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The Beginner’s Guide to WoW: Everything I Wish I Had Known

When I first started playing World of Warcraft earlier this year, I was lucky enough to play alongside a friend who had been playing for years. My friend helped walk me through character creation, beginning quests, map exploration, and more. Without the help of such an experienced player, I would have been hesitant and confused in many parts of the game, and I definitely would not have advanced so quickly. If you don’t have a friend to play with, starting out in WoW can be a little intimidating, as there is so much to see and do. If you’re starting out in WoW on your own, or you just want to get a little more background, read along to discover the tips and tricks that I would want to have been told. 

Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

When I first started creating characters, I usually went with class and species options that I was familiar with from Dungeons and Dragons. My go-to is a rogue night elf because I am most used to rogues from D&D and because I like the story and look of the night elf. I was a bit nervous about starting a character without knowing everything about it, but as time went on, I got more and more comfortable with creating many characters so that I could get used to the different attributes of each one. Though I still prefer being a rogue after several months of playing, my recommendation to anyone just starting out would be that you don’t need to tie yourself to any one type of character because there is more than one right way to play the game. WoW is pretty open to interpretation and happy mistakes, and character creation is the best place to start with doing whatever you fancy in the moment and working it out as you go along.

The WoW character select screen, courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

When you start getting into the game, the beginning is usually rather structured, with NPCs helping you out along the way so that you can make it further and further. During this time, one of the most helpful things you can do is talk to every NPC that you see. They might not all give you quests, but they will all give you information. Even if it isn’t information that you need right then, it will be helpful later in the game when you are doing more gameplay on your own. 

On the same note of talking to every NPC, I highly recommend that you accept every quest available to you for the experience and for the items and money. That being said, if you start to feel overwhelmed by the amount of quests in your log, it is always okay to abandon them. You can get them later if you want, but apart from some of the very early quests, they are never necessary. When I first started playing, I had a very rigid idea of how I had to finish the quests, and I would get very anxious if they started to pile up in my log. Now, I have come to realize that there will always be more quests, and if you don’t want to do all of them, either ever or at the moment, it is no big deal.

Jitters, a helpful WoW NPC. Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

As you are running along completing quests and talking to any NPC around, it can get rather easy to be stuck in a habit of keeping your mind solely on your quests without looking around too much at your surroundings. This can lead to not being very comfortable with navigating, which will make it more difficult later on when you are starting to really explore on your own. To avoid this, I highly recommend exploring every area that you see. If you’re curious about what is around the mountain or across the pond, check it out! Unless you are working on a timed objective, you will always have enough time to explore and you will be very grateful to know so much about the locations that you are questing in.

As for my last bit of advice, a gem that I only recently discovered is that when you are questing, particularly when you are working on a more difficult quest, it is extremely helpful to keep an eye out for other players who seem to be working on the same quest so that you can tag along with them and work on the quest together. I was recently questing in an area absolutely flooded with monsters, and I was lucky enough to find another player who was working on many of the same quests as me. We ran around together for eight quests and were able to complete a lot in a short amount of time that would have taken much more effort if we had been on our own. If you are playing alone, it can be invaluable to find other players in the area and work alongside them to achieve your quests. Naturally, you should never share personal data with these strangers, but making fast friends with someone to share quest info with is a great way to move yourself along. 

In the end, the best way to find out what tips work best for you is to hop into the game yourself. So get ready to say “Wow” when you hop into the wonderful world of World of Warcraft.

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