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Filed under: WoW Rookie

7 things casual players need to know about Warlords of Draenor

The dust has finally settled from the BlizzCon newstravaganza, which means it's time for us more casual players to figure out just what's going on with World of Warcraft's upcoming expansion, Warlords of Draenor. Here's the basics:
  • Where's the expansion set? Draenor, before it became Outland. Yep, we're heading back in time for this expansion.
  • What's the new level cap? 100. But don't panic if you haven't even reached the Mists level cap yet, because Blizzard is going to boost one of your characters to level 90 so you can play in Draenor.
  • What can I do in Draenor? In addition to the standard leveling, questing, dungeoning, and raiding, the expansion will have garrisons for you to build. Think of them as a seriously amped up version of the farms in Mists, letting build your own in-game city.
  • What new classes or races are coming? None -- however, all of the current classes are getting new models. It may not sound like much, but it makes the original WoW races look brand new.
  • When will I be able to play? We don't know yet. But as with most Blizzard games, we suspect it will be out "when it's ready."

So that's what the next expansion has in store for us. But there are some upcoming gameplay changes that will definitely help low-level or more casual players find their footing and get through the game -- if that means you, read on for 7 things you'll want to know about the next expansion.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie, BlizzCon

What is crowd control and how do I use it?

You've probably heard about crowd control -- or maybe even used it yourself -- but you may be a little unclear as to what people want when they ask you to "CC" or "sheep" a monster. Crowd control generally refers to a lot of different skills, but they all have one thing in common: they let you, in some way, control the actions or movement of a hostile target. The standard example is mage's Polymorph spell, which turns its target into a sheep for up to 50 seconds, during which it wanders aimlessly, without doing any damage or casting any spells.

So just why would you want to "sheep" a monster? Well, when it's a sheep, it's not attacking you or your party, which can be the difference between life and death when you're trying to take out a large group of monsters at once. The idea is that you polymorph one monster while you focus on taking down others. When the polymorph runs out, you can either recast it to get more time to fight your other targets or take that opportunity to kill the formerly polymorphed monster.

Good use of crowd control can let you and the rest of your group take on more difficult monsters and groups by limiting who's attacking you. So just how do you become a crowd control ninja -- and the hero of any party you're in? We'll walk you through the basics.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

Just what is BlizzCon and how can I keep up with it?

If you're new to the game or play casually, you may be wondering just what all the fuss is about BlizzCon. So just what is BlizzCon and what does it mean to you?

We'll start at the beginning: BlizzCon is a convention held by Blizzard where they announce new games, hold panels with developers, let the best players in the world show off their skills in tournaments, offer hands-on demos of just-announced games, host costume and talent contests, and other fun Blizzard-centric activities. The con is held in sunny Anaheim, California on a standard Blizzard "when it's ready" schedule -- typically every couple of years. This year's convention will be on November 8 - 9th and if you want to attend... well, unfortunately tickets are sold out. However, you can still pick up a virtual ticket which will let you watch live streams from the convention floor as well as pick up some in-game goodies -- like the Murkalot pet -- for $40.

But is it worth it -- and do you even care? Well, maybe. Here's a rundown of what you can expect to happen at BlizzCon this year -- and how to keep up with the news from afar.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie, BlizzCon

Should you play a death knight in WoW?

If you're a new WoW player, finding the right class for you can be tricky. We've covered the game's standard classes -- druid, hunter, mage, monk, paladin, priest, rogue, shaman, warlock, and warrior -- but if you haven't quite found the right fit, there's the game's single hero class, the death knight, remaining. These fallen warriors were returned to life to fight for the Lich King, where they were fierce opponents who supplemented their weapon skills with dark magic. However, some death knights have broken free of the Lich King's control and now serve the alliance or the horde.

So just what is a hero class? While you might think that means it's a more powerful class, instead it's a more unique class -- or at least it was at the time it was introduced in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion (and you'll need the expansion to play one). Today, some of the unique characteristics of the class mirror changes we've seen come to other classes, but the story of the death knight class -- which ties closely into the story of Arthas and the entire Wrath expansion -- is still a unique experience you won't find anywhere else in the game. That's not to put down the class: just don't expect it to be more powerful than any other class.

There is one newbie-unfriendly caveat: to create a death knight, you have to have another character at level 55 or higher, because death knights start the game at level 55. It doesn't matter what server your level 55 character is on or what faction it is, but you have to have one somewhere before you can create a death knight. This isn't to say that new players can't tackle death knights -- but you'll have to spend your first 55 levels playing another class.

Sound interesting? We'll break down just what death knights are -- and aren't -- below.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie, Death Knight

Should you play a warrior in WoW?

Should you play a warrior in WoW
Jumping into World of Warcraft for the first time -- or rejoining the game after a long absence -- can be daunting. And the first tough choice is deciding which class you want to play. If you've already decided on a race you want to play, that can help narrow your choices -- except, that is, in the case of warriors, which are one of just two classes playable by every race.

Warriors are a core class in any RPG, and the archetype is certainly recognizable in WoW's class, which is a master of arms and armor. Fighting furiously on the front lines of battle, warriors can dish out damage with heavy weapons in melee combat or take a more defensive role, absorbing damage with a shield and protecting their less-armored allies. Wearing heavy plate armor and wielding a wide variety of weapons, warriors are dangerous fighters that are tough to take down.

While warrior is a basic class type, their gameplay is anything but simple -- there's plenty of depth to their game if that's what you're looking for. So is warrior the class for you? If fighting on the front lines of any battle is your idea of fun, you should read on -- we'll give you a run-down of just what the class can do so you can decide for yourself.

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Filed under: Warrior, WoW Rookie

Should you play a shaman in WoW?

Should you play a shaman in WoW
If you're just getting started in World of Warcraft, the class and race options can present a dizzying variety of options. How do you know if the class you're considering today is going to still be interesting next week -- or in the next ten levels? Being informed can help: so our new player class guides try to give you an idea of what you're getting into before you burn time playing through a class that you don't really enjoy.

Today we're talking about the shaman, a class that channels the raw power of the elements to heal or harm. Shamans are a bit like priests in that they're spiritual leaders -- though they have nothing to do with the holy light that fuels most priestly abilities -- and a bit like druids in their use of nature magic -- though the shaman's channeling of the elements themselves is unlike anything a druid can do. Shaman is a hybrid class: they can serve as healers as well as doing magical or melee damage to their enemies. Unique to the class are totems, which a shaman can summon to boost their group's abilities or harm their foes. It's a class that gives you the flexibility to play the way you want while also providing a lot of utility for both you and your group. But is shaman the right class for you?

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Filed under: Shaman, WoW Rookie

What you need to start playing WoW

So your friends have been talking about World of Warcraft, and you've finally decided to jump in and give the game a try. But when we're talking about a massively multiplayer game with five expansion packs to date, just where does a new player get started? Trust us, it's not as difficult as it seems: we'll walk you through everything you need to get going with World of Warcraft.

System requirements
World of Warcraft will run on both Mac and Windows PCs, and before you buy the game you should definitely make sure your computer meets the minimum system requirements. They're fairly modest, so there's a good chance you're fine unless you're using an older computer.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

How to go from solo WoW to group WoW

It's finally time: you've been leveling on your own but now you've been lured into your first dungeon by a quest or the promise of gear. But running dungeons with a group of four other players is a lot different from soloing -- different enough to seem like a whole new game. When you enter a dungeon, you need to work as part of a team, and take careful consideration of the rest of your group before you make any moves. It's a very different mindset than what you're accustomed to as a solo player.

Even if you feel like you know your stuff in World of Warcraft, the switch from soloing to grouping can be bumpy -- so how do you make the transition without looking like a newbie? Fortunately, we've been around the block a time or two and have some advice to help you get started, no newbie moments required.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

Should you play a mage in WoW?

World of Warcraft has been around for so long that it can be a bit daunting to get started. What server do you roll on? What faction should you pick? What class should you choose -- and how will you know if the choice you make, on a whim, during character creation will result in something you'll want to play at level 90? While server and faction are mostly a matter of where your friends are playing, class is a question we can help you figure out.

Experienced WoW players, this guide is probably not for you -- but for newbies, we'll try to help point you towards the class that's the best fit for your playstyle by giving you a detailed overview of what classes are like. Today, we're talking about mages, who unleash elemental and arcane magics on their foes. These powerful abilities come at a cost: mages can only wear light cloth armor, which can leave them vulnerable to physical attack. But if you're interested in wielding the powers of magic to devastate your enemies -- from a safe distance -- the mage may be just the class for you.

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Filed under: Mage, WoW Rookie

WoW Rookie guide updated with new account security section

Account security knowledge is essential info for any World of Warcraft newbie. However, even if you're not a newbie yourself, you might benefit from checking out the completely revised, revamped, and rewritten account security section of our WoW Rookie guide. Why? Because no one likes their account getting hacked and following the advice in our account security guides can help you keep your account in your hands. So what are you waiting for? Give our account security guides a gander.

Have new player questions we haven't answered yet? Or maybe you're looking for something you can't find in the rookie guide? Drop us a note and we'll look into covering it for a future WoW Rookie!
Just because you're a newbie doesn't mean you can't bring your A-game to World of Warcraft! Visit the WoW Rookie Guide for links to everything you need to get started as a new player, from the seven things every newbie ought to know to how to get started as a healer or as a tank.

Filed under: WoW Rookie, Account Security

What to do if your WoW account has been hacked

The worst has happened: you've tried to log on to your World of Warcraft account and you can't. Or perhaps you can log on to your account, but your characters are have been stripped of gear and gold. Your account has been stolen, hacked, or compromised somehow. But don't panic, because Blizzard can help you get your account back. It's a bit of trouble on your part -- which is why you ought to take care to keep your account secure! -- but it's certainly not impossible. We'll walk you through the whole process, step by step.

The process may seem lengthy -- and annoying -- but be patient, and you'll eventually get your account back just as you left it.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie, Account Security

How to keep your computer secure to keep your account secure

We've talked about how to secure your Warcraft account, but no matter how strong your password, your account can still be compromised if you don't practice safe computer habits. So just what makes safe computing? It's about keeping your computer itself secure from threats by making sure you have updated software and a solid antivirus program to keep out viruses and keyloggers. But even a secure system won't do you much good if you fall prey to a scam -- so safe computing isn't just keeping your computer secured, it's also about knowing how to stay safe online.

We admit, it sounds kind of hokey, but online security will help your account stay yours, whether you're talking about World of Warcraft or a credit card. So if you're not quite sure what we're getting at when we talk about safe computing, spend a few minutes to read this article. We'll walk you through the basics of what you need to know to keep your accounts in your hands.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie, Account Security

How to secure your World of Warcraft account

Whether you're just getting started or you've maxed out the number of characters on your World of Warcraft account, your account is valuable to hackers. And if they happen to steal your account, it can be a pain -- and a long wait -- to get it back to you. All of this makes securing your World of Warcraft account serious business.

But fortunately, it's easy enough to keep your account under (virtual) lock and key by taking some precautions in advance -- and when we say "in advance," we mean these are things you should do right now. We'll walk you through the very basics of keeping your account secure with a good password and an authenticator. Read on for all you need to know about getting started with good security!

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Filed under: WoW Rookie, Account Security

Rookie Guide updated with the latest how-tos for the newbie in your life

Rookie Guide updated with the latest howtos for the newbie in your life
Whether you're a new player yourself or you have friends who are just starting to get in the game, our Rookie Guide is the place to find all of WoW Insider's new player coverage in one easy-to-bookmark place. New additions to the guide include a section on gear, items, and professions as well as a section on new player class guides, to help the WoW newbie in your life find the right class to play.

Looking for something we haven't covered in the guide yet? Drop us a note and we'll look into covering it for a future WoW Rookie!
Just because you're a newbie doesn't mean you can't bring your A-game to World of Warcraft! Visit the WoW Rookie Guide for links to everything you need to get started as a new player, from the seven things every newbie ought to know to how to get started as a healer or as a tank.

Filed under: WoW Rookie

Should you play a rogue in WoW?


If you're just getting started with World of Warcraft, don't worry: you're not too late to have plenty of fun. (In fact, we think this is a great time to be playing WoW.) But getting started can be a little tricky with all the choices you have to make. Which race you select is a primarily cosmetic choice, but the class you pick -- and whether it's a good fit for your preferred style of gaming -- is a choice that will make all the difference.

But we're here to help make that choice at least a little easier by talking you through WoW's classes, one at a time. And on the menu for today is the rogue. In World of Warcraft, rogues are lightly armored meleers who use stealth to get in close and then hit their target with precision strikes. The rogue is one of four classes in the game that focuses solely on DPS: their three talent specializations only changing their preferred way of dealing damage.

If getting up close to the bad guys and always being in the middle of combat sounds like your thing, a rogue may be the ideal class for you. Read on for more about what to expect.

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Filed under: Rogue, WoW Rookie

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