For those of you who missed it, Blizzard announced their official item database on Thursday as part of the new Armory site. It claims to have the most comprehensive item listings, in addition to the official seal of approval. Well of course I must investigate...
At first glance this seems like a nicely done database, they have filters and advanced searching options. But I've noodled with it several times over the past few days and I don't think they are going to be sending Thottbot or Allakhazam running to Mama just yet. The main reason for this is drop rates. While they have included skimpy "Source" information, for the most part there isn't the level of detail we've come to expect. For static drops they will list the boss or dungeon, but no actual percentages are given. On some items they merely say "Boss" with no indication of what instance, which won't be enough to satisfy most players.
For recipe filtering, I noticed that if you try to combine the two filtering options on the main page ("Source" on the left and "Item Type/Recipes" on the right), you get some wacky and very wrong results. I tried searching for Reputation Rewards + Recipes + Leatherworking, and got a very incomplete list of Leatherworking drop recipes. So it's obviously still a work in progress with regard to filtering. It looks like if you stick with the filters on the right side of the page it works better, I haven't fully tested that yet.
The upside is that this database opens up items that I had no idea existed, namely epic recipe drops from Mount Hyjal and the Black Temple. I've already updated the Jewelcrafting list (should go online today-ish) and will continue adding the missing recipes this week and next. The downside is that their database only includes physical items in the game, so all trainer recipes are missing from the searches. Yay for me!!
Next I decided to step away from the recipes (omg!) and play with the item database itself. They've actually got some weird stuff in here like mounts, pets and keys. So I decide to poke around in the pet category and see what's up. It's here that I begin to notice some chinks in the Armory. Their item data seems to have a fair amount of inconsistency in it. On the very first page of game pets, you can see that all the new Orphan pets (Egbert, Willy...) have no source listed. Yet just below them the Miniwing is listed as a quest reward. So clearly they have a "quest reward" designation, yet a good number of items aren't marked as such. They also have a source called "Created" which doesn't seem to apply to crafted pets, in fact I can't even find the crafted pets in here.
I'm not sure what to make of this, but based on my cursory searches I don't believe this is currently a comprehensive data resource. Perhaps in combination with other sites, yes. I'm sure the item stats themselves are accurate, since that information is pulled directly from game servers. But if you want to know how to get something, you'll probably have to find that elsewhere.
Check it out for yourself