A Beginners Guide to World of Warcraft: So You Want to be An AdventurerGaming
A Beginners Guide to World of Warcraft: So You Want to be An Adventurer
So you have decided to try adventuring in Azeroth for the very first time. Not to fret, ol’ Gigglebear is here to advise you on the ins and outs of the World of Warcraft. This article and the ones following are aimed to help you, the beginner, find his or her way around Azeroth and help you have the most fun in this game that you can. And believe me, WoW is amazingly fun. One of the best parts of any online role playing game, and World of Warcraft in particular, is that there is no set way to play the game. Some people enjoy role playing as a heroic paladin, charging in on a white steed to save the day, slowly leveling up as they quest their way through every zone. Others rush through the intermediate levels to the maximum, only staying in a zone long enough to get to a high enough level to survive the next area. Still others don’t quest at all, instead choosing to compete against other players in player vs. player combat, earning experience that way. In World of Warcraft, the only person that can tell you how to play is you. This guide explains how to get a World of Warcraft account, and how to choose the account and server that suits your gameplay style.
Creating a Battlenet Account
The first thing you need to do is to create a Battle.net account. It’s very easy to do, just point your browser to battle.net. Through the magic of the internet, you will be automatically directed to the appropriate regional site. Next, click the bright blue button that says, “Sign Up Now!” Creating an account is free and easier than falling off of a log. During the account creation, you will be asked to enter the usual information. The country you live in, your name, your date of birth and email address and a password. You will also be asked to select and answer a secret question. Read over the Terms of Service, and as long as you agree to them, click the check box and press the button that says “Create Free Account.”
One important thing to note here is that you will want store all of this information somewhere safe. In the unlikely event that your account is hacked, or you can’t remember your password, you will be asked for this information to verify that you are indeed you. Blizzard will send an email to the account you specified, so you will need to log into your email and click on the link there. This verifies that you are a human being (or at least a cat with superior mousing skills). This will fully activate your battle.net account, allowing you to log in to your game.
How to Get a World of Warcraft Account
The next step is to associate your account with World of Warcraft. On the Account Summary page, click the link that says, “Play for Free”. This will activate the starter edition and take you to the Game Management page. If you have an unused copy of the game and need to just activate the key, there is a link to do that here. Otherwise, you will need to install the game, which is done by clicking the blue Download button next to the stern looking green fellow. (If you are planning on playing this game on a Mac, click the link underneath the blue button that says, “More Downloads”. This will take you to the download page where you should click the link to the right of the “Game Client*” title that says Mac.)
Once you click the download button, save the .exe file to your computer and then run it. Depending on the speed of your internet connection and the speed of your computer, it can take anywhere from fifteen minutes to an hour to finish this step. The game will automatically apply any updates necessary and afterwards you will be taken to the launcher. The launcher provides you with an overview of what is new in the game. There are clickable links in the expandable sections, so if you want to read more about what’s coming up in the game or any specials, you can do so. Activating a link will open a new browser window that is completely separate from the launcher. Once you are ready to play, click the red Play button and you will be taken to the login screen. Enter the email address that you used to create your account, enter your password and press login.
Choosing a WoW Server
Let’s talk about server types. If you’ve played other online roleplaying games, you’re probably familiar with the basics. On World of Warcraft, the server is the world in which you’re playing in. “But Gigglebear,” you say, “I thought it was just one world? The world of Warcraft?” After I give you your props for the pun, I’ll explain further. Think of a server as an alternate dimension. Things that happen in one don’t necessarily affect what happens in others (there are exceptions, of course). So you’re really picking an alternate reality in which the rules of that universe are to your liking. There are normal servers, pvp servers, roleplaying (or rp) servers, and their odd cousin, rp-pvp servers.
The main difference between the servers has to do with how you and the opposing faction can interact. PvP (or Player vs. Player) is the active combat between the players of differing factions. This can only happen during specific times and at specific places, regardless of the type of server you choose. But on a pvp or rp-pvp server, those times and places are greatly expanded. This means that as soon as you leave the starting areas (about level 20), you can be attacked by anyone of the opposing faction. However, on a regular server, you cannot be attacked unless you specifically allow it by turning on your pvp (this is called flagging), or entering an organized battleground. If this sounds a little confusing, don’t worry. I will be covering pvp basics in the coming weeks. Roleplaying (rp) servers are those that cater to people who enjoy total immersion into their characters. It’s not uncommon to come upon a group of players sitting in a tavern telling stories about their latest exploit all while talking in character.
As a rule of thumb for someone just starting in World of Warcraft, I would advise that beginners steer clear of the pvp and rp-pvp servers, unless they are being recruited by a friend who can help them out. The frustration of being at level 25 and constantly being killed by a level 90 character of the opposing faction has caused many people to give up before they truly can explore the fun of the game. On the other hand, some people enjoy the tension and suspense of leveling in contested territory. It’s really up to you. After all, this is your adventure and only you know what is the most fun for you.
Once you’ve determined a server type that suits your gameplay, you can select whichever one you like. They are ranked in terms of total population going from New Players, to Low, then on to Medium, then High, then Full. Click the server button and you are taken to the character creation and customization menu. In the next article, I will be discussing the roles and pros/cons of each character class and touching on racial abilities of each race in World of Warcraft. Speaking from experience, I have multiple characters (called alts) on a variety of servers, so if you don’t like your initial character, don’t be afraid to start over from the beginning!
That’s it! You’ve created your Battle.net Account and logged in and are ready to start your adventure! Good Luck and I’ll see you (possibly) around Azeroth!