How to start playing World of Warcraft.

#1 Edited by Jasta (2217 posts) -

Decided to write this as a little helping hand to the people who don't want to sift through lots of needless information elsewhere to get the basic facts about how to start in World of Warcraft. I'm writing this assuming you don't have a fucking clue how World of Warcraft works.


What you will need to start playing.

First of all your going to need to create a Battle.net account, which can be done from here. Your Battle.net account will serve as a kind of hub from which you can manage anything and everything to do with your Blizzard games.

Time.

While not all the rumors surrounding World of Warcraft are entirely true, you will have to invest alot more time into this game to progress at a steady rate. While questing and leveling up is for the most part good fun, alot of the games content is intended for players at the maximum level. Don't be discouraged as reaching the maximum is not as impossible as you may have heard.


What do I buy first?

First and foremost you need to buy the original World of Warcraft, this is the foundations on which the rest of games go off in their respective tangents. You can either buy it retail or download it from the Battle.net website. 


Is their a demo I can play before buying the game?

Yes, once you have created your Battle.net account their is an option to download the client for a free 10 day trial. Once you have bought first game, you will get a months worth of free playtime, plenty time to decide whether you want to subscribe or not.


I bought the first game. What now?

You need to register the game on your Battle.net account, once you have logged in, under the "Summary" tab there is a big green button on the left of the screen that says "Add Game"  follow this link and you will be prompted to "Enter a game key". In the box there should be a key just like every other PC game. Enter it into the box provided and the game should now be tied to your account. 


Do I need to subscribe?

One way or another, yes. You can either choose to subscribe using your credit/debit card for 1, 3 or 6 months or buy a pre paid game card which are usually for 60 days of playtime (these work alot like an XBL subscription cards). Once you have done this you can start playing.


Patches?

Every so often new patches are released to fix bugs and the like. If you are jumping into WoW for the first time I advise you have something else to occupy yourself with because you will most likely have a fuck-ton of patches to catch up on.


Realms?

A fancy way to say servers. There are a few different kinds:

Normal/PVE (Player vs Enemies) - Basically you can play through the game without having to worry about getting jumped by the opposite faction.

PVP (Player vs Player) - Essentially the opposite of PVE. You can be questing away minding your own business and all of a sudden you have been jumped by a player of the opposing faction (and it will happen.)

Normal-Roleplaying - As the name suggests, you can pretend to be a fairy if you want without being judged or jumped by the opposing faction.

PVP-Roleplaying - Roleplaying is still permitted but there is always the chance someone from the opposite faction will try their hardest to ruin story time.

Note: If you have an existing character on a realm and want to swap to another, you will need to pay to transfer that character to a different one. If you have friends who play it would be wise to ask which realm they play on before you jump into one. 


Faction/Race/Class

Faction - The "Team" you will be sided with. Alliance or Horde. Each side has their own exclusive races, which cannot crossover. It is possible to change faction mid-game, but you will have to change your race upon doing so.

Races -  Each faction has 6 races and they all have their race specific talents that are unique to them. (e.g Undead can breathe underwater for alot longer than any other race (300% longer the last time I played).

Classes - Do you want to heal people, hit people or set them on fire? Of course, there is alot more to it than that, but when your first starting out these are probably the things you will have thought about. Bear in mind that some races will not be able to play specific classes.

Professions

Simply put, you could say these were jobs. A way to make money in game for providing services to other players. (e.g crafting a weapon or piece of armor) The more you use your profession the quicker you will level up. It is easier to work your professions from the beginning of the game than it is to start from scratch at a higher level, it will also provide you with an alternative income on the side of the quest rewards.


Visiting GB's World of Warcraft page will provide alot more detail on these subjects. I have only mentioned the basics since the depth of detail can be pretty overwhelming to a first time player.


Expansions


Should I buy any of the expansions right now?

This really depends on how you want to play. These are the main things they introduced with each expansion (that matter to beginners):

Burning Crusade -

  • 2 new races - Blood Elf and Draenei

  • Outland (new game area)
  • Flying Mounts
  • Raised level cap from 60 to 70

If you have this expansion registered you will be able to play as a Blood Elf or Draenei from the beginning of the game. You will also have access to Outland, however this area is intended for players of level 60 to 70 and surviving at lower levels is pretty much out of the question. Flying mounts will not be available until you hit level 60.

Wrath of the Lich King

  • Death knight class
  • Northerend (new game area)
  • Raised level cap from 70 to 80

Now personally, if you are just getting into WoW I'd say hold off on this one as there are no immediate benefits. You cant play as a Death Knight unless you already have a character of level 55 or higher. Its still possible to travel to Northerend at any level but upon arrival, any enemies will spot you a mile away and proceed to kick the shit out of you.

Cataclysm

  • Two new races - Goblins and Worgen
  • Complete re-design of Azeroth
  • New quest system
  • New starting areas for original races
  • Raised level cap from 80 to 85

Now this is where it all gets a bit blurry for me as I have yet to play Cataclysm so corrections would be more than welcome.

Basically if you are just starting then the two new classes are the only features you'll benefit from by actually buying the game as the new quest system and re-designs are available to anyone who has bought the original game. (Please correct me if I'm wrong).


So in the end...

The expansions for beginners are opportunities to play the new races introduced with the respective game. Its up to you if you want to or not, the only downside I can think of is having spent an extra few £/$ for a game you will no longer play should it not be the experience you were looking for.

Its also important to note that you need to buy the expansion packs in order. For example to play Wrath of the Lich King, you need to have bought The Burning Crusade. And for Cataclysm you need to have all the existing expansions in order to play.

Again, if you want anything explained in more detail, check out the World of Warcraft wiki page.

Help updating.

I've been out of the WoW game for a the best part of this year and there are no doubt a ton of holes and mistakes in the things I have written or even things I have completely missed out. This would have been better written by someone who is actively playing the game and has more of a way with words than I do. 

Any essential additions, tips and corrections would be great. Remember this is for beginners who have never played before, so things like end-game raid tips are pretty much useless at this point.

Also, I'm sorry about the formatting. I'll try and add some images and make it less of a cluster fuck of text at some point.


Hope this has helped you in some way, Thanks.

Jasta.

#2 Edited by OtakuGamer (1230 posts) -

Interesting guide so far, needs a lot more detail though. 
 
Good Job ;)

#3 Posted by AndyPhifer (167 posts) -

You forgot to add "End all human contact."  
Good guide!

#4 Posted by Hizang (8532 posts) -

Well done, I wish my lappy could play this :(
#5 Posted by Jasta (2217 posts) -
@OtakuGamer said:
" Interesting guide so far, needs a lot more detail though.  Good Job ;) "

Its trying to make it informative, while keeping it as simple as possible thats the hard part.

What details need to be added?

#6 Edited by valrog (3671 posts) -

Great guide, though it has some flaws. Aren't you required to buy expansions in order? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this was the case with Wrath of the Lich King, and maybe it's the same for Cataclysm as well? I mean that you can't get Cataclysm without getting Burning Crusade and  Wrath of the Lich King first? In the order that they came out. Which would mean that if you want to roll a Worgen or a Goblin, you would have to have all the expansions. (Not a problem with Blood Elves/Draenei since The Burning Crusade is the first expansion). Or was that changed so the order doesn't matter?
 
Also, maybe you should note that you get a free month when you first buy the game, so you don't have to subscribe immediately.
 
Also, why is battle.net account needed? I'm sure this wasn't always the case...

#7 Posted by melcene (3056 posts) -

Good guide, here are a few suggestions: 
 
(First, you misuse there/their.  Personal pet peeve.) 
 
Under Faction, I wouldn't call Alliance vs. Horde the Good Guys vs. the Bad Guys.  They're simply two opposing factions who occasionally work together for the same cause. 
 
You are correct about the quest re-designs not needing Cata, as those have been available even before Cata went live.  I'm not entirely sure, but it might also be that you need Cata for the Archaeology profession and for Old World Flying.  Which reminds me, you might want to add the Jewelcrafting and Inscription professions to other expansion stuff.  But again, I'm not sure if the expansions are required for those, though I'm pretty sure it is for Old World Flying. 
 
Ummm.  Other than that, perhaps explaining what talent trees and talents in general are, so new players have an understanding before they hit lvl 10. 
  
That's all I can think of at the moment.  I'm trying to think of this in terms that we put it to my father in law when he expressed interest in playing.

#8 Posted by Gamer_152 (14072 posts) -

A great guide for anyone looking to start the game. Nice work.

Moderator
#9 Posted by JustKamToo (682 posts) -

I'd say leave wow and wait for one of the newer MMO's wow at the moment is to old and getting started (unless you know people playing) is to much work. If you can group up 90% of the time fine give it a go.

#10 Posted by TheDukeofArgyll (102 posts) -
@melcene said:
"  I wouldn't call Alliance vs. Horde the Good Guys vs. the Bad Guys."
 
 
/Agree.  That is not at all how they are designed and each side does just as much evil and good as the other.  Which is why they are called Factions to begin with and not Alignments or something along those lines.  They are both fighting against who ever is the current 'Bad Guy' is.   
 
Also the descriptions of the expansions are poor.  If you are new to the game, buy World of Warcraft and when you reach the level cap, buy the expansion.  Its also confusing when you say that a player would have to pay to transfer the character from one server.  A better way to say that would be you can start another character when ever you want but to play an existing character on another server of faction you will have to pay.
#11 Posted by CL60 (16906 posts) -
@JustKamToo said:
" I'd say leave wow and wait for one of the newer MMO's wow at the moment is to old and getting started (unless you know people playing) is to much work. If you can group up 90% of the time fine give it a go. "
Getting started isn't very much work at all. It's one of the easiest MMOs I've played in my life, and who cares if it's old? With their updates to the graphics, the game from an artistic stand point looks absolutely stunning.
#12 Posted by gamb1t (965 posts) -

You forgot that you need to say goodbye to the outside world.

#13 Edited by Jasta (2217 posts) -
@valrog said:

" Great guide, though it has some flaws. Aren't you required to buy expansions in order? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this was the case with Wrath of the Lich King, and maybe it's the same for Cataclysm as well? I mean that you can't get Cataclysm without getting Burning Crusade and  Wrath of the Lich King first? In the order that they came out. Which would mean that if you want to roll a Worgen or a Goblin, you would have to have all the expansions. (Not a problem with Blood Elves/Draenei since The Burning Crusade is the first expansion). Or was that changed so the order doesn't matter?  Also, maybe you should note that you get a free month when you first buy the game, so you don't have to subscribe immediately.  Also, why is battle.net account needed? I'm sure this wasn't always the case... "

Yeah, those are the the little details that I'm not sure about as I have always bought them in order. Oh yeah! I totally forgot about the free month, I'll add that in.

Battle.net accounts never used to be needed but round about the time WOTLK was released you were prompted to create one. Now whenever you want to manage your account it directs to the Battle.net website. Thanks for the suggestions mate.

@melcene said:

" Good guide, here are a few suggestions:  (First, you misuse there/their.  Personal pet peeve.)  Under Faction, I wouldn't call Alliance vs. Horde the Good Guys vs. the Bad Guys.  They're simply two opposing factions who occasionally work together for the same cause.  You are correct about the quest re-designs not needing Cata, as those have been available even before Cata went live.  I'm not entirely sure, but it might also be that you need Cata for the Archaeology profession and for Old World Flying.  Which reminds me, you might want to add the Jewelcrafting and Inscription professions to other expansion stuff.  But again, I'm not sure if the expansions are required for those, though I'm pretty sure it is for Old World Flying.  Ummm.  Other than that, perhaps explaining what talent trees and talents in general are, so new players have an understanding before they hit lvl 10.   That's all I can think of at the moment.  I'm trying to think of this in terms that we put it to my father in law when he expressed interest in playing. "

Ha! I tried to correct alot of these while writing it, but I must have missed quite a few. I'll add in Talents and include the professions in the expansions. Yeah I should probably change the part about factions. Its just when you get to that screen you basically see Humans or Monsters but I guess that doesint mean much at all the more you play. Thanks!

@AndyPhifer: Maybe some kind of section about how much of your time it will require wouldint be a bad idea!

@Gamer_152: Thanks alot, dude.

@Hizang: I'm pretty sure almost any PC/Laptop thats a few years old could play this game on lower settings.

@JustKamToo: A friend of mine who had never played WoW before started a few months ago. He has since progressed further than I have in the game, it really isint all the difficult if you put the time into it. 
 
 
 

 

#14 Posted by CoZ (21 posts) -

i failed to read all the comments , i will when i have some more time 
 
for beginner,  just buy the classic wow .. level up for a while at least to get a basic feel for it ... level 30 should be a nice goal ;)     
because  until level 20 there is no real differentiation .. a lvl 18 paladin can heal , tank and dps ..and if you are dps'ing and the tank dies you can quickly take over without much worries. you don't have enough talent points or gear difference to make it matter (practice in the role aside) . 
 
* classic (sundered by cataclysm)   1- 60  ..          everything changed for everyone.. if you get classic you will see the shattered world
* burning crusade      60 -70      
* wrath of the lich king 70 - 80  
* cataclysm 80-85      - the only benefit to get the expansion is when you hit level 80 and want to progress, or goblin/worgen
 
short answers ..  
 
-you don't need cataclysm untill you are level 80 .. or if you desperately want to make a worgen or goblin 
-you don't need wrath of the lich king until you are level 70 .. or if you desperately want to level to 55 and make a deathknight.   
-you don't need burning crusade until you are level 60 .. or if you desperately want to make a blood elf or dreaenei 
 
 
also note the reduced prices :) 
 
longer answers , tips and stuff i'll try to submit later on

#15 Posted by CoZ (21 posts) -

 Good Guys vs. the Bad Guys  
 
yeh, very long story.  
but in short.. it's more red vs blue.. as good vs bad. Both sides have their good and bad parts.  Both sides have attacked each, both sides have their dirty laundry. 
  

The main summary why the horde are bad according to the alliance, they are orcs.  and the orcs -while under control by the burning legion-  invaded kalimdor.  
 
The horde on the other hand broke free of this control and under the leadership of Thrall were a quite peaceful bunch.. but the leader of the alliance never forgave them and kept fighting a war against them.     (which in turn made some of the Horde want to retaliate and so on)
 
There was a delicate peace - aside some skirmishes from both sides - from burning crusade until the wrath of the lich king.  
During lich they even joined forces for a while to slay Arthras.. However just when the combined army was about to attack the wrathgate a small group which split of from the forsaken attacked both sides.  This culminated in a huge battle for the Undercity which sort of ended in a draw and the peace situation got shattered.  
 
In cataclysm
 With Thrall busy defending the world from collapse and a new and more eager to fight warchief for the Horde, and some fresh plans from the alliance,  the peace time definitely seems postponed.  
 
Just remember the old proverb about where two are fighting.. there are two parties to blame.

#16 Posted by Jasta (2217 posts) -
@CoZ:

I had a look at my WOTLK box earlier and noticed the "Must have Burning Crusade" stamp on the corner, same with Cataclysm. Guess the only reason you'd buy them from the start is if you really wanted to play the new classes. I changed the Good vs Bad section, because monsters are people to...

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