Recently my Vanguard hit level 50 and I started (once again) the process of gearing up a new tank at 50 to get him ready for Hard Mode Flashpoints and Operations.
Depending on the character and what my plans are for him this usually goes in two different directions (PvE and PvP). There is some overlap, just because of how difficult some things are to get quickly and you always a want to be at the "best" place you can be as fast as possible.
|Malvolio reaches level 50!|
When you get some Daily commendations (8 of them) look for a "Mission Support Vendor" in one of the areas that award daily coms. There is one on Ilum (at the base where you first land), Belsavis (first quest area in the bonus area), and in the Black Hole area. There should be two of them, one will sell equipment and one will sell mods. The mods guy is who you're looking for, stock up on armorings and a hilt/barrel for your weapon.
If you haven't gone to the fleet to get some relics head there now. Pick up a LS/DS or PvP relic (they're easy to get to start) and/or put together a level 50 matrix cube for yourself.
Normally at this point I'll also get a recruit Earpiece, Implant and Bracers to go with my PvE gear. They are better than anything else you've likely found up to this point.
|You don't want to mess with this crew - ignore the lack of color co-ordination|
I managed to pick up a few Storymode Ops runs and got a couple Columi pieces and enough Tionese coms/crystals to pick up a weapon with them. Really once you're done with daily gear you have two options. Run Hard Mode Flashpoints until your Columi gear drops, or run Operations and deck yourself out. Ops are much faster, but it's hard to find a group willing to take someone who doesn't have any gear other than daily stuff.
Actually - the guild I got in to uses a loot system called EPGP (which I've heard about, but have never been a member of previously). Apparently my current gear has some kind of bearing on when I get new gear (or something like that) so I got a once over from the guild leader. I was found lacking ... now I knew that my gear wasn't stellar, but apparently because I was still wearing recruit earpieces and implants I couldn't even be called "126 geared". Which surprised me a bit because I was in 1/2 Columi along with my other additions.
It had been a while since I was a new 50 trying to run ops, but I had to think back to what I did to really get started. I basically jumped straight in to Hard Mode Flashpoints and skipped some of the story mode stuff. At that point I was wearing full Battlemaster Gear though and it was easy to step in to it. I'd also picked up a pair of Rakata relics.
So over the next two days I decided to stop slacking and gear up. Fortunately I hadn't stopped doing Dailys with my other 50s completely so I hopped on them, topped off my commendations and had enough to buy two implants (implants are BOE not BOP - this is awesome if you have multiple characters). I got enough commendations on Malvolio to buy himself the earpiece, and dived in to some PvP to fill in with a Battlemaster Bracer and Belt. I've been debating on going for the BM chest and legs (the two pieces I'm missing Columi for) - but the change is so minor that I don't think it matters.
So - that's my current gear up story. I'm honestly not sure if that will top me out at 126, but I'm hoping it was enough to get me considered for more of the raids since Story really doesn't do it for me - I need to gear up somehow ... I really want to get back to EC.