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Interview with Magelo - Learn how to gear up your character!
Playing World of Warcraft is akin to being in a perpetual arms race, with everyone in a frenzied dash towards better gear with no goal in sight. With a plethora of stats in the equipment available at endgame, players have to juggle various stats for the best performance on their characters.
As the game grows and changes, players strive to keep up with the latest content. Several guides, spreadsheets, and apps were made on different websites to help players plan the next step in their gear progression. One such tool is the Magelo Gear Planner.
In the interview below, Christian Meunier (aka Jelan), founder of Magelo, talks about the Gear Planner, the latest addition to the Magelo toolbox created to help players gear up their characters.
Can you start by telling us a bit about yourself and Magelo?
Sure, pretty much everything started with Everquest. I created a website for my guild and came up with the first interactive graphical profile which was embedding all aspects of your character. We were soon flooded in our forum by people asking to open the profile system to the community. That's how Magelo was born in July 2001. A few months after the launch, Magelo profiles were used by the vast majority of EQ players, it was a blast.
Since then, Magelo grew to provide more and more tools on Everquest and 2 years ago, we opened our World of Warcraft channel to bring our platform to this awesome community.
Today, Magelo staff is comprised of 6 passionate people working full time to offer a striving experience that complement and help you through your games.
What are the main features your website offers to the WoW community?
Besides our profiling and signature system, we offer an illustrated database and some innovative tools to help you managing your character such as the Inventory viewer, the Item trees and our latest addition, the Gear planner.
So what is the Gear Planner and what does it do?
In WoW, or in most MMOs for that matter, the gear you have play a very important role so you always try to upgrade it. What sounds pretty simple is actually quite a daunting task because there is so much to choose from and so many combinations that is very hard to picture what you actually need to upgrade and what it could be.
The Magelo Gear Planner is here to answer that. It's a comprehensive very easy to use tool that will audit your character, find its weakness and come up with upgrades to address them. You can then equip those upgrades, see your potential stats in real time compare to where you stand now and see how your gear score evolved, and before you ask, yes the exact same gear score as seen in the game. Once you are satisfied with your upgrades, a roadmap will be created to show you how to get those items.
For which purpose would I want to use it?
The scope of the Gear Planner is multiple. Your first instinct will be to use it to scan your equipment and identify where it needs improvement. Then the Gear Planner will help you to find upgrades - that is one of the main features it has been designed for. Not only that, you can also equip whatever items you want or items from your inventory and bank to create alternate profiles (Wish list, Dream gear, etc...) and show them to your friends, guildmates, etc.
Who will be able to use it?
Anyone - The process to get started is very easy, you create a Magelo account if you don’t have one already through a very simple registration page and then you can import your character from the armory. That's it!
Then, where do I start?
It’s quite simple, when you launch the Gear Planner, you will first see an analysis of your character gear slot by slot. You just need to select the slot you want to improve and choose upgrades from lists of recommended items, gems and enchants.
How does it work exactly?
Ha, now you want trade secrets? Just kidding... While the user interface is very simple and intuitive (we hope....), behind the scene, a lot happens to provide you seamlessly with upgrades which make sense to your character. The tool uses everything it knows about your character to be as smart as possible, it will filter out items which does not fit your role and score each potential upgrade based on your class and your spec.
Is there a way to refine the upgrade list you recommend?
Sure thing, we don’t want to come up with upgrades that are just not attainable yet for your character, that wouldn’t be very useful. So for each character, the Gear Planner will create a search profile to limit the sources of upgrades based on your current level and gear score.
For example, if Icecrown Citadel is out of your reach right now, the tool will exclude items coming from this raid dungeon automatically. You can of course tweak the filters manually or you can disable them altogether to see everything.
How do I see my changes really benefit my character?
As soon as you mouse over a potential upgrade, a dual tooltip with your existing item will appear with a quick comparison just like in the game. Furthermore, once you equip an item, you will see your stats change in real time with your initial stats and a comparison of the 2.
Can I compare different possible upgrades combination?
Sure thing! You can compare your upgrades to your actual profile or to any other alternate profiles you have saved. You can even compare your upgrades to someone else profile in real time with dual tooltips and everything.
Is there a way to easily find the upgrades I wish to equip?
The beauty of the Gear Planner is that you have nothing to do to find upgrades, it flows to you. And once you have chosen the ones you want, a roadmap will be created to help you get them.
Finally, why would I use your tool instead of another?
Because it’s the best?! More seriously, other tools can usually help you either finding your weak spots or trying new gear only. The Gear Planner is an all in one tool that will audit your gear, suggest upgrades and show you where to find them. Just let it guide you! No other tool to my knowledge will cover all the steps and let you visualize everything in one spot. Its ability to come up with upgrades on its own combined with its simplicity is also very appealing.
Are there any other new features you would like to briefly introduce?
Well we just launched new formats for our popular signature maker. For each character, we offer now 2 different sig sizes and one avatar. You can customize and combine them in your favorite forums to show all the characters you want. Make sure to check them out, it's pretty neat!
We plan to launch really soon a new tool that will contextualize our database pages with the character of your choice. It will bring dual tooltip and smart content all over the website and that's only the beginning.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Magelo is foremost a community driven website, so don't hesitate to join our forums for feedbacks, I guarantee that you will be heard.
Finally I would like to thank our community for their continued support all over the years. Thank you guys, Magelo wouldn’t be here without you.
We'd like to give a big thank you to Jelan for taking the time to have this interview with us, and encourage you all to discover the great work done at Magelo. Head on over to Magelo, register (if you haven't already), and try the Gear Planner right away on Magelo!
— Wikia Gaming | June 4, 2010