Gearscore – A Duality of Purpose
Gearscore for those of you that might not be aware, is a convenient and booming Warcraft mod that takes into account the gear of a character/raider and compiles that into a tidy little all encompassing number by which a raid leader, or really any player can surmize the power of your character.
Sounds great! Yeah it is… sorta.
There are some flaws in the Gearscore mod, which we will discuss in a bit, but the real and overarching concern that I and others see with the mod is what it cannot ever account for, a players skill.
As a primary healer and a shade tree tank (read not so good) I can tell you that a Gearscore barely tells half the story. Have you ever been in a raid with a player, say a tank, who has lights out type gear but could not hold aggro? Yeah me too, it is called skill.
We generally label those players with great “characters” but no “character” as ebayers as we despise them. Conversely I have seen several undergeared players perform very well in all roles. Too bad for them, because Gearscore has created an environment where guilds spam for minimum scores for entry and raid leaders set limits on scores raid invites without knowing anything about the player.
Now while it sounds like I am bashing and calling for the end of Gearscore, I am not. I actually like the tool and enjoy using it for a benchmark on my gear acquisition. As a long time min/maxer it hits me right in my sweet spot. However this does not mean that I do not see the problems it is causing.
The mod itself could be improved upon, for example it does not take any enchants or gems into account for scoring (seeing a healer stack stamina gems tells me he is either a) clueless or b) not primarily a healer, both of which mean I do not want him healing in my raid!
But as stated, Gearscore can never account for the skill or even of a player, sure you could add achievement points to the equation, but that just muddies the waters with complication and still does not adjust for the person behind the avatar, his skill, his experience and even his attitude.
No the solution is for guild, raid and party leaders to use the Gearscore as a component of and not as the single determining factor in the assessment of a player. Take the time to talk to a player and you universally find the best candidates and in the end, the best experience.