The World of Warcraft is a dangerous place, just ask any player to try to come up with the number of times they have died. While the World of Warcraft has a very forgiving death penalty, you still want to be careful. If you are not, you will very quickly find that you spend most of your play time running back from a grave yard constantly, instead of actually playing the game.
While death is unavoidable in some situations, there are many things you can do to minimize the number of times that you die and the time you waste because of it. Some of these are common sense after a little while, however many new players never think twice about it, until it's too late.
Some simple things
There are a few simple things that you should always keep in mind when your playing that will keep you alive. The first being the simplest, but sometimes the hardest to do.
Be aware of your surroundings at all times - This is something so obvious, yet we all see to either forget about it or ignore it. This simple thing leads to more deaths that anything else. Players watch MOBs patrol back and forth, see the paths, run in to grab something or fight something and then become so focused on it that they forget about everything else around them, until it's too late.
Even when you are busy fighting, you should take the time and effort to sweep your camera view around every once in a while to see what is heading your way from all angles.
Watch where you are going - Remember when you were a kid, and your mom yelled at you for running across the road without looking? Chances are if you don't, you lived in a quite country town, or you wouldn't be around any more. The same logic applies for looking where we are going in WoW. We all know this, yet for some reason we all end up dead at the bottom of a cliff, an elevator or in a middle of a group of Mobs we never quite saw. This can be very embarrassing when it happens in the middle of Shattrath with a bunch of guildies around, yet we have all done it.
Watch where you go AFK - Many times, especially for new players, they simply forget that this is an MMOG. The game continues on, even if you don't. You can not simply walk away from the game at any time and place, or chances are you will come back to find your ghost in the graveyard. For the most part this means that you should only AFK in a friendly town. To do this simply hearth back to your home inn, or run back to town and then AFK. If it is a very fast AFK and you know the area you may risk going AFK on a road (if you know there are no patrols on the road) or better yet if you are level 70 and have a flying mount, you can mount up and float above the area to AFK.
Be careful what you fight - Many times you get into a grove pulling and fighting creatures and then stop really looking at what you are pulling. In several places (but main in the Outlands) it is possible to find an elite mixed in with a group of regular MOBs, if you pull it by accident, chances are you will die. Also, in many places the MOBs vary in level in the same area. They could be just 1 level apart, but may be several levels different in just a few yards distance. If you are struggling against a creature and then pull one that looks the same but is two levels higher, it could spell disaster.
Make sure you are not flagged - Make sure you are not PvP flagged when you are heading out to adventure. This is especially true when you are going near any popular area such as near a town, instance, method of transportation or a summoning stone. Showing up flagged for PvP combat at an instance for example is a good way to end up dead fast.
On a PvP Server
On a PvP server the same general tips apply, however there are many new dangers as well. What they all come down to though is "be aware".
Stick to unpopular areas - The safest place to be on a PvP server is where no one else is. This generally means questing and grinding a little further away from town than you would on a PvE server. The more popular and area is, the more chance someone from the other faction will show up to kill you. This also means that when you are doing an instance you should avoid waiting by the summoning stone. As soon as you get to an instance, zone in. When someone needs a summon, zone out with as many players as possible, summon the others, and then get back inside as quickly as possible.
Go slow and steady - On a PvP server you should try to remain at or near maximum health and mana as much as possible. No sooner will you go from one fight to another at less than full health and someone from the opposing faction will show up to wreck your day. It may take a little more time, but it will save much more by not doing a graveyard run.
Chose your zones carefully - On a PvP server it is best to show up to a zone a level or two higher than you should be to handle the MOBs there. This is because you will also be dealing with players as well.
Stay off the roads - When traveling on a PvP server it is always saver to chance dealing with MOBs than other players. Stay off to one side of the road in a popular zone to avoid being seen by opposing players. This may mean a little more fighting against MOBs, but it will also mean fewer deaths to higher level players that just happen to be passing by.
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