t have another expansion.

  43. Oh Beej, it has been a long time. :)

    I absolutely love this post because this is EXACTLY why I quit WoW, except it wasn’t gearscore, but not having achievements. Basically, I was a very well-geared priest but if you didn’t have the ICC-10/25 man achievement, people just laugh at you in-game and it’s just really sad. This is a prime example of what the community in WoW has come to and honestly, in my opinion, Cataclysm will not be the savior of WoW as everyone seems to think. It’s just going to be more content, more imbalance, and more of Blizzard’s typical BS to appease to a wider demographic. Sure, Cataclysm is going to fun and great, you’re going to do all the quests, experience all that it has to offer, but when you’re threw with all that and progress onto the raiding point, it’s really just going to reach the same dead end that you’re in now. WoW is designed to have this devastatingly repetitive cycle of extensive elitism that can largely be blamed on the community within WoW, except WoW’s mechanics allow for all these things to happen, so both the game and the players within it are to blame.

    It’s quite sad really, a large portion of my friends have quit alongside me for the same reason and many more are quitting everyday. It’s really unfortunate, because if this wasn’t a problem and everyone had an equal opportunity to experience the raid content or just content in general that they are more than entitled to (by paying their subscription fee), than WoW might have retained maybe a little of its former glory.

    Trust me, I know exactly the kind of frustration you’re going through, it can be quite infuriating sometimes. Quitting and leaving WoW behind without looking back is the greatest antidote to the poison that is WoW.

  44. The request of Gearscore/achievment at the end is an obstacle made by the players to other players
    and ruin the whole game experience to new players.

    One solution that would allow new players get into the endgame without rolling a guild is to create random 10 icc random 25 icc with greater rewards.
    example made a random icc 10 with heroic rewards instead.
    This will made the game more intressting and difficult. its easier to kill a boss with all people with gear around 5.8 at least its what the users of gearscore suggest or they will not use it.

    Blizzaard already put some gear request for some instances, that could be done to the random icc raids also. How about killing icc bosses with random people. That will bring some use of the raid looking application that none uses.