Pawn is a popular addon that can show you item rankings directly in-game. This post will describe how Ask Mr. Robot can help you use it, and how to use it properly.
What does Pawn do?
Pawn will show you right on an item tooltip in-game whether it is an upgrade over your current item. You will see an up-arrow and a percent upgrade. There are some other nifty features, but that's the core functionality of the addon: is item X, by itself, better than item Y?
What doesn't Pawn do?
- Pawn does not rank legendary items, set bonuses, trinket procs, relic traits, or any other special effect.
- Pawn does not look at your entire set of gear -- it only compares two single items in a vacuum. Whether you are completely naked or in BiS gear, it will show the same score difference between two items.
How does it score stuff?
Pawn does single-item comparisons. For example, if you are looking at a pair of gloves, it will compare them to your currently equipped gloves. It does this using stat weights or "scales". The concept here is super simple: each stat is given a numeric value. It then multiplies all the stats on the item by the value to get a total score. Then it shows you the difference in total score for the two items. That's it! Very straightforward and easy to follow.
How do I get these "weights"?
Pawn has some defaults based on popular builds, but it is best to get weights tailored to your character. The easiest way to do this is via the Export to Addon buttons on our website. They appear underneath the Gear Explorer, Best-in-Bags, and Best-in-Slot gear tables. Each button will generate a Pawn string that is tailored to the related gear*. For example, if you press the button under the Gear Explorer, you will get a Pawn string that is tailored for your currently equipped gear. If you press the one under the Best-in-Slot result, it will be tailored for that best-in-slot gear set.
We recommend that you use the one from your Best-in-Bags set of gear, or the Gear Explorer if you are not using the Best-in-Bags feature.
See the reply below for instructions on how to export.
How should I use it in combination with Ask Mr. Robot?
As mentioned above, Pawn is not a full gear optimizer. It is meant to be a quick and convenient tool for getting an idea about whether an item is potentially worth using.
Because it does not examine your entire set of gear, try combining that item with different combinations of the gear that you own, or rank any special effects like sets, legendaries, etc., you should use it to get a rough idea of whether an item might be an upgrade, and that's it.
Once you have decided the item is maybe good, then you should export your character to our site and use Best in Bags to determine if it is an immediate upgrade when combined with the gear that you already own.
If you don't want to use Best in Bags, we would recommend at least looking it up in the ranked lists on the Gear Explorer. Those lists are fully searchable and filterable, and will give a more complete ranking that includes all special effects, but it won't try out all the different combinations of gear that you own like Best in Bags does.
Another alternative would be to simulate your gear with and without the item -- our simulator is an easy way to do that. Note that simulators take much longer to give you an answer than the gear optimizer for a very small difference in accuracy.
(*) Note that weights will be tailored to your gear only if you are using one of our Adaptive gearing strategies. Blender settings are also taken into account and will modify the weights appropriately. You can also use a custom gearing strategy to get the weights that go with that particular strategy, but keep in mind that your custom strategies will not adapt if you change talents or legendaries -- you would need a different custom strategy for each setup.