Home World of Warcraft Game mechanics Dragonflight Shadowflame Crest Guide

Blizzard Entertainment has some exciting news for WoW players. In an interview series for Patch 10.1, Morgan Day revealed that a brand new gear upgrade system will be introduced to the game. This system is set to replace the current Mythic+, Primal Storms, and PvP gear upgrade systems with a universal one.

The upcoming gear upgrade system will utilize Flightstones and Crests that players can collect from all types of content. These Crests will act as a high watermark for each difficulty level and players will combine them with Flightstones to upgrade their gear to an item level that corresponds to the type of Crest they have and the content they have cleared.

Dragonflight Shadowflame Crest Guide

This new gear upgrade system is expected to simplify the process of upgrading gear and make it more accessible to players of all levels. Early access to this system will be available on the PTR during the 10.1 PTR cycle. Get ready to soar to new heights with this upcoming upgrade system in Embers of Neltharion!

Dragonflight 10.1 Gear Upgrade System

The new upgrade system in Season Two of the game provides players with Flightstones and Shadowflame Crests to upgrade almost any item in the max-level gameplay ecosystem. Flightstones can be earned by completing various tasks like world quests, defeating unique creatures, running Mythic Keystone dungeons, and killing raid bosses. Shadowflame Crests and their fragments, on the other hand, come from a variety of content difficulty levels, including outdoor gameplay, Mythic+ dungeons, and raids. However, there are some gear categories that are not included in this system, such as crafted gear and PvP gear, which will continue to be upgraded using existing methods. Additionally, the highest level of gear, comparable to the Mythic Raid item level, is also not upgradeable. Nonetheless, the system is optional, and players can still earn gear drops at the same rate without using it. The upgrade system is designed to enhance the player’s journey in the game rather than replace it.

To understand this wide-reaching system, it’s important to delve into the details. Flightstones, the new currency, can be earned from almost any activity in the game without a weekly cap, making them a valuable resource. Although there is a limit on the number you can hold at any given time, it’s high enough to accommodate even the most dedicated players. Spending them on gear upgrades is the best use of Flightstones, and with the ability to earn them continuously, there’s no practical limit to the number you can obtain.

Shadowflame Crests come in four types, each with a specific use depending on the gear you’re upgrading. The Whelpling’s Crest is needed for Raid Finder-level gear upgrades, the Drake’s Crest for Normal-level gear, the Wyrm’s Crest for Heroic-level gear, and the Aspect’s Crest for Mythic-level gear upgrades. Non-instanced gameplay provides additional opportunities to obtain Whelpling’s and Drake’s Crests, while the higher-level content is where you’ll find most Shadowflame Crests. By using these Shadowflame Crests in tandem with Flightstones, you can upgrade any item in the Season Two max-level gameplay ecosystem, except for crafted gear, PvP gear, and the highest tier of gear found in Mythic Raids. However, it’s important to note that this system is optional and meant to complement your existing gearing journey, not replace it.

How Dragonflight 10.1 Gear Upgrade System Works

When upgrading your character’s equipment to increase their power, you will need Flightstones and Shadowflame Crests. However, if you choose to upgrade a lower-level item in a specific slot, you will receive a discount. This discount system aims to promote experimentation with various equipment and trinkets that offer unique effects while ensuring players do not feel punished for upgrading the wrong gear.

For example, if you already have two trinkets at item level 415 and acquire a new trinket at item level 402 that you wish to try out, upgrading the new trinket will not require Shadowflame Crests, and you will only pay half of the standard Flightstone cost.

The discount also applies to any character on your account with a higher item level for a specific slot. This means that if you go to upgrade an item, you will receive a 50% discount on Flightstones if any character on your account has a higher item level for that slot. However, you will still need to collect the appropriate Shadowflame Crest (if necessary).

Rings, trinkets, and one-handed weapons have two slots and will track the second-highest item level to determine your upgrade discount. Meanwhile, main-hand weapons and off-hands, like shields, are tracked separately, with the lower of these two counting towards the one-handed weapon discount. If you possess a high-quality two-handed weapon, your highest item level will set the discount threshold for both hands, regardless of the style you use.

It is essential to note that these discounts will not increase your main character’s item level or that of any alternate characters higher than your primary character’s level. Instead, they provide an opportunity to “catch up” on gear and improve your overall gameplay experience.

Dragonflight 10.1 Gear Upgrades

The upgrade limit for each item is determined by its item level at the time of creation. As a result, each item follows a unique upgrade path. To provide a clear visual representation of this, consider the following example table.

Item level
Shadowflame Crest cost to upgrade
Created item rank
Upgraded item rank
Explorer 1/8
Explorer 2/8
Explorer 3/8
Explorer 4/8
Adventurer 1/8
Explorer 5/8
Adventurer 2/8
Explorer 6/8
Adventurer 3/8
Explorer 7/8
Adventurer 4/8
Explorer 8/8
1 Whelpling’s Shadowflame Crest
Veteran 1/8
Adventurer 5/8
1 Whelpling’s Shadowflame Crest
Veteran 2/8
Adventurer 6/8
1 Whelpling’s Shadowflame Crest
Veteran 3/8
Adventurer 7/8
1 Whelpling’s Shadowflame Crest
Veteran 4/8
Adventurer 8/8
1 Drake’s Shadowflame Crest
Champion 1/8
Veteran 5/8
1 Drake’s Shadowflame Crest
Champion 2/8
Veteran 6/8
1 Drake’s Shadowflame Crest
Champion 3/8
Veteran 7/8
1 Drake’s Shadowflame Crest
Champion 4/8
Veteran 8/8
1 Wyrm’s Shadowflame Crest
Hero 1/5
Champion 5/8
1 Wyrm’s Shadowflame Crest
Hero 2/5
Champion 6/8
1 Wyrm’s Shadowflame Crest
Hero 3/5
Champion 7/8
1 Wyrm’s Shadowflame Crest
Hero 4/5
Champion 8/8
1 Aspect’s Shadowflame Crest
Hero 5/5

There is a lot of information to take in, so let’s delve deeper into it. In the new World of Warcraft gear upgrade system, you’ll need two things to upgrade your gear: a Shadowflame Crest and Flightstones. The Crest allows you to upgrade, while Flightstones are the cost of the upgrade. There are four types of Crests:

  • Whelpling Shadowflame Crest
  • Вrake Shadowflame Crest
  • Wyrm Shadowflame Crest
  • Aspect Shadowflame Crest

And five types of gear, each with a specific number of possible upgrades:

  • Explorer (8 upgrades)
  • Adventurer (8 upgrades)
  • Veteran (8 upgrades)
  • Champion (8 upgrades)
  • Hero (5 upgrades)

Here’s a simplified overview of which Crests are needed for each type of gear and their ranks:

  • No Crest needed for Explorer Ranks 1-4 (ilvl 376-385) and Ranks 5-8 (ilvl 389-398)
  • Whelpling Crest for Adventurer Ranks 5-8 (ilvl 402-411) and Veteran Ranks 1-4 (ilvl 402-411)
  • Drake Crest for Veteran Ranks 5-8 (ilvl 415-424) and Champion Ranks 1-4 (ilvl 415-424)
  • Wyrm Crest for Champion Ranks 4-8 (ilvl 428-437) and Hero Ranks 1-4 (ilvl 428-437)
  • Aspect Crest for Hero Rank 5 (ilvl 441)

The majority of items can be upgraded between four and seven times. For instance, if you acquire an item on the Adventurer upgrade track, it can reach as high as Adventurer 8/8, which is an item level of 411. If you want to go higher than that, you will need to obtain a Veteran item, which can be found in Raid Finder instances or in content that is of equal level. These upgrade tracks are markers assigned to item levels, and if you are familiar with how item levels were set up in previous seasons, you will recognize some similarities. Veteran items are available in the Raid Finder item level range, while Champion items are obtained from Normal raids and other sources that provide gear in the same item level range, and so on. The tooltip for each gear piece will indicate the upgrade tracks and levels, allowing you to keep track of your equipment’s strength. And, of course, Mythic gear is truly Mythic, and once you reach that item level band, you will not be able to upgrade any further.

It is worth noting that, just like in previous upgrade systems, even if you upgrade an item several times at once, you will still have to pay the cost for each upgrade exactly the same as if you were upgrading one at a time.

Another crucial point to keep in mind is that the level at which an item is created determines the upgrade path and level that it starts with. For instance, if an item is created at item level 398, it will always be Adventurer 4/8. However, unless you receive items that are item level 431 or higher (Hero 2/5), you will never come across gear that has fewer than four available upgrades!

Dragonflight Shadowflame Crests

Shadowflame Crests and their fragments are reagents that can be found in your inventory bag, and they stack very high, so they won’t take up much space. There’s a weekly limit of ten Crests for each type that you can earn. This limit is set high enough to ensure that most players can earn all they need, while still keeping the most competitive players on a level playing field when tackling the toughest content.

As you progress, the cap will increase over time and will allow you to catch up freely if you don’t reach it in a week. By week six, you’ll be able to earn enough Crests to upgrade all your gear, even if you need one for each upgrade.

Shadowflame Crests are also used as crafting reagents. Enchanters can use them to craft Enchanted Shadowflame Crests, which are used to set the item level range of a piece of crafted gear, much like how Primal Infusion and Concentrated Primal Infusion worked in Dragonflight Season One. Your crafter’s skill level will be important, as higher quality crafts will have higher item levels. Once crafted, you can upgrade your gear using the existing recrafting system. Crafted gear will also help you with upgrading other items, as item upgrade vendors will treat them like any other gear when determining upgrade costs.

When you acquire a Crest, you have three choices: you can upgrade an item at an item upgrade vendor, you can use it as a crafting reagent, or you can sell it to a vendor. Initially, selling the Crests may not be the best option, but as your gear improves, you’ll outgrow the lower level Crests and can safely sell them. The tooltip for each Crest will indicate the item level range it’s used for, so you’ll know which Crests are no longer helpful just by hovering over them in your inventory.

Dragonflight Flightstones

The cost of Flightstones is determined by the type of item and its new upgrade level. Items with more stats, such as chest armor, are more expensive to upgrade than those with fewer stats, like cloaks. Similarly, upgrading weapons is generally more costly than upgrading armor. As your item level increases, the cost of upgrading an item also increases. For instance, upgrading gloves from ilvl 402 to ilvl 405 may only require 100 Flightstones, but upgrading from ilvl 415 to ilvl 418 will set you back 120 Flightstones.

You can acquire Flightstones in varying amounts, ranging from as little as two from a random treasure to several hundred from the weekly wrapper quest, equivalent to the “Aiding the Accord” quests in the Dragonflight launch content. Defeating raid bosses and completing Mythic Keystone chests will also yield Flightstones. Higher-difficulty content will provide more Flightstones to account for the increased costs of upgrading gear. However, players who prefer outdoor content will still find it worthwhile since the cost increases are not exorbitant. This approach ensures that players can choose their preferred play style while still being rewarded for completing more challenging encounters.

To avoid a lengthy series of tables outlining Flightstone income and costs, we will provide a general overview of the number of activities required to upgrade an item. At low item levels (376-398), it can take 5-8 World Quests to upgrade a piece of armor. Weapons are more expensive, but completing your weekly capstone quest (like the “Aiding the Accord” quests found in the 10.0.2 content update) will provide enough Flightstones to upgrade a weapon multiple times.

At medium item levels (402-424), it will take 3-5 Mythic Keystone dungeons to upgrade an armor piece, depending on the key level and armor slot. At higher item levels (428-441), it may require up to ten Normal dungeons to upgrade an armor piece. In all cases, defeating three raid bosses (or two end bosses) will earn you enough Flightstones to upgrade a gear piece from that tier.

Dragonflight 10.1 Gear Upgrade System FAQ

Q: Can I roll need on weapons I can’t use now just to make upgrades cheaper if I get something in a raid and then trade it?
A: No, when determining redundancy, only Soulbound equipment that your character can use counts. For example, a Rogue cannot roll need on a bow or a Priest on a warglaive. However, if the item is tradable, it does not count towards redundancy.

Q: Is Mythic+ Score being removed?
A: No, under the new Valor upgrade system, Mythic+ score will still be tracked for a series of achievements (Keystone Explorer/Keystone Conqueror/Keystone Master/Keystone Hero) and for bonus Flightstones if anyone in the group had their score go up after a key. However, it will no longer be used to qualify for upgrade levels as Crests will be doing that instead.

Q: Is Valor being removed?
A: Yes, the new upgrade system applies to all maximum-level activities and replaces the old Valor system. This means that raid nights will now help progress your gear, and raid gear can now be upgraded.

Q: Why isn’t PVP gear included in this system?
A: The feedback around PvP gearing in Dragonflight Season One was positive, so there is little reason to change it. However, if this system continues in future seasons, it may become the new way to upgrade PvP gear’s PvE item level.

Q: Where can I upgrade my gear with this new system?
A: Any item upgrade vendor can help you, including one located in a new area called Loamm. You can also upgrade your gear in Valdrakken, Oribos, or Nazjatar.

Q: I’m a Fury warrior and can’t find the section for upgrading two two-handed weapons. Is it missing?
A: Fury warriors get a unique benefit where upgrading one two-handed weapon makes the same upgrade on the other weapon cost half the usual amount of Flightstones and no Crests. There is no section missing, and we apologize for any confusion.

Q: What about Primal Storm gear and 10.0.7’s Onyx Annulet?
A: The new upgrade system only applies to Dragonflight Season Two maximum-level content, so Primal Storm gear and Onyx Annulet from Season One will not be upgraded using this system. You can still upgrade them with Storm Sigils and Primordial Gems.

Q: Can the system be removed if players don’t like it?
A: It depends on how players interact with and react to the system. If you have constructive feedback on why you don’t like it, please let us know.

Q: Can the system continue past Dragonflight Season Two if players like it?
A: It depends on how players interact with and react to the system. If you like it, please let us know why and what you like. Your feedback is valuable.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article, prepared by the Overgear team. We value your opinion and would love to hear your feedback on the new upgrade system that is currently being built. Keep in mind that during the early PTR testing, not all sources of Crests and Flightstones will be fully available, and the system will constantly be evolving based on your input. We encourage you to test out the new system on the PTR and share your thoughts with us. Your feedback is essential in shaping the future of the game, and we appreciate your contribution to making it better.

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