How to upgrade items in Dragonflight patch 10.1
Dragonflight patch 10.1 is bringing us a brand new gear upgrade system, which will help you (and your alts) keep your gear up to date even if you’re unlucky with drops. You’ll be able to upgrade all of your Dragonflight Season 2 gear — including items acquired from the new rotation of Mythic+, the Aberrus raid, and even World Quests — with this new system. The Revival Catalyst should also still be available in patch 10.1 so you’ll be able to convert gear to tier, though we don’t have details on how it will work in Dragonflight Season 2.
The current process of upgrading Mythic+ gear with Valor will gone. PVP gear and crafted gear will continue to be upgraded as they are now, and you’ll be able to upgrade your crafted items with recrafting using the new system’s upgrade currency in place of today’s Primal Infusions. That’s a pretty big change, but Blizzard hopes it will provide a more coherent upgrade system, and if it works well we may see this as the standard upgrade model moving forward.
Of course a new upgrade system means new upgrade currencies. To upgrade items in Season 2, you’ll need Flightstones and a Shadowflame Crest appropriate for the level you’re upgrading to. Fortunately, earning these should be straightforward: you can get them through a variety of gameplay options, from running World Quests to clearing Mythic+ or raiding.
So let’s take a look at how to get the new upgrade currencies and run down everything you need to know about upgrading gear in patch 10.1.
How to get Flightstones and Shadowflame Crests (and what they can do)
Flightstones are simple to earn: you get them from just about any activity, and there’s no weekly cap the way Valor was capped until recently. However, there is a cap on how many total Flightstones you can have, but it’s about five times the cost of an upgrade, so if you’re close to cap you can upgrade some gear and immediately head back out to gather more. Every upgrade will cost a number of Flightstones, and higher level upgrades will also require a Shadowflame Crest.
Getting Shadowflame Crests is a little more complicated. There are multiple types based on the type of content you get them from, and better Crests mean higher ilevel upgrades. Here are the different Shadowflame Crests:
- Whelpling’s Shadowflame Crest: Upgrades gear to Raid Finder ilevel
- Drake’s Shadowflame Crest: Upgrades gear to Normal raid ilevel
- Wyrm’s Shadowflame Crest: Ugrades gear to Heroic raid ilevel
- Aspect’s Shadowflame Crest: Upgrades gear to Mythic raid ilevel
There will also be ways to gather Whelpling and Drake crests in non-instanced gameplay, so people who primarily play solo doing said content can still upgrade their items to be equivalent to Normal raiding.
Low level Season 2 gear won’t require any Shadowflame Crests to upgrade, just Flightstones. You can upgrade items as high as ilevel 398 before you start needing Crests. Here’s the breakdown on upgrade levels and requirements:
- Explorer items are ilevel 376 – 398. These only require Flightstones to upgrade.
- Adventurer items are ilevel 389 – 411. The first few upgrades at this level only cost Flightstones, but upgrades between ilevel 402 – 411 also require a Whelpling’s Shadowflame Crest.
- Veteran’s items are ilevel 402 – 424. The first four upgrades require a Whelpling’s Shadowflame Crest, while the last four require a Drake’s Shadowflame Crest.
- Champion items are ilevel 415 – 437. They first four upgrades require a Drake’s Shadowflame Crests, while the last four require a Wyrm’s Shadowflame Crest.
- Hero items are ilevel 428 – 441. The first four upgrades require a Wyrm’s Shadowflame Crest, while the final requires an Aspect’s Shadowflame Crest. Items can’t be upgraded beyond 441 (equivalent to Mythic gear).
In addition to upgrading Season 2 PVE gear, Shadowflame Crests are also used to upgrade crafted gear via recrafting. They essentially replace Primal Infusion and Concentrated Primal Infusion, letting you upgrade items to higher ilevel in line with the new upgrade system laid out above. You won’t need Flightstones to upgrade crafted gear: you’ll just recraft them using the appropriate level Shadowflame Crest.
Gear upgrades will be discounted for alts
Catching up on your alts will be much easier under this new system, because the number of Flightstones you need for upgrading will be cut in half. The system is account-wide, because if any character on your account has a higher ilevel piece in the same slot you’re trying to upgrade, it will cost half as many Flightstones. If you’re upgrading gear on your main and you already have a higher ilevel piece for that slot, you won’t need a Shadowflame Crest, either: just half the usual number of Flightstones. Alts with lower ilevel gear can upgrade at half the Flightstone cost as well, but will still need the appropriate Shadowflame Crest.
Blizzard used a trinket as an example: if you already have two trinkets at ilevel 415 but want to upgrade a new ilevel 402 trinket that just dropped, it will cost half the usual number of Flightstones and no Crests to upgrade to 415.
This will make it much easier to keep up with the gear curve on both your alts and main. If your main gets a great piece of gear at a lower ilevel than what they’re using, they can quickly upgrade it to their current ilevel. And alts will be able to easily jump to the same ilevel as your main (though alts will still need to collect Crests).
And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this excellent piece of news for Fury Warriors:
Q: I’m a Fury warrior, and I was looking at the weapon upgrade section. I can’t find the part that makes me sad to wield two two-handed weapons.
A: Because of the way redundancy for two-handed weapons works, Fury warriors get a unique benefit: upgrading a single two-handed weapon makes the same upgrade on the other weapon cost half the usual amount of Flightstones and no Crests. We forgot to add a part that would make you sad. Please forgive us.
There will be a new upgrade vendor in Season 2: Loamm in the Zaralek Cavern. But it appears that all previous upgrade vendors will also be able to upgrade your gear under the new system: you’ll find upgrade vendors in their current locations in Veldrakken, Oribos, and even Nazjatar.
And that’s everything you need to know about the upgrade system in Dragonflight patch 10.1. If you want to see how it works in person, you can jump on the PTR to test it, and if you have concerns now’s the time to head to the PTR forums with feedback.
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