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WoWAug 29, 2016 3:00 pm CT

Can you level your Artifact for a second spec?

Some of you know me by now, so this won’t come as a surprise. I took a popular topic and used data to frame the answer, like my previous post which compared the DPS gains from mastering your spec versus playing the best spec. I’m a sucker for a good data project, what can I say! This time I set out to answer whether or not you can efficiently level an off-spec Artifact alongside your primary Artifact. The answer? A big, hearty yes! If done properly, you’ll be at most one day behind people who put all of their Artifact Power into their main weapon.

Artifact Power

Here’s a spreadsheet with all of the artifact costs, power gains, knowledge levels… everything! It assumes you hit level 110 on the first day and you do all of your dailies to get Artifact Power. It does not count any extra Artifact Power rewards that mobs drop at random. The data was pulled together by Kib, the owner of the spreadsheet. I asked him a lot of questions to make sure I understood all of the data as well as to verify the data.

I think it’s important to encourage people to play how you want to play, and not feel like you have only one play style choice. Sure, you might not be picking the best talent, but maybe you are okay with giving up 0.5% damage to use a different talent that you think is more fun. Maybe you aren’t willing to do that and want the best talent. Either way, the choice should be yours. And when you have access to that kind of information, you can make informed decisions.

What’s the best path?

Guide authors have been really helpful, providing you with recommended artifact paths and updating them as the game gets patched or new theory develops. Those highlight a couple of good ways to play, based on certain talents and gear. A lot actually depends on your gear, talents, and how you want to play. Which leads me to a really useful tool I’ve been working on: A way to automatically give you custom recommendations on talents, artifact paths, and legendaries! The Ask Mr. Robot simulator will take your setup, calculate every possible artifact path, which is usually over a few hundred, and tell you the best one. Don’t like a talent? Change it and then get a new path recommended for you.

As you level up in legion, this will be really helpful so you can take your real, actual gear into account. And as you level up the weapon, you can get updated paths that take your current weapon progress into account, as your gear changes.

Here’s a little video tutorial I made for artifact paths.

Thanks for listening as I continue my quest to encourage you to play your way.

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