GearScore™ vs. Average Item Level

The following is the chart I created which shows the differences between GearScore™ and AIL, showing why GearScore (and PlayerScore™ as a whole) is and are superior.

"If you just can’t make progress and you are literally wiping on trash pulls over and over, it may be time to analyze your gear. The Dungeon Finder's Heroic item level requirement should be considered a minimum -- and remember, it doesn’t look at enchants or gems or even if the gear is appropriate for you."
- Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street, Lead Systems Designer for World of Warcraft

Design GearScore was designed to provide players
with a way of viewing the overall power and potential
performance of another player's equipment
Average Item Level was designed because
wow developers felt it was unfair to impose gear
requirements on the LFD tool without providing a value to
players so that those players knew where they stood in
regards to the requirements.
Scope of Use PlayerScore allows you to view the
GearScore of any player either in-game or online.
You can only see your own personal Average
Item Level. To find another player's item level you must
either ask a player (and then be live what they say) or
leave the game and access the armory.
Equipment used in
PlayerScore will only measure the
GearScore of equipment a player is actually wearing and will
ignore all other items.
Average Item Level will take into account
equipment a player has in their inventory. A warrior can
have healing plate gear in his back pack that he obtained
from a quest or as loot and will receive an increase in
their Average Item Level, even though the item has no
benefit to the warrior.
Accuracy & Resolution GearScore includes a much higher level of
resolution, which allows the score to be much more accurate.
Average Item Level is built on a very
small number which doesn't give a very wide range of
Gems & Enchants GearScore will go up or down depending on
rather or not equipment is gemmed or enchanted. Gems and
enchants will increase the performance of a player and
should be included as bonuses to their equipment's
Average Item Level will stay the same
regardless if the player gems or enchants his or her
Appropriate Gear GearScore will be severely reduced if a
player equips equipment that is not designed for their class
or spec. An example would be a warrior with Healing plate
gear. The healing plate gear offers no increase in the
warriors tanking or dps and so is not included in the
player's total GearScore.
Average Item Level will be the same
regardless if the player is wearing correct gear or bad
PVP Gear PVP equipment will receive a penalty to a
player's GearScore. This is because PVP gear is designed for
short-term dps and survivability, and doesn't provide the
same level of dps or sustainability required for boss fights
as PVE gear does.
Average Item level will be the same if a
player is using PVP gear or not. As PVP gear is currently
higher item level and easier to obtain then equipment from
heroics, a player can easily inflate their Average Item
Level with pvp equipment.
Slot Weight Each item's GearScore is dependent not
only on the item's rarity and item level, but also the type
and location of the equipment. For example, a 2-handed
weapon will receive a vastly superior GearScore compared
with a belt or bracers.
Average Item Level gives the same weight
to all items. For example, a 2-handed weapon is given the
same value and weight as bracers or belts even those those
items are vastly inferior to the weapon.
Color Coordination GearScore is color coded so your brain can
spend less power on determining if a score is good or not,
and more power dodging the fire on the ground.
Always White.
Access To access GearScore you must use the
PlayerScore addon or web service
Personal Average Item Level is visible to
all players without additional services or addons.
Bonus Features While not a direct benefit of GearScore, PlayerScore which
provides GearScore comes with a slew of bonus features such
as char act her experience; pvp, pve, and raid scores to
provide a better picture of a player's history; talent, gem,
and enchantment auditing; player ratings; and more!


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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016