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Posts with tag Newbies

Blizzard's New Player Guide covers human starting zones

If you know a someone who's eager to get started with WoW, first you ought to hit them up with a Recruit A Friend invitation -- but your next step should be to send them to Blizzard's New Player Guide. The latest installment walks newbies through the human starting zone, and though it may seem awfully basic to you and me, for a brand new player this can be just the sort of information necessary to get their gaming experience off to a good start. Especially handy are the tips scattered throughout, explaining simple -- but important -- concepts like tapping monsters, how to see your equipment, and why you should travel on roads. It even warns players about murlocs, which, having lived (and died) through numerous murloc invasions ourselves, we find a bit unfair... though we suspect newer players probably appreciate the warning.

The guide currently covers the human starting zone, broken into levels 1-5 and levels 5-10 -- just enough to launch players into the big, wide world of Azeroth, but with the tips to help newbies land on their feet.

Filed under: News items

Welcome to World of Warcraft blog series debuts

There are a variety of guides and resources available to new WoW players out there, including the official new player help forums and our own WoW Rookie column, but Blizzard's just added a new one to the mix. "Welcome to World of Warcraft" is a blog series that provides exactly what it says: a welcome for new players, with detailed information on how to get the hang of the game. The title of the first post is "Basic Movement and Combat". As you might imagine, it instructs players on how to use the keyboard and mouse to get around in the game, how to use and read the map, and the basics of dealing with hostile mobs, including attacking, healing, rezzing, and finding your corpse.

It's been several years since I personally have needed resources like this, and reading them over always brings a rueful smile to my face as I recall the many rookie blunders I made. Falling off of Teldrassil is, I believe, a common one for those of us who started with night elves. I'm not ashamed! Considering the age of World of Warcraft, it's sometimes easy to forget that there are still new players starting who need all this information. I'm glad Blizzard is keeping these folks in mind, and for all the new people out there, I hope your introduction to WoW is a good one and I look forward to seeing you in the game!

Filed under: News items

From Graphics to Community: Grading the newbie experience in WoW

One of the major things about World of Warcraft, and any game in general as it ages, is the ability for new players to pick it up and run with it. If a game isn't newbie friendly, then there's less ability to attract growth. Throughout WoW's lifetime thus far there have been major changes in the gaming demeographic and expectations therein.

For instance, MMOs were once considered hard and somewhat unapproachable. WoW did a lot to change the opinion of that, and we're now seeing new MMOs pop out of the woodwork every few months. This isn't a bad thing either -- the bigger the marketplace, the better the competition and the better games we all get. But with that said, those other games are developing better ways for new players to get involved. That means that WoW constantly has to evolve in order for it to attract new players. And that's where the heart of the matter lies.

Has WoW evolved enough to attract the next generation of players?

Before we draw any conclusions, let's break it down into a few areas of concentration to help us figure out if WoW is still newbie friendly.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Breakfast Topic: If I knew then what I know now

Breakfast Topic If I knew then what I know now
We were all newbies once upon a time, entering Azeroth with fresh eyes -- and zero knowledge. Remember those days? When you wandered around the game world in awe, taking screenshots of everything, amazed by the scale of Ironforge and the Undercity, sitting at your desk during flights to watch the terrain as you zoomed by. We might laugh at how simple-minded new players seem to us, with our amassed game knowledge, but we were all there once.

But if you could turn back the clock and return to your first days in Azeroth, what advice would you give yourself? Would it be a gameplay hint you didn't stumble on until later? A zone or dungeon that's not to be missed? A class or profession to jump on -- or to avoid? We may not be able to travel back in time -- yet! -- but your advice may yet benefit the rest of us, so dish. If you went back to the beginning, what would you do differently?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Guild champions volunteer spirit beyond the borders of Azeroth

Evening of Giving
From Olympic medalists and Hollywood actors to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? Where World of Warcraft and cool ideas and people meet, you'll find players who deserve 15 Minutes of Fame.

Noble knights in shining armor are a dime (a silver?) a dozen Alliance-side in World of Warcraft. Where you find one or more Alliance roleplayers, you'll find a veritable solar flare of the Light. In most cases, however, the buck (or the Light, as it may) stops right here at the boundary between Azeroth and Earth. But in one longstanding Moon Guard (US) guild, the Light spills forth into all corners of members' lives. The Bearers of Light's noble guild foundation rests on charity, both in game and out. Moving beyond regular newbie zone assistance events, the guild recently embarked upon a real-world community challenge that's racking up life-changing results.

Since its inception in the classic WoW era, this guild force for good seems to be filling an apparently unique niche among Azerothian guilds. Back in 2009, WoW Insider's David Bowers (then author of our roleplaying column) wrote about discovering the guild with his own character: "The guild I eventually chose is called The Bearers of Light on the Moon Guard server, and I chose it because its members pledge to be kind to others. It was the first and only guild I've ever seen in World of Warcraft that is explicitly founded around the spirit of benevolence and charity. I felt that it was a perfect match for me personally -- if you've seen movies like Pay It Forward or read about ideas such as random kindness and senseless acts of beauty, then you will have seen the kind of impact this theme can have on a group of people. Once kindness itself is a goal, it makes life so much more livable."

Looking for inspiration to start your new year off on the right foot? Look no further than The Bearers of Light.

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Filed under: Guilds, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Knowledge, newbies, and why kindness pays off

I played WoW on dial-up for a while, and during that time, it was close to impossible for me to raid anything but add-light 10-man content. So I did the only thing that seemed doable: leveled alts. A lot of them. While previously I had vowed to only level my rogue (my original main) to max level in any given expansion, I was suddenly the proud owner of six level 80 characters.

Even after I got back on actual broadband internet, Cataclysm's introduction of new races (especially Races That Are Worgen) gave me some more incentive to bring my number of max-level characters up to, well, its maximum level. So I finally listened to Matt Rossi and made a worgen warrior. He's awesome. And he tanks, a first for me. I've been leveling him almost exclusively through the dungeon finder, taking advantage of the instant queues for a dog what wears plate armor.

I'm still pretty new to tanking, but between new talent trees, heirlooms, and questing/dungeon gear with better stat balance, most low-level instances are a breeze. So I move fast. Sometimes a little faster than other people. The same kinds of people who attack from the front as a melee class or hit "need" on spirit weapons as a mage. And I would make snide remarks to those kinds of people.

Then I realized something. I was being kind of a jackass.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

The Daily Quest: For the newbies

Here at we're on a Daily Quest (which we try to do every day, honest) to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere. Is there a story out there we ought to link or a blog we should be following? Just leave us a comment and you may see it here tomorrow! Take a look at the links below, and be sure to check out our WoW Resources Guide for more WoW related sites.

Just getting started in World of Warcraft? I'm sure there are some newbies in the audience -- don't be shy! -- and this post is for you. Sure, we rounded up some newbie-centric links recently, but as long as there are newbies, there will be people writing for them. Embrace your inner newbie -- read and learn!

Filed under: The Daily Quest

The Daily Quest: We were all newbies once

Here at we're on a Daily Quest (which we try to do every day, honest) to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere. Is there a story out there we ought to link or a blog we should be following? Just leave us a comment and you may see it here tomorrow!

We may be pros at the game now, but once upon a time, we were just getting started, too. Let us not look down on our newbie friends -- for we were once the same. Instead, today's daily quest strives to offer advice for the new players among us.

Filed under: The Daily Quest

The Light and How to Swing It: The low level tank part 1

With the Light as his strength, Gregg Reece of The Light and How to Swing It faces down the demons of the Burning Legion, the undead of the Scourge, and helps with the puppet shows at the Argent Ren Faire up in Icecrown. For the next couple weeks we'll be taking a look at low level dungeon runners.

Cross-realm instancing is coming in patch 3.3 and along with it will be the ability for low level characters to finally find those level appropriate groups for old world dungeons. Being that those parties will need tanks, we thought we'd take a look at what an up and coming paladin needs to know about dungeons as well as what types of gear and stats to be on the lookout for. We're going to start with tanking and then move on to healing and damage-dealing in the weeks to come.

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Leveling, (Paladin) The Light and How to Swing It

Incoming newbies, but why?

I think this is an interesting post by Grancran over on the official forums. We've already talked about how Blizzard is revamping the newbie experience in upcoming releases (including the next patch and the expansion), but he wants to know: for whom? Sure, there are going to be lots and lots of people going through the starting experience again when the expansion rolls around, both because of the new class combinations and the new races, but all of those people have already played the game. Why update a tutorial system when the majority of gamers have already played WoW?

It's an interesting question. Neth answers pretty tamely, saying that we were all noobs at one point, and that they want to make the starting areas as welcome as possible. But the question remains: is Blizzard expecting an influx of new players at some point in the future?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Instances, Leveling, Cataclysm

Patch 3.3 PTR: New tutorial gallery

As we've mentioned in a previous post, there are a new set of tutorials on the public test realm designed to help out new players when patch 3.3 launches. This should help smooth the overall experience for people who are completely new to the world of both MMOs as well as video games in general. While they aren't nearly as amusing as the fake one I posted above (although, that one needs to get added at some point), they do walk characters through a lot of the major tasks.

Currently, there are sixty different tutorial windows explaining things from food to durability loss. There is still plenty of room for additions, but these are a great start. While my gallery may not show it, a lot of the tutorials highlight parts of your screen like your enemy health bars, your minimap, or your action bars themselves to help show what new players are supposed to be looking at.

Just a reminder that this is the PTR and these might end up changing or getting re-worded before they hit the live realms. If you have any constructive feedback on any of the tutorials in the gallery, please be sure to hit the US PTR forum or the EU PTR forum and let Blizzard know your thoughts on what they've already done or should add in the future.

Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to the Arthas.'s Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

Patch 3.3 PTR: New tutorial system to be bigger, better

Patch 3.3 has had a lot of awesome small tweaks aimed at improving the starting experience for new characters and new players, likely in preparation for Cataclysm. In addition to streamlining the first few levels, Blizzard has added something else to the latest patch notes: A new tutorial system. According to the patch notes, the tutorial windows will now be larger and contain pictures and other visual cues to better direct new players where to go, what to do, or what buttons to press on the UI. In addition, new tips have been added, and other existing tips will appear at more opportune moments.

With this, we have yet another good example of Blizzard's preparations going into Cataclysm. Despite having somewhere north of 10 million players, they aren't resting on their laurels, but are adjusting their game to invite in even more players, making it easier for them to get into the game, and ushering in a new era of the newbie (in a good way) for the expansion.

The children of Wrath

Starman over at Casual Raid Leader (is that the same Starman that does World of Warcast?) has a great idea. Right around college graduation every year, there's a study that gets nostalgic about what this year's students will never experience -- i.e. since this year's graduates were born in 1986, they've never known a time without Super Mario Bros., and so on. Starman suggests we do the same thing with incoming newbies and the new expansion -- the "children of Wrath" will never know a time when Onyxia was in the Stormwind throne room.

Larisa has a few more: Children of Wrath will never have to go back and do old instances just for the achievement, or have to decide between keeping that noncombat pet or getting the extra bag space back. She was actually a "BC baby," and as she says, she's never tried to run 40 people through Molten Core, or known a time when there weren't any quest chains in Silithus.

What else will the children of Wrath have missed out on? And are there really that many? I imagine that there are still quite a few vanilla players around, and it doesn't surprise me at all that there are plenty of BC babies (I recruited a few people during BC), but how many new players are really coming in to Wrath for the first time? Are there going to be that many people who don't remember when you had to run once instance over and over for rep, rather than just champion it?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Instances, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Bosses, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast topic: Fit to print

When I got my recruit a friend account it came with two lovely, full-color Bradygames guide books. Each is a 24.99 16.49 value with the Battle Chest purchase. The books have descriptions of all the races and classes. They go into some detail about the zones and many of the monsters in WoW. The guides contain tips on game play and various mechanics. I found them to be completely useless. They're outdated. They guides don't really give any tips on the nuances of the game. At times they are wildly inaccurate.

Granted, they may be helpful to brand new players, though not entirely more useful than small, black and white Game Manual that also comes in the box. As a rookie I never turned toward printed guides. I asked a lot of questions from resources like Thottbot, Petopia, and of course WoW Insider. Most of what I've learned, I've learned on the fly. The beautiful, colorful images must cost a small fortune to print. It all seems very excessive to me.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics, Guides

WoW Rookie: What the hell is going on today?

We heard from a few people either new or returning to WoW that the amount of information overload on our front page was reaching critical mass, so it occurred to us that it might not be obvious why the fabled Patch Day is such a ("Dogs and cats living together! Mass hysteria! Details at 10!") big deal in these here parts. Here's an older WoW Rookie on "What is a patch?" from Amanda Dean if you're new to the business of how Blizzard updates its content.

For the uninitiated, Patch 2.4 is what is known as a "content patch," which is a sanitized version of saying "A ton of stuff gets added to the game and all hell breaks loose." This particular patch doesn't contain a lot of new content for people still leveling their first character, so you're unlikely to notice any differences unless you have a fairly high-level toon being affected by the class changes coming in or one who was beginning Karazhan attunement, which is no longer required. Apart from that, a rare new-5 man is being added (Magister's Terrace), a new endgame 25-man raid (Sunwell Plateau), and a host of new quests and a rep grind if you've got a toon at nearing 70.

The official patch notes are here, and WoW Insider has full coverage on the changes if you want a more in-depth look. Enjoy Patch Day!

Filed under: Guides, WoW Rookie

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