How to Gear Up in WoW Dragonflight
Acquiring superior equipment that let adventurers take on greater challenges is a vital part of WoW’s gameplay loop. While the core process remains unchanged, each expansion adds new opportunities or nuances to the gearing process. Read this guide to learn about all the main sources of better gear in Dragonflight and how to use them effectively!
Pieces of equipment may be obtained from a wide range of sources in the MMORPG. However, only the latest content offers the kind of loot that would help adventurers dominate the endgame. Furthermore, not all sources are equally useful. They can vary in terms of the difficulty of gearing and the best possible results. Below, we consider the best possibilities available in Season One of this expansion.
Dungeons have an especially important and extensive role to play in gearing. Normal Dungeons can be encountered while leveling and dropping 346-leveled loot. Heroic Dungeons, available once leveling is finished, bump that up to 359, while basic Mythic instances go up to 372. As such, those variants are all invaluable for early gearing progression, especially if used together with dungeon quests. Heroic instances cannot be accessed in Group Finder before meeting 342 gearing thresholds, which is recommended in any case. Mythic farming presents bigger challenges, such as needing to put together premade teams and manage weekly lockouts in each instance.
In addition to weapons and armor, Mythic instances allow victors to access their Mythic Plus counterparts. Those advanced instances form a crucial part of endgame gearing. Unlike basic Mythics, they are not subject to lockouts, and they offer progressively superior equipment up to Keystone 20 (405 gear). Beating those instances also provides Valor, which is spent to upgrade Mythic Plus loot from lower-Keystone runs. Valor gains are no longer capped per week. Past a certain point, the upgrades available depend on the Mythic Plus rating. Players should try to save Valor so they quickly improve the finest items for their adventurers’ builds. Less impressive drops are best replaced rather than improved.
Clearing Raid Encounters
The latest raid - currently the Vault of the Incarnates - is another essential component of endgame gearing. In Dragonflight, boss encounters have been separated into three loot tiers. Each raiding difficulty offers a range of item levels based on those tiers:
- LFR: 376-385;
- Normal: 389-398;
- Heroic: 402-411;
- Mythic: 415-424.
The best Mythic raiding rewards are literally better than any other items in the MMORPG. Even lesser prizes are invaluable for gearing. Adventurers may also seize unique higher-level items with special characteristics. Farming raids eventually become necessary for those seeking to rise to the top. However, there are some complications to watch out for. Finding players for a run can be harder than with dungeons. Also, the loot system has been overhauled, restoring the Group Loot principle. Heroes may only profit from beating a specific encounter in a given variant once before each weekly reset. When a party includes several heroes who have already defeated an encounter that week, the group receives fewer drops from that encounter.
Taking Part in PvP
PvP activities have their own gear progression tied to the Honor and Conquest currencies. The former is acquired from all PvP interactions and expended to buy basic PvP gear. It can also be used to upgrade Conquest gear, purchased with the currency earned solely from rated PvP. The maximum tier to which such items could be upgraded is determined by the highest rating at which the player competed in a week, meaning that it is necessary to fight at least one match to retain access to better upgrades. PvP gear comes with separate PvE and PvP levels. It is the former that Honor upgrades can increase. Conquest gear is always at the highest PvP level. Note that Conquest gains are no longer capped per week.
Additionally, players can earn Bloody Tokens by participating in War Mode open-world PvP, completing related World Quests, and collecting Supplies. This novel currency could then be exchanged for pieces from either of two sets. Drakebreaker is exclusively designed for open-world PVP, with appropriate stat bonuses when multiple pieces from it are worn at once. It does not appear to function in instances. Conversely, the Raging Tempest collection is intended for PvE, and grants set bonuses accordingly. Pieces from both sets may be upgraded up to 385 in a weekly quest. Overall those items are situationally useful, but they could certainly help early gearing efforts.
Collecting Weekly Prizes
The Great Vault allows players to claim additional prizes from the abovementioned endgame activities. At the end of each week, every adventurer who reached certain objectives in them before the weekly reset can pick a single item from the Vault. The selection is partly random, but constrained by the objectives met. Specifically:
- Clearing two, four, and six encounters in the latest raiding instance unlocks items from that instance. Their level depends on the difficulty at which the hero met the thresholds needed to unlock them;
- Completing one, four, and eight Mythic Plus runs unlocks Mythic Plus prizes. The quality of the first, second, and third prizes is determined by the adventurer’s best, fourth-best, and eighth-best Keystones in that week. However, unlike in the previous entry, those items are higher-leveled than ones that may drop in the instances themselves, potentially going up to 421. Those items may be upgraded with Valor;
- Earning 1250, 2500, and 5000 Honor from rated PvP activities adds Conquest gear to the selection. Those items’ levels (which apply only to PvE) are assigned based on the maximum rating in any rated mode for that week. Honor can be spent to upgrade those items.
While those offers are inherently supplemental to the loot from the activities themselves, collecting an item every week can be very useful. That is especially the case for the Mythic Plus rewards, given their superior quality compared to the basic drops.
Playing Through World Quests and Events
There are numerous World Quests and Events that become accessible for fully-leveled heroes who have either finished the campaign or skipped it as alts:
- War Mode PvP quests that yield Bloody Tokens;
- Reputation faction events, such as The Siege on Dragonbane Keep, Grand Hunts, and Community Feasts;
- Aiding the Accord, a particularly lucrative weekly quest that simply requires raising Reputation with Renown factions by any means;
- Trials of Flood and of Elements, weekly events in which adventurers must defeat multiple waves of foes and elites;
- Weekly tasks for Wrathion and/or Sabellian, tied to offering support to either leader;
- Primal Storms, local anomalies in which adventurers are called upon to defeat hostile waves. This specific event has received a lot of attention from developers. It grants two types of currencies, Elemental Overflow for purchasing and Storm Sigils for upgrading exclusive gear. Equipment from this event also receives bonuses when two, four, or six pieces are worn at once;
- Further quests are listed in the Adventure Guide.
Being repeatable is a major advantage of this category of quests. Interacting with most of them can net heroes gear between 379 and 400, whether immediately or indirectly through purchases and enhancements. While those numbers fall short of the endgame proper, the equipment gained in this way can be really helpful on the way there, so players should not neglect this activity until their equipment out levels it. The rewards here scale to the user’s current item level, with the result that many players wait until the very end of the week to turn in quests. Since the adventurer is likely to get better items along the way, this delay can boost their advancement further.
Befriending Reputation Factions
Factions are obviously tied closely to the previous category, but they also have benefits of their own. Improving Reputation with them not only grants access to exclusive events, but also unlocks vendors, recipes, and new types of world loot, all of which can help equip an adventurer better. In addition to the major Renown-using factions, smaller groups like the followers of Wrathion or Sabellian and the Cobalt Assembly can also offer rewards that could greatly augment a hero’s power on their way into the endgame. There are many methods of improving faction reputations, as described in our Dragonflight Renown Reputation guide.
Defeating Foes in the Open World
Ordinary mobs are seldom a rewarding source of loot, but some opponents are much more lucrative. Unique rare mobs yield loot between 362 and 392, depending on the specific foe and item scaling, which works just like with World Quests. Adventurers can kill each of them once every day. World Bosses are more formidable. Each week, one of the four foes spawns in their respective zone of the Dragon Isles. Defeating them lets the winners claim 395-grade gear. Taking down such monsters is typically a group endeavor, but fortunately, there is no shortage of people wishing to team up against them.
The overhauled Professions system has strongly modified Crafting. This form of gameplay is now much more detailed and involved. By default, crafted items are made at 306 points. However, special reagents may be employed to either augment such products while they are being crafted or upgrade them through recrafting. Titan Training Matrices are obtained from various repeatable sources such as dungeons, depending on their level. They can improve equipment up to 382. Sparks of Ingenuity, Primal Infusions, and Concentrated Primal Infusions drop from more advanced activities or missions and push objects beyond that quality threshold, with the last extending the maximum level to 418. None of those reagents could be traded.
Trading with Other Players
The Auction House is unlikely to be any adventurer’s main source of new equipment, but it can be very helpful at various points in the gearing process. Players with enough Gold to spend should check the offers regularly, as they might find convenient replacements for their current items. Even minor improvements may prove very helpful and shave off hours if not days from the progression. Trading is also invaluable for those who do not wish to bother with crafting themselves. The new order system means that heroes can obtain the finest crafted gear for their slots with ease so long as they are prepared to spend a little Gold.
Optimal Gearing Approaches
The best gearing method in Dragonflight depends on the individual player’s preferences and available playtime. Casual players could concentrate on a few activities they like without too many problems. Conversely, those looking to gear up quickly would do well to combine multiple methods in a time-effective way. The optimal progression may look like this:
- Prepare by powerleveling to the current cap as fast as possible. Doing so is much easier in this expansion and does not necessitate deliberate gearing, though it can help. Also, maximize Dragonriding abilities by collecting Glyphs at the earliest opportunity to save many hours while farming in the next stage;
- Once leveling is done, farm rare spawns, World Quests, and World Events to get starting PvE gear (up to 385). Check the Adventure Guide regularly to avoid missing weekly opportunities. Try to plan efficient routes to string together several useful activities and keep an eye out for reputation farming opportunities. Team up with other players whenever the opposition gets too tough. Trading and/or crafting can help fill gaps along the way. Basic dungeons can also be useful, but they offer somewhat worse gear than players can get from the best mobs and quests;
- Shift focus towards running Mythic Plus instances at comfortable difficulties to obtain and upgrade loot up to 421. The Great Vault will augment those gains. Alternatively, farming and upgrading PvP equipment can provide equivalent results;
- In parallel, start running Vault of the Incarnates whenever lockouts permit it after reaching the minimal advisable level for any given difficulty (usually 13 below each encounter’s loot). Once Mythic runs become viable, concentrate on completing them to acquire the finest gear in the World of Warcraft.
How We Can Help
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FAQ About Dragonflight Gearing
Items from Mythic Plus dungeons have Ranks that correspond to specific item levels. By spending Valor, players can bump up items from one Rank to another, increasing their levels in the process. The cost of each upgrade is determined by the slot. Valor is a currency earned by completing Mythic Plus runs, which is no longer limited by a weekly cap after the February 14 Dragonflight update. Starting with the seventh Rank, upgrade tiers require specific Mythic+ Ratings.
As of Dragonflight Season One, items in WoW can go up to ilvl 424. Such items are yielded by final encounters in the highest difficulty of the newest raid instance. Mythic Plus and PvP rewards go up to 421. Future seasons will raise those thresholds further.
At present, there is no way to upgrade equipment found in raids. Fated Raids seen at the end of the previous expansion did offer such an option, so perhaps a similar system could be implemented in later updates.