Sorry about this post being so "all over the place", but much of what's happened lately has been of that sort. Back to my monotone babbling later...
I don't mind GearScore (GS) or Elitist Group (EG) They have small use for me in that it helps me look back at a heroic and try to understand why things went the wasy they did. Or, it lets me stroke my ePeen (not because my number is so high) but because when I am lower geared than someone, and I *still* out DPS them. And they are a Mage or Warlock.
And honestly, I can never remember what mine is. And, given how little I raid and how slowly I am accumulating Frost & Triumph badges, it stays the same for pretty long periods. *shrug*
[EDIT] - and... and... and... yes I know, my grammer sucks as of late. [/EDIT]
I *did* buy a Triumph badge upgrade for my Tank spec. I think it was shoulders (I honestly suck at remembering some crap. LET ALONE try remembering the item name) The neat thing is that I can finally start gemming for stats other than Defense. I'm still sitting at exactly 540 (capped) but am slowly increasing my stamina.
A few guildies let me tank through Utgarde Keep. I didn't do very well. The healer is a sweetheart and was quite patient. The others were... less so, but not rude or anything. But when they re-grouped for another random, I wasn't asked to tank. (I really need to get Vuhdo set up and learn it)
Kattastrophe left our guild a couple weeks ago. The guild I'm still in has some *slightly* more hardcore players in it. They tend to perform a bit better than your average guys. (not uber-leet hardcore by ANY stretch, but some pretty knowledgable and skilled players)
If you aren't in the "in group" you will get left out and not really invited to much of anything. And that's if they are runnning anything in the first place. It's not a super cold guild, but if you aren't close to the core members, it's not always super friendly either. (There are some GREAT folks there, which is why I've stayed)
Anyhow... Katt had ended up runnning with another guild for a bit over a week. They were just doing rep runs into ICC 10 man. They appreciated Katt, and as a group, they hit it off. Since they could use another good healer (they only have 1 tree - he's good, but he's only 1 guy) they asked her to join.
She was on the fence until she got asked to come along & bring me in for DPS. We're sitting at the summoning stone, and up trots a couple of our current guildies sommoning folks for a guild run for OUR guild. Never a peep or anything from our own guild asking us if we were interested. The worst part? They Pugged 2-3 spots.
This was the last straw, and Katt g/quit. It was uncomfortable for a while, but things have settled down. She's in her guild, I'm still in mine. They keep asking me to join, but I'm still not willing to jump ship on the folks I am friends with over there.
As of now, kind of the best of both worlds. We both have access to folks in both guilds.
Last night I was finishing up some stuff for cooking (more on this in a later post) and I see one of my guild officers promoting some folks up from recruit to member.
I whisped the guy, asking when I would get promoted up from "Raider" to "Active Raider".
"Hold on, let me check your gear... you were really close last time I looked." (referring to my Gear Score)
Now, this has been my only negative run-in with GS. And yeah, it's made a bit more annoying, because I HAVE done a couple 5 mans with him and other officers, I can *do* my job as DPS prety well.
A couple minutes later I was promoted. What does this mean? As far as I can tell, it really only changes my bank/repair access. (I never use the guild bank, so I'm making an assumption about that, but I did notice I now have a guild allowance for repair)
So with Katt's guild, I ran a number of Rep runs into ICC 10 man last week. I didn't make it to friendly, at least not that time. They were interesting, and it's neat to actually be a part (even a non-guilded part) of a team.
The only downside is that they are not obssessed with getting the most out of their gear & stuff as the top guys in my current guild. Don't get me wrong, they DO work on their gear and they DO try to learn. BUT, the majority of them are not spending hours a week reading EJ, tinkering and beating on test dummies for hours to optimize their rotation. (although a couple of them certainly do though) They play to spend time together and have fun.
(Also, one mage there isn't a fan of Omen -or any- aggro meter)
Then on Saturday, they decided to make a run for Marrowgar. We went in semi-cold. A few of us knew his abilities, but there was no pre-arranged strategy. we went in, cleared the trash Then?
We all watched the tankspot vid and prepped for a Sunday attempt. After clearing the trash (and got my ring for being friendly with Ashen Verdict), we stood around outside Marrow's room discussing strat. We did a dry run there, using a DK's Death & Decay (D&D) to simulate Marrow's hitbox and try to get our placements. We then went in.
We understood the fight a LOT better, but still didn't do a whole lot better. The fire was just kicking our asses. Especially when it gets dropped right on top of someone that is spiked, and you're trying to rescue. Nasty, and it happened several times.
One note about tankspot's video: I think that staying underneath Marrow while he's doing his spinning thing is not the best idea. He's moving around pretty quickly, and dropping a TON of his fire. Often multiple "shots" (each shot goes in 4 directions) right next to each other. With him focussed on everyone in the center of the room, the fire becomes so dense you can't avoid it, and "head for the hills" seems like it may be a better tactic. This also gives the tanks time to regain aggro after the phase re-starts.
When I am doing random PuGs for my emblems (as opposed to guild/friend runs) I have started removing gear prior to selecting "join queue". Every time I have done so I have gotten low level/fast/easy runs. (barring one Malygos/Oculus fiasco) I'm not 100% convinced that it isn't simple RNG giving me these runs, and not my reduced "visible gear score", but I'll take fast, easy runs for my badges, athankuverymuch!
I want to run Forge of Souls (FoS), Pit of Saron (PoS) and Halls of Reflection(HoR) but I don't care to run them in randoms (PoS & HoR in particular) They are just tough enough that they will likely cost you more in repair bills than you will get out of them. The "Follow Arthas" trick in HoR has made it much more manageable, but it still requires some really good DPS and tanking to make it, and PuGs seem to fail too much (no badges, BUT a hefty repair bill)