Newbie Guide

Table of Contents


Welcome to the world of MMORPGs (Massively Multi-player Online Role Playing Games)! For those of you not in the know, MMORPGs are like console RPG games (games similar to the Final Fantasy series) but allow thousands to millions of players in the same world at the same time. World of Warcraft (or WoW) is one of these MMORPGs and contains a wealth of features and gameplay to keep you entertained while you adventure along with other people.

MMORPGs feature a persistent world that never stops. Enemies constantly respawn and NPCs (non-playable characters, anyone that isn’t played by another person) treat you as the first adventurer they’ve seen to aid in their problems. Other people playing their characters can interact with you; trading loot and money they’ve acquired or help you go out on epic quests to defeat menacing dragons. You can play the game by yourself of course, but you get the most out of socially interacting with others as you play.

MMORPGs offer a limitless amount of time for entertainment as well. You can play the game for as long as your account is open and there is never an end to things you can do. You can do everything from slay evil beasts, collect rare gear, or many of the other things available. Even when the leveling is done there is still gearing yourself up and lots of various PvP roles.

Getting the Game

To begin playing WoW you have to have a few things first. One is the physical game purchased from a store. Next you’ll need either a game card or a credit card to continue playing after the first thirty days is up. Then you’ll need a computer that meets the system specifications:


  • Windows 2000 or Windows XP
  • Intel Pentium III or AMD Athlon 800 MHz
  • 512 MB of Ram
  • 32 MB 3D Video Card with Hardware T&L Rendering
  • 7 gigs of hard drive space (or more)
  • 4x CD-ROM Drive (or broadband and extra hard drive space)
  • Internet Connection (56k or better)


  • Mac OS X 10.3.9 or newer
  • 933 MHZ or higher G4, G5, or Intel processor
  • 512 MB of Ram
  • ATI or NVIDIA video card with 32 MB of RAM or more.
  • 7 gigs of hard drive space
  • 4x CD-ROM Drive
  • Internet Connection (56k or better)

Game Time Costs

  • $14.99 USD for North Amercian accounts.
  • $29.99 USD for a 30-day pre-paid time card.
  • Payment methods accepted are credit/debit (VISA / Mastercard / Discover / American Express) card or use of a pre-paid time card.
  • The first 30 days of gameplay is free, the game runs on a 30 day billing cycle with each payment allowing 30 days of gameplay.
  • 14-day free trials and 10-day guest passes are available through various promotions that can be used to play the game, with restrictions, before buying it.

To play WoW you will need the game properly installed and patched. See our patch page for some direct downloading action for these patches and avoid the wait in patching your client up.

Character Creation

You’ll have to pick a server first. That’s kind of difficult to go over since any server will do. If you have some friends then head on over to their server or if you don’t want to play with friends or lack friends inside of WoW then you can just pick one at random. High population servers may have queues during peak times while low population servers. There are a few server types you should be aware of:

Server Types

  • Normal (PvE) Servers: These servers provide no world PvP (Player vs. Player combat) unless players choose to participate in it.
  • PvP Servers: These allow players of opposing factions (Alliance/Horde) to battle each other in contested zones. There is no penalty on a PvP death so it’s mostly harmless fun, however it can be more challenging (PvP Survival)
  • RP (Roleplay) Servers: Roleplay servers offer a friendly roleplaying environment. They come in both the PvE and PvP types.

You’ll also have to pick a side. There are two right now, the Alliance and the Horde. You can not interact through any normal means (chat, mail, private messages) with someone of the opposite faction.

Faction Types

  • Alliance
    Races: Human, Night Elf, Dwarf, Gnome, Draenei (Draenei are part of the Burning Crusade expansion)
    Description: The Alliance is basically an alliance of various races. The alliance was formed during the Warcraft series RTS games. The races present a mostly humanoid appearance.
  • Horde
    Races: Undead, Tauren, Orcs, Trolls, Blood Elves (Blood Elves are part of the Burning Crusade expansion)
    Description: The Horde are an unsteady alliance between the now reformed “evil” races. Most of the races have a monster-like look to them, but they have some of the better racial abilities.

The actual character creation process is a dauntless task, the newest of new to the genre. You have nothing to fear as you can not mess up your character when you are creating it. There are only a few options. You can change your race, class, and looks. That’s it. You can’t tinker with the stats and make your character useless. To remove some of the hesitation of character creation, we’ve created a chart on some of the best “picks” for race and class combinations (click). Remember though, if a race can play a class then it is generally very good at it. There are very few differences between the races.

The only difference between various races is starting stats and their racial abilities. The starting stats are a non-factor since they vary by only a few points. You will be sporting tons of gear adding plenty of points to each stat by level seventy. That makes this variance useless when deciding your character. Racial abilities, on the other hand, can alter your gameplay significantly. Some racial abilities better suit some classes more then others. For instance, Gnomes gain a 5% racial bonus to intelligence making them better then the other classes for both Mages and Warlocks. However, this bonus doesn’t help Warriors making them worse off at being a Warrior then say a Human or Night Elf. However, this difference is negligible. Human Mages are just as good as Gnome Mages, although Gnomes Mages may have a little bit more mana.

If you need more information on the various classes to help you pick then take a look at our class guides right here.

Picking a Race Chart

Below is a chart to help you pick a race. Remember that classes in bold are our reconmended classes. However, do not let this limit your choice. Orc Rogues do just fine, although the Undead class has better racials for Rogues. If you would like some more background information on the various races then check out our race guide!

Race Classes Racial Abilities


(Elwynn Forest)


Perception (active)
Activate to dramatically increase stealth detection. Twenty second duration with a 3 minute cooldown

The Human Spirit
Increases Spirit by 5%

10% bonus to faction point gain

Sword Specialization
Humans get +5 to Sword skill

Mace Specilization
Humans get +5 to Mac skill

Night Elves




Shadowmeld (active)
Activates while immobile and out of combat to enter stealth mode. Lasts until canceled. (activating the skill again, going into combat, or moving will deactivate it). 10 sec cooldown.

Dodge chance increased by 1%

Wisp Spirit
Become a wisp when dead with move speed increase of 50% (25% faster then a novmal ghost)

Nature Resistance
All Night Elves get +10 Nature Resistance


(Dun Morogh)



Stoneform (active)
While active, grants immunity to Bleed, Poison, and Disease effects. In addition, Armor increases by 10%. Lasts 8 sec with a 3 min cooldown

Gun Specilization
Dwarves get +5 to Gun Skill

Frost Resistance
All Dwarves get +10 Frost Resistance

Find Treasure
Activate to see treasure chests on mini map. Lasts until canceled and has no cooldown.


(Dun Morogh)


Escape Artist (active)
Activate to break out of a Root or Snare effect. Takes .5 seconds to cast with a one minute cooldown.

Expansive Mind
Increases Intelligence by 5%

Arcane Resistance
All Gnomes get +10 Arcane Resistance

Engineering Specialization
15 skill bonus to Engineering

Race Classes Racial Abilities


(Tirisfal Glades)


Will of the Forsaken (active)
Activate to become immune to Fear, Sleep, and Charm effects. Can also be used while already afflicted by Fear or Sleep. Lasts 5 sec with a 2 min cooldown.

Cannibalize (active)
Activate to regenerate 7% of total health every 2 sec. by consuming Humanoid or Undead corpses within 5 yds. Lasts 10 sec with a 2 min cooldown

Underwather Breathing
Underwater breath lasts 300% longer than normal.

Shadow Resistance
All Undead get +10 Shadow Resistance.





War Stomp (active)
Activate to stun up to 5 opponents within 8 yards. Lasts 2 sec with a 2 min cooldown.

Max Health increased by 5%.

15 skill bonus to Herbalism.

Nature Resistance
All Tauren get +10 Nature Resistance.




Blood Fury (active)
Increases base melee attack power by 25% for 15 sec and healing effects on you 50% for 25 sec.

25% resistance to stun and knockout effects.

Pet melee damage increased by 5%.

Axe Specialization
Orcs get +5 to Axe skill.




Berserking (active)
Increases your attack speed by 10% to 30%. At full health the speed increases is 10% with a greater effect up to 30% if you are badly hurt when you activate Berserking. Lasts 10 sec.

10% health regen bonus, 10% active in combat

Beast Slaying
5% damage bonus to Beasts

Throwing Specializatoin
+5 to Throwing Weapon skills

Bow Specilization
+5 to Bow Weapon skills

! Special Note on Trolls !: Many players feel that the other classes are always a better choice over Trolls. However, they are good at all classes just as well as the other races due to their Beserking ability giving a greater casting speed and melee attack speed bonus.

Starting the Game

One could write an entire book on how to play WoW. I’m going to skip that part and allow the useful in-game tutorial to walk you through the process. Instead we have compiled a list of helpful getting started tips that should answer most of the questions you have. Any links to articles that better explain the concepts are included. If you need more information then feel free to click away!

  • Attacking: You can attack by either pressing the attack key, binding a the attack button to your quick bar, or activating any skills while an enemy is targeted.
  • Quick-Bar: The quick-bar provides quick access to various skills and abilities. You can adjust it through the interface screen and can drag skills from your spellbook directly to your quick-bar. You can change the keys used to activate the different buttons on the quick-bar in the binding section of your options. You have several pages to store skills and can scroll through them with the arrow keys on the side of your quick-bar.
  • Advancement: You become more powerful by doing quests and killing enemies to gain XP. With enough XP you gain a level. Every two levels (or so) you can purchase new skills from your skill trainer. (Where to Adventure?)
  • Quests: Any NPC with an ! over their head provide quests. These quests can be done for easy XP, gold, and loot. A quest of grey level will give half XP while green and yellow quests can be solo’d. A quest of orange will be difficult and a quest of red will be near impossible. Epic and Dungeon quests are designed to be done in groups. (Quest Progression: Alliance / Horde) (Quest Database)
  • Currency: There are only three forms of currency in WoW. Gold, Silver, and Copper. 100 Copper make a Silver. 100 Silver make a Gold. (Making Money Guide)
  • Movement: You can move with the WSAD keys, the arrow keys, or the mouse. Many people prefer WSAD due to how close to the other keys it is.
  • Professions: Choosing two gathering professions can increase the amount of money you make as you level up and will be more useful then production professions at the early levels.
  • Grouping: You can group up with other players by right clicking their portrait when they are selected. However, the lower levels (before level 10) do not really require leveling for quests and may slow down the leveling process. (Etiquette Guide)
  • More Information: If you need more information about how to do something then don’t fear searching various websites. It’s not cheating to read quest spoilers, especially when it can save you up to an hour in finding stuff! (TTH Search)
  • Buying Gold (Just don’t!): No matter what, do not buy gold! You don’t even need it as a newbie. Equipment is level based and most any equipment for your level can easily be purchased with gold on hand.
  • Equipment: Equipment can be gained through quests, enemies, or players. Green quality stuff is the bare minimum you should wear after level twenty while blue is a lot better. Purple and Orange are even better but are extremely rare.
  • Bind on Equip: Many items bind themselves to you when equipped. This is normal. When you are finished with the item you can either disenchant it or sell it off to an NPC.
  • Bind on Pickup: When an item is labeled as Bind on Pickup then it will bind itself to whoever picks it up. In instances this can be a problem if someone rolls on an item they can not equip. Look to make sure you can use it before rolling on it.
  • Instances: Instances provide a wealth of XP, items, and money. However, they are difficult to run and require a full group. You should try to do instances when needed as you level up to increase the amount of cash, XP, and good quality items you have. (Instances)
  • Talents: At level 10 you will begin gaining talent points. See our class guides on smart ways to spend these points. (Talent Calculator) (Class Guides)


Here is some really helpful information that goes into more detail then this guide. Be sure to read up on everything concerning your class to ensure you spend your talent points well.

Class Guides

Where to Adventure?

General Guides

Official Site

Comments or questions? Email us ([email protected]) or post on our forums!

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our World of Warcraft Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

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Get in the bush with David "Xerin" Piner as he leverages his spectacular insanity to ask the serious questions such as is Master Yi and Illidan the same person? What's for dinner? What are ways to elevate your gaming experience? David's column, Respawn, is updated near daily with some of the coolest things you'll read online, while David tackles ways to improve the game experience across the board with various hype guides to cool games.


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