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I leveled to 81 the other day but unfortunately my iLvl was only at 200 which means I couldn't progress to the cataclysm dungeons and because I out leveled the Wrath of the Lich king dungeons I couldn't go back there to keep bumping my iLvl up.

What is one meant to do in this case, if your iLvl lags behind your character level? Hunt and wait for cataclysm greens purchasable on the AH?

Am I doing it wrong, or is this poor continuity from blizzard?

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Quest, level and do some random dungeons and win some rolls. Don't buy off the AH. No need. –  WernerCD Dec 8 '11 at 3:37
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continuity is poor, mainly because the jump in stats between northend and cataclysm is so massive (northend dungeon drops stop at ilvl200 or so (highend northend raids can get you a bit higher I think), cataclysm quest rewards and world greens start at 272 or so). As others have said, go quest in hyjal and/or vashir for a while and you'll soon have complete cataclysm gear. –  jwenting Dec 19 '11 at 12:16
    
I've confirmed the answer with my own results, since my shaman had this problem I levelled two additional characters to 85 since and found questing is by far the easiest way to obtain a higher item-level and you level up just as quick. Additionally on all 3 of those 85's I all hit 80 with a low iLvl, however this could be my issue of having done no questing since level 70 and ran only the LFD tool for gear/xp. –  Jared Jan 16 '12 at 3:20
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4 Answers

up vote 13 down vote accepted

My suggestion, rather than purchasing greens off the Auction House, would be to head out to Mount Hyjal or one of the Cataclysm zones and start doing quests in there. The quest rewards in those zones are greens with an item level around 272 (I just called up a random sample in Wowhead). That would not only give you XP but also increase your item level pretty quickly. A 70 point jump in item level per slot will provide a definite increase to your average item level.

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that said, you might find a real gem for cheap at auction sometimes :) –  jwenting Dec 19 '11 at 12:14
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As mentioned in other answer you should be doing quests for the items since they are way better than most wotlk items, you will also be getting reputation so you can buy vendor items to help with your iLvl.

When i played (4.1) you could fake your item level by getting items that you could equip but actually didn't use, for example on my hunter i had cloth/leather items in my bags to get my iLvl up so i could sign up, the rule of thumb is if you can equip it it counts towards your iLvl even if its not bound, wrong armor type or wrong stat type. so you could buy a boe on ah and have it in your bag and once you got better gear you could sell it again.

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Assuming your goal is to get to 85 as quickly as possible, I'd buy greens/blues from the AH. You can find enough of them to get you close to or over the iLevel needed to enter the first two Cata dungeons. You can also get crafted pieces dirt cheap (e.g. neck piece and ring from a jewelcrafter). I leveled two toons to 80 over the last couple weeks and that's the way I went.

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I would agree with the other posts. Also to keep in your tool sack is wowhead. Search for upgrades as quest rewards for your class and stats. Look for the locations and quest there. Also remember to put on the tabbard for your epic enchants you will need those soon.

Ask your guildies for upgrades or post on a guild site. Sometimes just shout out in a city if anyone has any extra gear in trade chat. I got a few upgrade greens just for asking for nothing or little gold.

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