WoW Classic is certainly very much different from WoW retail. The gearing up process is one of the aspects that makes the game a unique experience. Some might even call it frustrating. First of all, don’t worry about gear until you are level 55+ or so. Complete as many dungeons as you can and make sure to finish the attunement quests for Molten Core and Onyxia.
You will want to head into those raids as soon as you hit 60. The quests reward plenty of XP and send you in Blackrock Depths, an extremely large dungeon that drops many pre-raid BIS items for all classes. Also, pay attention to the quest rewards too. You might not get any more XP from the quests if you out-level them but you might get a nice armor upgrade.
Those who have played the original WoW vanilla might remember a thing or two about obtaining gear but new players have absolutely no guidance from the game. The first thing new players need to accept is that obtaining gear differs from class to class. Things are not like in retail where each activity, be it dungeon or quest or raid, drops useful gear for your class.
WoW Classic quests don’t reward gear for all classes. Not all dungeons have something useful for you in the direction of gear. You will depend on RNG a lot. It’s possible that you will spend hours in a dungeon and walk away with nothing to show for it. That’s the vanilla experience. Rewards are not guaranteed and the sooner you come to terms with that, the sooner you will make the steps in the right direction. Vanilla is about player interaction so don’t be afraid to ask for help. Another thing that you need to understand is how stats work in WoW Classic.
Unfortunately, secondary stats are hidden from the player but there are useful add-ons, such as Extended Character Stats that will show you all stats. Find out what are the priority stats for your class and role – your main stat might not always be your best one – and look for items with that stat. This is where another add-on comes in handy. The AtlasLoot add-on shows the table loots for all bosses. Browse it so you know which dungeons you need to prioritize.
In some cases, you will need to equip different types of gear. For example, DPS warriors prioritize hit rating that is found on leather and mail gear and not on plate armor.
Keep GoldPiles.com in mind and work your way to obtaining the best gear for your class.