I wrote up an earlier post on ranking resto and balance gear. I want to talk about the tools I use to rank gear, and also the specific numbers I use for those rankings.
Ranking toolsEasy: Wowhead and Lootrank
The easiest ranking tool is Wowhead. In fact, it's built in. I wrote a whole post on ranking items in Wowhead. Here for example is the list of leather helms ranked by Resto value. I do not agree with the default Wowhead rankings -- they vastly overvalue MP5 and Spirit relative to the other stats. (More on the values in a moment.) But you can edit in your own values — click on Show Details and then enter the values you'd rather use.
The alternative is to use Lootrank. It's similar to Wowhead, but gives you somewhat better filtering options, and the capability to save your weights. I use a combination of both tools.
The most detailed way to rank gear is with a spreadsheet. You can put items into it and do the math based on your weights to rank the various items. Here's a sample from my spreadsheet, showing the ranks I put on helms:
The spreadsheet is great because you can cut out extraneous items, only listing what you want to see. But it's a lot of work; you'll end up copying data from Wowhead. I do it anyway because I can print out a copy and keep it next to my computer. It's especially great for tracking what BoH items I want to buy, or what Heroic to run for any needed upgrades.
The best way to evaluate gear in-game is the Pawn addon. It will show your relative values directly in item tooltips. This is hugely valuable when gear drops. You can look at what you have and what dropped, compare the two numbers, and get a quick gauge of whether something is an upgrade or not. I definitely recommend using a bit of sense with this too; for example, if the upgrade is minimal, it's probably not worth the expense of adding new enchants and gems. Still, Pawn definitely makes your gear choices easier.
Ranking weightsOK, so those are the tools you use. What are the weights you should use?
I wrote a whole post about this early in WotLK, which took a very rough look at gear evaluation. I've been using that basic approach, but with more refined values.
Resto (Tree) stat weights
For resto I'm still using the weights I ninja'd from this EJ post. I rounded those a bit, and did some adjusting for the gem values, giving me the following:
Resto weights:Pawn string:
( Pawn: v1: "Resto PvE": Intellect=5.8, RedSocket=180.0, CritRating=2.0, ColorlessSocket=180.0, MetaSocket=320.0, HasteRating=2.9, BlueSocket=110.0, YellowSocket=130.0, SpellPower=9.4, Spirit=5.1, Mp5=10 )
Balance (Moonkin) stat weights:
I did a bit more research here — mostly because I didn't like the Moonkin values I saw in the EJ thread.
With all specs your weights should really change as your gear changes. That's even more important with a stat like Hit: it's very important until you reach the cap, but after that it's not very valuable. So for Balance I took my values from Rawr. (I would have done the same thing for Resto, but Rawr doesn't give you stat values in its Tree model. Shame, that.)
These values should be good at low to moderate gear levels, but as you get maxxed out your values will change. In particular, you'll weight Hit much less once you reach the cap.
Balance weights:Pawn string:
( Pawn: v1: "Balance PvE": Intellect=3.8, RedSocket=230.0, CritRating=6.3, ColorlessSocket=230.0, MetaSocket=360.0, HasteRating=5.7, BlueSocket=140.0, YellowSocket=140.0, SpellPower=12.1, Spirit=1.5, Mp5=10, HitRating=11.3 )
Those numbers should get you started. Use them in Wowhead or Lootrank, in your spreadsheets, or in Pawn. And don't be afraid to change them — if you're going OOM a lot, rank Spirit and MP5 higher, for example.
Still to do: create values for PvP. I have no numbers, but I can provide hints for what I'd look at. PvP weights will add value for Resilience, Armor, and Stamina, but you'll need to decide the weights for survivability vs. damage. And it also adds value for stats like Spell Penetration, and will probably lean towards more bursty stats like Crit.