Rob's Guide to Choosing the Right Class/Race Combo & Role

Rob's picture

Introduction

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.
Either way, this guide can help you select the right class/race combination for you!


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.

We will:

    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. Smiling 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 Smiling

    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! Smiling

    (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:
Pros:

    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.

Cons:

    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.

Druids:
Pros:

    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.

Cons:

    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.

Hunters:
Pros:

    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.

Cons:

    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.

Mages:
Pros:

    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.

Cons:

    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.

Paladins:
Pros:

    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.

Cons:

    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'.

Priest:
Pros:

    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.

Cons:

    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.

Rogues:
Pros:

    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 Eye.

Cons:

    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.

Shaman:
Pros:

    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!

Cons:

    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.. Eye.

Warlocks:
Pros:

    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 :]

Cons:

    If your pet dies, you're doomed to hell. Warlocks die alot, and like hunters, levels 1-10 are a complete pain the arse.

Warriors:
Pros:

    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.

Cons:

    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.
Please note I have not had much expierience with Warriors. Please comment to correct me if I'm wrong Smiling



Deciding What Role You Want To Play.
In World of Warcraft, there are three primary roles.
    Healing, Tanking,
    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 >_>

Regards,
Rob.

Comments

Jiyambi's picture

Needs an update

We are recently working on improving the quality of content here on WoW-Pro.com, both by limiting low ranked guides and by moving out of date guides into archives. For more information, see the full news post detailing this process.

This guide needs an update to make sure it is current with patch 4.0. However it still has enough useful information that it will be left in it's proper section as-is.

However, once Cataclysm is released the guide will be out of date enough that it warrants being moved to the archive section unless it gets an update.

If someone else would like to adopt the guide, or if you have any questions about this process, feel free to comment here.

Jiyambi's picture

Welcome to our community! At

Welcome to our community!

At this point, the best way to adopt the guide would probably be to just write your own, based off this one. make sure to check out the Guide Writing Guides category here on WoW-Pro for help writing your first guide, in particular Jame's Guide Writing Guide!

Ocroxu's picture

Horde...?

I personally think you were way to harsh on the horde's races, mounts (especially tauren), and starting areas. If your going to thrash on them that hard i think you should have someone who plays horde write that part or completely take it out. I play horde and love killing alliance... blah blah blah, but i dont personally have anything against them.

Nilz's picture

Racial Abilities

Personally I think it would also be helpful if you include the racial abilities of each race (i.e Dwarfs = Stoneform, Find treasure; Draenei = 1% hit bonus, Gift of the Naruu (hope thats spelt right); Human = Rep farming bonus, increased stealth identification; etc.

Elmo23's picture

warlock.....

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.
Chosen D and E, didnt care for the rest Smiling

hmm, yea, warlock here Smiling only class i love to bits. ( and human, saves me a LOT of grinding rep. wich is quite a point i feel.)

I liked this peace, it is clearly what you like and not, but also giving to what others might think instead.
Also i like the bit of sarcastic tone of voice you use. Makes reading it a lot more fun and not so tiresome after a hard days work, PLUS you get to get away with more. Like saying warlocks die a lot Sticking out tongue ( tough i named it in the piece below )
All in i liked this read.

One thing on the warlocky bit tough.
A warlock actually doesnt die much AND doesnt have much repair bills ( like hunter to ).
The differences between warlocks and hunters are more :
Hunter is more straight forward. A warlock has quite a lot more options. A demon specced warlock will indeed die when the pet dies, but a desto and affliction warlock are actually not that relaint on theyr pet, its more like a little bonus to them.
A warlock actually hardly dies when past the first 10 levels ( wich are indeed a pain, but same goes ver much for the hunter )
EVILNESS, a warlock just has more flair when you like the evil nature of things then a hunter. Taming and keeping the pet alive ? nah, i pulled tht demon out of hell and it ow serves me...

Thats about it Eye
tough i might be one of the few warlocks that hate to cast fear, except in pvp, where it got nerfed to much to give good use.

Thanks m8

AJMac's picture

Priest Levelling

The guide is very nice and well layed out. One thing though is that fact that you say priests are slow at levelling. I found that to be untrue. I levelled to 80 as a shadow priest and once Mind Flay and the later talents are unlocked, I had no down time, even after fighting 2-3 mobs at a time. The early levels are very slow and tedious, but it does pick up.

Jame's picture

+1 I actually leveled my

+1

I actually leveled my shadow priest in 6 days /played back then, way before the leveling curve changes and enhanced quest XP.

Shadowy's picture

Death Knight

Great guide, just something I wanted to say (call me a carebear Sticking out tongue)

Quote:

You need to have [i]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.

Two things to say about that:

  • I'd recommend saying that you need a lvl 55 character to unlock Death Knigths on any server (as of patch 3.0.Cool. Since people can get confused Eye.
  • Also, you have a [i] too much before 'Wrath' Eye

Jiyambi's picture

A couple of things

A couple of things. First, you don't mention DKs at all in the "Where do you intend to play that role", which I think is actually one of the more helpful sections. They can both tank and DPS, and as a "PvP Tank" they would probably be the best.

Also, under the DK description itself - 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.

Also the title for Rogue is a little too light of a yellow in my opinion, kinda hard to see.

Overall, good guide though! Thanks for making it Smiling

Rob's picture

Thanks

Shadowy: I'll change that now, thanks Smiling

Jiyambi: I didn't want to mention DK's all that much cos you need a level 55 character to create one.. Sticking out tongue But, I'll add what you said Smiling

_____________________________________

Rob.

"I do not see why man should not be just as cruel as nature."

Shinke's picture

Quote:You et Feign

Quote:

    You et Feign Death at level 30 which makes you almost invincible in PvE, not to mention many different 'Aspect of the ' spells

'et' should be 'get'

Nice guide Smiling

Rob's picture

Thankyou

I was actually trying to be 'cool' and 'French' as they're called.
-Sarcasm-

But, thanks. Will edit.. Smiling

_____________________________________

Rob.

"I do not see why man should not be just as cruel as nature."

Arannar's picture

Great guide, this wil really

Great guide, this wil really help me when I go crazy on alt making!

Jame's picture

Oh and that british touch is

Oh and that british touch is just icing on the cake, and I quote:

Quote:
Rogues are the dogs bollocks in PvP

Rob's picture

;)

Britishness ftw? ^^

@Matthias :
I'll add those suggestions now Smiling Thanks.
& Thanks for your comment =]

_____________________________________

Rob.

"I do not see why man should not be just as cruel as nature."

Jame's picture

Very nicely done Rob! Not

Very nicely done Rob! Not only is it instructive, but also funny. A good read Smiling

Rob's picture

Thanks (:

Haha. Thanks xD
Hopefully it's more instructive than funny.. >_>

_____________________________________

Rob.

"I do not see why man should not be just as cruel as nature."

Matthias's picture

You might want to add that,

You might want to add that, although Death Knights are overpowered now, they were never meant to be, and that they WILL be nerfed. You also missed question B in the "What type of person are you" section.

Other than that, it looks like a great guide. Wish I'd read this when I started playing, instead of agonizing over not playing the "best" class. I must have leveled about 10 characters to 10 before going back to my first choice (Paladin).

Horyuu's picture

Lol. When in doubt, roll a

Lol.
When in doubt, roll a pally. They are plate wearing healers that can tank and have buffs that reduce damage revieved by 50% or more!

I rolled a rogue and a mage, then an unholy DK. My motto is "DPS is MY playground" I either rip aggro and die after doing three times the next preson's damage, or I take it easy and get 3rd or 4th on damage while keeping my friend (crit capped healer, lol) alive from heal aggros.

Jenkins isn't a title, it's a way of life.