Monday, July 21, 2008

Gearing your 70

Now that I've got the lolchicken to 60 and questing/instancing in Outland, it's causing me to reflect a bit on the gearing-up process that Exelus went through on his way up to (and beyond) 70. There are several tactics that can be used to outfit your character depending on what you want to do in-game (PvP, PvE, or both).

On the way to 70: Quest Rewards and Drops
With the sheer number of quests and instances available in Outland, you'll likely find a number of great class-and-spec-specific blue quality items that you'll continue to use at 70. The trick is knowing which items are worth pursuing/keeping, and luckily there are great resources out there, like and Kaliban's Loot List (see Sample Builds).

Also on the way to 70: PvP Epics
Currently one of the best investments for a 70 Enhancement Shaman are the Arena Season 2 Merciless Gladiator weapons (36k honor, 40 EotS tokens for both). Since honor and tokens don't degrade or expire, you can begin working on them several levels before 70. Get the Axes if you're an Orc, otherwise take your pick of the Fists, Axes or Maces. These weapons are great for both PvP (resilience) and PvE (hit rating). Just be sure to take the 2.6 speed version for your offhand. :) Definitely worthy of Mongoose, or Crusader if you can't afford it yet. Note however, that the 45-badge Vanir's offhand is definitely better than a S2 offhand, and is also relatively easy to get if you run Kara or heroics with any regularity. Other classes can absolutely benefit from PvP epics in the same way: Ciribrus certainly has his eyes on the S2 caster staff.

Newly at 70: Reputation Gear
If you've been completing quests and running the occassional Outland instance, you'll likely have reached Honored with most major Outland factions. With this, you'll have access to some quite good level 70 blue gear, albeit PvP-oriented. (This is still great filler gear even if you're doing mostly PvE.) For many classes, there are also quite nice epics availble at Revered/Exalted: a musket and caster sword at Honor Hold, Feral Druid mace at Cenarion Expedition, etc. There's also some excellent gear available from the Shattered Sun Offensive vendor (something for almost every class/spec/profession), and is totally solo-able by just doing dailies. It's like getting paid for grinding reputation to be able to buy epics. Brilliant!

Crafting/Buying Epics
The aforementioned SSO faction dailies on the Isle of Quel'Danas is a ridiculous moneymaker. In 45 minutes you can easily make 100 gold or more, and earn reputation at the same time. With all this cash flow it becomes feasible to level crafting professions and/or just buy epics right off the auction house. At this point Exelus has bought a chest, cloak, (mats for) gloves and a trinket directly off the AH. The gear list at has little icons next to each item to reveal their source: some are excellent BoE crafted items! As a Jewelcrafter, Exelus was also able to craft one of the best DPS trinkets in the game, thanks to a few badges and gold. Each profession may have several BoE/BoP items that are now much more attainable thanks to dailies. (Many high-end recipies can now be purchased directly from reputation vendors.)

Raiding/Heroics and Badge Gear
With a mix of high-end blues, PvP gear, reputation gear and crafted/purchased gear, you may find that upgrades will only come from raiding drops and badges. At this point you're certainly geared for most heroics, which can be fun and challenging, and a great source of extra badges if you do the daily heroic quests. Many of the badge-purchasable gear rivals the best stuff attainable in the game (Black Temple/Hyjal/Sunwell level), and there are some bargains to be had as well. The Stonebreaker's Totem is the first thing Exelus bought, a staple of raiding Enhancers and dirt-cheap at 25 badges. He's currently got his eyes set on Vanir's mainhand, but still needs 60+ badges. Ouch. :)

So as you can see, there's numerous ways to get your character geared, and I've found that doing a little bit of each of the above combines into a decently-geared character without having to become a hardcore raider. Exploring the various paths also makes for a fun and diverse gameplay experience, and also makes for a well-rounded player.

Happy hunting!

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