Newb-No-More Guide

A big welcome to everyone coming here from www.worldofwarcraft.com! I hope the info in this guide helps. There are plenty of other guides on this site that may be able to help you out. Feel free to look around, and leave a comment!

Hello, everyone. My name is Lycander, and welcome to the Newb-No-More guide. This guide was originally written by Bladetooth and with Jame's permission, I've taken it over. Bladetooth originally designed this to be a compilation of various new player guides he'd written to help people new to MMOs in general as well as World of Warcraft. With that in mind I'll be covering a lot of different topics as we go. This is meant only to cover the basics and get you familiar with WoW. Wow-Pro provides guides for pretty much everything, so please head to the guides section for further info on classes, professions and pretty much anything else you could want. Any feedback or suggestions would be appreciated!

Important Note: For the most part, I'm not going to be repeating Blizzard's information. This applies to such topics as class abilities, racial benefits, etc. I don't want this to be a re-write of the user manual.





Introduction



This guide was originally designed to help people new to World of Warcraft, and to MMOs in general. I'll try to cover everything that you'll need to get started and hopefully have fun playing. Please note that this is NOT a leveling guide. If you want one of those, there are plenty of excellent ones right here. What this guide is for is to help you get in and understand the game, and hopefully allow you to enjoy it.
Throughout this guide, I use a few color codes. They are as follows:
So, how does one go about starting to play this game? Well, there are a few things you have to do before you can take your first steps out into the World of Warcraft. They are:
  1. Choose the realm you'll create your character on.
  2. Create your first character on that realm.
    • Select your race (which will also select your faction). You will also select your gender at this time, but since is has absolutely no effect on gameplay this is the last time I'll mention it.
    • Select your Class
    • Give your character a name. Blizzard has a pretty extensive naming policy which you'll need to abide by.
  3. Enter the game
What does all this stuff mean? See below for explanation of the different parts.





Realms



The first major decision to make is the Realm on which you'll be playing. If you have friends that play and you want to join them, you MUST create a character on the same realm as they are if you want to play with them. You'll also need to be the same Faction. There are three factors which should influence your choice of realm. They are Type, Population and Location, each of which are covered below.
TIP: Each server is set to the Local Time for it's physical location. This should give you an idea if you're close to your server. If it's 12 hours ahead, it's going to be half-way around the world or so.





Your Character



There are 3 major choices that you will need to make when creating your character. They are Faction, Race and Class. Faction determines what race you can be, and race determines what classes you can be. There are 2 playable factions, 5 races per faction and 10 classes. Not every race can be every class, and some classes are restricted to only 1 race per faction. I will be presenting Classes first, since this is what you'll be playing.


Classes

Classes are what really define how you will play the game. They will determine how frequently you will be needed in a group, how you will survive when battling, how you will be dealing your damage, etc. Make sure you pick a class you will have fun with.

In some of the cases below, I've listed the most common nicknames given to each class, at least the non-derogatory ones. I haven't included ones that are merely stating the talent tree, such as "ret pally", since those should be explanatory. Most of these names come from what is usually considered the "defining" talent from a tree, such as Tree of Life is why resto druids are called "Trees".


Please remember that these are guidelines - there are exceptions to every rule. An arms warrior might be able to tank an instance, and a balance druid may be able to heal it. These are just guidelines to help you choose something to fit your playstyle. The classes are detailed out below.


Death Knight (DK)

Death Knights are WoW's first Hero Class. You can only create a DK if you have at least one character level 55+ and have Wrath of the Lich King installed, and you are only allowed one DK per realm. DKs start at level 55, and are an incredibly powerful class. They are a melee class that can be either a Tank or DPS. A DK's abilities either generate or consume Runic Power and Runes.



Druid (Kitty; Bear; Tree; Boomkin)

Druids are the most versatile hybrid class. As they rise in level, they gain access to various forms that grant them access to a wide variety of abilities. This also works against them, as the gear for one form may be useless in another and most druids tend to have multiple sets of gear which leaves less bag space. Depending on what form a druid is in, abilities either use rage, energy or mana. Druids can wear up to leather armor, but certain talents and forms increase this amount to the equivalent of plate. Druids are also the only class that can bring a dead player back to life in the middle of combat.



Hunter

Hunters are the only class whose primary source of damage comes from ranged weapons. Adding to that is the wide variety of pets a hunter can control, and these are part of their damage potential. Hunters have some melee capabilities, but those are usually focused around letting them get farther away from their opponent so they can start shooting again. Hunters are also one of the primary crowd control classes. And if things go horribly wrong, hunters can Feign Death to get out of a lot of situations.



Mage

Mages are generally considered the best AoE class, and are exquisite ranged DPS. Their ability to Polymorph opponents can often mean the difference when things go wrong.



Paladin (Pally; Healadin; Tankadin)

Paladins are another hybrid class, similar to Druids. Warriors of the Light, paladins are capable of doing melee damage, tanking and healing. Using Repentance, paladins can provide back-up crowd control as needed. With the ability to wear plate armor, paladins are also hard to kill.



Priest (Spriest)

Priests are the class that most people think of when they think "healer", but are a very good DPS class as well. They can deal Holy damage, which is a type very few things can resist. They have the ability to reduce the damage they take significantly, and can return health and even mana to their entire party with spells.



Rogue

Rogues are one of the primary melee DPS classes in the game. They can use poisons on their weapons to provide extra damage or weaken their opponents. Their Stealth ability allows them to get a lot of places alone that others can't, and their ability to Vanish can get them out of almost any situation. Their Sap ability is an excellent piece of crowd control. Finally, rogues are the only class that can open locked chests and items without the need for a separate profession.



Shaman (Shammy)

This is another hybrid class. A shaman is capable of enchanting their own weapons with various effects for limited periods of time, and can use various totems to provide several benefits to their group. They also have excellent melee and ranged capacity. Their Astral Recall gives them an extra hearth which is useful while leveling. They can also Reincarnate. However, totems are usually easily destroyed if attacked directly, and their major crowd control ability is only available at level 80.



Warlock

Warlocks are WoW's second pet class, along with hunters. However, where a hunter's pet is designed to contribute to his damage output directly, a Warlock's pet is used more for support. Warlocks specialize in spells that do damage over time, but also have an arsenal of spells that can deal massive direct and area damage. Warlocks are capable of creating items that can be used to heal others, or even allow someone to ressurect themselves after dying. They are also the only class that can summon other players to their location without needing to leave the area they're in.



Warrior

A warrior has 2 choices of play style - Tank or DPS. One of only 3 classes capable of wearing the heaviest armor in the game, they excel at taking punishment as well as dishing it out. Warriors have Stances that they switch between, giving bonuses and penalties while providing access to different abilities in each stance. Warrior abilities cost Rage, which is generated when you deal or take damage.

When discussing classes, anytime there is something in brackets beside the name, such as Druid (Balance), It refers to the area that person should have spent their talents in. I'll usually only use this when there's a massive difference between the various talent trees. For instance, Whether a mage has specialized in Arcane, Frost or Fire trees, they are still a ranged damage dealer. However, a shaman that's spent thier points in the Enchancement tree is melee dps while one that's spent their points in Elemental is ranged dps.





Factions

In the World of Warcraft, there are but two playable factions: The Horde and the Alliance. Neither side is considered good or bad, so don't let that affect your decision. The Horde has Blood Elves, Forsaken, Goblins, Orcs, Taurens, and Trolls. The Alliance has Draenei, Dwarves, Gnomes, Humans, Night Elves and Worgen. Remember that if you are flagged for PvP, any member of the opposite faction can attack you. The same goes for NPCs, but they can attack you even you aren't flagged.

When you are a faction, either Horde or Alliance, you are unable to talk, mail, or in any other way communicate with the other side. The only means of communicating is by the use of emotes and killing. Make sure that if your friends play WoW, you pick the same faction as them if you want to talk to them. Also note that if you have alts in different factions, you can't mail items or money to them, so be careful.

Note: The term Faction also applies to any group you can gain reputation with. There are quite a number of them, and gaining reputation with some may cause you to lose reputation with others. As there are plenty of guides talking about factions, I'll leave the details out of here.





Races

You should have chosen the class you want to play, or at least narrowed it down. Since each race can only be certain classes, you'll need to choose one that can be the class you want. Each race offers certain abilities, but the difference at the higher levels is miniscule so choose a race you think you'd have fun playing as opposed to strictly for the benefits. Some races grant benefit to professions. While this provides a jump at the start, there is no difference between a 450 and a 455 jewelcrafting or herbalism, for instance, so you don't necessarily need to pick a race with a bump to whatever profession you choose.

A Size chart showing the genders of each race can be viewed here.

A complete list of the various racial abilities can be found here



ALLIANCE




Draenei

Dwarf

Gnome

Human

Night Elf

Worgen


HORDE




Blood Elf

Forsaken

Goblin

Orc

Tauren

Troll




Stats


First, know what the stats are and mean. There are 5 stats: Strength, Agility, Stamina, Intelligence and Spirit. Here's a list of the stats, as well as the base effect. of each one. Please note that some classes can receive additional benefit from certain stats. Druids, for instance, may receive part of their intellect or spirit as spell power. Also note that most player stats affect the stats of your pets, if you have any.

From these stats, you have a set of derived stats that will be affected. For instance, Attack Power increases the damage you do with your weapon. Each class, and even the different specs for a specific class, usually require that you concentrate on different stats. Please refer to a class guide to figure out what's best to build for.

For any of the other stats, such as mana regen, crit chance, haste rating, etc., you can hover over that stat on your character sheet and it will tell you what it does.

Talents

What are talents? The short answer is they are the area your character specializes in. Now, for the long answer. You get 1 talent point whenever you gain a new level, starting at level 10. You won't even be able to access your talent screen until then. Each talent point can be spent to get increases to existing abilities, or even entirely new ones only available through the talent tree. Ones farther down the tree require that you have spent X number of points earlier in the tree. You are required to spend your first 31 points only in one tree, and the remaining points can be spent in any of the other trees. You will have 41 points when you hit 85, and to get to the last talent in any specific tree you'll have to spend 31, leaving only 10 for other trees, or to finish spending in that tree. Please refer to the various Class Guides available here for suggestions on how to spend your points.

IMPORTANT: Once you spend a talent point, it's locked into place. You can reset your talent points, known as a respec, by visiting your class trainer. However, it costs 1 GOLD the first time. After that, it goes up to 5, then increases by 5 every time after that until it hits the max of 50 GOLD. Every month that goes by and you haven't respecced, the cost drops by 5 gold, to a minimum of 10 gold. Do some research before you spend them and save yourself some money.





Professions and Secondary Skills

Professions and Secondary Skills are available to every race and class. They area each described below.

Professions
Your character is allowed to learn up to two (2) professions. Professions fall into two categories - Gathering and Crafting. Gathering professions are used to get materials from the environment, and the crafting skills allow the player to create various items, some that only they can use.
Giving your character two gathering professions is a great way to make money. If you want to take a crafting skill, it's highly recommended that you take the appropriate gathering skill to keep yourself supplied with materials. The exception to this is tailoring, which uses the cloth that drops off mobs. Enchanting goes well with this, as the items you craft with tailoring can be disenchated to give you mats for enchanting. Otherwise, any gathering profession is a good pairing.

An important note regarding professions: Professions have 6 levels of skill. You have to both a) get your skill to a certain level and b) get your character to a certain level in order to train in the next level of the skill. The different ranks are listed below. Also please note that Gathering skills (Mining, Herbalism and Skinning) can be accessed at lower character levels than the crafting professions.

RankSkill LevelChar LevelMax Skill Level
Apprentice0575
Journeyman5010150
Expert12520225
Artisan20035300
Master27555375
Grand Master35065450


Secondary Skills
Players can learn all of the following secondary skills in addition to their two professions.



Equipment



Now that we've covered the stats, it's time to figure out what to do with them. While you get a small bump to your skills every time you level, the main way you'll become more powerful is through gear.
Gear comes in six levels, listed below:
To give you an idea, compare the following:
As you can see, there is a marked power difference between the items. Now, for the exceptions:

The gear from each new expansion is much more powerful than the items from the previous ones, even though the item's required level may be the same, or even less. For instance, take Stoneblade Slicer and Vindicator's Brand. There's not a huge difference, yet the epic costs over 200 gold, while the green requires that you do a quest and get gold!





Bind to Account



Blizzard has introduced a new class of item called "Bind to Account" or "BoA". BoA items can be traded between any character on the purchasing account as long as the characters are on the same server.

BoA items include vanity pets, some enchantments, skills and Heirloom equipment.
Heirloom equipment has several benefits:
For the most part, BoA items can only be acquired by level 80+ characters. The main exceptions to this are the vanity pets, which can be obtained by characters of any level.





Chatspeak



It's important you know what all the lingo that comes out of a lazy player's keyboard means. Chatspeak is a mean of communication which abbreviates common phrases or words for a means for faster chat. I won't cover it here, but Wow-Pro has a comprehensive chatspeak page here. You should check it out and familiarize yourself with the basics.





Welcome to the World (of Warcraft)



You should now be logged in. You're looking around the area you've started in. There are some creatures wandering around, and someone near you has a large gold exclamation point over their head. Now what?

Well, first off, spend a few moments getting to know the controls. You'll be using a combination of your keyboard and mouse, along with any other input device(s) you may have. I can't cover everything, but the default basic commands (for a PC, at least) are:
Now, about the stuff you see around you. The names of any creatures or players are color-coded, as are their respective level to you. what these colors mean is listed below.

Creatures


Players
The colors for players are a little more extensive.