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The Games We Play (or Why I’ve Enjoyed Gearscore)

As readers of my Lagwar column will know, my death knight recently hit level 80. I topped out with a low 2k gear score, some tanking skills, and enough defense to jump right into heroics. Even so, the late addition ICC 5-mans were still beyond me, so I had some work to do.

In the last couple of days, I’ve ran every 5-man in Lich King, not counting Pit of Saron or Halls of Reflection. Actually, I ran almost all of them on day one, since the schools are closed for the summer. The random number generator thought I needed some practice, I guess, because almost every drop has been caster related. Even so, I’ve been able to pull myself up to about a 3.7k score. Not bad for two days.

As an opponent of the Gearscore movement, I was surprised to find myself paying so much attention to numbers. I found myself comparing my score to others in the group to gauge how easy or challenging the run might be. I especially took note of other death knights for some reason. Call it an inferiority complex.

As I’ve played through, it occurs to me that my enjoyment of gearscore isn’t far off from the action bar game. When I’m playing PvE, I spend a lot of time watching my action bars to see exactly when my skills are ready to fire. I make a mini-game out of trying to time my button presses exactly right, until I get into a kind of fluid groove. The action bar game and Gearscore hit on those same tendencies with me. I want to work at something and be competitive with it.

Gearscore calls out to naturally to old school gamers. At its core, it embodies what older games were all about: getting the high score. Entering your initials into the game cabinet for everyone to see. People comparing each other by score is nothing new in WoW and certainly not in gaming – players will ALWAYS compare one another.

So, while there are plenty of reasons to hate Gearscore, there’s some fun to be had in it too. For many players, the Gearscore box is the level 80 experience bar. Sure, the numbers it gives might give some players an excuse to be arrogant, but a lot of other people just want to see their name in the high score list.

HIGH SCORES

CSC – 3700 – #10,999,999
AFT – 3701 – #10,999,998

2 comments

  1. Stabs

    As an opponent of the penis measurement movement, I was surprised to find myself paying so much attention to inches. I found myself comparing my penis to others in the group to gauge how easy or challenging the lay might be. I especially took note of other bald guys for some reason. Call it an inferiority complex.

    **walks away whistling**

    1. Chris

      Hahaha. That’s got to be the best comment I’ve ever gotten.

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