Noob to WOW; what do I need to know?

So I broke down and bought a copy of WOW the other day, and probably will make a character tonight when I get home… what do I need to know?

(I tried reading through the WOW general discussion thread, but I have no idea what most of you are talking about :wink: ).

Thoughts on classes/races/servers, etc.?

FWIW, I was a druid back in the old EQ days…

Hey, there’s a very noob-friendly SDMB guild called Burning Dog Legion. It’s Horde faction, on the Cairne server. When you get in the game you can type “/who Burning Dog” to get a list of folks online and ask for an invite by typing “/w [name] [message]” to whisper to them.

Make whatever race/class combo looks coolest to you. Figure your first character will be primarily to learn the game anyway, you can make your perfect optimized character later. You can’t screw anything up when starting a new character.

The game will hold your hand for the first huge chunk of the game. Read all the little hints and tips it gives you, do all the newbie quests, talk to all the NPCs.

The first levels go by crazy fast. I stopped playing in the BC days, but even then I could crank out a level 40 character in a weekend, and if anything it’s even faster now.

Find people you like to play with. WoW has a pretty friendly community in general, and lots of tools for avoiding the, well, tools.

As you get familiar with how the game works, go to places like and read up on all the races and classes, so you can get an idea of what best matches how you want to play.

As far as classes, it depends on whether you want to be a damage-dealer, a damage-soaker, or a healer. Since you mentioned Druids, they can actually specialize into any role.

If I was trying to figure out what class to play, I’d read the cataclysm class previews and then pick one that sounds interesting.

Most of them are here. Except for the paladin preview, but paladins are getting slapped down harder than death knights were, so don’t make a paladin.

Shamans will probably be broken good still.

I’m not familiar with EQ, so I may be repeating what you already know.

My kids kept nagging me to get used to steering with the mouse instead of using the arrow keys or the left-hand keys. The practice did make swimming a lot easier. (You can’t steer with the keys underwater.)

You only get two professions. For a try-out character, I’d recommend picking from the gathering professions: mining, herbalism, and skinning. Sell at the auction house instead of to vendors to get more money. Once you have money, you can usually get better armor and weapons at the auction house than at the vendors.

Go with what looks interesting to you, with the caveat that Druids in WoW can be pretty tricky and I would advise against taking one for your first character. Try a different class first to get a feel for the game. Warriors, Hunters, Paladins, and Warlocks are all very “safe” classes to start with, but again, go with what looks interesting.

One newbie tip: don’t waste your money on armor and weapons from vendors. You get sufficient gear from quests and killing enemies that you don’t need it, and at the beginning you’ll need every copper you can get your hands on for training skills.

Another essential tip for newbies is to immediately find a way (if possible) to get the largest bags you can. The beginning backpack is woeful inadequate.

If you do sign up on Cairne I’m sure the good folks of the Burning Dog Legion will be more than willing to set you up on that front.

This is excellent advice. There’s really no reason to buy any gear from a vendor or at the auction house until you hit level 20+. You’ll be leveling so fast, you won’t get much value for your gold before you’ve outgrown the equipment.

Also–as a new player, do not make your character on a PVP-only server. You’ll get eaten alive, and probably get frustrated. There’s plenty of chances to do PVP on a regular server.

Sadly, WoW druids are nothing like EQ druids. On the plus side, WoW is MUCH more user friendly than EQ was. You can’t really lose all of your gear or otherwise suffer some of the truly harsh things that happened in EQ.

Two more things to definitely NOT DO:

  1. Do not buy gold/items/leveling services/accounts from outside sources. That is a bannable offense under the rules, and can have other unpleasant consequences.

  2. Do not, under any circumstances, give your account password to anyone. Blizzard employees will never ask you for your password. Anyone else that does ask for it probably intends to steal your account, sell all your stuff, grab everything they can from the guild bank if you are in a guild, and otherwise screw you over.

One thing to seriously consider doing–talk to some of the guys in Burning Dog Legion. It’s a Doper guild, with very friendly and helpful people. I’d just rolled a character on that server and joined the guild when I moved and lost high speed internet access. Wish I could still play WoW…maybe someday high speed will be available where I live, and Kahbueme, Gnome Mage extraordinaire will ride again…

Horde is the better faction. It tends to have fewer jerks, idiots, and immature players. Alliance players will try to tell you that it’s a wash these days, but they are either lying or delusional. Horde isn’t free of jerks, idiots, or the immature, but when I log onto one of my Alliance alts I usually run across someone behaving far worse than I’ve ever seen on Horde side. If I weren’t already established on my server I’d roll on Cairne to check out that SDMB guild.

Cataclysm, the next expansion, is only a few months away, and it will overhaul “old-world” content. The power levels of all of the classes are almost certainly going to shift around a lot, and I wouldn’t trust anyone who claims to be able to predict who will come out on top. You can have up to ten characters per server and fifty across all servers (and they don’t charge you extra for them), so go ahead and try out different classes. There will be some new race/class combinations available in Cataclysm and two new races, but racial abilities are honesty really minor, and you can change your character’s race (for real money) if you really really want to.

If you only want to have one character, bear in mind that only druids and paladins can fill all three roles (tank, healing, DPS). This is important to some people, but I’m perfectly happy with my main being a mage (only DPS). I suggest you start with whichever class has the archetype that most appeals to you.

As Yllaria said, gathering professions are excellent for new characters. Many players with high-level characters will pay handsomely for the raw materials they need to power-level the crafting professions (blacksmithing, jewelcrafting, etc.) on their alts. A stack of copper will fetch several orders of magnitude more money on the auction house than you get from doing quests in the early zones. Mining and herbalism come with the “find minerals” and “find herbs” abilities, respectively. These abilities act as a sort of radar that makes mining and herb nodes show up on your mini-map, but you cannot have both of these radars active at the same time so getting both isn’t the best idea. Tailoring and enchanting don’t rely on a gathering profession for material, but enchanting is prohibitively expensive for a new player. Mining and tailoring make an excellent combination for a new mage, priest, or warlock.

The other side of this coin is that a lot of low-level gear on the auction house is a rip-off and priced above what a new player can be expected to afford. Don’t worry, though; this game is very easy and you can get by just fine with only the gear you get from quest rewards. Getting bags off the auction house (not from NPC vendors) is a good investment. The best bang for your buck for a new player at the moment is probably still the “netherweave bag” (the baseline crafted bag from the previous expansion) with 16 slots each. The “frostweave bag”, the baseline crafted bag from this expansion, has 20 slots but cost about four times as much the last time I checked.

If you do end up in the doper guild on Cairne, we’ll definitely be able to hook you up with all the bags you need.

Your first choice to make is what play style you might like. The two dualities are PvP vs PvE, and Normal vs Role-Play.

  • On PvP servers you can be attacked by the other faction virtually anywhere, on a PvE server only when you choose to go into PvP mode or a PvP area. I think the servers are about even on these two.

  • On Normal vs Role-Play, almost everyone chooses Normal. On Role-Play servers you are expected to keep to character and not chat off-topic.

  • that said, a server you have friends on already is always a good choice.

Don’t get too attached to your first character, be prepared to start up another if you find you made a poor choice. They make running up to about level 20 really easy these days so trashing a toon doesn’t cost you that much lost playtime.

The most helpful general purpose websites are,, and . Now that Blizz have a quest helper function built into the game these are a lot less necessary than they used to be, but still handy.

However, in practice, people on role-play servers play almost exactly the same as people on normal servers. Someone else said that the Moon Guard RP server is basically the only one where people ACTUALLY play in character all/most of the time.

No, PvP is the way to go. Yes, you’ll get killed a few times. Totally worth it when you manage your first kill of an Alliance wanker.

I wouldn’t recommend a PVP server for a new player. The learning curve is too steep. Better to get his feet wet on a carebear server, and oneshot a few Hordies in the BGs first.

I love the smell of PoM Pyro in the morning. Smells like…victory.Kahbueme, PVP Mage (retired).

I’d go shaman. You get the ghost wolf really early and it’s useful all the way up to level 80. I reckon it must be the only ability in the game that’s as good at level 80 as it was at the level when you got it.

You can frost shock an enemy so they walk toward you really slow and then hit them with things so they’re dead before they reach you.

i remember this game as easy, straight forward and you can pretty much just jump in and have fun without guidance.

except for one thing - aggro management. (unless EQ has the same system?) once you get to about level 20, if you join up with random people for dungeon crawls you’ll want to learn abit about that or just go with people who’ll guide you. basically, the combat dynamics is totally different when you’re in a party. to function well as a tank or healer you’ll need to understand how aggro works. not so much as a damage dealer because that’s easier to correct if the tank doesn’t like it.

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.

The Auction House is your friend (for selling) Stuff you loot off low level mobs such as eggs, meat, cloth etc can be very lucrative on the AH. This is because they are used to level up skills such as cooking & first aid, and many people don;t bother with those until higher level, and find it more convenient to buy the things they need to level them up from the AH. The same goes for leather, ores, and herbs that you can gather using the professions recommended to you above.

Conversely, building up your skills as you level makes for a good way to get exploring other locations; now that you don’t need to walk to instances any more, how many Allies are found swimming the lake between Southshore and Lordaeron? Answer: none. But there’s a cooking recipe you get from a quest that sends you there.