How to not screw up your gear, the Guide

This is a quick guide on how to make the best choices in selecting your gear pieces to level / keep during leveling, and what you should be aiming at obtaining. It will cover gearing for all roles.

General considerations:

  1. Items have varying quality tiers, levels within those tiers and in addition to that can be normal or extraordinary (extraordinary items are denoted by having a red background in their icon and have an additional passive effect). Those levels are as follows:

Standard (green) - level 20 max
Superior (blue) - level 25 max, gains Glyph slot (both talismans and weapons)
Epic (purple/pink) - level 30 max, gains Signet Slot (talismans only)
Mythic (yellow/orange) - level 35 max
Legendary (red) - level 70 max
Glyphs and signets have the same tier progression as above, but all tiers have maximum level of 20.

  1. Most items that drop in reward boxes from defeating various bosses or out of bags that you get as mission rewards will be of green quality and have no level. Advancing your desired item to higher level is achieved by empowering it through sacrificing either spare items of the same kind (i.e. talisman to a talisman, weapon to a weapon, etc) to it, with items of the matching slot (i.e. Head talisman to a head talisman) providing xp bonus multiplier, or distillates of matching type (i.e. weapon distillate, talisman distillate, etc) that are normally gained through completing endgame content such as elite dungeons, lairs and scenarios that are unlocked after reaching character level 50.

Advancing glyphs and signets in level is done through a similar process, with the exception of requiring the exact same glyph/signet (i.e. Signet of Laceration to Signet of Laceration, Signet of Amelioration will not work, despite being intended for the same slot and having the same icon). Signets and glyphs do not have to be taken out of the item to level them. You might want to it out if you have an option of advancing a glyph from 2 pip to 3 pip via a trick detailed below, but it’s not required only for leveling the glyph / signet or advancing it in tier

  1. You will need a total of 16 green gear pieces to make a red gear piece. That means that almost at any point up until making a final fodder piece to fuse into your desired gear piece and making that one red, you can change to the ideal piece, or one that suits your build better.
Colour chart

Needless to say, this only applies to talismans and weapons, as glyphs and signets require the exact same signet to be fused with to advance in tier.

  1. When evaluating an item there are several things to look at:
    a) Is it extraordinary (does it have passive / red background)?
    b) How many pips (dots on the item icon) does it have? (it’s reflected in the name of the item as well, talismans are Faded/Luminous/Radiant, weapons are MK I/II/III and glyphs are Crude/Simple/Intricate). Each pip for a talisman counts as 10% of it’s total item power. i.e. 2 pip talisman is 10% more powerful than 1 pip, and 3 pip is 20% more powerful. For weapons pips only affect the strength of affix passive and not the item power of the weapon.
    c)What kind of passive effect does it have? Does it fit with the intended build for the character?

Extraordinary item passives are unique for each item and are listed in this table.

Weapon affixes effects are:
Alacrity - Increased movement speed by 10/15/20% in combat
Destruction - More damage to enemies under 35% health on hit
Energy - An 11/22/33% chance to restore 1 energy on power ability
Efficiency - A 50% chance to reduce elite skill cooldowns by 2/3/5% on attack
Havoc - 2.5/5/7.5% increased crit power (damage and healing)
Restoration - A 50% chance of healing for a % of your max hp on hit (currently bugged and heals for less than it shows)
Recovery - Increases strength of incoming heals by 2.5/5/7.5%
Warding - 525/1050/1575 More protection when wielded

Best affixes for DPS in descending order are Destruction / Havoc / Energy
For healing - Havoc / Alacrity / Efficiency
For tanking - Efficiency / Recovery / Restoration

When selecting talismans, generally a talisman with higher amount of pips is preferred over a talisman with lower pip count regardless of whether the latter has a passive or not, the exception being 3 BiS DPS talismans for Head, Finger and Luck (Ashes of the FATE’s Chosen, Ring of the Hollow Tree and Anima-infused Keepsake), 2 pip versions of those can be used instead of a 3 pip talisman without a passive or with a less useful passive.

Table with Best in Slot items, glyph, signet and agents breakdown for each role

You will note that the table above lists 4 pip items. 4 pip items are made out of 3 pip items by applying a special imbuer (Resplendent Glyph, Resplendent Talisman or Weapon MK IV imbuers) that are made by collecting 300 fragments of their respective kind from an endgame activity (Dark Agartha boss rush for Talismans and Glyphs (daily) and New York Raid for weapons (once per week for story mode raid and once per week for Elite difficulty raid)), combining them and then fusing that imbuer into a 3 pip item of your choice. You should not concern yourself with thinking about 4 pip items until you reach mid-late endgame stage.

Older version of the same table with more text and French translation

Acquiring 3 pip versions of some glyphs might prove quite costly for a new player, a workaround for that is to buy Simple (2 pip) versions of glyphs initially and then swapping them with Intricate glyphs in the process of leveling as detailed above in talisman section.