Newb-No-More Guide


A big welcome to everyone coming here from! I hope the info in this guide helps. There are plenty of other guides on this site that may be able to help you out. Feel free to look around, and leave a comment!

Hello, everyone. My name is Lycander, and welcome to the Newb-No-More guide. This guide was originally written by Bladetooth and with Jame’s permission, I’ve taken it over. Bladetooth originally designed this to be a compilation of various new player guides he’d written to help people new to MMOs in general as well as World of Warcraft. With that in mind I’ll be covering a lot of different topics as we go. This is meant only to cover the basics and get you familiar with WoW. Wow-Pro provides guides for pretty much everything, so please head to the guides section for further info on classes, professions and pretty much anything else you could want. Any feedback or suggestions would be appreciated!

Important Note: For the most part, I’m not going to be repeating Blizzard’s information. This applies to such topics as class abilities, racial benefits, etc. I don’t want this to be a re-write of the user manual.





This guide was originally designed to help people new to World of Warcraft, and to MMOs in general. I’ll try to cover everything that you’ll need to get started and hopefully have fun playing. Please note that this is NOT a leveling guide. If you want one of those, there are plenty of excellent ones right here. What this guide is for is to help you get in and understand the game, and hopefully allow you to enjoy it.
Throughout this guide, I use a few color codes. They are as follows:

  • When talking about zones, names in RED are Horde zones, BLUE are Alliance zones and ORANGE are Neutral/Contested zones. (Please see Realms below for further explanation)
  • When discussing races, names in red are Horde and names in blue are Alliance.

So, how does one go about starting to play this game? Well, there are a few things you have to do before you can take your first steps out into the World of Warcraft. They are:

  1. Choose the realm you’ll create your character on.
  2. Create your first character on that realm.
    • Select your race (which will also select your faction). You will also select your gender at this time, but since is has absolutely no effect on gameplay this is the last time I’ll mention it.
    • Select your Class
    • Give your character a name. Blizzard has a pretty extensive naming policy which you’ll need to abide by.
  3. Enter the game

What does all this stuff mean? See below for explanation of the different parts.




The first major decision to make is the Realm on which you’ll be playing. If you have friends that play and you want to join them, you MUST create a character on the same realm as they are if you want to play with them. You’ll also need to be the same Faction. There are three factors which should influence your choice of realm. They are Type, Population and Location, each of which are covered below.


    • – Realm type defines your interaction between your character, the environment and other players.


      • Normal – This type of world is closest to that of your typical console or PC-based game. It’s you versus the game’s AI. You only become killable by other players if you enter an opposing faction’s Capital City, enter a battleground, attack or buff another flagged player, or by turning on your own flag manually. This is generally considered the easiest type of realm to play on. Some people find this server boring, as the unexpected almost never happens and the AI is easy to predict in most cases.
      • PvP – This type of realm is almost identical to a Normal realm, except you will become flagged for PvP if you enter OPPOSING or CONTESTED territory (which is most of the game world). Playing on a PvP realm can add a new level of excitement, as you are constantly looking out for opposing players trying to jump you (or to jump yourself). However, there is nothing to prevent someone 60 levels higher than you dropping by and giving you an express trip to the nearest graveyard.
      • RP – Role-Playing realm. Similar to a Normal realm, except you are also agreeing to abide by Blizzard’s Roleplaying Policy. You should definitely read this policy before joining this type of realm.
      • RPPvP – This is a PvP realm with the Roleplaying Policy in effect.

NOTE – becoming flagged for PvP means that you become attackable by your opposing player faction. As long as you are not flagged, you are pretty safe. I say pretty safe because there are ways other players can “trick” you into becoming flagged, but general caution should prevent this.

Population – This is pretty straightforward; it’s the amount of people who play on the realm.

      • Higher population realms will have more people to help you out, but the extra people can cause higher amounts of lag. High population realms may have a login queue, meaning you have to wait before you can play, or may even become Locked, meaning you can’t log in at all.
      • Low population realms mean less lag and no login queue, but it may be hard or impossible to find help.
      • Recommended realms are usually newer realms, with a small population and may not have any high level characters, depending on the server’s age.

Location – This is split up into 3 groups – United States, Oceanic and Latin America. You should usually choose one in the appropriate region for you. However, you may choose other areas. If you work a night shift in the US, for instance, an Oceanic realm might have more people on, since it’s afternoon there. The choice is yours.

TIP: Each server is set to the Local Time for it’s physical location. This should give you an idea if you’re close to your server. If it’s 12 hours ahead, it’s going to be half-way around the world or so.


Your Character


There are 3 major choices that you will need to make when creating your character. They are Faction, Race and Class. Faction determines what race you can be, and race determines what classes you can be. There are 2 playable factions, 5 races per faction and 10 classes. Not every race can be every class, and some classes are restricted to only 1 race per faction. I will be presenting Classes first, since this is what you’ll be playing.


Classes are what really define how you will play the game. They will determine how frequently you will be needed in a group, how you will survive when battling, how you will be dealing your damage, etc. Make sure you pick a class you will have fun with.

In some of the cases below, I’ve listed the most common nicknames given to each class, at least the non-derogatory ones. I haven’t included ones that are merely stating the talent tree, such as “ret pally”, since those should be explanatory. Most of these names come from what is usually considered the “defining” talent from a tree, such as Tree of Life is why resto druids are called “Trees”.

Please remember that these are guidelines – there are exceptions to every rule. An arms warrior might be able to tank an instance, and a balance druid may be able to heal it. These are just guidelines to help you choose something to fit your playstyle. The classes are detailed out below.

Death Knight (DK)

Death Knights are WoW’s first Hero Class. You can only create a DK if you have at least one character level 55+ and have Wrath of the Lich King installed, and you are only allowed one DK per realm. DKs start at level 55, and are an incredibly powerful class. They are a melee class that can be either a Tank or DPS. A DK’s abilities either generate or consume Runic Power and Runes.

  • Allowable Races – All
  • Talent Trees – Blood, Frost, Unholy
  • Roles – Melee DPS; Tank
  • Pros – Incredibly powerful; wears plate; has some ranged abilities; has some AoE abilities; can summon pets; can enchant their own weapons
  • Cons – Runic Power can be tough to manage; very little crowd control

Druid (Kitty; Bear; Tree; Boomkin)

Druids are the most versatile hybrid class. As they rise in level, they gain access to various forms that grant them access to a wide variety of abilities. This also works against them, as the gear for one form may be useless in another and most druids tend to have multiple sets of gear which leaves less bag space. Depending on what form a druid is in, abilities either use rage, energy or mana. Druids can wear up to leather armor, but certain talents and forms increase this amount to the equivalent of plate. Druids are also the only class that can bring a dead player back to life in the middle of combat.

  • Allowable RacesNight Elf, Worgen; Tauren, Troll
  • Talent Trees – Balance, Feral, Restoration
  • Roles – Tank; Healer; Melee DPS; Ranged DPS; Crowd Control
  • Pros – Can fill nearly any role; can be adjusted to suit almost any play style; can heal self and others; can resurrect others in-combat; carrying various gear can allow you to fill different roles on the same character
  • Cons – Need very different gear depending on spec; each form requires a different play style


Hunters are the only class whose primary source of damage comes from ranged weapons. Adding to that is the wide variety of pets a hunter can control, and these are part of their damage potential. Hunters have some melee capabilities, but those are usually focused around letting them get farther away from their opponent so they can start shooting again. Hunters are also one of the primary crowd control classes. And if things go horribly wrong, hunters can Feign Death to get out of a lot of situations.

  • Allowable RacesDraenei, Dwarf, Human, Night Elf, Worgen; Blood Elf, Forsaken, Goblin, Orc, Tauren, Troll
  • Talent Trees – Beast Mastery, Marksmanship, Survival
  • Roles – Ranged DPS; Crowd Control
  • Pros – High ranged damage output; good crowd control; wide variety of pets; Can wear Mail armor or less, depending on level; can heal their pet
  • Cons – Very little melee capability; Can’t heal self


Mages are generally considered the best AoE class, and are exquisite ranged DPS. Their ability to Polymorph opponents can often mean the difference when things go wrong.

  • Allowable RacesDraenei, Dwarf, Gnome, Human, Night Elf, Worgen; Blood Elf, Forsaken, Goblin, Orc, Troll
  • Talent Trees – Arcane, Fire, Frost
  • Roles – Ranged DPS; Crowd Control; AoE
  • Pros – Can create their own food and drink, saving money; can teleport to all major cities; Excellent crowd control vs. humanoids and beasts
  • Cons – Can only wear cloth armor; no real melee capability; no healing ability; focusing entirely on one damage type can leave them vulnerable

Paladin (Pally; Healadin; Tankadin)

Paladins are another hybrid class, similar to Druids. Warriors of the Light, paladins are capable of doing melee damage, tanking and healing. Using Repentance, paladins can provide back-up crowd control as needed. With the ability to wear plate armor, paladins are also hard to kill.

  • Allowable RacesDraenei, Dwarf, Human; Blood Elf, Tauren
  • Talent Trees – Holy, Protection, Retribution
  • Roles – Tank; Melee DPS; Healer
  • Pros – Can wear plate armor; can heal self and others; can deal Holy damage, which is hard to resist
  • Cons – Virtually no ranged abilities; different gear sets are required depending on role

Priest (Spriest)

Priests are the class that most people think of when they think “healer”, but are a very good DPS class as well. They can deal Holy damage, which is a type very few things can resist. They have the ability to reduce the damage they take significantly, and can return health and even mana to their entire party with spells.

  • Allowable RacesDraenei, Dwarf, Gnome, Human, Night Elf, Worgen; Blood Elf, Forsaken, Goblin, Tauren, Troll
  • Talent Trees – Discipline, Holy, Shadow
  • Roles – Healer; Ranged DPS
  • Pros – Excellent single-target and group heals; some damage spells heal the whole group or return mana; can deal Holy damage, which is hard to resist
  • Cons – Can only wear cloth armor; no melee capability; limited AoE damage; Unreliable crowd control except vs. undead (Please note that Forsaken players are considered humanoids.)


Rogues are one of the primary melee DPS classes in the game. They can use poisons on their weapons to provide extra damage or weaken their opponents. Their Stealth ability allows them to get a lot of places alone that others can’t, and their ability to Vanish can get them out of almost any situation. Their Sap ability is an excellent piece of crowd control. Finally, rogues are the only class that can open locked chests and items without the need for a separate profession.

  • Allowable RacesDwarf, Gnome, Human, Night Elf, Worgen; Blood Elf, Forsaken, Goblin, Orc, Troll
  • Talent Trees – Assassination, Combat, Subtlety
  • Roles – Melee DPS; Crowd Control
  • Pros – Extremely high melee damage potential; ability to open locks; can stealth; can use poisons to provide status effects
  • Cons – No healing ability; almost no ranged ability; can only wear up to leather armor

Shaman (Shammy)

This is another hybrid class. A shaman is capable of enchanting their own weapons with various effects for limited periods of time, and can use various totems to provide several benefits to their group. They also have excellent melee and ranged capacity. Their Astral Recall gives them an extra hearth which is useful while leveling. They can also Reincarnate. However, totems are usually easily destroyed if attacked directly, and their major crowd control ability is only available at level 80.

  • Allowable RacesDraenei, Dwarf; Goblin, Orc, Tauren, Troll
  • Talent Trees – Elemental, Enhancement, Restoration
  • Roles – Melee DPS; Ranged DPS; Healer
  • Pros – Ability to enchant their own weapons; can self-resurrect; many short-term self and party buffs; can wear up to mail armor
  • Cons – Reliant on mana pool for all roles; totems are easily destroyed if attacked directly


Warlocks are WoW’s second pet class, along with hunters. However, where a hunter’s pet is designed to contribute to his damage output directly, a Warlock’s pet is used more for support. Warlocks specialize in spells that do damage over time, but also have an arsenal of spells that can deal massive direct and area damage. Warlocks are capable of creating items that can be used to heal others, or even allow someone to ressurect themselves after dying. They are also the only class that can summon other players to their location without needing to leave the area they’re in.

  • Allowable RacesDwarf, Gnome, Human, Worgen; Blood Elf, Forsaken, Goblin, Orc, Troll
  • Talent Trees – Affliction, Demonology, Destruction
  • Roles – Ranged DPS; Minor crowd control with pet
  • Pros – Very high damage output; can summon various pets for different effects; can create Soulstones to allow themselves or others to return to life; can summon others
  • Cons – Can only wear cloth armor; most pets and various abilities require Soul Shards


A warrior has 2 choices of play style – Tank or DPS. One of only 3 classes capable of wearing the heaviest armor in the game, they excel at taking punishment as well as dishing it out. Warriors have Stances that they switch between, giving bonuses and penalties while providing access to different abilities in each stance. Warrior abilities cost Rage, which is generated when you deal or take damage.

  • Allowable RacesAll; All
  • Talent Trees – Arms, Fury, Protection
  • Roles – Melee DPS; Tank
  • Pros – High armor and health; able to use shields; Titan’s Grip allows for massive damage.
  • Cons – Very few ranged abilities; no long-term crowd control; Relies on others for healing; very little AoE

When discussing classes, anytime there is something in brackets beside the name, such as Druid (Balance), It refers to the area that person should have spent their talents in. I’ll usually only use this when there’s a massive difference between the various talent trees. For instance, Whether a mage has specialized in Arcane, Frost or Fire trees, they are still a ranged damage dealer. However, a shaman that’s spent thier points in the Enchancement tree is melee dps while one that’s spent their points in Elemental is ranged dps.


In the World of Warcraft, there are but two playable factions: The Horde and the Alliance. Neither side is considered good or bad, so don’t let that affect your decision. The Horde has Blood Elves, Forsaken, Goblins, Orcs, Taurens, and Trolls. The Alliance has Draenei, Dwarves, Gnomes, Humans, Night Elves and Worgen. Remember that if you are flagged for PvP, any member of the opposite faction can attack you. The same goes for NPCs, but they can attack you even you aren’t flagged.

When you are a faction, either Horde or Alliance, you are unable to talk, mail, or in any other way communicate with the other side. The only means of communicating is by the use of emotes and killing. Make sure that if your friends play WoW, you pick the same faction as them if you want to talk to them. Also note that if you have alts in different factions, you can’t mail items or money to them, so be careful.

Note: The term Faction also applies to any group you can gain reputation with. There are quite a number of them, and gaining reputation with some may cause you to lose reputation with others. As there are plenty of guides talking about factions, I’ll leave the details out of here.


You should have chosen the class you want to play, or at least narrowed it down. Since each race can only be certain classes, you’ll need to choose one that can be the class you want. Each race offers certain abilities, but the difference at the higher levels is miniscule so choose a race you think you’d have fun playing as opposed to strictly for the benefits. Some races grant benefit to professions. While this provides a jump at the start, there is no difference between a 450 and a 455 jewelcrafting or herbalism, for instance, so you don’t necessarily need to pick a race with a bump to whatever profession you choose.

A Size chart showing the genders of each race can be viewed here.

A complete list of the various racial abilities can be found here



  • Available Classes – Death Knight, Hunter, Mage, Priest, Paladin, Shaman, Warrior
  • Racial Mount – Elekk (Elephant}
  • Home City – Exodar
  • Only playable if you have Burning Crusade or later expansions installed.


  • Available Classes – Death Knight, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior
  • Racial Mount – Ram
  • Home City – Ironforge (IF)


  • Available Classes – Death Knight, Mage, Priest, Rogue, Warlock, Warrior
  • Racial Mount – Mechanostrider (Robotic ostrich)
  • Home City – Ironforge (IF)


  • Available Classes – Death Knight, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Warlock, Warrior
  • Racial Mount – Horse
  • Home City – Stormwind City (SW)

Night Elf

  • Available Classes – Death Knight, Druid, Hunter, Mage, Priest, Rogue, Warrior
  • Racial Mount – Nightsaber (Large sabre-toothed cat)
  • Home City – Darnassus (Darn)


  • Available Classes – Death Knight, Druid, Hunter, Mage, Priest, Rogue, Warlock, Warrior
  • Racial Mount – Instead of a racial mount, Worgen are able given the ability “Running Wild”, which allows them to run on all fours at mounted speeds. They can still ride mounts if they have any.
  • Home City – Darnassus (Darn)
  • Only playable if you have Cataclysm installed.


Blood Elf

  • Available Classes – Death Knight, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Warlock, Warrior
  • Racial Mount – Hawkstrider (Large, flightless birds)
  • Home City – Silvermoon City (SC)
  • Only playable if you have Burning Crusade or Wrath of the Lich King installed.


  • Available Classes – Death Knight, Hunter, Mage, Priest, Rogue, Warlock, Warrior
  • Racial Mount – Skeletal Horse
  • Home City – Undercity (UC)


  • Available Classes – Death Knight, Hunter, Mage, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior
  • Racial Mount – Goblin Trike
  • Home City – Undercity (UC)


  • Available Classes – Death Knight, Hunter, Mage, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior
  • Racial Mount – Wolf
  • Home City – Orgrimmar (Org)


  • Available Classes – Death Knight, Druid, Hunter, Paladin, Priest, Shaman, Warrior
  • Racial Mount – Kodo (Large horned lizard)
  • Home City – Thunder Bluff (TB)


  • Available Classes – Death Knight, Druid, Hunter, Mage, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior
  • Racial Mount – Raptor
  • Home City – Orgrimmar (Org)




First, know what the stats are and mean. There are 5 stats: Strength, Agility, Stamina, Intelligence and Spirit. Here’s a list of the stats, as well as the base effect. of each one. Please note that some classes can receive additional benefit from certain stats. Druids, for instance, may receive part of their intellect or spirit as spell power. Also note that most player stats affect the stats of your pets, if you have any.


    • : Strength affects your attack power (AP) with melee weapons, as well as the amount of damage you can block with a shield.


    • : Agility increases your AP with ranged weapons, your armor, dodge rating and your weapon critical hit chance.


    • : Determines how much Health you have. Also determines pet health. While Stamina is important to all classes, Ranged classes will generally have less because they can kill the mob before it gets to them. More Hit Points are always a good thing, however. Remember,

The Number 1 cause of death among players is loss of health!


    • : This determines your maximum mana, as well as your critical strike chance for spells.


    • : Determines your Health regeneration (Out of combat) and Mana regeneration (When not casting).


From these stats, you have a set of derived stats that will be affected. For instance, Attack Power increases the damage you do with your weapon. Each class, and even the different specs for a specific class, usually require that you concentrate on different stats. Please refer to a class guide to figure out what’s best to build for.

For any of the other stats, such as mana regen, crit chance, haste rating, etc., you can hover over that stat on your character sheet and it will tell you what it does.


What are talents? The short answer is they are the area your character specializes in. Now, for the long answer. You get 1 talent point whenever you gain a new level, starting at level 10. You won’t even be able to access your talent screen until then. Each talent point can be spent to get increases to existing abilities, or even entirely new ones only available through the talent tree. Ones farther down the tree require that you have spent X number of points earlier in the tree. You are required to spend your first 31 points only in one tree, and the remaining points can be spent in any of the other trees. You will have 41 points when you hit 85, and to get to the last talent in any specific tree you’ll have to spend 31, leaving only 10 for other trees, or to finish spending in that tree. Please refer to the various Class Guides available here for suggestions on how to spend your points.

IMPORTANT: Once you spend a talent point, it’s locked into place. You can reset your talent points, known as a respec, by visiting your class trainer. However, it costs 1 GOLD the first time. After that, it goes up to 5, then increases by 5 every time after that until it hits the max of 50 GOLD. Every month that goes by and you haven’t respecced, the cost drops by 5 gold, to a minimum of 10 gold. Do some research before you spend them and save yourself some money.


Professions and Secondary Skills

Professions and Secondary Skills are available to every race and class. They area each described below.

Your character is allowed to learn up to two (2) professions. Professions fall into two categories – Gathering and Crafting. Gathering professions are used to get materials from the environment, and the crafting skills allow the player to create various items, some that only they can use.

  • Herbalism – This ability allows you to gather herbs from the environment. Grants the player the ability to cast a HoT on themselves.
  • Mining – Allows you to gather metals, stones and gems from the environment. Grants the player extra hit points.
  • Skinning – Allows you to gather leather and hides from the corpses of some creatures. Grants the player an increased chance to critically strike.
  • Alchemy – Creates potions and transmute substances
  • Blacksmithing – Create weapons, as well as mail and plate armor
  • Enchanting – Add stat increases or abilities to weapons and armor; disenchant magic items for components
  • Engineering – Create various items and gizmos, as well as explosives. Most items created by engineering can only be used by engineers.
  • Jewelcrafting – Create rings and trinkets, as well as cut raw gems to give stat bonuses.
  • Leatherworking – Create leather and mail armor, as well as some enhancement items.
  • Tailoring – Create cloth armor, as well as create speciality cloth.
  • Inscription – Create glyphs, which can be used to enhance the effect of certain player abilities. Can also create some equippable items.

Giving your character two gathering professions is a great way to make money. If you want to take a crafting skill, it’s highly recommended that you take the appropriate gathering skill to keep yourself supplied with materials. The exception to this is tailoring, which uses the cloth that drops off mobs. Enchanting goes well with this, as the items you craft with tailoring can be disenchated to give you mats for enchanting. Otherwise, any gathering profession is a good pairing.

An important note regarding professions: Professions have 6 levels of skill. You have to both a) get your skill to a certain level and b) get your character to a certain level in order to train in the next level of the skill. The different ranks are listed below. Also please note that Gathering skills (Mining, Herbalism and Skinning) can be accessed at lower character levels than the crafting professions.

Rank Skill Level Char Level Max Skill Level
Apprentice 0 5 75
Journeyman 50 10 150
Expert 125 20 225
Artisan 200 35 300
Master 275 55 375
Grand Master 350 65 450

Secondary Skills
Players can learn all of the following secondary skills in addition to their two professions.

  • Archaeology – This is the aiblity to dig up artifact fragments and combine them into items. Most are useless, but you can get rare pets, mounts, recipes and epic items if you’re lucky
  • First Aid – This is the ability to make bandages out of various pieces of cloth. The higher your skill in First Aid, the better bandages you can use or make.
  • Fishing – This ability allows you to gather fish and other stuff from the various watery locations in the game.
  • Cooking – Allows you to create various foods, many of which provide stat increases.
  • Riding – This skill allows you to ride a mount. Mounts are faster than walking or running, but you cannont attack while mounted, nor can you mount up in combat. What type of mounts depends on your level and the skill you’ve purchased, listed below:
    • Level 20 (Skill Level 75; basic riding) – Allows you to ride land mounts that increase your speed by 60%.
    • Level 40 (Skill level 150; epic land) – Allows access to 100% speed mounts.
    • Level 60 (Skill Level 225; basic flight) – This allows acces to flying mounts. These are a 150% increase in speed. Can only be summoned and ridden in Outland and Northrend, unless you purchase a:
    • Flight Master’s License – This ability requires that you have at least basic flight. This allows you to use your flying mount in Azeroth.
    • Level 70 (Skill level 300; epic flight) – Epic flight speed is 280% of normal speed. You are faster than the flight paths now. As with basic flight, you can only use a flying mount in Outland and Northrend (and Azeroth with a Flight Master’s License).
    • Level 77 (Skill Level 225/300; Cold Weather Flying) – This skill allows you to use your flying mount in Northrend. Unlike the other riding skills, you can purchase this even if you’ve only got basic flight. It will NOT give you epic flight if you don’t already have it.




Now that we’ve covered the stats, it’s time to figure out what to do with them. While you get a small bump to your skills every time you level, the main way you’ll become more powerful is through gear.
Gear comes in six levels, listed below:

  • Grey (Useless): called vendor trash as its only real use is being sold. However, early on when you have empty gear slots, put on gray gear if you can because something is better than nothing.
  • White (Common): usually has some kind of use, such as a crafting ingredient or quest item. White gear has NO stat bonuses, and is the “baseline” for all other items to compare to. You will have this type of gear when you start out, but by your 30s you should be in all greens or better.
  • Green (Uncommon): many enemies drop these, always have some kind of stat boost. These are the first items with stat boosts.
  • Blue (Rare): Blues are found more often as quest rewards and in instances, but do occasionally drop in the world. Blues are significantly more powerful than greens of the same level.
  • Purple (Epic): Epics are mostly end-game content. They represent the most pinnacle of gear for their appropriate levels (usually, see below).
  • Orange (Legendary/Artifact): The most powerful equipment the game has to offer for that level. Legendary items are reserved for end-game content, and usually require multiple people working together to create one for one person.

To give you an idea, compare the following:

Forsaken Sword
The Sunbreaker
Talon of Azshara
Warglaive of Azzinoth

As you can see, there is a marked power difference between the items. Now, for the exceptions:

The gear from each new expansion is much more powerful than the items from the previous ones, even though the item’s required level may be the same, or even less. For instance, take Stoneblade Slicer and Vindicator’s Brand. There’s not a huge difference, yet the epic costs over 200 gold, while the green requires that you do a quest and get gold!


Bind to Account


Blizzard has introduced a new class of item called “Bind to Account” or “BoA”. BoA items can be traded between any character on the purchasing account as long as the characters are on the same server.

BoA items include vanity pets, some enchantments, skills and Heirloom equipment.
Heirloom equipment has several benefits:

  • Some heirloom items scale. This means that they will always have stats appropriate for the level of the character equipping it.
  • The heirloom armor pieces provide a bonus to experience gained, so the character wearing heirloom armor will level faster.
  • Heirloom items generally provide slightly better bonuses than Rare items. (See the above equipment level chart)

For the most part, BoA items can only be acquired by level 80+ characters. The main exceptions to this are the vanity pets, which can be obtained by characters of any level.




It’s important you know what all the lingo that comes out of a lazy player’s keyboard means. Chatspeak is a mean of communication which abbreviates common phrases or words for a means for faster chat. I won’t cover it here, but Wow-Pro has a comprehensive chatspeak page here. You should check it out and familiarize yourself with the basics.


Welcome to the World (of Warcraft)


You should now be logged in. You’re looking around the area you’ve started in. There are some creatures wandering around, and someone near you has a large gold exclamation point over their head. Now what?

Well, first off, spend a few moments getting to know the controls. You’ll be using a combination of your keyboard and mouse, along with any other input device(s) you may have. I can’t cover everything, but the default basic commands (for a PC, at least) are:

  • The W, A, S and D keys can control basic movement.
  • Left-clicking causes you to select something
  • Right-clicking will interact (harvest, talk, attack, loot, etc.) with that. The exact interaction is dependant on the target.
    The 1-0, “-” and “=” keys along the top of your keyboard will activate the ability in the respective slot on your action bar.

Now, about the stuff you see around you. The names of any creatures or players are color-coded, as are their respective level to you. what these colors mean is listed below.


Creature’s Name

    • The color of a creature’s name determines its initial attitude towards you. The list below shows the three main reaction levels common in the game.


      • Yellow – This is the most common color you’ll when you first start. This color means the targets are neutral, but not actively hostile. In most cases, you can still attack them. You can walk right past one of these guys without worrying. They may come to the aid of their friends if attacked.
      • Red – Actively hostile. They will attack you if you get to close, and may get help from other mobs close by.
      • Green – These mobs are friendly. They (usually) won’t attack you, and will generally come to your aid if you are attacked near them. You can’t attack them.

There are some exceptions to these. For instance, some of the guards in neutral towns may be green to you, but will still attack you if you attack another player. When you enter some areas of the world, everyone that is not in your party becomes red and is attackable.

Respective Level
The color of a creature’s level is relative to your own level. The colors generally let you know whether a creature presents a challeng to you, or if it’s even worth experience.

      • Gray – These mobs are so far below your current level that they will not generate any XP if killed. They will still drop loot and may provide other benefits, dependig on the creature. (Depending on your current level, creatures may go gray anywhere from 4-8 levels lower than you.)
      • Green – Green creatures should be relatively easy to defeat. Creatures 2 levels or more lower than your level are usually green.
      • Yellow – Yellow creatures are within two levels of your current level. These creatures may present a challenge, but shouldn’t be life-threatening.
      • Orange – Orange creatures are 3-4 levels higher than you. These creatures will usually prove to be difficult, and you should generally engage only when you have full health and mana/energy.
      • Red – Red creatures are 4-9 levels higher than you, and are usually extremely difficult to harm by yourself. Avoid engaging these creatures unless you’re sure of yourself.
      • Skull – Skulls represent a creature 10+ levels higher than you. These creatures are incredibly tough compared to you, and will usually kill you in just a few hits (or even one) if you engage them.

A side note: Against green and gray mobs, you will generally have an increased chance to hit and do more damage while they have a decreased chance to hit you and do less damage. Conversely, anything orange, red or a skull to you has a better chance to hit and and generally does more damage, while you have a decreased chance to hit it and do less damage when you do.

The colors for players are a little more extensive.

Player’s Name

    • The color of a player’s name will usually give you information about their PvP.


      • Blue – Same faction as you, NOT flagged for PvP. Also means players of the opposite faction as you not flagged, when you are not either.
      • Green – Same faction as you, flagged for PvP. (Using any ability on a flagged player will flag you as well.)
      • Yellow – Opposite faction as you, flagged for PvP if you are not.
      • Red – Opposite faction as you, flagged for PvP if you are.
      • Light Blue – Person in your party. Also, anyone who is in your friend list will show this color if they are not flagged for PvP, whther or not they are in your group.

Respective Level
A player’s respective level indicator isn’t as easy as a creature’s. While the colors still represent the same differences in level as listed above, there are three new factors – Gear, Buffs and Skill.

      • Gear – As seen in the Equipment section, gear can increase your stats. Some gear has the stat “Resilience”, which has many effects including decreasing damage taken. (Check out the WoWWiki article for all of the effects)
      • Buffs – Similar to gear, buffs provide boosts to stats. In addition to player-cast buffs, there are some NPC-cast buffs (like Rallying Cry of the Dragonslayer), which can completely change a player’s combat abilities.
      • Skill – There is no substitute for skill. A skilled player can take out an unskilled one many levels higher than themselves, just from knowing the strengths of their class and the weakness of their opponent.

The bottom line is never assume just because a player is lower level than you that they’re an easy target. Oh, and one other thing to keep in mind – no matter how low your target is, try and remember that they may have an alt that’s a higher level than you, better geared than you and might just possibly have friends. Picking on someone because they’re 30 levels lower than you could ruin your day as his 6 level 80 gladiator buddies show up.


Groups and Instances


If you get tired of questing or want a change of pace, you can try running an instance. Instances are areas that you and your party have to yourselves, (instanced, hence the name). They contain “elite” mobs, which are more powerful than normal mobs, as well as bosses which are even tougher. There are four types of instances; Normal, Heroic, Raid and Heroic Raid. When you enter an instance, you are actually going into something like a copy. Every party gets their own copy, so they have everything in it to themselves. In some cases, the instance can be “reset” and run again. Others will only reset once a day or even once a week, limiting how often you can run them. Also, when you kill a boss in an instance, you become “saved” to it. That means that you will always enter the same version you were in, even if you are in a party with people who haven’t done it yet. Most instances below level 60 can be reset, as can a lot of the ones higher than that. The only instances not resettable are Heroics and Raids.


      • These instances are designed for 5-man groups. They are the majority of the instances available, and require a normal party (see below).


      • Heroic instances are versions of the regular instances, but everything in them is tuned for a higher level of character. Currently, Heroics are either for level 70 (Outland/Burning Crusade), level 80 (Northrend/Wrath of the Lich King) or level 85 (Cataclysm). Not all instances have a heroic version. Heroics are also designed for 5-man groups. Heroics reset at 4am server time each day. Killing any boss or starting any event will usually save you to a heroic.


      • Raids are instances requiring 10 or 25 people to complete. The creatures are tougher than normal instance mobs, but the loot is usually better as well. Also, the necessary party make-up for each raid is different. Some may require more tanks or less melee than others. Most raids reset once a week, usually on Tuesday mornings. Some may reset sooner. Killing any boss or starting any event will usually save you to a raid.

Heroic Raid:

      • Heroic raids are usually meant for 25 people, and of course the mobs in them are harder than those in a normal raid. The loot is usualy better as well. As with a normal raid, party make-up is dependant on the raid being run, and even the boss(es) being faced. Heroic Raids reset the same time as normal raids, and the same things will get you saved.


A note on being saved – 10- and 25-man versions of a raid are considered separate dungeons, meaning that even if you’re saved to a 10-man Naxxramas, you can still do the 25-man version of it.

Party Roles

(Please note that the following information applies to doing groups for INSTANCES and RAIDS. Until you hit the higher levels, you’ll only be dealing with 5-man groups, so that’s all I’ll cover here.)

To sucessfully run an instance, your party needs to have the right balance of characters. The exact class make-up of your party isn’t as important as making sure that the necessary roles are filled.

Your party should have the following:

      • Tank x1
      • Healer x1
      • Damage x3
      • Crowd Control (Optional – see below)

OK, you need a tank. What’s a tank? Below are explanations for each of the roles, as well as what classes can fill those roles.


      • – Tanks are characters who specialize in keeping an opponent’s attention while others kill it. Tanks generally (but not always) have a low damage output, but tend to have a lot of armor and hit points and are hard to kill. Classes that can tank are: Warrior (Protection), Paladin (Protection), Druid (Feral) and Death Knight (Blood).


      • – Exactly what they sound like, healers keep others (and themselves) alive longer. Another necessity for any instance or raid, healers concentrate on keeping everyone else alive. As with tanks, healers are generally less effective when playing by themselves but are still viable. Classes that can heal are: Priest (Holy), Paladin (Holy), Druid (Restoration) and Shaman (Restoration).


      • – Damage classes are usually referred to as DPS, or Damage per Second. These are classes that specialize in killing stuff fast. DPS can be melee or ranged, and you should choose whatever suits your play style.


        • – Melee are characters who get up-close and personal with whatever they’re fighting. They generally have little to no ranged abilities, attacking with weapons and special attacks. The classes that are melee are: Warrior, Rogue, Paladin (Retribution or Protection), Death Knight, Druid (Feral) and Shaman (Enhancement).


        • – Exactly what it sounds like, ranged attackers hit from a distance, usually preferring that their enemies get nowhere close to them. They may have some melee capabilities but these are usually only a last resort. Damage ranged classes are: Priest, Warlock, Mage, Shaman (Elemental), Druid (Balance) and Hunter.


Crowd Control – Crowd Control, or CC, refers to keeping an enemy or group of enemies out of a fight. Why is this important? Well, temporarily incapacitating 2 of 5 people means that the tank is only getting hit by 3 and therefore taking less damage, and the healer has to heal less. Examples of CC are:

        • Fear: The selected target runs away in fear for a set amount of time. They cannot attack, but they can call for help.
        • Sap: The Rogue saps the target, incapacitating it for a decent amount of time.
        • Polymorph: Turns the target into a harmless animal for a period of time. However, they heal at a phenomenal rate while polymorphed, so don’t use this on stuff that almost dead unless absolutely necessary.

Be careful, as many CC spells/abilities will be negated by any damage the target takes. Make sure the party knows which target will be CCed before starting an attack. Classes that can CC include Mages, Rogues, Druids, Warlocks, Priest, Paladins, Shamans and Hunters.

Party Etiquette
First, let’s go over communication. It’s important that EVERYONE in the party communicate with each other, otherwise the whole concept of groups is pointless. Remember that you are playing with humans, not NPCs.

When you join a party for a dungeon, make sure you get across the things you need to do, whether it’s to kill the last boss, free a prisoner, complete a quest or are looking for a specific drop. People aren’t psychic, so make it clear what you are there for. Also, know your role in the party. Priests aren’t made to tank. Luckily, there are many people out there on their alts who know theirs, and even other people’s roles in the party. Just please, don’t try to tell everyone what they’re doing wrong and why you’re so much better at it on your other character. You’ll soon find yourself having a hard time finding groups.

When you’re in the instance, listen to each other. Be modest. Don’t try to be a leader if you have no idea what to do. Usually the leader is the person with the most experience or the highest level. The leader (the person with a crown on their portrait) gets to decide Loot Type, Instance Difficulty and the ability to reset the instance.

Loot type is basically how the loot is distributed. Loot types are:

      • Group Loot: The default, and most likely best loot type around. Party members take turns looting corpses. If an item better than the threshold* pops up, people roll for it.
      • Round Robin: Much like Group Loot, only when an item thats better than the threshold comes up, whoever’s turn it is to loot that corpse gets to loot that item as well without having to roll for it.
      • Master Looter: The Master Looter (ML) is assigned by the leader. When an item better than the threshold is dropped, the ML gets to decide who gets it.
      • Free for All: Any party member can loot anything from any corpse.
      • Need Before Greed: This is almost the same as group loot, except those that can’t even use the item automatically pass.

*The loot threshold is the type of item that you start to roll at. For example, if the threshold is at rare, then you roll for any item rare or higher, but not for uncommons. When an item that’s better than the threshold is dropped, a box will come up when it’s looted. It will show the item and stats, along with a die, coin and and X.

      • The die is Need, and is usually only clicked when you can use that item and it is an upgrade to what you have.
      • The coin is Greed, and is generally used when you don’t Need it, but you could still use it (even if it’s just for the money)
      • The broken sword icon is Disenchant, and will only be selectable if there’s an enchanter in your party who is high enough to disenchant the item. This is considered a Greed roll
      • The X is pass, if you feel no Need (or Greed) for it. If anyone Need rolls something, anyone who chose Greed or Disenchant doesn’t even get to roll against them.

Due to the fact that the a Need roll trumps all Greed and Disenchant rolls, you should ask your party before rolling Need. There are cases where an item drops that nobody can use, such as a piece of plate with nobody that can wear it in the party. In cases like this, everyone usually rolls Greed or Disenchant (if you’re lucky enough to have an enchanter high enough to disenchante the item in the party).

There is an unspoken loot etiquette you should follow when grouped with anyone, whether it’s for an instance or just out questing.

      1. Only roll need on items that are an upgrade for you, and are BoP.
      2. If a BoE item drops and would ben an upgrade for you, ask before you need it. BoE items can be auctioned, and everyone “Needs” money.
      3. If you do get the go-ahead to need a BoE item, equip it immediately. This lets everyone know that you weren’t lying and aren’t going to go sell it when you’re done.
      4. ASK before rolling NEED on anything, even if you are the only one in the party that can use it.
      5. Ask before needing items for your off-spec. What this means is that if you’re a shaman healing the instance and a nice melee weapon drops, don’t need it for your enhancement set if there’s another player there that can use it for their main spec.
      6. If you are a miner, skinner or herbalist, make sure nobody else in the group is one before you run around and mine/skin/herb all the resources. If you aren’t the only one with that specific profession, /roll to see who gets the first node and cycle through. Also, if you don’t have auto-loot turned on, you can attempt to harvest the resource but not take it, letting others in the group do the same so everyone gets the skill bump from it. The last person will usually take the resource.

If someone is not following the above rules, don’t fly off the handle and accuse them of ninja looting or stealing. Ask them first, point out what they did if they ask and watch them to see if they do it again. If you notice a trend, it’s usually a good idea to go ahead and pull out of that group and find another. In the cases where you can’t, say you’re already saved to that heroic, make the choice to stay and deal with it or wait until it resets. Either way, make sure you let your friends and guildmates know to watch out.

Don’t be petty and try to call someone out in general or trade chat. It will cause you more problems than you’ll probably want to deal with. If someone did something really bad, such as a druid rolling need on your tanking sword then disenchanting it, use to find out the head of their guild and contact them. Many guilds try and cultivate a reputation, and they REALLY don’t like it when stuff like this happens. Just keep in mind that you’ll probably get flamed by the offending party if some sort of punitive action is taken by their guild.

Here is a list of the dungeons in the World of Warcraft (in order of Blizzard’s “suggested” level). I’ve listed every dungeon so that when you should be able to tell if one you can do when someone’s asking about it.

Azeroth Instances (Vanilla)
The dungeons of original WoW (known as “vanilla”) are usually long affair, usually containing 5 or more bosses and being very large in scope. They are not run much anymore, except for nostalgia, achievements, or to gear people’s alts. Some ARE Still run with the appropriate group, and getting into one for the practice (and experience) is always a good idea. Just make sure you know the proper role in a party for your class and spec.

None of the vanilla instances have a heroic mode

Level Dungeon (5-10 man instances) Zone Abbrev Notes
13-20 Ragefire Chasm Orgrimmar RFC
16-24 The Deadmines Westfall VC
16-24 Wailing Caverns The Barrens WC
17-25 Shadowfang Keep Silverpine Forest SFK
20-28 Blackfathom Deeps Ashenvale BFD
21-29 The Stockades Stormwind City Stocks
24-40 Gnomeregan Dun Morogh Gnomer
23-31 Razorfen Kraul The Barrens RFK
28-44 Scarlet Monastery Tirisfal Glades SM There are 4 wings: Library, Armory, Cathedral and Graveyard
33-41 Razorfen Downs The Barrens RFD
36-44 Uldaman Badlands Ulda
40-52 Maraudon Desolace Mara
42-50 Zul’Farrak Tanaris ZF
45-54 Sunken Temple Swamp of Sorrows ST
48-60 Blackrock Depths Blackrock Mountain BRD
53-61 Blackrock Spire Blackrock Mountain BRS This instance has an upper and lower part.
54-61 Dire Maul Feralas DM This instance has 3 wings: North, East and West
56-61 Stratholme Eastern Plaguelands Strat Strat has 2 sides, Live and Undead.
56-61 Scholomance Western Plaguelands Scholo

Level Dungeon (20-40 man Raids) Zone Abbrev Notes
60+ Blackwing Lair Blackrock Mountain BWL Next to Blackrock Spire
60+ Molten Core Blackrock Mountain MC Next to Blackrock Depths
60+ Ruins of Ahn’Qiraj Silithus AQ20
60+ Temple of Ahn’Qiraj Silithus AQ40

Outland Instances (Burning Crusade)
The release of The Burning Crusade (BC) brought a lot of new dungeons. These dungeons are much shorter than the original ones, and can usually be run in an hour or less. The gear form these are far superior than those from the original dungeons and instances. The section for “Heroic Faction” is what faction you’ll have to become honored with in order to access the heroic version of that instance. The heroic version of all outland dungeons are meant for level 70s.

Level Dungeon (5-10 man instances) Zone Abbrev Heroic Faction Notes
60-62 Hellfire Ramparts Hellfire Peninsula Ramps Honor Hold/Thrallmar
61-63 Blood Furnace Hellfire Peninsula BF Honor Hold/Thrallmar
62-64 The Slave Pens Zangarmarsh SP Cenarion Expedition
63-65 The Underbog Zangarmarsh UB Cenarion Expedition
64-66 Mana Tombs Terrokkar Forest MT Lower City
65-67 Auchenai Crypts Terrokkar Forest Crypts; AC Lower City
66-68 Old Hillsbrad Foothills Tanaris (In Azeroth) Durnholde Keepers of Time Required to access Black Morass
67-69 Sethekk Halls Terrokkar Forest SH Lower City
69-72 Black Morass Tanaris (In Azeroth) BM Keepers of Time
69-72 The Mechanar Netherstorm Mech The Shat’tar
70-72 Shattered Halls Hellfire Peninsula Shat Halls Honor Hold/Thrallmar
70-72 The Steam Vaults Zangarmarsh SV Cenarion Expedition
70-72 Shadow Labyrinth Terrokkar Forest SL Lower City
70-72 The Botanica Netherstorm Bot The Shat’tar
70-72 The Arcatraz Netherstorm Arc The Shat’tar
70-72 Magister’s Terrace The Isle of Quel’Danas MgT Shattered Sun Offensive To unlock the heroic version of this instance, you must run it on normal and complete a quest.

Level Dungeon (10-25 man raids) Zone Abbrev Notes
70+ Karazhan Deadwind Pass (In Azeroth) Kara 10-man instance
70+ Magtheridon’s Lair Hellfire Peninsula Mag
70+ Zul’Aman Ghostlands ZA Once you open the door to this instance, a timer starts. The more boses you can defeat before the timer runs out, the more loot you get.
70+ Serpentshrine Cavern Zangarmarsh SSC
70+ Gruul’s Lair Blade’s Edge Mountains Gruul
70+ Battle for Mount Hyjal Tanaris (In Azeroth) MH; Hyjal
70+ The Eye Netherstorm TK
70+ The Black Temple Shadowmoon Valley BT
70+ The Sunwell Plateau The Isle of Quel’Danas Sunwell; SP

Northrend Instances (Wrath of the Lich King)
Wrath of the Lich King (WotLK) again brought more dungeons, with gear surpassing the BC dungeons. They kept the parts of the instance that worked – smaller settings for faster runs, multiple instances at the same location, etc. They did away with the need to get a key to do heroic versions, which means you can jump straight into the heroics when you hit 80 if your gear is good enough. They also added Heroic Raids. These are beefed-up versions of the 10-man raids. They are designed for a 25-man team. The mobs are tougher, but the loot is better.

Level Dungeon (5-10 man instances) Zone Abbrev Notes
70-72 Utgarde Keep Howling Fjord UK
71-73 The Nexus Borean Tundra Nex Has an extra boss on heroic
72-74 Azjol-Nerub Dragonblight AN
73-75 Ahn’kahet: The Old Kingdom Dragonblight OK
74-76 Drak’Tharon Keep Grizzly Hills DTK Has an extra boss on heroic
76-78 Gun’Drak Zul’Drak GD;Gun Has an extra boss on heroic
75-77 Violet Hold Dalaran VH Located IN The city of Dalaran
77-79 Halls of Stone Storm Peaks HoS Need a flying mount to get there
80 Halls of Lightning Storm Peaks HoL Need a flying mount to get there
80 The Culling of Stratholme Tanaris (In Azeroth) CoS; Culling Has a 25-minute timed heroic run for an epic flying mount.
80 The Oculus Borean Tundra OC Requires riding of drakes within the instance to complete
80 Utgarde Pinnacle Howling Fjord UP
80+ Trial of the Champion Icecrown ToC Has 3 bosses
80+ The Forge of Souls Icecrown FoS Has 2 bosses
80+ Pit of Saron Icecrown PoS Must complete Forge of Souls before you can enter
80+ Halls of Reflection Icecrown HoR Must complete Pit of Saron before you can enter

Level Dungeon (10-25 man raids) Zone Abbrev Notes
80+ Naxxramas Dragonblight Naxx Next to last boss drops Key to the Focusing Iris, needed for The Eye of Eternity.
80+ The Eye of Eternity Borean Tundra Maly; EoE Requires the Key to the Focusing Iris to access.
80+ Obsidian Sanctum Dragonblight OS There are 3 drake mini-bosses that will come to the aid of the main boss if not defeated beforehand. However, each drake that participates in the actual boss fight gives extra loot.
80+ Ulduar Storm Peaks Uld Ulduar is a massive instance, starting off with the entire raid fighting in vehicles.
80+ Vault of Archavon Wintergrasp VoA This instance is only available to the faction that controls Wintergrasp, a PvP battleground. This is a very short instance.
80+ Trial of the Crusader Icecrown ToC 10/25
80+ Trial of the Grand Crusader Icecrown ToGC 10/25
80+ Onyxia’s Lair Dustwallow Marsh Ony
80+ Icecrown Citadel Icecrown ICC
80+ The Ruby Sanctum Dragonblight RS

Cataclysm Instances (Cataclysm)
Cataclysm changed the whole game world. Some old instances and raids were removed, and others got an overhaul. A couple of the classics even got level 85 heroic versions. Of course, new dungeons and raids were added as well. I’ll be updating this list soon.

Level Dungeon (5-10 man instances) Zone Abbrev Notes
83-85 The Vortex Pinnacle
83-85 The Lost City of Tol’Vir

Level Dungeon (10-25 man raids) Zone Abbrev Notes



World of Warcraft, like most MMOs, contains some aspects of Player vs. Player combat. There are Battlegrounds, World PvP, Duels and Arena. Please note that I don’t do a lot of PvP, so some of this info is off of Blizz’s website and may be inaccurate. Any input from the PvPers out there would be appreciated.

Battlegrounds (BGs) are areas designed specifically for PvP combat. As such, players are automatically flagged for PvP upon entering them. The following information applies to most battlegrounds:

      • Most Battlegrounds are Horde vs. Alliance
      • Battlegrounds requrie minimum levels to enter.
      • BGs are bracketed. These are usually 10-19; 20-29; 30-39; 40-49; 50-59; 60-69; 70-79; 80.(Note: There won’t be brackets below the BGs minimum level)
      • You have to queue up to enter. You can queue up from anywhere. When the instance is over, you’ll re-appear wherever you were when you entered.
      • BGs are instanced. There may be 20 different games in the same bracket going on at the same time. (If you’re joining friends, find out what one they’re in and queue for it)
      • Each BG has a different goal or set of goals to accomplish.
      • BGs have a minimum and maximum number of players. If there are not enough people in the BG, it will cancel. If there are too many queued up, it will spawn a second instance of it.
      • Most BGs are cross-server, meaning that they draw from anyone queued up in the corresponding battlegroup. (A battlegroup refers to what servers are pooled for BG queues.)
      • Some BGs are timed.
      • Each BG will give rep with a different faction, and each faction has different rewards.
      • In addition to the honor you get for killing players, you get honor for completing a BG, win or lose. Winners usually get a lot more honor.
      • Every weekend, a BG is on “holiday”. You get double the honor for completing the BG.
      • Unless you pay a fee, you will gain Exp for doing BGs.

The following are a list of the existing BGs, their common abbreviations, the minimum entry level, the minimum and maximum number of players per side and a brief idea of the game type:

Name Abbrev Min Level Min/Max Goal
Warsong Gultch WSG 10 5/10 Capture the Flag
Arathi Basin AB 20 1/15 Capture and hold parts of the map to accumulate resources
Alterac Valley AV 51 10/40 Destroy the Enemy general or all reinforcements
Eye of the Storm EotS 61 1/15 Capture the Flag and Capture and hold parts of the BG
Strand of the Ancients SotA 71 1/15 Alternating turns of Capture the base and defend it
The Isle of Conquest IoC 71 1/40 Destroy the Enemy general or all reinforcements
Wintergrasp WG 71 No limit Siege or defend the keep using vehicles.
Tol Barad TB 81 No limit

Note: As of patch 3.2, Wintergrasp acts like a normal BG in that you have to queue up for it to participate. However, Wintergrasp is server-specific, meaning that only players from your server will participate.

World PvP
World PvP can have two meanings:

      • The fighting that goes on in contested areas on PvP servers
      • Areas of the world with PvP objectives.

This section will cover the second of those, areas of the game world that have PvP objectives. There are actually quite a few of these, though some are quite small. These areas usually have a clear objective, like capture and hold locations or siege an area.

Name Zone Time Objective Benefit
Gurubashi Arena Stranglethorn Vale Every 3 hours A free-for-all to loot a chest in the middle of the arena. NOTE: members of the same faction can fight each other in here! Bracers and quest item
N/A Eastern Plaguelands N/A Capture and hold the towers Every tower under a faction’s control gives that faction a damage bonus vs. undead
N/A Silithus N/A Collect Silithyst from the zone and return it to your faction’s base Cenarion Circle Rep and buff
Hellfire Fortifications Hellfire Penninsula N/A Capture all 3 PvP objectives When all 3 are held the same faction, all memebers of that faction in the zone get a 5% increase to their damage. There is also a daily quests to capture all 3 for cash and honor
Twin Spires Zangamarsh N/A Capture both beacons, then run a flag to the Spire Control of the central graveyard in the zone and zone-wide 5% damage buff
The Bone Wastes Terokkar Forest 6 hours Capture all 5 of the tower and hold them all at the same time 5% increase to the controlling factions damage and XP and allows capturing of Spirit Shards from the bosses in Auchindoun
Halaa Nagrand N/A Defend Halaa or Destroy all NPC guards and capture it 5% damage buff and access to Halaa Merchants and quest turn-ins
Grizzly Hills Grizzly Hills N/A 2 sets of quests, one at Venture Bay and one at Blue Sky Logging Grounds The Venture Bay quests give you Venture Coins, which can be used for a number of Useful Items
Wintergrasp Wintergrasp 2.5 hours Siege or Defend the fortress The controlling side will collect Stone Keeper’s Shards from defeated bosses in instances across Northrend

Dueling is a one-on-one fight with another player, of either faction. It is commonly used to practice PvP strategy and hone your skills without risking death. The following guidelines appply to duels:

      • Duels are consentual. You can challenge someone to a duel, but they can refuse
      • Duels are NOT to the death. Any attack that would take your opponent to 0 or less puts them at 1 HP and you win
      • There is no reward for winning a duel, other than a job well done (and possibly an achievement)
      • You can duel members of your own faction
      • You can’t duel in cities
      • You can’t be helped during the duel. No spells from any friendly player will affect you while dueling.
      • Dueling doesn’t turn your PvP flag on unless your opponent is flagged

When Dueling, it’s considered bad form to:

      • Drink potions. It’s usually considered a sign of weakness and you might have trouble getting another duel.
      • Use long cooldown abilities. This is generally, at least on my server, anything with a cooldown of 10 minutes or more.
      • Get buffed from your friends/bystanders if they’re not buffing your opponent (when applicable).
      • If someone doesn’t want to duel you, leave them alone. Spamming the duel request probably won’t work.
      • Not duel someone close to your level. Initiating a duel with someone 10 levels or more lower than you is pointless, as the power difference is that big. However, some lower levels may be so sure of themselves that they challenge you, so there’s no shame in obliging.
      • Duel someone in an attempt to get the environment to kill them. (Get them low on health then send them into agressive mobs)
      • Insult someone because you lost or won.

Lastly, here are a few things to keep in mind when dueling:

      • Be aware of your environment. If you aggro a mob while dueling, it CAN kill you. I’ve seen a 70 mage fall to a level 5 boar because he aggro’d it and it hit him right after he lost the duel.
      • Be aware of your PvP flag. I’ve taken out a level 70 with a 23 because the two that were camping me got bored waiting for me to res and dueled. Once one lost, I rezzed and one-shotted him. Of course, I was camped for even longer but still…
      • Be aware of duels if you’re waiting for something. I dueled a warlock while waiting for a boat, and he feared me just before the boat left so I missed it.
      • Be careful of offers of gold for winning a duel. While some are legit, some are less than. In the above example, it was a 70 warlock offering my 30 rogue 300g if I could kill his pet on passive. Yes, I know, I was stupid for thinking I could.
      • If you think you’re being set up for something, use the /forfeit command. It gets you out of the duel and may prevent any of the above examples.

Arena Teams
Arena teams are a ranked PvP battle structure. There are 3 brackets: 2v2, 3v3 and 5v5. Players can belong to one team per bracket. The number of games you win vs. the number you play will generate your ranking, and you get Arena points for every match. Each season, all teams start with a fresh ranking and work their way up. The top winners for a season in each bracket win special prizes. Arenas are drawn from the same battlegroup pool as battlegrounds.



Addons are 3rd-party applications that provide a number of functions. For instance, they can change the way your interface looks, track you abilities and let you know when a spell is about to expire, let you look at the loot that drops in any instance and a variety of other things.
Addons can greatly enhance you gameplay experience. Sites such as and WoW Interface have an extesive selection to choose from. But, with so many, it cen be confusing and overwhelming.
Some people may consider using an addon cheating. While there are addons that do indeed do that, for the most part they add functionality that just makes life easier. Below, I’ll list the addons that I use, along witha brief explanation of what each one does.

      • X-perl Unitframes – This addon changes the look of the standard Blizzard UI, and allows you to move the various windows around. Want your party dispalyed on the left side of the screen? Sure thing. A lot of customizeability.
      • AuctioneerSuite – Norganna has created one of the best sets of addons I’ve ever seen. Auctioneer, along with all of its parts will track how much items have been going for ont he auction house, what they’ll disenchante/prospect/mill into, and a host of other useful info.
      • Gatherer – This is another one from Norganna. This addon collects info about every mine, herb, treasure chest and just about anything lootable on the ground. You can also share this info with others, and get their data in return.
      • Omen Threat Meter – This add-on will show you where your threat stands in relation to the rest of your group. Not very useful when running solo (unless you have a pet), but invaluable when running instances. You can tell when you’re going to pass the tank, and take the appropriate action so you don’t.
      • Recount – Recount tracks various combat statistics, such as damage, DPS, healing, and other vital info for raiding.
      • Deadly Boss Mods – DBM is used in instances. This Addon will warn you when a boss’ special move is coming, when the next phase it, when they use a special ability and on whom. This is required by most guilds if you plan on participating in end-game content
      • Atlas – Atlas contains the maps for all the instances. By default, you can’t see an overall map of any instance but this will allow you to. It also shows where the bosses are. This is required for AtlasLoot to work, but still nice to have.
      • AtlasLoot Enhanced – With AtlasLoot, you can see what the possible drops are from EVERY boss in every instance, as well as view all available crafting professions and what they can make. You can also see all the various PvP and faction rewards. This is an excellent tool for planning your character’s growth.
      • Titan Panel – This guy puts a bar at either the top or bottom of your screen (or both) that can give you a lot of handy information at a glance. Stuff such as overall durability, free bag space, how much ammo, zone and coordinates, how much gold you have and can even track that across all your characters on the server.
      • Decursive – This handy addon will allow you to remove any negative effect you are capable of removing from any member of your group with a simple click, without having to target them
      • HealBot Continued – This addon will allow you to assign various mouse click combinations to specific healing spells, and allow you to cast them on your group members without having to actually target them. Great for raid and instance healing, as it shows a grid with everyone’s health that you click on to cast.
      • TomTom – Puts an arrow showing you which way to go to reach your destination.
      • Lightheaded – Lightheaded displays quest information that can be found at, but does so in-game.
      • Altoholic – This handy little addon keeps track of what each character has in their banks, guild banks, bags and equipped. When hovering over any item, it will add a tooltip showing you how may of that item you ahve on any of your characters. It will also allow you to check to see if they can craft soemthing specific with professions.
      • Archy – I learned about this one from a post by Jiyambi. It’ll list your progress towards specific artifacts on-screen, as well as tell you what dig sites are available to you on your current continent. It will also interface with TomTom to point you there.

Except for the WoW-Pro, TomTom and Lightheaded, none of these are endorsed by WoW-pro, just by me . There are a lot of other addons out there. shows 3,589 addons as of 8/10/2009.
There are a few downsides to addons, however.

      • They take system memory, so if you’re game is running slowly putting addons in will probably make it worse.
      • With most patches, the Addons have to be updated to work with it, especially if there have been changes to the UI by Blizzard. Trying to keep up with all your addons can be a hassle
      • Some addons are unsafe. There was a commonly used addon that someone slipped a keylogger and item checker into, and it would send information out if your net worth exceeded a certain amount. This is rare, but it does happen
      • Some addons violate the Terms of Service and can get your account locked or banned.

I will be adding other topics in the near future, so stay tuned. Planned additions are:

      • Anything else people can suggest that belongs in a newbie guide

Any comments or suggestions you have would be appreaciated. Thanks for taking the time, and have fun playing the game!

Many thanks to Jame and Jiyambi for helping me get some of this laid out so it looked good. I’d also like to thank Dark_Fanboy for his guide on tables, and the writers and contributors to, which helped tremendously.

I’d also like to thank everyone below whose comment have helped shape this guide.
Anyone wishing to use the icons I’ve created for classes and faction are welcome to.

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    Jan 5, 2011 @ 22:06 pm

    Thanks to you bothI appreciate the compliments.  I’ll be updating this as I can, including Worgen and Goblin racial pics and an update to the racial size chart.  Please rest assured that any suggestions that you or anyone leaves will be reviewed and incorporated if possible.
    Thanks again.

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    Jan 5, 2011 @ 22:04 pm

    Thanks for the feedbackThanks for the input, kayeich.  I’ll go over the guide and see where I can put stuff in.
    I’m not sure why the race size chart is showing up small.  You may have auto-image sizing turned on, and it’s shrinking the image to fit your browser.  I know that it’s using the same size images as I have for the races up there.  I’ll look into it, though.
    I’ll add a blurb about guilds, but I’m trying not to make this guide to technical.  Things like Dual Talents and Racial abilities are probably a little too deep for someone deciding if they want to play.  An advanced new player guide might not be a bad idea, however.  Once I get through my Balance guide and make sure it’s working ok I may start one.
    All that being said, I’ll definately give the guide a once-over again and see how many of your suggestions I can add in.

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    Jan 1, 2011 @ 21:02 pm

    Some more comments1) It’s a little hard to differentiate between some of the colors, some because you reuse them for different purposes, some just because they look similar. An example is the orange color of links and the neutral/contested color (which you also use for ‘allowable races’).

    2) For population, it’s worth noting that another disadvantage of low/recommended servers is that the AH economy fluctuates very wildly and you’re more likely to see price gouging, due to lack of people selling things.

    3) You mention repentance for paladins, which could be a little misleading since that’s retribution only -and- has to be talented into. Hammer of Justice and Turn Undead are more classic CC abilities, even if they’re not as versatile.

    4) Your size chart for races is incredibly small. It’s small enough you could have it in the body of the guide, with a link to a bigger image, but at that size, size chart doesn’t really help someone tell what race is which.

    5) I would recommend against linking to wowwiki for racial abilities or other such things. Wowwiki lost a great chunk of its main editor pool to [url=]wowpedia[/url] before the shattering, so wowpedia tends to be more up to date.

    6) Should add something about being able to dual specialize at level 30 for 10g in the stats/talent section.

    7) Cold Weather Flying is available at 68.

    8) Should probably add a small section on guilds. One of the first things some people face when starting out is the spam of guild invites.

    9) Also a section on trade chat and auction houses and the difference with goblin/neutral AH. I know the neutral AH confused the crap out of me when I was starting out.

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    Dec 30, 2010 @ 18:32 pm

    Great Guide!I really like the guide.  You guys always do such a wonderful job.  My only suggestion is, even though you already have a section for stats, maybe it wouldn’t hurt to include in the class section what stats are beneficial for that particular class in order of importance. 

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    Dec 30, 2010 @ 3:32 am

    Keep in mind that a lot ofKeep in mind that a lot of the old world dungeons were revamped. Scholomance, for example, is not a 56-61 instance anymore, it’s 38-43 now.

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    Dec 30, 2010 @ 3:03 am

    Looks excellent, Lycander,Looks excellent, Lycander, thanks so much for the update! I’m promoting this to the front page!

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    Dec 28, 2010 @ 22:41 pm

    Newb guide updated!The first pass at updating the Newb-No-More guide has been completed.  There are still some pieces of info missing, but overall I think it’s in good shape.  Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated!

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    Jun 8, 2010 @ 22:13 pm

    Thanks!I appreciate the catches. I’ll get them fixed!

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    Jun 8, 2010 @ 22:13 pm

    Thanks!I didn’t know that they allowed the heirloom cross-faction. I haven’t been able to try that (all my character slots are full on the server with my 80s) and relied on other people’s info. I’ll update. Thanks!

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    Jun 5, 2010 @ 13:50 pm

    heirloom itemsHi,

    Normally I’m kinda in the shadows just trying to soak in the helpful info.

    Great guide, but I noticed when discussing heirloom items that it mentions the following restrictions:

    The characters belong to the same faction.
    The characters are on the same server.

    But I know I’ve sent heirloom items across faction (on the same server), from my level 80 Horde to a level 1 Alliance. I’ve done it with heirloom items from the Argent Tournament as well as the Cold Weather flying Book (when the ally hit 68).

    So unless Blizzard changed something in the last couple of weeks (since I sent the book over), you should be able to send, atleast some, heirloom items across faction.

    Just thought I’d mention.


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    Jun 5, 2010 @ 6:26 am

    also“be aware of your PvP flag. I’ve taken out a level 70 with a 23 because the two that were camping me got bored waiting for me to res a dueled. Once one lost, I rezzed and one-shotted. Of course, I was camped for even longer but still…”

    “a” should be “and”.

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    Jun 5, 2010 @ 6:16 am

    Where it says “When theWhere it says “When the instance in over, you’ll re-appear wherever you were when you entered.” there is a small typo.

    It should say, “When the instance is over, you’ll re-appear wherever you were when you entered.”

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    May 26, 2010 @ 5:40 am

    Ooohhh – nice catch!That’s a nice catch, Urdui. I’ll make some adjustments. Thanks!

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    Apr 23, 2010 @ 10:15 am

    Mob colors..I notice you put the color codes of mobs regarding their attitude toward the player, but you might wanna mention these colors are also used for NPC levels. Most often when I talk about a green mob, or red mob I’m referring to their level range, not their reaction. Quest levels and even Profession levels ALSO use these same color codes.

    If you live a long life, it will be a testament to your friends’ self control.

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    Apr 23, 2010 @ 0:11 am

    Thank youThank you, Shikamaru. I’ve used your Inscription guide and feel flattered that you like this one.

    Do start back up again. I commented on your “Passing by” post, but you (and anyone else) are welcome to swing by my server and say “Hi”. You can check my profile for a list of my alts.

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    Apr 23, 2010 @ 0:06 am

    Thank youThanks for the compliment. I was trying to make something that people would enjoy reading and help then decide if they’d like the game.

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    Apr 10, 2010 @ 19:15 pm

    Now this is a guide, topNow [i]this[/i] is a guide, top notch =)

    You did a great job Lycander, I’m impressed!
    Hehe, this actually makes me long to start back up again.. it was a good read (yes, I do read the guides where I comment on).
    The lay-out is perfect, can’t think of anything to add.

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    Apr 10, 2010 @ 8:37 am

    Very good updates.This guide makes me want to fly back in time and be a newcomer! =) Excelent work though, surely a very nice reading for newcomers.

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    Apr 9, 2010 @ 15:08 pm

    Bumped to the front page forBumped to the front page for good measure!

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