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

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

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





Introduction



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





Realms



The first major decision to make is the Realm on which you'll be playing. If you have friends that play and you want to join them, you MUST create a character on the same realm as they are if you want to play with them. You'll also need to be the same Faction. There are three factors which should influence your choice of realm. They are Type, Population and Location, each of which are covered below.
    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.

    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.
    • 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.

    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.
TIP: Each server is set to the Local Time for it's physical location. This should give you an idea if you're close to your server. If it's 12 hours ahead, it's going to be half-way around the world or so.





Your Character



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


Classes

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

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


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


Death Knight (DK)

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



Hunter

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

  • 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



Mage

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

  • 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



Priest (Spriest)

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

  • 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.)



Rogue

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

  • 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



Shaman (Shammy)

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

  • 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



Warlock

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



Warrior

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

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





Factions

In the World of Warcraft, there are but two playable factions: The Horde and the Alliance. Neither side is considered good or bad, so don't let that affect your decision. The Horde has Blood Elves, 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.





Races

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

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

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



ALLIANCE




Draenei

  • 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.


Dwarf

  • Available Classes - Death Knight, Hunter, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Warrior
  • Racial Mount - Ram
  • Home City - Ironforge (IF)


Gnome

  • Available Classes - Death Knight, Mage, Rogue, Warlock, Warrior
  • Racial Mount - Mechanostrider (Robotic ostrich)
  • Home City - Ironforge (IF)


Human

  • Available Classes - Death Knight, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Warlock, Warrior
  • Racial Mount - Horse
  • Home City - Stormwind City (SW)


Night Elf

  • Available Classes - Death Knight, Druid, Hunter, Priest, Rogue, Warrior
  • Racial Mount - Nightsaber (Large sabre-toothed cat)
  • Home City - Darnassus (Darn)



HORDE




Blood Elf

  • 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.


Orc

  • Available Classes - Death Knight, Hunter, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior
  • Racial Mount - Wolf
  • Home City - Orgrimmar (Org)


Tauren

  • Available Classes - Death Knight, Druid, Hunter, Shaman, Warrior
  • Racial Mount - Kodo (Large horned lizard)
  • Home City - Thunder Bluff (TB)


Troll

  • Available Classes - Death Knight, Hunter, Mage, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warrior
  • Racial Mount - Raptor
  • Home City - Orgrimmar (Org)


Undead

  • Available Classes - Death Knight, Mage, Priest, Rogue, Warlock, Warrior
  • Racial Mount - Skeletal Horse
  • Home City - Undercity (UC)





Stats


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

    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).

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

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

Talents

What are talents? The short answer is they are the area your character specializes in. Now, for the long answer. You get 1 talent point whenever you gain a new level, starting at level 10. You won't even be able to access your talent screen until then. Each talent point can be spent to get increases to existing abilities, or even entirely new ones only available through the talent tree. Ones farther down the tree require that you have spent X number of points earlier in the tree. You are 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. You can turn on a talent preview, which allows you to allocate your points but doesn't actually spend them until you confirm the build.





Professions and Secondary Skills

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

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

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

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


Secondary Skills
Players can learn all of the following secondary skills in addition to their two professions.
  • 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 20 (Skill Level 75; basic riding) - Allows you to ride land mounts that increase your speed by 60%. Training is 4g, and mounts are 1g.
    • Level 40 (Skill level 150; epic land) - Allows access to 100% speed mounts. Training is 50g, and mounts are 10g.
    • Level 60 (Skill Level 225; basic flight) - This allows acces to flying mounts. These are a 150% increase in speed. Can only be summoned and ridden in Outland and Northrend. Cost for training is 250g, and mounts are 50g.
    • Level 70 (Skill level 300; epic flight) - This one costs 5000 gold! Mounts start at 100g. 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 225/300; 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 if you don't already have it.



Equipment



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

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





Bind to Account



Blizzard has introduced a new class of item called "Bind to Account" or "BoA". BoA items can be traded between any character on the purchasing account with the following restrictions:
  • The characters belong to the same faction.
  • The characters are on the same server.
BoA items include vanity pets, some enchantments, skills and Heirloom equipment.
Heirloom equipment has several benefits:
  • Heirloom items scale. This means that they will always have stats appropriate for the level of the character equipping it.
  • The heirloom armor pieces provide a bonus to experience gained, so the character wearing heirloom armor will level faster.
  • Heirloom items generally provide slightly better bonuses than Rare items. (See the above equipment level chart)
For the most part, BoA items can only be acquired by level 80 characters. The main exceptions to this are the vanity pets, which can be obtained by characters of any level.





Chatspeak



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





Welcome to the World (of Warcraft)



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

Well, first off, spend a few moments getting to know the controls. You'll be using a combination of your keyboard and mouse, along with any other input device(s) you may have. I can't cover everything, but the default basic commands (for a PC, at least) are:
  • The W, A, S and D keys can control basic movement.
  • Left-clicking 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.
Now, about the stuff you see around you. The names of any creatures or players are color-coded, as listed below.

Creatures
  • 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.


Players
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.
There are some exceptions to these. For instance, some of the guards in neutral towns may be green to you, but will still attack you if you attack another player. When you enter some areas of the world, everyone that is not in your party becomes red and is attackable.






Groups and Instances


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.





Party Roles

(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.

    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:
    • 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.
    Be careful, as many CC spells/abilities will be negated by any damage the target takes. Make sure the party knows which target will be CCed before starting an attack. Classes that can CC include Mages, Rogues, Druids, Warlocks, Priest, Paladins and Hunters.


Party Etiquette
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 loot threshold is the type of item that you start to roll at. For example, if the threshold is at rare, then you roll for any item rare or higher, but not for uncommons. When an item that's better than the threshold is dropped, a box will come up when it's looted. It will show the item and stats, along with a die, coin and and X.
  • 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.
Due to the fact that the a Need roll trumps all Greed rolls, you should ask your party before rolling Need. There are cases where an item drops that nobody can use, such as a piece of plate with nobody that can wear it in the party. In cases like this, everyone usually rolls Greed or if you're lucky enough to have an enchanter in the party, the item can be given to them to disenchant, and then everyone can roll on the result.


There is an unspoken loot etiquette you should follow when grouped with anyone, whether it's for an instance or just out questing.
  1. Only roll need on items that are an upgrade for you, and are BoP.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. ASK before rolling NEED on anything, even if you are the only one in the party that can use it.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
If someone is not following the above rules, don't fly off the handle and accuse them of ninja looting or stealing. Ask them first, point out what they did if they ask and watch them to see if they do it again. If you notice a trend, it's usually a good idea to go ahead and pull out of that group and find another. In the cases where you can't, say you're already saved to that heroic, make the choice to stay and deal with it or wait until it resets. Either way, make sure you let your friends and guildmates know to watch out.

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


LevelDungeon (5-10 man instances)ZoneAbbrevNotes
13-20Ragefire ChasmOrgrimmarRFC
16-24The DeadminesWestfallVC
16-24Wailing CavernsThe BarrensWC
17-25Shadowfang KeepSilverpine ForestSFK
20-28Blackfathom DeepsAshenvaleBFD
21-29The StockadesStormwind CityStocks
24-40GnomereganDun MoroghGnomer
23-31Razorfen KraulThe BarrensRFK
28-44Scarlet MonasteryTirisfal GladesSMThere are 4 wings: Library, Armory, Cathedral and Graveyard
33-41Razorfen DownsThe BarrensRFD
36-44UldamanBadlandsUlda
40-52MaraudonDesolaceMara
42-50Zul'FarrakTanarisZF
45-54Sunken TempleSwamp of SorrowsST
48-60Blackrock DepthsBlackrock MountainBRD
53-61Blackrock SpireBlackrock MountainBRSThis instance has an upper and lower part.
54-61Dire MaulFeralasDMThis instance has 3 wings: North, East and West
56-61StratholmeEastern PlaguelandsStratStrat has 2 sides, Live and Undead.
56-61ScholomanceWestern PlaguelandsScholo


LevelDungeon (20-40 man Raids)ZoneAbbrevNotes
60+Blackwing LairBlackrock MountainBWLNext to Blackrock Spire
60+Molten CoreBlackrock MountainMCNext to Blackrock Depths
60+Ruins of Ahn'QirajSilithusAQ20
60+Temple of Ahn'QirajSilithusAQ40
60+Zul'GurubStranglethorn ValeZG




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.


LevelDungeon (5-10 man instances)ZoneAbbrevHeroic FactionNotes
60-62Hellfire RampartsHellfire PeninsulaRampsHonor Hold/Thrallmar
61-63Blood FurnaceHellfire Peninsula BFHonor Hold/Thrallmar
62-64The Slave PensZangarmarsh SPCenarion Expedition
63-65The UnderbogZangarmarsh UBCenarion Expedition
64-66Mana TombsTerrokkar ForestMTLower City
65-67Auchenai CryptsTerrokkar ForestCrypts; ACLower City
66-68Old Hillsbrad FoothillsTanaris (In Azeroth)DurnholdeKeepers of TimeRequired to access Black Morass
67-69Sethekk HallsTerrokkar ForestSHLower City
69-72Black MorassTanaris (In Azeroth)BMKeepers of Time
69-72The MechanarNetherstormMechThe Shat'tar
70-72Shattered HallsHellfire PeninsulaShat HallsHonor Hold/Thrallmar
70-72The Steam VaultsZangarmarshSVCenarion Expedition
70-72Shadow LabyrinthTerrokkar ForestSLLower City
70-72The BotanicaNetherstormBotThe Shat'tar
70-72The ArcatrazNetherstormArcThe Shat'tar
70-72Magister's TerraceThe Isle of Quel'DanasMgTShattered Sun OffensiveTo unlock the heroic version of this instance, you must run it on normal and complete a quest.


LevelDungeon (10-25 man instances)ZoneAbbrevNotes
70+KarazhanDeadwind Pass (In Azeroth)Kara10-man instance
70+Magtheridon's LairHellfire PeninsulaMag
70+Zul'AmanChostlandsZAOnce 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+Serpentshrine CavernZangarmarshSSC
70+Gruul's LairBlade's Edge MountainsGruul
70+Battle for Mount HyjalTanaris (In Azeroth)MH; Hyjal
70+The EyeNetherstormTK
70+The Black TempleShadowmoon ValleyBT
70+The Sunwell PlateauThe Isle of Quel'DanasSunwell; 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.


LevelDungeon (5-10 man instances)ZoneAbbrevNotes
70-72Utgarde KeepHowling FjordUK
71-73The NexusBorean TundraNexHas an extra boss on heroic
72-74Azjol-NerubDragonblightAN
73-75Ahn'kahet: The Old KingdomDragonblightOK
74-76Drak'Tharon KeepGrizzly HillsDTKHas an extra boss on heroic
76-78Gun'DrakZul'DrakGD;GunHas an extra boss on heroic
75-77Violet HoldDalaranVHLocated IN The city of Dalaran
77-79Halls of StoneStorm PeaksHoSNeed a flying mount to get there
80Halls of LightningStorm PeaksHoLNeed a flying mount to get there
80The Culling of StratholmeTanaris (In Azeroth)CoS; CullingHas a 25-minute timed heroic run for an epic flying mount.
80The OculusBorean TundraOCRequires riding of drakes within the instance to complete
80Utgarde PinnacleHowling FjordUP
80+Trial of the ChampionIcecrownToCHas 3 bosses
80+The Forge of SoulsIcecrownFoSHas 2 bosses
80+Pit of SaronIcecrownPoSMust complete Forge of Souls before you can enter
80+Halls of ReflectionIcecrownHoRMust complete Pit of Saron before you can enter


LevelDungeon (10-25 man instances)ZoneAbbrevNotes
80+NaxxramasDragonblightNaxx4 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 EternityBorean TundraMaly; EoERequires the Key to the Focusing Iris to access.
80+UlduarStorm PeaksUldUlduar is a massive instance, starting off with the entire raid fighting in vehicles.
80+Vault of ArchavonWintergraspVoAThis instance is only available to the faction that controls Wintergrasp, a PvP battleground. This is a very short instance.
80+Trial of the CrusaderIcecrownToC 10/25
80+Trial of the Grand CrusaderIcecrownToGC 10/25
80+Onyxia's LairDustwallow MarshOny
80+Icecrown CitadelIcecrownICC



PvP



World of Warcraft, like most MMOs, contains some aspects of Player vs. Player combat. There are Battlegrounds, World PvP, Duels and Arena. Please note that I don't do a lot of PvP, so some of this info is off of Blizz's website and may be inaccurate. Any input from the PvPers out there would be appreciated.



Battlegrounds
Battlegrounds (BGs) are areas designed specifically for PvP combat. As such, players are automatically flagged for PvP upon entering them. The following information applies to most battlegrounds:
  • Most Battlegrounds are Horde vs. Alliance
  • Battlegrounds requrie minimum levels to enter.
  • BGs are bracketed. These are usually 10-19; 20-29; 30-39; 40-49; 50-59; 60-69; 70-79; 80.(Note: There won't be brackets below the BGs minimum level)
  • You have to queue up to enter. You can queue up from anywhere. When the instance in over, you'll re-appear wherever you were when you entered.
  • BGs are instanced. There may be 20 different games in the same bracket going on at the same time. (If you're joining friends, find out what one they're in and queue for it)
  • Each BG has a different goal or set of goals to accomplish.
  • BGs have a minimum and maximum number of players. If there are not enough people in the BG, it will cancel. If there are too many queued up, it will spawn a second instance of it.
  • Most BGs are cross-server, meaning that they draw from anyone queued up in the corresponding battlegroup. (A battlegroup refers to what servers are pooled for BG queues.)
  • Some BGs are timed.
  • Each BG will give rep with a different faction, and each faction has different rewards.
  • In addition to the honor you get for killing players, you get honor for completing a BG, win or lose. Winners usually get a lot more honor.
  • Every weekend, a BG is on "holiday". You get double the honor for completing the BG.
  • Unless you pay a fee, you will gain Exp for doing BGs.
The following are a list of the existing BGs, their common abbreviations, the minimum entry level, the minimum and maximum number of players per side and a brief idea of the game type:

NameAbbrevMin LevelMin/MaxGoal
Warsong GultchWSG105/10Capture the Flag
Arathi BasinAB201/15Capture and hold parts of the map to accumulate resources
Alterac ValleyAV5110/40Destroy the Enemy general or all reinforcements
Eye of the StormEotS611/15Capture the Flag and Capture and hold parts of the BG
Strand of the AncientsSotA711/15Alternating turns of Capture the base and defend it
The Isle of ConquestIoC711/40Destroy the Enemy general or all reinforcements
WintergraspWG71No limitSiege or defend the keep using vehicles.
Note: As of patch 3.2, Wintergrasp acts like a normal BG in that you have to queue up for it to participate. However, Wintergrasp is server-specific, meaning that only players from your server will participate.





World PvP
World PvP can have two meanings:
  • The fighting that goes on in contested areas on PvP servers
  • Areas of the world with PvP objectives.
This section will cover the second of those, areas of the game world that have PvP objectives. There are actually quite a few of these, though some are quite small. These areas usually have a clear objective, like capture and hold locations or siege an area.

NameZoneTimeObjectiveBenefit
Gurubashi ArenaStranglethorn ValeEvery 3 hoursA free-for-all to loot a chest in the middle of the arena. NOTE: members of the same faction can fight each other in here!Bracers and quest item
N/AEastern PlaguelandsN/ACapture and hold the towersEvery tower under a faction's control gives that faction a damage bonus vs. undead
N/ASilithusN/ACollect Silithyst from the zone and return it to your faction's baseCenarion Circle Rep and buff
Hellfire FortificationsHellfire PenninsulaN/ACapture all 3 PvP objectivesWhen all 3 are held the same faction, all memebers of that faction in the zone get a 5% increase to their damage. There is also a daily quests to capture all 3 for cash and honor
Twin SpiresZangamarshN/ACapture both beacons, then run a flag to the SpireControl of the central graveyard in the zone and zone-wide 5% damage buff
The Bone WastesTerokkar Forest6 hoursCapture all 5 of the tower and hold them all at the same time5% increase to the controlling factions damage and XP and allows capturing of Spirit Shards from the bosses in Auchindoun
HalaaNagrandN/ADefend Halaa or Destroy all NPC guards and capture it5% damage buff and access to Halaa Merchants and quest turn-ins
Grizzly HillsGrizzly HillsN/A2 sets of quests, one at Venture Bay and one at Blue Sky Logging GroundsThe Venture Bay quests give you Venture Coins, which can be used for a number of Useful Items
WintergraspWintergrasp2.5 hoursSiege or Defend the fortressThe controlling side will collect Stone Keeper's Shards from defeated bosses in instances across Northrend



Duels
Dueling is a one-on-one fight with another player, of either faction. It is commonly used to practice PvP strategy and hone your skills without risking death. The following guidelines appply to duels:
  • Duels are consentual. You can challenge someone to a duel, but they can refuse
  • Duels are NOT to the death. Any attack that would take your opponent to 0 or less puts them at 1 HP and you win
  • There is no reward for winning a duel, other than a job well done
  • You can duel members of your own faction
  • You can't duel in cities
  • You can't be helped during the duel. No spells from any friendly player will affect you while dueling.
  • Dueling doesn't turn your PvP flag on unless your opponent is flagged
When Dueling, it's considered bad form to:
  • Drink potions. It's usually considered a sign of weakness and you might have trouble getting another duel.
  • Use long cooldown abilities. This is generally, at least on my server, anything with a cooldown of 10 minutes or more.
  • Get buffed from your friends/bystanders if they're not buffing your opponent (when applicable).
  • If someone doesn't want to duel you, leave them alone. Spamming the duel request probably won't work.
  • Duel someone close to your level. Initiating a duel with someone 10 levels or more lower than you is pointless, as the power difference is that big. However, some lower levels may be so sure of themselves that they challenge you, so there's no shame in obliging.
  • Duel someone in an attempt to get the environment to kill them. (Get them low on health then send them into agressive mobs)
  • Insult someone because you lost or won.
Lastly, here are a few things to keep in mind when dueling:
  • Be aware of your environment. If you aggro a mob while dueling, it CAN kill you. I've seen a 70 mage fall to a level 5 boar because he aggro'd it and it hit him right after he lost the duel.
  • Be aware of your PvP flag. I've taken out a level 70 with a 23 because the two that were camping me got bored waiting for me to res a dueled. Once one lost, I rezzed and one-shotted. Of course, I was camped for even longer but still...
  • Be aware of duels if you're waiting for something. I dueled a warlock while waiting for a boat, and he feared me just before the boat left so I missed it.
  • Be careful of offers of gold for winning a duel. While some are legit, some are less than. In the above example, it was a 70 warlock offering my 30 rogue 300g if I could kill his pet on passive. Yes, I know, I was stupid for thinking I could.
  • If you think you're being set up for something, use the /forfeit command. It gets you out of the duel and may prevent any of the above examples.



Arena Teams
Arena teams are a ranked PvP battle structure. There are 3 brackets: 2v2, 3v3 and 5v5. Players can belong to one team per bracket. The number of games you win vs. the number you play will generate your ranking, and you get Arena points for every match. Each season, all teams start with a fresh ranking and work their way up. The top winners for a season in each bracket win special prizes. Arenas are drawn from the same battlegroup pool as battlegrounds.





Addons



Addons are 3rd-party applications that provide a number of functions. For instance, they can change the way your interface looks, track you abilities and let you know when a spell is about to expire, let you look at the loot that drops in any instance and a variety of other things.
Addons can greatly enhance you gameplay experience. Sites such as Curse.com and WoW Interface have an extesive selection to choose from. But, with so many, it cen be confusing and overwhelming.
Some people may consider using an addon cheating. While there are addons that do indeed do that, for the most part they add functionality that just makes life easier. Below, I'll list the addons that I use, along witha brief explanation of what each one does.
  • X-perl Unitframes - This addon changes the look of the standard Blizzard UI, and allows you to move the various windows around. Want your party dispalyed on the left side of the screen? Sure thing. A lot of customizeability.
  • AuctioneerSuite - Norganna has created one of the best sets of addons I've ever seen. Auctioneer, along with all of its parts will track how much items have been going for ont he auction house, what they'll disenchante/prospect/mill into, and a host of other useful info.
  • Gatherer - This is another one from Norganna. This addon collects info about every mine, herb, treasure chest and just about anything lootable on the ground. You can also share this info with others, and get their data in return.
  • Omen Threat Meter - This add-on will show you where your threat stands in relation to the rest of your group. Not very useful when running solo (unless you have a pet), but invaluable when running instances. You can tell when you're going to pass the tank, and take the appropriate action so you don't.
  • Recount - Recount tracks various combat statistics, such as damage, DPS, healing, and other vital info for raiding.
  • Deadly Boss Mods - DBM is used in instances. This Addon will warn you when a boss' special move is coming, when the next phase it, when they use a special ability and on whom.
  • Atlas - Atlas contains the maps for all the instances. By default, you can't see an overall map of any instance but this will allow you to. It also shows where the bosses are. This is required for AtlasLoot to work, but still nice to have.
  • AtlasLoot Enhanced - WIth AtlasLoot, you can see what the possible drops are from EVERY boss in every instance, as well as view all available crafting professions and what they can make. You can also see all the various PvP and faction rewards. This is an excellent tool for planing your character's growth.
  • Titan Panel - This guy puts a bar at either the top or bottom of your screen (or both) that can give you a lot of handy information at a glance. Stuff such as overall durability, free bag space, how much ammo, zone and coordinates, how much gold you have and can even track that across all your characters on the server.
  • ControlFreak - ControlFreak is a small addon that allows you to set a target for your CC spells, as well as monitoring their status to let you know if they're out or taking damage. You can also re-cast your CC without actually switching targets.
  • Decursive - This handy addon will allow you to remove any negative effect you are capable of removing from any member of your group with a simple click, without having to target them
  • HealBot Continued - This addon will allow you to assign various mouse click combinations to specific healing spells, and allow you to cast them on your group members without having to actually target them. Great for raid and instance healing, as it shows a grid with everyone's health that you click on to cast.
  • TomTom - Puts an arrow showing you which way to go to reach your destination. Used with the Tourguide to point you in the direction of the next step.
  • Lightheaded - Lightheaded displays quest information that can be found at www.wowhead.com, but does so in-game.
  • Doublewide(Tradeskill) - This take your trade-skill window and makes it wider, showing the list on one side and details on the other. I find it easier to look through all the stuff I can make that way.
  • WoW-Pro Levelling Guides - Choose either the Horde or Alliance Addon Version and prepare to gain some serious XP and have fun doing so. Jame has done an awesome job with his guides, and you can now get step-by-step instructions in-game.
Except for the WoW-Pro, TomTom, Lightheaded and Tourguide addons, none of these are endorsed by WoW-pro, just by me Smiling. There are a Lot of other addons out there. Curse.com shows 3,589 addons as of 8/10/2009.
There are a few downsides to addons, however.
  • They take system memory, so if you're game is running slowly putting addons in will probably make it worse.
  • With most patches, the Addons have to be updated to work with it, especially if there have been changes to the UI by Blizzard. Trying to keep up with all your addons can be a hassle
  • Some addons are unsafe. There was a commonly used addon that someone slipped a keylogger and item checker into, and it would send information out if your net worth exceeded a certain amount. This is rare, but it does happen
  • Some addons violate the Terms of Service and can get your account locked or banned.


I will be adding other topics in the near future, so stay tuned. Planned additions are:
  • Anything else people can suggest that belongs in a newbie guide
Any comments or suggestions you have would be appreaciated. Thanks for taking the time, and have fun playing the game!


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.

Comments

Lycander's picture

Thanks

Thanks for the catches and the input. I've made most of the changes, but there were a couple I didn't

  • ST is used to refer to The Sunken Temple. In the same way that The Deadmines are referred to as VC since DM was an end-game instance.
  • I did all DKs because it put all the races together at the same point on the ground. The perspective is the same for them all, and the initial reason I took them was to put together a full race comparison chart, which I'll be adding a link to in the guide.
  • The other problem I'd encounter with putting racial backdrops on is that they'd have that goofy starting gear, and I don't want to scare people away Smiling
  • I did add the abbreviations that I hadn't heard before. It could just be they weren't used on my server.
  • I'll look into the location thing. It's been so long since I moved servers I need to make sure.

If you find aything else, please let me know and I'll fix it right away.

Jame's picture

Wow, very nice revamp, I

Wow, very nice revamp, I didn't expect this much.

Thumbs up Smiling

Trollvink's picture

Quote:* Cons - Need very

Quote:
* Cons - Need very different gear depending on spec; each form requires a different play style

In my opinion, this is a 'pro', you can change to what-ever you want, and only need some gear; not change a whole different class!

EDIT: At the Druid class review

Lycander's picture

Good Point

You're right, especially at the lower levels. I'll update. Thanks!

Lycander's picture

Guide Revamp in the works!

Hiya, everyone. I'm revamping the guide, so please be aware that there are some incomplete parts, and parts that need a massive overhaul. That being said, any comments or feedback would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

Lycander's picture

The revamp is mostly complete!

Well, the revamp is pretty much complete. There's some stuff I want to add, but I'm starting to feel the guide is too long or detailed as it is, so I'd like to get some feedback before I go any further. Please, let me know what you guys think!

Jiyambi's picture

It looks awesome (though I

It looks awesome (though I already told you this Eye )

I did notice, you should probably note that Draenei and Blood Elf can only be selected if you have the BC expansion. Many new players only have vanilla WoW!

Hope this helps Smiling

EDIT: Apparently I'm full of fail. I tried to put this on the front page by changing the authoring date, which usually works. But it's not working Sad Maybe Jame knows how?

Lycander's picture

Nah

Thanks. I'll make the addition. I'll also note that the DKs are part of WotLK.

EDIT: Apparently, I already did that, just forgot the BC races.

Lycander's picture

Couple of other "Chatspeaks"

HoT: Heal-over-time - This is like a DoT, but is cast on friendly players which heals for X amount at certain intervals.

Tick: This is how often a spell effect happens. This usually refers to HoTs and DoTs, such as "it does X damage per tick"

Ninja: This is an insult, usually. A ninja refers to anyone that steals from other players. Please note that it's not possible to actually steal something out of your inventory. Typical "ninja-ing" occurs when you're clearing the area around, say a mine or a chest so you can loot it. While you're fighting, someone runs up, takes the item then runs away. Other examples are when people take items in instances without asking.

I'll start watching Trade Chat and post anything else that I start noticing

mystk's picture

Thanks for "Chatspeak"

I was getting annoyed with all the game abbreviations that i didn't know.
I also don't really like asking people what they mean either, since i don't know if i will be getting a reaction like: It means Non Player Character fool.. Sticking out tongue

Anyway, if you come up with more please put them up, will be much appreciated.

Asheley's picture

Paladins

Nice guide, I'm sure it'll help many new players to the game. But I think you might want to add this in your guide: At Paladins, you said they can tank and heal. That's true. But, they can also DPS if well spec'd. The talent trees are the following:
Holy - Healing
Protection - Tanking
Retribution - Damage Per Second (DPS)
Other than that, very good guide!

----
http://www.bunnyworlddomination.com/

Jame's picture

It's quite an old guide

It's quite an old guide actually, it was written when paladins were nothing but healbots Sticking out tongue

If someone wants to revamp it, send me a private message.

irokhardfm1's picture

Druid

In the Druids section you missed out Moonkin and Tree of Life Forms....

We will live forever! Or die trying...

Thank you very much for you

Thank you very much for your suggestions, I will add them in shortly.

Changes

The professions part is coming together, it's taking longer than I thought. Expect is soon though.

some thoughts

generally a nice overview for new players, although some things are factually incorrect or might be misleading:
factions: horde sucks Sticking out tongue (ok fine that's my subjective opinion)
race: generally not that important, pick one that you dont mind staring at all day, although Drenai and Blood Elfs have the best racials.

Warriors: hehe, i think you just dont like/underestimate this class. It's not just stand and beat a mob (thats rogues from behind). If you plan on tanking you will a) need to be the most alert class in the raid b) know what you are doing and spec protection which nerfs your dps output. Fury/arms warriors have a huge dmg output, this should be your leveling spec.

Priests: shadow priests have become very popular even in end game due to their abilities to increase other caster's dmg.

Palas: can't tank. end of story. best single target healing, even better than priest and palas.

In groups: Tanks can be warriors or druids, NOT palas

Stats: Agi = worthless for casters (mage, priest, lock) not very important for shamans, palas, resto druids, warriors (warriors mainly need str and sta)

Spirit: Main stat for priests. Also important for other casters, but since they continuously nuke they wont be able to benefit as much. Nice to have for other classes, but not something you should focus on.

Int: Most important stat for mages. Nice for locks and priests. Large mana pools are always nice.

Other than that, I really like the info in this guide. You might also want to include a short section on tradeskills. My suggestion for the new player is to pick something which will generate a large cash flow such as skinning and herbalism/mining. First Aid is a must for every player. Cooking and fishing is nice to have, although i personally find fishing extremely boring, but some of the food you make will give you nice buffs.

Paladin tanks and Shadow Priest

Before BC paladin tanks where not very useful. However when done correctly the task could be pulled off. With BC improving the tanking mechanics and adding a few new talents paladins can and do tank many non raid instances. I do not feel that this guide is geared to the level 70 character and thus don't see any reason to tell people that they will be unable to tank.

There are many guides and forum posts about this topic, however I have only played with paladin tanks and don't have any direct experience past the starting instances such as Dead Mines or Shadow Fang Keep. I was able to tank these two instances with a decent party. Also I have played with a prot Paladin as a main tank for most BC instances with no problem.

There is a lot of information out there on paladin tanks such as the wiki page on wow wiki and the forum post on elitist jerks forum. These are both good resources for those who want to look into it.

Paladins do make the best single target healer in the game. However telling people that this is the only thing that the class can do is wrong and forcing people into cookie cutter classes is not something that should be discussed in a newb guide, but a serious raid guide.

Shadow priest are more useful in BC for DPS, because of the ability to restore mana for healers. Many guilds will bring one to two shadow priest along in end game raids to support shamans or other healing classes.

Thanks for the great guide and I hope that I did bring to much technical stuff into a simple comparison of classes.

Delete

I am trying to delete the other guides I have written in this Guide Book page, from now on any additions will be added to this one guide, which I probably should've done a long time ago. Puzzled

Update: Thanks to Snowflake for deleting the crappier guides. Any suggestions for improvements or additions will be appreciated.