So you’re a fresh 50. Problem is that the level 50 content is using you as a treadmill. Wildstar is an MMORPG like the others, and getting better gear makes a world of difference. This guide is based on the following reddit post, with my own additions.
First off, you need to know that items are clearly marked in power level, called item level (or ilvl for short). For the most part, an increase in ilvl is an increase in power. There are slight variations mind you, in that you want assault power for DPS and support power for Heals/Tank. Mixing them is a bad call.
In terms of item power level, it generally goes like this (items with an * require a group to complete):
Quest Gear –> Challenge Gear –> Expedition Gear –> PvP Gear –> Contract Gear –> Adventure Gear –> *Dungeon Gear –> *Raid Gear
Finally, items have rune slots. You can buy a bunch from the AH for pretty cheap. I personally wouldn’t spend more than 10g per rune until you reach Expedition level gear. These have a dramatic impact on item power. A fully runed item can double in power, and it doesn’t have to be expensive runes either! See my rune guide for more info. The general rule of thumb is “rune for groups”.
First Things First
I suggest you visit the Auction House and scan for gear upgrades. You want to buy anything under 10g that’s also an upgrade. This is likely to replace most of your quest gear. Filter by item level, and sort Buy Now: Low to High. *as of this posting, the default AH only filters up to ilvl 60. Download the following fix to address this. You want to filter for items above ilvl 61.
Challenge Gear (ilvl 50)
When you complete challenges in a level 50 zone, you get points that fill a progress bar (press “L” and look at the challenges tab). The reward for completing the bar is a random item. This should be done fairly naturally during your play. I wouldn’t chase this gear, simply keep it in mind when playing.
Expeditions (ilvl 60)
Press N, look at the expeditions tab. You can solo all of these at 50, though some are a bit harder than others. There are item drops within, but what you’re looking for is 2 things. Completing an expedition rewards Renown, used to buy PvE gear. Getting a gold rating on each (completing all optional objectives) unlocks the ability to purchase an AMP upgrade. Expeditions are the best way to generate money in PvE – M-13 and Infestation are my favorites.
PvP Gear (ilvl65)
Find the PvP season 2 vendor and buy whatever is an upgrade. The PvP stat isn’t great mind you, but it’s likely better than the other gear you have so far, excepting AH gear. Yes, this means you can skip all the gear before this.
Contracts (ilvl 57 to 80)
In the capital city you can find the contract board. The level 2 contracts are easy enough to solo, regardless of your gear level. The level 3 contracts are a pain, unless you find someone advertising in general (exception is the Star Comm Basin event, which is every 2 hours). Getting to rank 5 of the contract rewards gives an ilvl80 item. The rest are randomly selected and of lower quality. It’ll take a couple weeks to complete a single pass through to rank 5 rewards.
Adventures (ilvl 68)
Press N, look at the adventures tab. It takes 5 folk to complete, takes 20-45 minutes per and the loot rewards are decent enough. Use the Glory you get as a reward to buy even more pieces from the vendor in the capital city. Gold on everyone gets an Ability Point unlock.
Dungeons (ilvl 78)
Press N, look at the dungeons tab. All dungeons are not created equal. You want to be around ilvl 60 to do the basic ones. Do not enter a dungeon unless you have put in runes inside your existing gear. You should leave here with ilvl 80 gear on average, allowing you to enter raids. The general consensus on difficulty is Stormtalon’s Lair (STL) –> Kel Vorath (KV) –> Skullcano –> Shield of the Sword Maiden (SSM). Though in truth, if KV isn’t a rather easy pass, the last 2 are going to eat you up.
AMPs and Ability Point Unlocks
When you hit 50, you’re given 41 Ability Points and 47 AMPs to spread around. Through various items, you can unlock an additional 7 Ability Points (48 total) and 10 AMPs (57 total). There are quite a few ways to do this:
- Complete your Path quests to the maximum level. You’ll get 1 of each. One time only.
- Complete every Expedition to Gold, that gives an AMP. One time only.
- Complete every Adventure to Gold, that gives an Ability. One time only.
- Each Dungeon has a chance to drop one or the other.
- Complete Blighthaven or Defile to maximum rep gives 1 Ability each. Takes about a week or so to max. One time only.
- Complete Crimson Badlands, Malgrave, Northern Wastes or StarComm Basin for an extra AMP each, but that will take a few weeks. One time only.
- PvP sells Ability and AMPs for Prestige. 4/5K for the first one, then 8/10K for every additional one.
- Elder Gems sell Ability and AMPs for 300-450 each. Unlimited.
- Open World combat and PvP sometimes reward them as loot, though this is pretty rare
- You can buy them on the AH, though unlikely to be cheap enough for a fresh 50.
I’d suggest you focus on Ability points first, since the tier unlocks are generally more powerful than an AMP upgrade. Having 3 skills at T8 is a pretty big deal.
“Double in power” was the magic phrase that finally motivated me to go out and spend half an hour this morning learning how to properly run my 50 Stalker’s DPS off-spec for the immediate purpose of running the Shade’s Eve bunker more effectively. The difference is, as you said, quite noticeable in my post-adventure i64 gear.slotted with “High” runes.
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