Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Thanks to the many STO players who informed Stormstrike that STO player Katic has changed his avatar.

As we noted in our last post, Katic was using a stolen image by photographer Kristina Tararina. The photograph was of a Russian model named Lubov. We contacted Tararina directly, who confirmed the image belonged to her, and that Lubov is neither American, nor an STO player.

Along with the very serious issue of Cryptic-approved copywrite infringement, Katic’s behavior became a concern to the STO community because he was using his status as an “attractive female gamer” and popular forum poster to use Cryptic’s community managers as a blunt instrument: Several players contacted us to say they have been banned or issued account warnings at Katic’s behest, and those players provided screen shots.

When players revealed the photo theft, Cryptic quickly moved to ban or warn those players, while allowing Katic to continue to use the stolen photograph, even after it had been conclusively proven that it was stolen.

In response to mounting pressure, Katic changed his avatar, which now features a photo of a different woman. While we remain disappointed in Cryptic and its CM staff for allowing the fiasco to go on, we are very pleased to see Katic drop the image he stole from Tararina. We consider that matter closed.

However, it’s worth pointing out that liars rarely ever admit deception, and this case is no exception: Katic continues to insist he is a woman, despite other players pointing out that the new image bears no similarity to the old, and to quote one forum poster, “you can’t change bone structure.” It’s clear that the new photograph Katic is using as his avatar belongs to another victimized woman, and it’s a shame that yet another woman has had her identity co-opted by a player for the purposes of currying favor, free epics and a spot on elite PvP squads.

Because the original stolen image was revealed by a player who used the TinEye reverse image search service, it’s reasonable to assume Katic checked TinEye to make sure the new photograph could not be traced to its source. Indeed, TinEye does not have a record of the new photograph.

UPDATE: A commenter in our previous post points out that, while Katic retroactively claimed he was Russian when the source of his original avatar was reveleaed, Katic’s “Russian” is nothing more than a Babelfish or Google Translate product, complete with awkward grammar.

 

UPDATE:  We sent an e-mail to photographer Kristina Tararina, who confirms the woman in the photo is not the player named Katic, and naturally Tararina is not happy that her photographs were stolen. See the bottom of this post for the e-mail. In the meantime, Katic continues to antagonize players, while Cryptic Studios continues to take disciplinary action (including bans) against players who get on Katic’s bad side. More bad decisions by Cryptic.

The story is familiar: An outspoken, highly-regarded female member of an MMO community is outed as a guy.

Accusations fly, pulses are raised, and the resulting drama is delicious for everyone.

In this case, STO’s very own Ferraro is a player who goes by the name Katic. Like Ferraro, who posed for years as an attractive woman and authority on all things WoW, Katic lifted the image of a Russian model. Like Ferraro, who invented an elaborate backstory and often spoke about “her” personal life, Katic spun detailed lies about domestic bliss, pregnancy, and a military husband who was deployed to a war zone.

In both cases, their words carried extra weight in the community, weight that might not otherwise have been granted if they weren’t perceived as unusually attractive members of the opposite sex in communities dominated by male players.

Ferraro spun an even more fantastical tale when blogger Jagoex revealed Ferraro’s photos were actually tech blogger Sarah Townsend. Like Ferraro, Katic amped up his lies when another user revealed Katic’s photos were actually a Russian woman named Lyubochka Anisimova.

In this case, however, there were consequences for other players. From the accounts of other players, it seems Katic was highly antagonistic, employing his army of adoring followers to harass and ridicule players he didn’t like. It went on for months.

And, according to several players who posted on STO’s official forums, Katic’s words carried enough weight to get several other players the banhammer or warnings. Much like Ferraro, Katic positioned himself as the victim of stalkers, and Cryptic’s GMs listened, disciplining several players who got on Katic’s bad side.

It all erupted into delicious drama this morning when one player who had been on the receiving end of GM discipline made a lengthy post revealing the source of photographs Katic claimed as his own.

The thread erupted into a fount of drama until a Cryptic GM moved to quickly ban the player who complained.

We’re not surprised that a guy in an MMO would pass himself off as a woman. We’re not even surprised that a good number of STO players continued to defend Katic: folks tend to believe what they want to believe, and the thread is a classic example of fanboys upset and unable to come to grips with the fact that their revered gamer hottie has been lying to them for months.

But it does strike us as ridiculous that Cryptic would discipline players who complained about Katic, particularly after near-universal reports of Katic’s behavior and habit of antagonizing players. A look at Katic’s signature on the official STO forums says it all:

Yes, that’s me in my profile pick, yes, I’m 26, a girl, and I play STO, no, I’m not single, I’m married, to a Marine, no, I won’t send you any pictures of me, yes, I play both factions, Feds and the KDF, no, I won’t join your fleet. Now stop PMing me.

Why would an attractive woman post a photograph of herself in a male-dominated environment, then go to pains to insist she’s the person in the photograph, only to angrily insist other players leave her alone?

This is a bad move on Cryptic’s part, and the banned players found themselves on the receiving end of a player who remains popular, albeit with a dwindling number of reverent fanboys who still believe he is a she, in particular the she pictured in the photograph.

But forgotten in all of this is the fact that the woman in the picture is a real woman, living her life somewhere out there in the real world, oblivious to the fact that some guy pilfered her image and spun elaborate lies in a play to get…what, exactly? More attention? More credibility? A personal army of players willing to give him/her in-game epics and currency?

We don’t speak Russian, but if we did, we’d be curious to know what Lyubochka Anisimova has to say about all this.

UPDATE: Here’s an e-mail from the photographer who owns the shots Katic claimed as his own:

Hi,

Unfortunately I’m not very good in English. Sorry for that.

Great thanks to you for not leaving this facts without attention. I am the true author of these photographs. And Model is a resident of Russia, her name is Lubov Ansimova.

The fact of violating my copyright by the United States citizen is really sad, but most likely i will do nothing about this, because it is useless.
Thank you again.

UPDATE: It looks like Cryptic reconsidered after locking the initial thread. It’s now deleted entirely. Screenshots coming soon.

UPDATE: A second forum thread on the drama has been locked by moderators.

UPDATE: Another player has been disciplined by Cryptic Studios at the behest of Katic for daring to get on Katic’s bad side. Mr. Katic has a long, distinguished record of crying to the community moderation team any time he wants GMs to silence and discipline a player he doesn’t like. As a loyal lapdog, Cryptic obeys. The players who find themselves the focus of Katic’s ire can be banned for things as innocuous as petitioning the developers for a Federation carrier ship. This is as insane as it sounds.

UPDATE: A reader notes Katic asserted he was a U.S. citizen in this thread from December, which directly contradicts yesterday’s assertion that he is Russian. (Hearty lulz.) Interestingly, the thread provides much of the reasoning why Mr. Katic became Mrs. Katic – in his own words, “I want to be wanted … I don’t want any kind of special treatment, position, or promotion. I’m just tired of soloing everything and having to PUG in STFs and PvP. I want a fleet that wants me, to play with me, to RP with me, to fly and fight beside me, to mail me crafting materials and requests.. To call on me when there’s a mission they need help with. I want to belong. I’m not interested in start-ups, or recruits for my current fleet.” How to get around that thorny issue of Ventrilo? “I’m mute, so.. Vent is not an option for me.”

UPDATE: As the above forum links make clear, at least four confirmed bans/official warnings have been issued by Cryptic on behalf of Katic. Several other players report similar incidents, but Cryptic has a policy of taking further disciplinary action against players who discuss moderation, putting those players at risk of permanent account ban if they complain. If you have been banned or issued point warnings on your account via a complaint by Katic, please take a screen shot, redact your account name and any identifying details with Photoshop, Paint or Pixlr, and upload a photo of your ban/warning notice with a link in the comments section. All commenters will remain anonymous: we will not share your identifying information with readers or Cryptic. On a related note, we have to wonder how long it will take the GMs at Cryptic to realize repeated incidents involving one player must have something to do with that player’s behavior, not the many innocent players who get on that person’s bad side. When players are receiving warnings for things as innocuous as lobbying for the introduction of ship types, it’s obvious the situation has gotten out of hand.

What’s the first thing you’d do after a five-month hiatus?

I headed out for a test drive. After picking up the Black Bruise and Keleseth’s Seducer in April, a new job and new time constraints meant I had no more time for raiding, and I decided to take a break.

When I logged in last night and checked the character pane, I saw the icons and remembered: Hey, I’ve got a pair of bad-ass fist weapons here!

Some old-school friends were starting up a late 10-man ICC run, and we ran a quick six-boss gauntlet. Here are the numbers:

Gear Score: 5784

DPS: 9772.3

Buffs: Improved Might, Kings, MotW (scroll), Fish Feast, Intellect, no flask.

For half the raid, it was an alt run, so the context may be a bit skewed. The 9777 DPS was good for second on the meter, behind a very solid Elemental Shaman friend who has a heroic weapon and the four-piece set bonus.

Which I still don’t have. But, hey, Cataclysm might be here in less than two months, so what’s the worry?

Hostess: Dean, Amy, I just sat you.Waiter: Oh, sh!t. What do we got?
Hostess: Well, yours are cool. They look like business people.
Waiter: All right.
Waitress: What about mine?
Hostess: I don’t know. They don’t speak English.
Waitress: Foreigners!
Hostess: I’m sorry.
Waitess: Are you mad at me?
Hostess: No, I swear! I’m just going by the rotation.
Waitress: I f*cking hate foreigners! It’s such bullsh!t!
Hostess: Like they don’t know how to tip?
Waitress: Oh, they know.
Waiter: Aw, yeah, they f*cking know!

Waiting: WoW's Bad Tippers

"100g tip for a couple gem cuts? Sweet."

The above quote is from the movie Waiting, a comedy about a TGI Fridays-esque chain restaurant called Shenaniganz. As expected, the waiters and waitresses spend a lot of time bitching about tips, but there’s one group in particular they dread most — foreigners.

In the film, five or six Europeans sit down at a booth and pretend they don’t speak a word of English, presenting themselves as tourists who aren’t familiar with the American custom of tipping for service.

As crafters on every server can attest, some World of Warcraft players aren’t much different when it comes to tipping the people who make or enhance their gear. In one way, WoW’s bad tippers are worse than the foreigners in Waiting — you can see the Europeans coming, but Azeroth’s bad tippers don’t look any different from their better-tipping brethren.

Although real money is not at stake when it comes to in-game tipping, bad tips can influence player behavior — why would a crafter keep a BoE pattern if they’re getting paltry tips on big-ticket items? If they know from past experience they’re not going to recoup the going price of the pattern by crafting an item, why not just sell off the pattern?

Those were questions I asked myself a few months back, when I accumulated four Trial of the Crusader patterns for iLevel 245 gear and hadn’t ‘learned’ them yet. If I can get upwards of 5k for each of these patterns, I thought, is it really worth it to keep them for crafting?

As it turned out, it hasn’t been worth it. That’s a lesson I should have learned back in The Burning Crusade.

An example: Recently a Hunter had me craft a Crusader’s Dragonscale Breastplate. He had me travel to Undercity to meet him, kept me waiting for about 10 minutes as he finished buying off the materials, stood there eagerly while I hit the ‘create’ button, and ended the transaction by tipping a whopping 5g. Five gold is cool if I’m converting some Borean Leather into Heavy Borean for you, or if your level 50-something alt wants a Blue Dragonscale Breastplate. But if you’re asking a crafter to make you a near best-in-slot item that requires thousands of gold in mats, and you make that person travel to — and then wait for — you to gather up mats, you should tip them well.

"I like to swim in my guild bank's second tab."

I can’t help but notice how, on my server, there are a handful of people Horde-side who I’d consider completists when it comes to patterns and plans, while the rest seem content to max their crafting skill, make a few items for themselves and call it a day.

Around the same time as the above example, I had a player craft Crusader’s Dragonscale Bracers for me. I bought two of the Crusader Orbs with emblems, paid up the nose for the other two, and presented the mats with a 150g tip, which I still felt was kinda low despite my depleted in-game finances. Likewise, if I bring three epic gems to a jewelcrafter, I usually tip around 60g, or a little more than 20g per cut. I haven’t gotten any complaints, and I hope the crafters I deal with are happy.

Should we, as players, be tipping 15% or 20% on crafted items, as if we were settling the tab at a diner? No. A tip of 1k gold on an item that costs less than 6k to craft is problably excessive for most people, although if you’re one of those players sitting on more gold than Scrooge McDuck, you could make a crafter very, very happy that way. (I know one guy who was the GM of a large raid guild, and he claims he’s got more than 100k.)

Tips should reflect the value of the item being crafted, its rarity, its power, and the good faith of the crafter who learned it instead of selling it off at the Auction House. If a crafter makes a grand total of 15 Bracers of Swift Death, and she receives an average 10g tip for each of those bracers, the fact that she could have earned thousands more gold by selling the pattern will not elude her.

And while it’s true that every pattern sold through the Auction House finds its way into the possession of another crafter, those might not be the same folks who hang around in Dalaran or Orgrimmar for hours, offering their services in trade chat. Some people view crafting as a minigame itself, and it’s much better to have a reliable, frequently-available crafter on your friend’s list than it is to chase down a player who’s always in an instance or out farming somewhere away from civilization.

Of course, as in the real world, if you receive bad service you can choose to reduce your tip, or not tip at all. In the service industry, customers use their wallets to provide feedback. But if you’re happy with the transaction? Next time you excitedly gather up the mats for a big-ticket item and bring them to a friendly crafter for a key enchant or piece of gear, put yourself in their shoes and show your appreciation in gold. Like a bartender, they won’t forget you, and next time you need something they’re more likely to go out of their way to help you.

Related posts from Stormstrike:

Patch 3.3: Enhancement Shaman Talent Specs, Now With More Fire Nova

Lord Marrowgar down! The fight, from a melee perspective

The Frozen Halls: Enhancement Shaman Gear

More than just Gear(Score): An interview with Gear Score’s developer

Despite the holiday season, and a serious lack of will to raid — nevermind a serious lack of regular raiders — my guild is now 4/4 in Icecrown Citadel. We can all kick back with some eggnog with the satisfaction of knowing we’ll be ready when the next wing opens.

In the meantime, blogging has been light here at Stormstrike. You humble Tauren correspondent has relatives in his house, presents to wrap (we are procrastinators up in Thunder Bluff) and familial obligations to attend to.

But I leave you with this. Here’s to hoping you all get what you want for Christmas, whether it’s a Battered Hilt, a Frost Giant’s Cleaver, or a Frostmourne Replica (you nerds!). Merry Christmas!

FRAGILE -- Must be Italian.

A short update on my own patch night adventures: I finally got in to Forge of Souls, which we decided to try on heroic.

In all, it took almost 50 minutes of trying to zone in, waiting out two-to-five minute load screens, and getting spat back out of with the error: “Transfer Aborted: Instance not found.”

In the group was a guild tank, a guild mage, a pug warrior, and a pug resto shaman healer. We went in fresh, overpowered the first boss without looking up any strategy, and then made our way to Devourer of Souls. He’s a tougher fight than any of us expected, with a wide-ranging beam-style ability reminiscent of Mimiron and heavy AoE splash damage. He’s also got an ability that functions like a Soul Link, sharing incoming damage with a random player for a short duration — so the whole group has to be on its toes, ready to stop DPS at a second’s notice.

We didn’t have any real strategy for Devourer of Souls, other than to interrupt his Phantom Blast, have everyone — including the tank — stop DPS during Mirrored Soul, and stay clear of Wailing Souls. As our mage pointed out, “It’s not a balls-out DPS fight, it’s a survival fight.”

Devourer of Souls

Devourer of Souls: An angry-lookin' bastard with a shrieking voice and some nasty abilities.

Unfortunately, I nubbed it up and didn’t hand in the initial quest until after we’d killed the first boss, so after 20 minutes of group-building and re-zoning (there’s still a big crowd outside, and it’s late) I’m back in Forge of Souls, this time on regular mode.

Update: I notice some people coming to this blog seem to be having difficulty finding the instance. The Forge of Souls entrance is on the west side of Icecrown Citadel’s upper ramparts. It’s quicker to leave Dalaran from the landing — just fly west, circle around the largest spire at Icecrown, and look for a rampart that leads deep into the citadel: That’s the entrance to the Forge of Souls.

Good luck.

Update: Ran regular, which went much smoother despite having an all-pug run, and finished the quest. Now I’m headed into the Pit of Saron

In January of this year, a first-time add-on developer contributed a simple piece of code to a few of World of Warcraft’s popular download sites.

Dubbed Gear Score, the mod was aimed at raid and PuG leaders, as an alternative to alt-tabbing out of the game to manually check the Armory pages of prospective group members. For the better part of eight months, the add-on remained relatively obscure, a toy for the developer’s friends, family and guild-mates.

It wasn’t until Gear Score 3.0 — which incorporated a built-in Armory tool — was released that the add-on’s popularity spread like a viral video, racking up thousands upon thousands of downloads and becoming a staple in almost every pick-up-group player’s toolbox. It’s hard to pin down exactly when Gear Score entered the wider consciousness of the World of Warcraft playerbase — probably some time between the first angry rants aimed at the add-on’s users, and the sudden use of the program’s name as a verb: “Dude, there’s a Ret Paladin who wants to join, can you Gear Score him?”

…if a player has great gear they need almost no skill or knowledge of the fights to succeed. For example, run Halls of Lightning with everyone in Ulduar gear, and you don’t even have to run away from Loken’s lightning blast, which will one-shot any player who actually needs gear from that instance. So it’s not that GearScore makes users assume that a player with 4000 score is more skilled, it’s that users don’t care what your skill level is, because with high enough gear you don’t need any skill.

Never has an add-on been so devisive, inspiring diatribes that grow into monstruous threads on the game’s official forums, or posts lamenting the growing notion that gear is the most significant factor in evaluating a player’s worth. Even the developers have responded, with Ghostcrawler joking about implementing an iLevel 300 shirt to “mess with mods that attempt to boil down players to gear scores.”

Yet for every player who thinks the add-on makes other players too lazy, too critical of others, or too dependent on gear as a barometer of skill, there’s another who thinks Gear Score — used in moderation — can quickly help them determine if a player is clearly not ready for certain content.

“If someone does have full greens and tries to pug heroic TOC25, addons like Gear Score are a good way to go ‘Whoa WTF?'” notes a Warrior on the official forums. “It’s all in how it’s used.”

It took only a few short weeks for legions of players to catch on, spending their downtime in cities like Dalaran, mousing over passing players to query their scores. As the number of players who were being rejected from pick-up-groups grew exponentially with the popularity of Gear Score, the backlash started to gain traction.

If skill is really more important than gear, the detractors wondered, shouldn’t there be more ways of evaluating players besides — or in addition to — gear?

As it turns out, mirrikat45, the developer of Gear Score, has thought of that. His solution: Revamp Gear Score into a more robust indicator of player effectiveness by offering a baseball card’s worth of totals and statistics. Although busy working out the kinks in the latest iteration of Gear Score, mirrikat45 took some time out of his day to talk with Stormstrike about his add-on, the way it’s used by players, and what kind of functionality we can expect from the newest version.

First I want to ask you about the general response to Gear Score. As a player who took a long break from the game, I came back to WoW (and to raiding) to find everyone was using your add-on. I read your blog, and it seems like Gear Score was added to Curse and the other popular add-on sites in late August, is that right?

GearScore was created in January of 2009, at almost the exact same time as Wow-hereos. However GearScore didn’t become popular until I released the 3.0 version with the in-game armory. (In late August.)

Can you describe the explosion in popularity of Gear Score? Did it take you by surprise? And do you have any information on how many people use it?

The explosion was partly by suprise. And some of that explosion was the cause of a few problems within the addon. It’s hard for me to say how many people are using it. I have several thousand downloads / day from Curse, but its hard to see exactly how many of those are just updates and how many are new users. In addition many websites out there pull addons from other sources and allow people to download them from there. Further more, I don’t track downloads from the blog either.

…the majority of critics have absolutely no idea how the addon works. They make crazy assumptions, such as ‘Your GearScore is simply the total of all your item levels,’ or perhaps the average item level. They don’t realize the addon contains an in-game armory so that it cannot be “tricked.” They assume that putting on “Darkmoon Card: Greatness” will drastically ruin your score and therefore the addon is completely flawed.


From reading your blog, it’s obvious you’ve heard some of the criticisms and are working to make the add-on more robust, so it provides more than just an evaluation of a player’s gear. In the new version,  users will be able to see if a player’s gear is appropriate for their spec, and get detailed histories of their raiding experience. Can you talk a little bit about why you decided to add those extra features? Is there anything else on the horizon, in terms of other categories with which to evaluate a player’s contribution to a raid?

Well, first, I added them because I wanted them! And so did a lot of my friends, family, and guild members. I also wanted to emphasize that GearScore isn’t everything, that there are other aspects you should take into account when inviting players. However usually for a pug leader with a time limit, the amount of time it took to take these other aspects into account was encumbering. These updates allow for more efficient information, in an easier to read display.

gearscorescreen

GearScore 3.1 will reveal if a player is wearing gear itemized appropriately for their spec, among other changes.

Let’s also talk about technical limitations, if you don’t mind. What bits of data do you wish Blizzard would make available for add-on developers like you? What kind of features would you like to implement, but cannot, due to the limits of lag and in-game data mining?

When I first wrote the addon I calculated stats directly off the items, so if it was enchanted or gemmed it would naturally have a higher score. To combat latency issues within Dalaran, Blizzard removed gem information from itemlinks seen on characters in the game. (Which means that when you first inspect a player you must wait a few seconds to receive gem information. For the most part the average user won’t notice anything, but addons will).

This addon was indeed my first. I had messed around with some of the code before but never put any effort into a real addon. I’m very good at learning technical systems of any kind and was able to quickly learn the language and had the first version of the addon out within a couple months…I would love the opportunity to work in any kind of game design and plan to begin writing my own apps for the iPhone.

This caused all kinds of bugs, because Blizzard never added a method to determine WHEN the gem information is actually ready. To combat this change I had to calculate my formula in another way that still came to the same value. Doing so however removes my ability to calculate the value of gems and enchantments, a major criticism of the addon. My wish is for blizzard to add the gem information back into itemlinks or to make an event “GEM_INFORMATION_READY” which we could simply wait for, before scanning a player’s Gear.

GearScoreSnip2

Among the new at-a-glance features is a tab that displays dungeon progress, with mouse-over information detailing the specific bosses a player has killed. (Image courtesy mirrikat45)

For every player who has ranted about Gear Score on the forums or blogs, there are others who see it as an extremely useful tool for quickly determining if players are really ready for certain content.  Is there anything you would like to say to critics, or those who don’t seem to realize that gear is just one way of measuring a player’s effectiveness?

This is a difficult thing for me to comment on. I’ve spent a lot of time on the forums speaking to people about the addon.

The first problem I run into is that people don’t always hate the addon in particular, they seem to hate the words “gear score,” and often times they don’t realize there is a difference between the addon and wow-heroes. The next problem I run into is that the majority of critics have absolutely no idea how the addon works. They make crazy assumptions, such as ‘Your GearScore is simply the total of all your item levels,’ or perhaps the average item level. They don’t realize the addon contains an in-game armory so that it cannot be “tricked”. They assume that putting on “Darkmoon Card: Greatness” will drastically ruin your score and therefore the addon is completely flawed.

Furthermore they make crazy assumptions about “EVERYONE” who uses the addon, saying things such as “everyone who uses it is a moron” or “tanks put on cloth gear just because the item has higher GearScore.” All the assumptions about the addon are completely false, and I highly doubt that even a small number of players act in the way critics assume they do.

Before I continue, let me describe the “misuse” a lot of my critics say the addon causes. They complain that people use my addon to keep those who need gear out of instances because my addon encourages players to ask for “4000” GearScore just to run heroics. This isn’t true. The addon states right on the main screen that 2600 is more than suitable for  Heroics.

The players are using the addon correctly, however they are just looking for unreasonably high values for heroics. Why? Because they don’t want to spend more then 15 minutes in the instance. This is a problem of laziness being rewarded with more emblems. The more emblems per hour you can farm out of heroics, the more benefits you get. So in a way, the game itself encourages players to run speed runs. Without GearScore players just ask for “6000 DPS” or “Link [Overkill Achievement],” or they just inspect you or look up your Gear on Armory, IMBA, or wow-heroes.

Heroics are very easy, and having high gear makes it even easier, so that if a player has high gear they need almost no skill or knowledge of the fights to succeed. For example, Run Halls of Lightning with everyone in Ulduar gear, and you don’t even have to run away from Loken’s lightning blast, which will one shot any player who actually needs gear from that instance. So it’s not that GearScore makes users assume that a player with 4000 score is more skilled, it’s that users don’t care what your skill level is, because with high enough gear you don’t’ need any skill.

Look at it the other way, and when you see players looking for raids or groups for current level content they ask for reasonable GearScores and also tend to say “Must know the fights”. Although many players still make you link the achievement to prove you know the fights. This suggests to me that the users of the addon know the fights wont be easy, and still want you to not suck. And the fact that they tend to ask for reasonable GearScores leads me to believe that most of the “abuse” and “misuse” who-ha is highly exaggerated.

Blizzard has on multiple times stated that they don’t see a problem with gear checks or gear evaluating levels. They have stated that they noticed the problem with the community shifting to “speed” runs and focusing on efficiency. They have also stated that they have plans for Cataclysm to alleviate this problem.

And finally, if you wouldn’t mind, I’d like to include a little bit about you. Is this your first add-on? How did you get into coding add-ons? Is this just a hobby, or is it something you hope might segue into a full-time job with a games company?

I’m 23 years old, from Oregon originally, but living in Washington at the moment. My main is a Restoration Shaman, but I do have a warlock, druid, paladin, and hunter alts. I don’t have much time to play them because of the time demands addon programming costs.

This addon was indeed my first. I had messed around with some of the code before, but never put any effort into a real addon. I’m very good at learning techincal systems of any kind and was able to quickly learn the language and had the first version of the addon out within a couple months.

I originally wrote the addon because people would just count the number of epics you had on your gear as the only requirement to get into Naxx. However some of these epics were only a fraction of a bit better then many blues available from Heroic Dungeons, and in addition people were inviting those in level 70 epics. GearScore was written to let you see how powerful that purple item should be.
So what’s next for you after GearScore?
I would love the opportunity to work in any kind of game design and plan to begin writing my own apps for the Iphone.