Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, May 04, 2010
New level 80

So my paladin hit level 80 this weekend, after 10 days and 4 hours of /played time, just under 250 hours from level 1 to 80. When he dinged he was wearing full iLvl 187 blue gear from his blacksmithing profession, which is actually better than anything you can find in normal dungeons. Then I proceeded to smith the iLvl 200 epics, but it became obvious very fast that my dual spec choice up to that point, protection and retribution, wasn't going to work at level 80: Nobody wants a tank that isn't extremely overgeared, and I could barely reach the defense cap. Thus change of strategy, and I went for holy / retribution, because I thought that for a healer gearscore mattered less, healing in heroics being so easy.

It also happened that I had picked up earlier the two recipes for the iLvl 245 Sunforged chest and bracers for holy paladins. Thus I had two iLvL 245 pieces, and three iLvl 200 epics (helmet, boots, weapons) just from blacksmithing. Then I went shopping and bought the jewelcrafting epic necklaces and ring, plus an iLvl 200 epic caster shield and a trinket. In my first heroics I got a better weapon (iLvL 232 caster sword) and enough emblems (already had over 30 of them from leveling) to buy a second trinket, iLvl 245. Overall gearscore now 3769. This is certainly much better geared than my first level 80, also a healer, when he entered his first heroics some weeks after Wrath of the Lich King came out. We weren't wearing epics already then before even starting with heroics. We didn't already have emblems of triumph for iLvl 245 then before even reaching level 80.

And in spite of that there is hardly a heroic group in which I don't get a comment along the lines "you can heal in that gear ????". One guy even asked whether I could keep the tank alive, which shows a profound lack of knowledge of how paladins heal in heroics, because I barely ever heal the tank, I just slap a beacon on him and then he automatically gets healed for what I have to put on heals on the overeager dps. In one particular group I was with a death knight whose gearscore was much worse than mine, and he did under 1k dps, and people were still making comments about *my* gear, not his. And of course I heal just fine. I obviously need more mana breaks than somebody with a 5k+ gearscore, but I never failed to keep the tank alive, and even healed through Pits of Saron on heroic twice without problem. In all fairness, I did get a comment about "nice healing" after the fact, but the first reaction is nearly always complaints about me being undergeared.

I'd love to hear from the people who think that I'm undergeared for heroics from where exactly they think I should get my gear if not from heroics. I already spent over 10k gold on the materials for my smithed epics and the boe epics I bought, and there aren't any affordable epics left for me to buy for gold. I need emblems for better gear, and that means running heroics. If the Dungeon Finder AI puts me into a group for Pits of Saron, it obviously thinks that I'm geared well enough for that, and I don't really get the choice which dungeon I'm placed in. If some people are only interested in a free ride with both the tank and healer being over 5k gearscore, then they should shut their mouth and just leave any pickup group which isn't overpowered enough for them!
Your only crime may have been that you acquired a very respectable gear score very quickly, Tobold. You may have a huge variation between your 245 gear and the rest of your stuff, which tends to look worse to the kinds of people who care about that stuff.

With my hunter, I was careful to be in 187 blues when I hit 80, and I have been slowly putting 200s in as replacements while acquiring badges in heroics. I have been stalling on getting much 232+ gear because it will put me in the queue for harder heroics where people are more likely to judge me for having 200s on.

Had you stayed with your level 200 crafted epics and run regular ToC5 and bought your 213 cloak and your 226 neck with emblems, you would have been put into easier heroics until you got all the emblems of triumph you wanted, after which you could have put on full tier 9 and run the ICC heroics to fill in any remaining 232 gear. There's a lot less scrutiny when you're doing Nexus.

Now if somebody gave you crap in Nexus for the gear you've got on, they should probably get a reality check. People used to heal that place in 187 blues.
I'm in the process of collecting some blue gear. I plan to heal in that while showing my Kingslayer title. If people complain I'm going to link the achieve... haha
I haven't been playing many MMOs lately and this post is probably going to keep me away from WoW for awhile. I can't believe people care about gear score that much.
I was punted from a heroic for daring to show up with a lowly 4960 GS.

I can't imagine how players are going to survive their first level 85 instance wearing on quest greens.
Well perhaps the environment is different on Tobold's BG but I never encounter this. I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen gear score mentioned in party chat of groups I've run through the LFD system and all but one time the comments came after the person with the extremely low gear score also had demonstrated a poor proficiency in their role/class.

More generally, as an officer in my guild and someone often responsible for pugging the last few spots for our guild's raids, I never mention gear or gearscore requirements in LFG advertisements. Neither is relevant outside of tanks that have to reach the defense cap in order to be viable. What is relevant are performance benchmarks and raid experience, the latter of which can be checked through a person's Armoried achievements and the former I'm willing to take a person's word on. This has been a much better way to handle PuGing in my experience as there is no drama: if someone can't perform to the minimum benchmark they said they could, they have no reason to protest if asked to leave.

One last point about gear and heroics though. One problem with the LFD system's current implementation is that it will often pair very undergeared tanks with higher geared DPS in the newer ICC instances. Someone who is leveling their 4th alt and is knowledable about both their class and the instance won't have trouble tanking in this situation. Someone, however, for whom this is their first character and is tanking heroic Pit of Saron or heroic Halls of Reflection for the first time, can easily wipe the group. I remember one time in particular when a very undergeared and poorly skilled DK tank was tanking Pit of Saron. On the trash pulls right after Ick and Crick going up to the tunnel, the tank could not hold aggro against the DPS/healer no matter what we did. If we held off for six-seven seconds before engaging, the healer would get overwhelmed trying to keep everyone up and people would die. Engage any sooner and one of the dps would immediately pull off the tank and get one-shotted.

It's a shame that so much rests on the individual performance/skill/gear of tanks in heroic dungeons in WoW but so goes the holy trinity model when encounters are designed around having a 3:1 ratio of DPS to tanks.
I can't imagine how players are going to survive their first level 85 instance wearing on quest greens.

They are going to survive just fine. Heroic instances are *designed* to be doable in the kind of gear you're likely to wear when you hit the level cap. People complaining about others not being in full epic gear are just elitist jerks. Gearscore is very close to Blizzard's April Fool's joke of the EPEEN meter. The point is not that you *need* a certain gearscore to beat heroics, but that somebody with a gearscore of 5187 feels better thinking that he is superior than somebody with a gearscore of 5186.

One problem with the LFD system's current implementation is that it will often pair very undergeared tanks with higher geared DPS in the newer ICC instances.

That is an error of perception. What actually happens is that the LFD system *always* puts at least one, sometimes two undergeared players into a RANDOM slot of the 5 slots available. Thus actually having an undergeared dps in your group is three times more likely than having an undergeared tank or having an undergeared healer.

The problem, as you remarked yourself, is that nobody notices an undergeared and badly playing dps. It simply doesn't matter if one of the dps is only dealing 1k damage per second, because somebody else is doing 5k and over the three dps slots that is somehow balancing itself out.

Tanks and healers are the only ones actually making a difference to the success chance of a heroic, thus they are the ones getting noticed.
Some time ago the healer had a disco and I asked the tank to just go on, because I wanted my usual two emblems. At first he refused.

Eventually I convinced him and we found out that it wasn't a problem. We didn't have any class capable of healing, but in a classic heroic you don't need a healer if you pull carefully.

Now, if this speaks for or against WoW is another topic ..

What it says is that heroics don't scale with later introduced content and that binary difficulty settings are not granular enough. A recent post on Blizzard's forums by Greg Street, lead systems designer, indicated that their toying with the idea of adding a third, even higher difficulty to some 5-man instances in Cataclysm to alleviate this problem.
Make a macro that instruct the people commenting on your gear to my latest undergeared action. Or to the post where EVERYONE was in blue gear and done HoR HC.
I'm not sure people think you *need* that level of gear...if you are a competent player. But they don't know that about you. You are just some random player to them, odds are you are a mediocre player at best like most people.

It's easier to see with DPS. Yes, a skilled player can get well over 2k DPS in questing gear, but most people don't. On the other hand, even the worst players can put out 2k DPS with their 6k gearscore. You take the 6k gearscore over the random stranger in questing gear who claims to be skilled every time.
@ Sean Boocock:

I heard about that, too. I don't really feel good about this. i get the feeling like they are myopically fixing problems but inevitably run into long term problems.

Running the same dungeon that is inhabited by the same monsters and charcters three times ?

It might be fun .. but do I really want to play such a game?

That probably also best summarises WoW for me: It's becoming more and more short term fun, but I don't really want to play game like this!
I recently levelled a 80 pally, and the quests blues are more than enough to "do your part". At 3600(!) GS, i did 2,5K+ in heroics and 3,5k in 10 mans. I even won 10g over an idiot who predicted i'd be under 2k :)

Now, i have 2T9 and presumably can reach 4k, but hitting the "link ach" barrier. Wondering also what "Better Gear" i need to enter Hc HoR. PoS and FoS opened with a few 200/232 epixx, but HoR looks a harder check (perhaps the sucky rep blue weapon).
oops forgot to answer your question, tobold :)

For drops you can use For a ret, most important is the weapon, then 2T8 / 2T9. For a healer, aim for 2, then 4T9 imo. Getting a good spellpower main hand helps. Get a decent libram.

Healing, especially as pally, is not difficult and doesnt need gear. If you move, use holy shock. SS your target and spam FoL to get the HoT. Keybind or mousebind those instants! Might have more specific advice if you remember us your char's name :)
Gearscore is probably one of the worst addons ever made for WoW. People judge others based on a number which really isn't representitive of the player.

Sure, a 3800 GS player can't handle ICC10, that I get, but to be judged in a normal heroic is just plain sad.

People don't want to have to work at all anymore for their stupid two frosties.

On another note ... Pally healing is a lot of fun. Ever since I hit 80 on my Pally and switched him to Holy my Holy priest is retired.
Oh geez, it's happened. I agree with what Gevlon said.
Hehe. People have alrady forgotten what kind of gear score Nax equipent was. Back when farming Nax nobody whould have remarked on your gear at all.
People are just used to having overgeared healers who can heal them through stupidity.


-Final boss HoS, people just stand in the lightning ring the boss does and keep on dps-ing, yelling at healers if they die.
-Optional boss AK:OK, the one with the lightning ring, people don't move out of it anymore, again yelling at healer if they die.
-DPS pulling off the tank and yelling at the healer when they die.
-AK:OK again, first mobs with shadow bolts. No interrupts from the dps, no thinking on closely grouped mobs, blaming healer if the tank dies.
-HoL end bit, with the dwarfs that cast an AoE spell.

I play two healers and a tank, my shaman healer is vastly overgeared in 251-264 gear, it's almost no effort to heal through this kind of behaviour, chain heal spam the melee, done. The paladin is slightly less geared, but still vastly outgears heroics and manages to keep people alive through most idiocity, but I do like to give time-outs to overeager melee dps (hand of protection).

My druid is another story. He got 80 a few months ago and had to start gearing him through the LFD tool. Compared to my paladin, who at the time of the start of wrath was protection, the druid had much better gear (I think I started HCs with 18.5k unbuffed, but def capped, on my paladin. My druid had 22k hp unbuffed in caster form when he started HCs). Needless to say I had alot of comment before there we even started, with frequently the healer leaving the group. The trend was also to blame me for anything that went wrong. On my healers I never bail on low hp tanks unless they are incapable of preventing healer-aggro.

I did grow a hobby out of this experience with my druid tank. If people can get so upset by having a properly enchanted/gemmed tank with just-starting-heroics-gear, how will they react to a healer with high GS, but with no enchants/gems whatsoever. So after a bit I had collected good healing gear for my druid but didn't enchant/gem it and joined up for heroics. This gear gives me stats which were alot better then what both my shaman and pally had when they started healing (around 1800 sp, 450 haste, 400 mp5).

I observed this:
-If someone inspected me at the start he would complain and rage about me not having enchants/gems and why this allways happens to him. Subsequently I'd get asked to leave and/or blamed for anything that went wrong. I guess my gear was such a distraction, because for some reason alot went wrong in these runs.
-If nobody inspected me the run would go as any other run on any of my other healers, with hardly any problems at all.
Well said. This is the sort of thing that really (and sadly) puts me off WoW quite a lot.
I've been done easily over a 100 LFD groups since its inception so a decent exposure to the new system and not had gearscore mentioned in a single one or anyone kicked for under performing. Perhaps it's different across Battlegroups but in general I've found it to be a rather pleasant experience myself.

On the other hand, I often see people leave after just one wipe which does annoy me (although not as much since they increased the deserter debuff). I think with the massive inflation of gear many WoW players can no longer accept even one death as it's such a shock to their fragile mindset of win, win, win. Fortunately they are replaced very quickly and the dungeon is completed but it will be interesting times come expansion where much of the player base can't handle a single wipe in a 5-man (or even the easier raids).
I personally found holy pallies to be extremely easy to adjust to after playing a druid and shaman healer for some time. I found running LFG as a healer to be the easiest of the three roles, considering I geared up a hunter using LFG and taking significantly longer simply due to the vast difference in queue lengths - rarely more than 5 minutes for a healer in my battlegroup (Vindication-US) and rarely less than 10 minutes for a DPS.
Ugh, I'm levelling a warrior on a new server with the idea of tanking heroics. The plan is to just tank a few regular instances and buy some blacksmithing items to get my minimum level of gear. Since it's a different server I obviously can't spend 10K gold just to give him a few epics.

A year ago we did those heroics in blues and noone complained. If you could tank an instance with 25K hp and a defense cap back then there's no reason you can't do it now.

But if I'm just gonna be hearing that I'm undergeared from every damn pugger I might as well not bother.
I keep thinking about Tobold's post about bullying when reading about all this, as shouting at someone for having too low gearscore could definitely be seen as bullying. But, why are we all being so butthurt about it, bending over backways to please the bullys?

So what if you get kicked from a group? Just queue up again.
So what if someone comments on your gear being bad? Just say you know what you are doing, and tell them to stick it.

GS might have been added to the mix, but confidence is still potent.

I've recently had 2 characters ding 80 and have geared them up using LFD. Yes, people have complained about my hp as tank or gs as dps, but instead of taking it lying down - I stand up for myself and push back.

In almost all cases, they back off. Sometimes a 5,8kGS DPS huffs off in fainted disgust, but then the group just smiles, calls him/her an a** and rejoins us in the queue for another.

Being kicked from a group doesn't make you a victim of a horrible GS conspiracy, it just means that group didn't work out...
don't forget that while the random LFD has a timer, running a specific dungeon has none.

So leaving a sucky group has no effect at all if you take the opportunity to run one or two specific instances while it cools down :)

Anyway, i'm not using the random LFD much. Two badges is a TINY bonus. Aim for precise loots, drop them, then raid.
Seriously anyone who is upset at gearscore wasn't thinking when Armory Came out.

Blizzard made that kind of mentality the norm when they instituted the Armory. I feel sorry for our socially stunted Devs they really have no idea how normal people act.

They put in a tool to let everyone see how they were doing against the "joneses" and now the angst is building that more and more people are using it to make sure they don't run with just anybody in blues or trash epics.

The only fix for this would be to remove the Armory and all ability to look at other people's gear. Which would suck for raiders and guild leaders. The Devs core playing group.
I'd love to hear from the people who think that I'm undergeared for heroics from where exactly they think I should get my gear if not from heroics.

Sadly, you're not under-geared - but when I was still farming badges I used to HATE seeing someone with a low GS in the group as they inevitably made the run go slower. But that's not to say I didn't group with some absolute noobs with a 5.5k+ GS either....

This kind of highlights the difference in how I play WoW now after 5+ years... My time is spent purely maximizing my progression - which at this point means PUGing ICC10 and 25 once a week (first two wings anyway) and the occasional VOA25. Oddly, I've noticed that since I care a lot less about the game, I've been winning a lot more rolls on loot - my poor rogue(retired) lost the DST at least 20 times in TBC. Go figure...
Another quick note about gearscore...

This wouldn't be necessary if there wasn't a HUGE disparity between epic gear. For instance, a Holy Paladin in all lvl 219 gear versus one in 251 will have only 66% the mana, 80% the spell power, and maybe 80% of the health. And this isn't even in the first 'level' of epic gear obtained at 80.

Most epic gear isn't.
I just recently dinged 80 on my mage that was still using all level 70 epics. I still was putting out 2.5-3k dps in level 70 epics, but it wouldn't even let me queue for heroics. I'd occasionally get one shot because my hp was so low, but I almost always did decent dps for my gear. I've slowly replaced the level 70 stuff with 187 and 200 blues, and I still get comments but I almost always manage to compete with the dps that vastly overgear heroics. It just makes me wonder how I've seen people doing such abysmal dps when they have full badge gear.

The commenter that said about doing heroics in resto gear unenchanted, that's exactly what I did on my druid for a while and I'd occassionally get comments about why my gear was unenchanted but for the most part no one cared if I didn't let anyone die. I think I actually got more comments cause I never would go tree form in heroics than I got about my gear. Outdpsing people as a healer while still healing the group is just sad though.

Low HP tanks never bothered me much as a healer so long as they weren't an idiot thinking that they were a 50k hp paladin when really they were a 28k hp warrior. I had a few undergeared tanks that had the gogogo dps attitude and kept pulling multiple large groups when they have such low HP. Those I would say something, but the fresh 80 tank that was trying to do a good job I just paid more attention to healing him.
It definetly is a Battlegroup specific problem. My battlegroup on the US servers seems to be completely devoid of this for heroics. I will run heroics on my ICC10 geared mage and then on my 'still in blues' rogue and I get no comments about gearscore or people being undergeared. It's weird because I pretty much expect this after all the stories I read on the various WoW forums. Life is just funny that way, I guess.
"Another quick note about gearscore...

This wouldn't be necessary if there wasn't a HUGE disparity between epic gear. For instance, a Holy Paladin in all lvl 219 gear versus one in 251 will have only 66% the mana, 80% the spell power, and maybe 80% of the health. And this isn't even in the first 'level' of epic gear obtained at 80.

Most epic gear isn't."

This brings up something that has always bothered me about this expansion.

Maybe my memory is just foggy, but I dont remember the gap between entry level tier gear and the final tier being as big as it is right now.

Stat inflation seems to have become a huge problem with Wrath. My Bear in his full ICC level gear is sitting at more then 10k-15k HP, and a buttload more mitagation/threat stats then a Bear in T9 level gear. And yet a T8 Bear isn't all that much lower in those stats then a T9, and the jump from T7 to T8 is even less large.

So how did we get to the point where as we progress in Tiers the jump in stats seems to be getting larger and larger?

It seems to me that if the gaps between tiers wasn't as big players might be more inclined to accept that tank with 29k HP, but because we're used to seeing tanks go into heroics with 60k HP, player mentality assumes that if you're not anywhere near that your bad/dumb/anoob/etc.
I've had trouble gearing up healers and tanks without getting yelled at. Which sucks because as you said crappy DPS hardly ever get yelled at.

After 1 tank and healer, my next tank (also a pally) spent more time in normal ToC, FoS and PoS. Worked out pretty well.

When I was ready for heroics (didn't take THAT long, but not one day) the pain was worth it. I get heroic groups 100x faster as prot than as ret (6 seconds vs 10 minutes).
""you can heal in that gear ????". One guy even asked whether I could keep the tank alive"

That is only what they typed, they really meant to ask: "are you able to keep a tank alive who pulls 3-4 trash groups at once?"

With my old warior toon I tanked heroics in 187 gear barely above 21k life just fine and noone complained, because noone had better gear at that time. Heroics were still challenging.

Today with my paladin all decked out in ~232 I pull the whole room before Drak Tharon boss #1 at once.

Tanking is fun, spec back and make a little makro "Hi, I am indeed able to tank the instance if you let me choose the pace, if you don't have the patience please leave and search another group".
All things being equal, a group with a higher mean gearscore will complete the instance faster.

And make no mistake, given the amount of homogenizing going on - all things will soon be equal.

The question of being able to do it is insignificant at this point.

I'm not making fun of you here, I'm merely pointing out the fact that you are correct in that gearscore is useless.

The classic example I always used for gearscore's failure has been the Holy Paladin crafted gear. The crafted plate for "PvE" was generally across the board HORRIBLY itemized. Sure, it may give you some purple, but purple plate with ZERO intellect is pretty bad.

I wouldn't think it would matter for the content (overgeared tanks in heroics), but the PvP blues are actually better than the ilevel200 purples, and the 245 crafted mail chest is actually better than the 245 plate chest.

Like I said though, it shouldn't really matter, I just thought it funny to further prove the point that they are upset about your gearscore, but if they did their research they'd find out that the best available options to you would be considered "Downgrades" to them.
The gearscore thing is why I quit WoW several months ago and probably won't be back. Even for Cataclysm.
I've seen several comments in this thread that say something to the effect of what Mike said:

"The gearscore thing is why I quit WoW several months ago and probably won't be back. Even for Cataclysm. "

That's a shame. As several others have said, including myself, gear score is not a topic that comes up in our experience of the game.

I suspect that those who have had very negative experiences have also not been part of a guild of any kind. There are many casual guilds on any server that run raids/BGs occasionally in an environment that is orders of magnitude better than what you've described PuGing to be. If you haven't tried raiding yet, find a nice group of people with similiar schedules as you to do so with. It's by far what WoW is best at and it's a shame that you have to wait to endgame to encounter it for the first time.

If raiding is not for you but instanced PvP is, I'd encourage you to come back for Cataclsym. Cataclysm will introduce rated BGs, essentially premade groups of players who queue together for BGs and are then rated together for their performance. If the SCII beta is any indication, Blizzard is smart about matchmaking and I think BGs will be as much, perhaps even more, of the endgame focus come the new expansion.
That's a shame. As several others have said, including myself, gear score is not a topic that comes up in our experience of the game.

I hereby officially challenge you: Stand in Dalaran during prime time for 10 minutes and listen to trade chat. You win if there is no mention of gearscore during that time. I win if you get at least one line mentioning gearscore or as gs requirement to be invited to something.
Bah! gear score and dps meters -- that's why I quit wow.

Remember when people used to focus on the actual game and not arbitrary numbers?

Can't try that out at the moment, but here's something interesting. I've set my chat addon, Chatter, to autolog all chat for the last eight months. The number of times that "gearscore" "GS" or "gear score" came up in the context of PuGing people in the last four months (ie since January)? Six, and half of them attributable to one person who recently transferred to the server.

I'll try your experiment though tonight, afking in trade for an hour.

Blizzard stated a while back that they never intended gear levels to inflate as highly as they did, and as such were forced in ICC, for example, to mitigate things like dodge.
Hate to point out that the comment about how much dps someone did was the same thinking about gs. I see people constantly complaining in heroics about dps more than gearscore. One was a tank with over 6k gs and complaining that he was out dpsing the dps, who had around 4k gs.

Heroics aren't "serious business" where people should be focusing on that. Just play, and move along. People complain if it's not over in ten minutes, heck, last night a healer dropped because we weren't moving fast enough. We were chain pulling, and mowing down mobs, but not enough dps for his taste.

As a shadow priest, i tend to do around 3k dps with my gear, not great, but i also tend to do dispelling, spot healing if the healer is having trouble, and cc. Doing those makes my dps drop, so i guess i don't add up in your eyes, just like you don't to those who use gear score to measure worth.

Just for an example, almost a party wipe on last boss of heroic forge of souls, boss half down in health, me and a druid survive. Just us two took him down. Me running around doing dps and the druid keeping me up. I might not have been doing over 2-3k dps, but it was what worked.

Personally, i'd ban gear score and recount type mods, they are just being used for the wrong reasons.
The first time I healed with my shaman I had 187 and some 200 gear. But nobody said anything. This was almost a year ago, however, and the gearscore fanatics are more oppressive now than they were even then.

I did just fine, btw.

I have noticed, as Bigeyez noted, that the stat inflation to T10 has given people a different set of expectations, which are unfounded, but people seem to be weak minded enough to fall prey to the gearscore is king mindset.

To you, Tobold, I say good job. My first time healing Pit of Saron (I hated healing still, I was trying to get more practice) I let people die on that hill more times that necessary. My gear was better than yours, but my skill was not yet refined. Simple proof that a player (with adequate gear) who knows what he/she is doing will perform just fine. Keep it up!
I think it goes back to what bryksom posted. The question of whether you can keep a tank up is directly proportional to what kind of tanking is going on and what everyone else is doing. If your tank is pulling the entire instance because he's used to his healer bud in mid-5k gear, well, things might not go well. Or if all the dps is low, then the tank will be tanking for MUCH longer so YOU had better have enough mana to keep THAT party going...

So, ignore the gear score comments in runs, have fun, and if you must reply to a GS comment, just tell them "it is entirely possible that I am a bad healer regardless of my GS -- it is just harder for me to blend in like bad DPSers do :-)"
I tend to just ignore party chat in a random heroic. Unless it appears to be mature/pleasant or amusing.

Otherwise, I'm just looking at healthbars.

The only thing worse than an epeen dork is a bored epeen dork. And everybody is bored in heroics except the new 80's. I envy them.
I just hit my first 80 two days ago (prot warrior). I leveled from 70 to 80 with roughly 2/3 of each level done in LFD. I have had exactly 2 bad experiences. The only time I remember GS being mentioned was a lighthearted discussion of how irrelevant it was. I agree with other posters, seems to be the attitude of the battlegroup (I'm in Ruin).

Each time I was tanking a new instance I'd let the group know and generally people were helpful, telling me what mobs could be skipped, what to watch for with each boss, etc.

I did Pit of Saron last night for the first time after a random Forge of Souls (PoS was locked for me in LFD) and was pretty much carried through the whole instance by the rest of the group. I definitely had the lowest GS, and boy did I make mistakes (I usually read guides and watch vids of boss fights so I know what's going on). Even after repeatedly losing aggro to dps and a wipe on the last boss the group was helpful and encouraging and was even willing to carry me through Halls of Reflection (couldn't though "You do not meet the requirements for this instance").

Overall, I feel like my LFD experience was pretty different from yours, mine was mostly positive and player were friendly and didn't care about GS much. I plan on starting on heroics today, so we'll see if things change.
I am so tired of chasing after gear in WoW. I have three 80s with gearscores over 5k. The only reason why I'm still playing is I'm having fun leveling a priest right now. I'm probably quitting soon, though. I need a different kind of MMO experience, or just need to step away from MMOs entirely.
It seems to me that Gearscore is a symptom rather than the problem.

We all know good players can run heroics in blue gear - that's how we all got started. I'm far from being an elite raider, yet I healed Naxx quite happily in mostly blue gear. I hadn't done any heroics at that stage.

The trouble is that less-skilled players can't do these things, and they make up the bulk of the population. The average player needs to over-gear an instance that's designed to challenge the top 10%. So for them, a high gearscore *is* a requirement.
Gear snobs in WoW is a good chunk of why I now play EVE :)
I hereby officially challenge you: Stand in Dalaran during prime time for 10 minutes and listen to trade chat. You win if there is no mention of gearscore during that time. I win if you get at least one line mentioning gearscore or as gs requirement to be invited to something.

That happens all the time on my server... it just happens that the period of time is instead filled with "what is life-grip" spam and anal links... I'm kinda wishing I could complain about gearscore spam instead.
Tried your experiment tonight that included at least one interrupted hour in trade afk and about 20 minutes in Wintergrasp general chat after winning it. I win.

I also suspect given the responses to your post that the prevalence of gear score and its pernicious use varies widely. I play on a low population, low progress, RP server. Everything I've heard about the environment of other servers has led me to believe that my server is something of an oddity. People on my server aren't laser focused on endgame progression or PvP. It's fairly eclectic. We have our fair share of kids and trade "Anal" jokes but we also have a lot of casual and RP players that make the server a nice place to call home.

It also might be an issue of perception. I have one main toon that I focus on and I can say with some justification that I'm the best player of my class on the server. I don't have to struggle to find groups; I'm either leading them, know the people that are, or am playing with my guild. The high end PvE community on my server might be small, but we know who each other are; the average ilvl of our gear is completely irrelevant.
Oh, I totally agree, RP servers are a lot nicer than the so-called "normal" servers.
how dare they not unquestioningly gamble 30 minutes of their life on a stranger's alt!
I went a similar route on my DK last week, I crafted the epic tanking chest and bracers and since I had some 264 boots they where taking a annoyingly long time to sell I gifted the as well. Somewhat extravagant but at least I dont have to enchant/gem 4-5 versions of the same thing. Some saronite junk and a couple of blue boes and I was gtg, 28k with food and elixer and i used both constantly all week.

But it did work mostly. I did have a single UP where a dps feral said you cant tank with 28k hp, he put on his 55k hp bear set , overpulled and wiped us:) I said I was fine and suprise we finished it with no further deaths.

Having said that their might be some truth in what sybl said. I have been 80 1 day, I have done 1 random heroic plus a few normal including dps for Fos, I still have 28k hp buffed, and for my 2nd random heroic? A partially completed H FoS:( But I took it slow,used cc and we did complete it.

But using crafted did mainly get me past that point where every instance you get insulted and trying to maintain minimum defence can be a nightmare.
Gearscore ought to be banned. It makes people more into bleating sheep like bunch of high-school girls discussing their makeup choices. They should be judging the end results and worrying about their own performance rather than what you are wearing. It's so sad.
I have a level 73 I just started about 5 weeks ago. I am dreading the stupid process you are describing trying to be sure I am wearing the right clothes to the party.
I've seen this a lot lately and the commenters here are really touching on it. People are at the point now where if an instance takes more than 15-20 minutes folks are reaching for the /quit button. Heaven forbid there's a wipe for one reason or another.

Given what Blizzard is saying about how they want to cut down on the CC so much in dungeons in Cata, I'm figuring we're going to see a collision soon between folks getting woken up that you can't just walk through stuff anymore and Blizzard realizing that they've taught they're player base that instance=5 minute loot pinata.

I forsee that it's going to cause a lot of frustration on both player and developer in the months after Cata releases. But I've been wrong before, maybe I'm just jaded and assuming the worst (very possible)
now ive read all the comments and they all seem to say one of three things
no there is no prob on my server
healings easy or
i hate GS
i agree with the later there is a flaw
i even find it as the head of a level 70 twink guild as i have to shamefully ask the tanks for gs otherwise get shouted at by my members
i mean come on it has spread so far that you cant just twink without the worry of GS

for instance i asked for invite into a BT raid and got accepted
i was like 6th last but i was kicked for gearscore

i mean come on t4 t5 and a bit of zulaman epic and i get kicked
ffs i was dps aswell

oppinions plz
My Druid has healed many heroics, and after doing enough to get pretty burned out, my gear score on that character is only 2306 - and I have never had even one single player in a heroic comment on my gear.

I guess it's just luck of the draw if you get players that care enough to even inspect your gear.
My g/f dinged 80 on a boomkin alt, and then went to a heroic, in gear from levelling instances, so... erm, ilevel 170 average blues.

Wanted to do a heroic, so I dug out my pvp priest's healer offspec, and off we went to random UP+.

Zone in, and a moderately geared ele shaman asks 'are you newly dinged or something?', she says 'yes', and he appears to shut up about it. (Why yes, the healer being a guildie *was* a deliberate move to reduce dickish behaviour...)

What do you know, she's second on DPS (at 2.8k, which back in 3.0 was 'woah' level, and I'm bloody impressed at, for her gear) while the shaman is fighting me for 5th, and getting it.

Some people's kids. Just ignore them...
ya it is sometimes surprising how people underestimate people who just dinged
like i dinged 70 and i went straight to HFRamparts HC and i got a comment that my hp was low for a tank
i said fair enough
we wiped once after two mobs one dps left we waited and then finished no more wipes
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