Gearing at 120
Date: 1 June 2020
Because the focus of Equinox as a guild is running Mythic+ instances, it is important to know how to go from being a fresh level 120 character to ready to try your hand at Mythics. This guide is geared to help you make that transition as quickly as possible, especially as the average fresh 120 is around ilvl (short for “item level”) 270 and needs to reach roughly ilvl 400 to comfortably enter the lowest Mythics.
1.0 World Quests
World quests (WQs) are quests that pop up on the map for certain amounts of time: the shortest being 6 hours for the Horde invasions to be repelled, the longest being a week for world bosses. The average or usual WQ lasts for 24 hours. The rewards from WQs include gold, war resources, reputation gains, but most importantly, gear.
It is crucial to understand this single fact: the ilvl of gear rewards from WQs is based on your current ilvl. This is true of all “non-drop” rewards (meaning if it is not looted off a boss/monster). Raising your ilvl through other activities will raise the ilvl of a WQ gear reward. This does not mean at some later date when the quest comes back; it means if you can gear up before completing a WQ on your map, the ilvl of that quest will continue to improve as your ilvl does. The maximum for WQ rewards is ilvl 420.
Therefore, unlocking WQs is the first step, but after unlocking them, I do not suggest you do too many of them until you follow a few of the later steps to help inflate your ilvl. If they will expire soon, however, this is the exception, and you should do them as a lower ilvl reward is still going to outdo your current gear most likely.
1.1 How to Unlock WQs
WQs unlock when you complete the quest “Uniting Kul Tiras.”
This requires two things:
1.Friendly status with the Proudmoore Admiralty, Storm’s Wake, and Order of Embers.
2. Establishing the warfronts in Nazmir, Vol’dun, and Zuldazar.
The best way to accomplish all of this is to simply do it as you are leveling. You will have access to one faction and warfront at 110, gain a second at 114, and the final at 118, so there is plenty of time to have this done before reaching 120. Note: the slowest of these is Order of Embers as you have to complete several quests in order to rebuild the secret organization for them to have quests for you and for you to gain reputation with them. Therefore, I highly recommend starting with Drustvar as your 110 zone.
Each day, some faction will provide an extra bonus if you complete four WQs for them (3 for Tortollan). Doing so will earn you a special reward. Occasionally, this reward will be a cache of gear (ilvl determined by yours).
Anything can be found in “equipment” caches, including weapons, rings, and trinkets (the most difficult slots to obtain gear for). Armor caches do not contain rings or trinkets. The ilvl maximum of cache rewards is 445.
2.0 Unlocking Nazjatar
One of the most important things unlocking WQs does is allow you to open up Nazjatar. Nazjatar provides a couple of gearing options, but it is mostly another step toward the real goal. You will receive a batch of three quests immediately upon getting to Naz, and one of these has an ilvl 370 weapon as its reward.
Once you have completed the five or six quests to establish a homebase in Naz, you will also have access to purchasing Benthic armor tokens with Prismatic Manapearls (a currency). Benthic tokens become ilvl 385-390 armor pieces and can be upgraded further using more Prismatic Manapearls; however, they are not easy to amass. Continue in the Naz quests around Mezzamere until you have opened the portal back to Boralus and Magni tells you to meet him in the Chamber of the Heart.
3.0 A Big Time Boost to the Heart of Azeroth
Remember this place? They made it seem so important at 110, then haven’t bothered with it for 10 levels/dozens of hours. The return will send you on a scenario questline starting with “A Disturbance Beneath the Earth.” Completing this will immediately boost your heart to level 50, raising its ilvl considerably. In addition, completing this unlocks the other biggest step in raising your ilvl, the legendary cloak questline
4.0 The BfA Legendary Cloak
Because the cloak begins at ilvl 470, it is the biggest one time jump your ilvl will receive. The first time through this questline will take some time, but the reward is certainly worth it. Not only is its ilvl massive, it can also be raised up to ilvl 500 through completing visions (more on that later) and is the primary source of corruption resistance, allowing you to use some of N’Zoth’s naughty toys against him. It all begins with the quest “An Unwelcome Advisor” which will be available after completing the step listed above.
4.1 Assaults in Uldum and Vale of the Eternal Blossoms
You will need to complete a handful of scenarios, but the cloak questline will also unlock what are referred to as the “assaults” in Uldum and then the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. These assaults are actually part of the questline. One of these quests leads to a choice of an ilvl 430 belt of boots from Ra-den. Completing an assault in these zones nets you a cache which will have ilvl 440-445 gear (and with a high likelihood of corruption).
You can complete three assaults per week once they are unlocked, so long as you do the first two before Friday – one of the two locations will have a second assault that week. These assaults are not only great for gear, but also are the major source of Coalescing Visions, the currency used to do more Visions to boost your cloak’s ilvl. Additionally, these two zones also have the best current world bosses, who also drop ilvl 445 gear. When you are first beginning, it is advisable to use a Seal of Wartorn Fate to get an extra roll on these world bosses only (meaning, do not waste a Seal on world bosses in Kul Tiras, the Horde Island, or Naz).
Rares in these zones also have a chance to drop a Black Empire token. These will be by armor type and slot, for example, it will be a Black Empire Cloth Bracers or Black Empire Plate Boots token. They are account bound, so if it is not your character’s armor type, keep them to use on others. These tokens create ilvl 410-415 gear.
Note: your first assaults on your first 120 will be rough! Ask for help if needed. Because the assaults are part of the 8.3 patch, they were designed with players who had been obtaining gear for a while.
These are opened by continuing the questlines from Magni, MOTHER, and Wrathion after obtaining your cloak. They are difficult, but are the only way to improve your cloak, and also offer rewards if you beat the boss. There is too much to explain about them here, in part because they are more class/spec specific. If you’ve reached this point, check WoWhead.com for tips and ask those online who have experience with them.
The Ideal Path (if you have the time)
Hit 120 --> Unlock WQs --> Unlock Nazjatar --> Heart Boost --> Complete Cloak Questline --> Do WQs
By pushing for your cloak and then returning to WQs, you will find the ilvl of their rewards has shot up. This is especially important for rings and trinkets, which are much less common. Again, do not skip any WQ that might expire, but the more closely you can adhere to this, the better the WQ rewards will be from the start.
6.0 Leeching LFR Gear
Once you have reached ilvl 410, you are ready for Mythics. However, as we may not always have a group on doing them, here is one final way to help get some gear. LFR drops are ilvl 430, the same level as Mythics without a keystone. Hit your “i” key and hop in one. Run around like an idiot. Die. It honestly barely matters, and you will still get a shot at drops. Certain drops may be specifically good for your class and spec, so this is another place to use Seals of Wartorn Fate. Even better, take a look at videos on WoWhead or YouTube and see how the mechanics work and not die!
7.0 Temporary Events
Timewalking events: ilvl 425 in the dungeons, and a 445+ quest reward
Mythic dungeon event: ilvl 460 for completing quest
Warfront Battle for Stromgarde (regular and heroic): ilvl 400 and ilvl 430 for completing quest
Warfront Battle for Darkshore (regular and heroic): ilvl 400 and ilvl 460 for completing quest
Afterword: Gearing Alts
Once you have a solid 120, she or he can be a sugar momma or daddy to your alts. As soon as your alt hits 120, take your main to Nazjatar and buy Benthic tokens for all 9 available slots (all armor slots, but not rings or trinkets). You will need 45 Prismatic Manapearls per alt, but WQs in Naz often grant Benthic tokens as a reward. These tokens are account bound, so mail them to your alt… even your horde alt on a different server! Pure magic!
Additionally, you may have Black Empire armor tokens from completing assaults in Vale and Uldum. Check for these and mail them as well. They are great but are less certain than Benthic tokens as they are rares (drops as a source) and may not be the right armor type (cloth/leather/mail/plate).
Finally, for the love of all that is holy, do not miss this: you can skip two of the cloak scenarios on your alts (the first one in Halls of Origination and The Engine of Nalak’sha). This will speed up getting your cloak considerably.