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WoW Insider's WoW Rookie Guide

New around here? WoW Rookie feeds you the basics to get you off to a good start in the World of Warcraft. We'll walk you through all sort of new player concerns, from what you need to know to get started to speed leveling and even how to catch up if you've taken a break from the game.

Hit our WoW Rookie categories for dozens of articles to help you be a savvier, smarter player and avoid the dreaded "newbie" tag.

Your first steps

Here's what you need to know and decide to get off to a good start in the World of Warcraft (ideally, before you even start playing).

 
Just what is World of Warcraft, anyway?
So your friends have told you all about this awesome World of Warcraft game, but you have no idea what you're getting into. That's okay: we'll lay out the most basic basics of what WoW is and how to get started.
What you need to start playing WoW
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? 
How to choose the right realm
Picking a realm is the first choice you will make after installing World of Warcraft on your PC. With that in mind, there are several things you should consider when choosing your WoW home.
How to pick a good name when all the good ones are taken
Especially on old servers, it can feel like all the good names are already claimed. Creating a new character with a strong, iconic name is one heck of a challenge, especially if you want to avoid joke names like McDoomChicken.
How to say, shout, and generally get your message across in WoW
The joy of MMORPGs is being able to interact with other players -- but it's not always as simple as walking up and saying hello. We'll walk you through the your communication options
Seven things every newbie needs to know
Even in this golden age of newbiedom, there are some aspects of the game that just aren't explained very well. So, whether you're brand new to the game or returning after an absence, here are a few things every newbie needs to know.
Stats 101: Your character's resources and attributes
 for players diving into their first MMO or even just switching classes, the basics of WoW's resources and stats -- otherwise known as the jumble of numbers listed on your character sheet (just hit "c" to see what we're talking about) -- may as well be a foreign language. We'll walk you through them.
Questing 101
There's no denying that quests are the meat and potatoes of World of Warcraft. Today's new players have more quest management tools than ever at their disposal.
Effective movement and camera use
Clunkier styles of viewing your game field and moving your character may eventually cause you to fall behind the performance curve. Our advice: Find out what the best practices are, and then try them out sooner rather than later.
Everything you need to know about WoW's talents and specializations
If you're pretty new to the game, you might not know what these are at all, but anyone over level 10 has at least seen the terms thrown around. We're going to explain just what talents and specializatons mean for your character and well as how to get the most out of your talent choices.
What are glyphs, how can I get them, and why do I want them?
Today we're going to talk glyphs: just what they are, what they can do for you, and whether you even need to bother them while you're leveling. Oh, let's just skip to the end, shall we? The answer to whether you need them is only if you want to bother with them.
What new players need to know about WoW patches
If you're new to World of Warcraft, or MMOs in general, you may not entirely understand all the fuss the community makes over patches. So just what is a patch? Why are they so important? And how can you get your hands on one? We'll do our best to explain.
What to do when you run into technical problems in WoW
Sometimes things just aren't working right -- maybe you can't connect or the game is too laggy for you to do anything. In situations like this, it's usually nothing but frustration until you manage to sort things out and the game starts working right again.
How to keep up with Blizzard on Twitter
More and more Blizzard developers are joining Twitter every day. It's a great thing for us fans, because they often see fit to post interesting tidbits about their work, many of which we probably wouldn't otherwise see.  So jump on the Twitter bandwagon and get following!
How to recruit your friends into WoW for big bonuses
Whether you're looking to get into WoW yourself or you know a friend who might enjoy the game, it's worthwhile to make use of Blizzard's Recruit A Friend program-- whether you're recruiting or recruited, you'll get some great extras.

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What's coming soon to WoW

World of Warcraft is always changing, so there's always something new on the horizon. Though it can be dizzying to keep up with everything, here are some big upcoming changes that are worth knowing about.

 
How to go to BlizzCon 2014 this November
BlizzCon 2014 is officially coming to the Anaheim Convention Center, so if you're interested in attending this festival of all things Blizzard, you should start making plans now. We'll help point you get started.
7 things casual players need to know about Warlords of Draenor
If you haven't kept up with all of the announcements about WoW's upcoming Warlords of Draenor expansion, we'll catch you up on the basics as well as a few features new and casual players will be especially glad of.
WoW Insider's Warlords of Draenor Guide
Don't want to keep up with every single news post about the expansion? Follow our regularly updated Warlords of Draenor guide to catch up with the latest. 
What we know about the lore of Warlords of Draenor
The new content focuses around the world of Draenor -- an alternate version of the world we explored in Burning Crusade, one in which the Burning Legion never sank its claws into the orcish race and instead, the Iron Horde rose to take the world by force, then move in on Azeroth. Read on to find out everything we know so far.
What is data mining and why is everyone talking about it?
Whenever there's a patch or expansion on the horizon, the community starts buzzing about data mining -- we'll walk you through just what data mining is and help you decide whether you need to care about it. 

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How to get back in to WoW

Coming back to World of Warcraft after a long break? This section is all about finding your footing in this updated version of Azeroth -- but don't neglect the rest of this guide, which has plenty of advice to help old-but-new players, too.

 
How to get back into WoW after a long break
Even if you've only been gone a few months and missed a patch or two, gameplay changes and new content could catch you by surprise -- and if you've been gone for an entire expansion or more, World of Warcraft may feel like a brand new game.
The returning-to-WoW checklist
Whatever it was that kept you away from Azeroth, now that time has passed and you can get back to some good old-fashioned, well-balanced WoW. Firing up your character for the first time in a while can be a little disorienting. It's worse than forgetting where you left your keys.
The very best resources for players coming back to WoW
If you used to play World of Warcraft but you've been away for a while, coming back to the game can be daunting. With as much as WoW changes patch to patch (and expansion to expansion) you may not be joining a completely new game, but it can certainly feel like it.

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Class guides and how-tos

Not sure what class to play or how to get started with it? We'll help out.

 
How to choose the right class
Not sure which class is right for you? You can always try out a few different classes to see what floats your boat, or you could read our new player's guide to classes.
Should you be playing a death knight?
Death knights are fallen warriors who were returned to life to fight for the Lich King. They're fierce opponents who wear heavy armor supplement 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. Sound like the class for you? Read on.
Should you be playing a druid?
Druids harness the powers of nature to help their friends or harm their foes. They can wield magic to harm like a mage or heal like a priest and can shapeshift into animal forms to dive into melee fighting. Sound interesting? We'll tell you everything you need to know about druids.
Should you be playing a hunter?
Compared to other classes, hunters have a straightforward function in any situation: to do damage with ranged weapons. And with the power of their pets to protect them, hunters have very high survivability when soloing, which secures their place the top of new player recommendation lists.
Getting started with the hunter class
So you've finally decided to roll a hunter. Congratulations on coming to your senses and choosing the best class in WoW. Whether you are a veteran of one of the other 10 hunter-support classes, or a brand new WoW player, we'll walk you through getting started.
Get on top of hunter etiquette
 The last thing you want to do is contribute to that awful "huntard" stereotype, so we'll get you started on your path to hunter greatness with some etiquette tips. Trust us, you'll be glad you got them.
Should you be playing a mage?
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.
Should you be playing a monk?
Looking to do something different? Why not try a monk? Monks are masters of weaponless combat who have learned to harness their chi hurt their enemies or heal their friends.
Should you be playing a paladin?
As Blizzard puts it, paladins are called "to protect the weak, to bring justice to the unjust, and to vanquish evil from the darkest corners of the world." But for us, paladins are a great hybrid class -- with the ability to tank, DPS, and heal -- that have both survivability and versatility.
Should you be playing a priest?
World of Warcraft's priests are spiritual devotees who unleash the powers of light and shadow to heal or harm. This cloth-wearing hybrid class is healer-centric, with two healing specs and a DPS spec. Sound like your thing? Read on.
Should you be playing a 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. Above all, they focus on dealing damage.
8 pointers for leveling your lonely rogue
To those of you who have recently elected to join the rogue legion I have some guidance to offer as you embark. I have seen many of your ilk level rogues before you, and will see many more do so after you. I have seen the questions they ask, and the myths they wrongly believe. I am here to stab you with truth.
Should you be playing a shaman?
WoW's shaman class is a unique hybrid that can fight in melee or by using ranged magical attacks. And in any situations, a shaman channels the raw power of the elements to help their friends or harm their foes.
Should you be playing a warlock?
Warlocks have a unique playstyle in the game: they're a bit like mages and a bit like hunters, yet they don't play very much like either class. Ready to head over to the dark side? Warlock may be just the class for you.
So you want to play a warlock
If you're not sure where to start with your new warlock, class expert Megan O'Neill will set you on the path to warlock victory with all the info you need to get started.
Should you be playing a warrior?
Fighting on the front lines, 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. Sound like fun? Then you should take a look at the warrior class.

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Grouping with others

Once you're under way, it's time to join forces with other players to achieve larger goals. Don't be intimidated at the prospect of grouping -- let us help you find your way to great grouping.

 
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. We'll help you get started.
Nine newbie tips for running dungeons without looking like a newbie
While there's no way to avoid newbiedom entirely, with a bit of foresight, even the newest player can run a dungeon without looking like a newbie. These tips should help you get started on your dungeon running career.
Six simple tips for getting started in tanking
Tanking is arguably one of the more stressful roles in WoW, particularly in the raid finder. You can't just waltz in and hit some things or heal some things and everything will turn out rosy, you do actually have to know the fights. We'll help you find your way.
Six simple tips for getting started in healing
Healing's a little tricky to get started with, just because there's not much scope to practice out in the world, without other players. You should definitely have a go with all your spells out in the wild, just to see what they do, but it's only going to be when you get into an instance that your skills are actually tested.
Five tips to improve your DPS, no matter what you're playing
DPS is a numbers game, and it's a case of the bigger the better in many cases. So, when you're having trouble outrunning the damage meters, what can you do to improve your DPS? We're here to help.
The etiquette of rolling on gear in groups
Dungeons drop gear. For many players, that's the whole point of going into an instance, whether it's a 5-man dungeon or a huge raid instance. But who should get what in a pick up group isn't already clear, so here are some basic guidelines on loot etiquette.
Using the Dungeon Finder to level in a flash
If you're leveling your dozenth alt and just sick of questing, maybe it's time to get on the leveling bullet train and give dungeon leveling a try. Here's what you need to know to get started.
How to chain pull without frustrating your group
Chain pulling is one of those divisive things. It's a really fun way to put some excitement into tanking in content you know very well, to push yourself a bit harder, as well as being fairly key to taking on challenge modes -- but it's also an easy way to annoy people, particularly your healer, if it's not done right. 
How not to aggro your tank with AoE
AoE, or area of effect attacks, can be a huge help when you're trying to kill multiple mobs at once. But if you're pulling aggro from the tank, they can also be a big hinderance. These tips will help you stay friends with your tank.
How to get started in LFR whether you're a new 90 or a boosted 90
Despite their relative ease, there's still some work to be done to do your best in looking for raid (or LFR) groups -- and in the process make the raiding experience easier on you and your group mates. We'll walk you through the game's LFRs and what you need to do to get there.
A raid rookie's lexicon of raiding language
Most experienced raiders use language that a new player won't find in the game interface. Words like "tank" have a relatively obvious meaning, but phrases like "void zone" can be a little tougher to interpret when a new player first encounters them. We're here to clear up confusion before it happens.
How to deal with spoilsport speed demons in dungeons
What happens when the Dungeon Finder matches up a group of players with the right mix of roles but the wrong mix of goals? Who "wins" when veteran players want to speed-run a lower-level instance, while the new players want to savor every surprise and puzzle over every trick?
How to ignore the damage meters and just have fun in Dungeon Finder
Grouping via the dungeon finder can feel like grouping with a bunch of Ferengi, all intent on enumerating the Rules of Acquisition. Can't we stop talking about stuff and numbers long enough to enjoy the game?
Look out for social scrubs in your dungeon running
Playing in dungeons, you'll meet some players who believe it's their place in the world to "school the n00bs," turning every group into an ugly display of selfish, egocentric lecturing. These are the players who play not with their groupmates but despite them. Here's our best advice for dealing with them.

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Joining, creating, and managing a guild

Guilds can help you reach your gaming goals by providing help with leveling, grouping, or PvPing -- plus, being part of a good guild just makes the game a lot more fun. We'll help you find the right guild or build your own.

 
How to find a guild in World of Warcraft
While it's true that you can successfully fumble about in the relatively unpopulated leveling zones or run the dungeon and raid finders on your own, you'll enjoy a richer, more complete game experience if you play with other players as intended. We'll help you get started.
How to pick the right type of guild for you
Are you searching for a guild of "friendly, mature people" who "have fun" in either a "social" or "raiding" context? You're in luck! You'll find those terms in most guild recruitment ads for WoW's 10 million players worldwide. We'll help you sort through them to find your perfect guild match.
Voice communication etiquette for MMO players
Headsets and voice communications have become ubiquitous to group play in MMOs today. Guilds freely share their server addresses with pickup players. PvP groups rely on tight communication to sweep to resounding battleground victories. Even players in random groups often meet up on voice comms to simplify strategy and tactical coordination. We'll walk you through how to get chatting.
9 suggestions for a new guild leader
Running a guild in World of Warcraft isn't easy, but with these 9 tips you'll be sure to get your guild off to a good start. 
The three biggest mistakes new guild leaders make
Taking up the mantle of leadership brings with it many pitfalls. But of all the mistakes that a new leader can make, these three are the ones most likely to turn into major headaches -- or even guild-shattering drama.

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Player versus Player (PvP) combat

Whether you play on a PvP server or you just want to try out some Battlegrounds or Arena matches, we'll show you how to get started.

 
How to PvP
Let's say you've never PvP'd before. Let's say you've never even dueled. You might be a high-end heroic raider, you might be someone who's just got their first level 20. What do you need to know?
How to gear for PvP at level 90
With the current standing of PvE gear in PvP, you might need a little guidance on where to start gearing up. We'll help you figure out what you need and how to get it.
Battlegrounds in 5 seconds: Deepwind Gorge, Temple of Kotmogu, Silvershard Mines
There's no in-depth strategy here -- just quick, light guides for each BG to help someone out who has no idea what they're doing.
Your first Battlegrounds as a PvP healer
You've probably heard people bemoaning the lack of PvP healers. "Hey," you think to yourself, "I've got that healer I leveled ... Maybe I should bring that character along to the next Battleground I do!"
Focus and Macros: The key skills you need for PvP
We all know how to select a target, I assume, but you can also have another target set in addition to your main target. That's your focus target -- and it can help you rule the battlegrounds.
The rules of duels
The prospect of a duel can be intimidating, but you really have nothing to lose. Duels are a fun way to test how well you react to the unexpected.
20 tips for PvP realm leveling
Make no mistake, it's war out there ... and only the savvy will survive unscathed. Sounds ominous, eh? Let's knock off some of the mystery.
How to become a PvP legend, step 1
Learning to PvP can be hard and the road to getting good at it is lined with hundreds and thousands of deaths. Make your peace with the spirit healer now, and let's learn how to PvP.
How to become a PvP legend, step 2
Now that you've mastered the basics of PvP, let's start talking about the more advanced stuff that will take your game to another level.
How to heal in battlegrounds
When you are the healer, you get to decide who lives and who dies on your team. You extend your warm, golden glow around the mere DPS who clamor to bathe in your power, and by means of that glow, provide victory to your team.
How to kill a healer
We've talked about how best to heal in battlegrounds, so now let's turn the lesson around and talk about how to take out those annoying healers in PvP.
How to protect your healer
Without your protection, your healer will soon be enjoying life as a greasy spot of ex-character. This is bad. So here's some advice on how to keep your healer (and yourself) standing in the wilds of PvP.
How to carry the flag in Warsong Gulch
When you touch the flag in Warsong Gulch, you become the focus of 19 people in the battleground. There's a little more to the job than just mashing a particular cooldown, so let's take some time to talk about strategy and tips.
How to win at Warsong Gulch
Warsong Gulch is essentially Capture the Flag: each team has a base, and a flag that sits in that base. Your team's goal is to grab the enemy's flag and return it to your base without losing your own flag. Do that, and you score. Score three times and you win. We've got the tips to help you win more often.
How to win at Tol Barad
Tol Barad can be a massive, confusing, hot mess to anyone who isn't already accustomed to its evolution. Don't worry, though -- despite all of the dailu quests, NPCs, and various fluff, Tol Barad is actually fairly simple. We'll lay it out for you.

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How-to's and tips to boost your gameplay

Sometimes it's not so obvious how to choose the right tool or tactic for the situation. WoW Rookie rounds up the basics.

 
What reputation is and why you should care
In World of Warcraft, you must also make friends (and sometimes enemies) with members of various faction groups. Reputation (rep) is gained through killing a faction's enemies and completing quests to assist a particular group.
The tips you need to level in a flash
WoW Insider readers seemed to have quite some insights into the fastest way to get from level 1 to level 90: we've been through the responses and picked out the most regularly mentioned and most intriguing to create this reader-inspired guide.
8 quests you might have skipped, but shouldn't
If you're looking for something to do before Warlords why not revisit some old quests? Some low-level quests are pretty dang fun, good for a laugh, and offer some interesting perspectives in terms of fleshing-out Azeroth's world. I've picked out eight low-level quests (or quest chains) that are a particular delight.
How to keep leveling when you're just tired of the same old quests
These alternate leveling methods aren't the fastest or the most efficient ways to get to max level, but they do all have the advantage of not being the same old quest grind. So whether you're leveling a character up for the first time or the hundredth, here are some unconventional ways to get the XP you need.
15 easy (and not so easy) achievements to work on while leveling
You'll find you get achievements for lots of things in WoW, and we've gathered some achievements that are a bit out of the way, but but all of which you can either pick up or work on while you're leveling.
What is crowd control and how do I use it?
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. So how do you get started using it? We'll walk you through the basics.
How to learn mouse turning
Most folks generally accept that it's "best" to control your movement with a mouse -- or at least your turning. This is because your characters spins about faster if you make the motion with your mouse. We'll help you get started.
Stay on target with raid target icons
Raid target icons make it possible to identify particular mobs and set the kill order for an encounter in an objective, unchanging fashion.
Keep your key targets in focus
A focus target is a secondary target that helps you keep track of an additional unit other than your current target. They are a great way of keeping track of an escort mob you need to locate in a crowd, an NPC you need to crowd control, a key healing assignment ...
Rares, elites and nameds
Special names, special graphics ... Special attacks, special levels of health ... These are special mobs, the elites, nameds and rares of Azeroth and beyond.
Of hearth and home
Seasoned players manage to accumulate a little hearthing savvy that makes life in Azeroth (and the Outland and Northrend) a little more convenient.
Loremaster: A completist's dream
Earning your Loremaster title means grinding out literally hundreds and hundreds of quests over every step of your journey through Azeroth, Outland and Northrend, from level 1 through level 80. It's the completist player's dream, a title that shows you've paid your dues in every zone at every level of the game.
Tips and tricks for taking great WoW screenshots
Whether you're talking about mind-blowing scenery, incredible in-game experiences, or just good times with friends, you'll experience plenty of WoW moments that you'll want to remember. And just like in real life, it's helpful to snap a quick picture to supplement your walks down memory lane.
Understanding item levels and gear decisions
A lot more goes into your gear choices than just item level or even quality color. So let's talk a tad more about why item level counts and how you can use that as a rough guide to making basic gear choices.

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Getting started with addons and macros

WoW's in-game addons may seem like a mystery to new players, but these gaming helpers don't have to be complicated. We'll walk you through where to find and how to use addons and macros, as well as point you towards some of our favorites.

 
Everything you need to know about getting started with addons
If you're relatively new to the game or have only been playing casually, you may not have run into the concept of addons, much less used any yourself. However, addons can revolutionize your gameplay experience, and we're here to help you get started.
Speed up your gameplay with key bindings and macros
If you want to speed up your game, it's a good idea to learn WoW's default keyboard shortcuts as well as how to make your own key bindings and macros. We'll cover the basics and help you get started.
Addons that make macros easier
Though macros themselves are great, the macro interface, as one of WoW's older ones, leaves a little to be desired. So let's look at addons that make macros easier, particularly those that generate more space for their use. 
How to stop clicking and start keybinding
Clicking your abilities with your mouse may seem like a straightforward way to play the game, but it can be slower than using your keyboard. If you want to speed up your gameplay by making the switch away from clicking, we have everything you need to know.
Damage Meters 101: Skada vs. Recount
Both of these damage meters will help you figure out your DPS and gauge your group's performance -- but which one is better? We take a detailed look at both addons to help you pick the right one.
Manage your storage space with these bag addons
There are so, so many bag addons available in WoW right now, and so much of the assessment of them is simply down to personal preference. We can't show you all of them or tell you which one you'll like best, but we'll introduce our favorites.
Upgrade your hunter with these hunter addons
Hunters, take note: these are the addons you need to maximize your hunterosity. Looking for useful hunter macros? We've got those, too.
Boost your warlock with macros and more
Make the most of your gameplay with this solid collection of warlock macros. And if you want to take your warlock to the next level, you'll want these warlock-specific settings for the addon Weak Auras.
Improve your PvP game with these addons
PvP is a take no prisoners kind of game where you can use any advantage you can get. These addons may not be an iwin button, but they can help will make your PvP experience a little less chaotic.

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Boosting to level 90

With the Warlords of Draenor pre-order now available, you can boost a character to level 90 as soon as you purchase -- or buy additional level boosts. Here's what you need to know about level boosting. Once you've boosted, check out the what to do at level 90 section for your next steps.

 
How to boost a character to level 90
If you're not sure where to start, this video will walk you through boosting up a character -- new or old -- to level 90.
How to learn what you're doing on a boosted 90
In some cases, players who've pre-ordered Warlords of Draenor or even bought the level 90 boost are on level 90 characters that they don't actually know how to play. But it's okay: we'll walk you through finding your way around your new level 90. 
Boosting a level 90: Tips, tricks, and the PvP gearing method
We'll walk you through the tips and tricks you need to get the most out of your newly boosted character, including how to get your gear level up to ilvl 522 with PvP quests.
10 reasons to use your level 90 boost on a hunter
Not sure what to level boost? We have ten really good reasons why you should use your boost on a hunter... and, no, it's not just a list of awesome pets.
Pros and cons of boosting a death knight to 90
Because death knights already start at level 55, you may wonder why you should waste your level boost on this hero class -- which is a valid point. But that last thirty levels or so can be a real slog, so let's take a look at the pros and the cons of boosting your death knight.

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What to do at level 90

If you just hit level 90, and you're not sure what to do now... you're not alone. We've got some advice to help you figure out what to do now that you've hit max level. 

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10 things to do once you hit level 90
The trip up to level 90 is fairly guided, with quests and bread crumb trails to lead you to the best places to level up. But after you hit max level, you're on your own for what to do -- which is great if you know what you want, but problematic if you don't. 
Our guide to gearing up in Mists of Pandaria
Whatever you plan to do next, you need gear to do it. Fortunately, it's easier than ever to gear up new characters -- we'll walk you through it.
Pick up a decent weapon at 90 in the Arena of Annihilation
Once you're 90, head to Kun-lai Summit and the Temple of the White Tiger. Gurgthock will be standing next to a gong just outside the temple proper, and he'll give you a quest to enter the Arena of Annihilation, with the reward being the choice of a couple weapons tailor-made for your class.
Collect weekly treasure chests on the Timeless Isle
There are only six chests total on the Timeless Isle that respawn not on a daily, but a weekly basis -- and there's a trick to getting them all. Let us help you snag them.
Loot the Troves of the Thunder King
The Troves of the Thunder King allows you to walk into Lei Shen's treasure vaults, steal as many items and as much gold as you can, and get out. Sound like fun? Here's how to do it.
Get exalted with the Lorewalkers in an hour or less
There's no dailies or grinding to get yourself in good favor with the Lorewalkers -- all you have to do is fly around Pandaria and take a look at lore items, which shouldn't take more than an hour or so with a map to guide you.
Collect dinosaur bones for fabulous prizes
Ku'ma is a bone collector. What he does with all the bones he collects is unclear -- perhaps he is planning on building one of those Zandalari boats when he has enough of them -- but you don't want to ignore Ku'ma or his bone-loving ways, because he has plenty of rewards to offer to those that bring him bones. Lots of bones.
How to get your secondary stats just right
Your secondary stats, like hit and expertise, become more important when you stop leveling through content and gear to stop at top-tier content. Unfortunately, figuring out what these stats are, what they do, and what you need isn't exactly self-explanatory -- sometimes even requiring you to consult an addon or website to figure out whether a new piece of gear is really an upgrade.
Reforging 101
Reforging allows you to customize your magical items by substituting one secondary stat for a different secondary stat -- and it will start to get really handy as you level up and need the best gear to run dungeons and raids.
The best reforging and gear optimization addons
Once you've got your hands on that upgrade, you'll need to enchant it, gem it, reforge it, and consider whether to upgrade it. But fear not, friends! There are tools out there that will make your lives considerably easier.
Solo dungeons for fun and profit (but mostly fun)
If you never had a chance to raid or run dungeons earlier in the game, now you can do many old world raids completely solo. It's a fun way to check out content you've never seen, experience new bits of the game's story, gain reputation, and pick up pets, mounts, and great transmog gear.
Get started collecting titles in WoW
Are you more of a Crazy Cat Lady (or Crazy Cat Man) or a Jenkins? If you want your character to have cool titles like these, you'll have to sink some time into getting the achievements that let you use them --  but there's no time like the present to start collecting titles for your character.
Get started collecting mounts in WoW
Though even the most casual player will collect a few mounts by the time they've hit level 90, there are always more to pick up. Typically, special mounts require either grinding up to exalted reputation with a particular faction or getting a lucky drop in a dungeon or raid -- but many can be acquired completely solo, so long as you're patient. We'll help you get started collecting.
What to expect from the Proving Grounds
Looking for a new kind of challenge? Head to the Temple of the White Tiger in Kun-Lai Summit and enter the Proving Grounds to test your abilities at DPS, tanking, or healing.
How to play your hunter at level 90
So you've got a fresh level 90 hunter in front of you -- what now? What are all these abilities? How do pets work? We've got answers for all that. 
How to set the world ablaze with a level 90 fire mage
Looking to make the most of your newly-90 fire mage? Arcane Brilliance will walk you through the mage info you need to know to be the best blaster in the business. 
How to get your level 90 monk ready for groups
Monks can fill a lot of different game roles. If you're looking to get your new level 90 monk into groups, we can help you get started as a mistweaver or a windwalker.
How to tank or heal as a max-level paladin
If you've gotten a paladin to level 90 and are looking to jump into groups, it may be time to learn to tank or heal. Fortunately, we've got the skinny on how to get your holy hybrid into tanking (and more tanking) or healing.
How to play your warlock at level 90
Want to make the most of your new-to-90 warlock? Blood Pact has the basics on playing afflictiondestruction, and demonology at level 90.
How to play your warrior at level 90, no matter what spec
Just hit level 90 with your warrior and need to figure out what to do next? Let warrior expert Matthew Rossi walk you through the level 90 basics for protection, arms, and fury specs.

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Gear, items, and professions

Everything you need to know to get started with weapons, armor, professions, and just stuff in World of Warcraft.

 
The newbie's guide to weapons in Warcraft
Weapons play a huge role in World of Warcraft, even if you don't play a physical damage class that actively hits people with them. Beyond damage capacity, weapons buff your character's stats and heavily effect your character's looks.
A beginner's guide to WoW's gathering professions
Primary professions are typically categorized as "gathering" professions that allow you to collect materials and "crafting" professions that allow you to create items. There's a lot of ground to cover, so we'll start our overview of professions by talking about the game's three gathering professions: herbalism, mining, and skinning.
A beginner's guide to WoW's crafting professions
Now that you know gathering, it's time to talk about what to do with the materials you've gathered: craft. World of Warcraft has eight different crafting professions -- alchemy, blacksmithing, enchanting, engineering, leatherworking, tailoring, jewelcrafting, and inscription -- which means crafters have plenty of options.
A beginner's guide to WoW's secondary professions
So just what are WoW's secondary professions? Cooking, fishing, first aid, and archaeology. And, we know, these might sound a bit on the dull side -- do you really want to spend your video game time cooking? But whatever you do, don't write secondary professions off as optional or unimportant, because they can definitely come in handy for players of all types.
How, when, and where to get your very own mount
You don't have to have played WoW very long to have seen -- and admired -- your fellow players running around riding tigers, dragons, turtles, flying carpets and dinosaurs, among other things. And if you're anything like us, your first question is "Where do I get one?!"
How to get started building your own battle pet arsenal
Even if you aren't a fan of the "gotta catch 'em all!" game on which battle pets are modeled, we think it's a fun break from leveling -- and since you're walking right by battle pets to collect and fight as you wander through each zone, why not have your battle pets advancing at the same time you are?
Battle pet basics to get you started building your pet collection
If you want to amass a fine collection of WoW pets, what you need to do is get into pet battling so you can find and capture your own pets. However, it's a daunting prospect if you're starting from level 1 and want to pick up pets from Northrend or Pandaria. 
Leveling your battle pets into a formidable pet army
Now that we've covered all the details about how pet battles work it's time to put that knowledge into practice to get your pets leveled. It's a long road from 1 to 25, but these tips will help you get there.
How to get started with transmogrification and become the most stylish newbie on the block
 WoW's transmogrification system lets you make one piece of gear (armor or weapon) look like another. It's pretty simple, but there are a few rules you need to know before you get started. Looking for things to transmog? Check out our transmog guide!
What are heirlooms and how can I get them?
Heirloom items are "big brother" helper items designed to be purchased by level 90 characters and passed along to younger characters on the same account, regardless of realm or faction. But whether you have a level 90 or not, they can help you advance through the levels.

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Buying, selling, and trading

Whether you enjoy the meta-game of in-game trading or you simply want to cover your personal needs, we help you reach for the gold.

 
How to make gold without breaking (much of) a sweat
You can turn a decent profit in WoW without jumping through many hoops, even at low levels. All it takes is paying attention to the loot you find and following a few general guidelines, and you can make enough gold to buy (almost) anything you want as you level your way to greatness.
How to earn gold for the absolute beginner
People getting into earning gold from scratch often don't have any clue where to start, and they often have a bunch of incorrect ideas about what they need to get going. But that's why we're here to help.
Save everything, sell everything
Virtually everything you pick up has value to someone. Here's how to start making sense of it all -- and lots of reader comments that help you with the finer points.
Bags for your goods
It's easy to throw down big money for big bags when you're max level and rolling in gold from dailies -- but new players must walk the line between overspending for convenience's sake and having enough bag space to get the job done.
How to store your stuff in World of Warcraft
If you've played for very long, you may have noticed that you can accumulate a sizable collection of armor, weapons, bandages, food, and just... well... stuff. We'll walk you through how you can hang on to the things you want to keep.
Managing your finances with a banker
Creating a dedicated character to do nothing but hang out in town, store goods and handle your finances may sound redundant at first. But time is money, friend -- and a banker can save you both.
Handing over the goods
How do you know the crafter to whom you've just handed your precious trove of materials won't simply turn around and log off?
Conducting business in [2.Trade]
There's more to successful in-game transactions than simply advising someone to "use the Trade channel for trade." We agree – so let's cover some basic tactics to get your sales sold, your portals ported and your enchantments enchanted.
How to use the unmodified auction house
The Auction House is something that you've probably been using since you were a wee little thing, still counting coppers. Despite this experience, there may still be a few things about the system that you might not know, and these tricks will help you buy smart and sell with confidence.

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Account security

Safeguarding the investment of time you've made in your character becomes more and more important as you level up. Make sure to use safe account security practices!

 
How to secure your World of Warcraft account
 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. 
How to keep your computer secure to keep your account secure
Safe computing is 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 it isn't just keeping your computer secured, it's also about knowing how to stay safe online.
What to do if your WoW account has been hacked
Don't panic! Though your account may be out of your hands at the moment, Blizzard will help you get it back -- and we'll walk you through the process.
The day Fox's account got hacked -- and how you can learn from his mistakes
I've been playing World of Warcraft for nearly four years. And despite all I know and all my warnings I've given you, the reader, it still happened. Last week I had my account hacked.
How to replace a keyfob authenticator with a smartphone Battle.net authenticator
If you find yourself needing to replace your trusty old authenticator, here's how you get it done. In this case, we're replacing the old keyfob with the iPhone authenticator app.

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Managing game time for yourself and your child

It's easy to let playing World of Warcraft eat up free time for the whole family if you aren't careful. These tips will help you keep things in balance and make sure your child has a fun and safe time in-game.

 
How to balance life vs. WoW
Balancing a full life with the wide world of Azeroth is a tricky thing. So how do you do everything in WoW when you just have a few hours a week? The unfortunate answer is: You don't.
Manage your time and avoid guild drama with the help of the Drama Mamas
Playing with other people sometimes means drama is hard to avoid, but we'll help you manage your time and find the right group to play with to keep your WoW-life drama free.
8 ways to stay in touch with all your old WoW friends
The people we meet in Azeroth are most assuredly part of our lives -– and stepping away from WoW (whether for a temporary sabbatical or on a permanent basis) doesn't inevitably mean losing touch.
A guide to Battle.net's parental controls
Parental control settings allow you to choose blocks of time that an account is and is not accessible for play. Players cannot log in during restricted hours, and they'll be automatically logged out if they play past their allowed time window. Here's how to set it up.
Do you have time to raid?
If you want to raid, somewhere out there is a guild that will work for you. We can't tell each and every one of you exactly where to look for a custom fit, but we can give you some starting points to help you identify what to look for in the first place.
5 chat safety tips for young players
If your child is getting into WoW, you want to keep the environment as safe and friendly for them as possible. Here's how.
5 tips for playing WoW with a baby on your chest
We aren't the sort who say you have to quit your gaming life the second you have a child, but there are some fairly realistic adjustments that need to be made. We'll help you get started.
Playing WoW with your teen
Teens already experience Trade Chat-like talk in school on a regular basis and have the coordination skills required to fully play the game. So they don't need the coddling and constant supervision younger children do, but that doesn't mean that the benefits of parents playing with teens aren't just as valuable.
Playing WoW with your reading-age child
Playing WoW with a child who's able to read can be a minefield -- though it can also be fun and rewarding for you and your little one. If you've decided WoW can be part of your child's routine, here are some tips to make it as easy as possible.
Playing WoW with your preschooler
Parents have limited playtime due to their family priorities -- not necessarily because they don't want to play as much as the more hardcore players. So mixing parental duties and leisure time is efficient as well as rewarding.
A parent's guide to World of Warcraft for kids
While we're sure some out there are already clicking straight to the comments to revile the very idea of allowing children into Azeroth, the fact is that with preparation and consistent parent moderation, WoW can be a fine fit for kids -- especially for families with parents who already spend time in Azeroth.
Our advice for the parents of little (and not so little) gamers
Video games represent nothing more (or less) than another type of entertainment media, right alongside books, movies, and television. Just as responsible parents keep an eye on the books, TV shows, and movies their kids are into, they should do the same with games.

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The social conventions and netiquette of playing with others

What should you expect from other players, what should they be able to expect from you, and how can you build a reputation for being the kind of player others want on their friends lists?

 
The Drama Mamas guide to finding gaming buddies
Your gaming buddies are people who play with you more often than not. They're your partners in crime, the homies you hang out with in Azeroth whether they're covering your back through your first LFR or filling your chat box during a night of pre-alchemy herbalizing. But just as when you were trying to break into the social scene during your school days, you might feel a bit of an outsider when it comes to connecting with simpatico players in WoW
How to handle abusive and negative players
One of the nice things about the WoW community is that it tends to be full of friendly, kind people. But people are people, and sometimes you will encounter a troll or just mean-spirited n'er-do-well. Here's how to deal with them when you're unlucky enough to encounter them.
The Drama Mamas guide to handling in-game harassment
You've tried being clear, and you've tried being firm. Somebody's on your case in game, and they're not letting up. What are your options for managing in-game harassment?
The Drama Mamas guide to coping with tolling and profanity
After a long day toiling in the salt mines, you come home to settle in for some stress-relieving World of Warcraft, only to find yourself transported back to the trollish Barrens-style general chat you've come to loathe. What's a poor profanity-pelted player to do?
The Drama Mamas guide to basic WoW etiquette
Your mother was right -– manners are grease in the wheels of the social machine. Let's get this thing off to a smooth start by talking about the etiquette requirements of WoW, shall we?
The Drama Mamas guide to going AFK
The best way to handle going AFK is to avoid it in the first place. For the rest of those moments when something comes while you're grouping that's beyond your control, let's look at the best ways of managing the interruption and getting you back into the game.
How to deal with disruptive players and hate speech
While I wish it weren't so, there's plenty of hate speech flying around in general, trade, and elsewhere. The question becomes what you can do about it.
Talking with the enemy
You can't talk to the enemy in the World of Warcraft. There is a way you can make your intentions known to players of the opposite faction: standard, pre-set emotes.
Gaming terminology 101
To the rescue: an encyclopedic assortment of lists of WoW, gaming and internet abbreviations, acronyms and lingo that steers you back into comprehensible territory.
Dealing with difficult people
As in life, sometimes in World of Warcraft we come across unpleasant or stubborn people who challenge us.
Speak like a human
You don't have to be a spelling bee whiz or a National Grammar Rodeo Champion (held in Canada, no doubt), but you should remember that you aren't texting your best buddy.
Essential WoW terminology in other languages
We give you the translations to make it through a dungeon with a groupmate who doesn't speak English.
Tipping etiquette for dealing with crafters
By nature, tipping is a controversial topic, even in a virtual world. There are only loosely defined guidelines, the gesture is optional (or is it?), and it is all about communicating and exchanging with politeness and respect.
Etiquette for gatherers and gathering
Unless you're interested in building a rep as "Internet N00b Behaving Badly," you'll want to be sure you're aware of how your actions are most likely interpreted by players around you, both in the field and back in town.

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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.

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