It is a known fact that I hate Gear Score. I do not have it downloaded and I do not think I ever will. It has no place in my gaming life. If I want to know something about someones gear I will look at it. A number does not tell me anything.
There are plus sides and minus sides to Gear Score that I don't think I have ever seen anyone mention on any blogs and I do read a hell of a lot of them. After a recent run and reading something else completely unrelated about Gear Score on another blog it made me want to mention it. There are many plus and minus sides but I have two particular ones in mind.
Gear score sometimes hides the bad players.
That is in bold right at the beginning because it is not an opinion, it is a pure fact. A complete and total misconception of what Gear Score should be is the reason for that.
The Plus Side:
If you can call it a plus side really, but the plus side is that you get congratulations for doing something that was well beyond your gear score capabilities. I got into Heroic Halls of Reflection the other day as my random and the first thing I said was a warning to everyone there that I was not sure if I was geared enough for healing this yet. A cop out on my part really. First I knew I was geared enough, Second, the system would not have placed me in there if I where not geared enough, and Third, I knew well enough that I meant to say I do not think I am good enough at healing yet but fell back on Gear Score as the excuse for covering up the fact I am just not that good of a healer yet.
We made it through the gauntlet phases without much of an issue. Everyone stayed healed and the only one time that I got worried was when I got ice blocked when the tank did not have a prayer of mending, shield or even a renew on him. I was spamming my 5 key waiting to Penance the exact second I got out. Outside of that it worked out well. Everything that was supposed to die did and we didn't.
The Plus Side is that if I would have failed, but had kept the effort I had into it, it would have been looked at as a gear issue and not a skill issue when I know for a fact if we failed it would have been a skill issue indeed. I am not that good yet.
The other Plus Side is that I got people telling me how fantastic I did, one even told me that they did it with people that had 2K higher gear scores and it did not go as smoothly as it did. That plus is awesome for me. It made me feel good about my healing and in a way that will translate into me being less afraid to try things like that. A compliment is never a bad thing.
The Minus Side:
I know I've been in a ton of runs like this one I am about the describe. You have a tank that can't hold aggro for anything? You have DPS that my pet can out damage, with one paw tied behind his back? You have a healer that is healing the wrong people all the time? Yet somehow you finish the run. Maybe a few people died or came close to it but you made it and that is all that matters. Usually you will see someone say, "wow, that persons gear score was horrible I am amazed me made it".
The Minus Side is that when you get into a run like that and barely survive the offender (lets use the tank for this example) will think that his tanking was just fine and that he only needs to get some more gear. Saying that it is amazing we lived because of the tanks gear score makes the tank think that he did a good job and if he keeps doing exactly what he is doing then he will only get better as his gear gets better. That is a huge minus here. The reason it is a minus is because it is giving someone a false sense that it is the gear that will make them better when they could have done better with the gear they had if they were better at what they were doing.
The Minus Side is that people are inflating what is needed to do raid and even dungeons. The other day in a random someone said, the tank only had a 3500 gear score, this is going to be hard. Does anyone realize that if you are all in heroic blues your gear score would only be around 3300? So you are saying that you need gear better then heroics to do heroics? That is a huge minus side.
Gear score sometimes hides the bad players.
Now you can see where I am getting at with that statement of fact. Again, not an opinion. If I had failed at healing that phase of Halls of Reflection it would have been because I was not good enough at healing yet. Not because I was not geared enough yet. The tank that "survived" that run is now given the impression that he is good being he "survived" and he just needs better gear. Both cases, plus and minus, would be hiding bad players because of their gear.
Lets not even get into the dozens, nay, hundreds of 6500+ Gear Score players that suck. Just as low gear has those unspoken plus and minus sides the high gear does as well. Are you aware the number of people that have high gear score that get into raids so they can get even more gear just because they had a high gear score to begin with? Don't even start me on that one.