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Posts with tag newbie

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

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

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

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

Seven things every newbie needs to know

WoW Rookie Seven things every newbie needs to know
While plenty of old hats might say the WoW newbie experience is easy mode now, I'd call it streamlined: rolling a new character or leveling an existing one has never been more straightforward. Gone are the days when you had to pull up Wowhead (or download an addon) to figure out every other quest, the days when you kill dozens of monsters for a single quest drop, the days when you had to run through high level zones to collect flight paths. If you don't remember having to run from across the Wetlands to pick up the Menethil Harbor flight path -- dying more than once along the way -- count yourself lucky, because those corpse runs were decidedly un-fun.

However, 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, like me, returning after an absence, here are a few things every newbie needs to know.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

Guest Post: Confessions of a noob hunter

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

As a prot paladin, I've learned my place in the world (of Warcraft). True, that place is usually face-deep in the crotch of some monster, but that's beside the point. When I'm tanking, I know I'm here to do one thing and one thing only: to piss off bad guys so they'll leave you alone. Strapping on my shield and a mace keeps me in a Zen-like comfort zone where everything seems to just come naturally.

Like many others, though, I've found myself looking for more to do as Cataclysm lurches ever closer. After all, there are only so many things to get beaten by each week. This has left me joining a growing percentage of players in a less-than-exclusive club: "Hi, I'm Brian, and I'm an altoholic."

Most classes I've tried have felt fairly natural. I've leveled my DK and priest with no problems and have really been enjoying the early levels of both my mage and warlock (which, as you'd imagine, leaves me with quite an internal struggle). There's one class, however, that has managed to bewilder me at every turn. A class that, for whatever reason, seems so counterintuitive to me that It's taken me over a year and a half to hit level 27. My friends, I am -- cue dramatic music -- the worst hunter in the world.

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Filed under: Hunter, Guest Posts

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

Spiritual Guidance: Starting a shadow priest from scratch



Like all shadow priests, Fox Van Allen is a resilient sort. He has few weaknesses: accidentally dropping Shadowform by casting a holy spell; the silver arrow from the far upper left room in level 9; and his own gargantuan ego. By comparison, Dawn Moore's weaknesses include scratchy sweaters, Shadowfiend bites, and the nasty case of the sniffles she gets when the thermostat dips below 67. The Sunday edition is all about warmth, hugs and kisses. Today is Wednesday.


It was a cold December day when the respawn timer ticked, creating the most elite shadow priest to ever grace the Wednesday version of Spiritual Guidance.

"Surely, he'll make a fine holy spec priest one day," the nurses assumed. "Such fortitude! And, why look, he can cast Smite already!"

"In between sips of milk, of course."

"Of course."

Those of us who already made the journey from level 1 to level 80 no doubt have some mixed feelings about the earliest, most formative years of our shadow priest. Heck, even mages, balance druids, elemental shaman, warlocks know the same pain. Starting a new caster can be a repetitive experience.

The good news, of course, is that World of Warcraft is revitalizing the leveling process in Cataclysm. They're giving us Shadow Orbs and refurbishing our talent tree to make shadow priests feel more like shadow priests. That's great. I can't wait for the change.

But still, if you haven't started a new priest in the last few months, you may have missed some of the more recent changes to the leveling process. It really is better now, and I can honestly say there's been no better time to start a priest. Why wait until Cataclysm?

(And don't you dare say because you want to roll a gnome.)

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Filed under: Priest, (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

The Daily Quest: Rookie edition

Here at WoW.com, 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.

It's Thursday which the WoW.com calendar says is WoW Rookie day -- which seems as good a day as any to look at some content geared towards players who are still learning the ropes.

Filed under: The Daily Quest

The Daily Quest: For the newbies

Here at WoW.com 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 WoW.com 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

Defeating the anxiety of running your first instance

One of my favorite WoW blogs, HoTs and DoTs, has a great post up about Dungeon Groups 101 -- the very basics of running instances. You may think that there's nothing more basic to the game than getting in an instance with four people and taking down a few bosses and trash, but you'd be surprised. Even in a social game like this, one of the first hurdles newbies have to deal with is joining a group to play together. They worry that they'll do things wrong and that other people will make fun of what they're wearing or playing, and that worry keeps them from enjoying my absolute favorite part of the game.

Cassandri's writeup is an excellent read for anyone who feels that way (and feel free to pass on this post to any friends or relatives you know who've been too leery to join an instance yet). She does do some basic knowledge stuff in there, just hints on the classes and what they can all do -- and our WoW Rookie posts will help out with that stuff too -- but more importantly, she says what lots of new players need to hear: that messing up in an instance isn't that big a deal, and that playing together with others (which is the reason why we're all playing an MMO rather than a single player game in the first place) is more than worth getting past any anxiety around joining a group. I've read a lot of comments like the one Cassandri quotes in her post, too, and I'm here to tell you: if you haven't run an instance yet, it's time to stop worrying about what it'll be like and give it a try.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Instances, Bosses

Breakfast Topic: What tutorial would you add?

With the addition of sixty new tutorials for helping out new players starting out in World of Warcraft on the 3.3 PTR, I started thinking about what tutorials some of the level 80 players I've seen still need... like the above.

There could be the "Hit rating is your friend" tutorial explaining that if you can't hit the boss, you can't DPS. There is also the "Stay out of the boss's cleave" for those people that want to stand next to the tank during Onyxia. Speaking of Onyxia, we could also just do a general "Dragons: Where not to stand" tutorial telling people to avoid the front and back. There is also one that most new healers run into "A dead healer can't heal the tank" explaining that you also need to keep track of your own health as AoE damage can kill the healer.

While some of those were meant to be sarcastic, other ones we tend to take for granted. Some new level 80 characters have never experienced the game mechanics we often feel should be general knowledge. So, I take the question to you: What new tutorials do you think should be added into the game?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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