So you've just reached 80, you're covered in blue gear, and you do not know what to do next? Join the party … "How to deal with WoW at level 80" sounds a bit preposterous, does not it? But just think, so many times you'll hear, "the game STARTS at level 80!", Or "I can not wait to get through the grind to 80". Its like there's a magic light at the end of the tunnel … but there is not, really. Which is exactly why I wanted to write this article … Lots of people expect that when they hit level 80, everything will "fall into place", they'll become all powerful, and birds will start to sing their names … In reality, many players are confused and shocked to find that once they reach level 80 they have to deal with some unexpected issues, such as:
1. Gearscore. Blizzard hates it, I hate it, you'll learn to hate it … Gear score is a mod which considers how good a persons gear is so that raid and dungeon leaders can work out if they want you or not. Its sorta like high school all over again. If you are not in the coolest, "baddest" monster bashing gear, then you're not allowed. This causes players to ask, if I have not got the gear to do this dungeon, how do I get better gear? Much like job applicants who need experience to get a job, new level 80's need gear to do dungeons, but can not do the dungeons until their gear is good enough! This is not 100% accurate however, and I'll talk about this in just a moment.
2. New 80's do not know what to do now. You've just spent 2 or 3 months (or more) leveling a guy to 80 … all you know what to do revolves around leveling … and now there's no more levels to get. More of the "what do I do now" syndrome kicks in.
3. A whole new "hidden" set of levels need to be gained. New levels? What levels, you ask …? I'm talking again about gear. If you like PvP, or if you like dungeons, you'll come to realize that you need to "level up" your gear to take part in the best parts of the game.
This is more true for players who want to do PvP at 80. You no longer have battlegrounds limited to level 50-60, and instead you're facing off against players in gear that might have taken them YEARS to put together. Its like fighting a level 60 when you're only 30. So how do new level 80's tackle these challenges?
Lets look at a few options.
First, find a good guild if you have not already. Start becoming familiar with guild names of players you see a lot walking around Dalaran, and ensure that you take note. Maybe you get in a group with a guild member who you like. Ask them about their guild, and when you find a good one, join up first and ask questions later! You can always leave & get a new guild if you find you're not learning or doing dungeons … Which brings me to my next point – join guilds that serve your goals. Do you want to get to end game raids? Join a good raiding guild who intentally take lower geared members into higher level dungeons exlicitly to get them better gear! Want to join arena teams? Join a PvP guild!
The next thing you want to do is familiarize yourself with what are called "dailies". Go to Violet Hold, and pick up a daily heroic, and a daily dungeon quest from the two quest givers, and do both each and every day if you can.
This will do two things:
1. Get you gold and gear upgrades
2. Get you marks of triumph and marks of contract / stonekeeper's shards.
Each of these marks can be turned into fact vendors inside your faction's building in Dalaran. Get familiar with those rewards, and be sure to set goals for what items you want to buy as you accumulate marks. This will give you purpose and drive to get out there and complete those daily dungeons as often as possible. These two steps – doing dailies and getting better gear will be your first most important steps once you reach level 80. While you accomplish those steps you'll meet new players, new guilds, and learn a ton of different things about how to function as a new level 80 player.
Best of luck!