Intro to Playing World of Warcraft: A Crash Course

Whether you're new to Azeroth or are just returning after long hiatus, this crash course will help you survive.

There are dozens of forums, websites and Youtube videos dedicated to World of Warcraft. And yet, most of them don't answer some very simple questions. Oftentimes, you're forced to sift through tons of crap not relevant to what you're looking for, having to listen to someone explain something horribly. And don't get me started on the craptacularly (that's my word), hideous music in the background. Here's where Ge'NeL comes to the rescue! We've created this guide to answer recurring questions asked in the Women of Warcraft Facebook group and all across the internet world....of Warcraft.

WHERE TO START

First things first, you have to decide which type of realm is best for you: player versus player (pvp), player versus environment or role playing versus player.

  • PvP is exactly how it sounds. It's faction player against opposing faction player in addition to NPCs. Outside of major cities, the potential to be killed by another player is pretty high. Some people even find joy in terrorizing low level areas. While it may be annoying, it comes with the territory.
  • PvE realms are relegated to environmental gameplay. While pvp is still an option on pve realms, it requires being in a battleground or arena or turning pvp settings on.
  • RPvP is a bit different. It's role-playing! You interact with other players as if you are an NPC or you can create a background for your character. Almost anything goes, including ERP (erotic role-playing). If that's what you're into (not gonna knock it--you do you, boo-boo) then you can get started in Goldshire.

Which faction is better? Horde or Alliance?

Before someone attempts to fill your head with nonsense let's get this out of the way first. One faction is not better than the other. They banded together for different reasons. That being said, different races have special abilities based on their race. You can click on the particular race then the "More Info" button below the races to see which abilities they have.

After you've decided which faction, race and class you want to play.

MAKING FRIENDS

Some people are content to play WoW alone. And that's okay. Some people enjoy solitude and want to play at their own pace. WoW, in itself, is a very social game where many objectives require playing with others. It really does help to have a friend or two to quest with. But making friends in Azeroth isn't always easy.

  • Join a guild. Joining a guild is the fastest way to meet new people. Talk in guild chat and gauge how people communicate with each other. Do not assume everyone's humor is the same as yours. Not everyone fancies dark humor. Needless to say, your first interaction with someone shouldn't be "Sup bitch" or anything of the like that shouldn't be the first thing you say to someone. Also, remember that a lot gets lost in translation via text communications. So be mindful of how you communicate with others and also how they communicate with you.
  • Create your own guild. By creating your own guild you can create the type of environment that you want to be a part of. Invite people you've interacted with who you feel would fit into the virtual home you've created.
  • Enter random dungeons and battlegrounds. Not only is doing dungeons and BGs a good way to learn to play your class better, but also a pretty decent way of meeting other players. And if you're good, it's likely people will give you kudos and want to play with you again.
  • Don't beg for gold. If there's one thing worse than gold sellers spamming trade chat, it's gold beggars. They are annoying. We know that newcomers need gold. But it's frustrating that people put a lot of time and effort into their characters to make gold, save up for repairs, etc. just for someone to come in and start off with "Hi. Can I have a few gold to guy a piece of gear from the Auction House?" No, bruh. I feel for you, but you have to make it the way most of us did. This guide will show you how to do that, too!

DUNGEON ETIQUETTE

Azeroth has enough bad apples to go around. There will always be abominable twats who think that hiding behind a computer screen gives them a free pass to treat others like total crap, waste people's time, pick on others because of their playstyle, etc. This guide is to help you to not be one of those guys or gals. Here are a few do's and don'ts to help make Azeroth a better world--of warcraft.

  • Don't be afraid to ask questions. You're new or it's been a while, speak up. "Hey guys! This is my first time here. Anything I should know about this boss?" People generally appreciate when someone can ask for help.
  • Be open to constructive criticism. It's not easy being told or made to feel as if you suck. Some people seriously do not have tact when talking to others. That's still no reason for anyone to treat you or anyone else like crap. But do try to be open to advice from those who do try to help you by sharing a few pointers or tips.
  • Don't need on every item that drops. In addition to your race-based special abilities, the character creation page also tells you which type of armor your class wears. For example: You're a druid in a dungeon with five other blokes. A piece of cloth drops. The priest wears cloth. You need on the item because you might be able to wear it. Don't do that! Druid's primary armor is leather. Priest's primary armor is cloth. Be courteous and ask if they need it before hitting need. Another example: You're a big, strong warrior in a dungeon. An intellect trinket drops. You hit need. WRONG! Warrior's primary stat is strength. Warriors do not need intellect for anything whatsoever.
  • Do try to have patience for other players. Healers need mana. Tanks sometimes like to wait on their cooldowns or certain abilities before pulling. Someone's kid may decide to play Whack-A-Mole with mommy or daddy's keyboard. Someone's cat may decide that their keyboard is now their bed. Stuff happens. Life happens. Be patient. It will be okay. I promise.

MAKING GOLD

Being new to WoW or making a new toon on a new server and not having enough money to repair your gear, buy gear or buy supplies really sucks. But there are so many ways to make gold. Here are a few ways to ensure you stack your paper (gold) quickly.

  • Loot everything. Yes, loot everything, even the grey items. Vendor them. The copper and silver add up.
  • Sell green (common) armor on the AH. It doesn't matter how low the item level of the gear is, it will likely sell on the auction house. Dirtydianna and Thickyvicky have found some amazing, low level green items for transmogs.
  • Choose a gathering profession. Leather, ore and herbs always sell on the auction house. Always.
  • Collect cloth. Cloth is yet another big seller on the auction house. Especially low-level cloth. Netherweave cloth continues to be the biggest seller on the AH, probably because Netherweave bags are easy to make and they sell very well, especially to low level players looking for more than the 4, 6 and 8 slot bags that they get while questing.

ADDON BASICS

Addons are not for everyone. Some people prefer to play with just the game UI and that is perfectly okay. But some of us use addons to enhance game play and in-game experiences. Here are a few basic addons, if you are interested, that may help you navigate your way through Azeroth.

First, download the Twitch Desktop App. It's all encompassing since they partnered with Curse to include addons. On the Twitch app, click Mods to take you where you want to go. Then select World of Warcraft to take you to addons for WoW. Clicking on the name of an addon will give you detailed information about what that addon does.

  • HandyNotes for questing is amazing!
  • BigWigs or Deadly Boss Mods for when you decide to venture into dungeons and raids.
  • Decursive is particularly helpful in dungeons, raids and battlegrounds. It's a mouseover addon that allows you to quickly removes harmful magic, poisons and diseases from your party or raid members if your class has the ability to remove them.
  • Details! Damage Meter, Recount or Skada damage meters. These are very handy to help keep track of damage, healing, absorbs, deaths and other actions. Details not only displays the damage and healing stats from your party or raid, but also functions as a way to help you improve your game play. For example, as a healer, both you and another player have the same specialization, similar gear and item level, but he/she is putting out more HPS than you. A number of things could factor into why your heals are lower. With Details, you can mouseover that person's name and it will show you what their top heals are. The same with damage.

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