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Revision of Newb-No-More Guide from Mon, 2009-04-13 01:24
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. 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.
- Welcome to the World (of Warcraft)
- Groups and Instances
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:
- When talking about zones, names in RED are Horde zones, BLUE are Alliance zones and ORANGE are Neutral/Contested zones. (Please see Realms below for further explanation)
- When discussing races, names in red are Horde and names in blue are Alliance.
- Choose the realm you'll create your character on.
- 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.
- Enter the game
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.
Type - Realm type defines your interaction between your character, the environment and other players.
- Normal - This type of world is closest to that of your typical console or PC-based game. It's you versus the game's AI. You only become killable by other players if you enter an opposing faction's Capital City, enter a battleground, attack or buff another flagged player, or by turning on your own flag manually. You are also allowed to have characters of both factions. This is generally considered the easiest type of realm to play on.
- PvP - This type of realm is almost identical to a Normal realm, except you will become flagged for PvP if you enter OPPOSING or CONTESTED territory. This is most of the game world.
- RP - Role-Playing realm. Similar to a Normal realm, except you are also agreeing to abide by Blizzard's Roleplaying Policy. You should definitely read this policy before joining this type of realm.
- RPPvP - This is a PvP realm with the Roleplaying Policy in effect.
- Higher population realms will have more people to help you out, but the extra people can cause higher amounts of lag. High population realms may have a login queue, meaning you have to wait before you can play, or may even become Locked, meaning you can't log in at all.
- Low population realms mean less lag and no login queue, but it may be hard or impossible to find help.
- Recommended realms are usually newer realms, with a small population and may not have any high level characters, depending on the server's age.
NOTE - becoming flagged for PvP means that you become attackable by your opposing player faction. As long as you are not flagged, you are pretty safe. I say pretty safe because there are ways other players can "trick" you into becoming flagged, but general caution should prevent this.
Population - This is pretty straightforward; it's the amount of people who play on the realm.
Location - This is split up into 3 groups - United States, Oceanic and Latin America. You should usually choose one in the appropriate region for you. However, you may choose other areas. If you work a night shift in the US, for instance, an Oceanic realm might have more people on, since it's afternoon there. The choice is yours.
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 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.
- Allowable Races - All
- Talent Trees - Blood, Frost, Unholy
- Roles - Melee DPS; Tank
- Pros - Incredibly powerful; wears plate; has some ranged abilities; has some AoE abilities; can summon pets; can enchant their own weapons
- Cons - Runic Power can be tough to manage; very little crowd control
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.
- Allowable Races - Night Elf; Tauren
- Talent Trees - Balance, Feral, Restoration
- Roles - Tank; Healer; Melee DPS; Ranged DPS; Crowd Control
- Pros - Can fill nearly any role; can be adjusted to suit almost any play style; can heal self and others; can resurrect others in-combat; carrying various gear can allow you to fill different roles on the same character
- Cons - Need very different gear depending on spec; each form requires a different play style
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.
- Allowable Races - Draenei, Dwarf, Night Elf; Blood Elf, Orc, Tauren, Troll
- Talent Trees - Beast Mastery, Marksmanship, Survival
- Roles - Ranged DPS; Crowd Control
- Pros - High ranged damage output; good crowd control; wide variety of pets; Can wear Mail armor or less, depending on level; can heal their pet
- Cons - Very little melee capability; has to carry a lot of ammo; Can't heal self
- Allowable Races - Draenei; Gnome; Human; Blood Elf; Troll; Undead
- Talent Trees - Arcane, Fire, Frost
- Roles - Ranged DPS; Crowd Control; AoE
- Pros - Can create their own food and drink, saving money; can teleport to all major cities; Excellent crowd control vs. humanoids and beasts
- Cons - Can only wear cloth armor; no real melee capability; no healing ability; focusing entirely on one damage type can leave them vulnerable
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.
- Allowable Races - Draenei; Dwarf, Human; Blood Elf
- Talent Trees - Holy, Protection, Retribution
- Roles - Tank; Melee DPS; Healer
- Pros - Can wear plate armor; can heal self and others; can deal Holy damage, which is hard to resist
- Cons - Virtually no ranged abilities; different gear sets are required depending on role
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.
- Allowable Races - Draenei; Dwarf; Human; Night Elf; Blood Elf; Troll; Undead
- Talent Trees - Discipline, Holy, Shadow
- Roles - Healer; Ranged DPS
- Pros - Excellent single-target and group heals; some damage spells heal the whole group or return mana; can deal Holy damage, which is hard to resist
- Cons - Can only wear cloth armor; no melee capability; limited AoE damage; Unreliable crowd control except vs. undead (Please note that Undead players are considered humanoids.)
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.
- Allowable Races - Dwarf; Gnome; Human; Night Elf; Blood Elf; Orc; Troll; Undead
- Talent Trees - Assassination, Combat, Subtlety
- Roles - Melee DPS; Crowd Control
- Pros - Extremely high melee damage potential; ability to open locks; can stealth; can use poisons to provide status effects
- Cons - No healing ability; almost no ranged ability; can only wear up to leather armor
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. 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.
- Allowable Races - Draenei; Orc; Tauren; Troll
- Talent Trees - Elemental, Enhancement, Restoration
- Roles - Melee DPS; Ranged DPS; Healer
- Pros - Ability to enchant their own weapons; can self-resurrect; many short-term self and party buffs; can wear up to mail armor
- Cons - Reliant on mana pool for all roles; totems are easily destroyed if attacked directly
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. However, most of their sought-after abilities require a Soul Shard, and carrying around several requires inventory space.
- Allowable Races - Gnome; Human; Blood Elf; Orc; Undead
- Talent Trees - Affliction, Demonology, Destruction
- Roles - Ranged DPS; Minor crowd control with pet
- Pros - Vary high damage output; can summon various pets for different effects; can create Soulstones to allow themselves or others to return to life; can summon others
- Cons - Can only wear cloth armor; most pets and various abilities require Soul Shards which take up bag space
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.
- Allowable Races - Draenei; Dwarf; Gnome; Human; Night Elf; Orc; Tauren; Troll; Undead
- Talent Trees - Arms, Fury, Protection
- Roles - Melee DPS; Tank
- Pros - High armor and health; able to use shields; Titan's Grip allows for massive damage.
- Cons - Very few ranged abilities; no long-term crowd control; Relies on others for healing; very little AoE
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, Orcs, Taurens, Trolls and Undead. The Alliance has Draenei, Dwarves, Gnomes, Humans and Night Elves. Remember that if you are flagged for PvP, any member of the opposite faction can kill 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.
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 complete list of the various racial abilities can be found here
- Available Classes - Death Knight, Hunter, Mage, Priest, Paladin, Shaman, Warrior
- Racial Mount - Elekk (Elephant}
- Home City - Exodar
- Only playable if you have Burning Crusade or Wrath of the Lich King installed.
- Available Classes - Death Knight, Hunter, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Warrior
- Racial Mount - Ram
- Home City - Ironforge (IF)
- Available Classes - Death Knight, Mage, Rogue, Warlock, Warrior
- Racial Mount - Mechanostrider (Robotic ostrich)
- Home City - Ironforge (IF)
- Available Classes - Death Knight, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Warlock, Warrior
- Racial Mount - Horse
- Home City - Stormwind City (SW)
- Available Classes - Death Knight, Druid, Hunter, Priest, Rogue, Warrior
- Racial Mount - Nightsaber (Large sabre-toothed cat)
- Home City - Darnassus (Darn)
- Available Classes - Death Knight, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Warlock
- Racial Mount - Hawkstrider (Large, flightless birds)
- Home City - Silvermoon City (SC)
- Only playable if you have Burning Crusade or Wrath of the Lich King installed.
- Available Classes - Death Knight, Hunter, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior
- Racial Mount - Wolf
- Home City - Orgrimmar (Org)
- Available Classes - Death Knight, Druid, Hunter, Shaman, Warrior
- Racial Mount - Kodo (Large horned lizard)
- Home City - Thunder Bluff (TB)
- Available Classes - Death Knight, Hunter, Mage, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warrior
- Racial Mount - Raptor
- Home City - Orgrimmar (Org)
- Available Classes - Death Knight, Mage, Priest, Rogue, Warlock, Warrior
- Racial Mount - Skeletal Horse
- Home City - Undercity (UC)
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.
Strength: Strength affects your attack power (AP) with melee weapons, as well as the amount of damage you can block with a shield.
Agility: Agility increases your AP with ranged weapons, your armor, dodge rating and your weapon critical hit chance.
Stamina: Determines how much Health you have. Also determines pet health. While Stamina is important to all classes, Ranged classes will generally have less because they can kill the mob before it gets to them. More Hit Points are always a good thing, however. Remember, The Number 1 cause of death among players is loss of health!
Intellect: This determines your maximum mana, as well as your critical strike chance for spells.
Spirit: Determines your Health regeneration (Out of combat) and Mana regeneration (When not casting).
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.
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 not required to spend your points only in one tree, but the best stuff in a tree is usually extremely deep into that tree. You will have 71 points when you hit 80, and to get to the last talent in any specific tree you'll have to spend 51, leaving only 20 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.
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.
- Herbalism - This ability allows you to gather herbs from the environment. Grants the player the ability to cast a HoT on themselves.
- Mining - Allows you to gather metals, stones and gems from the environment. Grants the player extra hit points.
- Skinning - Allows you to gather leather and hides from the corpses of some creatures. Grants the player an increased chance to critically strike.
- Alchemy - Creates potions and transmute substances
- Blacksmithing - Create weapons, as well as mail and plate armor
- Enchanting - Add stat increases or abilities to weapons and armor; disenchant magic tiems for components
- Engineering - Create various items and gizmos, as well as explosives . Most items created by engineering can only be used by engineers.
- Jewelcrafting - Create rings and trinkets, as well as cut raw gems to give stat bonuses.
- Leatherworking - Create leather and mail armor, as well as some enhancment items.
- Tailoring - Create cloth armor, as well as create speciality cloth.
- Inscription - Create glyphs, which can be used to enhance the effect of certain player abilities. Can also create some equippable items.
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.
|Rank||Skill Level||Char Level||Max Skill Level|
Players can learn all of the following secondary skills in addition to their two professions.
- First Aid - This is the ability to make bandages out of various pieces of cloth. The higher your skill in First Aid, the better bandages you can use or make.
- Fishing - This ability allows you to gather fish and other stuff from the various watery locations in the game.
- Cooking - Allows you to create various foods, many of which provide stat increases.
- Riding - This skill allows you to ride a mount. Mounts are faster than walking or running, but you cannont attack while mounted, nor can you mount up in combat. What type of mounts depends on your level and the skill you've purchased, listed below:
- Level 30 (Skill Level 75; basic riding) - Allows you to ride land mounts that increase your speed by 60%. Training is 35g, and mounts are 10g.
- Level 60 (Skill level 150; epic land) - Allows access to 100% speed mounts. Training is 600g, and mounts are 100g.
- Level 70 (Skill Level 225; basic flight) - this allows acces to flying mounts. These are only a 60% increase in speed, but you don't have to go around stuff and are much less likely to be attacked (by mobs). Can only be summoned and ridden in Outland and Northrend. Cost for training is 800g, and mounts are 100g.
- Level 70 (Skill level 300; epic flight) - Two riding skills available at 70? Yep, but this one costs 5000 gold! Mounts are a measly 200g. Why so much? Epic flight speed is 280% of normal speed. You are faster than the flight paths now. As with basic flight, you can only use a flying mount in Outland and Northrend.
- Level 77 (Skill Level 375; Cold Weather Flying) - This skill allows you to use your flying mount in Northrend. Cost is 1000g. Unlike the other riding skills, you can purchase this even if you've only got basic flight. It will NOT give you epic flight.
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:
- Grey (Useless): called vendor trash as its only real use is being sold. However, early on when you have empty gear slots, put on gray gear if you can because something is better than nothing.
- White (Common): usually has some kind of use, such as a crafting ingredient or quest item. White gear has NO stat bonuses, and is the "baseline" for all other items to compare to. You will have this type of gear when you start out, but by your 30s you should be in all greens or better.
- Green (Uncommon): many enemies drop these, always have some kind of stat boost. These are the first items with stat boosts.
- Blue (Rare): Blues are found more often as quest rewards and in instances, but do occasionally drop in the world. Blues are significantly more powerful than greens of the same level.
- Purple (Epic): Epics are mostly end-game content. They represent the most pinnacle of gear for their appropriate levels (usually, see below).
- Orange (Legendary/Artifact): The most powerful equipment the game has to offer for that level. Legendary items are reserved for end-game content, and usually require multiple people working together to create one for one person.
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!
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.
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:
- The W, A, S and D keys can control basic movement.
- Leftclicking causes you to select something
- Right-clicking will interact (harvest, talk, attack, loot, etc.) with that. The exact interaction is dependant on the target.
The 1-0, "-" and "=" keys along the top of your keyboard will activate the ability in the respective slot on your action bar.
- Yellow - This is the most common color you'll when you first start. This color means the targets are neutral, but not actively hostile. In most cases, you can still attack them. You can walk right past one of these guys without worrying. They may come to the aid of their friends if attacked.
- Red - Actively hostile. They will attack you if you get to close, and may get help from other mobs close by.
- Green - These mobs are friendly. They (usually) won't attack you, and will generally come to your aid if you are attacked near them. You can't attack them.
The colors for players are a little more extensive.
- Blue - Same faction as you, NOT flagged for PvP. Also means players of the opposite faction as you not flagged, when you are not either.
- Green - Same faction as you, flagged for PvP. (Using any ability on a flagged player will flag you as well.)
- Yellow - Opposite faction as you, flagged for PvP if you are not.
- Red - Opposite faction as you, flagged for PvP if you are.
- Light Blue - Person in your party.
If you get tired of questing or want a change of pace, you can try running an instance. Instances are areas that you and your party have to yourselves, (instanced, hence the name). They contain "elite" mobs, which are more powerful than normal mobs, as well as bosses which are even tougher. There are four types of instances; Normal, Heroic, Raid and Heroic Raid. When you enter an instance, you are actually going into something like a copy. Every party gets their own copy, so they have everything in it to themselves. In some cases, the instance can be "reset" and run again. Others will only reset once a day or even once a week, limiting how often you can run them. Also, when you kill a boss in an instance, you become "saved" to it. That means that you will always enter the same version you were in, even if you are in a party with people who haven't done it yet. Most instances below level 60 can be reset, as can a lot of the ones higher than that. The only instances not resettable are Heroics and Raids.
Normal: These instances are designed for 5-man groups. They are the majority of the instances available, and require a normal party (see below).
Heroic: Heroic instances are versions of the regular instances, but everything in them is tuned for a higher level of character. Currently, Heroics are either for level 70 (Outland/Burning Crusade) or level 80 (Northrend/Wrath of the Lich King). Not all instances have a heroic version. Heroics are also designed for 5-man groups. Heroics reset at 4am server time each day. Killing any boss or starting any event will usually save you to a heroic.
Raid: Raids are instances requiring 10 or 25 people to complete. The creatures are tougher than normal instance mobs, but the loot is usually better as well. Also, the necessary party make-up for each raid is different. Some may require more tanks or less melee than others. Most raids reset once a week, usually on Tuesday mornings. Some may reset sooner. Killing any boss or starting any event will usually save you to a raid.
Heroic Raid: Heroic raids are usually meant for 25 people, and of course the mobs in them are harder than those in a normal raid. The loot is usualy better as well. As with a normal raid, party make-up is dependant on the raid being run, and even the boss(es) being faced. Heroic Raids reset the same time as normal raids, and the same things will get you saved.
(Please note that the following information applies to doing groups for INSTANCES and RAIDS. Until you hit the higher levels, you'll only be dealing with 5-man groups, so that's all I'll cover here.)
To sucessfully run an instance, your party needs to have the right balance of characters. The exact class make-up of your party isn't as important as making sure that the necessary roles are filled.
Your party should have the following:
- Tank x1
- Healer x1
- Damage x3
- Crowd Control (Optional - see below)
OK, you need a tank. What's a tank? Below are explanations for each of the roles, as well as what classes can fill those roles.
- Fear: The selected target runs away in fear for a set amount of time. They cannot attack, but they can call for help.
- Sap: The Rogue saps the target, incapacitating it for a decent amount of time.
- Polymorph: Turns the target into a harmless animal for a period of time. However, they heal at a phenomenal rate while polymorphed, so don't use this on stuff that almost dead unless absolutely necessary.
Tank - Tanks are characters who specialize in keeping an opponent's attention while others kill it. Tanks generally (but not always) have a low damage output, but tend to have a lot of armor and hit points and are hard to kill. Classes that can tank are: Warrior (Protection), Paladin (Protection), Druid (Feral) and Death Knight.
Healer - Exactly what they sound like, healers keep others (and themselves) alive longer. Another necessity for any instance or raid, healers concentrate on keeping everyone else alive. As with tanks, healers are generally less effective when playing by themselves but are still viable. Classes that can heal are: Priest (Holy), Paladin (Holy), Druid (Restoration) and Shaman (Restoration).
Damage - Damage classes are usually referred to as DPS, or Damage per Second. These are classes that specialize in killing stuff fast. DPS can be melee or ranged, and you should choose whatever suits your play style.
Melee - Melee are characters who get up-close and personal with whatever they're fighting. They generally have little to no ranged abilities, attacking with weapons and special attacks. The classes that are melee are: Warrior, Rogue, Paladin (Retribution or Protection), Death Knight, Druid (Feral) and Shaman (Enhancement).
Ranged - Exactly what it sounds like, ranged attackers hit from a distance, usually preferring that their enemies get nowhere close to them. They may have some melee capabilities but these are usually only a last resort. Damage ranged classes are: Priest, Warlock, Mage, Shaman (Elemental), Druid (Balance) and Hunter.
Crowd Control - Crowd Control, or CC, refers to keeping an enemy of group of enemies under control. Why is this important? Well, temporarily incapacitating 2 of 5 people means that the tank is only getting hit by 3 and therefore taking less damage, and the healer has to heal less. Examples of CC are:
First, let's go over communication. It's important that EVERYONE in the party communicate with each other, otherwise the whole concept of groups is pointless. Remember that you are playing with humans, not NPCs.
When you join a party for a dungeon, make sure you get across the things you need to do, whether it's to kill the last boss, or free a prisoner. People aren't psychic, so make it clear what you are there for. Also, know your role in the party. Priests aren't made to tank. Luckily, there are many people out there on their alts who know theirs, and even other people's roles in the party. Just please, don't try to tell everyone what they're doing wrong and why you're so much better at it on your other character. You'll soon find yourself having a hard time finding groups.
When you're in the instance, listen to each other. Be modest. Don't try to be a leader if you have no idea what to do. Usually the leader is the person with the most experience or the highest level. The leader (the person with a crown on their portrait) gets to decide Loot Type, Instance Difficulty and the ability to reset the instance.
Loot type is basically how the loot is distributed. Loot types are:
- Group Loot: The default, and most likely best loot type around. Party members take turns looting corpses. If an item better than the threshold* pops up, people roll for it.
- Round Robin: Much like Group Loot, only when an item thats better than the threshold comes up, whoever's turn it is to loot that corpse gets to loot that item as well without having to roll for it.
- Master Looter: The Master Looter (ML) is assigned by the leader. When an item better than the threshold is dropped, the ML gets to decide who gets it.
- Free for All: Any party member can loot anything from any corpse.
- Need Before Greed: This is almost the same as group loot, except those that can't even use the item automatically pass.
- The die is Need, and is usually only clicked when you can use that item and it is an upgrade to what you have.
- The coin is Greed, and is generally used when you don't Need it, but you could still use it (even if it's just for the money)
- The X is pass, if you feel no Need (or Greed) for it. If anyone Need rolls something, anyone who chose Greed doesn't even get to roll against them.
There is an unspoken loot etiquette you should follow when grouped with anyone, whether it's for an instance or just out questing.
- Only roll need on items that are an upgrade for you, and are BoP.
- If a BoE item drops and would ben an upgrade for you, ask before you need it. BoE items can be auctioned, and everyone "Needs" money.
- If you do get the go-ahead to need a BoE item, equip it immediately. This lets everyone know that you weren't lying and aren't going to go sell it when you're done.
- ASK before rolling NEED on anything, even if you are the only one in the party that can use it.
- Find out if there's an enchanter in your group. If there is, when a BoP item drops that nobody wants or can use, see if they're willing to disenchant it and have everyone /roll on the results. If you're an enchanter, make sure to let the party know. The resulting enchanting mats are usually worth more than the item would vendor for.
- Ask before needing items for your off-spec. What this means is that if you're a shaman healing the instance and a nice melee weapon drops, don't need it for your enhancement set if there's another player there that can use it for their main spec.
- If you are a miner, skinner or herbalist, make sure nobody else in the group is one before you run around and mine/skin/herb all the resources. If you aren't the only one with that specific profession, /roll to see who gets the first node and cycle through. Also, if you don't have auto-loot turned on, you can attempt to harvest the resource but not thake it, letting others in the group do the same so everyone gets the skill bump from it. The last person will usually take the resource.
Don't be petty and try to call someone out in general or trade chat. It will cause you more problems than you'll probably want to deal with. If someone did something really bad, such as a druid rolling need on your tanking sword then disenchanting it, use www.wowarmory.com to find out the head of their guild and contact them. Many guilds try and cultivate a reputation, and they REALLY don't like it when stuff like this happens. Just keep in mind that you'll probably get flamed by the offending party if some sort of punitive action is taken by their guild.
Here is a list of the dungeons in the World of Warcraft (in order of Blizzard's "suggested" level). I've listed every dungeon so that when you should be able to tell if one you can do when someone's asking about it.
Azeroth Instances (Vanilla)
The dungeons of original WoW (known as "vanilla") are usually long affair, usually containing 5 or more bosses and being very large in scope. They are not run much anymore, except for nostalgia, achievements, or to gear people's alts. Some ARE Still run with the appropriate group, and getting into one for the practice (and experience) is always a good idea. Just make sure you know the proper role in a party for your class and spec.
None of the vanilla instances have a heroic mode
|Level||Dungeon (5-10 man instances)||Zone||Abbrev||Notes|
|16-24||Wailing Caverns||The Barrens||WC|
|17-25||Shadowfang Keep||Silverpine Forest||SFK|
|21-29||The Stockades||Stormwind City||Stocks|
|23-31||Razorfen Kraul||The Barrens||RFK|
|28-44||Scarlet Monastery||Tirisfal Glades||SM||There are 4 wings: Library, Armory, Cathedral and Graveyard|
|33-41||Razorfen Downs||The Barrens||RFD|
|45-54||Sunken Temple||Swamp of Sorrows||ST|
|48-60||Blackrock Depths||Blackrock Mountain||BRD|
|53-61||Blackrock Spire||Blackrock Mountain||BRS||This instance has an upper and lower part.|
|54-61||Dire Maul||Feralas||DM||This instance has 3 wings: North, East and West|
|Level||Dungeon (20-40 man Raids)||Zone||Abbrev||Notes|
|60+||Blackwing Lair||Blackrock Mountain||BWL||Next to Blackrock Spire|
|60+||Molten Core||Blackrock Mountain||MC||Next to Blackrock Depths|
|60+||Onyxia's Lair||Dustwallow Marsh||Ony|
|60+||Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj||Silithus||AQ20|
|60+||Temple of Ahn'Qiraj||Silithus||AQ40|
Outland Instances (Burning Crusade)
The release of The Burning Crusade (BC) brought a lot of new dungeons. These dungeons are much shorter than the original ones, and can usually be run in an hour or less. The gear form these are far superior than those from the original dungeons and instances. The section for "Heroic Faction" is what faction you'll have to become honored with in order to access the heroic version of that instance. The heroic version of all outland dungeons are meant for level 70s.
|Level||Dungeon (5-10 man instances)||Zone||Abbrev||Heroic Faction||Notes|
|60-62||Hellfire Ramparts||Hellfire Peninsula||Ramps||Honor Hold/Thrallmar|
|61-63||Blood Furnace||Hellfire Peninsula||BF||Honor Hold/Thrallmar|
|62-64||The Slave Pens||Zangarmarsh||SP||Cenarion Expedition|
|63-65||The Underbog||Zangarmarsh||UB||Cenarion Expedition|
|64-66||Mana Tombs||Terrokkar Forest||MT||Lower City|
|65-67||Auchenai Crypts||Terrokkar Forest||Crypts; AC||Lower City|
|66-68||Old Hillsbrad Foothills||Tanaris (In Azeroth)||Durnholde||Keepers of Time||Required to access Black Morass|
|67-69||Sethekk Halls||Terrokkar Forest||SH||Lower City|
|69-72||Black Morass||Tanaris (In Azeroth)||BM||Keepers of Time|
|69-72||The Mechanar||Netherstorm||Mech||The Shat'tar|
|70-72||Shattered Halls||Hellfire Peninsula||Shat Halls||Honor Hold/Thrallmar|
|70-72||The Steam Vaults||Zangarmarsh||SV||Cenarion Expedition|
|70-72||Shadow Labyrinth||Terrokkar Forest||SL||Lower City|
|70-72||The Botanica||Netherstorm||Bot||The Shat'tar|
|70-72||The Arcatraz||Netherstorm||Arc||The Shat'tar|
|70-72||Magister's Terrace||The Isle of Quel'Danas||MgT||Shattered Sun Offensive||To unlock the heroic version of this instance, you must run it on normal and complete a quest.|
|Level||Dungeon (10-25 man instances)||Zone||Abbrev||Notes|
|70+||Karazhan||Deadwind Pass (In Azeroth)||Kara||10-man instance|
|70+||Magtheridon's Lair||Hellfire Peninsula||Mag|
|70+||Zul'Aman||Chostlands||ZA||Once you open the door to this instance, a timer starts. The more boses you can defeat before the timer runs out, the more loot you get.|
|70+||Gruul's Lair||Blade's Edge Mountains||Gruul|
|70+||Battle for Mount Hyjal||Tanaris (In Azeroth)||MH; Hyjal|
|70+||The Black Temple||Shadowmoon Valley||BT|
|70+||The Sunwell Plateau||The Isle of Quel'Danas||Sunwell; SP|
Northrend Instances (Wrath of the Lich King)
Wrath of the Lich King (WotLK) again brought more dungeons, with gear surpassing the BC dungeons. They kept the parts of the instance that worked - smaller settings for faster runs, multiple instances at the same location, etc. They did away with the need to get a key to do heroic versions, which means you can jump straight into the heroics when you hit 80 if your gear is good enough. They also added Heroic Raids. These are beefed-up versions of the 10-man raids. They are designed for a 25-man team. The mobs are tougher, but the loot is better.
|Level||Dungeon (5-10 man instances)||Zone||Abbrev||Notes|
|70-72||Utgarde Keep||Howling Fjord||UK|
|71-73||The Nexus||Borean Tundra||Nex||Has an extra boss on heroic|
|73-75||Ahn'kahet: The Old Kingdom||Dragonblight||OK|
|74-76||Drak'Tharon Keep||Grizzly Hills||DTK||Has an extra boss on heroic|
|76-78||Gun'Drak||Zul'Drak||GD;Gun||Has an extra boss on heroic|
|75-77||Violet Hold||Dalaran||VH||Located IN The city of Dalaran|
|77-79||Halls of Stone||Storm Peaks||HoS||Need a flying mount to get there|
|80||Halls of Lightning||Storm Peaks||HoL||Need a flying mount to get there|
|80||The Culling of Stratholme||Tanaris (In Azeroth)||CoS; Culling||Has a 30-minute timed heroic run for an epic flying mount.|
|80||The Oculus||Borean Tundra||OC||Requires riding of drakes within the instance to complete|
|80||Utgarde Pinnacle||Howling Fjord||UP|
|Level||Dungeon (10-25 man instances)||Zone||Abbrev||Notes|
|80+||Naxxramas||Dragonblight||Naxx||4 wings must be cleared to reach the last 2 bosses. Next to last boss drops Key to the Focusing Iris, needed for The Eye of Eternity.|
|80+||The Eye of Eternity||Borean Tundra||Maly; EoE||Requires the Key to the Focusing Iris to access.|
|80+||Ulduar(Pending)||Storm Peaks||Ulduar||As of this guide, this instance has not been released but is in testing.|
I will be adding other topics in the near future, so stay tuned. Planned additions are:
- Battlegrounds and World PvP
- AddOn information and suggestions
- Anything else people can suggest that belongs in a newbie guide
Many thanks to Jame and Jiyambi for helping me get some of this laid out so it looked good. I'd also like to thank Dark_Fanboy for his guide on tables, and the writers and contributors to http://www.wow-pro.com/filter/tips/4#filter-bbcode-0, which helped tremendously.
I'd also like to thank everyone below whose comment have helped shape this guide.
Anyone wishing to use the icons I've created for classes and faction are welcome to.