Like pretty much everyone else, I have been looking in to upgrades. For me, I like to focus mostly on reputation based or leatherworking upgrades, since those are not dependent on luck. I also don’t seem to ever get to run dungeons, it just never fits in to my schedule, and I HATE PUGS, so I usually don’t run anything unless it’s all guildies (most of which are way ahead of me in level now).
Conveniently, I’ve had my work done for me when it comes to researching dungeon and heroic drops. Let me point you in the right direction:
- The Hunter’s Mark – Lassirra has written a giant post with lots of great info on where to get what and why. Check it out for sure, even if you just look at the lists of gear (but you should read it all!)
- Stabilized Effort Scope – Rilgon has listed his plans for upgrades, and included gems as well. While this isn’t so much a guide of where to get all the gear in the game, it’s good to take a look at how some other people are planning to gear.
- BigRedKitty – A list of some heroic gear to watch out for, very short and to the point.
Now, it’s my turn. These are upgrades you can get if you don’t get to run a lot of heroics, or if you’re trying to catch up to the rest of your group. Sure, your T5 and T6 gear will be fine in heroics and probably Naxx too, but if you didn’t get a chance to get any of that, you might want to take some time to pick up some of these level 78-80 upgrades.
I haven’t done any serious number crunching on these comparisons, they are just to give you an idea and help you (and me) figure out where to focus efforts.
Note: The 200-level crafted upgrades require Frozen Orbs, which are obtained from Heroics. However, they are BoE, so they could potential be purchased before you set foot in a heroic.
- [Nesingwary 4000] Engineering 450
This is an amazing weapon. You should probably pick it up as soon as you can. And it’s pretty too.
- [Zombie Sweeper Shotgun] Argent Crusade – Revered
While it is dwarfed by the DPS and AP of the Nesingwary gun, this might be easier to pick up, and it does have some hit rating.
- [Sin'dorei Recursive Bow] or [Sawed-Off Hand Cannon] Horde Expedition or Alliance Vanguard – Revered
This is decent enough. If you happen to be revered with your respective faction when you hit 78, you may want to pick it up. No agility, but it has some hit, and a marginal DPS increase from the Relentless Strikes crossbow.
- [Hemet's Trophy Gun] Quest – Sholazar Basin
If you didn’t already have something like the Crossbow of Relentless Strikes or higher, this is a free upgrade. Otherwise, it just doesn’t quite do the trick.
- [Savage Cobalt Slicer] Blacksmithing (395)
Rilgon has pointed out the beauty of equipping a pair of these. Hit rating is just as important as anything for hunters, and with 29 Hit on each of these… you’re well on your way to the cap.
- [Whale-Stick Harpoon] Kalu’ak – Revered
You can easily get to Revered with Kalu’ak just by doing their quests. This may not be the Slicers, but it’s got a good amount of agility, but also has some much needed hit.
- [Runeblade of Demonstratable Power] Ebon Hold – Revered
This sword has really nice overall stats, lots of Agi, AP, Crit and even some nice Haste… but what it is missing is hit. If you aren’t too concerned about hit, or you’ve made up for it somewhere else, you can’t really go wrong with one of these strapped to your back!
- [Icier Barbed Spear] Quest – Champion of Anguish
Again, no hit, but otherwise quite pretty. AND FREE! Quest rewards are free! So if you are looking to upgrade temporarily, and don’t want to worry about the cost… why not pick it up?
- [Truesight Ice Blinders] Engineering 430
If you are an engineer, you need not look further. These also only require level 72, so if you get your engineering up fast enough, it’s a very early upgrade.
- [Helmet of Just Retribution] Quest – Utgarde Pinnacle
The next three helms are quite equivalent, with just minor differences. This one has it’s strong points in Stamina and Armour Pen, but it has low Intellect and no Crit.
- [Swiftarrow Helm] Leatherworking 420
High points are Resilience and Crit, otherwise it’s about average between the three.
- [Toothslice Helm] The Oracles – Revered
This has some pretty crazy high AP. Otherwise, it’s pretty on par with the other two helms of this level.
- [Headguard of Retaliation] Quest – Utgarde Pinnacle
This is actually the leather version from the same Utgarde Pinnacle quest, but it’s got a LOT of AP and Agility. The downside, of course, is that there is no Intellect.
- [Titanium Impact Choker] Jewelcrafting 440
Superior to everything else by far, except it has no crit. Do what you can to grab one if you’re doing alright on crit.
- [The Severed Noose of Westwind] Quest – Icecrown
Pretty nice quest reward from a group quest. Stats are all slightly less than the Jewelcrafting necklace, but it has crit rating instead of armour pen.
- [Spaulders of the Black Arrow] Ebon Blade – Revered
Really nice shoulders, especially the agility.
- [Virulent Spaulders] Leatherworking 420
Less nice shoulders, 20 less agility for 14 more AP.
- [Swiftarrow Shoulderguards] Leatherworking 420
About the same as the Virulent Spaulders, sacrificing some AP for Resilience.
- [Ice Striker's Cloak] Leatherworking 440
Slightly low on the agility, but it makes up for it with the haste and AP.
- [Cloak of Holy Extermination] Argent Crusade – Honoured
Nice agility and some armour pen, but only has about half the AP of the Ice Striker’s Cloak.
- [Bloodbane Cloak] Quest – Icecrown
Meeh. It’s got average stats all around. Nothing to turn your nose up at if you haven’t picked up the other two yet.
- [Polished Regimental Hauberk] Argent Crusade – Exalted
Okay, you probably won’t be able to get this right away. It’ll take some time to get to exalted. But I couldn’t leave this beauty out of my list, since it may or may not affect the order you go for your factions.
- [Gilded Ringmail Hauberk] Quest – Utgarde Pinnacle
Comparing it to the next two chests in the list, this has Armour Pen but no Crit or Hit. Otherwise almost even.
- [Razorstrike Breastplate] Leatherworking 425
Crit, but no Armour Pen or Hit.
- [Assault Hauberk] Quest – Coldarra
Hit, but no Armour Pen or Crit.
- [Giantmaim Bracers] Leatherworking 440
Actually not that much better than the Eaglebane Bracers. More agility, and a little more of a few other stats, as well as some nice armour pen.
- [Eaglebane Bracers] Leatherworking 420
If you are needing in hit, this is actually possibly better to wear than the Giantmaim. But if you can make up the hit rating elsewhere, this just isn’t as good.
- [Swiftarrow Bracers] Leatherworking 420
Resilience & Crit. That’s all.
- [Grips of Chronological Events] Quest – Stratholme
Nothing very exciting for gloves at these levels. These ones have slightly low Agility but it makes up for it with Armour Pen and AP.
- [Swiftarrow Gauntlets] Leatherworking 425
Like the rest of the Swiftarrow set, this has resilience and crit going for it.
- [Giant Ring Belt] Sons of Hodir – Honoured or [Waistband of the Thuzadin] Quest – Stratholme
These are identical. So you might want to save your gold and do the Strat quest. Really high AP.
- [Swiftarrow Belt] Leatherworking 425
Do I really need to describe it again? Crit and Resilence, obviously.
- [Ranger's Belt of the Fallen Empire] Quest – Gundrak
Added this in because of it’s hit and agi. This is the only belt here with any hit, and it also has 8 more agi than any of the others.
- [Giantmaim Legguards] Leatherworking 440
Look at all that Agi and AP! These pants will make you hurt people. Not much that’s bad about them at all.
- [Swiftarrow Leggings] Leatherworking 425
I’m not going to say it again.
- [Jormungar Hide Legguards] Quest – Storm Peaks
These actually aren’t too bad. No intellect, but more crit than the Swiftarrow.
- [Boots of Twinkling Stars] Kirin Tor – Exalted
Takes a lot of rep, but these are nice if you don’t get another upgrade before you make it to exalted.
- [Swiftarrow Boots] Leatherworking 425
Blah blah Crit Resilience blah blah.
- [Dragonstompers] Leatherworking 400
The hit rating and AP on these boots makes them very appealing to me.
- [Band of the Kirin Tor] 7500G
If you’ve got the money, why not? It’s so shiny!
- [Titanium Impact Band] Jewelcrafting 430
If you aren’t swimming in gold, this is a nice alternative. Or a nice compliment, if you need a second ring.
- [Ring of Scarlet Shadows] Jewelcrafting 420
Really nice hit bonus for a ring.
- [Ring of Foul Mojo] Quest – Gundrak
It’s decent enough. Only if you need a second ring to pair up with another one though, probably.
- I’m not going to cover trinkets. They’re pretty complex, and I get a little flummoxed when trying to compare them. Once there is more info and data on them, I might do a post just for them.