Thursday, April 8, 2010


I saw a post on the forums about someone saying that a "skillscore" mod is needed instead of a "gearscore" mod.  Interesting idea but I have two major problems with a "skillscore" that I think any, even partly, rational person would agree with.
Measuring Skill

The DPS Shows skill argument:
How would you measure skill level?  DPS?  Good DPS does not, in any way, shape or form, equal skill.  It has already been show that with gear being easy to get that even a total imbecile can reach good DPS with decent gear and with the most minuscule amount of skill if they just put in the minimal basic effort.

The DPS in content argument:
Once you get better gear you can start to faceroll previous content.  That would skew the score so would not be good. Also, looking at it the other way around, I can go through old content and end up with less then 2K DPS while I rarely do less then 6K in any other environment. That would ruin the numbers as well no matter how you do it.  If you do it based on the DPS I do, my skill level falls because I only did 2K, if you do it based on content then doing 2K in deadmines is unheard of when you are at level so judging it like that would make my skill seem unmatched.

The DPS in content based on level argument:
Okay, so now doing deadmines will not be held against me being it would not be counted.  So lets take this battle to Deathbringer Saurfang where my gear and skills are more on level with the content.  Lets take two hunters being those are what I know best and throw them each on one side of the battle.  I'll put the other hunter on the right and I will take the left.  I took the time to make macros just for the fight, (the whole 10 seconds out of my life really took a long time to do that) something like targeting the bloodbeasts and firing a concussive shot.  The other did not, he manually targeted, that is assuming he targeted them at all for anything other then the kill shot.  Maybe the other hunter forgot to drop a frost trap or did not notice that one of the melee grabbed aggro instantly when they spawned and did not fire distracting shot and just fired damaging shots to try and get aggro.  The other hunter will end the battle with more DPS.  Does that mean he is better skilled because he did more DPS on a heavy target switching fight?  No it doesn't, it means he was worried about his DPS so much that he did not do what was required.  He did not waste his time doing frost traps, concussive shots and distracting shots because they would have gimped his DPS.

DPS Results: DPS does not equal skill.

Movement argument:
Okay, I am not the best Druid tank and not even remotely close to good even but I have a basic enough understanding to know that sometimes moving is not the best option for me.  Like that one fight in Hall of Stone against the maiden of grief.  If you are measuring who gets out of the bad stuff and how quickly they do this will skew my numbers completely.  You see, as a tank you want to be in the area effect when she casts Shock of Sorrow.  Otherwise things can get really messy fast.  I would lose points for not moving or lose extra points for moving into it on purpose.

Another movement argument:
More often then I can recall when I am on my hunter I am usually one of the main people to burn down Bone Spikes in the Marrowgar encounter and I would stay in the cold flame on purpose to get that Spike down when a Bone Storm is starting.  Reason being is that the tiny bit of damage I will take for standing there for 2 seconds is not equal to what would happen if I moved.  If I moved then one member of the raid dies. If that person is a healer it could mean a wipe is coming.  Not to mention, as soon as I get the shot off I can hit deterrence and not only avoid any other damage from the cold flame when I move now, but also deflect any damage the Bone Storm will give me.  So say I took 8K damage standing there, I stopped 8K damage I would have received anyway from the bone storm 2 seconds later.  I did not make any more work for the healers, I would have needed 8K healing anyway.  I also saved one of the members from certain death which could have ended up causing a wipe if they died.  I would lose skill points for not moving but if you ask the raid, and the healer I saved to keep us from wiping, that was the best 8K damage anyone ever took on purpose.

Movement Results: While moving is VERY important in any encounter you will face.  Sometimes knowing when not to move is better.  Movement does not equal skill.

I could go on but I think that explains it well enough.  Sometimes the obvious things that some say show skill can not be measured but a mod no matter how well it is made.  I wish there were a way to judge skill score with a mod, but there never will be.

Now, lets assume for a moment it was possible to make something so complex that it knows when doing the wrong thing is really the right thing and when doing less DPS is actually better.

Any Skillcore mod would track how you do in all your encounters.  It would message you movement, DPS, damage, healing, aggro, etc.  It would need to be on your system and keep track of your encounters.  Now lets totally screw up your skill score just for fun assuming that mod works well (even if it is impossible that it would)

You would just need to run a heroic or raid that does not have any fire or ice or green glowing floors over and over and over a few dozen times and your movement skills now go off the chart because you are never standing in the bad stuff.

We all have fights that we can faceroll.  There are a few fights I can hit 10K DPS just by slapping my hand on the keyboard every once in a while.  I could do that one over and over again until it gets my DPS skill score up to a nice high place.

I know that with my druid I can get such a huge aggro lead on some fights while others I have some issues with.  I can just run the ones that I am a complete arrgo magnet over and over until it seems like even someone that crits for 200K every shot could not over take me on aggro.

Firstly, how do you judge the poor Disc Priest now?  Run a heroic with an over geared group and a Disc Priest might run the whole thing without ever needing to heal even once because no one ever takes damage.  Being a skill mod for judging a healer would most likely take into account the amount of time someone was under a certain percentage of health this would skew things.  Either he is a uber healer as no one was never below 80% (even if he never threw a heal) or he is horrible because he never threw a heal.  Depending on the results it gives you can do two things to skew this.  Run with over geared people to make your healing skill score go through the roof, or run with friends and tell them to take off their chest pieces so you can build up some serious skill score for healing.

Outside influence:
Oops, your tank forgot he had his easter basket and flowers still equip and he drops like a rock and the mobs (about 12 of them because he is over geared normally and pulls a lot) come straight for you killing you.  You lose skill points because you died.  Even if it was not your fault.  Or in Ok one of the spell fingers gets a shot off on you.  You had a tiny bit of damage already, but their 80% damage is enough to kill you.  You lose skill points because someone did not interrupt it and the healer could not be bothered knowing you needed to be topped off.  Lots of things can drop your skill score when it has nothing to do with your skill, but the skill of the people that run with you.

The Ultimate SkillScore Mod.
It is called the human eye. The best way to judge skill is to run with people.  God forbid you actually put in an effort to get to know people and run with them a few times.  The world might shatter and break in half if that happened.  Having a mod tell you who has skill will never be able to help you because you can pick and choose people based on their skill score but those people will not know how to play together and no amount of skill can make a group meld to become effective together. 

I've wiped on Naxx doing the weekly with a group of completely over geared people... on trash.  Yes trash.  Also, skill is still one part of the whole package, a big part even, but I do not care how much skill someone has or how leet their gear is or what type of DPS they can pull off with their eyes closed.  If they are obnoxious arrogant assholes I want nothing to do with them.

I want to see a mod that judges that so I can avoid picking up people that think they are gods gift to the game.  That is one of those things I would rather not find out after running with them.  I want to know that before I even invite them to the group.

All this talk all the time about skill and gear and everyone misses what really needs to be addressed.  Skill can be learned, gear can be obtained but an asshole will always be an asshole.  There is no changing that.  When can someone make a mod of that so we can weed them out of the game?

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