"It's the beginning fo the World...of Warcraft."

Title mocked from a South Park line.

I was thinking of starting to play WoW, and wanted to ask a few questions.

I like Draenei. Are all male models that ugly, or is it just the one they like to show off repeatedly. He looks like a dump truck took a well, you know, on his face, and then tapdanced on his nose for a while. Second, they seem to be interesting stat-wise, having more mana than most and less health. What is the Alliance side short of? Priests? Mages? Anything appropriate for a Draenei?

In a larger sense, are there more playaers capable of not accidentally killing the party with incompetence? I’ve been in too many frustrating MMORPG’s where one idiot player repeatdly gets everyong killed. Is there more leeway for people on the lower levels? Likewise, how is grinding for XP?

You can grind by yourself for the most part, but it’s always fun to have a friend or two to work with you. You’ll get about half the experience per kill but you’ll do it at twice the rate and have less of a chance of dying (or being messed with by the opposing side).
I mostly solo everything (even the group quests where it suggests 2 players). The only thing for certain you’ll need a group with is the instances or the localized dungeons created specifically for each party. It’s impossible to complete those without a group of (usually) 5.

So what happens when you have an idiot in the group? Thankfully, for the most part, it’s not a major downfall. If they’re not as fast at attacking or strategizing as everyone else you’ll still pass. Not as fast at healing? Eh, it’s not the end of the world.
But what’s going to kill your group are the idiots that don’t stay together as a group. Watch out for the ones that flit all over agroing mobs because they want to go faster. They’ll kill the whole damn lot of you.

What model are you looking at? There’s something like three races of Draenei from ugly mutants to giant blue guys that are supposed to look noble. This is the race that is playable in the game.

Don’t worry about starting stats they have about zero to do with the character in the long run. Worry more about the racial abilities and even those only make a slight difference.

If you want to team up with random groups and raid priests always seem to be in the highest demand but most guilds should have all character classes covered unless they’re very small.

I actually didn’t do the group thing too often but it is pretty easy for the group to get wiped by someone doing a stupid pull and bringing down a swarm of creatures on you but considering just about every quest other then Elite quests can be done solo with only a little thought there’s no need to worry about group dynamics for 75% of the game. Grinding for XP starts out very easy you’ll shoot through the first 20 levels fairly fast (if you start over a few times trying out new characters and know where everything is and what you’re doing you’ll learn to go through them even faster). It slows down then I sort of felt anything past 30 started to be a grind but whenever you get bored you can always travel to a new area and pick up more quests for your level (there always seemed to be at least two major areas just for the level you were working on)

In the end you’ll have to take my answer with a grain of salt WOW is the only online game I ever played so I don’t know how it compares to others and I never got a character past level 50. I found it’d suck me in horribly for a few weeks then I’d get bored of it and stop playing. I returned to it just before the last Xpack came out and once again played intensely for a few weeks then just one day I lost interest again and put it down without regret.

I don’t actually play WoW (City of Heroes is my MMO-crack), so this is the only bit I can comment on, having watched friends battle with the WoW character creator and listened to their plaints.

It is my impression that there is a wide variety of male models in WoW. This variety encompasses choices like “ugly”, “hideous”, and the ever-popular “looks like ass”. A few, with the right outfit, might aspire to “meh”. The female models tend to be a bit better, at least for most races.

Full Disclosure: I am completely and utterly spoiled by the City character editor, which will let you make your character look like damn near anything you please. This may lead me to judge other games’ character creators a bit harshly.

Thanks for the comments all. It’s actually rather refreshing to have a game where one idiot player doesn’t continually wipe the party. Likewise, where there isn’t some super-abundance of fighters or mages and a continual shortage of others.

Unfortunately, most every video game out there has male models that look disgustingly bad, and WoW seems no exception. Why? I don’t know. The Female models sometimes look ludicrously over-sexed (giant lips, titanic bust, actually comes out hideous) but are mostly nice looking and clean lined. Male models in virtually every game out there are just awful, though. DAOC is better, and of course City of Heroes is much better. I’m not sure wy it’s so hard to make them not look like mutant freaks.

One really nice thing about WoW versus some other MMORPGs (I’ve also played EQ, DAoC, CoH/CoV, and beta’d AC2, DDO, and LotRO) is that pretty much any character class can solo. My recollection of EQ is that, for instance, a warrior couldn’t solo worth a damn after a certain level. Some specialization paths in WoW may not be so hot at soloing (like a Holy-spec Priest), but you can always change your spec to be more solo-friendly.

I’ve been in the odd pick-up-group where a single player kept ruining things. Usually it’s a DPS character that keeps getting agro or thinks they can tank. Some group leaders refuse to kick people.

Just make sure the group you join isn’t too low level for the instance. It’s not easy to keep on top of the healing when the mobs take three times longer to kill and deal twice as much damage.

I do like the fact that you can solo effectively in WoW. Apart from my Necro and Bard, it was pretty frustrating in EQ1. I know it’s a multiplayer game but I get more than enough of that in EVE Online, heh.

Not to hijack, but I have to question your inclusion of CoH/CoV in that list (although I agree wholeheartedly on all of the others I’ve tried). You pretty much have to deliberately gimp yourself not to be able to solo in City–my Empathy and Trick Arrow defenders (two of the weakest soloing builds) are both quite capable of taking down even-level elite bosses solo, while still being able to provide excellent team support.

It should not be necessary in any game to rebuild your character depending on whether you’re teamed or solo, nor should it be impossible for any class to solo their own missions/quests. Again, maybe I’m spoiled by City. I noticed that the most recent entry in the list, LotRO, was still absurd for soloing when I tried it out, so I guess the idea hasn’t exactly spread yet.

Here is something to get you in the mood.

The Noob.

You can customize the skin tone, hair, and face of your avatar. I can’t guarantee you’ll find one you’ll like, but you’ll probably find one you hate less. :wink:

Seems to me Draenei would make decent caster/melee types, such as shamans, paladins, or hunters. I made my Draenei a shaman, but more because I liked the class than because I liked Draenei. Draenei just gave me the opportunity to play a shaman on Alliance side, as prior to the expansion they were a Horde-only class.

This will really depend on your server and how you want to play, though. I don’t think you should worry much about what classes are in demand. Whether you decide to group up or solo, I think you should pick a class you enjoy playing. It’s a long way to 70, and it’s little consolation that you’re in demand if you can’t stand the class you chose. You’re also going to be better at your role if you enjoy it.

I came from FFXI, where group play is the entirety of the leveling process. Maybe this biases me, but I’ve found that the average WoW party sucks. Damage-dealers have little grasp of hate management, and will often tear mobs off tanks. Some won’t attack the same mob the tank is, and will pull hate onto themselves with a single spell. I haven’t seen many tanks that can handle multiple targets. Healers seem to be the only class that performs consistently well.

When I started WoW, I joined up with other FFXI refugees and wound up duoing with a FFXI buddy to level 70. I’m glad I did this, because if I had to party with the average WoW player, I’d have quit months ago. Knowing I have the option of soloing makes me much less tolerant of incompetence.

You can grind on whatever you want, or you can do quests. If all you care about is leveling, then you can do either, but if you want some fame and money and gear, then quests are the way to go.

WoW’s quests are pretty good at disguising the fact you’re grinding. About a third of the quests are quota quests: go out and kill N of mob type X. There are enough quests that you can be selective in which ones you do. My priest alt, for instance, is at level 37 now, and I avoided all the quests I hated the first time through, and my quest log was almost always full.

The only difference I’ve really noticed for lower levels is you level faster. Quest objectives, difficulty, and opportunities are pretty stable throughout the game.

Google for “By Way Of Booty Bay”, for a slightly different view… :smiley:

I had a lot of free time today so… here’s a link to a gallery of pictures of male Draenei characters. Each available option in the catagories Hair, Skin Tone, Face, and Facial Hair should appear at least once.

Eloi, eloi, llama sabacthani.

If you want a good-looking male avatar, play a Blood Elf. As a bonus, at least on my server (Blackwater Raiders) the Horde seems to have more of a clue as a whole (fewer idiots) than Alliance.

I second this. My male blood elf mage is very pretty :slight_smile: .

Be warned that in general, the Horde side is considered to be more organized and have older players (and, ironically, less numerous than the Alliance). I am, of course, biased.

The most important thing you can do is find a good guild. I was lucky to get into a good guild right off the bat (Critical Strike on Shadowsong, for the record); we all help one another a lot, and every veteran member knows how to handle himself/herself in an instance (dungeon crawl). Most of us are loathe to join a pickup group, and our leader doesn’t do PuGs at all.

Dangit, people! Now you’re making me want to start playing my blood elf again. It’s all just so sunshiney, pretty and angsty at the same time…

Sunshiney? Have you heard the male blood elf’s laugh?

My own server is so short on tanks it’s ridiculous. Mind you, one of the problems I often see in groups is the large amount of players who insist in looking for, say, a “holy priest” and not “a healer”… there’s several classes that can heal, and depending on the location the spec is actually quite irrelevant (specially at lower levels; my 30 level baby priest has more points in shadow than holy but her renews work juuuuuust fine).

Some classes have different requirements while leveling and at high level. For example paladins can have three very different specs: healer, tank or damage. But for raiding the options become healer, healer or healer.

Here you can get population stats for different realms. The stats are based on readings done by actual players and include only characters over level 10 that happened to be ingame when the reading took place.

I was just listing the games I’ve played; I agree that CoH/CoV is another good game for soloing. EQ is a game that is very bad for producing classes that can’t solo, though.

Another piece of advice: The Warrior class is not a “basic” or simple class to play. I’ve heard many players say that it’s the most difficult class to play well. You can specialize in arms or fury when leveling and solo at a good clip, and then switch to protection if and when you start running instances most of the time. Good prot warriors are always in demand.