Saturday, November 28, 2009

How MAXDPS.COM can help you

Are you an aspiring WoW player, just hit level 80, and want to know what gear you should be shooting for to step up your game? If you are, then you should look at MAXDPS.COM. MAXDPS is similar to other simulators available out there, but has a high level of polish and completeness that makes it a stand out in the crowd. And, as it covers all classes, and almost all specs, it's easy to see how it could be an invaluable tool for someone to help plan out their gear progression.

When you first visit the site you are treated to a page of news, with a bar across the top that contains links to the pages for the various classes and specs. To begin your explorations you simply need to click on the class link of your choice (hovering over the class produces a drop down menu of specific specs in each class that are available), which takes you to that classes page. The class page might look confusing at first, but it's actually well laid out and simple to understand once you know what is being asked of you. The site seeks to take your actual stats in game, and rank pieces of gear in order from the least helpful, to the most helpful in each slot. There are two input areas which you will need to complete before you can get those rankings however, and the first is along the left hand side, called "Item Options".

Item Options is simply asking you to determine which "levels" of gear you want to pull your rankings from and you can see there are sections for 25-man, 10-man, and other. Then a section for Gems under those. By default everything will be selected, though the default gems are blue. Simply deselect options you do not want considered, like 5-man dungeon or heroic loot as an example. Once you've decided which options you do and don't want considered, click the submit item options button at the bottom of that list.

The next section is "Input your stats" section, and is vastly more important. In this section you are going to be entering your unbuffed stats so that the site can then accurately rank items that would be beneficial to you. You can either use the import function in the upper right hand corner to directly import your stats, or you can enter them manually to suit specific circumstances. You should notice that there are three tabs for that section, so filling out the first tab is not the end of your task. Clicking to the second tabs allows you to set specific talents that affect your dps and abilities, and the third tab allows you to choose which buffs you want to affect the gear weightings. I normally deselect most of the buffs and choose only those which I give myself to come up with a specific solo gear weighting. This section is also why it's important to input unbuffed numbers on the first tab, because you should notice to the right there is "Current stats" section which will be off from what you see in-game if you didn't. Once you've filled out those three tabs, click the "Submit your stats" button.

At that point you can scroll down the screen and see a row of gear slot icons. Click on one to see a specifically generated list of gear weighted to your stats and options, with appropriate gems already pre-selected. Scrolling even further down should show you a list of the best enchants for that slot as well.

Realize the site doesn't include a character gear simulator, so it's not possible to "build" a character and have your available options update on-the-fly with the change in your stats, but it is quite useful for helping you decide which piece in each slot you might want to keep an eye out for as your next upgrade. What's more, you don't have to re-fill in all those options you already filled in the next time you visit. In the upper right corner you should notice an icon that says "save your settings". Clicking on that icon gives you a unique URL to come back to that has your settings pre-filled. If you change gear between now and then, simply update the settings, save the new settings, and click the save your settings icon again for a new URL.