Dragonflight F2P Baseline Guide

DoByG

The BiS Llama
Dragonflight is here and it introduced a bunch of changes to the F2P (and vet) everyday life.

My name is Doobyg. It may ring a bell if you were at some point BiS obsessed and came by my old guides like How to gear a freak 19 Druid (classic edition) and the Ilvl 32 Items Index Thread. After a long 3-year break in the middle of the biggest changes the bracket has ever seen, I spent the last couple of months trying to catch up with everything. I recently finished gearing my mains (F2P and Vet druids) and decided to finally give the newly (for me) available DH class a try. With the acquired knowledge, going through the whole process from scratch, I managed to gear my new F2P DH to a state that you can consider a realistic BiS in around a week (~2 days /played).

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I am writing this guide to document my process and hopefully make the life of all my fellow F2Ps and Vets a bit easier. This will be an updated version of the Shadowlands F2P Baseline Guide by @Asylum and @Chops which really helped me when I came back. I hope my work inspires others to enjoy the game as well. Buckle up, here we go.

* I will be giving examples with Alliance quests/links, but the same thing will be applicable to the Horde alternatives.


Sections:

0. The state of F2P and the 20-29 bracket
1. Class and Race
2. Getting to 20
3. Once you hit 20
4. Gearing
5. Proffessions Rotation
6. Addons, Macros, and Resources
7. Conclusion
Bonus: WOD Farming Guide (WF (ilvl 87) explained!)



0. The state of F2P and the 20-29 bracket

A couple of months before the Dragonflight pre-patch an impactful change was made, we believe intentionally, that removed F2P and Vet characters from the leveling battlegrounds and put them in the xp-off 20-29 bracket. This led to a greatly reduced number of people and long queues. With all the Dragonflight changes going live, 29 twinks became extremely overpowered, compared to a F2P/Vet level 20, and the unbalanced games, combined with the new expansion late-game hype led to even less battleground action, to a point where no pops were seen for days on EU / US. The 20-29 Bracket is slowly recovering, but it will take a huge change (most certainly something designed for the late game, that will unintentionally shake the low-level PVP balance) for it to get close to its old glory.

The activity did not die though. Many F2Ps used the time off PVP to explore the PVE aspect of the game, which has never been more available to us - Expansions, Questing, Achievements, Mounts and Pets farming is at an all-time high with Céle (@Conzil) and Cristii (who never had now has game time) leading the charge. Even Dungeons speedrunning became a thing! Some pretty strong gear options, again, better than anything we have had until now are also worth spending time on in order to future-proof your twink as much as possible. Overall, even tho PVP, which was the main thing F2Ps were known for, is in a bad state right now, there is plenty of fish in the sea (but no Great Sea Ray which is unavailable for F2Ps :x)

The same restrictions apply to F2P accounts:

* Level 20 XP cap
* 1000 gold cap
* No access to Auction House or Trading (excluding a frowned-upon method that kills all the F2P fun).
* No social interactions like inviting to a group or joining guilds.
* No talking to high-level characters in the /s channel (they won't see the messages). #canttalk
* /whispering to someone only works if they have you added as an in-game friend or if they /whispered you first.
Overall, things are not far off the rules of the Hardcore Challenge (excluding the no-dying clause ofc), which exploded in popularity recently.

Lastly, something important that results in an unintended restriction - accounts without a level 50 on them (99.9 % of F2P accounts, excluding the few remaining DK bug OGs), can not talk to Chromie and use Chromie Time. We can still enter EVERY level 20 scaled dungeon (more than 50 of them nowadays) from all the expansions, but we can't simply queue for them through the dungeon finder. We either walk to the entrance like in the good old days or group up with someone who has access to Chromie and let him queue using the dungeon finder.

As of 10.1.5, F2Ps can now access Chromie and use Chromie Time to progress through different expansions and queue for a bunch of dungeons using the dungeon finder.




1. Class and Race

F2P accounts have access to all previously introduced classes (excluding Evokers) and all non-allied races (excluding Dracthyr).

The state of the bracket is always changing, so rolling a class that is OP right now does not mean it won't be a C or D-tier character in a couple of months. I have always advocated for choosing the playstyle and letting everything else be fun instead of pushing the most broken thing for a week/month and getting burned out. There are some general class recommendations - having a healing spec, good mobility, the ability to stealth or a pet are all things that increase your chance of survival in both PVP and PVE, and less dying usually means more fun.

Regarding race choice, the differences are smaller than ever before, so you don't need to put too much pressure on that. More info HERE or in your character creation screen, and if you really want to get into the min-maxing, check this cool spreadsheet by @pokspell. A notable exception would be the Night Elf, which makes farming gear (and all PVE-related stuff) a LOT easier, by having the ability to Shadowmeld.
 
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2. Getting to 20

After you create your character, you would be required to choose leveling path. You can either go through the old-school leveling zones or try the newly added Exile's Reach starting zone. Choosing Exile's Reach means exiting at around level 10 (no need to do the long Worgen/Goblin/Panda zones), a new transmog set (Dread Aspirant Alliance Leather), and a common-quality Alliance Tabard. Here is a Guide to Exile's Reach - Walkthroughs and Lesson Analysis just to get an idea.

After hitting level 10, you will start unlocking dungeons and battlegrounds that can be used for leveling, so no need to kill yourself by questing all the way to 20. Just keep in mind that all quest rewards, mob drops, and dungeon loot are scaling to your current level, so don't complete any important quests, and don't loot anything that is not repeatably lootable until you hit 20. This is a good moment to do the expansion gimmicks and portals unlock quest lines as you will almost certainly need to do them at some point anyway, you might as well use the experience. Here is a quick list, all of them start from Hero's Call Board:

2.1. Pandaria intro - The King's Command
* Unlocks the portal to Jade Forest

2.2. Garrison setup - Finding a Foothold
* Pick Warlords of Draenor: The Dark Portal, then once you get teleported to the Black Portal, you should abandon the quest and then walk through the portal. This will let you skip the long, boring WOD quest line and you can go directly to the Garrison area, to do the quick quest line that unlocks Level 1 Garrison and rewards you a Garrison Hearthstone.

Get your Garrison to Level 2, and Build a Dwarven Bunker (increases the chance for quest reward upgrades), Lunarfall Inn (3 daily dungeon quests that reward a box like Strongbox of Mysterious Treasures, Cache of Mingled Treasures and Crate of Valuable Treasures, containing one WoD dungeon item with a chance of upgrade), Enchanter's Study (provides the ability to DE drops and stock up on mats even if you don't have enchanting as a current profession) and a Storehouse (really quick access to your bank). There are other buildings that have some niche use cases but you won't need anything else at the moment. More details can be found in the old F2P guide. At one point you may also want to collect more followers. A list of some easy-to-get ones can be found 17 Garrison Followers Under 2 Hours [17 Alliance/14 Horde], just keep in mind Nagrand and Spires of Arak do not scale to level 20 so you won't be able to get the listed followers from those zones.

2.3. Legion intro - Legion: The Legion Returns
* Rewards the Dalaran Hearthstone which is super useful for quickly getting back to the Stormwind / Orgrimar portal rooms.

2.4. Order Hall and Artifact quest line - A Guide to Artifact Weapons
* You should get the first quest when you reach Legion Dalaran for the first time. Recognizing the NPCs from the quest line is easy, the (!) symbol over their heads is orange, instead of yellow.
* The artifact weapons are not BiS nowadays, but with a couple of dungeon relics they will be scaling like an heirloom (ilvl 54) and also have a cool appearance :) Also, if you want to use weapon enchants, artifact weapons are good candidates because they can be enchanted with any enchant BEFORE applying the relics (because of the initially low ilvl)
* Progress the Order Hall campaign to the point where your class helper will let you choose
order advancements. The first roll that is available will let you pick a class-specific buff for an increased chance for quest reward upgrade procs (Legion quests only)

2.5. Battle for Azeroth intro - Battle for Azeroth: Tides of War
* Unlocks the portal to Boralus

2.6. Shadowlands intro - Shadowlands: A Chilling Summons
* As with other quest lines, you need to have the Chromie time set to the correct expansion.



3. Once you hit 20

(!) Do not lock your XP. It is a well-known bug that if a F2P locks XP, the character won't be able to participate in Battlegrounds. If you somehow get in this situation, write a ticket explaining that even if you spend 10 gold, the XP is not turned on and ask the GM to turn it on for you. It's a bit of a hit-and-miss but the approach is still working, confirming a GM Xp unlock as recently as March 2023. (!)

There are a few things you want to do first. Trust me, it's worth it. I know you want to start farming WoD but this list will speed up the whole process in the long term:

3.1. Set your HS to Stormwind / Orgrimar. Having quick access to the capital portal room, combined with the Garrison Heartstone and the Dalaran Heartstone will let you travel around the WOWrld (*lol I am funny*) pretty quickly. Also, while you are in SW, learn your Journeyman Riding (200 % mount speed)

3.2. Precious Bloodthorn Loop is a guaranteed once-only (not farmable, do not delete!) drop item from a rare mob (he is always up, not actually rare) that will let you stealth and lose aggro. It will be the most useful thing in your gearing process (*cough* excluding a couple of trinkets *cough*).

3.3. Inherited Insignia of the Alliance whenever you are done with your initial gold spending. Heirlooms are always a good way to spend gold (buy from Krom Stoutarm), starting with the PVP trinket.

*optional* 3.4. Slumberwood Band is a guaranteed drop from The Slumbering Emperor in Ardenweald, SL (it's a bit tricky, check the strategies in the comments section). It will save you in multiple PVE situations where you are supposed to die (and there will be plenty).

*optional* 3.5. Darkmoon Cannon if the Darkmoon Faire is up. Combining it with Goblin Glider and Gnomish Gravity Well will save tons of travel time. Here is an easy way to get it.

3.6. Bags:
* Goat's Tote - 28 Slot bag, a guaranteed drop from a rare (Totes) that is always up.
* Addie's Ink-Stained Satchel - 26 Slot bag, reward from a quest (Note-Eating Goats) with no pre-requirements.
* Grummlepack - 24 Slot bag, reward from a quest (No Pack Left Behind) with a quick pre-requirement quest line in The Grummle Bazaar (/way 65.00, 60.78), takes 8-10 minutes.
* Vile Stalkerskin Pouch - 28 Slot bag, looted from a treasure chest, Demon Hunters only!
* Darkmoon Storage Box- 16 Slot bag, Darkmoon Faire
* Lightless Silk Pouch - 32 Slot bag, by far the easiest big bag to CRAFT with Tailoring (Shadowlands)
* Shrouded Cloth Bag and Hexweave Bag - 30 Slot bags, alternatives to CRAFT, even tho Lightless Silk Pouch is easy enough.
* Explorer's Pack and Thick Hide Pack - 18 Slot (expensive) and 14 Slot (cheap) VENDOR bags for temporary use.
* Convenient Crate - 16 Slot Reagent bag (the other 2 available to F2Ps are Henry's Handbag and Deviate Scale Pouch)

3.7. Gold Spending:
* 111g for the 7 Bank Slots
* 100g for Reagent Bank
* 100g for Void Storage
* 700g for PVP Trinket
* 600g for 1 Large, 1 Medium, and 2 Small Garrison Buildings
1611g TOTAL

* Gold sinks: stockpile Elexir of Tongues, to prevent you from hitting the gold cap of 1000. Also Lunarfall Excavation, Level 2 and Fishing Shack, Level 2 can be bought once each for 1000 gold, without the usual 75 % loss on sale back.
* Honor sinks: start buying Orboreal Distinguishment from Purveyor Zo'kuul, to prevent you from hitting the Honor cap of 15000. It contains 5x Mark of Honor.
 
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4. Gearing

Item scaling at the moment is... strange.

4.1. Dungeon Gear

Rare-quality dungeon gear is scaling to ilvl 61 for level 20 characters. The main stats (in white) are always the same while the secondary stats (in green) differ. Some of the drops (BC and WoTLK) do have sockets which makes them better than the rest of the available rare-quality items. The maximal number of sockets is 3 (chest, legs, head), 2 (shoulders, gloves, boots, waist) and 1 (bracers).

Just to get an idea, here are some examples of the different BiS druid rare-quality (ilvl 61) sets with sockets, from TBC / WoTLK:


Now, since the DF pre-patch, there are 3 new ways an item that drops in a dungeon can upgrade itself:

Warforge
- this is the most valuable upgrade available. Items that drop from bosses in WOD dungeons ONLY have an 8 to 10 % chance (1 in 10-13 items) to randomly upgrade, increasing their quality to epic and their ilvl to 87. This noticeably increases all the stats to a point where in 99% of the cases (excluding some meme builds), those items will be Best In Slot, because the stat increase will overcompensate for the stat loss from missing the BC / WoTLK sockets (which were previously BiS). The difference is not gigantic though, so if you have a decked-out sockets set, you can use it without noticing a huge disadvantage. This guide contains a whole section on WOD farming, but be patient and continue reading the basics first.

Tertiary Stat - dungeon drops from all expansions can now proc one of the 4 additional stats with a total chance of again, around 8-10 % (2-3 % per stat if equal spread, unconfirmed)
- Speed - Movement speed can make or break a PVP situation, so it can be really valuable.
- Leech - Situational, but the scaling at the moment makes it more of a meme thing for 20s.
- Avoidance - almost useless
- Indestructible - useless

Socket - dungeon drops from all expansions but only for 5 specific slots (head, bracers, waist, neck, rings) have a 4-5 % chance of procing an additional socket slot. This means that for example, TBC/WoTLK dungeon waist can now have 3, instead of 2 sockets, and theoretically, a TBC/WoTLK dungeon head can have 4 sockets (the 4th one not being usable, unconfirmed).

There is a really, really, REALLY small chance (~ 0.015 %, 1 in 6666 items) for an item from a WOD Boss to drop WF (ilvl 87) item with Speed AND Socket, which would be the objective BiS. There are people that are aiming for that, but realistically you don't need to. Getting a WF (ilvl 87) item for each slot and WF (ilvl 87) + Socket items for the 6 available slots (5 unique, 2x rings), will take you between 1 and 3 weeks and will get you 99% as geared as someone that will spend literally years farming the +Speed drops. (I am not exaggerating, in 13k drops over the span of 3 months, I did get 3 WF (ilvl 87) items with Tertiary AND Socket and non of them was +Speed.

And why do you want WF (ilvl 87) + Socket you ask? Well, in a strange twist of faith, 87 is the minimum required ilvl for SL gems to be equipped. And why is that important - because of the Straddling Jewel Doublet and more importantly - Revitalizing Jewel Doublet. Having those equipped will bring a noticeable increase in survivability. They do scale to 6 speed and 100 heal per 10 sec for every other ilvl 87 Shadowlands socket and we have 6 slots available (5 unique, 2x rings).
* At the moment, the Revitalizing Jewel Doublet recipe is rep locked (Court of Harvesters - Honored) and because we can only get a total of 4375 rep (4812 with the DMF rep buff) from quests, it is unavailable for F2Ps as of now (Vets can buy the gems super cheap on the AH). With the SL Timewalking Vendor debuting this year, there is a chance we will see rep badges that can get us over the top, so it's worth it to be prepared.

With all that being said, here is another example, comparing the BiS druid epic-quality (ilvl 87) sets from WOD and rare-quality (ilvl 61) sets from TBC / WoTLK:



4.2. Quest Gear

Quest rewards scaling is all over the place. You can get rare-quality items with ilvl 47 to ilvl 61 and epic-quality items with ilvl 57 to ilvl 87, depending on the expansion. There is a small chance (< 20 %) for a reward to upgrade in quality but in all cases, even an epic upgrade would have weaker or equal (best-case scenario) stats to the WOD epic drops, which are far quicker and more reliable to farm. Dungeon quests are your best option here, as they do scale like dungeon drops - rare-quality (ilvl 61) with a chance for epic-quality (ilvl 87) upgrade. More details can be found in this great thread on Quest Reward Upgrades by @Dragpz.
*If for whatever reason you decide to go the quest route, first get the increased upgrades chance bonuses from the WoD Garrisons and the Legion Class Halls.

There is a small exception to the "Nowadays, quests farming is useless" statement though. A list of 4 specific quests, that if you manage to get an upgraded reward from, it will be the most important item in your set.

The End of the Exarch
The Soul Devices
Into the Heart of the Labyrinth
Escape from Durnholde

What is unique about those quests is that they are the only 4 quests in the game, available to level 20, in a dungeon, that have sockets by default. More importantly, those items are mostly for slots that you can not get dungeon drops to proc socket for (remember, only head, bracers, waist, neck, and rings at the moment), so if they upgrade to epic on your character, you will get 5 to 7 (depending on the class) additional ilvl 87 sockets, that are otherwise completely unavailable to players. This means 30 to 42 additional speed and 500 to 700 additional heal every 10 sec. It is honestly the biggest RNG-related statistical difference we have ever seen in the bracket and definitely worth rerolling for, especially on a vet with current access to the Revitalizing Jewel Doublet.


4.3. Classic Dungeons Epic Drops

There is a small group of items in some classic dungeons, that are epic quality by default and scale to ilvl 87, just like the WOD boss drops (currently BiS). Those classic drops are very limited but relatively easy to farm, so if your class can use any of them, they are a great starting point and in some cases can even be considered BiS over WOD boss drops.

Runeblade of Baron Rivendare
Sul'thraze the Lasher
Treant's Bane
Dragon's Call
Ironfoe
Blade of Eternal Darkness
Book of the Dead
Circle of Flame
Embrace of the Wind Serpent
Savage Gladiator Chain
Mark of the Dragon Lord


4.4. Rare Mobs, Chests, Professions, Vendor and PVP Creates

* Those were not scaled properly when the DF ilvl increase was introduced and are not worth it at the moment, so I won't go into details for now. I will rewrite this if something changes.


4.5. Trinkets

Trinkets, because of their strong effects, were always the most influential items on a low-level character. This is the only slot about which you can actually argue that rare-quality (ilvl 61) dungeon drop can be better and more useful than an epic-quality (ilvl 87). Don't get me wrong - WOD bosses provide a bunch of strong trinkets like Enforcer's Stun Grenade, Kihra's Adrenaline Injector and Bonemaw's Big Toe but their effects are rather limited. Here is a list of some good alternatives:

Inherited Insignia of the Alliance - no introduction needed.
Shivermaw's Jawbone - a solid stamina buff and on-use mobility advantage, which is crucial in PVP.
Essence of Gossamer - another survivability booster in case you need it.
Argussian Compass - a strong PVE survivability option (PVP scaling is bad though).
Azerokk's Resonating Heart - the best "equip-it-and-forget-it" type agility trinket at the moment.
Harlan's Loaded Dice - another good option in that category.
Forge Ember - similar idea but for int users.
Armored Elekk Tusk - on-use mastery proc, can update to epic-quality (ilvl 57), one-time loot only!
Balefire Branch - huge on-use int proc.
Hunger of the Pack - was BiS for farming until 2 SL trinkets were discovered, will be BiS again once they are *handled*.
*I am not familiar with strength-based classes so no recommendations on that but you got the idea.


4.6. Enchants and Gems

(!) You may see players with high ilvl items enchanted with low ilvl enchants. Those items are GFd and were enchanted before Dragonflight's ilvl increase. There is no way to enchant items with ilvl over 50/60 with anything but BFA enchants at the moment (!)

As I already mentioned, enchants are broken and most of them require ilvl 50 or less at the moment. We expect them to be fixed (Patch 10.1 roadmap mentions "Professions Updates") but until then we can only use BFA enchanting (so only rings and weapons) because it has ilvl 140 or below as a requirement.
* Coastal Surge (Healing), Machinist's Brilliance (Int), Naga Hide (Agi / Str), Force Multiplier (Agi / Str), and Gale-Force Striking (Haste) are the preferred weapon enchants.
* Accord of Versatility / Mastery / Crit / Haste are the preferred ring enchants.
* Cooled Hearthing and Kul Tiran Mining have no stat advantage but may make the completionist in you feel better in those dark times.

Just in case, here is an UPDATED VERSION of the Shadowlands Enchant and Gems Scaling thread by @Swoops.

BiS gems are pretty straightforward nowadays - Straddling Jewel Doublet + Revitalizing Jewel Doublet (if vet) and filler Versatile Jewel Cluster / Mastery / Crit / Haste gems in all other ilvl 87 sockets to increase the Doublet gems effect. If you for whatever reason you choose to use rare-quality (ilvl 61) gear, the best option for F2Ps are the WoTLK epic gems. Single-stat WoTLK gems scale to 2 at level 20 (3 at level 29 and in BG), so use double-stat gems that scale to 2/2 (they stay 2/2 at level 29 and in BG) instead. Here is a nice video by @Chops explaining the long process of acquiring them.

Some notable options are:
* Timeless Dreadstone (2 Int, 2 Stam)
* Purified Dreadstone / Mysterious Dreadstone (2 Int, 2 Vers)
* Veiled Dreadstone / Potent Ametrine (2 Int, 2 Crit)
* Reckless Ametrine (2 Int, 2 Haste)
* Shifting Dreadstone (2 Agi, 2 Stam)
* Deadly Ametrine (2 Agi, 2 Crit)
* Deft Ametrine / Glinting Dreadstone (2 Agi, 2 Haste)
* Sovereign Dreadstone (2 Str, 2 Stam)
* Etched Dreadstone / Inscribed Ametrine (2 Str, 2 Crit)
* Fierce Ametrine (2 Str, 2 Haste)

*TBC single stat gems scale to 3 at level 20 (they stay 3 at level 29 and in BG) Unavailable for F2Ps.
*Cata single stat epic gems scale to 3 at level 20 (they stay 3 at level 29 and in BG) Unavailable for F2Ps.
*Cata double stat gems scale to 2/2 (they stay 2/2 at level 29 and in BG) and are the only source of main stat + mastery. Unavailable for F2Ps.


There are also a few unique-equipped gems that you may want to get as well:
* Straddling Viridium (BFA JC)
* Straddling Sage Agate (BFA JC) Unavailable for F2Ps for now due to the trainer being phased out in Nazjatar!
* Nightmare Tear (WoTLK JC)
* Jagged Deep Peridot (Mark of Honor Hold daily)
* (meta) Tense Unstable Diamond (Apexis Shard event, takes ~30 minutes)

More info on leveling JC can be found in this cool thread by @Gobolord .
 
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5. Professions Rotation


5.1. Mining + Jewelcrafting

Gather Mithril Ore and prospect it to get Aquamarine for the Minor Speed.


5.2. Mining + Blacksmithing

Level BFA Blacksmithing (guide)
* Monel-Hardened Hoofplates (50 Skill) - required for Light-Step Hoofplates


5.3. Tailoring + Enchanting

5.3.1. Pick up Tailoring. Level Shadowlands Tailoring (guide)
* Lightless Silk Pouch (65 Skill) - gather Lightless Silk to make enough so that you don't have to worry about bag space anymore.

5.3.2. Level Vanilla Enchanting (guide).
* Minor Speed (225 skill) - Really important for increasing movement and farming speed. You will benefit greatly from the speed in the gearing process, even if you have to wear wear rare-quality (ilvl 47) quest reward boots (a decent pair can be found with those wowhead filters, just change them to your class).

5.3.3 Level Dreanor Enchanting (guide).
* Gift of Versatility / Mastery / Crit / Haste (1 Skill)

5.3.4. Level BFA Enchanting (guide).
* Coastal Surge (40 Skill) - Healing
* Gale-Force Striking (40 Skill) - Haste
* Machinist's Brilliance (155 Skill) - Int
* Naga Hide - (155 Skill) - Agi / Str
* Force Multiplier - (155 Skill) - Agi / Str
* Accord of Versatility / Mastery / Crit / Haste (150 Skill) - BiS ring enchant overall
* Light-Step Hoofplates (155 Skill) - the only way to increase mount speed as a level 20 character.
For whatever reason, Enchantress Quinni - the Horde BFA Enchanting trainer does not teach any of the high-level Weapon or Ring enchants. They are available from the Alliance counterpart (
Emily Fairweather), but our fellow horde friends are stuck with Coastal Surge, Gale-Force Striking, and Pact of Versatility / Mastery / Crit / Haste.


In the case at some point enchanting is fixed and more recipes are usable again, here is a quick list of the fastest ways to get mats for each expansion:

- Vanilla - Buy and DE uncommon-quality weapons from Quartermaster Richter until ~150 Skill, then switch to DE Sentinel's Plate Legguards from Illiyana Moonblaze until 300 Skill.
- TBC - Buy and DE uncommon-quality weapons from Dealer Jadyan (limited availability, ~3-5 min respawn time). DE rare-quality dungeon drops.
- WoTLK - Buy and DE rare-quality items from Arcanist Ivrenne and epic-quality items from Arcanist Adurin, then use Abyssal Shatter to get the lower-level mats.
- Cata - No vendor available for low-level materials. DE rare-quality items from Toren Landow and epic-quality items from Magatha Silverton until 25 Skill and then farm Embersilk Cloth to craft and DE Deathsilk Bracers for materials.
- Pandaria - No vendor available for materials at all. Pandaria rares can be killed and looted repeatedly with a high chance of rare-quality / epic-quality drop. Farm and DE those.
- WOD - Who are we kidding, you will have mountains of Draneic Dust and Temporal Crystals after all those hours of WOD dungeon farming.
- Legion - The main issue here would be the Chaos Crystals that are required for the neck enchants - one of the more influential enchants in the bracket. A great guide by @Jaska on the subject.
- BFA - Repeatedly clear the trash in the Freehold dungeon, farm uncommon-quality items to DE and Tidespray Linen to craft Tidespray Linen Bracers (to later scrap in the Scrap-O-Matic 1000 for Expulsom). When you find yourself in need of Umbra Shard and Veiled Crystal, start crafting and scraping Sinister Combatant's Sorcerous Scepter (higher rank recipes available by Leedan Gustaf), scrap it, and then Veiled Shatter if needed for extra skill ups.
- SL - Enchants require level 50 so no point in trying.


5.4. Jewelcrafting + Mining

5.4.1. Level BFA Jelewcrafting (guide)
* Straddling Viridium (1 Skill) - Really important for increasing movement and farming speed.
*
Straddling Sage Agate (155 Skill) - Really important for increasing movement and farming speed. Unavailable for F2Ps for now due to the trainer being phased out in Nazjatar!

5.4.2. Level Shadowlands Jelewcrafting (guide)
* Straddling Jewel Doublet (1 Skill) - Really important for increasing movement and farming speed.
*
Revitalizing Jewel Doublet (1 Skill) - Really important for increasing survivability. Unavailable for F2Ps for now due to reputation lock!
* Versatile Jewel Cluster / Mastery / Crit / Haste (50 Skill) - BiS fillers for the gem count effects.


5.5. Engineering + Mining

Notable Engineering Recipes:

5.5.1. Level Classic Engineering (guide)
* Gnomish Engineering (200 Skill)

5.5.2. Level TBC Engineering (guide)
* Flying Machine (1 Skill)

5.5.3. Level WoTLK Engineering (guide)
* Frag Belt (5 Skill)
*
Nitro Boosts (30 Skill)


5.5.4. Level Cataclisym Engineering (guide)
* Spinal Healing Injector (1 Skill)
* Grounded Plasma Shield (1 Skill)
* Invisibility Field (1 Skill)
* Cardboard Assassin
(1 Skill)
*
Gnomish Gravity Well (50 Skill) *Requires Gnomish Engineer
* Loot-a-Rang (70 Skill)

5.5.5. Level Pandaria Engineering (guide)
* Goblin Glider (25 Skill)
* Blingtron 4000 (75 Skill)

5.5.6. Level WOD Engineering (guide)
* Ultimate Gnomish Army Knife (1 Skill)
* Blingtron 5000 (1 Skill)
*
Swapblaster (1 Skill)
*
Findle's Loot-A-Rang (1 Skill)

5.5.7. Level SL Engineering (guide)
* Wormhole Generator: Shadowlands (70 Skill) Unavailable for F2Ps for now due to reputation lock!


5.6. Engineering + Herbalism

Pick up Herbalism. Farm the required materials to Level Classic Alchemy to 300. You only have one profession slot available, so farm 5-10 % more of every herb just to be sure that you have enough before switching to Alchemy.

Alchemist's Flask mats:

60x Peacebloom
60x Silverleaf
105x Briarthorn
30x Mageroyal
35x Bruiseweed
50x Stranglekelp
20x Liferoot
30x Kingsblood
30x Goldthorn
10x Wild Steelbloom
30x Sungrass
40x Khadgar's Whisker
10x Blindweed
40x Gromsblood
40x Sorrowmoss
15x Dreamfoil
28x Golden Sansam
21x Mountain Silversage
17x Icecap
7x Ghost Mushroom

Endless Mana Potion / Endless Healing Potion mats:

20x Talandra's Rose
20x Tiger Lily
60x Goldclover
24x Adder's Tongue
10x Icethorn


5.7. Engineering + Alchemy

5.7.1. Level Classic Alchemy (guide)
* Alchemist's Flask (300 Skill) - it only requires 1 Classic Alchemy to use once created, so if you need a quick profession change, stay with Engineering and delete Alchemy, then when you are done just learn it again.

5.7.2.
Level Northrend Alchemy (guide)
* Endless Mana Potion (35 Skill) - you can buy the mats (potions) for it from vendors, no need to farm herbs
*
Endless Healing Potion (35 Skill) - you can buy the mats (potions) for it from vendors, no need to farm herbs


If you want to start farming gear ASAP and don't want to be blocked for more than a week by boring professions (the benefit won't be noticeable during the gearing phase anyway), here is a shorter version with only the farming-related upgrades, that can be done in a couple of hours:

1. Start with Tailoring and quickly farm the mats for a few Lightless Silk Pouch.
2. Pick up JC + Mining and make Straddling Viridium, Straddling Jewel Doublet, and Versatile Jewel Cluster.
3. Switch JC to Engineering and level WoTLK, and Pandaria to unlock Nitro Boosts and Goblin Glider.
4. Get 1 Aquamarine and switch Mining for Enchanting so you can make Minor Speed and Gift of Versatility.


Bonus: Helpful reagent vendors

* Frozen Orb can be purchased for 75 gold from Arcanist Ivrenne and used to buy uncommon WoTLK crafting reagents from Frozo the Renowned
* If you group with a high-level character and travel to their Level 3 Garrison, there is a chance for an NPC to spawn with a daily quest that trades WOD crafting reagents for Primal Spirit. Some Dust is especially lucrative because all the stockpiled Draenic Dust from the WOD epic-quality (ilvl87) farm can be turned into free Primal Spirit. Use them for purchasing uncommon WOD crafting reagents from Ashley Zerep. The daily NPCs cycle in the order: Dust -> Fur -> Leather -> Herb -> Ore.

* Blood of Sargeras can be used to buy common Legion crafting reagents from Illnea Bloodthorn.



6. Resources, Addons, and Macros


6.1. Resources

Join the XPOff Discord and the WOW20 Discord. As far as I am aware those are the 2 main community hubs other than the XPOff website. And while we are praising the website, here is a list of cool threads that you may find helpful:

How do I get that? by @CigNus
Reputation Guide - what is possible for 20-29s? by @Monkeyflip
General Weapon Theory Sheet by @mirrorbender
An in-depth guide to speed scaling by @glancealot
All Specs Mastery Rundown by @Bop
*More to be added


6.2. Addons

DejaCharacterStats - More detailed Character Stats Sheet.
Loot Spec Swapper - Remembers your loot specialization changes per boss.
Brihan's F2P Dungeon Journal Cleaner - Filters the Dungeon Journal to only show available dungeons.
GatherMate2 - Database with all gathering points you may need.
HandyNotes - Map enhancer that lets you visualize points of interest (rares, chests, etc) from a database.
Master Plan - Garrison and Order Hall Interface upgrade.
Rarity - Helps keep track of different farms.
Leatrix Plus - UI enhancer.
Leatrix Maps - Every zone's map is actually visible to you even if you don't have it explored.
TomTom - Easy coordinates navigation.
NPC Scan - Notifying you if there is a rare mob around.
BattleGroundEnemies - List of the enemy team with a bunch of useful information.
Capping Battleground Timers - Objective timer and dynamic score calculator for battlegrounds.


6.3. Macros

1 click dungeon leave macro.
/run C_PartyInfo.InviteUnit("a");C_Timer.After(1,function() C_PartyInfo.LeaveParty() end)
1 click dungeon reset.
/script ResetInstances();
1 click dungeon specialization change (make a couple and switch between bosses)
/run SetLootSpecialization(GetSpecializationInfo(1));
Keybindable passenger flying mount leaving.
/leavevehicle
Use a slot, not a specific item. Change the number for different slots. Waist - 6, Cloak - 15, Trinket 1 - 13, Trinket 2 - 14
#showtooltip 6 /use 6


7. Conclusion

There is a strong case to be made that F2P was never that much fun. Yes, PVP is really bad but PVE is more than capable to compensate if you are willing to give it a go. With 10.1 in the pipeline we expect to see professional items and more importantly - enchants being back because of the expected ilvl fix. Sooner or later, some random PVP balancing patch will completely revamp the low-level battleground scene I will be back to running with my flag all night. Until then, see you in the Gulch in front of Iron Docks!

- Doob



Changelog: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, ...
 
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Bonus: WOD Farming Guide


1. General Information

There are 4 WOD dungeons available to level 20 characters: Iron Docks, Shadowmoon Burial Grounds, Bloodmaul Slag Mines, Auchindoun.

1.1. Optimising Drops
* Each dungeon has 4 bosses. They have 2 to 4 different slot drops in their loot table. You can increase the chances of an item for a specific slot dropping by checking (in your dungeon finder) if you can exclude one of the other slot drops by selecting a different loot specialization. For example, Slave Watcher Crushto (the first boss in Slag Mines), has a chance to drop an Agi Staff, Int DPS Trinket, Legs, or Bracers. By selecting Restoration loot specialization on my druid, I can exclude both the Agi Staff and the Int DPS Trinket, increasing my chances for Legs and Bracers to 50 % (instead of 33 % if I farm in any other loot specialisation).


1.2. Item Versions
* All set pieces (Head, Shoulders, Chest, Legs, Hands, Boots, Waist, and Wrist) have 5 predefined versions per slot and they have both your main stats (so usable in all available specializations). This means that the same 5 leather Legs (with both Int and Agi as a main stat), have the chance to drop from all WOD bosses with Legs in their loot table.
* Cloak, Neck, and Rings have 8 predefined versions per slot AND per main stat. So 8 different Agi cloaks, 8 different Int cloaks, etc. Make sure not to farm healing off-pieces in a tank loot specialization.
* Weapons and Trinkets are unique to different bosses. If you like a specific weapon or trinket, you need to farm the specific boss that drops it (which as already mentioned is different from set pieces, that are the same across all WOD dungeons).


1.3. Looting
* If you are clearing solo, you will get 1 guaranteed usable item per boss. This is the quickest way to farm epic-quality (ilvl 87) at the moment.
* If you are clearing in a group with other 20s by just going through the dungeon entrance or by using the Dungeon Finder (a friend with WOD Chromie Time can group with you and sign you up), the group will get 1 guaranteed usable item per boss in total. This means you will only get 1 to 2 drops per run.
* If you are clearing in a group with a high level, the Legacy Loot rules will be triggered. If the group contains only 2 players (a 20 and a 60), they will both get 1 guaranteed item per boss, but there is no guarantee it will be usable (so a druid can get a sword for example). If the group contains more than 2 players, the number of guaranteed item drops per boss will still be 2 for the whole group, so for each kill someone will be getting no loot.


2. Dungeons Overview

2.1. Iron Docks - Hands down the best dungeon for WOD farming.
+ You can mount, quicker times for all classes.
+ Bosses don't have trash around which makes them easy to solo
+ Second and third bosses are skippable if you dont need anything from their loot table
+ Includes drops of all 5 slots that can proc sockets (head, waist, bracers, neck, ring)
+ The 2 slots missing from its loot table are Cloak and Boots, both of which you won't be using while farming because lower-level gear (< 50 ilvl) with speed enchants will be better.
+ Many available weapons: 1h Agi Axe, Fist Weapon, Agi Staff, 1h Int Mace, Wand, Gun
+ Arguably the 2 strongest WOD trinkets: Enforcer's Stun Grenade and Kihra's Adrenaline Injector
- No easy way to exit without grouping. There are a couple of tricks:
* Macro for easy 1 min timer that teleports you out: /run C_PartyInfo.InviteUnit("a");C_Timer.After(1,function() C_PartyInfo.LeaveParty() end)
*You need to be grouped with someone that is not in the dungeon. Once done, you log out and the group leader resets the dungeon. You then log in and find yourself at the start of the dungeon with all bosses reset. Takes around 30 sec, it's way faster than having to run back all the way for 3 minutes. Can be used in other dungeons as well.
*
Dreamwalk (Druid), Death Gate (DK), Zen Pilgrimage (Monk), and Teleport: Hall of the Guardian (Mage) can be used to teleport in and out to the entrance of the dungeon. Can be used in other dungeons as well.


2.2. Shadowmoon Burial Grounds - A decent alternative to the Docs
+ Some available weapons: Agi Dagger, Int Staff, Str Polearm, Bow
+ 1 of the 2 available off-hands - Offhands
+ Includes drops of all 5 slots that can proc sockets (head, waist, bracers, neck, ring)
+ Easy way to exit by using the portal after the last boss
- You can't mount
- 2 of the bosses have trash around them
- Only two skippable bosses (the second and third ones)
- The 2 slots missing from its loot table are Shoulders and Legs, which are somewhere in the middle of the priority list
- Both trinkets (Voidmender's Shadowgem and Bonemaw's Big Toe) are not great not terrible.
- A bit tricky to get to the entrance without a Fly Mount or Darkmoon Cannon


2.3. Bloodmaul Slag Mines - Another decent alternative, equal value as Burial Grounds
+ Some available weapons: 1h Int Axe, 1h Agi Mace, Agi Polearm
+ The only available shield - Shield and 1 of the 2 available off-hands - Offhands
+ Easy way to exit by jumping in the lava next to the third or the fourth bosses
- You can't mount
- 2 of the bosses have trash around them
- No skippable bosses
- The 2 slots missing from its loot table are Waist and Neck, so you will be missing double on those sweet socket roll chances
- Both trinkets (Crushto's Runic Alarm and Toria's Unseeing Eye) are Meh.


2.4. Auchindoun - Hands down the worst (slowest) place to farm WF drops
+ Many available weapons: Int Dagger, 1h Int Sword, 1h Agi Sword, 1h Str Mace, Int Staff, Crossbow
+ 3 available trinkets (Mote of Corruption, Blood Seal of Azzakel, Crystalline Blood Drop
+ Somewhat easy way to exit after the last boss
- Multiple unskippable mini-events that you have to wait through
- You can't mount
- 2 of the bosses have trash around them
- No skippable bosses
- The 2 slots missing from its loot table are Head and Shoulders, so you will be missing on socket roll chances


3. Increasing the drops/minute ratio


3.1. Build a Speed Set

As already mentioned, other than the Warforged (ivl 87) item upgrade, there is also a chance for a Tertiary Stat (+Speed) item upgrade. Keep those equiped when farming, even if they are the rare-quality (ilvl 61) version. You will be overpowering most of the bosses anyway but increased movement speed will result in faster clear times. You can realistically get ~160 % movement speed in a few days. Some other items that you may want to have equipped are:

* Nitro Boosts
* Rare-quality (ilvl 47) boots (here is a list) with Minor Speed
* Heirloom (ilvl 54) or other < ilvl 60 cloak with Gift of Versatility / Mastery / Crit / Haste
* Straddling Viridium
* Straddling Sage Agate Unavailable for F2Ps for now due to the trainer being phased out in Nazjatar!
* Straddling Jewel Doublet
* Revitalizing Jewel Doublet Unavailable for F2Ps for now due to reputation lock!
* As many Versatile Jewel Cluster / Mastery / Crit / Haste, as you can equip


3.2. Focus on bosses and skip trash mobs

If your character can use Stealth / Prowl, you should utilize it at all times. For everyone else, the optimal strategy would be to use a healing/tank speck (for increased survivability), run to the boss while ignoring trash mobs, use Precious Bloodthorn Loop / Shadowmeld / Feign Death / Invisibility to get the aggro off and then solo the boss. Iron Docks provide a great opportunity for that with the ability to mount at all times.


3.3. Get *those* trinkets

A couple of months ago, @blue09 and Kenneth SSS from the XPOff Discord found out that a couple of Shadowlands trinkets are doing more work than expected. If your class has a loot specialization that can be used to get at least one of them to drop, this will decrease immensely the time of your runs, allowing you to hit the 10 resets/hour cap in 40 to 50 minutes (~ 1 drop per minute).
* Vet characters can group with a level 20 friend that has the correct specialization and then trade the trinket once it drops.


3.5. Do not burn out

Think! All of the hard-to-get items (WF (ilvl 87) + Socket) can be looted from a first/second boss in one of the dungeons. Once you get to that point, park your toon there and just do resets on this boss. It should take you 10-12 minutes for 10 chances at your desired item, then you can AFK for the rest of the hour and chill. It's a marathon, not a sprint.


3.4. Believe in RNGesus

RNG is RNG. Don't be the guy to make quick conclusions. Stick to the process. I have been there, done that, you can too!

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Awesome guide. Don't forget about https://www.wowhead.com/item=10847/dragons-call . Also I think https://www.wowhead.com/item=18538/treants-bane?bonus=6712 is still obtainable from Dire Maul tribute runs, although it's value is questionable because of the odd stat distribution.

fyi for anyone wondering, the speed and regen on Runeblade doesn't stack if you get 2 of them on a fury war.
Thanks, I will add both! I have never played a Str character in my life, sorry for missing those lol.
 
Great guide! I have a suspicion that the chance to warforge/socket/tert are all the same, but i dont have it in me to get the actual numbers. thanks for the mention and taking the time to put this together.
 
Congrats, this is some amazing stuff compiled here, many people have been asking for this one for a while! Also thank you for your citation in the trinket section!
 
amazing work!
 
Great guide! I have a suspicion that the chance to warforge/socket/tert are all the same, but i dont have it in me to get the actual numbers. thanks for the mention and taking the time to put this together.
This may very well be the case, but because the slots that can proc sockets are pretty limited in number, if you just do full runs, the overall % will be lower. Farming a boss that drops a couple of socketable items only, may result in a similar to the WF / Tert (~8 %) socket chance, yes.
 
amazing job, very well written!
one thing I’d mention, if you don’t have anyone to help you to get to shadowlands, then BFA tailoring or garrison tailoring building could be an alternative for 30 slot bags.
 

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