Author’s note: the post was updated on November 19 as a guide during pre-patch events. In Shadowlands realities, you may buy headstart leveling gear in auction house for a relatively small price, and/or proceed with leveling as major storyline and side questlines provide scaling rewards adequate to your current level.
It’s been a while since I wrote my first guide about gearing up before Shadowlands. Since then, pre-patch hit the realms, and there were some significant changes to leveling, questing and item levels. I’ll sum up my experience in hot pursuit of my very own fresh alt: one day since hitting current level cap.
I’ve leveled through Pandaria, so the guide will address those characters that didn’t enter BfA content before level 50. If you did, there will be a little less bother, yet general approach stays the same. Let’s roll!
As you hit level 50, you will get a Dying World quest from Magni – this starts your adventure. Whether you used heirlooms or not during leveling, you will have your item level at approximately ilvl 50-54 – that’s our first checkpoint.
- Follow the quest to Silithus and acquire Heart of Azeroth necklace.
- Go to Stormwind/Orgrimmar and complete the introduction questline to Kul Tiras/Zandalar, up to and through a small homebase city tour with Taelia/Talanji. You should finish with the inspection of continent map quest/cinematic: this unlocks travel and further questing.
- Talk to Halford/Nathanos on your faction ship in Dazar’alor/Boralus harbor to unlock world quests. Then accept a war campaign quest which will send you to enemy continent to establish your first base. Once you pop up in enemy continent, you may skip any further questlines, as you just got the access to the enemy continent and all available world quests.
- Visit an auction house if you have any spare cash: pay attention to trinkets, rings, weapons and highest ilvl gear you can afford. Or send crafted items if your other toons have something to share.
- Use any Benthic tokens from Nazjatar / tokens from Vale/Uldum if your alts have them.
Now we start gearing up for reals!
- Clear available world quests and emissaries for gear upgrades – but not the 3k azerite award yet.
- Talk to Genn/Nathanos on your faction ship and proceed through the Nazjatar campaign. You will get a weapon of choice ilvl 60 on the way.
- Quit Nazjatar when you establish a portal back to Boralus/Dazar’alor, and Magni will come to you with further task – follow his quest.
- This questline will rocket your Heart of Azeroth necklace to level 50 and ilvl 105. Now you can do emissary for 3k azerite if available.
- Immediately after you will get a lengthy questline of 8.3. campaign – which ends with acquiring the cloak of ilvl 125.
- During this questline you will get a solid number of gear – about 3-5 pieces 85-90 ilvl.
- Don’t forget to get an extra drop token from an ethereal vendor in your city harbor and kill Shek’zara/Vuk’laz world boss on the way. They drop rings and gear of ilvl 100, so you want to use token whether something dropped or not.
- By the time you finish these steps: ilvl 85.
Nya’lotha item level requirements is currently ilvl 76, so at this point you can already queue for LFR. Job done!
Gearing Up Further
If you’re geared as much as Nya’lotha Normal raid, your average item level in pre-patch will be about ilvl 100.
As the 2-week Scourge event went live, the best option now is gaining ilvl 75-85 (less is not impossible, but would be painful) and proceed with the event story. In 20 minutes you’ll get a quest to kill Nathanos for weapon 115 and proceed to Icecrown for story, dailies and bosses kill.
A piece of 100 ilvl armor by choice costs 15 argent commendations currency. Here’s how you earn them:
- 25 pitch black scourgestones = 3 argent tokens. Pitch black scourgestones drop in the range of 23-47 from every next boss/rare in the Icecrown open world.
- Daily quest = 3 argent tokens (current second week: 4 quests available per day)
- Daily quest about collecting scourgestones (10 minutes grind max) = 5 argent tokens.
- A solid amount of argent tokens also comes from completing the yellow questline.