Help two noobs get started in WoW

Lots of WoW threads lately have tempted me out of retirement and into another MMORPG. I’ve played CoH and LOTRO and have a particular fondness for playing tanks. Based on this thread, I’ve decided to start with a Paladin. Anyone want to argue me out of that?

My boyfriend is new to RPGs. I gave him a basic rundown of general types of characters (I’m not sure what WoW has and doesn’t have) and based on that rundown, he’s thinking he would like to play some sort of ranged fighter.

Does such a class exist in WoW? Where? Is it suitable for a very beginner?

And what else can you say about getting started in WoW? We have friends who already play who will be doing some hand-holding, but other info gratefully received.

From the other thread:

I’m definitely into solid and uncomplicated in my toons. And having a little bit of healing mojo is wonderful (that’s my other chosen role whenever tanking gets dull).

I would go with a hunter, if he wants that kind of a description. They’re like a ranger-type. You get to catch and tame an animal companion around level 10 (last I checked) and can have a couple waiting in a “stable” if you like variety. The companion will fight for you. You get to wear leather armor to start with, mail by level 40, and can use a bow or a gun. (You can have melee weapons too but rarely use them.) You can drop traps to injure, slow, or immobilize an opponent that triggers them. They’re excellent for newbie players, and can be great solo play if you pick a big “tank-like” pet (bear, turtle, boar, etc.) and pick Beast Mastery talents to boost your pet’s abilities. (Survival talents are actually more for PvP, not ensuring your survival in leveling - talk about a misnomer.)

I agree that a Hunter is a good choice for someone wanting to play a ranged fighter. A Pally/Hunter duo should work fine for leveling purposes. Lots of strategic options there, depending on how each of you specialize.

If both of you are brand new to WoW, then you should probably pick the same race, so your characters will already be in the same area. Granted, a friendly high level mage could teleport one of you to the other’s starting city, but then one of you would have to forgo building reputation with your own race during the early parts of the game. If I remember right, Dwarves and Dranei can be Pallies on the Alliance side. Horde side, I dunno…Blood Elves can be Pallies, not sure what else. Just pick a race, and make sure that race has both Pally and Hunter class options available before either of you roll a character.

Also, having played other games you probably know this, but just in case…if you want to play together, then you will each need a computer and your own WoW account. Two characters on the same account cannot play at the same time.

Humans, of course, can also be paladins, but not hunters (though they will have the hunter option in Cataclysm). So dwarf or draenei will indeed be the way to go, as both races have both classes available.

Sigh. I miss Wow. If they ever get around to making cable or dsl internet available where I live, I can’t wait to return to the game.

Ooh, that’s good to know about races. I don’t know if he leans toward Alliance or Horde. I’ve never played a game with that option (I didn’t play CoX when that was an option). Recommendations between the two?

While I do know this, it never hurts to have this sort of heads up in a thread. Maybe someone is lurking who wouldn’t have known.

Everyone will tell you that Horde is more mature and that Alliance is full of annoying kids, but I’ve never found that to be true.

I’d recommend picking a race that you feel a personal affinity for. Do you like being dark and creepy? Forsaken. Haughty and self-involved? Blood Elf. Earthy and crude? Dwarf. Cute and annoying? Gnome. If you’re going to spend a hundred hours pretending to be someone else, it should be someone you like.

I mostly played Alliance when I was active because I liked being a good guy and I really like having Ironforge (the dwarf city) as my home base.

As a general rule, Alliance could be thought of as your more knightly side, with fortresses and stone architecture and prettier races. Horde have a much more primal, tribalistic feel, with wooden huts, uglier races and a race that are pretty evil. These are generalizations, in that horde got a pretty race in an expansion (Blood elves), and the allies are getting a darker race in the upcoming expansion (Worgen).

People say all sorts of things about the different populations, for example, how Alliance are nicer, or Horde are better players. However, from playing both sides at a high level I can say that both factions are pretty equivalent and a lot more depends on the server you’re playing on (some servers are hugely imbalanced). Both sides have access to every class, however Allies have only one race that can be Shamans, and Horde have only one race that can be Paladins (Blood Elves). IMHO, I prefer the Alliance leveling experience (they have some great quest hubs and towns) but I like the Horde races better (Taurens and Orcs are bad-ass and Alliance have 2 races that are like a foot tall).

I would strongly recommend playing on a PVE server to start, as people can’t grief you as easily.

Tauren are getting paladin in the next expansion, also.

Also, if you’re only planning on buying the base game (I don’t know if that’s even possible any more or if you can pretty much only buy the bundles at this point), you should definitely go Alliance, as you need the Burning Crusade expansion to play a Paladin on the Horde side.

It’s been mentioned in a few of those other threads that The Dope has a casual-friendly-helpful guild, which we’d love to have you join. We have lots of people who just love helping new players. We’re a Horde guild on the Cairne server. After creating your characters, just type ‘/who burning dog’ and ask someone who comes up for an invite. (or say the magic password: something about cecil :slight_smile:

If you do decide to join us, Blood Elves do have both Paladins and Hunters. (as well as Mage, Rogue and Warlock; All three are good dps classes to join your Paladin)

We play a paly and a mage in combo. The paly holds aggro and the mage does a ton of damage (takes a bit before the mage does a ton of damage, but it happens). Combination duos very well. I’d think a Paly/Hunter would duo well too.

Horde vs Alliance comes down to personal preference, I think. Both sides have their share of unpleasant people. Both sides have their share of super-nice helpful people. If you plan to get in to PVP, you may want to look at some server stats, and pick one with a reasonable balance between Horde/Alliance. If the number of players is close, you may still see one side or the other dominate in a particular level bracket, but it will likely even out a bit once you reach the end game. When I was playing, Horde dominated the second battleground…I forget what it was called, but it’s the one with the lumber mill, the mine, and the blacksmith on the island. Allies owned AV (which was then the high end battleground). In arena, none of that may matter, because you’ll be paired with other 2,3, or 5 man teams.

I second this. Unfortunately, my time with Burning Dog Legion was short, because I moved and lost my high speed internet, but they’re a great bunch of super helpful people. I wasn’t wasn’t a newbie when I rolled a character on that server to join them, but they still helped me get started, gave me a bunch of bags and coin, etc. I’m kinda curious if my characters still exist. I think I had a druid named Oakhorn, and a Death Knight, but can’t remember his name.

I’ve been thinking of getting into WoW too. However, I want to solo. I’m not really particular about race, except as it defines which class I can play. Basically, I want something where I don’t have to depend on being in a group most of the time…I want to be able to log on, go play a bit, and log off, without depending on anyone or anyone depending on me. Or is WoW just not that sort of game?

FWIW, you can just post these kinds of questions to the main WoW discussion thread. We’re always happy to have fresh blood. :smiley: (Not to mention, you’ll stand the best chance of catching the attention of all the SDMB WoW players there.)

There are ten classes in WoW. Here’s a very, *very *basic rundown of each class. For ranged DPS, I specify physical or magical, in the sense of whether you’ll be casting spells (magical) or using a ranged weapon that shoots arrows or bullets (physical).

Death Knight: Tank or melee DPS. Plate armor. One spec has the option of a permanent pet. Starts at level 55 and only available once you have at least one 55+ character and the Wrath of the Lich King expansion.

Druid: Tank, healer, melee DPS, or ranged DPS (magical). Leather armor.

Hunter: Ranged DPS (physical). Leather armor, upgraded to Mail at 40. Pet class.

Mage: Ranged DPS (magical). Cloth armor. One spec has the option of a permanent pet.

Paladin: Tank, healer, or melee DPS. Mail armor, upgraded to Plate at 40.

Priest: Healer or ranged DPS (magical). Cloth armor.

Rogue: Melee DPS. Leather armor.

Shaman: Healer, ranged DPS (magical), or melee DPS. Leather armor, upgraded to Mail at 40.

Warlock: Ranged DPS (magical). Pet class. Cloth armor.

Warrior: Tank or melee DPS. Mail armor, upgraded to Plate at 40.
From the phrasing “ranged fighter,” he’ll probably want to start with a Hunter. Because they’re designed as a pet class and they don’t currently get their first pet until level 10*, the first few levels can be a little bit frustrating. Ranged weapons (guns, bows, and crossbows) have a “dead zone”–they can’t be used against a target in melee range. So without a pet–or a friend–to tank for you, you’re stuck using melee weapons for a little while, which is a bit clumsy. (On the plus side, since you’re planning to play together, you can be his tank, which should make things a lot easier. Too, the first 10 levels go very quickly these days.)

*That’s changing with Cataclysm.

1.) Subscribe to the thread I linked at the start of this post. There are a lot of us on the Dope who’d be more than happy to answer any questions that come up as you play!

2.) Bookmark the following sites:

WoWWiki: Great for any kind of information that’s best coming from an encyclopedia. This involves everything from how professions work to the lore behind an NPC.

Wowhead: A giant database of quests, NPCs, items, zones, etc. If you want to know the ingredients for a recipe, what mob (a “mob” is a single hostile NPC) drops a quest item, or where to find a good upgrade for a slot, this is the best place to look. An older alternative is Thottbot, but IMO their interface isn’t as nice and the comments are much more spammy and less helpful.

Curse: When you start getting the itch to customize things or add extra functionality, you’ll want to download and install addons. Curse is where I get all of mine.

WoW Insider: Articles are aimed at everything from hardcore endgame raiders to people starting their very first character. Lots of good beginners guides.

If you’re looking for other people to play with off the bat (although I see you mentioned some other friends), you could consider rolling Horde characters on the Cairne server. There’s a guild there composed mainly of SDMB posters and lurkers, called <Burning Dog Legion>.

If you want to play a Horde Paladin, your only racial option right now is Blood Elf. For a Horde Hunter, the Troll race can be a good choice–for example, you have an extra 1% chance to crit with bows and the ability to increase your attack speed temporarily.

In general, there are three things to consider:

1.) Racial abilities. Each race has bonuses that are unique to that race. For example, my Night Elf main has an ability called Shadowmeld, which allows me to enter a kind of stealth (which is obscenely useful when I’m on my own, as it causes me to drop combat, resetting anything that’s attacking me). Note, however, that these are slated for a major overhaul with Cataclysm.

2.) Appearance. Try flipping through the character creation screen and see what appeals to you.

3.) Lore. Skim through WoWWiki’s articles on each race. The lore behind each race may influence the kinds of quests you come across in your starting zone. (For example, I know a couple of people who literally abandoned the Undead characters they’d started because of a particularly unsavory little chain… which I personally enjoyed. :p)

Personally, I have one max-level character of each faction, and I enjoy playing both sides. Keep in mind that there is no in-game cross-faction communication, except by pre-scripted emotes. The only items that can be mailed cross-faction are ones that are bound to your account, and those can only be mailed between characters on the same account on the same realm. There is a way to transfer non-bound items between factions, but as this involves using the Goblin (neutral) Auction Houses, there’s some risk involved (i.e., if someone else happens to see the auction and buy it out first).

WoW is very solo-friendly. There’s a pretty big part of the game which depends on being in groups, but even that is relatively easier to access as a mainly solo player than it used to be, and there are tons of quests to go on and areas to explore that don’t require any other people at all. The only trouble is that solo play can be a bit unchallenging, IMO, although you can get around that by pushing the envelope a bit and taking on challenges that are a bit higher-level than your character.

WoW is probably the best soloable MMORPG I’ve played. You can go from 1 to 80 on any class all by yourself. You won’t have much chance at the really good loot (which is in the dungeons, which require a group at-level), but you can enjoy yourself the whole way solo.