Some time back Blizzard introduced an addition to their website called The Armory. It is linked off of the main World of Warcraft site and allows you to see all sorts of details about your character. You can see the view from my main character, Vikund, here:
There is not anything phenomenal about the information you get. EQ2Players.com gives you all of that and a lot more. (Although you have to pay SOE a monthly fee to get access to some of that “a lot more.”)
So for a long time I was somewhat dismissive of the effort that Blizzard put into its Armory site. Been there. Done that. Seen better.
But then I noticed one additional thing, one special feature.
Find an upgrade!
There was a time, now a distant memory, when I could keep a mental tally of the itemization in a game. I knew what equipment to aspire to, what zones I had to do to get it, and what items would keep me going until I got there.
That time was in Toril MUD in 1995 or so.
Today, in games like EverQuest or World of Warcraft, where the itemization is vast compared to the days of MUDing, and when the time I spend with them is considerably reduced, there is no way I can keep track of what I should be aiming for. It is purely a chance game for me when it comes to upgrades.
EverQuest II and EVE Online are a little better. I know, in EQ2, what basic items I should grab at the beginning of each ten level tier. And in EVE, if I can figure out what something does (e.g. Do I want to boost, harden, reinforce, or expand my shields?) the item description itself lists the variations of the item.
But otherwise, in games like WoW, where I leave things to chance, I tend to end up wearing out dated equipment.
Vikund is level 57 now, but the item pictured above, Gazlowe’s Charm, is a level 36 neck piece.
It is a very GOOD level 36 neck piece, but good enough to still be wearing at level 57? Probably not. But nothing better has come my way.
So The Armory will give me a list of possible candidates to replace Gazlowe’s charm.
Unfortunately, there is another hiccup. A lot of the items it suggests are listed at containing a “random enchantment.” So I cannot really see what I would be getting. Other items on the list have some better stats, but not enough that I would drop my current item. A boost in stamina but a -5 hit to strength, for example, won’t work for me.
Still, the list is a starting place, and a better one than I have in most games.