For a lot of World of Warcraft players out there, figuring out how to optimize your character can be a deeply confusing and frustrating experience. Sure there are several loot-ranking sites out there, but they still require that you sort through long lists of gear and you still have to be able to eyeball which equipment will give your personal setup the most bang for your buck. And then there are all those labyrinthine spreadsheets that min-maxers seem to be fond of.
Useful for those who are used to parsing such arcane knowledge, but not as helpful for all us regular folk! And that’s why Rawr has been such a wonderful resource for the community. This stand-alone program has long assisted players by allowing them to pull their character data directly from the armory and calculate precisely how different upgrades, enchants, gems, and specs would affect their performance on the fly. As straightforward as this seems, the software is flexible enough to let you play with options on your own if its provided suggestions aren’t to your satisfaction (as is sometimes the case with particularly finicky or experimental builds).
The latest version, Rawr 3, has just gone into beta. Sure, the interface is still familiar to anyone who has used it before, and undoubtedly new data has been plugged into the system, but there is one key difference between this and previous versions: Rawr 3 is a web app. Though the stand-alone release will continue to be supported while the latest update is still in its testing phase, this is likely the future of the program.
Not every aspect of it is completely operational yet, and there are undoubtedly still bugs to be worked out, but the final product should be just as functional as it always has been (if not moreso). Importing my Rogue’s data was as easy as it ever has been, and the fact that it runs on Microsoft’s Silverlight API — instead of something like, say, Flash — makes using it feel like a smooth and satisfying experience.
So, if you’ve ever found yourself tearing your hair out over how to improve your character, there has never been a better time to give Rawr a shot than now. And if the app, or Silverlight, gives you any trouble, do remember that you can still download and run the latest version of Rawr 2.