Frequently Asked Questions

I created this page to answer common questions about my site and to clear up some confusion about how to properly use my charts.

1. Are your MAEP ratings an accurate representation of PVE DPS upgrades?

You can use the MAEP ratings in my PVE Armor chart to give you a general indication of the relative DPS output of items when planning out your PVE upgrades, but the results will never be perfect. Since my charts are mostly static (aside from the customizable XLS versions I provide), they don't factor in talent specs, attack rotations, relative increases in gear, etc. A general rule of thumb when using my charts is that any item that scores within 5 AEP/MAEP of another item can be considered a virtual sidegrade. I'm constantly revising my AEP/MAEP formulas to improve their effectiveness, but if you're expecting precision to the nth degree then you'll probably need to look elsewhere. As always, if you disagree with the AEP/MAEP values I've used in my charts, you're welcome to use the customizable XLS versions and enter whatever AEP/MAEP values work best for you.

2. Do the AEP/MAEP ratings on your charts factor in gems?

Yes. My charts assume that you're using the best rare, matching color gems in each socket (unless the socket bonus is weak) and those gem AEP/MAEP values are built into the total AEP/MAEP value of each item. I assign gem values as determined by my Gem charts (PVE / PVP). Therefore, a red socket would be considered to have a Glinting Noble Topaz (9 MAEP) for PVE gear or a Bright Living Ruby (10 AEP) for PVP gear. If you have access to epic gems, then you'll need to adjust those AEP/MAEP values accordingly.

3. Do the AEP/MAEP ratings on your charts factor in socket bonuses?

Yes. Socket bonuses for items with sockets have been added into the applicable stat, listed in italics on my charts. The exception to this rule is when an item has a one or more blue sockets with a weak socket bonus for PVE (any bonus worth less than 4 MAEP), in which case the better move is to ignore the weak socket bonus and instead socket superior color gems in those blue sockets. To account for this, I've manually increased the MAEP rating for any item with A) One blue socket and a weak socket bonus, or B) Two or more blue sockets regardless of the socket bonus.

4. Do the AEP/MAEP ratings on your charts factor in set bonuses?

No. The AEP/MAEP values I've assigned for set bonuses can be found separately on my Armor Sets chart but I leave it up to you to factor in those bonuses when evaluating gear for upgrades.

5. Do the AEP/MAEP ratings on your charts factor in ability caps (like the 363 Hit Rating Cap with 5/5 Precision against level 73 bosses?)

No. If you're approaching the Hit Cap, the Expertise Cap (63 Expertise Rating with 2/2 Weapon Expertise), or any other cap, then you'll need to manually adjust for that when evaluating gear upgrades.

6. How do you determine the AEP/MAEP values for trinket procs and other proc effects?

I score most trinket abilities on an "averaged effect over time" basis. Other ability scores are extrapolated from similar abilities that I've scored in the past. Scoring trinket abilities and proc abilities has always been a tricky process, so I do the best I can. I'm constantly reevaluating those abilities and tweaking their values as new information becomes available.

7. How do you determine the AEP/MAEP values for effects like Minor Speed, PVP trinket effects, etc. that cannot be easily measured or calculated?

These effects are even harder to score than measurable trinket proc effects. Oftentimes, what I do is assign an "opportunity cost" value to that effect. What this means is assigning a value that is equal (or better than) the AEP/MAEP rating of the next best alternative. An example of this would be the AEP value I've assigned to Minor Running Speed effects. Pre-Burning Crusade, players often had to choose between two enchants for their boots - - 7 Agility or Minor Speed. With this in mind, I used to give Minor Speed a general value of 7 AEP to make it equal to the 7 AEP you would have gotten if you'd chosen 7 Agility. Now that I've recently added separate PVE & PVP columns to my charts for special abilities, I've assigned two different values for Minor Run Speed effects to denote their differing value in PVP vs. PVE.

8. Why can't I find X item on your main PVE or PVP armor charts anymore?

A few months ago, I removed old & inferior items from my main armor charts, reducing chart sizes and download times considerably. All of the old & inferior items can still be found on my all-inclusive Armor Locations Chart.

9. On your Weapons Charts, if you rate one weapon higher than another, does that mean that you'll always do more DPS with that weapon?

Not necessarily. My charts do not take talent specs into account, which play a major factor in your potential DPS. Combat Swords is a better DPS build for PVE than Combat Maces with comparable weapons because Sword Spec gives you more DPS than Mace spec. What this means is that you can potentially do more DPS with a lower rated Sword than you might with a higher rated Mace. By that same token, Mace Spec is usually considered a better PVP build than Sword Spec because of the disruption effect of random Mace stuns, which is why Maces are usually preferred over Swords for players heavy into PVP.

10. If a particular Talent Spec on your Talent Spec Charts is listed as having a higher "Sustained DPS %" does that build do more DPS than a build with a lower "Sustained DPS %"?

Not necessarily. Those values only show the % of talent points put into each Talent Category and do not reflect a true DPS comparison. I calculated those percentages by dividing the number of Sustained DPS Talent points by the total number of Talent Points used. So that value is nothing more than a percentage breakdown of how many Talent Points went into Sustained DPS talents, and does not make any claims as to which build actually puts out more Sustained DPS. Five points in one Sustained DPS Talent might put out more DPS than five points in another Sustained DPS talent.

11. Do you update your guides as new patches and expansions are released?

Yes. If you have previously purchased a guide, you can continue to download updated versions using the download link provided in your Order Info email. I plan to revise both of my guides with updated 2.4 information very soon.


Intellectual 2008
World of Warcraft 2008 Blizzard Entertainment
Pictures courtesy of Penn & Brooks