Rob's Guide to Choosing the Right Class/Race Combo & Role
So, you've finally caved in, huh? You went and purchased World of Warcraft? Good! You can finally begin enjoying the things you've been reading upon!
- Maybe you are new to the game?
Or maybe, you're just an altoholic? Someone who can't stick to a character?
Or, finally, maybe you're someone who just needs guidance in the right direction.
How Will This Work For Me?
This guide works for anyone (hopefully). From the most pro player of all time, to some random newbie, stuck on what to do.
This guide will hopefully make you consider other classes, and finally, choose the class destined for you.
- Take into account the pros and cons of each class,
Decide what role you want to play,
Where you want to play that role (RP? PvP? PvE? All three?),
Look at what type of person you are (e.g. a peaceful person wouldn't really suit a warrior),
Decide whether that class is in demand on your server,
Look at what races you would like to play,
And finally, formulate the race/class combination you were destined to play.
Let's Crack On... So, let's have a look at what's available.
Note: Expierienced WoW players might not neccessarily need this section. But, it's still helpful.
Okay, first let's choose what faction you want to play. You may want to look at the Alliance:Horde ratio of your server, as it may help you in your decision.
Note that Horde cannot communicate with Alliance AT ALL, and vice versa. So if you have friends on a particular faction, you'd best choose that faction.
Just look at some factors and decide, as the faction you play doesnt have THAT much of an impact on your gameplay.
Also, while looking here, you may decide on what race you would like to try out. But please note, not ALL classes are available to every race, so I'd choose your class first.
Horde: The Horde are more brutal and fierce looking. They are the most abnormal looking, too, as opposed to the Alliance. Their races consist of:
- Undead: For matter of simplicity, they are dead humans who are 'alive'. They have next to no flesh, and are basically your typical stereotype zombie. Their starter area is considered by me as quite difficult for the majority of classes that undead have, and isn't the most well set-out. Their normal mounts, in my opinion, are pretty crappy looking, but their epic mounts look awesome.
Orc: Greenskinned, angry, and brutal is what they're portrayed as. They're like a school bully: They look angry and horrid on the outside, but once you know them, their inside is as soft as a fluffy kitten on a cloud. Okay, maybe that's taking the piss, but oh well. Their starter area is pretty well designed, but again, not the most excellent. Not to mention an annoying quest that has almost 0% droprate. Their mounts are okay, I guess. But I dislike the colours.
Troll: Blue skinned folk who were taken in by the orcs. (I told you orcs are softies at heart). They start in the same area as orcs. Their mounts are pretty cool.
Tauren: 'Cows'. They look like cows. Get over it :<. To be honest, I despise the Tauren starter area. Some may disagree, but I think the quests are bad. The layout is okay, but other than that, completely poop. Their mounts make me wanna puke and.. Lets just stop talking about them, okay?
(TBC Only) Blood Elf: Since this race was released some time after WoW was released, their starter area is significantly better layout, with better quests and a more in-depth storyline. Their mounts are big chickens which are kind of cool.
Maybe I sound a bit biased... Well, I don't really like the Horde races. So, please don't take my opinions as your own. Ask other people, or expierience them yourself.
Alliance: The Alliance are more 'normal' looking, and are considered much more 'peaceful' and less brutal. I, myself play an Alliance character and think that most starter areas are well layout. Their races consist of:
- Humans: Look at yourself. That's what a Human is. Their starter area is quite difficult for some, and, in my opinion, is badly setout. There involves alot of traveling, and quests aren't clumped together in one quest hub. Their mounts are basically horses which is sort of cool, but not exactly 'fantasy' like.
Dwarves: These fatties are small folk who are basically Scottish alchoholics. 'Nuff said. Their starter area has a nice storyline and is rather well designed. Much better than the Human starter area imo. Their mounts are goat-like rams with spirally horns and stuff. Pretty good
Gnomes: They look like obese babies and start in the same area as the dwarves. Their mounts are fuel guzzling mechanostriders, which make a TERRIBLE noise if you like to have your volume turned up.
Night Elf: Peace loving, immortal and druidic. Who'd want more? Their starter area is like the Human starter area mixed with the Dwarf starter area. (Quest-wise that is). Some areas have quests all clumped together, where others have quests spread out. Their mounts are saber's with huge fangs and stripes. Yay!
(TBC Only) Draenei: Blue skinned, alien, octupus-like things who crash landed on Azeroth in a spaceship. Not very WoW like, I know, but hey, whatever Blizzard says goes. Since their starter area was made quite a while after the release of WoW, it is MUCH better layed out with a much more indepth storyline to their quests. Basically, you are a survivor of the spaceship crash and are learning to live in Azeroth. Their mounts are kind of like elephants. Big thinks with tusks and a trunk. Kind of cool.
So there's your races. To discover more about mounts, visit this page. Please do not take my opinion as your own. You may like Tauren where I do not. Ask around, look at the WoW (EU) forums and look about. Go to the WoW (EU) site and take a look there. And finally, there are many many guides on this site to help you.
The Pros and Cons for each Class.
Each class in this game has its own negatives and positives, with the exception of Death Knights, who have a LOT more positives than any other class. So, here we are:
- Death Knights are a hero class, and therefore are complete ownage. They can defeat mobs in milliseconds, and are now considered the most overpowered class. They get a free epic mount, their own place to hang out, and their own flying mounts. Need I say more?
Comment by Matthias: Although Death Knights are overpowered now, they were never meant to be, and they WILL be nerfed.
Comment by Jiyambi: as a raider and PvE person, DKs are really NOT overpowered. They are uber for leveling, but most people just do not know how to play them well in raids. It's not that the class isn't good enough for either tanking or DPS, its just that every idiot and his mom made one and mostly they don't know how to use them. Some mention of the fact that DK damage/tanking rotations can be a little more difficult to play might be mentioned.
- You need to have Wrath of the Lich King installed, and a level 55 character is required to unlock Death Knights. Not to mention, you get alot of whines thrown at you for being so overpowered.
- You get to transform into at LEAST 6 different forms. Druid are hybrid, which means they have an easier choice on whether to be DPS, Tank or Healer. You get the normal flying skill for 7 gold, and a flying form. You get stealth in cat form and there is not an abundancy of druids.
- You are restricted to ONE race per faction. Leveling from 1-20 is a pain in the arse, and sometimes you are demanded to respec to healing or tanking.
- You are twice as strong. You get a pet at level ten, and hardly die at all. You can track down most enemy mobs, and most friendly mobs. You just send your pet in, pull your bow a few times, repeat, and you are level 80 in no time. You are considered to be the most easiest and fastest levelers in the game, but this can sometimes be a negative. You get Feign Death at level 30 which makes you almost invincible in PvE, not to mention many different 'Aspect of the ' spells.
- The only REAL negative hunters face is people not accepting you into groups, being called a kid, and being downgraded because your class is too easy. Some people would say you don't know how to play the game, and chose Hunter as an easy option. A few other negatives are that you have to spend a fair amount of money on arrows and meat for your pet to keep him happy.
- You can make portals to all your factions major cities, conjure water and food, and can DPS a hell of a lot. Your damage is sometimes insane and you are kind of a huge plus in PvE.
- Mages are 'Glass Cannons' which basically means all damage and no defense. Although some may disagree with this notion, it is mostly true. Players of mages need to learn alot about their class, and also, learn to deal with having a hell of a lot of deaths while leveling. Mages are not the best in PvP, but are fairly good at it. You are seen as a walking vending machine.
- The Retribution spec is extremely efficient and good at PvP. You have a bubble, heals, stuns and awesome DPS. Paladins are fairly good at leveling fast, and get a free mount at level 30. They get an epic mount at level 61, but this requires the 150 riding skill which costs 500g.
- You are too overpowered! People will flame you for choosing an easy class, and their attitude towards you will be sour. You are referred to often as a 'Retardin' or similar, just as Hunters are frequently referred to as 'Huntards'.
- You are needed ALOT as a healer. You can mind control people, and do a fair amount of DPS as a Spriest (Shadow Priest). You will be loved by groups and other players.
- Priests aren't the most fastest leveling classes. They aren't the best at PvP, nor can they take on too many mobs. You will be whined at in groups for not healing, or when there is a wipe that isn't your fault, you are still blamed. You are always required to resurrect players, and will be shouted at for wasting mana on DPS if you are healing.
- You can stealth, vanish and do awesome DPS which makes you great at both PvE and PvP. Rogues aren't the most fastest levelers, but are quite decent. You deal bucket loads of DPS in instances and raids, and will be liked by groups. Rogues are the dogs bollocks in PvP, for you can jump out unexpectedly on that level 11 priest in WSG, trying to guard the flag .
- Sometimes, stealth can be detected, so it isn't always the best option. You must avoid Flares at all costs, and dodge traps. Rogues are prone to dying alot, and this can be highly annoying.
- You can heal! Yay! You have many totems to aid you in combat and have a range of shocks to kite mobs and enemy players. Shamans have Ghost Wolf to escape tricky situations and are quite efficient at leveling. Shamans are good at both PvP and PvE, and deal good DPS. You can also equip mail at level 40! Woo!
- Again, Shamans are quite prone to death which is annoying. The large range of totems sometimes confuses you, and you may get shouted at for aggroing mobs with your totems.. .
- You are like hunters: You have pet demons which makes you almost invincible. You can summon players to you with the aid of two others, and you get a free mount at level 30, and an epic looking mount at level 61. (Req. 150 riding skill which costs 500g). Warlocks are sometimes seen as the second fastest levelers in the game, and are good at both PvP and PvE. You can spam fear :]
- If your pet dies, you're doomed to hell. Warlocks die alot, and like hunters, levels 1-10 are a complete pain the arse.
- Tank! Tank! Tank! WOOOOOOOO! Yeah. You are needed in PvE, and can sometimes prove well in PvP. Warriors can level fairly quick, but it depends on how you play the class.
- Getting whispers saying 'kan tank plz 4 dm? last spot n kan somon' can get pretty annoying. Warriors sometimes have trouble taking on many mobs at a time.
Deciding What Role You Want To Play.
In World of Warcraft, there are three primary roles.
and DPS. (Damage Per Second).
Healing does what it says on the tin. You heal people. You resurrect people, and you buff up people. Every good group needs at least one healer, so this role is often in demand quite alot. Healers tend to stand quite far back at a range, and mainly heal the tank. There are currently four classes which can heal: Druid, Shaman, Priest and Paladin, each with their own healing talent tree (Restoration and Holy). Leveling as a healer is considered rather difficult, and is not reccomended in Jame's Guides. Healers have an extremely important role in groups. The available races here are:
Horde: All races on Horde have at least one healing class available.
Alliance: Humans, Dwarves, Night Elves and Draenei all have at least one healing class each. The only race that does NOT have a healing class are the Gnomes.
Tanking again, does what it says on the tin. You act like a tank, being the frontal force. The one who can sustain large amounts of damage, while also dealing damage, and maintaining aggro. (Keeping mobs from attacking other's, and forcing it to attack you). Again, every group needs at least one tank, so this role is often in demand. Tanks are up close fighters who are fierce, corageous and not afraid. There are currently three classes which can tank: Paladin, Warrior and Druid. Excluding Death Knights due to their level 55 requirement. The talent trees to go for to tank are: Protection for Paladin & Warrior, and Feral for Druid. Leveling while tanking is considered fairly easy, but sometimes can prove difficult. Tanks hold a rather important role in groups. It is not reccomended in Jame's Guides to level as a tank. (With the exception of druids). The available races are:
Horde: All races on Horde have at least one tanking class available.
Alliance: All races on Alliance have at least one tanking class available.
DPS is basically doing as much damage as possible in a minimum amount of time. ALL classes have at least one talent tree branch for DPSing, therefore DPS classes are usually NOT in high demand. In a group of 5, there are normally 3 DPSers, whose job is normally to keep aggro if the tank loses his own aggro, as well as killing adds and adding to the damage the tank is doing on other mobs. DPSers usually stand beside the tank, helping him bring down mobs, OR can guard the healer to keep off any aggro. DPSers do not hold that much of an important role in groups. Is is highly reccomended in Jame's Guides to level as a DPSer, for you will find it much easier and quicker. ALL races have at least one DPSer, thus it is not neccessary for me to create a Horde/Alliance seperation.
Choosing a role will help you choose a class MAJORLY. So choose which one attracts you.
Where do you intend to play that role?
So, you've decided what type of role you wanna play. You've got a basic idea on what different classes are like, and are drawn to one or the other.
But wait: Different roles and classes mix well in different situations. A mage DPSer isnt TOO good in PvP, but is greatly welcomed in PvE. This section of the guide will explain where different roles are strongest and weakest.
Healing: Healing is greatly admired in PvP and is welcome in PvE. Therefore healers have a wider choice of where to go and what to do.
Despite this, different types of healers will not do well in certain areas.
- Example A: A priest is running with a rogue in WSG. The rogue has the flag, and the priest is healing. Who're you gonna kill first? The priest of course! Priests die extremely fast, so the rogue wont have much time to run away.
Example B: A DRUID is running with a rogue in WSG. Same scenario. The opposing faction is killing the druid. The druid can just cast bear form, and he all of a sudden has a significant health boost. This gives the rogue much more time to run away.
Example B applies to Paladins and in some cases, Shaman aswell. Although Shaman have Ghost Wolf. He and the rogue could spring away together and escape.
Therefore, if you are a healer, you can swap between both PvE and PvP rather easily, although PvE is more reccomended.
Tanking: Tanks aren't that great in PvP. Although tanks survive longer, they do not do much DPS and therefore will eventually die. If you are planning on making a tank, I would advise you not to PvP that much, and stick to PvE as PvE is their strong point. Again, people may disagree. But this guide is based on my own opinion.
DPS: Melee DPS is excellent in PvP, so I'd go for Rogue/Ret Paladin/Enh Shaman etc. Casters are quite good, but die alot, and as for hunters... Well, in past expieriences, only twinked hunters are good in PvP. Caster DPSers are more strong in PvE rather than PvP, and therefore I advise casters to stick to PvE. So basically: Melee DPS are good at both, whilst ranged DPS suits PvE more.
A basic summary consisting of my opinion:
Healing in PvE is suitable for Priests, Druids, Paladins and Shamans.
Healing in PvP is suitable for Druids, Paladins and Shamans.
Tanking in PvE is suitable for Paladins, Warriors and Druids.
Tanking in PvP is suitable for Paladins, Warriors and Druids. Although it is not highly needed/reccomended.
DPSing in PvE is suitable for ALL classes of the right spec.
DPSing in PvP is suitable for Rogues, Druids, Warriors, Paladins, Shamans.
Side Note: The above is not supposed to fix classes to certain roles. It is just a baseline of what different classes are most good at. For example: You may like leveling Warriors, but don't like tanking. So what's the point in leveling all that time just to discover you're gonna be asked to do something you don't like?
Decide which of the above you'd most like to do. This will cancel your choice of class down. (With the exception of PvE DPS).
What Type of Person Are You?
At this stage, you should hopefully have a base idea of what class you want to make.
So, to cancel this down even more, let's "Open you up" a bit. Choose one of the following:
- A) I love nature, animals and the world.
B) I like war and things to do with it.
C) I like to be up close to goings on, and I like to know all the latest gossip.
D) I'm a people-person, but I'm a bitch at times.
E) I like to stay far away, and stay by myself.
If you answered A you are cancelled down to the following: Druid, Hunter, Shaman.
If you answered B you are cancelled down to the following: Warrior, Paladin, Death Knight, Rogue.
If you answered C you are cancalled down to the following: Rogue, Paladin, Druid, Shaman.
If you answered D you are cancelled down to the following: Warlock, Mage, Rogue, Priest.
If you answered E you are cancelled down to the following: Priest, Mage, Warlock.
You should now be really thinking of what class suits you best.
What's in demand on your server?
Look at what classes you are left with, and go and log in a character on the server you intend to play on. Try and do this stage during peak hours on your server, when there are the most people online.
Type /who 80 [THE CLASSES WHICH YOU WERE CANCELLED DOWN TO (One at a time ofc)] [DIFFERENT RACES THIS CLASS IS AVAILABLE TO]
See which one is the MOST in demand.
If you are stuck between two, then just look at the pros and cons again. See which one you would most like, and then pick this class.
Congratulations! You will of hopefully decided on a class to play!
Woah.. Wait.. I havent chosen a race yet...
Have no fear! The armour sets are here!
Choosing a race can sometimes be a real pain in the arse. Go to this page, select the class you have decided on, see what races are available, choose an armour set and then see what looks coolest. Also consider this: You're gonna be playing your character for a fair amount of time. Don't pick a race you don't like the model of for it really affects your gameplay.
You will now hopefully have your race/class combo! Congratulations!
Go to this page and select the guide for your race.
And there you have it. Your character. :]
I really hope this guide has steered at least one person in the right direction to picking a race. It may of confused you a bit, cos I waffle on alot. Sorry about that ^_^
This guide won't neccessarily guarentee a class for you, I made it to help you in your decision.
This was written based on my own opinions, so you may disagree with some of it and was written during patch 3.0.9.
Please leave a comment if you wish to add something, or if there is a mistake. Please be constructive with criticism.. I'm a coding noob and it took me 2/3 hours to figure out and write this >_>