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WoW Rookie: How to choose characters to play with a partner

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It might not seem like an obvious issue, but playing WoW in tandem with a significant other can require a little forethought and planning. You can level solo in WoW pretty easily, but it can actually get more complicated if you're running around as part of a dynamic duo.

The complications become apparent when you're splitting drops, competing for resources, and trying to get items to complete quests. The game is (mostly) balanced around a single person leveling, and dividing everything in half can get a little frustrating. Then things get still more tricky later in your character's life when you're trying to find groups, join a guild, succeed in raids, and otherwise enjoy the end game. After all, you're essentially a sort of mini-team, and any group you join will need to have room for both characters.

What all this adds up to is that it helps for you to plot your characters, trade skills, and future plans in advance. Just a little bit of planning can help immensely. Let's talk about the things you should decide when you're creating your characters together.

Choose your classes wisely

Remember that you will be sharing all of your item drops with another person. That means you want to avoid playing two character who use the same type of gear. The types of gear that drop and the classes that use them are:
  • Cloth gear Mages, warlocks
  • Cloth spirit gear Priests
  • Leather agility gear Rogues, feral druids
  • Leather spell gear Balance and restoration druids
  • Mail agility gear Enhancement shaman and hunters
  • Mail spell gear Elemental and restoration shaman
  • Plate DPS gear Fury and arms warriors, frost and unholy death knights, retribution paladins
  • Plate tank gear Protection warriors, blood death knights, protection paladins
  • Plate spell gear Holy paladins
As a general rule, you and your partner should play characters who use different gear. This will be helpful both while leveling and when you're doing dungeons and raids. You won't be competing with your own partner for the same gear.

Be as dynamic as possible. Especially when you get to the high-level game of WoW, you'll want your two characters to be attractive to groups and raids.

The unfortunate part of that situation is that almost nobody out there is desperately seeking a pair of DPSers. While you probably can get one DPS slot and probably even two, eventually, life is easier if both parts of your pair can double as healers or tanks. That makes the hybrid classes most attractive for duos, especially if one of you is a healer and the other is a tank. For 5-man groups, all you would need to do a dungeon is three DPSers, and those are relatively easy to come by.

Choose your professions carefully

Choosing your professions is a slightly more complicated issue. That's because you need to worry about both the raw materials you use to execute your profession and the product of that skill. As a pair of players who are joined at the hip, you want to be self-sufficient as possible. The AH is crazy-expensive, and a cohesive pair shouldn't use it any more than absolutely necessary.

The professions you'll need to augment your gear and characters in the end game includes enchants, gems, leg kits, glyphs, and belt sockets. You'll use enchants and gems the most frequently, so usually, a pair of players will choose to be an enchanter and a jewelcrafter.

That being said, the most important part is to make sure that you don't double up on the reagents needed to fuel your professions. Here's a list of which gathering professions fuel which production professions, so that you can avoid that hiccup:
  • Mining Blacksmithing, engineering, jewelcrafting.
  • Herbalism Alchemy, inscription.
  • Skinning Leatherworking.
  • Enchanting Enchanting is its own gathering profession, although many people take tailoring to supplement it.
Tailoring doesn't use a gathering profession to collect reagents; it uses dropped cloth from mobs. You'll find yourself running out of cloth often, though, so absolutely make sure that only one of your pair is a tailor.

Stick together

While leveling, the most important rule is to stick relatively close to one another. Try not to complete quests out of order or spend too much time killing mobs solo. Faster leveling is quite a boon to people trying to achieve level 85, but it means that it doesn't take much solo time for you to leave your partner dust. On the other hand, you'll sometimes need to collect crafting reagents solo. Try to keep that time to a minimum.

Playing the game with a partner is a lot of fun. It's fun to explore the world together and achieve as a couple, but it does take some forethought. With that planning out of the way, though, Azeroth becomes your oyster.

Visit the WoW Rookie Guide for links to everything you need to get started as a new player, from how to control your character and camera angles when you're just starting out, to learning how to tank, getting up to speed for heroics and even how to win Tol Barad.

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