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Itemizing and what it means for the World of Warcraft player

More information about itemizing in the World of Warcraft


Note: This article is a part of a much larger and continually growing collection of useful World of Warcraft Guides, information that we keep a current list of and update constantly. Take a look at the World of Warcraft Guides Index for more WoW hints, tips, tricks, tactics, and walkthroughs.

Itemizing. You hear it thrown around by those guys who lurk on World of Warcraft topic forums, number crunching stats and raid strategies. You may even hear it used derisively at an unknowing player (usually a new player) who may simply be wearing not the ideal gear for their class, specialization (or spec), or group role.

Some may simply be wearing mail when they are a (past level 40) warrior. Or it could be a mage with way too many spirit gems. Or that priest wearing gear set up for pve play that would be more suited if they were a in a pvp situation.

Many players eventually figure out from other players, outside guides and just experience how to itemize simply by taking stock of what class they are and what role one plans on being in a group. This can make choosing and modifying gear very easy for even the most green of players.

Will this benefit your role?

Realize that not all gear is created equal. Some gear despite not having written on it 'DPS gear' can be intended as such, but can be quite the embarrassment when say a tank roles on cloth gear. Putting on a piece of cloth gear (even though you can wear it) is probably a bad idea when higher options like plate may be of better use especially since plate wears gain more health and stronger defenses then a cloth wearer.

Is this item intended for your class?

Some items may have all the stats you could want. But it may just not mesh well with your class. That staff that just dropped may be loaded with great amounts of strength and defense. But you're a warrior tank. You do best with a sword and board (shield). You use skills that are specific to using a sword and shield. That staff despite it's stats render some of your skills inaccessible.

Pay attention to what the item does versus the large numbers.

I remember running an instance before the flat spell power conversion where items had spell damage and healing as separate stats. There was a trinket that dropped in a certain instance that had a large spell power increase; a large increase for a healer.

The trinket dropped; my baby druid having an alt tree spec wanted it. The group's healer had it already. I roll need and lo and behold a warlock rolls on it. The warlock rolled on it for the number on it and scant increase in mana. Trying to explain the marginal gain the warlock would get was an exercise in futility as the person rolled and won.

5 minutes later and after placing it on did he finally realize his error. And this was before the patch to trade items back after a time period was added. So now I was out a trinket upgrade and he…was stuck with a healing trinket (as he had disenchanted his old one). So in other words, pay attention.

Also spending gold on a bunch of gems to find out they gave say dodge rating and not haste rating, and blindly socketing them into your gear is a painful discovery after you've already invested the money in said gems.

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