I want to talk a little bit about gear score and how I use it. I know I have mentioned before that I think gear score is a completely useless thing to use in order to decide if someone should be allowed to run content. It ranks right up there with linking an achievement in order to run something for me. I do find some uses for gear score though. Even Blizzard uses it to a lesser degree for matching individuals with appropriate level dungeons. Gear score though, has become something that people either use as a way to flash how great they are or brings about seething hatred. I am in the middle of the two extremes and I am going to explain why today.
When gear score first came out I thought it was the single most useless thing I had ever seen. All you saw were people flashing rediculously high gear score requirements to get into PuG raids for content that could be cleared in blue item level gear. In short it became a way to guarantee a smooth run, at least that was the notion that was trying to be crammed down everyone's throat. I dispised this very much when I started seeing it invade the guild channel chat and sometimes would say a snide remark or two in passing. That was probably not appropriate because I honestly do not believe people meant it in a malicious way, but I truly did dispise the whole concept.
I finally caved and started to look a little into the two gear scores that were out there. (WoW Heroes and the Gear Score Add-on) I personally choose to hold WoW Heroes gear score in higher regard because it takes into account the gemming choices and enchantment choices available. It also provides links to upgradable gear and enchants. When used properly, this is a tremendous tool for anyone regardless of how long you may have been playing the game. The Gear Score Add-on is litteraly just a score assigned to your gear with no basis for anything else.
I actually use both of these tools in regards to running random PuGs and also when looking at the guild in regards to who is ready to run what. Let me say that I do not require anyone to display a gear score to me in order to run with me because I find that sort of request to be offensive. When I zone into a random heroic I always quickly scan over the members of the PuG to see what the gear scores are. I use this to get a general idea of what kind of performance that I should be able to expect from the group. For instance, if I see a Mage that has a gear score of 4800+, then I fully expect them to be able to put out at least 2000+ DPS. I realize this does not guarantee that my expectations will be met, but it is a good bar of where they should be able to perform. In regards to the WoW Heroes gear score, I use that more for a personal source to see where my own gear is at and if there is anything that may be out of place, such as missing enchants, gems, sockets, ect. I also use it when deciding what to look at for the guild to raid. I tend to focus more on the actual gear it lists and a good way to see what enchants and gems they have on their gear. It then lets me know where they are in their own development. I rarely look at a fellow guild members actual score.
I wonder what the rest of the community uses the gear score for? Are you like me where you are in the middle and you use it as a personal measuring stick of performance or are you on one of the extremes of love it or hate it?