Monday, April 6, 2009
EJ readers will scoff and possibly LOL. But even they know people near and dear who do it. People go to their character page on wowarmory.com and click on the "Find an upgrade" link. Well, of course that's fine. It shows many somewhat similar items and somewhat similar stats and shows you them in a mostly iLevel ordering high to low.
What some people do: They look at that list and see items higher than their current item and say to themselves, "I'd take that if it dropped." What's crazy is that they think that it if they're a hunter and the item has +spell power. They think that if they're a holy priest and the item only improves damage. A mage with a healing proc trinket. A death knight with a shield bonus trinket. Etc.
WowArmory.com's "Find an upgrade" link gives you a grab bag. It is a primative shuffle through items available. Use it as a quick reference. Use it as a spring-board to gear planning. WowArmory.com sucks as a stand-alone gear planner.
So... okay what should you use? If you're planning all by yourself outside the game, you can use item websites like wowhead.com and thottbot.com. wowhead has nice filters (e.g.- searching for shoulders). thottbot has nice drill downs into spell mechanics of items. They both have community and decent comments. wowhead's are probably better IMHO. If you're going on a raid you can browse wow-loot.com so you can be clued-in to what might be good for your class-spec, and what might be better for another class-spec.
If you are a hunter and want to be spoon fed with goodness, you need a computer with Microsoft Excel. (No, unfortunately OpenOffice.org won't cut it.) Here's what you do. Go get a copy of Shandra's spreadsheet. Get the LIVE version. Open it up and change your name, realm, and region in the Overview tab. Then on the Gear tab click "Load Gear from Armory". After its pulled in all that info, go to the Talent tab and do the same. Then the choices open up. You can enter in Pet info, and Shot Rotations, and Buffs. Those aren't critical steps, but are useful. Flick to the Gear Planner tab. If you filled in Pet, Buffs, and Shot Rotations, then the Gear Planner info will be on the money. Otherwise, you'll take some default which may be a little off. What it will show you is your current gear, and how much more or less dps you'll do with other important pieces. You will get a custom best-in-slot view of gear. Print out the tab and keep it next to your keyboard.
So that may help with planning in advance. But what if you spill a frothy adult beverage on that paper or can't find Microsoft Excel? Or maybe you just aren't playing a hunter! There is a stop-gap solution for you. Try the RatingsBuster addon. When you look at any item that you don't have equipped, it will add into the item info a delta of it compared with your current item. It will pick a few important stats to your class that may need to computed. It will use all stats on the item and what you're currently wearing. It will factor in your level for computations. It can presume gems. It's really quite nice.