I originally thought that I wouldn’t be able to take any time off for Cataclysm. Looking at my sick leave, I found that I could take one day. And a very productive day it was. I was able to get to level 83 by midnight and have run 4 of the 7 dungeons already. There are so many different things that I’m sure I will talk about in the days to come, from my love of the new 5 mans, the hatred I have for Vashj’ir, my love of the new spirit links and quest progression, my love for the new dungeon bosses, my love for flying at 310% speed in Azeroth, the fun of doing new dungeons blind with my guildmates to figure out mechanics, how I was wrong about leveling only through LFD (fastest way, quest and queue as DPS), and how Raz the Crazed may be my new favorite NPC in WoW. However, my very first post-Cataclysm blog post will be about GearScore.
Now, I’m sure you are asking yourself right now, why the hell would I talk about GearScore on day 1 after Cataclysm? There is a very good reason for it. But to start off, you have to understand the history of GearScore to understand why it is pertinent now, maybe more so than before.
GearScore was an addon created shortly after Wrath. It’s original purpose was not to judge characters by their gear and decide whether they can get into raids, etc. The reason it was originally created was to see when characters could replace their BC gear with Wrath gear. While doing this, they found an interesting fact. Players who were fully Tier 6 would really not need to change their gear out until Naxxaramas. There might have been a piece here or there that might have been better, but they really didn’t need to.
Now, in the beginning of Cataclysm, they changed GearScore to make it even better than before. The major update that I’m loving is that it judges a new piece of gear based on its stats AND your current spec. In other words, if I’m tanking a LFD and a piece of leather gear with agility and stamina on it, I can immediately tell if it is an upgrade or not by looking at the individual gear score number against my equipped piece. However, if a piece of leather gear drops that has intellect, spirit, etc. on it for a boomkin piece, I have to change specs and equipment to check about the status of an upgrade.
In other words, GearScore finally addressed it’s major complaint. Before, it didn’t care about your spec, it only cared about the GearScore of the individual pieces, which lead to a collective GearScore. Now, it judges it based on your current gear and spec.
What I’m currently finding is that if you are in ICC iLevel 277 mostly gear, like my moonkin set, you are gonna have a hard time finding an upgrade, at least up to level 83. Now, hopefully, regular Grim Batol, Halls of Origination, and the Lost City of Tol’Avir and the quest around those areas will. Heroic Dungeons at level 85 certainly will. My tanking set, which was mostly 251/264 has found quite a few good upgrades to them already, especially in dungeons.
So, in the end, Cataclysm saved GearScore, at least for the time being, and finally made it useful for what it was meant to be used for in the first place, looking how to improve your gear along the way while you are leveling. I’m sure when 4.1 comes out, people will once again require GearScores of x amount to get into raids, but at least right now, I can enjoy it for what it was meant to be used for in the first place.
Just remember also, the Header Contest is going on still. I have only received one entry so far, so there is a good chance that your work will be seen by everybody on the site. The contest will close on 12/31/10.