Ultimate Online WoW Resource Guide

A zilliion years ago for BC I had made a post about online resources for WoW for all sorts of areas of the game. That was actually more like 3 years ago and the list had maybe six links. Since then, the game has obviously changed and many sites have phased out in favor of new ones..tons of new ones.
I’m going to try to re-compile the list and keep this one up to date (yeah, right). This one is going to be much more comprehensive and include alternatives, as well. Probably an ongoing WiP for all eternity, but that’s just how we like it.


Communities & News | Research | PvP |
KEY:
Izzie Favorite
Newbie/Leveling Friendly
For The Hardcore/Bored

WoW-Head.Com: Planetary Center of Everything, a.k.a Sol

http://www.wowhead.com
[Highlight | Everything]
It was hard trying to pick which section to put wow-head under because it’s a great resource for everything, so I decided I was just going to give it it’s own spot.
Wow-Head is the go-to site for just about anything you want to know. A ridiculously obscene amount of information is gathered here, further progressed by an active community of users who submit their own additional notes on some of the most random crap WoW has to offer. If it’s a specific item, quest, spell, profession, enchant, buff, anything, you will find anything and everything there is to know about it at wow-head. It also has a nifty talent calculator to play with.

Gear & Armories: Equipment Proficiency EquivalencE Number

http://be.imba.hu/
[Highlight | Quick Go-To Gear Enhance Guide]
The great thing about be.imba is that it gives you a ton of information in a clean one-page fashion. Graphically plain, it’s a no-frills go-to site that allows you to look up 1,2,3 where your weak points in gear are. It warns of any mis-chants or mis-gems, suggests the proper ones and offers alternatives. It also will gauge your hit rating, give you a snapshot on what content your gear is optimal for, and your personal progression in raids. A must use for anybody who wants to make sure their gear is in prime condition for what they want to do.

http://www.maxdps.com/
[Highlight | List-Style Gearing Guide / Potential Snapshot]
The top have of the page is a sandbox that allows you to plug in your stats and take a gander at what your highest dps/hps potential SHOULD be. You can play around with which spells you use, and take into account raid buffs and self buffs.
The Bottom half of Max DPS is a great resource for finding what the top items are for your class / spec. It lists each piece of gear from the best and ranks down the top 20 and how/where they are obtained. It suggests the best gems for each piece, but also has a separate gem page that will rank which gems to use based on color if you need to go for a bonus / meta, as well as downgrades. Similarly, enchants are listed at the bottom. It also suggests flask / food buffs.
Downsides are that it’s no longer fresh-80 friendly, since as more content and gear is added, the heroic / dungeon drops are knocked off the list. It also doesn’t take into account set-bonus’ and specific stat alternatives (IE hit rating / haste). As always, you, the player, must be self-aware.

http://www.wow-loot.com/
[Highlights | Gear By Zone / Dungeon]
Wow-Loot is a hidden gem among websites, and I’m shocked to see that it’s unknown by so much of the wow community. While it doesn’t do any of the math / ranking for you, what it does do is offer a comprehensive list *all* gear applicable to your class based on zones, quests, dungeons and raids. You can choose to browze all or spec-specific items. It also offers a list of reputation rewards applicable to your class and glyphs. Another great thing about WoW-loot is that iy has -all- content from 1-80, raids and all.
This is a must go-to spot for prettty much everybody but will be a particular benefit to those using the LFG system to level quickly, or twinks.

http://armorylite.com/
[Highlight | Simplified Armory]
Very basic idea that works wonders. ArmoryLite is just what it sounds like: it takes all the information you can get from the official wow armory and displays it in a fast-loading, graphically empty snapshot of information. Great to use if you’re on some downtime in a raid and need to check for any reason or just don’t feel like waiting for WoW’s graphics to load.
The real kicker is that you can use the URL to go directly to your desired page by using your region, server, and toon name in the address.
EX: http://armorylite.com/us/andorha/izari – and bam, you’re there.

http://wow-heroes.com/
[Highlight | Compare Tool]
Wow-heroes is one of the zillion armory-like websites that offer the same basic information. What I like about this one, though, is the simple to use compare tool which lets you do a side-by-side comparison of your gear, enhancements, and talents to someone else. This is a good way to gauge your decisions against someone who is well known to be good at what they do and steal all their ideas.

http://www.warcrafter.net/ | http://www.wowranked.com/
[Highlights | Alternative Viewing Options / Gear Ranking]
Both of these sites are basically armory alternatives and very similar. Like the others, it offers a snapshot of your gear, glyphs, and optimal content. Where they shine is beign able to see who the top geared characters are within your guild, server, or class.
Warcrafter also has a fun sand-box option where you can replace your gear with a potential upgrade, or mess with enchants, gems, and glyphs to see how it affects your stats. The ranking system is messy and needs lots of manual armory sycning.
Wow-ranked is more visually appealing. It includes a guild-rank and lists professions and roles within that guild on top of the gear ranks which seems to be more accurate (self updates once a week). It has a PvP rank based on honor kills, as well, which is questionable but fun.

E-Tools: Do the work for me.

http://www.wow-track.com/hitcalculator.php | http://wow-heroes.com/hitcalculator.php
Both links hold the same exact thing, literally…The hit-calculator will help you to know what your hit rating needs to be in order to stop missing those bosses by 3 miles.

http://wtfismygearscore.com/
Everybody’s obsessed with gear score. It’s pretty obnoxious, but it’s not going away. So if you’re one of those people who could care less about downloading the ad-on but need to know for the sake of humoring those 5k+GS FOR NAXX pugs, plug in your server/toon here and find out.

http://www.wow-gem.com
A great resource for finding what gems to match your sockets. You can search by stat, color, and rarity for a fast and easy find.

http://tankingtips.com/tanking-formulas
A bizarre collection of online calculators, similar to the above mentioned hit calculator, but it includes tons of stuff like resil, agility, defense rating, ect. It’s geared towards how these stats affect the important tanking aspects (defense, block, parry, dodge) but could possibly be useful with other classes or people who just like to see numbers equal to numbers.

Guides: Wait, how do I do this again?

http://www.bosskillers.com/
Exactly what it sounds like, boss killers is a raiding centric site that offers comprehensive guides from the mundane to the insane. A good resource for hard-mode seekers and starter raiding, it’s navigation is easy to use and there are often several different guides for the same encounter (everybody loves options!). Guides often come with visuals (video and images) as well, so it’s a great place to go to learn fights.

http://www.wow-pro.com/node/691
Wow-pro is similar to the wow-loot site, in that it’s a list of guides by level. It lists quests for each dungeon, bosses, loot, quest rewards, and strats. Very helpful for low level dungeon grinding.

Web: Fear my leet webmasta skillz.

http://www.guildlaunch.com
If you plan on starting a guild and hope to have some sort of central community aspect to it, I’d highly recommend Guildlaunch to start. The site has all sorts of applications and widgets designed to sync with your guild’s official armory to make it a great place to go to for information from loots, raid calendars, professions of your guild mates, loot point systems, and more. You can add all sorts of fun stuff like the ability to stalk your vent and link to item information directly from the forums. It can be as simple and streamline or chuck-full-o-utility as you want.

http://www.nanospy.de/ventrilo/
If you plan on building your own site without automatically integrated features for WoW, nano-spy is a great Ventrilo-Stalker ap that’s easy to use and produces the code you need to put it up on your site. Take a look.

http://www.worldoflogs.com
When recount just doesn’t cut it, more serious raiding guilds who want a graphically involved and informative way to look at raid performance will use a log display site. My favorite is world of logs, thus far. With the help of a mod called Loggerhead, you can upload reports (even live) of what’s going on down to the second, and then view them for up to 15 days for free online. It allows you to see your basic stuff like DPS/HPS, dispels, interrupts, ect. But it can also break down information by player, how they died and when, who saved them if at all, what buffs / spells / skills most of their damage / heals is coming from, and more. There are a myriad amount of options to view this information, and it’s a great way to gauge raider performance, and also a good way to improve should you find yourself lacking.

http://www.GuildOx.com
There are several progression ranking sites out there, but GuildOx has emerged as the best one to use right now. Where other sites used gear to gauge a guild’s progression (sometimes screwing with accuracy), GuildOx also uses the achievement system. It breaks down rank by 10/25 man content and lists hard mode achievements as well. You can see toon rank, literally showing the most progressed / geared characters in the world. It also has some coding you can throw on your site to show your server / world rank.

http://www.xfire.com
Xfire is an awesome program / site that allows you to both record your game-play as well as stream it live. Less complicated and involved than using ustream.tv, xfire captures solely your game and not your screen. You can control the program and chatroom via in-game commands, making it easy to use, and you can embed the stream on any site / blog that allows html. The downside is that it is a little CPU intensive. Less rigged machines have considerable lag while this is on. But for those who don’t care or can handle it, it’s a lot of fun to share with friends while you’re raiding / doing arena.

Communities, News, and Online Fun: I love Blue-Post Drama

http://www.mmo-champion.com
MMO-C is my favorite place to go for news and updates regarding Warcraft; I affectionately call it the NYTimes of WoW. With several contributers boasting inside sources, they post everything from hot fixes to data-mining ninja content, as well as community updates like podcasts, art, comics, and more. They shine when the PTR is up, on the ball with any updates and treating it with the same reverence as live. They’re always there to host streams from new content and keep an eye out for the top progressed guilds. And their Blue-Tracker make stalking official blizz posts easy as pie.
The forums are nothing to laugh at, either, with an arsenal of guides, theory crafting, and even lore discussions. I confidently assume this is the largest and most active unofficial WoW community online.
Sometimes when the official wow site / forums can be tough to follow, you can rest assured that MMO-C will have everything you need / want to know on the front page.

http://www.wow-riot.com
–I was very on the fence on whether or not I wanted to put this here, but then I thought…well, why the hell not? WoW-Riot is a collection of gaming blogs and has the highest concentration of WoW-related unwarranted self-imortance on the internet (Yes, more than EJ). PvP centric, many highly ranked and well known arena players frequent here, and there is rarely a shortage of high-school level back and forth mudslinging between the more vocal among them. The collective Perez-Hilton/ONTD for WoW, Riot is the place to be for your internet-celebrity bullshit.

WoWbash.com
Wow bash is a hilarious collection of screenshots of all sorts of in-game shenanigans – from inopportune mis-types, unlikely coincidences, to awkward GM encounters. Nothing is safe nor sacred and all the dirty laundry is available at your fingertips on this one site. If you’ve ever felt elitist, dumb, or frustrated at your fellow gamers or yourself, there is a sort of comforting kinship you’ll find browsing through the thousands of images here. You, my friend, are not alone.

http://www.warcraftmovies.com/
Leave it to the vast amounts of fanboys/girls to take their obsession to the ultimate. As true with any fandom, Warcraft has it’s share of creative genius in the video format. You can find all sorts of fan-made music vid, pvp and raid encounters, feature-length machinima, and entire series based on WoW. Warcraft-Movies is the headquarters for all your surplus WoW needs. Sure, you could you-tube it, but W-M allows you to browse WoW-only content with ranking systems in place, so you’re not stuck watching some 12-year-old’s shoddy vent voice-over of his character butt-humping pillars.

http://www.scrollsoflore.com/
Anybody who’s into the lore of the Warcraft universe and has read books and comics will find a home on the Scrolls of Lore forums. Hundreds of fans gather to discuss story, characters, questions, and predictions on what the next installment to the franchise will cover. If you think the raiders or arena junkies are bad, you should see the Lore-crafters. They like to argue over plot holes and whenever something game-mechanic wise messes with canon ON TOP of whatever class-nerf the latest patch notes suggest. Gotta have it all.

Research: What else am I going to do on Tuesday?

http://www.elitistjerks.com
Elitist jerks is notorious for being a huge collection of self-absorbed and noxious players the game has to offer. But that aside, it’s also the holy grail for the most intense number-crunching you’ll ever see. You can, quite literally, see charts that will predict your exact damage output to a T based on your gear, rotation, and buffs. It’s terrifying, but fascinating.
Don’t be scared off by the spreadsheets, however. EJ is also a great resource for finding the specs, gear, and rotations that will optimize your performance, even if you don’t know exactly care if twitching your finger this way or that will improve your DPS by .006%. If you want to top the charts, EJ is the place to go to find out how (and why, if you dare).

Class / Role Specific

http://www.tankspot.com
A go-to guide for all things prot-erific, this site is the EJ for tanking: includes forums, guides, videos, articles, and more. Anybody who plans on leveling as a tank or who thinks this role is a possibility in his/her future should definitely go here.

PvP

http://www.arenajunkies.com/
Some may call it a sesspit, but for the creme-de-la-creme of Arena, this is a must bookmark. The site has everything from talent specs & class guides to macros and point calculators. Whether you’re a fan, a hopeful, or a hardcore Arena Junkie, this is the site for you.

http://www.warcraft-twinks.com/
Many will arguing that Twinking is a dying art. With BoA items running rampant and the XP-OFF option, it’s certainly nothing like it once was. However, this zealous community is doing what it can to keep the spirit alive. Warcraft Twinks will help guide you through gearing as well as selecting which Battlegroup and brackets you should focus yourself on (and yes, these things are all important to consider if you plan on going Twink).