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Finding The Best Gear For Your Character

September 8, 2008

I’m publishing this little tutorial because somebody commented to me in-game the other day that my priest was “amazingly” well-equipped for his level and they wanted to know where I got all my gear.  Well, I could sit here and tell you where I got it, or I could teach you how to find the gear you need yourself.

You could always just use Blizzard’s Armory, but there are better ways.  There are two sites I’m going to mention.  One in brief, and one more in-depth.  One of my favourite-of-all-time gear websites is  Click the link, then click on your class.  If your character is below level sixty (or you just don’t have Burning Crusade) click the “Pre-Expansion List” link that appears at the top of the page.  Now scroll through the list.  It will give you a list of all the instances (and some of the raids) in the game and show you, based on your spec, what gear in that instance should be of interest to you and who it drops from.  When somebody says to me “Hey, do you wanna run <fill in the blank>?” I usually tab to this site really quick to see what’s in that particular instance.  It’s not that I won’t run an instance if I can’t get anything good, but sometimes it affects which character I will offer to take.

The second – and more powerful way – to shop for gear is to use the new weighting system on  For this method, I am going to use a full tutorial – with pictures – because sometimes the menu options in Wowhead can be a little intimidating if you don’t know where you’re going.  Let’s say for the purpose of this example that I’m looking for a new mace for my Level 22 Dwarf Discipline Priest, Wetnap.  (Man that sounds like an oxymoron.  “Dwarf Discipline”.)

  1. Load
  2. We’re not going to type anything in the search box because really, we don’t know the name of what we’re looking for.
  3. We said we were looking for a mace, so mouse over the word “Database” (below Wowhead) so the drop down menu appears.  You’re going to navigate through Items, then Weapons, then One-Handed Maces, then click.

    Figure 1

    Figure 1

  4. The screen that comes up is gonna be like looking at the white pages of the phone book for Brooklyn, New York.  It’s gonna be information overload, but not for long.  We’re going to filter and weight the results so it not only shows us the gear we can use, but the gear that is optimally suited for our class and build.
  5. That Cosmic Infuser from Tempest Keep looks damn nice, but it’s worthless to us at Level 22.  The first thing we need to do is create a filter.  (See Figure 1.)  Part of that immense list of gear is going to disappear.  Well, no, not really.  It’s not going to disappear, it’s just going to slide down the page to make room for the filtering options.  There are a few options we need to check.
  6. First of all the required level.  You may not think it’s important, but it’s very important (for accurate results) to put in a minimum required level.  Why?  Because a lot of engineering stuff and quest items don’t have a minumum required level and if you do a search without a minimum required level specified, Wowhead is going to spit out all those items that are of no use to us.  So whether you just
    Figure 2

    Figure 2

    put “1” in, or put whatever your level is, minus five or ten it doesn’t matter.  For the sake of this example, we’re going to put “1” in the minimum required level and “22” in the maximum required level.  Please note that this is in the required level fields, not the level fields.  (See Figure 2.)  Sometimes it’s beneficial to jack the maximum level one or two levels too.  What’s the point of doing a 14-point quest, and then finding out two levels later that there’s something else you really want.  Planning ahead is always good.  Don’t hit Apply Filter yet.  We’re not quite done.

  7. Now we’re going to use a weighting filter.  That’ll be just above the list of items and just below the fields where you just entered the levels.  You’ll have to click on “Create A Weight Scale” and another menu will “flip down”.  Don’t worry, you won’t truly have to “create” anything.  There are several good presets in the system and that’s what we’re going to use.  Since Wetnap is a Discipline Priest, we’re going to first of all click the Preset drop-down box and select “Priest” from the list.  Once you do that, a second box appears to the right of the class, asking you for your spec.  In the case of priests, holy and discipline use pretty much the same attributes, so they’re the same preset.  We’ll therefore select “Holy/Disc (Healing)” from the second dialog box.
  8. Although we could jump right to the chase and look at the goodies, it’s quite educational to click “Show Details” once you’ve selected a build.  This will show you how they have that particular preset setup.  It will show you, in order of importance, the attributes you should be looking for in the gear you acquire for your character.

    Figure 3

  9. Ok!  You’re done!  Scroll down.  There are only two items on the list at the time of this writing. The list — as you will see — is sorted by default by rank meaning that the most appropriate pieces for your build are displayed at the top of the list.  In each listing it shows you the name, where it comes from, and a picture of the icon for the item.  Further information about specifics and drop rates can be found by clicking on the item.
  10. Hot Tip: If you want to look for something else without re-typing the required level data and selecting a weighting preset, go to where it shows the database tree at the top (where the little Wowhead logo is in Figure 2) and mouse over a different category.  You can change the item category without changing any of the search parameters, so perhaps we could find a hot robe while we’re here!

I hope this technique yields good gear-finds for all of our members, and all of our readers.  Grinding is so much comfortable (and fast!) when you’re wearing the best gear… not just “whatever’s laying around”.


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