Go to Champions Corner in Thayd (Conquerors Square in Illium), find there Advanced Gear Vendor (Dealer Albaro) and buy there ilvl 68 blue gear (or if you want to do PvP, you can buy blue ilvl 65 gear from PvP Seasonal vendor (Quartermaster Eliska)). If there any World Boss movement in Global (Nexus) chat - join groups and kill bosses for free money, glory and loot. Then go to Mysterious Ruins in Thayd, there is a tunnel, go there and find a lever, pull it - you will be in Secret Ops (go to Enigma Chambers as Dominion player), talk to Drusera and take your Genesis Key. Then go farm solo or duo expeditions and some Arcterra (Arcterra is actually good to train your skills and rotations as well if you are very new player, just to get used to your class, but gear there not really worth anymore, you can buy there class set runes, though), and in the spare time do all daily Contracts (for up to ilvl 120 gear). And again, don't forget to do all daily Ccontracts (ilvl 100 and 120 rewards for tier 3-5). Rune this gear. Then go with guild into dungeons to finish your attunement quest. That's all, you are ready for Genetic Archives raid. How to achieve full AMPs and Ability Points, and some money - read full version. And dont forget to complete you AP's and AMP's (if you are not in hurry, you can buy them with Elder Gems, otherwise read full version).
In Primal Matrix update you now can solo farm Prime levels 0~3 of expeditions and get good ilvl 80-100 gear! Good way of gearing too if you can clear it on golden or silver medals. Lockboxes there can give you double loot if you get gold!
And don't forget to farm Violet essence! Because it is limited by time resource. Other color essence you can farm at any time.
Guide is a bit outdated and not including Matrix in some parts. However, almost everything is still the same. You just can get much better gear from expeditiosn and dungeons now.
So you make you path through Nexus and now you are a fresh 50 level and waiting for a new adventure and some good items, or maybe you want to join raid, but 85+ average item level seems impossible for you? So here we go.
Part 1, Gear.
First thing you want to do is to find and do Genesis Key main quest (you can take Genesis Key from Drusera in Secret Ops/Enigma Chambers and skip this quest). After that you want to buy either blue ilvl 68 gear from Advanced Gear Vendor (Dealer Albaro) or blue ilvl 65 pvp gear from PvP Seasonal Gear Vendor (Quartermaster Eliska) in Champion's Corner, Thayd (Conquerors Square, Illium). And then you want to go to do some Expeditions (or Shiphands) on golden medal. Here you can get some nice gadgets (still the best for dps is from Matuk in Arcterra). You can do them solo or duo. The more people inside expedition - the harder it will be (mobs are stronger and so on). If you will have golden medals in all expeditions then you will have opportunity to buy AMP Tier unlock from Advanced Gear Vendor.
And the other first and most important things of all - are contracts. Contracts are essential and nice. You can find them at the Champions Corner in Thayd - big shiny yellow board with protostars nearby. Why they so important? Well, first two tiers of contract rewards will give you 90 item level (ilvl) gear, third and fourth will give you 100 ilvl item and the last one - fifth, will give you decent 120 ilvl (!) gear of your class and 2.5 platinum (lots of money, yay!). If you will do all daily contracts - you will get 950 reward points. To receive contract tier reward - you need to get 1000 points. An easiest contract can be repeated as many times as you want, but it gives only 50 reward points. So you can easily get one contract reward per day (or even more, if you have a lot of free time). When there's a contract to kill 30 of some species, here fast tip: Dreg, Eldan Constructs - Crimson Badlands; Strain, Ikhtians, Maradeurs, Eldan Constructs - Star-Comn Basin; Moodies, Skeetch - Northern Wilds, Osun - Arcterra. If you have 75+ average ilvl, you can go Fragment Zero expedition for skeetch instead. All contracts will give you little amount of protostar currency - Promission Notes - you can buy rune fragments and bags for them near Contract Board (but hold them better for Divine and Pure Foci, not for Superb ones).
Second most important thing is dailies. There you can receive up to 76 ilvl gear (not worth it) and AMP Tier points or Ability Tier Points for maxing your reputation. Daily zones are: Star-Comn Basin (AMP), Northern Wilds (AMP), Crimson Badlands (AMP), Blightheaven (AP), Defile (AP), Arcterra. Most rewarding are Defile and Star-Comn (and Arcterra now). You can get AMP from Grimvault too. AMPs and APs from Star-Comn, Expeditions, Adventures, Northern Wilds, Crimson Badlands, Defile and Blightheaven are all Account Bound, so if you get maxed reputation on them on any of your characters - you can buy AMPs/APs there on them and send via mail to your alts, instead of maxing reputation on each character.
Third is World Bosses (WB). World Bosses are huge monsters with raid level strength. They are designed for groups of 15~30 players to kill. Res timers for them is for 4 to 8 hours. However, you can find some progenitor access particles while doing your dailies or contracts or dungeons. Those particles needed for shorting WB spawn timer - the more particles you feed to terminal, the faster WB will respawn. If you and your group handle to bring 75 particles - WB will spawn in 2 minutes after that. To find World Boss groups you can shout about that in /n Nexus chat (or you may want to join Global chat of server. To do that you need to type '/chjoin Global". After that you need to type "/1" to write there. If you already have some custom chats or channels already, it will be not /1 but the next number after last of your chats/channels). There you can see WB or [wbn] and "join on me". Thats the groups for World Bosses (or sometimes for tier 3 contract quests, the hardest one that will give you 450 reward points). To join person you can just click with RBM on his name in a chat and select "Join Group".. World Bosses will give you 100 glory, 10~30 gold, some basic runes and chance for an ilvl 90 items. Lockboxes can give you some ilvl 90 gear too, you can buy lockbox keys via Omni-bits or real money. So the more you do the - the better for you! If you want join raids later - most desirable for you is Mechathorn (@Farside, Site Bravo), Grendelus (@Celestion), King Plush (@Galeras), Zoetic (@Wilderrun, this one is toughest). This four bosses have some complex wipe mechanics, so it will be good for you to understand and master them.
Fourth one is the dungeons. In dungeons (at starter level prime 0) you can get 78-80 Superb Quality (purple) gear, Superb Set Major Fragments (always click "need" on them!) some gold and gadgets (mostly from last bosses). Best of all is to make Random Dungeons (Content Finder [N] -> PvE -> Dungeons -> checkbox on "First that Find" -> Join queue). When you do this - you will get additional 30 gold and 100 glory for completing the dungeon (or even more if you are using Flask of Greed and Signature + from dungeons there can be Elden Gloves drop - BiS almost for every class and roll). To go into dungeons you'll need to be 70+ average ilvl geared already. Every evening our guild have one or two groups who is doing dungeons - if you want than, just ask about it in guild chat. If you're going solo with "pug", and it is first time you see dungeon or first time fastrunning it - type into instance chat "/i" something like "guys, I am new here, and I do not know shortcuts, please be a bit slower, so I can follow you and you will not wait for me finding path or aggroing mobs". In 90% of cases they will listen to you and sometimes even explain boss mechanics to you before battling it. To do Sanctuary of SwordMaiden - you need to be 78~80+ ilvl. And to do Ultimate Protogames or Protogame Academy - you need to be 80~85+ and runed, but no one runs this two, so this maps are instant disband most of the times. However, I am strongly recommend (especially if you are planning to participate in raids) to you to find other new guildies (or bring your friends) with ~70-85 ilvls and make full group. And then go into random dungeons. This way you will not be "boosted" and can learn all mechanics, will understand how and why to do things. Ofc this will be not 5 minutes fastrun with 100+ ilvl geared, it will take you maybe even hour or two (at least first few tries, until you and your group mastered it). This way you will understand that teamplay here is good and that sometimes you need to sacrifice some of your dps to help whole group - because if not, all will fail (and you with them). You will understand why do you need to interrupt things and so on. Also with such group you can go to Protogames Academy to learn some raid mechanics or to Ultimate Protogames to have fun (this is very enjoyable and funny dungeon). And one more thing about dungeons - when you go to it, just put all runes that you have or what was dropped from WB or regular mobs into your gear, just all of them in every slot. It will make your and your teammates life so much easier. Doing it with low geared guildies/friends not only good for learning mechanics, but is good like an personal achievement and enjoyment. First time I've complete Skullcano was more than a year ago and I still remember it and have good memories about that win. We were all 65~69 ilvls and complete Skullcano in 3.5 hours, 2.5 from them was only on Mordechai. There was so much struggling, we have changing our builds like 7 times! And then we killed last boss and it was so fantastic and so good - we did it, we can and we put that bloody pirate into his place in the grave! So don't give up and try again and again, until you win :3
Nowadays there is nice addition - after completing 4 basic veteran dungeons (Stormtalons Lair, Ruins of Kel'Voreth, Skullcano, Sanctuary of the Sword Maiden) on bronze medal or higher - you can buy ilvl 96 orange gear from Glory Vendor (Supplier Kristof). There are only Head, Chest, Feet, Weapon Attachment and Implant.
Crafting is not relevant anymore, so you can skip this: "And last, but not least is Crafting. You can buy some decent crafted gear (or level up your own tradeskill to a Master degree). Cheapest way is to find any Master Crafter and ask them for a Complex Gear (ilvl 72 at the beginning and ilvl 88 at the end). We have some masters inside the guild and they can make you some discount (or if you a really nice person with good attitude and fast learning, even almost free). Master Tailor is for light armor, Master Outfitter is for medium armor, Master Armorer is for heavy armor and Master Weaponsmith if for weapons. You can fully gear yourself with Complex Master Gear within 3~20 plat. So it is quiet cheap and nice. At first, your Complex Gear will be ilvl 72. But it have 2 levels of imbuement. First one is to complete a dungeon at least at bronze medal. For completing this - your gear become ilvl 78 and all stats on it will boost up. Second one is to kill World Boss. For doing this your Complex Gear will receive additional 10 ilvls, so it will be 88 ilvl now with boosting up all stats on it. Do not buy crafted genetic archives gear, it is a waste of money (ilvl 92 max), better buy ilvl 85 crafted datascape gear and after ohmna kill imbue it to ilvl 95 in Datascape."
With Drop 7 there is new zone now: Arcterra. This new zone are slightly changing your ilvl-progression, but not very much. You can get almost all slots ilvl 85 by doing only this zone, but I strongly recommend to do all previous points at least few times (but always do contracts, and dungeons are still the best in terms of acquiring gold). In this zone you will see that many events, challenges and things will be going simultaneously, so you will need some time to get used to it. For doing any activity here you will be receiving Pure Soulfrost - you can exchange them later for costumes, gear and runebags. Here you can met few 20+ bosses and one World Boss (Renhakul). Bosses are good for loot and training too. For example, Worm-boss have some similar mechanics to Ohmna (last boss in Genetic Archives raid), Ice Dragon have super strong selfheals, until you break eggs around it (this teach you that you need not only dps, but do some other important mechanics). And another big plus from this bosses - you can get strong ilvl 85 gadgets for your class and role here (healing and tanking one, and Vigor gadget, best for dps). If you find events and bosses enjoying - you can stay here lots of time, because this zone is rewarding as well. You can upgrade ilvl 85 gear to ilvl 90. But better to farm reputation and buy Pure Class Major Foci with soulfrost.
Nowadays Contracts + Arcterra are the fastest way to gear 85+. In 5-6 days you will receive tier 5 contract reward, if you'd be doing all 5 contracts every day. So in one week you can be fully geared and runed this way to ilvl 85~90+. After Ohmna kill you can buy ilvl 116 orange gear from Glory Vendor (same pieces as ilvl 96 for 4 bronze dungeons).
So just do all this steps together and you will know some mechanics, get some gold/glory and simultaneously with this you will get 85+ ilvl gear.
Part 2, Runes.
After getting 85+ ilvl from the last part you may think that you are strong and powerful now! But this will be only half way through. Because runes are worth rougly 60~75% of your secondary gear stats!
To rune 70...90 ilvl gear you will need Superb quality runes (and for gear ilvl 91..109 they are the best too, in therms of price/stats). You can go to Commodity Exchange (CX) and buy there all the missing parts. But do not rush and run to CS! You do not need to buy any runes or fragments at all, because you were receiving Renown and Glory for doing group and endgame content (from part 1). You can buy High Runebags from Renown Vendor (you can find him in your Housing) - they will give you all parts you will need to make High Set runes, you may rune with them all your low level gear (you can do it for dungeon runs while you have lots of pre 70 ilvl gear!). And for glory you can find Glory Vendor in Champions Corner in Thayd. There you can buy Superb Runebags (and Pure/Divine quality bags too, but that you will need only later on with ilevel 100+ gear) for only 100 Glory. You can also buy Superb Runebags by Promissory Notes or Soulfrost, but better buy divine/pure with this two currencies. One bag gives you enough materials to craft one rune and sometimes even more. 100 Glory you get from every World Boss and 150~200 Glory you get from Random Dungeon run. So while you will be gearing yourself up to 85+ ilvl - you will get all Glory and Renown needed to completely rune yourself up! The only thing you will need to pay - is to change runeslots to the appropriate for your rune sets. However, you can not only randomly reroll for gold, but you can choose slot you need with Service Tokens. And Service Tokens you can buy for Omni-Bits in Cash Shop (or get as daily rewards). You get Omni-Bits by playing, you do not to do anything special at all - just do what you enjoyed the most and you will get them for free, like an reward for just playing WildStar. It's here where i suggest people subscribe to Signature by paying $ or buying CREDD (for Plat) - you get 3x the amount of Omnibits and thus makes Runing ALOT cheaper, while gaining other perks and ultimately supporting this awesome game!
Runesets works like this: you need to have all parts of runeset inside one piece of gear (and you can have as many runesets as you want!), but you cant do it with same runes, because they unique. So you cant just rune with three Critical Hit Set runes and have full set. Runeset runes have different power: Major ones have 2 set power and Minor ones have 1 set power. So you can have only 3 Major Set Runes and you will be 6/6 of set bonuses! Most of the time runesets have some bad for your role or class stats (like Health rune in Devastation Set). However, you can do some tricks. First one is: you can change that Health Rune Major with two Minors with good stats! So you will have 2+2+1+1 = 6 of 6 rune set power (a full bonus) within 4 rune slots. And second trick is for 90 or higher ilvl gear: you can change one Superb Set Major by Pure Set major (or Divine later on) and it will still work! So you can do 6/6 only with 3 runes and with all stats you're needed. You can install addon RuneMaster to make runing much more easier (especially for min-maxing).
Which Runesets specifically you need with your class and role you can check in other guides. Good ones are from Codex and from Enigma. Enigma guides are a bit outdated, but for starting they are still good.
More details how to rune and about runesets you can find [in this topic].
So now you are fully geared, runed and powerful as ever! So now you are ready for the most hard and exciting content - the Raids. And I will be pleased to see you in Genetic Archives alongside you and share your enjoyment!
Have a nice time playing WildStar! Meow and cya in the game~