Ranking Players with Elitist Group


I hesitated a bit when writing this post largely because I know how the community feels when it comes to “scoring” players. No one wants to be condensed to just a number or a value. At the same time, the idea of a player’s gearscore has evolved to into another concept where a players capability and potential can be scored.

Why rate players at all?

Its a good question. For raid leaders who are assembling their groups from strangers, it can be a bit of an exhausting process to individually armory players and figure out if they can compete in the level of content that is being worked on.

At the same time though, not everyone knows the strengths and appropriate stat weightings of every class or spec. I’m a healer. I don’t know much about Rogues or Hunters. I don’t know how to tell if they’re gemmed or enchanted properly.

When raid leaders are getting runs going, they have to balance two things: Players and time. We need to make sure we get ourselves a competent crew to run with. We need to make sure that we can assemble it within a reasonable amount of time or else people will simply leave because of time constraints. Between inspecting players, asking questions, and achievement checking, that time can add up especially when players get turned down.

What exactly does it measure?

Gearscore currently examines a players gear and assigns a value based on the overall “power” of their items. It doesn’t know whether a player enchanted or gemmed their gear wrong. It isn’t smart enough to determine whether a Ret Pally wearing cloth instead of plate should get penalized.

Gear does not determine player skill at all.

But it does determine the maximum damage, healing, or tanking a player can do.


Let’s use a DPS player as an example. The above table represents in my mind the two qualities I look at when bringing in a player.

  • Gear: Like it or not, gear ultimately determines the range at which a player can do damage. The better the gear, the higher the potential. They can still do low damage even though they have competitive gear.
  • Skill: You can’t look at the skills of a player until after you run with them at all. Personally, I like to assume the best. I’ll rely on their achievements for a better look. While its true that people can get carried when clearing Trial of the Crusader, its difficult to say that when the player in question has killed Anub’Arak on Trial of the Grand Crusader.

Both aspects are intertwined to a degree.


These are extremely rough estimates and I know that encounters will have a huge determining factor in the overall DPS that can be done. Its also going to vary by class mechanics and so forth.

Lets just assume for the second its the same player on all four characters with different levels of gear. In all cases, he could do 1000 DPS. Maybe this Elemental Shaman would bind Lightning Bolt to every key and just faceroll all over it.

But if the player is using every cooldown and nailing every rotation, then what restricts his damage is his gear. Only one set of gear is going to allow Elmo, the Elemental Shaman to do or exceed 6000 DPS. Its all about potential.

Lets move on to Elitist Group

I wrote about this on No Stock UI this morning, but I wanted to mention the usefulness of this tool to raid leaders and what type of information I’d glean by looking at this.


This is the sheet of my Retribution Paladin, Valoray. Its a bit outdated. I picked up a new cloak and chest and haven’t gotten around to enchanting either of them. Anyway, according to Elitist Group, I’m using a tanking Libram (really?) There are a list of suggested dungeons down the middle that I can participate in. EG has tallied up what I have along with the gems I have and has assigned me a gear rating of 239. This means that my Paladin is theoretically able to compete in Icecrown Citadel raids as long as they are not heroic.

(Also, I need a reminder to switch to an Exorcism glyph once I hit a certain amount of expertise which I can’t remember the value of)

But what about my skills and my experience?

Over on the right pane, you can see the list of raids and achievements that I have completed.


No hard mode achievements. Fully cleared Trial of the Crusader. Made some slight progress in Icecrown Citadel. Didn’t knock out Ulduar entirely.

This Paladin fails. Lets move on to someone else.


And here we have my Elemental Shaman.

Still using that Deathchill Cloak. EG has red flagged my chest and legs. I’m using spellpower and stamina gems in them. And my legs are also using the spellpower and spirit leg enchants.

What a terrible Elemental Shaman.

Glyphs seem to be okay (although I heard Glyph of Totem of Wrath is making a comeback?) A gear rating of 237 indicates that my Shaman is slightly less powerful than my Paladin. But what about her experience? Mousing over the Ulduar 25 raids, we can see that the Shaman has at least 1 Yogg-Saron kill under her belt. She meets the EG recommendations for Icecrown Citadel on 10 and 25.

She even has 36% completed in Trial of the Grand Crusader having taken down heroic Val’kyr Twins twice (although to be fair, that group lucksauced it with the door strat).

Given the choice, I’d probably pick the Elemental Shaman because she has done a bit more in the game then the Ret Paladin has.

(Although in due practice, I clocked about 4900 DPS on Saurfang last night on 25 so I’m questioning my Elementaling abilities, sadface)


Lastly, the Notes system can be used for further information in the future. After you finish a run, you can add a rating from 1-5 and leave a little comment. Each comment you leave overrides the previous one. You can use it to leave useful things like:

  • Has dual spec and can tank or heal
  • Only wants to run for Emblems
  • Has a DPS alt named <blank>
  • Managed to outheal Matt (Invite him, it makes him look bad)

(If you’re wondering about the comments on the screenshot, I happened to be doing some Ebaying of MTG cards at the time. Speaking of MTG, I started another blog specifically for it: Topdeck.me)

In any event, use Elitist Group. It condenses most of the information you need into one accessible place. You can see what they’ve done and get an idea of what the character is ready for. To a healer like me who doesn’t know enough about other classes to make snap judgments, this advises me on whether or not I should outright reject a player or consider them.

Then again, I rely on other experienced players to handle the inviting :D.

23 thoughts on “Ranking Players with Elitist Group”

  1. The reason Libram of Valiance is flagged as a tank item is cause in that screenshot you’re using an old version, that was fixed about a week ago and was reflagged as tank/dps.

  2. I set up my first pug over the weekend. This would have helped me so much. Good thing I had my Pally BF help, but it was a bit overwhelming. I will definately look into that addon.

  3. Matt! Only now you tell me you play magic …

    I might have to check this addon out, it would perhaps encourage me to setup pugs more frequently on my alts. But all in all, it remains a bit of a dodgy measuring system. If it somehow would take into account when exactly achievements were gained (prenerf, postnerf) it would be telling a bit more. Also, Ulduar is not much of a measuring tool for raidexperience anymore, except for some particular fights, some hardmodes & obviously algalon. But sure, I’ll give it a whirl. Least it can do is tell me who is running around with improper gear (Mr. tanking libram!)

  4. This is why I don’t really bother with things like Gearscore, Elitists and other mods and add-ons that put a hard number on someone’s toon. If you have use a number as a reference to tell how good a player is, then you’re not a good player. Sometimes a really low ilvl item is BiS (i.e. the Holy Paladin ilvl 200 badge libram), and sometimes you want to gem differently for a different build – or you need to reach your Hit or Expertise cap for an upcoming patch change. The list goes on. A good example is your Shaman, which is geared well but still has “red flags” on it.

    It’s like seeing a car and saying, “Well it must go fast. It’s all shiny!” But you don’t anything about cars or that year’s model. Maybe it has no gas or the transmission is shot. Or maybe the person who drives it is horrible at driving. If you know WoW and you know the classes and your own, you don’t need a number from a mod to tell you how useful or skilled they are. Players can get carried through content. There’s no substitute for having experts in your guild break them down after giving them a few trial runs in raids.
    .-= Ferarro´s last blog ..You Gotta Fight For Your Right To…Play. =-.

  5. This addon looks pretty handy for starting pug. Does it suffer from the same constant data spamming that GearScore was plagued by?

    GS essentially pulses datapackets to everyone every second or 2 and can really add up to a number of disconnects in 25m raids. I’d be really interested to know what spamfu says about this addon.

    (Carbonite is another serious offender for addon spam)

  6. Ah if I could handle more addons…

    Last night we did a heroic with two DK’s who each had about a 4400 GearScore. Our tank was pulling about 1200 dps and those DK’s were below him at about 1000-1100 dps. I begged and begged for them to put out more dps – heroics require at least a 1400-1600 dps minimum. I suggested a few online sites so they could learn about their class. I guess that humiliated them enough that they finally ended up dropping group before the final boss. :/

    T9 is so easy to get that someone’s GS means practically nothing because it does not directly correlate with a players’ ability. This has been proven to me time and time again.

  7. As a newish Prot Pally, someone did the gearscore thing on my last night. It was a guildie and he was just setting up some new mods so it had no bearing on what we were doing last night. Still, my gearscore was slightly over 3800 and I have no clue what that means really. I tank, dps is not my job really. Is 3800 good or bad for a prot pally running 5 mans. I’ve been mostly worried about the def cap (I’m at 542 – slightly over the raid cap I think).

    Anyway, if it’s useful information that’s great. But how does one know what’s good and what’s not?

  8. I like the mod as far as these sorts of mods go. I despise gs although mine is around 5700. I find most players with accomplished hard modes and good gear hate GS. this mod helps a bit, as in seeing itemization, and what these folks have cleared.

    I really think the dps expectations are extremely low. t10 6k dps? :S good luck killing anything besides ez bosses with that.

  9. @ JdJdJd , you should be fine if you are at def cap. It is the DPS’s responsibility to not pull off you. This is the main reason I even run with GS in pug’s. If you are at 3800 and I am at 5400, then I know I have to throttle back my DPS and single target. This happens to me all the time in pugs.Tanking is tricky (ask my baby prot warrior), so don’t let any hot head DPS tell you that you gear sucks for heroics.

    And, don’t let em run ahead and pull a bunch of mobs if they think you are going slow – don’t taunt, let em die. God, I hate that.

  10. Ferarro: It’s not like gearscore with a hard number, the item level is purely used so you can see that somebody with an average of 190 probably shouldn’t be doing your pug ToGC run. The STA/SP gem was switched back, but the STA/SP gem was switched back, but the SP/Spirit leg enchant isn’t really invalid. At a certain point, automatically identifying items is complicated and it’s going to have some bugs, especially for a project that’s only been officially out for about two weeks :p

    tbot: No, the majority of the comms it sends are user initiated and they are mainly sent through the whisper channel. If you see a comm message it’s generally because it’s directly related to you, or someone wants data from you, but you can control who and where people can request, or you can disable all of the comms and it won’t send or receive anything.

  11. I really hate the mods that spam you when you’re using the wrong rank of abilities. I had a few guildies run my alt warlock through some LK dungeons, and their mods kept spamming me because I was using low spell ranks. At the time, I had just literally hit 80 as the invites went out and hadn’t had time to train. For some reason, my friends couldn’t get their mods to stop spamming me.

    My main problem with GS and similar mods is the Scoreflation created by raid leaders. They continue to inflate the scores or dps values they want in their raids when a raid say Naxx10 really doesn’t need 5.5k dps. Raid leaders just say that because they want a quick clear or badge farm; or to make the false assumption that dps are scores translate to situational awareness and skill.

  12. Rating people with a number is not nice, but presenting their gear, and their achievements, for your review is a good way to get a ballpark guesstimate of who you’re dealing with. Thanks for brining ElitistGroup to more peoples’ attentions!
    .-= Wikwocket´s last blog ..Disc tips: Lord Marrowgar =-.

  13. @Tebla, Thanks. So far I haven’t had anyone complain a lot. Half of every group I”m in is always guildies/friends anyway. I did lose agro a couple of times last night but people were patient and we had a blast anyway.

  14. @matt
    hahahha I didnt even realize that you made the image. heheh ok yeah you loose some points for accuracy but I get the point, just up that t10 by 2-5k

  15. A tool is most powerful when held right. This goes for anything in life. The people who use gs-inflation or go strictly by you need x achieve or v gs show what they want out of the raid. Ie. people wanting a fast and run clear, is there any wrong in that? People wanting to learn bosses without never being there before, is there any wrong in that? It’s a decent addon and can be very useful for setting up things, but there is one thing that it will never replace and that’s the human intuition.

    I don’t know about many people here but after raid leading butt loads of times, one can kinda tell about certain people from how they act. I’m not saying I haven’t been wrong but more than not I have nailed this person dead on.

    The only downside is when going on an alt or on your main who hasn’t done Y place. Afaik there is no way to show it. So it still boils down to this for quite a few others 🙁 Link Achiev and GS or no response. Wonder if they actually check the link .. hmmm?

  16. Huh, guess I still am subscribed to comment updates.

    Both ElitistArmory and ElitistGroup let people show experience per main on their alts, and have for a while.

  17. EG does, EA does not. EG can’t work around that fact, but if you’re really that worried about alt/main experience then you can just install the ElitistGroupSender addon which does nothing but respond to EG comms, but nothing else.


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