Introduced in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, heirloom items are a special type of item found in World of Warcraft. Characterized by their distinctive golden text color, heirloom item are special because their attributes scale with your characters level. The name heirloom is quite fitting because these items are typically name after popular items from the days of classic World of Warcraft.
Once a heirloom item has been purchased it becomes permanently bound to the player's account. This is different from other items that bind to just an individual character. Due to this feature heirloom items can be mailed to any character that shares the same account and realm. Heirloom items may even be mailed to characters of opposing factions. The ability to mail heirloom to characters on different realms has been the subject of much debate and is possibly in the works for a future patch.
As if scaling stats and being able to use heirloom items on various characters wasn't enough, these items another bonus; extra experience. Every Heirloom piece, except for trinkets, allow the player to receive greater experience gains while they are equipped. Experiences bonuses on these pieces stack with each other as well as the rested bonus, but not with the Essence of Wintergrasp buff.
Heirloom item stats are comparable to the item level of a similar blue quality item until the heirloom stops leveling as noted by its tooltip. However, unlike blue quality items, heirlooms provide bonuses to four different stats at lower levels. Despite their usefulness, heirlooms are not "super" items and will eventually at higher levels need to be replaced by items found as drops or earned by questing.
Unlike other items in the game, heirloom items can only be enchanted with enhancements that will not bind the item to a character. Heirloom items are always treated as level 1 items, and therefore most higher enhancements cannot be placed on them. The only exception to this rule is Death Knight runes.
Purchasing Heirlooms in World of Warcraft
Heirloom items can be purchased by players through a number of methods. PvP geared heirlooms are available for Honor Points, while PvE heirlooms can be purchased with Justice Points or Champion's Seals and in the case of the Guild Rewards system; gold. Heirloom Vendors selling various heirloom items can be found in Dalaran, Stormwind City, Orgrimmar, Darkmoon Island, Wintergrasp Keep, and the Argent Tournament Grounds in Icecrown.
Heirloom Head Pieces
- Heirloom heads provide a 10% experience bonus from quests and kills. Heirloom heads are sold only by Guild Vendors. Before you may purchase this heirloom piece from a Guild Vendor you must have completed the achevement Guild Level 20 and have earned Honored Guild Reputation.
Heirloom Shoulder Pieces
- Players can purchase Heirloom shoulders in Wintergrasp, Dalaran, the Argent Tournament Grounds, and can be earned as prizes at the Darkmoon Faire.
Heirloom Shoulder and Head Enchants
- Heirloom enchants are a way for players to avoid the nasty reputation grinds with factions such as the Sons of Hodir with more than one character. Only useable by level 80 and above characters, these enchants can be purchased from vendors found in Warsong Hold and Vengeance Landing, Wyrmrest Temple, Dalaran, Shadow Vault, Valgarde, Valiance Keep, Argent Vanguard, Nordrassil Inn, Silver Tide Hollow.
- Heirloom chestpieces inbue their wearer with a 10% experience boost that stacks with the boosts from other heirloom items. These heirloom pieces can be purchased from the Argent Tournament Grounds after the title <Crusader> has been earned, from vendors located in Dalaran, or purchased as prizes from the Darkmoon Faire. PvP heirloom shoulders may be purchased in Wintergrasp.
- Added in Patch 3.3.0, the heirloom ring (Dead Pirate Ring) grants players a 5% extra experience bonus like other heirloom items. Unlike other heirloom items, the ring is only available after completing the quest Kalu'ak Fishing Derby, making it one of the more difficult pieces to obtain.
- First appearing in Patch 4.0.3 as part of the Guild Rewards system, heirloom cloaks provide a 5% expereince increase that stacks with other heirloom items. Heirloom cloaks can be purchased from the Guild Vendor after your guild has reached level 10.
Heirloom Weapons and More
- Originally sold only in Dalaran or Wintergrasp, these items can now also be largley purchased at the Argent Tournament Grounds, Stormwind City, Orgrimmar, and Darkmoon Isle as well. Items in this category include staves, swords, axes, maces, daggers, and trinkets.
Heirloom Head Pieces
- Also part of the Guild Reward System, heirloom head pieces give players a 10% experience bonus. Heirloom head pieces may be purchased from the Guild Vendor after your guild has reached level 20.
- Heirloom leg pieces were introduced in Mists of Pandaria and are one of the newest heirloom pieces. Heirloom legs can be unlocked by completing the guild achievement; Working Better as a Team.
- Heirloom shields were set to make their first appearance in World of Warcraft Patch 5.2. Unfortunatly due to some unforseen circumstances the release of heirloom shields has been pushed back. Blizzard has assured players that they will be making an appearance in a future patch.
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