As card carrying unicorns and wizards fanatic and lover of all things Lord of the Rings, you would have thought I would have picked up on the World of Warcraft rage years ago. My friends talked endlessly about mysterious terminology like ganking, nerfs, and specs. They became so addicted they would set up a TV tray in the bathroom so that they could slay trolls while doing their otherworldly business. And yet, fantasy geek that I am, I resisted for years. Until a month ago.
When I picked the game up in Wal-Mart, my husband turned to my two small children and said, "Well boys, we've lost your mother. Kiss her goodbye."
Not too far from the truth, but one thing I've learned in the last month while playing World of Warcraft, being neither a teenager with the entire summer off to indulge myself, nor a heavy gamer by any stretch of the imagination, is that this game is complicated!
So, as a newbie learning the ropes, I thought it would be fun to write a few articles on the things I'm learning as I progress and work my way up to the coveted level 80! Level 80 is the highest level you can achieve in World of Warcraft.
When creating a character in World of Warcraft, you should keep a few things in mind. First, what type of character do you want to play? Alliance are considered the good guys and Hoarde are considered the bad guys. That's actually not true, though, as each individual or group of individuals can do good things or bad things, and you can play your character however you like. Alliance has different types of races, as does Hoarde.
I decided to play Hoarde, for two reasons. First, I wanted to play a Blood Elf. Why? Because they are pretty. It's as simple as that. I'm not a big time gamer and I didn't go out and read what races are better for what. The girl blood elves are hot and I wanted to be hot. So there you go! Pick whatever race you think would fit you and appeals to you first and foremost. The second reason was because I had a good friend that played in Hoarde. One thing to note here is that depending on what expansion you have, you might not have access to all the characters. To play a Blood Elf, or a Dranei, you have to have the Burning Crusades expansion that goes along with World of Warcraft.
The second thing you need to decide is what class you want to be. Would you like to be a mage or warlock and cast spells that cause a lot of damage? Do you want to be a healer and work with a group, healing them when they need assistance? Are you attracted towards the idea of a Druid or Paladin? Once you've picked your race, you will see a list of the types of classes that they can be. Read up on all the classes and determine what best suits you. Each race does have some special abilities that makes them more or less suited for certain classes, but that can get complicated. My recommendation is just to pick something that sounds fun and go for it. If you don't like it, you can always create a different character later.
World of Warcraft has so many players, that hundreds of different servers are used. One of the things you must do is also pick a server to play on. There are different types of "environments" on the servers. For example, you can pick on that is PvP. Those servers allow players to attack one another in specific areas. You can pick a server that is RP for roleplaying. These servers encourage you to stay in character all the time and not talk about the pizza you are eating or the homework you have to do later on. There are also servers that are normal, meaning, you just play and there is no roleplaying or player fighting.
I've tried several different servers, and honestly, I haven't found an RP server that really has heavy roleplaying across the board. Some groups roleplay, but there are always others that still talk about real life on the chat channels so I didn't find a lot of value in specifically chosing RP. I also wasn't so sure about PvP. I really wasn't that interested in fighting with other players. This brings me to a World of Warcraft term: Ganked.
Ganked is when you are happily doing a quest on your own or with a friend, and another player comes along, typically much higher level, and slays you where you stand. It's VERY irritating. On the other hand, some people enjoy running around ganking lower level characters. I'm not sure why, but there you go!
Ultimately, I chose a PvP server because of my friend that was Hoarde. She was on a particular server that was PvP and for me to play with her, I had to be on the same server. Once you create a character and choose your server, you are stuck on that server. That is, unless you want to pay money to move it to another. I'd recommend against that when first starting out.
Finally, you can make your character look how you like by changing hair and skin color, hairstyles, add piercings or face markings, etc. I found the options a little limiting, and I've seen plenty of female blood elves running around who look like my twin, but you can play your character however you like, which will give he or she individuality if that is what you are looking for.
You should be ready to enter the game! Enjoy the storyline, and the game is pretty good about walking you through some easy gameplay before it gets too hairy.
In summary, creating your first character can be as complicated or as easy as you like. If you are new to Wow, I suggest easy. Pick Alliance or Hoarde based on the race you like the best. Then pick your class. Change your character's looks to suit you. Finally, decide on a server, and I'd recommend one that you have friends on so they can help introduce you to the game. Plus, it's just more fun to play with other people!