If you were to log into your account for the first time and zoom out as far as the eye could see on your map, you still would have no clue how big the world of Azeroth really is: literally, figuratively and metaphorically.
- LITERALLY: The world of Azeroth is HUGE: just running around your starter zone before hitting Level 20 (and gaining a mount for faster travel) takes TIME. It takes time to run from one quest to the next.
- FIGURATIVELY: If you do not enjoy doing things trial-by-error, learning on-the-go, or consistently evolving your gameplay based on trends (hot strategies) and changes (hotfixes, patches and expansions), WoW probably isn’t for you. If you do enjoy those things, you’re in for a treat. You will learn, first, about the class/race you choose. Then, your world of knowledge will grow exponentially…
- METAPHORICALLY: Once you learn the literal world (how to navigate around WoW) and the figurative world (learning classes, races and professions) you will begin learning metaphorically—the stage I am in—where you develop your own strategies based on how you like to play. This is the most fun; where you truly develop your own gameplay experience!
OKAY; ACCOUNT IS SET UP – NOW, WHERE THE HELL DO I START? DPS…
First off, Blizzard Entertainment developed a fantastic resource for people just starting. In addition, WoW Insider’s WoW Rookie 101 Guide series is ongoing, and is a great resource if you’d like to “read ahead” of what I’m currently blogging about. Both links listed below:
Blizzard’s Beginner’s Guide - http://us.battle.net/wow/en/game/guide/
WoW Insider: WoW Rookie Guides - http://wow.joystiq.com/rookie/
LET’S DO SOME DAMAGE!
There are three distinct playing styles you may select: Tank, Healer or DPS (Damage Per Second).
TANKS are the leaders. They are the ones everyone else follows behind in dungeons and raids. They are the ones that are expected to open, maintain and control all group fights. They are expected to know dungeon layouts, shortcuts and boss fight details (how to beat them/what to avoid during the fight).
HEALERS are the “behind-the scene” player. They are responsible (early on) for keeping the Tank alive, and also (later on) keeping other members of the group alive. If a dungeon is too easy, Healers can get bored with not much to do. At other points in time, Healers can get overwhelmed—if your Tank is overaggressive and your DPS crew is running amok—healing several group members at once can be a multitasking chore from hell.
DPS is my favorite for learning the ropes. Selecting a damage class allows you (in group) to follow the leader and learn by watching. You almost always give the Tank a few extra seconds before you join the fight (to allow them to draw the enemy’s focus), which lets you watch how things will play out in a fight/dungeon. In addition, the Tank shows you around the dungeon while the Healer helps make sure you live long enough to learn the ropes.
DPS can be broken down into two main groups: melee (close proximity damage) and ranged (damage from afar). Your choice depends on your preferred style. Always wanted to be a wizard and cast terrible spells? Choose a ranged DPS class, like a mage. Always wanted to be a stealthy, ninja-like assassin? Choose a melee DPS class, like a rogue. Personally, I love a rogue night elf for a starting toon because they inflict great damage, are quick in stealth (night elf bonus) and have middle-of-the-road armor capabilities (leather).
A QUICK LOOK AT DPS…
Melee DPS: Rogues, Paladins, Warriors and Death Knights
Ranged DPS: Hunters, Mages, Priests and Warlocks
Hybrid DPS: Druids and Shamans (can fill multiple roles including both types of DPS)
Other DPS Notes:
o DPS ONLY: Rogues, Mages, Hunters and Warlocks
o DPS/TANK: Warriors and Death Knights
o DPS/HEALER: Shamans and Priests
o DPS/TANK/HEALER: Druids and Paladins
As I said, my preference is to begin with a Night Elf Rogue for the bonus to stealth, middle-of-the-road armor capabilities and the great fun of being a ninja-like assassin. If you’re ready for your first profession(s), I would go with skinning/leatherworking to benefit my (leather-wearing) main. Skinning is my favorite “easy” gathering professions because you’re going to kill some things you can skin. Mining and Herbalism both require you to seek out the item to gather. Skinning is the “lazy man’s” gathering profession…but I’ll cover that in another post.
GO DO SOME DAMAGE!