Hey, guys, Hamsterwheel here with a new video. And since people really like my Burning Crusade checklist video where I show you what you can do at max level in TBC in order to gear up. I decided to do the same format but then for the Wrath of the Lich King Era
Now admittedly, gearing up in Wrath of the Lich King is much more simple and linear. But there’s still multiple ways to get gear and if you’re kind of new to this expansion, or it’s been a very long time since you played it, and the endgame content seems a little overwhelming for you, then this video will definitely help you with what to do at max level.
And to show you guys that my recommendations work, I will use this mage as an example. Yes, in this video I’ll show you what you can do at max level and to prove that it works, I’m putting my money where my mouth is and gear this mage up as we go along.
So, now that we got that out of the way, it’s time to get started. I hope you’re ready because this is going to be a long one. So here we go.
So like my previous video, I will divide this video into two segments, PVP and PVE. Let’s start with PVP as this is pretty simple to explain and considering I want to do raiding with this mage and not a ton of PVP, I’ll keep this short and sweet.
Now while my gear is absolutely terrible and I could just queue up right now, there are a few ways to not look like a totally clueless person here. First up, you can check the Auction House for some item level 187 gear with some actual resilience on it so you won’t be completely defenseless in PVP.
These items usually aren’t too expensive, so picking up a few is not too bad of an idea. Of course from then on out, it’s all about that honor, arena point and arena rating grind. At a low gear level, all you can do is pray for the best in arena, get those weekly points and slowly but surely, get enough to buy some decent gear that isn’t linked to any arena rating and also do Random Battlegrounds for honor points.
But since this is WOTLK, we also have to mention Wintergrasp.
Now, Wintergrasp is this entire zone which has a battle for a giant fortress every two and a half hours. You can see how much time there’s left for the next battle in your BG menu or even just standing in the zone where you’ll see a timer on top of your screen.
So in this battle, you and a bunch of other players will either fight to conquer the fortress or defend it. Depending on whether your faction has won or lost the last Wintergrasp battle. Now, since there is also a heavy focus on vehicles in Wintergrasp, it also means that gear matters less than let’s say a Warsong Gulch map because even with crappy gear, you can be quite useful in one of these machines if you know what to do.
Basically, a rule of thumb is to produce siege engines when you’re attacking the Fortress and demolishers when you’re defending. Anyway, this battleground will offer you a good amount of extra honor, especially because this zone has repeatable quests. Some require you to do something in the actual battle but some can be done whenever you want, like this quest where I need to get 10 Enchanted Alliance Breastplates.
They’re not tied to the match, so I could just do them at any time I want and per quest, you can actually get some really nice honor and gold so I highly advise you to do these whenever you can.
Also, when your faction is in control of the fortress, it unlocks a bonus raid called the Vault of Archavon, a rather short raid with a few extra bosses that can drop PVP and PVE gear. So I highly suggest you try to join both the 10-man and the 25-man versions.
Unfortunately, pugs that form for this usually require you to have a certain gear score. So if you just started out, chances are you can’t join them just yet. But if you do get some decent gear, then definitely join these raids when you can.
So yeah, when you’re only focused on PVP, gearing is admittedly quite simple. Check the AH for some blue starter PVP gear, do RBGs, do Wintergrasp and the repeatable quests, do arenas and try to rank up so you can eventually get the gear that is linked to a certain arena rating.
Alright, now for the meat and potatoes of this video, PVE content.
So since this is going to be a bit of a long ride and I wanted this to be clear to all you freshly dinged level 80’s with crappy gear out there, I’m going to show you multiple steps and what your options are during those steps. Let’s get started.
So the first step is getting to a more respectable gear level and replacing crappy greens. And here are your options.
Option #1 - Farming Dungeons
Yes, of course, a totally obvious way of gearing up but I’m only briefly mentioning it because on some servers, it can be a nightmare to get the queue to pop due to barely anyone queueing for normal dungeons, especially if you’re a DPS.
I mean, with this character, it sometimes took me 45 minutes to get the queue to pop. Also, on servers with high EXP rate, there’s a good chance you’ll be lumped in with some level 72 players, which means you can only do lower level dungeons which will, in return, only drop gear that’s barely an upgrade for you, unless you queue for specific dungeons. But then the queue times will probably even be longer.
So yes, depending on your server, you could definitely gear up through spamming normal dungeons but there are definitely some extra ways to obtain gear. I will talk about it now, which I highly recommend you to do.
Option #2 - Gear Through Faction Reputation
So a good way to start replacing your crappy greens is to check out the different factions in the WOTLK expansion. Even if you’re only honored, they offer some pretty decent item level 187 gear that will probably be better than any random greens.
And since several of these factions have quests scattered throughout Northrend, there’s a good to fair chance that you will already be honored with one or two of these factions before even hitting level 80. So right now, I’ll show you what factions there are and where they are located.
First, we’ll talk about the Argent Crusade. Their quartermaster is located here at the Argent Vanguard shown on the map right now. By the way, I’ll be sure to link all these quartermasters in the description below of this video so you can check out all of them at your own pace and see what they have for your class and spec as I’m using this one mage as an example for this video.
Unfortunately, this faction doesn’t have anything in particular for me as a cloth caster, but since they do offer some pretty sweet items later down the line, I’ll definitely pick up the reputation tabard. Now let me talk about these tabards real quick.
There are multiple factions in WOTLK where you can get a tabard as soon as you’re friendly. These tabards will give you reputation if you kill mobs and bosses in either level 80 normal dungeons or heroic dungeons. They’re a great way of gaining reputation all the way through exalted. So I advise you to pick up these tabards as soon as you hit friendly.
And while we cannot use them a lot right now since level 80 normal dungeons barely pop on this server and we don’t have the gear for heroics, it’s good to already have them in our bags, ready to go when we do hit that gear level.
So one more thing I want to add for the Argent Crusade as a little tip, and that is the quest chain here that I advise you to do. However, this starts in Icecrown on the flying gunship of your faction. The quest is called ‘Judgement Day Comes!’ for both Horde and Alliance. You’ll be ordered to fly here and help the Argent Crusade out in their push against the Lich King’s minions.
The reason I advise you to do this quest is because they are for a good amount of rep and some decent items along the way. Nothing super major but considering how it’s good for reputation, money and a few items here and there, it’s worth checking out. And since one of those decent items is a trinket, we’re doing part of this quest chain with my mage.
And look at that, a blue item level 174 trinket. Not mind-blowing but considering I was still rolling around with a crappy trinket from Outlands, it’s a very welcoming sight and we got a lot of extra reputation by doing these couple of quests.
Up next is the Kirin Tor, which there’s also a good to fair chance that you might be honored with, depending of course on your server which quests you did, and etc. The quartermaster is located in Dalaran, in the Violet Citadel right up the stairs.
Luckily, my character’s also honored with the Kirin Tor. So in this case, I can pick up a decent item level 187 cloak. and of course, the tabard for when we get a normal level 80 dungeon going or when we’re going to farm heroics.
After further inspection, I also see that getting revered gives us a pretty sweet spell blade, a nice caster hit enchant, and exalted with the Kirin Tor will give us an epic item level 200 chest piece. So farming this reputation won’t be too bad of a choice.
Up next, we’re going to talk about the Wyrmrest Accord. The quartermaster for this one can be found on top of Wyrmrest Temple in Dragonblight. Upon checking this faction out, I see that I can get a blue item level 200 bracers as well as epic item level 200 boots if I reach exalted. So this reputation can also be worth my time farming to be exalted.
Unfortunately, I haven’t done any quests for them. But since I do want the tabard at the very least, I’ll go ahead and do a few quests related to this faction. Alright, and a little later, I’m friendly and there we go. Another tabard in the bag.
Then we move on to the Knights of the Ebon Blade. The quartermaster can be found right here in the Shadowvaults in Icecrown. In order to actually see the mobs here,
you first need to do a quest chain that, like the Argent Crusade quest chain, starts on your faction gunship. The quest is called ‘It’s All Fun And Games’ for both Horde and Alliance.
Now, I looked up the quartermaster on the internet and this faction is also worth taking a gander at, with an epic item level 200 belt that I get as well as some other blue caster items. So without further ado, let’s get this quest line out of the way.
The quest line itself isn’t really that hard; you can solo it all without a lot of trouble and it doesn’t take very long. And after a while, we unlocked this area and we got another tabard in our bag. Again, I remind you that whether you think it’s worth doing all this, really depends on what items you think would be useful for you.
Like I said before, check out all the quartermasters in the description below of this video, make yourself a grocery list of items you want and see what factions you want to grind reputation for.
Moving on to a faction that works a little differently, and that is the Sons of Hodir quest chain. So for this faction, there is no tabard that you can use in dungeons.
You need to do a pretty lengthy quest chain but I say it’s worth it because not only does this faction give you items, they also give you head or shoulder enchants and this Sons of Hodir quest chain offers me a pretty darn good shoulder enchant for my mage. So without further ado, let’s do this quest chain.
So where does it start? Well, right here in K3 in The Storm Peaks with a quest ‘They Took our Men’! Accept this and complete every single part you’re required to do. And like I said, this is quite lengthy. With you disguising yourself, finding your way up the ranks of tribal female warriors, and eventually talking to Thorim doing a few more quests, and finally getting that reputation.
So after you completed that, there are some extra dailies you can do for extra reputation that unlock as soon as you complete this quest chain. So for now, I’ll just bag myself this caster enchant that I will definitely going to need as soon as we get our hands on a good shoulder item.
So let me recap real quick what we just did here. We checked each faction to see what rewards they already had for us, we picked up tabards for those that offer us bonus reputations in dungeons, we made our little wishlist of items we want to have, and we also completed the Sons of Hodir quest chain for rep with that faction.
Now there are a few more factions that I will mention briefly. One is the Horde Expedition or the Alliance Vanguard and you get reputation with these by doing quests linked to that faction or doing level 80 normal dungeons or heroics without having any tabard equipped. These quartermasters can be found in either Warsong Hold for the Horde in the Borean Tundra, or Valiance Keep for the Alliance, also in Borean Tundra.
Then there’s The Kalu’ak whose quartermaster can be found in either Mo’aki Harbor in Dragonblight or Kamagua in Howling Fjord. You get reputation for this by doing quests and dailies.
And then the Frenzyheart Tribe, whose quartermaster is at Frenzyheart Hill in Sholazar Basin. And also the Oracles, whose quartermaster can be found in the Rainspeaker Canopy in Sholazar Basin.
I’m only mentioning these briefly because I don’t have as good of a reward as the other factions I talked about more in detail. And those factions should provide you with enough pieces that you will probably not need to also get rep with these factions to fill in extra items, especially because most of these extra factions only offer minor upgrades.
But like I said, the quartermasters will be in the description, so I’d say take a quick gander at what these extra factions can offer you. And these factions could be a decent option for you if you’re not level 80 just yet and you want to farm some reputation for some decent blues.
Option #3 - The Zul'drak Arena
Like TBC, WOTLK also has an arena tournament that involves doing a couple of group quests where in the end, you can get an item level 175 weapon. Sure, it’s nothing to write whole about but if you’re like me and you’re rolling around with a crappy green weapon, it can be a quick and easy upgrade.
The quest chain starts at Shifty Vickers who resides in the sewers of Dalaran and the tournament takes place in the Zul’drak arena in Zul’drak. Be warned though because this area can be a bit of a hotbed for ganking. My recommendation is to ask in world chat for more people or fly there and see if you can team up with some people while checking out if there are any high-level Alliance or Horde ganking.
If you’re able to do this though, I definitely recommend it because the last quest offers you that decent weapon and a good amount of gold.
Option #4 - The Auction House
It sounds very simple but often, there are some pretty good items you can pick up that will provide you a good boost in gearscore, especially if your server is fully progressed. Like this item right here for my mage which are the Stiffened Corpse Shoulderpads. Sure, they’re not exactly cheap but look at that, 264 item level which means a massive boost in gearscore, so definitely worth picking up.
As well as a few level 80 blues which are a total bargain. So if you have some spare gold left, I definitely suggest you take a gander at the Auction House and see what it can do for you to provide a quick and easy upgrade in gear.
Yes, it could cost you a pretty penny for some items, and some items are out of reach for now like this caster necklace but some aren’t super expensive. And if you have the money, I’d say it's definitely worth picking up.
Now for this mage, I leveled up 2 gathering professions. I actively look at the Auction House frequently to see what’s selling like hot cakes and for a good price and sold a bunch of items in the Auction House. And I saved that money so I can invest it right now. So let’s see what we can pick up.
After scanning the Auction House, I bought these items. This blue ring, the epic shoulders, these blue bracers, a blue necklace, some blue gloves, blue pants, this cloak and this blue belt. The shoulders were pretty pricey but everything else was actually quite cheap and all those items combined gave me a massive boost in gearscore from 2250 to 2814. So I’d say it's well worth the investment.
Option #5 - Wintergrasp
It sounds weird if you want to focus on PVE content only but depending on how far your server has progressed, it means you can bag yourself one or two PVP items with a potentially very high gearscore or item level.
If your server is still fresh, it’s not as good as you can probably only get blue item level 200 items here but on a fully progressed server like this one, you can score item level 245 gear from off pieces and 232 item level armor sets. And if you’re replacing a crappy green armor piece, that means a huge boost in gearscore and overall item level.
And like I said in my PVP section, doing a Wintergrasp battle alongside those repeatable quests can get you a nice amount of honor pretty quick. So getting at least one PVP item shouldn’t be hard at all. I know it is sub optimal, you could just go into PVE but that PVP item will, despite it having resilience, still be miles better if you swap it out for a crappy green.
So let’s say bagged yourself some upgrades through Wintergrasp, the Auction House, a few upgrades from maybe some normal dungeons, and a few upgrades from being honored with a few factions like my mage right here, and now you’re sitting at around 2.8k gearscore or something like that.
Well, there are a few more things you can do now that you have some better gear. Of course, now we really want to focus on getting into heroics and getting into heroics require give or take 3.2k gearscore or an average item level of 187. So without further ado, let’s get to that gear level and talk about the extra options you have now that you have some decent gear.
Option #6 - Trial of the Champion, the Forge of Souls, and Pit of Saron
Now that we’re at this gear level, the fun really starts to kick in. Now since we’re going to focus a lot more in dungeons, I decided to get myself prepared, ditched my frost spec, go for fire, get some glyphs to buff my abilities, so now I have a few more things taken care of and I look a little bit more serious when people inspect me.
And with that fun I talked about, I mean the Trial of the Champion normal and heroic farm, and also for Forge of Souls and Pit of Saron normal and heroic farm.
These dungeons are amazing for gearing up as the normal mode for Trial of the Champion drops epic item level 200 stuff and the heroic version drops item level 219 items.
Forge of Souls and Pit of Saron drop item level 219 gear in normal mode and in heroic, they drop item level 232 gear, so definitely well worth your time. But it’s very important to keep in mind that these are tied to current raid tiers that are available.
Trial of the Champion is only available if the Trial of the Crusader raid is out in your server. Forge of Souls and Pit of Saron are only available if Icecrown Citadel is out in your server. So keep that in mind.
I also know that with the introduction of Icecrown Citadel, a third catch-up dungeon was introduced, called the Halls of Reflection but this dungeon is not so favorable to spam for random groups as it takes more time to complete than the other two and is generally conceived to be harder than the others.
You can still check it out yourself but I recommend the Forge of Souls and Pit of Saron over the Halls of Reflection in my humble opinion.
Now these dungeons are considered to be harder than your average dungeons in WOTLK. Hence why even in normal mode, it is usually not doable with super crappy gear, and groups that are looking to farm these over and over again will require you to have a certain gear level.
That’s why this way of gearing up is only available after you get yourself, give or take, 2.8k gearscore. This gear level might differ on your server, so keep an eye out for world chat and see how much groups that are forming for these dungeons are asking in terms of gear.
If you manage to get in one though, it can very quickly take you well over that 3k gear threshold and onto the point where you can start you can do random heroic dungeons. But since there are potentially 3 more options out there, let’s check those out first.
Option #7 - Vault of Archavon
Another thing you can try and do is the Vault of Archavon. Yes, while I mentioned this for PVP, it’s also worth it for PVE because the bosses in there drop both PVP and PVE items.
What type of loot drops there depends on how far your server has progressed, so on this particular server where all the raid content is out, we have a chance of getting some seriously good loot.
If your faction controls Wintergrasp, try to join both the 10-man and 25-man group for a chance to get some extra epics to drop there. Now, how high of a gearscore you need really depends on your server.
A fresh Wrath server usually asks around 3k gearscore or something like that while the server that I’m on demands a much higher gearscore. So I advise you to keep an eye out for when your faction controls Wintergrasp and check world chat how much gearscore they’re asking for you to have.
If you have enough, join it. And if you don’t, like I do right now, just focus on some other things and join them later on when you do have the required gearscore.
Option #7 - ICC Rep Farm
Now if your server has the Icecrown Citadel raid available, it also means you will probably be able to join an ICC rep farm group where you basically kill a couple of trash mobs until you hit the first boss then you turn around, walk outside of the raid, reset the raid and go back in.
The reason you want to do this is because the mobs here give you reputation with the Ashen Verdict. And that faction gives you a really powerful ring, so it’s well worth your time.
The Ashen Verdict has 5 rings you can get which are the Ashen Band of Courage with strength, stamina, defense rating, dodge rating and hit rating,
the Ashen Band of Vengeance with agility, stamina, attack power, crit rating and hit rating,
the Ashen Band of Destruction with stamina, intellect, spell power, haste and hit rating,
the Ashen Band of Wisdom with stamina, intellect, spell power, haste and mp5,
and the Ashen Band of Might with strength, stamina, crit rating and hit rating.
Becoming friendly gives you a ring with item level 251, honored is item level 259, revered is item level 268, and exalted is item level 277. Now while exalted will take a long time to get, it’s definitely worth getting at least friendly with the Ashen Verdict through this way so you can pick up a really good item level 251 ring which is exactly what I did.
It wasn’t long before I was friendly and I was able to bag myself a really good caster ring for my mage.
Now usually, this ICC rep farms do require you to have some respectable gear, I mean it probably differs from server to server, but usually an absolutely minimum gearscore of 3k is required to join one of these with gearscore requirement usually being higher for tanks and healers, so just keep that in mind if you’re planning on doing this as well.
So at this point, you now have 7 options for you to gear up and of course, one more you could try your hands on is professions. I decided to only briefly talk about this one as it’s a very obvious one and doesn’t require any super detailed guide in this particular video as there are tons and tons of guides already out there on the internet on how to level these, depending on what you want.
But it is definitely a way of making amazing gear depending on how far your server has progressed but it is also a potentially very time consuming way of gearing up. So I’ll leave that to you whether you want to start leveling one.
Or let’s say you’re watching this and you still haven’t started leveling yet, it could be wise to choose one profession to craft gear and level that alongside your character.
At this point, I advise you to focus on these 8 options I gave you and figure out for yourself what you want to do depending on your class and spec, of course. And after doing a bunch of activities myself, my mage here has reached a half-decent gearscore of 3411 which means it’s time to queue heroics.
From this point out, things start to get a little bit simpler because now you can seriously start farming bonus reputation with those tabards for extra gear, get decent items from dungeon drops, and of course, badges which is now going to be your main focus.
For every daily heroic you do, you first get a bonus of 2 badges that are the same that drop in raids. For instance, here on this server, I get Emblems of Frost. And after that, they are the same type of badges that you could get for killing a boss in these heroic dungeons, in this case, Emblem of Triumph.
Of course, what badges drop depends on how far your server has progressed. For me though, it means I can seriously start farming Emblems of Triumph which will get me tier 9 gear and some item level 245 off pieces. So it’s well worth your time.
And by doing 1 heroic each day, I will guarantee myself 14 Emblems of Frost in 1 week and those Emblems of Frost are for item level 264 pieces which is an even bigger bump in gear level.
Also, now is a good time to pick up our weekly raid quest that you can find here in Dalaran. It requires you to kill a boss anywhere in the WOTLK raid, and in return, you get a pretty decent amount of emblems. How high these pug raids demand your gearscore to be really depends on your server.
So I know that in this server, it’s pretty darn high. But it’s nice to always have this quest in my log for when I do get the required gear level.
Alright, boys, as of right now, our mage is sitting at 4553 gearscore, definitely not too shabby. And I think I’m going to call it here. I think you guys get the idea of what options you have and what to do right now. I mean right now, all I have to do is just focus on doing more heroics, getting the badges, and replacing more and more items so I can get to a comfortable gearscore like 5000 plus.
And from there on out, I can probably try to do some pugs, do some Vault of Archavon and keep going because… Well, as of right now, my gear is not too bad. I got 2 pieces of tier 9, I still got the 264 item, I did the repeatable quests from Wintergrasp, and Wintergrasp itself which gave me honor, so I got this 245 cloak and the 245 bracers. Not ideal, but again, it’s 245 so it’s a big boost compared to what I had.
I have this sword from Forge of Souls heroic. I got the trinket from badges and a few other goodies. And as of right now, there’s still definitely room for improvement. I mean, these pants definitely have to go, they’re item level 200 blue. This necklace is also not that great. And admittedly, this robe is starting to not be great too and the offhand and a few other pieces.
But again, I think you guys get the idea of how to gear up and from here on out, it’s very linear. Just keep spamming dungeons, get more badges, replace more gear, get a higher gearscore and start doing raids with some pugs or even just joining a raiding guild and then go from there.
So there you go, as you can see, we definitely geared this mage up from being very crappy and doing no DPS at all to a respectable gearscore and doing some decent damage. So yeah, I call this mission accomplished.
And that’s going to do it for now. I know this is quite a lengthy video but I hope I was able to give you guys enough options for what to do at max level, and explain them properly for you to go out there and gear up your own character on a WOTLK server.
As always, I want to thank you for watching. I’m Hamsterwheel and have a good one.