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Posts with tag new-player

What are heirlooms and how can I get them?

If you're new or recently returned to World of Warcraft, you've probably heard mention of heirlooms. This stellar leveling gear binds to your account rather than your characters -- so you can mail it to your alts -- and levels as you do, getting better as your character advances through the game. And best of all, heirloom gear often grants you an experience bonus for equipping it -- typically 5% or 10% bonus experience for each piece of armor. What that means is faster leveling with no need to worry about hunting down the best gear along the way.

Because heirlooms are targeted squarely at level 90 characters leveling alts, you might not have put much thought into them -- but we're here to tell you that you don't need to wait until level 90 to pick up some heirloom gear for your character. If you know where and how to get it, you can grab a few pieces as you advance -- and with the sizable benefits they offer, you'll probably be glad you did.

But whether you're a new character leveling up or a long-time level 90 thinking about a new alt, we'll walk you through what's available and where to find it.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

Patch 5.4 PTR: First look at the Endless Healer Proving Grounds


Olivia wrote up a great overview of the Proving Grounds for tanks, healers, and DPS. Today I'm going to be going a little more in depth on the healing side of things. Bronze and silver were excellent warmups. I wiped once on gold due to my over confidence on the final wave but managed to overcome it. This is what the Endless difficulty on Proving Grounds looks like for healers. You'll gain a certain amount of points per round and it will continue to tick upwards until either you or a party member dies in battle. Thankfully, the NPCs will appear in your party frames. There's a spiffy achievement if you're able to reach Endless Healer: Wave 30 which nets The Proven Healer title.

Watch the video above as I play through the Endless Healer for the first time! I also narrate my spell choices and reasoning as I heal through the assorted waves.

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Breakfast Topic: What was your first day in WoW like?

Over on Reddit, there's a thread where users are reminiscing about their first experiences in World of Warcraft which has me feeling nostalgic for the good old days when I'd just started playing and everything seemed so much simpler. Azeroth was a huge new world, entirely unexplored. I didn't know about gear or raiding or even what awaited me around the next corner. Every word of quest text was new and fresh (though, admittedly, some were pretty tedious to finish).

And, best of all, I discovered gnomes. The first character I stuck with was a gnome warlock who was both tiny and deadly (and pink-haired to boot). I still haven't decided just what was so appealing about gnomes. Was it because they were tiny and adorable? Because of their bright pink hair color options? Perhaps because they jump just as high as any other race, which means each jump for them is basically leaping their entire height? It's probably a combination (newbie me was very fond of jumping everywhere). And even today, my Alliance characters tend to gravitate back to the gnome race. Perhaps they imprinted on me somehow in those first gameplay sessions, I'll never know for sure.

But enough about gnomes: tell us about your start in WoW. Was it a true newbie experience? Did you fall in love with a certain race or class? Even if you just made stupid mistakes, trust us: we've all been there! (As my gnome story proves.) So tell us everything: what was your first WoW login like?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Addon and UI tips for new WoW players

Each week, WoW Insider's Mathew McCurley brings you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which focuses on the backbone of the WoW gameplay experience: the user interface. Everything from bags to bars, buttons to DPS meters and beyond -- your addons folder will never be the same.

Can you believe there are people out there who have yet to play World of Warcraft? It's totally true. In an attempt to be investigative and thought-provoking, I've begun writing a few pieces on bringing brand new MMO players into World of Warcraft more than seven years after the game's initial release. For the purposes of experimentation and all that jazz, I turned off every single addon while my ... subjects ... toiled away.

It was uncomfortable at first watching an addon-less screen, but bearings were gotten and life went on. However, there were a few points of the user interface that were not necessarily troubling to my brand new player, but moreso gave a feeling of being "lost" on the screen during moments of tense combat or heavy movement.

I wrote down the observations that I believe new players can benefit the most from. With little to no customization needed, these addons and tips can greatly enhance a new player's starting experience while removing some of the tedium of certain tasks mixed with hard-to-explain concepts. Maybe we can even get some of these features in game as part of Blizzard's new player initiative.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

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

Breakfast Topic: The best class choice for new players

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

I'm living a dream that many guys out there have: My girlfriend is actively learning how to play World of Warcraft and is enjoying it. After a couple of false starts, she finally found a class that suited her.

First, she tried a warlock. Too many things to remember. Keeping DoTs up, keeping up with soul shards and collecting them, keeping tabs on her demon in battle. It was too much for her.

She tried a hunter. Taming her own pet was cool at first, but then she had to feed it and manage it in dungeons. Throw Feign Death, Deterrence and Disengage into the mix, and it was not her cup of tea. She's flying back 10 yards into other packs of mobs and feigning death every time the cooldown is up because she's afraid of the tank yelling at her for "doing the aggro thing." I was dismayed that a hunter didn't work out, because I always deemed it the default starter class for new players. At least it was for me.

Then came the paladin. Oh, blessed paladin, how she loves thee. At first, all she had to do was run up to the mob and hit it with Judgement of Light. The only "tricky" thing I had to teach her was when the Judgement of Light button was dark and wouldn't let her use it, it meant she needed to apply her Seal of Righteousness again. I even put the Seal right above the Judgement so she wouldn't forget. She was actually having pure joy with her new class. She didn't wonder if she was doing it right. She didn't worry about forgetting something. Just kill, kill, kill and love every second of it.

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Filed under: Paladin, Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

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.

Drama Mamas: It's not you - it's them

Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with the Drama Mamas. Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are real-life mamas and experienced WoW players -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server. We're taking your questions at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

You can't fix other people. "Good Intentions" discovered that hard truth last week, after writing in for help coping with the fallout of a BoP misloot that rendered him a social pariah. When it's other people's issues, attitudes and behavior that are causing the problem, sometimes the only alternatives are to grit your teeth and endure or to cut the line and move to another fishing hole.

This week, we hear from a newly 80 player who can't seem to gear up fast enough for everyone around him. We also revisit the unfortunate scarcity of a particular WoW netiquette basic that continues to set one incensed player's teeth on edge. On to the drama!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Features, Drama Mamas

WoW Rookie: Your first steps in the World of Warcraft


New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the resources they need to get acclimated. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic.

Hi there, new player -- welcome to WoW and the WoW Insider family! WoW Rookie helps you get off to a great start with all sorts of crunchy bits and nuggets of wisdom. Here's our spin on all the nuts-and-boltsy tips you won't find in the box or in the game.

One note: If you've already begun your journey through Azeroth and run across something in game or in our resources below that makes you rethink your approach, don't be afraid to make a fresh start. Blizzard makes it easy for today's new players to zip through the early levels. It's much better to make adjustments early on, before you've invested significant time and effort in your character.

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Filed under: Tips, How-tos, Features, Leveling, Guides, Classes, WoW Rookie, Making money

Reputation roundup for new players & new level 70s

Some of the best rewards in WoW can only be achieved if you have the appropriate level of reputation with a specific faction. Whether you're a brand new WoW player or a freshly-minted level 70 dipping your first toe into the endgame, you need to educate yourself about reputation (or "rep" as it's usually called). Fortunately, here at WoW Insider, we have a lot of tools that can help you find your way through the rep maze to the piece of loot you desire.

For new players

WoW Rookie: Introduction to Reputation
New players should start with this article to learn what all the terminology means and how rep affects your gameplay.

WoW Rookie: Azeroth Reputations
This article is the next step in understanding rep and how it works for the world of Azeroth. Since you should start worrying about rep long before you hit level 40, this article shows you how to start preparing for getting your first mount -- especially if the one you hunger for is not your toon's racial mount.

Breakfast Topic: Reputation grinding
Here you can see what your fellow players have to say about what it's like to grind rep after level 60.

For new level 70s

Ask WoW Insider: Do you optimize your rep grinds?
Advice from us and other readers on how to streamline your rep grinds in Outland.

Faction frustrations eased in Wrath
A preview of how rep may change in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion.

Rep calculators

Here are a couple of rep calculators we've reviewed.
For extra credit

WoW Rookie: Pre-Burning Crusade engame reputations
This is a good primer on how rep worked prior to the release of The Burning Crusade expansion. Rep grinding in Azeroth after level 60 is not overly relevant now, but you may still be curious as to how it worked.

Filed under: Tips, Factions, Guides

10 things a new Shaman should know about fighting casters

Here are some tips every new shaman player should know. Casters can be some of your easiest kills, whether in PvP or PvE because Shock is your middle name and spell interruption is your game.
  • Earth Shock, baby! At level 4 you'll get Rank 1 of this spell. Its cooldown is 6 seconds, just like all your shock spells.
  • Keep Earth Shock (Rank 1) somewhere on your toolbar in addition to higher levels of the spell. It only uses 30 mana and it still stops an enemy in mid-cast just as effectively as higher ranked versions of the spell.
  • Mages can be taken down easily if you're quick to get close to them and stop them from casting Frost Nova. Pound them quickly, continuing to shock them when casting.
  • Level 24+ Mages and level 32+ Priests can stop your Lightning Bolts with Counterspell or Silence. Although both of these spells will impact your casting for up to 8 seconds, remember that shock spells are instant cast and can't be interrupted.
  • In the case of Mages' Counterspells, their silencing effect only stops one school of casting. So if they hit you during Lightning Bolt (a Nature spell), you can still cast your Flame or Frost Shocks, but not your Earth Shock. You can also drop Searing Totem for damage.
After the jump, five more tips for shamans against casters.

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Filed under: Tauren, Shaman, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Draenei, Guides, Classes, New Players' Guide

Insider Trader: Tradeskills for noobs


You've entered Azeroth with a brand spanking new character and you're trying to find your footing in the world. Perhaps this is even your first MMO entirely, and while looking for guidance, you're overwhelmed at the sheer volume of information available. Sound like you?

While our very own WoW Rookie column has a wealth of information specifically tailored to new players, this week's Insider Trader is going to go in-depth and personal with your profession choices to help make sure that you get the job you want.

Whether you are looking for a challenge, thinking ahead to your future, or looking to maximize your profit, you'll find the advice you need to make an informed decision. Have you already chosen, and are regretting it? Never fear, I'll walk you through backing out of the deal and finding something that really suits you.

Make sure not to skip the comments section, as input and personal experience will help you learn about the different outcomes you might face.

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Filed under: Herbalism, Fishing, Mining, Skinning, Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Cooking, Engineering, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Enchanting, First Aid, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Jewelcrafting, Features, Leveling, Guides, Making money, Insider Trader (Professions), Inscription

WoW Mom! An interview with the newest newbie on the block

I got a call from my mom on Friday night that she was having an emergency and needed me to call. It turns out the emergency was that she bought World of Warcraft and needed some instruction on how to play. Since I was at work, I told her to get started by reading up a bit on the WoW Rookie until I could spend a little more time with her. I was excited and somewhat terrified. I really hope she likes it and doesn't get too frustrated the first week.

My mom isn't what you would call a gamer. I'm not going to tell you how old she is, but she could tell you where she was when Kennedy was assassinated. She's a master Euchre player and a wiz at Scrabble. Her video gaming experience is limited to Bejeweled and online versions of card games. She used to love me watch play Tetris, but would respond like the controller was made of lava when I tried to hand it to her. I invited her to join Dungeons and Dragons sessions, but she always declined.

I moved 2,000 miles from my native Michigan for graduate school about five years ago. Since then my interactions with my mom have been limited to phone conversations and the occasional short visit. I'm really glad to get to share this time with her.

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Filed under: How-tos, Virtual selves, Leveling, Classes, Interviews

Don't pay extra for the white


If you think back to your first character, you will probably cringe at the memories of some of the mistakes you made. At the time, I remember things being very confusing; later, it just seems silly.

One of the most common mistakes made by new players is spending money where they shouldn't, or spending more than they could have. This may not be of consequence to a level 70, or to those who have level 70s funding their lower characters; but for anyone leveling for the first time, getting swindled can severely eat into your wallet.

When leveling professions in particular, which is a very expensive endeavor, one must take extra care. The various recipes you can purchase in the auction house are sometimes overpriced, and other times, are scamming you out of figures such as 80x more than you would have otherwise paid. How can this be? The main way in which you'll see players getting away with this is through selling patterns that are white, as opposed to green, blue or purple.

White patterns are vendor-quality items, which means that there are vendors out there, somewhere, that are selling them. Often for 25s-1g pre-Outland, and 4-6g in Outland. These same patterns often sell on the Auction House for up to 20g. In fact, many players go out of their way to hunt down white patterns and sell them at marked up prices. Here are some ways to determine whether the player selling your item is a reseller:
  1. Is that player selling multiples of the same pattern?
  2. Does the player have other white patterns for sale?

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Filed under: Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Cooking, Engineering, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Enchanting, Items, Tips, How-tos, Economy, Jewelcrafting, Leveling, Making money

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