Thursday, October 30, 2014

Gearing up your freshly boosted 90 - Patch 6.0x

So it's not often I write blogs that are so time sensitive, but this one definitely is. But it occurred to me that I've actually done pretty well (with just a little bit of luck) at getting my freshly boosted mage to a decent gear level in just a very short amount of time, so I thought I'd share. But all of this information is relevant really only until Warlords of Draenor drops in a little less than two weeks, so I apologize if you're reading this in like 2015.

But if you're here between the writing of this blog and November 13 of 2014, and you've a freshly boosted level 90 you're just itching to get your iLvl up, then I have a few tips for you that I hope will help.

Shadow Pan Assault
So your freshly boosted 90 is in her 480 greens, and you've got your 20 slot bags and you spent 5 minutes looking at your hotbar figuring out your rotation, and you're wondering where to go first and you're thinking - Timeless Isle! Well hold on their Captain. We'll get there soon enough, but I would suggest wait. Why? Because we can now do better. If you've got a bank full of Timeless Isle pieces already gathered from alts, by all means put on all of that 496 gear you have. But then, queue for Last Stand of the Zandalari. Your 483 gear is good enough to get you in the door,

Now if you're a filthy casual like myself, you're thinking LFR No way!! But trust me - even the most casual of casual can queue for Throne of Thunder these days and do just fine. If you're queuing as a tank, you should probably look at the fights first, but let's face it if you're reading this you're most likely just another DPS'er like myself, so queue up and get in there! Why?

Because a single run of the first wing of Throne of Thunder, which is just three bosses, will grant you enough Shadow Pan Assault faction to be friendly with them. And once you are friendly, you can fly out to their quartermaster and buy most of your pieces from them for gold. This is iLvl 522 gear, which is considerably better than unburdened timeless isle gear. Furthermore, you can fly directly to their quartermaster. You don't actually have to unlock Isle of Thunder, or do any of the Jaina Proudmoor scenarios if you don't want to. Those are fun, but not at all necessary for this. You can get everything except for shoulders and a helm with just being friendly with Shadow Pan Assault. This will cost around 2500 gold for all of the pieces that are available to you, so if you're completely destitute you might need to spend a bit of time on the isle until you get a bit of gold.

The quartermaster is helpfully marked on your map -
just fly directly out to her
One note - while both trash mobs and bosses in ToT grant you faction, you can only make the bump from neutral to friendly on a boss kill, so if you're just shy and thinking of leaving the raid before doing the next boss - don't.  One more note - the neck piece from Shadow Pan Assault is available immediately for gold, at neutral. So if you're really averse to running ToT, at least go out there and buy the 522 neck piece. But seriously - go run ToT. Everyone is super friendly these days and really just interested in getting through the run. If you don't get all three bosses on your first run, do it again until you get three boss kills.

Headless Horseman
Even more casual friendly is the Headless Horseman instance running now through the end of the All Hallow's Eve event, which has upgraded gear to help you prepare for WoD. He drops one of four different rings, and one of those rings is appropriate for your class. Even better, he drops one of the rings every single time you run that instance - not just once a day. So queue up for him and keep queuing for him until you get your ring. Now he also has a nice 540 sword and a nice plate helm that can be found in the Loot Filled Pumpkin. But that Loot Filled Pumpkin does in fact only drop for you on the first run of the day for each character, so if you want those items, it might take you a bit longer to get them.

Iron Horde Event
While you're waiting on Throne of Thunder to pop, head on out to the Blasted Lands and run the collection of quests that herald the imminent invasion of the Iron Horde through the Dark Portal.  Completing those quests will grant you a ring, a cloak, a neck piece all at 515, and a trinket that's 520.

By the time you get all this gear, you should definitely be iLvl 510, which is the prereq to queue for the new Upper Black Rock Spire dungeon. Now again, you might be a bit worried about this one as a solo-er and casual like myself, but quite honestly it's not bad at all. Do take the time to check a few guides, as the three bosses in there do have a few mechanics you need to pay attention to. But you want to do this dungeon, as it has several pieces of 550 gear, which is as good as you're going to get out of Siege of Orgrimmar flex runs. Spellcasters especially want to pay attention, as there are four pieces of 550 gear we can get from that run. As DPS, count on about a half hour wait in the queue to get in, and about 30 to 45 minutes for the run itself, depending on whether the group you get is crazy overgeared for it or not - and most groups are. Here's a list of the ph4t lewt you can expect.

Timeless Isle
Once you've got the time-sensitive stuff done (The special pre-patch UBRS and the Horseman both disappear in 2 weeks as of this writing), it's time to settle down out at our old friend the Timeless Isle. Make sure once you've done the tour and gotten introduced, you head over the the plateau across the bridge (the area marked Ordos Sanctuary) and get the chest that has a guaranteed Burden of Eternity i it. Use the Burden on your head piece, if you haven't got a good one yet, as that is most likely the piece you're still missing that may be 496.

It wouldn't be a Patch 6.0.X guide if I didn't mention the frogs. What's up with that? As of the patch, all the gear that can be upgraded is now upgraded with Lesser Charms of Good Fortune, instead of Valor Points (which have gone away). The Gulp Frogs drop these charms, and their insanely fast respawn rate means people are farming the crap out of them to stock up on the Charms, to upgrade their gear. One tip - if you're looking to join a frog farming group, don't stand around spamming chat like a barbarian. Use the "Custom" tab in the new Looking for Group tool, and you'll see it littered with groups farming frogs that you can add yourself to.

One final note - much of this information *I* got from the excellent guide over at WoWHead on gearing up. If you're looking for even more options, I highly suggest you visit their guide as well.

Hope this helps. Following the steps above, I got my freshly boosted mage to iLvl 530 in a little over a week - which isn't crazy, but not half bad either.  Good luck, and good hunting! See you in Draenor!

One more really final note - +Robert Anderson reminded me that newly boosted 90's right now actually have to do the Blasted Lands quests to unlock all their level 90 abilities. So, you might want to head on out their first. :)

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