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OK, have basically spent the last year messing about doing achievements and smelling the roses, and have finally hit lvl 80 on my first toon, a human mage, specc'd frost/fire (or should that be Fire frost, anyway it's 17 / 53 / 1)

my gear is all around level 160, my dps is around the 800 mark, I have no plans to raid, but I haven't really done any dungeons apart from the first three or four.

What I want to know is.... what gear set should I go for first so I won't embarrass myself in the later dungeons - I'm talking bog standard instances here, plan on doing all the Classic ones first.

I'm hoping someone is going to reply along the lines of "get your X rep to exhaulted and buy the Y set". PLEASE don't suggest stuff that's 1000s of gold per item as it just ain't gonna happen!

Up until now gear really hasn't been an issue but I'm in a new guild with a great bunch of guys and I'd like to contribute a bit more and levelling with a crap mage is no fun!!

I haven't posted my armoury link as it's far to embarrasing...

looking for something that's not going to take forever to get, please be kind...
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Hey there mate. I was personally touched by your honest post, so i registered on the forums to give you my answer.

I'll try to help you with some advices. And encourage you a bit, since you said that posting your armory link would be embaressing. Keep this in mind. EVERYONE WAS A NOOB WHEN THEY STARTED TO PLAY THE GAME (new player, SHOULD NOT be taken as an insult. In army, or even professional sports, when you 'start' you're a rookie aka noob). It's nothing wrong with that, you don't know something, you learn, you progress. After killing so many raid bosses, i still giggle when i remember my first ever character back in early vanilla wow, how i leveled, what gear i chose, how i performed in instances, pvp, interactions with other people etc. Good memories tbh :)

No matter what you did for the past year (smelling flowers is nice, so is stargazing) you'd have to get some gear together. It is nothing 'dramatic'. Back in tbc, i leveled my mage from 60 to 70 without getting a single piece of armor in the process (i did have full t2, which was great in vanilla, not so great in tbc). And with that farmed battlegrounds, heroics. That means, that it's totally normal to sell all your EPIX loot at level 80, and start from scratch, and then gear yourself up again to the same (if not better) level you were.

So, you possessing no gear, is not a problem. So, consider your self that you just dinged lvl 80 two hours ago, and are eager to get some gear.

The most important thing is, however that you LEARN TO PLAY your class, and produce maximum from what you have (gear wise)

So reading forums about your class, what spec to play (there is more then one viable spec), what rotation to use, what glyphs to put there etc.

Now, you have to see what you have at your disposal.

Do you have time? (check)
Do you really want to gear up your mage? (check)
Do you have the will for that? (check)

That is all you need really. Blizzard has made wotlk in that manner that casual players can have great gear without much effort (wich is good and bad at the same time).

You need to check Auction House, and see is there anything 'cheepish' for sale. Bear in mind, that doing daily's each day will net you around 200g. Doing quests you didn't finish while leveling up will provide you with gear, and at least 5-6k gold. Plus there are proffesions that will help you get even more money. (money speeds up things, it is not necessary)

With item lvl 187 you can do heroics without a problem, you just need a nice bunch of people that wont punt you cause your dps is not over 9k. You can get that trough questing.

Now, i was about to write a little guide for you, but i saw that there are some great guides out there, so i'm gonna post a link to you. If you have any questions, you can ask either there (if you are in US) or on eu forums. Dont be affraid to be flamed a bit (it's nothing serious, it is just the INTERNETZ, don't take it personally, since, everyone was a noob when they started their games).

You can always ask here, and i'll try to help as much as i can, and im sure some other people with xp will too.

http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/threa ... 3739&sid=1 (us forums)
http://forums.wow-europe.com/thread.htm ... 0431194169 (eu forums)

As for my personal advice on gear, it would be something like this.

- Check the craftables, but don't buy them off ah, go and farm the mats, OR buy mats and tip someone 10g to make it for you.
- Do normal lvl 80 instances, especially Trial of the champion. When i say do, i mean farm, untill you get everything there for you. Trial of a champion takes 15-20 mins to complete, it's not a problem.
- Find yourself a leveling guild, or a guild that's just about to start raiding (even if you don't plan to raid). Doing guild runs trough heroics is great, you'll make new friends, get some lewt, l2p like a pr0 (hopefully) and generally have more fun. And 'fresh' guild that's about to start raiding IS going to farm heroics, if not for loot, then for Emblems.
- spend some time surfing the net, reading forums etc on your class, try to learn it inside out, cause trust me SKILL is more important then gear. You change gear with every patch, skill progresses, and stays :)

That's it for now, i don't want to intsagib you with my wall of text. If you have questions, ask :)

Stay safe,
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Forgot something ... :)
Wear your Kirin tor tabard since you need the rep from there for head enchant (revered)
You need Sons of Hodir rep for shoulder enchant. (great quest line, ton's of cash, fun daily's, but NO tabard)
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Thanks so much for replying, I really appreciate it, my problem up until now is no has been specific enough for me to know where to start. comments like "go get some epics" are not helpful whereas "With item lvl 187 you can do heroics without a problem" gives me something to aim for!!

Someone in my guild suggested Argent Tournament, but some other friends have said the jousting is near impossible... but I think I'll stick with it for now (still collecting Aspirant Seals at pres).

I think farming mats and paying for some crafted stuff is a good idea, I have several 1000g I was saving for my next riding skill, but I guess that can wait a while longer. I'll have a look at the links you posted tonight before I play. again a BIG thank you!
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You are welcome.

And Trial of the champion NORMAL mode is easy as pie. I did it tons of times with my low lvl alts at arround lvl 77-78. When you are dps, or even healer, you don't have to worry that much about mob level for normal instances (as long the difference is not bigger then 2-3 lvl's), just try to get hit capped for a start. (you have hit rating calculator on this site, use it) When you get hit capped, everything gets much better. Remember, 1% hit equals 1% more damage untill you get hit capped, so, that should be your priority.

Link to the hit calculator: http://wow-heroes.com/hitcalculator.php

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Well I followed your advice - got a friend to make me a hat of wintry doom, spent a fortune levelling my tailoring so I could make 187 level gear, picked up a couple of rings from the headless horseman - bought some enchants, etc etc and my gear score went up from 550 ish up to just under 1000, my DPS is finally hitting the 1000 mark most of the time (and sometimes up to 2K!) and I don't feel like a total noob anymore!! Even did Violet Hold last night for the first time with no bother.

still a long long way to go, that guide from above: http://forums.wow-europe.com/thread.html?topicId=10431194169 for newly dinged mages is very good. Just wanted to post an update!!

oh and jousting??????? wtf????? can't see me EVER getting the hang of that.
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Ahoy thar!
I'm glad to hear that you are progressing well :)

As for jousting problems... It's really not that hard:

1. Keep your 3 shields up all the time (rebuffing shield whenever you get struck should be your priority)
2. Charge Every cooldown (unless you need to "rebuff" your shield, and then charge)
3. Use melee every time you charge for some extra damage

Doing Argent tournament daily's will help you a lot with polishing your jousting skills :)
You'll make some decent gold, practice jousting without putting pressure on your group, farm rep for some neat mounts etc etc :D

Keep us posted :)

"May your food and water always stay fresh, and your sheep's fluffy" :)
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isn't it amazing how quickly things progress when you have a bit of guidance, did an instance last night and one shotted over 9700!! still a ways to go but when I made my first post I was doing less than half that even with a critical hit and buffed to the eyeballs, so big thank you again (still can't joust!)
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Practice makes it perfect :>

I can see you crying about over aggroing and dying all the time, any time soon :D
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me??????? surely not! I can see other people crying about me aggroing and dying all the time very soon - but that's a different story. I'm far too laid back for that!!

I've actually just joined a really good guild with a lot of very patient lvl 80s willing to take me through ToC runs etc so watch this space.
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