So you are interested in playing. Perhaps you have even started it up and logged in. You may find yourself suffering one of two things; Overwhelmed at the sheer blinding amount of content, stuff and things to be doing or needing doing. Or Underwhelmed having expected all of that all at once and logged in to find a blank toon and a sleepy starter area. Neither is incorrect and after having recently has a friend join this game for the first time I realised how blinding the experience might be as this game is so old now it has a –decade- of content heaped on there to wade through. So in an attempt to shine a light and offer some guidance to those folk, purely from a game-play stance here is my version of a Quickstart Guide
Getting Started in World of Warcraft
You have two choices here; Horde or Alliance. The Alliance are basically the ‘Good Guys’ and the Horde are in essence the ‘Bad Guys’, but they are the often at least a little redeemable kind of bad guys. Which faction you choose doesn’t make a massive amount of difference, really. Whichever side you choose will likely claim the other side has it better in terms of quests, lore and story, and that they are always the ones winning in PVP. S’just human nature.
Pro Tip: The correct choice is Horde. Always.
This one does make a bit of a difference, but it is very marginal as each race has their own unique racial traits which you can read about here:Racial Traits
All in all though they don’t make such a soul-crushing level of difference that it should entirely dictate your choice. Pick something that looks cool, or even better, read the lore snippits about each race and see which one takes your fancy. These used to be provided for you on the character creation screen but are not any more. So here you go: TenTonHammer’s Race Guide
This is where shit gets real. This is where choices start to matter from a purely game-play perspective. From an RP perspective all the above choices were key and paramount. But I digress. So there are three basic Roles in WoW content; Tank, Damage, and Healer. The class you choose will decide what role you fill though each class has three Specialisations, so some of them can perform two or three roles, depending on what Spec you choose. But you can only be one Role at any given time. To help you along I have listed all the classes below and highlighted their available roles and which spec cover’s each..
- Paladin – Protection(Tank), Retribution(Damage), Holy(Healer).
- Death Knight – Forst(Damage), Undeath(Damage), Blood(Tank).
- Warrior – Protection(Tank), Arms(Damage), Fury(Damage).
- Druid – Guardian(Tank), Feral(Damage), Balance(Damage), Restoration(Healer).
- Shaman – Elemental(Damage), Enhancement(Damage), Restoration(Healer).
- Hunter – Marksman, Survivalist, Beastmaster (Damage).
- Rogue – Combat, Assassination, Subtly (Damage).
- Monk – Brewmaster(Tank), Windwalker(Damage), Mistweaver(Healer).
- Mage – Frost, Fire, Arcane (Damage).
- Priest – Shadow(Damage), Holy(Healer), Discipline(Healer).
- Warlock – Destruction, Demonology, Affliction (Damage).
Addon’s are small player made programmes that you can add on to the game to improve or add to the pre-set features to enhance certain elements. Roleplayers use this to add little description boxes to their characters allowing other players to read them. PVP’ers use it to time Caps on certain objectives in Battlegrounds. PVE’er use it to track their damage in Raids, and alert others when special moves or abilities are incoming. You can pick, choose and customise these at your own choosing.
You can find add on’s on sites like WoWInterface but personally I get most of mine from Curse as they have a small application you can download that then installs and updates all your addon’s for you. You can however do it manually by downloading the add on and extracting it into your game file which is usually found at:
/User/Public/Games/World of Warcraft/Interface/AddOns
Here is a quick break down of some other useful sites and their uses.
- Battle Net Forums – The official forums, you can find here a forum for your specific class, for your realm and for many larger aspects of the game play.
- Wowhead – I love this site. This is a go to stop for guilds, news, information and help with any question or quest you are stuck on. They also have a host of neat tools, like their bag scanner, profiler, character advancer, garrison and talent calculators.
- MMO Champion – Up to date new and information on patches, hotfixes and other game information and releases.
- Noxxic – My personal favourite gameplay guide. You select PVE or PVP then find your class and spec and it gives you some of the most recommended talent choices, gems, glyps and rotations to be using to get the most from your class.
- Icy Veins / Elitist Jerks – Forums for class discussion among other things, a decent place to seek help or advice on any game-play related issues.
- AskMrRobot – Suggested gear upgrades. Upload your character to the site and they will suggest you how you could try and upgrade and optimise your gear for maximum benefit.
Content is divided into two loose areas; PVE and PVP. PVE is Player versus Environment and PVP is Player versus Player. You can do both, you can do neither, what you do is entirely up to you. Some people PVP, some people raid, some people make gold, some collect pets, titles and tabards, and some people RP. Some even do all of the above. There is nothing limiting you in this regard save your own interest so if you are a new player, dabble a bit and see what you enjoy, and remember to try stuff at different levels too, sometimes something that sucks to do while levelling is a lot more enjoyable at End Game.
As for actually levelling the best and fastest way to go about that these days, asides from buying a boost to level 90, is to quest and run instances. It can however if you are new to the game be tricky to know where you should be questing so here are some tips:
- Do your starter zone, get a feel for the class and just follow the linear quest lines and hubs. They will sooner or later direct you to a main city.
- In the main city, in all main cities there will be a Notice Board in the more populated and central area’s that will have quests for you, depending on your level. Check back every few levels in case it opens up a quest to go to a new zone. Note also that a city in Kalimdor will only show you possible Kalimdor zones, and the Eastern Kingdom cities will only show you EK zones, so checking both might be useful if you are stuck or not enjoying your current zone.
- Quests are colour coded. Red quests are ones that you will struggle to complete at your current level. Orange are tricky but possible, Yellow are ideal, Green will be easy but rewarding slightly less experience points and grey are useless to you unless you want or need the reward loot.
- The Looking For Group (LFG) tool is very handy for levelling. You will find it in the middle of the bottom bar on your screen, a green eyeball, and you can select several group and role options from that panel.
Banks and Baggage
Bags are essential, as soon as you have worked up enough gold grab yourself some cheap 16-slot bags from the Auction House in a main city, that way you can carry more items and ergo turn over more revenue and waste less time running to vendors. You can get bigger bags as you go and earn more gold. You also have a personal bank, this can be located in any main city and all goblin towns within the world, you have a main tab for free and as of Warlords a second tab to store materials for crafting professions which is very useful. You can also buy extra slots and put bags into those for additional space to store all your loot and goodies.
Pro-tip: If you cannot locate your bank, profession or class trainer or any other useful NPC within a city, ask a guard, they will give you directions and drop a little marker on your mini-map.
There are a host of optional professions you can learn and level within WoW, that have two tiers; primary professions of which you can choose two, and secondary professions of which you can have all four.
- Cooking – You can cook up Feasts and other ‘’Buff Food’’ gives you a advantage to your stats in the game-play world.
- Fishing – You can fish up meat to be used in cooking, you can also fish up special mounts and pets, and gain other goodies via the Anglers faction in Pandaria.
- First Aid – Bandages and anti-venoms, a handle skill to have for those without any personal healing abilities.
- Archology – Digging up old shit for giggles. Mostly this just digs up a lot of junk, but that junk sells for a nice amount of gold and you also have the chance to find rare objects like pets, mounts, toys and recipes.
Gathering: Mining, Herbalism, Skinning. As you would imagine each skill allows you to harvest the correlating items and materials from nodes and beasts where relevant.
- Alchemy – Making healing potions and flasks that Buff your stats for encounters.
- Leatherworking – Crafting armour and other goods from leather.
- Blacksmithing – Crafting armour and other goods, like weapons from metal.
- Tailoring – Crafting armour and other goods from cloth.
- Enchanting – Crafting scrolls that hold enchantments that people can then place on a piece of armour to improve their stats.
- Jewel crafting – Crafting gems that people can then place on a piece of armour to improve their stats.
- Inscription – Crafting Glyphs that people can use to tweak and improve their skills and abilities.
- Engineering – Crafting toys and gadgets to help improve your performance or just be fun, mostly from metals.
For more information and guides to levelling any of these professions I highly recommend this place: http://www.wow-professions.com
Guild’s are very useful. Asides from the fact that is this primarily a very social based game and it’s just bags more fun to play with people, they also have certain perks and benefits, Guild Vaults, increased experience gains and things like that. If you are interested in roleplay then guilds can be a very big part of that experience as well. You can find them in several ways. You can use the in-game Guild Finder which will come up where the Guild panel usually is if you are unguilded, and use that to search for guilds though I am not sure how effect it is. Realm Forums are another source, if you find your official realm forum and scan there you might find a guild recruitment threat. Perhaps in game itself you will find a lot of guilds advertising in /trade and /general.
Dual Spec’s, Glyphs, Gems and Enchants
These are gear enhancements. They are mostly irrelevant until End Game, well, all asides from glyphs, you should be using those as soon as they unlock. You get six in total per spec. After a certain level you can learn a second spec, this means you can have two learned Specialisations set-up, but only one can be active. For example my Paladin is Holy but she also has a Damage Spec, however I can only have one active at a time. Each spec has its one set of glyphs; three major and three minor. The minor ones are purely cosmetic, and don’t really enhance your gameplay, just add cute and funny little tricks and appearances. The major ones however do affect your ability and game play; they are a secondary way of tweaking and customising your spec to your personal taste after you have chosen your talents.
You can find suggestions on the better choices for talents, glyphs and even enchants and gems from a variety of sites, as I noted above I like to use Noxxic. Of course you can throw that to the wind and choose the talents and glyphs you feel suit your play style. Jewel crafters, Enchanters and Inscribers can make all these items, so if you have any of those professions you can make your own, if not I recommend a trip to your nearest city and their local Auction House to pick some up.
Titles, Tabards, Mounts and Pets.
Otherwise known as collectables. For the collectors and completionists out there this game will be your joy and your heartache. There are reams of things you can hunt, track and gather, from over 400 mini-pets that you can then train up and use in pokemon style battles to countless tabards and titles that you can swan around in within the game. This is a whole world of achievements and explorations aside that I dare not start to go into here. But it is there, looming, calling.
Pro-tip: If you are invested and interested in Pet Battles and collecting check out this site: WarcraftPets
I hope you found this useful, if you did please let me know below and let me know if you would like this in video format with a UI tour of the game interface!