Today we are talking about how item upgrades are going to work in WoW Dragonflight patch 10.1 Embers of Neltharion, and what can we expect the progression and gearing are going to be like.
Dragonflight Season 2 Progression & Gear Upgrade (Item Levels Boost) Guide in Patch 10.1
There are a few big changes in WoW Dragonflight, Valor, Storm Sigils is gone, nearly all gear in Season 2 will have between 5 and 8 upgrade levels that include gear from world quests and even raid content. For those who are familiar with upgrading dungeon gear with Valor, upgrades are no longer limited to what your highest Mythic+ score is. Now is your job to go through and explore WoW Dragonflight Season 2 progression and hone your gear, so you can then increase your item level in patch 10.1.
Dragonflight patch 10.1 item level brackets
Shared by SoulSoBreezy, at first, we walk you through the guesstimated item levels that we can expect to see in Season 2. Assume that we're going to follow a pattern almost identical to season 1. Heroic dungeons may drop item level 385 gear, Mythic 0 may drop 398, Mythic 2s will drop 402 at the end of a run and award item level 408 gear in the great Vault. Raid Finder will drop a range of 402s-411s depending on which boss you're killing. And the rest should be familiar, tougher stuff drops better loots, it gives us higher Vault stuff. Mythic 20s are expected to spit out to item level 447s from the great Vault. Mythic raids will give the best item level 450 gear from the final bosses. Very rare gear is returning in Season 2, so while there's going to be another outlier piece that breaks past the item level 450 barrier, it's a cloak. This gives a little bit of context to item level upgrades in Dragonflight season 2. Click the 10.1 item level brackets for a complete overview.
Flightstones and Crests upgrades for Dragonflight Season 2
Throughout Season 2, you will earn Flightstones, it's a kind of currency that you get from doing any Dragonflight content in the season, with the amount that you get depending on how difficult the challenge is. There is a Flightstone cap and it's pretty high and there's also no limit to how much you can earn in a day, a week, or a season outside of that cap. You're also going to earn crests of different quality (Whelpling’s Shadowflame Crest, Drake’s Shadowflame Crest, Wvrm’s Shadowflame Crest and Aspect’s Shadowflame Crest), it depends on the difficulty, these do have a cap and you can only use 10 of each kind per week. Together, these Flightstones and Crests are used to upgrade gear at your typical upgrade vendor. Flightstones aren't so different from Primal Chaos in that regard and Crests aren't so different from the different qualities of infusions used for crafting.
How do upgrades work in Season 2 Dragonflight?
It's the start of Season 2, you defeat a rare mob and get a rare piece of gear with an item level of 376. This is considered explorer level gear and has an upgrade level of 1/8. By completing whatever equivalent content, you can upgrade this gear from item level 376 all the way up to 398 using Flightstones. Let's say you jump into a heroic dungeon and you get a piece of gear. That heroic dungeons dropped 385s, this is also considered explorer level gear but since it's a 385, it happens to have an upgrade level of 4/8 to reflect that. Say you defeat a tougher rare out in the world that drops 389 gear, gear that drops at this level is no longer considered explorer gear. In fact, you're never going to see a 5/8 piece of gear drop, the gear will instead go up to a different rank altogether. In this case, it's called Adventurer gear and now this gear has an upgrade level of 1/8, its maximum potential is higher than explorer gear.
It's a good incentive to get more of this Adventurer class gear because we can reach even greater heights. So you upgrade it with Flightstones until you hit a wall trying to get to level 5. To upgrade this any further, you now need a Crest, in this case, a Whelpling’s Crest. Obtaining this level of crest should be pretty easy, in fact, while doing these outdoor rares and dungeons you should be collecting crests or at least fragments of crests to make into a hole. At the moment, you need 15 fragments to create 1.
So you're working your way through upgrading your Adventure level gear, getting Flightstones and Crests until you've maxed out their levels. And you're getting stronger, you're learning your class and you're getting more gear in the meantime. You happen to complete a +2 key and get an item level 402 keys and this gear isn't an Explorer or an Adventure level of gear, it's Veteran gear and can again be upgraded to new heights. Going forward you're going to need crests of each upgrade that you do. In this case of Veteran gear, upgrading from levels 1 through 4 are going to need those Whelpling’s Crest. But for 5 and higher, you'll need Drake’s Crests and where exactly does one earn these different sorts of crests. The idea here is that they are level appropriate meaning crests and their fragments will drop where the content is relevant. So Whelpling’s Crest is going to drop from raid finder and Mythic Keys levels 2 through 8. Drake Crests will drop from normal raids and key levels 9 through 16.
How this is different from Valor?
Veteran level gear ranges from an item level of 402 all the way to 424, that spans from raid finder gear all the way to the end of normal difficulty raids. This creates scenarios of growth where a player could collect gear through raid finder difficulty and eventually graduate themselves to the end of normal. But they don't necessarily replace their gear even. If they're unlucky, they can upgrade it through Flightstones and these Drake’s Crests earn from normal raids.
If you had a shield drop on a normal run, no one else happens to need it, so you keep it, but you the stats aren't that great. What you can do though is go back to raid finder or even a keystone dungeon between levels 2 and 8 and try to get a better shield and let's say that you do. What you can do is upgrade that shield to be at the same level as the shield that you didn't really want. As you get gear, when you put it on, your character will remember its item level and two things are going to happen when it comes to gear upgrades.
- First, Flightstones used to upgrade similar gear to the maximum level that you've ever equipped will be discounted by half.
- Also, you no longer have to use crest to upgrade that gear to that same level because you've already got to it.
So it's okay if you want to go back and run easier content for the sake of getting the item that you want, the catch is that you can only go back so far. If your average item level is in the 430s and you want an item level 430 shield, you're going to be stuck in playing in the hero territory. You're not going to be able to run twos for upgrades. For some who don't mind farming twos for gear and then running dozens of keys for the Valor to upgrade it all the way up, that's kind of a bummer. For others, this is a relief.
Dragonflight Season 2 late game upgrades and crafted gear
For the Hero level, there are only 5 levels, but that fifth level can only be reached by obtaining an Aspect's Crest and the source of that is apparently from running Mythic raids or even +25 keys. In Season 1 of Dragonflight, clearing +16 keys was a path towards obtaining Mythic level crafted gear 10.1. It wasn't quite as high item level as the best raid or dungeon gear, but it's still pretty potent. But in season 2, these crafts will be used not just to upgrade gear through a vendor, but they can be turned into crafting reagents by enchanters to make or recraft gear and Item levels are higher than before, making them very competitive alternatives. It begs the question though, exactly what are the sources of these high-level crests or fragments and in how many situations would we want to upgrade a piece of gear to a 5/5, versus having something crafted at potentially 6 higher item level.
Note: Crafted gear=more tokens sold. This is why they remade and boosted the crafting system in 10.0, only to make more money from tokens.
New gear progression system for Dragonflight patch 10.1
- Simpler than it seems at first
- No waiting to reach a M+ score goal in order to upgrade items
- Keeps you playing at your actual level
- Account wide perks per slot are nice
- Gear has more longevity, can upgrade before replacing
- Narrower upgrade range but growth at every level
Some people said the best gear will now come from the hardest content, instead of the best way to get gear being to farm the easiest keys. And it was stupid that the best way to gear up was to farm +2s, and it caused endless harm to the people trying to get into M+ for the first time. This new gear progression system is clearly incentivizing a player to run higher Mythic+ keys in order to get the higher ilvl gear in Dragonflight Season 2 patch 10.1.
But, the key owner is going always to pick the highest ilvl/io. So they inv a guy that can carry, so what the new player can still learn mechanics. And if your doing your own key, then don’t inv over geared people simple. There are people that try to gear alts by pugging a 10-15+ so they inv higher geared people to carry them.