A quick and dirty guide to gearing up in patch 8.3
This isn’t what I’d call the best way to gear up in patch 8.3, but it covers the absolute easiest path to decent gear once next week rolls around and the patch drops. It’s gearing up for lazy people, like the person writing this article.
It’s fair to say that “best” is a subjective term. It’s also fair to say that the most efficient path to gearing up isn’t always the one that’s going to get you the best rewards, etc. That all being said, the reason catch-up mechanics exist is to keep players who’ve been away or playing a different character from feeling like they don’t have a chance to keep up or jump back in when a new patch rolls out, and patch 8.3 has a variety of ways to do exactly that. So let’s talk about the catch up mechanics this time around.
The intro questline
You’re going to want to do the introduction to 8.3 questline, because it will make everything else we’re going to suggest possible. It unlocks Visions of N’Zoth Assaults, Mini-Visions in the zone under Major Assault by N’Zoth, and the Horrific Visions once you’ve finished it. Plus it unlocks several new Essences for your Heart of Azeroth. If you haven’t been playing much lately, you’ll definitely want all that.
Definitely do this quest, as all the other content in patch 8.3 is gated behind it. It’s long — roughly 1.5 hours or more — but necessary.
Assaults and Horrific Visions
There’s going to be one Major and two Minor Visions of N’Zoth Assaults a week, and every single one of these Assaults will give you a scaling piece of gear at the end of it. That piece can scale up to 440 and has a high chance of being a Corrupted piece, with a special bonus and the Corruption stat on the item. This means that in a week you will have a chance at three pieces of gear from Assaults. Of course, these are scaling pieces — you won’t be getting a 440 piece immediately. But it’s definitely worth considering the Assaults as a reliable way to get gear that’s slightly better than what you already have, especially if you’re wearing (as an example) Benthic gear. If you’re even further behind, a quick stop to Nazjatar to pick up some Benthic gear before running your Assaults might be in order, if you’re below 385 item level. But that depends on how low the Assault gear starts — if the lowest it can be is ilevel 400, say, it’s no longer worth worrying about Benthic gear.
Now, while it’s true that there is a guaranteed loot drop if you kill the boss of a Horrific Vision, it’s also true that you’re not likely to do that for the first couple of weeks. Initially, you’ll be able to farm up between two and three Vessels of Horrific Visions per week (depending on how much Coalescing Visions you can grind up), and you’re not likely to do more than one objective at best, so while there is scaling gear to be had you’re more likely to be doing these to buff your Legendary Cloak from Wrathion and increase your ability to stay in the Vision longer. I’m not sure I’d put the Visions up as a “best” way, but there are two things to remember — the Visions scale to be completely solo content if that’s how you want to play them, and you can, in time, tune the difficulty and get gear up to ilevel 470 from them, meaning that this is as close to evergreen solo content for gear as you’re likely to see in World of Warcraft this expansion.
However, while you’re running around Uldum and the Vale of Eternal Blossoms doing the various objectives in the Major and Minor Assaults, another gearing mechanic will become available, and it’s one that won’t just benefit the character you’re on. If you remember the Timeless Isle, you’ll remember the various Bind-to-Account tokens that could be transformed into various gear options for the class and spec of the character who used them.
That mechanic is back in patch 8.3. There will be four possible armor drops per token, and two possible Azerite Armor drops per token for the Head, Shoulder, and Chest slot tokens. These items will be item level 400, so while they’re hardly overwhelmingly powerful — if you’ve been doing patch 8.2’s Nazjatar content this whole time, you could be in head-to-toe 425 Benthic gear and not even sniff at these items — if you’ve got a host of undergeared alts or just haven’t been playing much until coming back for this patch this is another solid way to get 400 gear to bring you up from whatever junk you had on hand. And, because it’s BOA, if a piece of cloth drops for your Paladin, you can always send it to your Priest and have them kitted out in 400 gear before they set foot in either zone.
These items drop from mobs in the Uldum and Vale of Eternal Blossom zones during the Assaults, so make sure to pay attention while you’re doing those.
Higher ilevel gear rewards
Slightly after 8.3 goes live, gear rewards for some existing activities will go up. After maintenance on January 21, the item level rewards for dungeons, PVP, and World Quests will go up by 30 — and can also be corrupted by N’Zoth. The Darkshore Warfront will also be getting a Heroic version with upgraded, ilevel 460 gear.
That means hitting up some of the things you already do could become pretty lucrative for gearing up.
And that’s it — the simplest, easiest ways to gear up and get your ilevel up whether it’s for your main who you haven’t played in a while or that legion of alts you’re sitting on.
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