Loot

Loot in SWL is completely different than it was in TSW. Only Named NPCs, the Rares, drop items and only the first time you kill them. All other Mobs do not drop items. Only thing you may get from them is a Cache. The Caches are Lootboxes and can have different items in them which you can use for yourself or sell in the Auction House for Marks. But in order to open a Cache you need Cache Keys. Patrons get one Key for free per day. All other keys have to be bought with Aurum.

Note: I did only get green items as drops and mission rewards and right now I do not know if you only get green ones or if you can get better colors on higher levels.

Cache Window

This is the window you get to see after clicking on a cache in your inventory. Right now there is only one type of Caches in the game, the "Agartha Hub". The things you can get out of this cache are random with different chances according to the rarity of an item. Note that this was the only Source of Third Age Fragments I could find ingame. Maybe there are others I did not uncover. You can see that I have no keys at that moment, thats why there is a display to the right, showing me different packages of keys I can buy with aurum. If I have one. Right now there seems to be no bargain if you buy more than one at a time.
The Caches (called "Loot Lanterns" during the Beta because they appear as big purple shiny objects on drop) are also considered as the replacement of Crap - useless items which have no other purpose than to be sold. In this case for Anima Shards. You get Anima Shards by completing missions but you can also sell Caches to vendors for additional Anima Shards.

Gear

The Character Sheet * This is the new character screen, it is a littlebit different than SWLs Charscreen but Covers most of the points of the original. But it provides Information in a more compact way, easier to access you see both you abilities (of your primary weapon), your level, title, rank and items at once.

Notice the 4 Buttons in the screen. The Wardrobe is now a new mechanic called "Dressing Room", where you can select, preview and buy costumes and parts. "Sprints/Pets" opens up the same window like in TSW. "Abilities" will open up the Wheel Replacement and "Upgrade" will show the upgrade Window.

Note that Gear still follows some of the original rules. Red is still better then yellow, yellow is better then purple, purple better then blue and blue better then green.

Notice the numbers on the items?

Upgrade

The Numbers on the items indicate a new game mechanic. Instead swapping an item for a better one you have to upgrade the items to make them stronger. Because all mobs except Rares do not drop Items anymore (and the Rares only on the first kill), you will have to complete missions, open Chests or Caches with Keys or spend Marks in the auction house to buy items. You will get some items from the daily rewards, too. The new system is more time consuming and the upgrade system itself will slow down your progress of getting stronger items as well.

Here is an example on how upgrading things work. You have a slot on the upper left and 5 Slots on the bottom right. The item you want to upgrade is placed in the single slot on top and the items you want to use to upgrade the item are placed in the 5 slots below. Not that you sacrifice these items to empower the one item above.
Once you start placing items in the 4 slots you get a display of the amount of XP the upgraded item will get. In this case +500 XP, boosting this Neck Talisman from Level 11 to Level 14. That´s because the item I sacrifice is a special upgrade item I got as an daily reward.

You get a preview what Stats change and how on the upper right.
* Upgrade Window

Matching Items will give more XP, you can read this in the "Rules" Window bottom left. This is an Neck Talisman with Attack Stat. If I use another Neck Talisman with Attack Stat to upgrade it I will get 2,5 times more XP then I would get from another Non-Attack Neck Talisman. Same rule applies to weapons. Matching Weapons will give more XP.

To Empower an item will cost Anima Shards. The cost will grow with the number of items you use for empowerment and the level and color of the item you upgrade. In this example I do not have to use Anima Shards because the daily reward item can be used for free.

Two important things: if you use a higher level item to empower a lower level item you will not get more xp. The XP already spent to upgrade the item you want to sacrifice is lost.
Keep checking how much XP a sacrificed item gives, especially once you reach the cap. I almost spend one of this special upgrade items giving several levels at once to an item already in the last level before cap. That would have been a waste of resources.

The other half of the new item mechanic is based on fusing items to get even more powerful items.

Fusion Window

The Fusion mechanic is way simplier than the upgrade mechanic. You can only fuse two items of the same color and level. Higher Colors have a higher number of levels: Green 1–20, Blue 1–25, Purple 1–30, Yellow 1–35, Red 1–70. Thanks to the guys of the beta forum for that information.

In order to fuse a green item to a blue you will need to upgrade the green item to level 20 and you need a second green item on level 20. You place the one you want to keep into the upper slot and the one you want to sacrifice into the lower slot. Sadly I do not remember if you have to pay anima shards or even Marks of Favor to fuse items.

Keep in mind that you do not only keep the weapon you place on top but also the skin of the weapon. At least I think so. Same system could be used easily to apply a skin to an existing weapon. But I was not able to verify it.

Next to the bottom slot there is a small green button. Clicking on it will open a purchase Window, where you can spend Aurum to use a Dummy instead of a second max leveled weapon of same color to fuse an item to a next higher color.

One important thing to know: A level 1 blue item is stronger than a level 20 green.

Pro Tip on upgrading and fusing

One of the main problems players ran into during the beta was running out of inventory and bank space. Simply because they tried to upgrade several weapons of the same type at once. They thought "1 Red item = 2 yellow = 4 purple = 8 blue = 16 green item" and started to level every weapon of the same type, which filled the inventory pretty fast.

I came up with a more efficient system - I think. First I level my slotted item. Seems logical because you grow stronger until you hit the level cap for that weapon. Once you have upgraded the sloted item get another one of the same color by either upgrading and fusing lower level items or buy one in the auction house and level it up. If you decide to upgrade yourself, get only one item and upgrade it until max level than the other one.
For Example: If I want to upgrade two blue items to a purple one, I upgrade my slotted item to level 25 blue first. Then I get one green item of the same type and upgrade it to level 20, max level of geen items. After that I get another green, matching item and upgrade it to level 20. Now I fuse these two into a blue item, I can level up to level 25 and finally I fuse my slotted item with the upgraded. You need way less inventory and bank space.

Some people came up with the idea to use only matching weapons to upgrade theirs. They tried to sell the others in the auction house. Since you get Marks for it if you sell them this appears a good trade. I am not sure. For the release I will try not to sell weapons I don´t use, instead I will upgrade them to level 20 green or even fuse them to blue, if the prices for blue items sanctify it.

MK

MK Levels * MK levels still exist in SWL. You can recognize MK Levels by little dots on the bottom of an item. Here is my inventory from level 26. You see that every item I have slotted has a little yellow dot on the bottom of the item´s icon.
This indicates MK I.
The only exception is the talisman in the head slot.
Two dots means MK II.

Because I never made it far enough into TSW to even see an MK item and was not able to find a single guide or explanation about that system I am not able to compare it.

However I have found a couple of MK II items in SWL and had the impression that they have different stats than the MK I items.