Gear score (GS)
def: An attempt by programmers to resolve a social / meatspace problem.
This I think pretty much boils down the reasoning behind GS.
PUG Raid leaders particularly have a difficult job for the current tier of content ensuring that those wishing to join have levels of gear and experience are up to the task. WoW by it’s very nature is very very arms length, there’s no way of properly interviewing someone in the timescales for a pug to see if they’re capable of holding the position. Inspecting gear is time consuming and doesn’t report on the stats and the armoury can be out of date giving inaccurate information (the tank who logs out in his soloing dps spec for example).
A way of mangling up iLevel, stats, and build into a pretty colour coded number making it easy to judge the capability of a player before inviting them to a raid / dungeon run.
Epic fail ready to go
In which we spot the flaw in the process. We can express it as a simple equation
Skill != Gear
but surely if they have the gear they’ve been playing enough to build up basic competencies at the role. Really… are you sure? My bear has a decent score, however I know he’s the weakest of my tanking alts simply through lack of play time in that role. I don’t instinctively know where the cooldowns are, where the taunts are, how to properly manage my rage, when to blow rage on a cooldown etc etc. Why? I’ve respecced the chicken form into bear and generated the gear by running in my ICC25 geared tree form.
What about that DK… awesome score, well apart from the spell plate…. and the cloth because we all know spellpower is epic for Death Knights? Are you sure you’ve never seen an alt with itemisation which made your eyes bleed (retadins wearing def plate, using taunt because “it helps my dps”) etc etc?
What about that disco priest, with the average iLevel which was only just popping 200, the one which healed his way through Pit heroic without a problem, that’s right, no problems (a bit tight on cooldowns) but who several days later on better gear couldn’t save a tank from suiciding on mobs.
So, remember gear is a factor, achievements are a factor, but still the largest factor which can’t be quantified through simple data inspection is the player, meatspace capabilities still reign supreme in WoW and long may it be so.