I know that the Warcraft movie came out with free World of Warcraft for a few lucky moviegoers. I’m hoping this will lead to people trying out World of Warcraft for the first time.
This post is intended for the newbiest of new players. Everyone starts out new at one time and I’m going to cover the most basic stuff here. If this seems oversimplified it is because I needed a guide like this when I was new. World of Warcraft was my first computer game and everything was new to me.
I didn’t know how to move in game or how to pick up anything. I didn’t know how to attack or move my camera around. A lot of little things like that gave me trouble because they were the things everyone just expected me to know and I did not know them.
I’d like to help ease that transition to any WoW newbies out there.
I’ve never played a computer game before but WoW looks interesting. Help!
First off I’m going to show some how-to UI graphics. This will help you set up your game using the default user interface..
Most of these pretty much explain themselves. Collections will show things like mounts, battle pets, heirlooms, and toys. The Adventure guide will give you hints about what zone to go to next. It will show you things to do in the game as they become available based on your level. The game menu leads to other important things and I’m going to show several screenshots featuring it.
Chances are good that one row of buttons will not be enough for you. It is easy to get more action bars though. Click the Menu button and then go to Action Bars. You can also unclick the “lock action bars” button and then move your abilities to whatever buttons you want.
Drag your abilities from the spellbook directly to your action bars. You can also drag abilities from your talents to your action bar. The game will put new abilities on your bars as you learn them but you don’t have to keep them on the default keys.
The default keybinds are 1 through the = key. You can change these if you want.
You can also assign key bindings to the other rows of buttons. You can keybind every ability you have if you want.
It might seem a bit overwhelming to set up, but once you do it your keybinds will be saved for all of your characters. This is one of those things where taking some time at the start to set it up will greatly improve your gaming experience. At least it did for me.
Use WASD to move. W will move you forward. S will move you backward. A and D make you turn left and right. In addition to this, the arrow keys will also let you move. ^ moves you forward, v moves you backwards and < and > go left and right.
The space bar will make you jump. X will make you sit down. Hit the space bar to get back up.
Try to get used to using your mouse to direct how you go. Turn with the mouse. You can turn using A and D or the arrow keys but it is jerky and slow and a hard habit to get out of.
I started playing WoW on a laptop without a mouse. You can do this, but the game will be much more enjoyable with a mouse. So my suggestion is to get yourself a mouse. It doesn’t have to be a fancy gamer mouse to get the job done.
The mouse scroll wheel will zoom your view in and out.
Speaking of mice, you can use the mouse to move by hitting both buttons at once.
Right clicking on a target will make you auto attack it if you are in range. You can also control (or command) click with a trackpad but yeah…not easy or fun.
Things with red nameplates are hostile and will attack you if you get too close to them. Things with green nameplates are friendly and cannot be attacked. Yellow nameplates indicate that a thing is neutral. They will not attack you unless you attack them first.
Typing V will turn on enemy nameplates. You will want this to be turned on. If you hit V again it will toggle them off.
Quest givers will have a big yellow ! over their heads. Right click on them to get their quest. When it is ready to be turned in they will have a big yellow ? over their heads instead.
Typing B will open all your bags at once. You can also open them up individually by clicking on them if you want.
To equip new gear that you receive as quest rewards, find it in your bag and right click on it.
Right clicking on sparkly things will let you loot them. Things that are sparkly or outlined are often quest objectives or things you can mine or pick if you have the professions for it. They will also show up as dots on your minimap.
You can type /s and then whatever you want to say to talk to other players you see nearby. The words you type will appear in a chat bubble above your character. Right clicking on another person’s portrait will give you a menu of things where you can challenge them to a duel or invite them to a group etc.
It is considered polite to ask before inviting someone to a group or a duel. If someone invites you and you don’t want to join, just decline it. This is absolutely ok. WoW is a multiplayer game but it is still fun if you want to play it solo to figure out what’s going on by yourself. I am introverted and prefer to play this way while others have more fun leveling and playing in groups. I do enjoy being in a guild though. Guild invites will pop up on your screen and you can also decline them if you like. It is considered rude to just auto-invite someone to a guild without talking to them first but some people have addons that do it anyway.
Trade chat is the global chat channel in major cities and it’s sometimes filled with trolls. If you don’t like seeing them talk, type /leave trade and you will no longer see it. If you later decide you want to see trade chat again, type /join trade. I’m mentioning this because you are auto-entered into trade chat and you might not like it.
If you die, you will find yourself with a message that says “release” near the top of your screen. When you hit this button you will find yourself in a graveyard. You can regain your life in three basic ways.
- Run back to your corpse! Your minimap should have an arrow that points to a tombstone icon. The main map, which you can see by pressing M, will also show this. When you get close enough to that location you will be able to revive but you will be at a low amount of health. Eating food will help you regain your health. The caveat is you can’t eat while in combat.
- Another character can resurrect you. This generally won’t happen at random, though it can be useful if you are playing in a group. Only healers can resurrect others reliably.
- Lastly, you can talk to the spirit healer and have her resurrect you in the graveyard. The downside to this is that all your items take 10% damage and that can be a costly repair bill. Also you will have resurrection sickness for ten minutes. This is a penalty because you can’t really play well with it and it is best to wait the ten minutes for it to wear off. However if you get really lost and can’t find your body, hitting the return to graveyard button and doing this can save a lot of frustration.
Also on the topic of being dead, if you see a hostile (red) mob with either a skull or ??? by their name, run away! The skull means they are some sort of boss and you cannot defeat them alone. The ??? means they are several levels higher than you and the same thing applies. I learned this the hard way as a level 15 druid and I hope to spare you some pain.
If your bags get full–and they will–you can sell stuff to a vendor. A vendor will have a bag icon when you mouse over them.
After level ten, your armor will start taking damage from fighting and you will need to repair it. A repair vendor has an anvil icon when you mouse over them. If you ever see a cartoon man on the side of your screen that is yellow or red, this means your armor is in bad shape and you should repair it as soon as possible.
Seeing a bunch of Zzzs on your portrait means that you are in an area where you get rested experience. This generally means an inn or a major city. Logging out here is faster than logging out in the wild. However if you do log out in the wild, you will not be attacked by anything while you are offline. Towns are better because your character earns rested XP which helps them level faster for a while once you start playing them again.
There are two factions, Alliance and Horde. Both have good stories and their fair share of heroes and villains. They are enemies so you can’t communicate with players of the opposite faction. If you want to play with friends, make sure you find out what faction they play so that you can play together. It also helps if you are on the same server clusters, but with battletags that isn’t absolutely necessary.
WoW has a lot of servers. Some of them are marked “new players”. This doesn’t mean you have to start there, just that they have room for more players. The servers are also divided into a few types.
PVE means players vs environment. This means that you can’t attack enemy players unless you deliberately flag yourself for PVP. However if you get too close to an enemy city or quest hub you will be auto-flagged and the guards–as well as any enemy players that feel like fighting–will come after you. The good thing about PVE servers is that they eliminate the danger from other players except in controlled circumstances.
PVP means players vs players. Enemy players will show up with red names and you can attack them. They can also attack you. This will add an extra element of danger to the game. In general it is crappy for a high level player to attack low levels but it does happen so be aware if you choose this option.
RP Servers. These stand for role-playing and come in both PVE and PVP versions. Basically they are everything the other servers have with an additional focus on players making stories with each other. Generally character names that break immersion–like ImaKillu or Stabbitystabstab or whatever–are frowned upon. That doesn’t mean you can’t do it but it might be hard to find people to RP with you if you do. Also Goldshire has a bad reputation on certain servers.
There are three main roles in WoW: Tanks, DPS, and Heals.These mainly come into play during group content which consists of 5-man dungeons, raids, and PvP battlegrounds. Battlegrounds open up at level 10 and dungeons open up at level 15. Raids are max level content.
Tanks taunt monsters in raids or dungeons mostly. Their job is to keep the monsters’ attention so that the other people in the group don’t get attacked.
DPS are the damage dealers. Their job is to attack the monsters so they will die. DPS comes in two flavors – ranged and melee. DPS need to wait for the tank to pull the boss before attacking it otherwise the monster will attack them instead of the tank.
Healers are responsible for healing the group and keeping them alive. The tank is usually their priority because if the tank dies, the monsters can kill everyone else in a hit or two.
Things might change a bit once the Legion prepatch hits, but any role and any class should be fine for you to quest with.
WoW is a game that requires some homework. I know that might sound ridiculous, but it is such a big game that outside reading helps.
Here are some general sites that can help you out. As you play more, you will probably want to look for more specific sites. There are WoW blogs and youtube channels for pretty much any aspect of the game.
Wowhead: Has information about practically everything. Need help finding an object or an NPC from a quest? Wowhead can tell you where it is and what it looks like. They also feature data mining and news on their front page. This is a massive website with lots of data and they have a ton of new player guides that go into more detail than this one.
Blizzardwatch: They cover all Blizzard games with a good focus on WoW. You can find news, commentary, and a great community here. If you want to dig more into the story behind Warcraft, you can find in depth Know Your Lore columns. There are also class guides, general articles, and podcasts.
Icy Veins: Need help trying to figure out what to choose as a talent or figuring out what stat is the best for your character? Icy veins can help. They also have good short guides on how to play each class.
MMO Champion: They are good for breaking news and tend to have it posted sooner than other sites.
I hope all this was helpful. This is my way of welcoming newbies into Azeroth. I hope if you are trying out WoW because you enjoyed the Warcraft movie that you decide to stay. It is a beautiful world to get lost in. And you should totally play a DK!