If you're anything like me, you like to take a moment here and there to check out your character online without actually logging into the game. Maybe you're on a break at work, just doing background research into gear, or otherwise just goofing off on a computer. Essentially, you'd like to look at your character without getting in the middle of the game.
The Armory was a common way to share information about your character with other people. All of your official forum posts link automatically to your Armory profile, and it's easy to post to a link to your Armory on unofficial forums and emails. Over its existence, the Armory has continued to become more powerful. It can help you find potential upgrades, find out where gear dropped, and more. Along the way, of course, the Armory also became more complicated.
While Blizzard is transitioning away from the classic Armory, most of the functionality still exists just fine on the Battle.net WoW site. Here's a walk-through of some basic things you can use the Battle.net Armory to do.
Searching for characters, guilds, and more
One of players' favorite things to do with the Armory is looking up characters, guilds, and arena teams.
To look up a character or other group, punch in the name of the character or other entity you want to see. The site will return results including:
- blog articles
- forum results
- arena teams
Full character profile
You can now see just about everything you see in the game through Battle.net as well. In fact, you can do things through the website that you cannot do in game -- but we'll get to that.
As soon as you pull up your character, you'll instantly see a screen that shows your character in a dramatic pose, along with the icons for the gear you're currently wearing. This screen shows your character's status at the time you last logged out. As a general rule, people wear their best stuff when logging out so that they can have as sweet-looking a profile as possible.
- Hover your mouse pointer over a piece of gear; you'll instantly see its stats, including where it comes from and how much a vendor will give you for it.
- Click on a piece of gear see a stand-alone picture of it and get links to Wowhead and Wowpedia.
- Browse a character's talents, glyphs, and even achievements.
There are two things you can do from the Battle.net site that you can't do in game, and both of these things are particularly awesome. If you hover your mouse over the lower left-hand corner, you'll see links to FigurePrints and PrintWarcraft.
By following these links to the respective sites, you'll be taken straight to the necessary order page to buy a poster or statue of your character. Going straight from Battle.net is a great way make sure you choose the right character for these services. While this functionality is a subtle bonus, this integration is pretty convenient.
What can you see while you're looking at guild information?
- what gear your guild members have recently received and how they got that gear
- guild level and most recently earned perks
- guild members who've contributed the most guild XP this week
- guild achievements and roster
- scheduled guild events
I saved the progression check for last, because it is perhaps the most important part of the online tools. A common question for players -- newbies or veteran players alike -- is whether a character is "ready" for certain raids.
When you look up a specific character, a bar at the bottom shows you which raids are "optimal" and which are "trivial." This guide is a good way to gauge your character's ability to progress through content.
Of course, these suggestions aren't the end all, be all of whether your character belongs in a raid group. After all, a single character is just one out of 10 or 25 raid members, and skill does count for quite a lot. Nonetheless, given that this progression bar comes directly from Blizzard, I would recommend you take it as a meaningful gauge of where to put your effort in progressing through content.
Visit the WoW Rookie Guide for links to everything you need to get started as a new player, from how to control your character and camera angles when you're just starting out, to learning how to tank, getting up to speed for heroics and even how to win Tol Barad.