26 Mar 2009

Understanding Item Colours (Greens, Blues and Epics)

. 26 Mar 2009

Items in World of Warcraft are colour-coded, their title is either gray, green, blue, purple, gold or orange. These are indications of the quality of the item, quality meaning rarity. The developers were smart to put these in but the notice of what these colours actually mean didn't make it in to the game in a very prominent place.

So.. for weapons and armour:

  • a [Gray Item] is called "vendor trash" and its only purpose is to be sold to vendors for gold. There are very few exceptions that you can safely ignore
  • A [Green Item] is something you or someone else can use. And by "can" I mean without being utterly stupid or poor. They are relatively rare, but not that rare. If you adventure for a day, you'll gather at least 2-3 if not 10-20 of these, depending on what type of mobs you kill. If you're pressed by bag space or have enough money you can vendor these too.
  • A [Blue Item] is rare. Only harder quests or those at the end of longer chains reward blue items. Also, in a full day of adventuring you may not see any blue dropping from the hundreds of monsters you kill. Or you may see 1-2 if you're lucky. Never vendor.
  • A [Purple Item] is very rare. It's so rare in fact that its called 'epic'. These are pretty much the most expensive items you can buy or the most valuable a monster can drop. Absolutely never vendor, these usually cost hundreds of gold. It's worth to make a trip to the AH just to list one such item. If you can equip it, do it and you will see the improvement even from only one epic.
  • A [Legendary Item] is well, beyond 'rare'. The chance of getting one of these through any means is equal to that of finding $100 lying on the street or less. You cannot buy these, they only drop from the most dangerous creatures in WoW, and only very rarely even from them. On any given realm, there are maybe a few people who have one such item.
  • A [Legacy Item], colour coded with a 'gold' colour is an item that you veteran players can buy for their alts. They are comparable although slightly inferior in quality to epics, but have the advantage that you can send them to your lower level alts to use. When you get one of these you will be way past the total-noob stage this guide is designed for.
For items that are not weapons or armour, it's a bit more complicated. The colour of such items indicates a similar rarity, but their value is not always in line with rarity. There are many items in WoW which, for various reasons, are completely worthless on the market despite being rare or very rare. There are also non-combat items such as recipes that are colour coded green, despite them being very valuable and hard to obtain. You will need to make judgements without relying on the colour code.

The whole point of understading item classification is so that you know what to do with items you don't personally need. To put it simply: sell trash and auction everything else.

The price you auction items for must be thought out carefully: first notice the prices others ask for the same item as you have. Try to sell lower than them, but not much lower (2-5% is fine). For items that are truly valuable and you want to make sure you are not selling way below market price, have a look at WoW Econ to check the average price the item solls for on your realm (bearing in mind it usually undervalues items slightly).

As a last remark: if you hear someone talking about a player as 'fully epic' or just 'epic' it means their armor and weapon are all purple/epic quality. It's a status-symbol you may try to achieve at some point.


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