Tips for the new World of Warcraft player

With the demise of my beloved City of Heroes/Villains, I started playing World of Warcraft. For the most part, it’s fun, though there are things I miss about CoX (instanced missions, for starters). But it’s had its fair share of frustrations, and I offer these tips to those starting out in the hopes of making your first few weeks (or months) of WoW a little easier:

Humans and Worgen are not good choices for first characters

(There are probably Horde races that are also not good starting choices, but I gravitated towards Alliance early on.)

Worgen start out in an area that progresses over time, with a lot of game history behind the story. It’s neat, but if you’re not 100% comfortable with some of the game mechanics, it can be intensely frustrating. There’s not a lot of places to rest during logout, and dying means running around a lot to get to where you’re supposed to be. (Also, the final climactic battle has some bugs to it, especially if more than one character is participating at a time).

Humans seem like an obvious choice for a first character, but the town you move to right after the first few quests is where high-level players like to hang out and duel, so it’s a crazy mass of people and that can make it difficult to find where you’re supposed to be going. Plus, if you choose gathering professions, you’ll have a harder time finding resources, because many of those high-level players will snag things as they pass them.

On a related note:

Choose gathering professions for your first character

The profession trainers in the starting areas will helpfully tell you that many players choose professions that go together, like mining and blacksmithing. What they DON’T tell you is that further into each of the production professions, you will start to need things from other professions. You can buy them on the auction house most of the time, but it can get expensive, and there’s so very many other things you’ll want to spend your gold on. Instead, sell your gathered materials on the auction house to bring in some extra cash.

Or, you can be an idiot like I was, and choose enchanting and engineering as professions for your main character, and then go broke and crazy trying to get the materials you need. I have alt characters that gather, but since my main character is a lot higher than they are, they just can’t keep up with her material needs. Don’t do it.

Always logout in an inn

You get a bonus to your experience gains if you are “well rested”, which happens from being in an inn. You accumulate that bonus even if you are logged out, so there is no reason not to log out somewhere where you will get the bonus. The inn you rest in does NOT have to be the inn that your hearthstone is set to.

There is no downside to joining a guild

Certainly, you should look for a guild that has goals similar to your own and is full of people you like to chat with. Until you find that guild, just join one you can stand, especially if it’s high level. (You can quit them with no real penalty, so if you’re not sure, go ahead and join it anyway.) Depending on the level of the guild, you can get experience bonuses and gathering bonuses, your hearthstone can refresh faster, and when you get a mount it can travel faster. The guild can get a bonus in the form of guild experience when you complete quests and a percentage of your cash when you loot a corpse (which is generated in addition to your loot– they’re not taking a cut of what you would get). Just don’t be a jerk– if you know you’re not staying, don’t beg them for money or gear, and don’t accept huge gifts without warning them that you may not be around for long.

Travel is slow

So try to avoid it if you can. When you take a quest, look around for other questgivers– chances are, you’ll have several that want you to do things in the same area. Finish up the quests from one area before moving to the next. For the most part, the game is designed to keep you moving towards your next goal, with “breadcrumb” quests sending you to the next little village full of questgivers.

At the same time, don’t feel that you have to complete every single quest in an area. If you’re at level 12 and still in the 1-10 zone, it might be time to move on.

The game is designed for add-ons

It’s worth taking a look at the available add-ons and seeing which ones appeal to you. Curse is the big one, and I’ll recommend downloading their client just for the ease of keeping addons up-to-date, and for uninstalling the ones that didn’t work they way you wanted them too.

Add-ons take memory and add to the possible ways for things to crash/act wonky, so don’t go hog-wild with them; 1000 add-ons that do everything possible is not better than 6 that do what you want.