Friday, July 2, 2010

Real Performance Issue

by Copra

I hate the whole concept of Gearscore being the evaluation point of the players skill and ability to play his/her toon. The whole Gearscore adoration cult makes me feel sick and the calls in the trade channel make me wince mostly because the arbitrary number requirements do not make any sense. "LFM ICC10, 5.8kGS must, 11/12 achievement. /w me for inspection." is the epitome of this dumbass mentality.

However, enlightened from Bishopgeorge's experience with Gearscore/Recount, I installed GS myself. Now my recount shows also the performance per gearscore (calculates DPS/GS, giving a single numeric ratio of performance, normalised). And that makes me laugh time and again.

You see, it becomes even more apparent that the arbitrary GS number doesn't tell anything about the skill or the abilities of the character. Or player more like.

In levelling dungeons it's clear that the toons with heirloom gear are rerolled alts, and they most probably are playing another class than their main is. Fair enough. This means that they should learn the basics and the finesses of their alts class as well as their mains to be able to perform at the same level, right? And their GS should reflect this skill and knowledge, right?

This isn't true as often as you would like.

Now I have been struggling with the DPS of Pupunen all the time. Ever since I broke from the healing to shadow. Now I barely break the 1.7k in the instances. I can barely make 2.1k on dummy. With the gear I have on me, naturally.

The funny part is the fact that during the last few levels of levelling and instances, I still managed to be in the middle class in dps. I had few blues, mainly crafted and good enchants on them (Pupunen is tailor/enchanter, capped on latter). But only after installing that gs addon I found out that when the gear score value was taken into the account, Pupunen was overperforming the rest of the dps.


When I capped with her, I took on heroics right away. I thought I would be mopped around in DPS with all the 4k+ gs toons running gogogo in the instances.

I was wrong.

Pupunen wasn't even lowest in the normal DPS in the first few runs. In gs normalised dps she was on the top of the list almost every time, even with people geared in 5.4k gear. I was keeping 4.8k gs hunters below me in dps in Gun'Drak.

Here comes the revelation.

Her GS was below 3k.

The first heroic she ran she had 2728 gs. The next lowest player had 3.8k. The highest -who was the tank- had 5.8k. The tank was the only one higher than Pupunen in normalised dps. Heck, he was the highest overall in everything, but that shouldn't be a wonder.

In a way, I feel much better about that 1.7k on average now.

To say something more about that darned GS: In the first four heroics Pupunen got two purples and two blues to replace the levelling gear. First purple ever. Her gs rose from that forementioned 2.7k to 2.9k. Her dps, on the other hand, rose about 100 points in instance.

The other revelation came when I started to gain more and better gear to her. Purchased a cheap Merlin's Robe and saw her GS rise above 3k. At the same time her DPS rose to 2.5-2.6 on a dummy, but the standardised GS went down like a cow's tail. I hit the bottom after the high.

The reason to this was simply the disparity of the GS from the stats which really mean for the class. In my case I stacked heavily on the spellpower instead of hit: she's still hitting like a freight train, but misses so many times that her dps is severely affected. Time to see that I gem and enchant her up to the cap of 289 (which comes from the fact that I have both hit effecting talents at max). You can easily have a high GS but completely wrong enchants and gems which eat up your DPS and performance. I had learned that (except the GS part) on my warrior already, that the gems and enchants mean at least as much as the gear itself. Now the reality check was even bigger.

Gearscore should be used only as a tool, mostly to see how you perform yourself. It's a bloody arbitrary and secondary value which has no real connection to the actual skill of the player or the performance of the toon in  the PUG. A player with high GS may actually be the slacker in the group, while the one with the lowest GS - and lowest gear - may well be over-performing on their own. Sadly the one doing their best always get the stick because their numbers don't come out as good as the slacking high geared ones.

The real performance issue is within the mind of those who do not understand the basics.

Then again, all that matters is that the end boss goes down timely and everyone is contributing. Some more than others.