Of course the basic idea behind the equipment manager is to be able to switch between gear sets easily. But to be able to do that you should set up those gear sets first. I figured I would start out with a set for my main discipline spec, and a set for my PVP spec.
These two gear sets are different for about every single piece, so I had to go set up two completely different sets.But first, you have to go to the interface options to turn the equipment manager on.
The first set wasn’t too difficult, in fact it was fairly easy to set up. I was already wearing the gear I normally wear in my regular disc outfit, so all I had to do was save it as a set piece.
But then of course I wanted to create a second set. I opened all my bags and started equipping all my items, thinking that there must be an easier way to do this. When I finally had my pvp gear equipped I saved the set, and played a little with switching back and forth.
Funky, this worked fine.
But there was still the point of having to go through my bags to find the gear pieces for the second set. Turns out there’s no need for this at all.
If you simply open the character screen (press C) and you mouse over an item while holding down alt it will show you all the available gear pieces for that slot. It even goes so far that if you’re standing next to the bank, it will include all the available items in the bank for that gearslot as well. So wow, all the fiddling with bags had not been needed at all…doh.
Enfin. I saved my two gearsets and then decided to create my frost resist set, since we sometimes still need this (Hodir is a fight where it can help, especially while learning the fight). So I switched in my 3 pieces and saved a third set.
Looking around in the options under the alt buttons I find another button, namely a big red O with a stripe through it. Mousing over tells you that you can ignore a slot, so you don’t have to change your entire gear, but can create a set for just a few specific items, and that will otherwise simply keep equipped whatever you’re wearing at that moment.
In this slider you can also chose to stick certain pieces of gear back in your bag, or to unequip it basically.
You do have to have the equipment manager menu open to get the ignore option btw, while just switching in one item or sticking it in your bag can be done by holding alt and mousing over the item in the character screen at any time.
You can equip a gear set through a macro. For example for switching into my shadow gear when I switch to shadow form:
Or for switching my weapon to my fishing rod:
#showtooltip Mastercraft Kalu'ak Fishing Pole
/cast Find Fish
Or for when you want to cast spell reflect and you want to switch in a shield quickly:
/cast Defensive Stance
/cast Spell Reflection
You do of course want to equip a set that has a shield and a weapon in it, and because there are two spell casts in there you have to click the button twice, but the fact that you can macro in your gear set in one line does mean that it's shorter and hence leaving you with more lines in your macro to use for other handy tricks.
The Not so Good.
The Equipment Manager cannot switch your gear set upon spec switch, as Wowinsider (oh excuse me WoW.com) has already put into details. Well...Boohoo! you have to click two buttons instead of one. You can't keep going anyway after switching specs, at least not if you have a manabar. So to be honest I'm sort of glad that those without cannot just switch gear in 1 second on top of that.
There is a maximum of 10 gear sets. Which seems, as I think about it with a multispec class like a priest, a bit low. Lets see if I could get to 10 sets...Disc/Holy/Shadow/Frost/Regen/High Int/High Stam/High Spellpower/Fishing/PVP/In the City...ok yes, 10 is definitely not enough. And I didn't even stretch the options, and went min/maxing for this.
Lookswise it's clunky and just not streamlined. I've had this comment before, but everything in WoW seems to be designed for the visually impaired. They should really start thinking about a complete visual redesign of the UI since they're sticking stuff in here and there, and the UI becomes fuller and fuller. Which, in turn, is one of the main reasons that I use several of my mods so that I don't have my screen cluttered with clunky blizz stuff.
Holding down alt is not the best button to do this with. Alt is a much used modifier, and people often have it tied to one spell or the other. Also, the interface is not at all intuitive. The fact that you actually have to use alt is already a hard to find option. What I don't understand is why they had to stick it on a button. Item Rack showed me the slider just when I moused over a piece, which worked a lot handier. (like holding down shift to compare two pieces of gear is also the worst choice ever since in windows holding down shift standardly has some option with stickey keys attached that I've had to switch off manually).
Switching at the bank is a pain in the ass. So it switches stuff that you have in your bank in, but you cannot select a gearset and stick it into your bank in one go. I was very used to doing so with some of the more specific sets, and it was a very handy way to quickly dump a gear set in the bank. On the upside, at least it does correctly switch in all the gearpieces, so if you made the switch at the bank you won't have to be scared that you suddenly are missing a piece.
The Biggest Advantage
It does what most people would use it for, and it does mean you have one less mod to update on patch day!