I play World of Warcraft, and I’ve been playing it since Closed Beta – as many of you know. A friend of mine got their son the game for his Birthday and last night I spent some time with him in game. I really enjoyed it, and wanted to start writing up a guide to assist with him learning the game. So here is a guide I’ve written up on the classes to assist. Also, I gave myself a concussion today, so the creative juices aren’t flowing at all. Also this is MUCH longer than the one page.
OK! So here’s the first set of World of Warcraft information that I have for you. First off, most of these type of RPGs, or MMORPGs.
First off, in the game, you have the “Trinity” – that’s the Tank, the DPS (Damage Per Second – aka Damage Dealers), and the Heals. Just a bit of background on each:
Tanks – Imagine an actual tank. Heavily armored, lots of Health, and able to take a lot of damage from the various creatures in the game, and the bosses. Classes that can be a tank: Warrior, Druid, Paladin, Death Knight, Monk
DPS – The damage dealers. They cause the most damage to the bosses. Damage dealing can be divided into two sections: Ranged, and Melee. Ranged classes stand away from the mobs (creatures) and bosses and throw spells or in the case of a hunter, shoot their weapons. Melee stand up close and attack. Ranged DPS classes are: Mage, Warlock, Priest, Shaman, Druid, Hunter. Melee DPS classes can be: Druid, Rogue, Death Knight, Warrior, Paladin, Monk
Heals – Healers do exactly what their job says – they heal the damage that players take. They heal the tanks, they heal the DPS, they heal themselves. Classes that can be healers are: Druid, Priest, Shaman, Monk, Paladin.
The first question when deciding what class you want to play is: “What do I want to do?” – Do you want to throw spells? Hit things with a big axe? Shoot a bow and arrow and attack with your faithful pet? Once you’ve answered that question, you can then start to decide which class is the right fit for you (and I’ll give you a more in-depth run down of those classes momentarily.)
There are eleven classes in World of Warcraft: Death Knight, Druid, Hunter, Mage, Monk, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock and Warrior.
Death Knight – Death Knights are warriors and paladins who were raised from the dead by Arthas, the Lich King. They were the first extra class to be introduced to the game in the Wrath of the Lich King Expansion. To Unlock a Death Knight you need to raise a character to level 55.
Death Knights can be tanks or melee dps. They have three ‘specializations’ (Specs): Blood, Frost, and Unholy. They are plate wearers, and can use two handed axes, swords, maces and polearms. They can use one handed axes, swords, and maces. Death Knights use a dual resource system called Runes and Runic Power. They gain Runic Power from hitting things and from being hit, and they use their runes for special attacks which replenish themselves over time.
Blood is the ‘tanking’ tree. Death Knights are able to use this to hold the attention (aggro) of mobs and bosses. They use a lot of self healing for this.
Frost is a damage dealing tree. A lot of the talents in the frost specialization deal with being able to dual wield weapons (one in each hand). You can also use a two handed weapon as a Frost Death Knight. They use a lot of ice based attacks as they do melee damage.
Unholy is a damage dealing tree. They use a lot of disease based attacks and shadow damage when they attack. They also have the ability to have a permanent pet in a ghoul that follows them around and helps their attacks.
Druid – Druids are special in World of Warcraft because they can literally do it all. They can tank, they can do melee damage, they can do caster damage, and they can heal. Druids are also able to shape shift into different forms to do all of these. Druids are leather wearers, and they are able to use staves, polearms, maces (1h and 2h), daggers and fist weapons. The druid specializations are Balance (Caster), Guardian (Tank), Feral (Melee DPS), and Restoration (Healers). Druids learn their flight form for free at level 60 (they still need to learn how to fly at a cost, unfortunately!) They also have a travel form and an aquatic form which allows them to breathe underwater.
Balance – Balance druids use the power of the sun and moon and the earth to cause damage to their enemies. They are able to attack with spells from afar, and they have a meter that allows for them to go back and forth between Lunar and Solar eclipse states – when in Lunar eclipse, their moon spells are more powerful, and when in Solar Eclipse, their sun spells are more powerful. They are able to turn into an Owlkin, which is a big feathery creature with a very funny /dance animation. Moonkins (Balance Druids) use mana as a resource.
Guardian – Guardian Druids are the tanks of the druid hierarchy. They turn into big bears who are able to use their jaws and claws to protect their friends. Bears have a lot of armor and health (HP or Hitpoints). Bears use rage, and they gain rage from dodging attacks or hitting things.
Feral – Feral Druids are the melee damage dealers of the druid world, and they turn into cats. They use their claws when in cat form to do damage. Kitty druids use leather armor and use Energy. Energy is a yellow bar below your hit points that starts off at full and as you use special moves the bar is reduced. You gain energy over time. Feral druids have another mechanic called Combo points. A lot of rogue actions allow for you to build up combo points, which you can then spend on another action to cause a lot of damage.
Restoration – Resto druids are healers. They use healing over time spells (HoTs) to keep a constant supply of health on their tanks and damage dealers. Resto druids can often be found in a tree form casting their spells. They use mana as their resource, and are often called Trees.
Hunter – Hunters are masters of the bow, and gun, and they stand away from the mobs and bosses and shoot at them, while their pets run in to do damage. They have permanent pets which you can get from taming around the world. There are three Hunter specs – Marksman, Survival, and Beast Master. Hunters use bows, crossbows and guns. They wear leather until level 40, and then they wear mail, and they are a pure damage dealing class. As a resource, hunters use Focus, which is similar to energy.
Marksman – These hunters are expert shots. They have skills and talents which increase the damage that they do with their bows or guns.
Survival – Survival hunters use traps to help them do damage. They are able to throw extra traps than most hunters, and they are able to throw multiple traps. They also have skills that assist their shooting as well, but they use it more to poison and cripple their enemies rather than do direct damage.
Beast Mastery – Beast mastery hunters still use bows or guns, but they also have a closer bond with their pet. Their pet is a lot of their damage, and beast master hunters are able to tame exotic pets that aren’t normally tamable, like Spirit Beasts (ghostly beasts out in the world with special powers).
Mage – Mages are a pure damage dealing class, and are unable to actually tank or heal. They use mana as a resource and have three specs – Arcane, Frost, and Fire. Mages also have the distinction of being able to conjure food and water at higher levels. Mages wear cloth armor and can use daggers, staves, swords and offhand items. (Not shields!)
Arcane – Arcane mages use the power of the arcane to cast spells. Their spells are often quite powerful, and are often called “Glass Cannons” because they do a lot of damage but don’t survive very well. They cast bolts of arcane energy at the enemy.
Fire – Fire mages use fire to burn, baby, burn! Their spells are fireballs and pyroblasts, and they use them with another spell called Combustion to get extra damage on their spells. Fire mages are able to survive a bit better than Arcane mages, but only just.
Frost – Frost mages use the power of frost to control their enemies. They also get to have a permanent water elemental pet. Frost mages are well known for their survival skills, and in some cases give up some damage for this.
Monk – Monks are the newest class to WoW, having been introduced with the Mists of Pandaria expansion pack. Their specs are Brewmaster (Tank), Windwalker (Melee DPS), and Mistweaver (Healer). Monks are able to use staves, daggers, maces, swords. Their resource system is generally energy, unless they’re Mistweaver, and then it becomes mana. They also have a source called Chi which they use for their special moves, and they have moves which help them regain Chi. Monks also use ‘brews’ to help supplement their abilities. Monks wear leather armor.
Brewmaster – Brewmaster monks are the tanks of the Monk class. They are able to avoid attacks, stagger off damage, and use brews to help control the mobs they are attacking. They are also able to do a little bit of extra supplemental healing.
Windwalker – Windwalker monks do damage. They are able to do high Area of Effect (AOE) attacks against groups of mobs, and they have some really good single target damage as well. With the right talents, sometimes they have a white tiger help them fight.
Mistweaver – Mistweaver monks do the healing. They’re a bit unique in terms of healing classes as most healing classes can stay at range but for a Monk healer to have full effectiveness, they actually need to attack the mobs. This helps them generate Chi and regain mana. There’s a special type of Mistweaver monk that is able to do a lot of damage while healing, that is affectionately named “Fistweaver”.
Paladin – Paladins are another class that can tank, heal, and dps. They’re able to use swords, axes, maces, 2-handed swords, 2-handed axes, 2-handed maces and shields. Their specializations are Protection, Retribution, and Holy. Paladins are one of two classes that get their level 20 and level 40 mounts for free. Paladins wear mail armor until level 40, when they are then able to wear plate. Paladins use mana and holy power for their attacks, and they have a seal system which allows them to choose a special seal which they can then judge on the mobs or bosses for extra damage, extra mana, or extra healing on the paladin.
Protection – Protection is the paladin tanking tree, and one of the two specs that use shields. Paladins are able to hold a lot of mobs to them, and throw their shield at the mobs to keep them attacking the paladin. Paladins are also able to consecrate the ground in front of them while tanking, causing extra damage. Paladins take a lot of damage, but the healing seal for a protection paladin helps heal them quite a bit. Their holy power is used to power their attacks against mobs and bosses.
Retribution – Retribution paladins use 2 handed weapons and do damage with them. They use their holy power to smite their enemies and deal a lot of damage.
Holy – Holy is the paladin healing spec. They use the ‘holy light’ to heal the wounds of their comrades in battle. Paladins are similar to Monks in the fact that they need to sometimes attack the boss to encourage their mana to regenerate, but they don’t need to be in battle as much as a Monk does.
Priest – Priests are the only class in the game with two healing specs, and one damage spec. These specs are Discipline, Holy and Shadow. Priests can be healers or DPS, and they use cloth. They can use maces, daggers, staves and offhands. They use mana for their spells.
Discipline – Discipline (Disc) priests are healers. They use shields to help heal their comrades in battle, and they do a little bit of damage as well, while healing. They have a special talent called Atonement which allows them to smite their enemies and then the damage is then converted into healing for their allies.
Holy – Holy priests are considered some of the single most powerful healers in the game because they do it all. They heal AOE damage, they heal single target damage… there’s very little a holy priest can’t heal through. They have a ‘toolkit’ of heals that allow them to specialize in any sort of healing at a time. This system is known as “Chakra” and they can go into a AOE healing Chakra, a Single Target Healing Chakra, or a damage dealing Chakra. When in a Chakra, their spells are modified to allow for that specialization.
Shadow – Shadow priests are the damage dealing spec for priests. Shadow priests take on a shadowy form, and can no longer cast any holy spells to heal themselves – instead, they have improved damage spells. Their spells focus on Damage over Time (DoTs) spells which tick on the enemy, and they also are able to cause their enemies to go slow with one of their spells. They are able to cause their enemies to flee in fear as well.
Rogue – Rogues are another pure damage dealing class in the game, and they use leather armor. They can use daggers, maces, axes, and swords. Rogues use energy for their spells, and they have another mechanic called Combo points. A lot of rogue actions allow for you to build up combo points, which you can then spend on another action to cause a lot of damage. Rogues can attack from the shadows and use poisons to great ability (Assassination), use their swords and daggers to cause a lot of damage (Combat) or sneak up on their enemies and disappear into the shadows, causing a lot of little damage that builds up over time (Subtlety). They’re also masters at stunning people and interrupting them. All three rogue specs use poisons on their weapons. All rogues dual wield.
Assassination – Assassination rogues use daggers and poisons to mutilate their opponents. They get bonuses to attacking when their weapons are poisoned and they are able to force the poison into their opponents bodies causing a lot of damage very quickly.
Combat – Combat rogues use heavier weapons such as swords to slice into their opponents, excelling in hand to hand combat. They are able to attack in a flurry of blades, attacking more than one opponent at a time.
Subtlety – Subtlety rogues are masters at causing all kinds of little bleeds all over their opponent’s body, and stunning them so they are unable to run away. They are able to disappear from the shadows to reappear behind the backs of their enemies to strike with deadly precision and force.
Shaman – Shamans use the elements to cause damage. They can either stand away from the mobs and boss and cast lightning bolts and lava bursts, they can stand in close and attack with their weapons, or they can stand away and heal. Shamans have the ability to summon a Fire or Earth Elemental to assist them at higher levels for short periods of time, and they can also empower their spells by turning into a specialized elemental for a brief period of time to allow them to do more damage or extra healing. They wear leather until level 40, and then mail after that, and their specializations are Elemental (Caster), Enhancement (Melee), and Restoration (Healing). Shamans use mana, and they can use maces, daggers, axes, fist weapons, staves, offhands and shields. Shamans have a mechanic known as ‘totems’ which are used to help protect the shaman and their group, cause damage, or increase the amount of damage or healing people receive.
Elemental – Elemental shamans harness the power of lightning and lava to throw at their enemies. They throw lightning bolts, and lava bursts, and when there are groups of enemies they hurl lightning that bounces from mob to mob. They shock their enemies with flame and earth and use their totems to burn their enemies while helping heal a little bit on their friends. Elemental shamans can turn into a Fire Ascendant, which is a type of humanoid fire elemental. Elemental shamans use a one handed weapon and a shield or offhand, or a stave.
Enhancement – Enhancement shamans use the power of storm to strike at their enemies, along with their shocks. Their strikes give them charges of something called “Maelstrom” which when maxed out, will allow them to instantly cast a lightning bolt or chain lightning. They are able to summon spirit wolves to assist them when fighting. Enhancement shamans turn into an Air Ascendant. Enhancement shamans are able to dual wield their weapons (and are the only shaman spec that’s able to dual wield).
Restoration – Resto shamans use the power of water to heal their friends. Healing rain, heals that bounce from person to person and totems imbued with the power of water are all tools of their trade. Resto shamans are able to turn into Water Ascendants. Resto shamans use a one handed weapon and shield or offhand, or a stave.
Warlock – Warlocks are a pure DPS class, and they are able to summon different types of demons to help them do damage. They wear cloth and can use daggers, staves, swords and offhands. Warlocks are able to summon imps, felhounds, succubi, and voidwalkers normally, and they have special summons that last a bit of Infernals and Doomguards that do a lot of damage. They can either focus on a lot of damage over time (Affliction), focus on their demons and even turn into a demon (Demonology), or rain fire down upon their enemies (Destruction). Warlocks use mana.
Affliction – Affliction Warlocks are strong with the power of shadow. The use their abilities at manipulating shadow damage to cause little bits of damage to their enemies over a period of time (DoTs). They are able to drain the life from their enemies as well, supplementing their own life force.
Demonology – Demonology warlocks have a stronger bond with their demons. They are able to summon a new type of demon as well called a Felguard. They can also turn themselves into a full fledged demon for a period of time or they can turn into a partial demon. While in demonic form, they are often able to take more damage to their bodies than normal cloth wearers can. Demonology warlocks use both fire and shadow spells.
Destruction – Destruction warlocks use the power of fire to burn their enemies from the inside out. They set their enemies on fire and build upon that initial fire to set their very souls aflame.
Warrior – Warriors are a tanking and dps class. They focus on being able to take heavy blows or deal heavy blows. Warriors start out using mail armor, but they’re able to wear plate at level 40. There isn’t a weapon in the game a warrior can’t use, but sometimes they’re able to specialize into how they use their weapons. They can either use one big 2 handed weapon to do damage, or they can use two smaller 1 handed weapons (or even big 2 handed weapons) in both hands to do damage, or they can use a weapon and a shield and become a tank. They use rage for their attacks.
Arms – Arms warriors specialize in two handed weaponry, causing strikes that reduce the amount of healing available to a foe.
Fury – Fury warriors dual wield their weapons. They start off being able to dual wield one handed weapons but at higher levels they get the ability to dual wield two handed weapons. They strike in a flurry of blades at their enemies
Protection – Protection Warriors are to tanking as Holy Priests are to healing – they have a massive ‘toolkit’ that allows them to be every type of tank. They use a one handed weapon and a shield, and are the masters at being able to intercept damage from their friends.
How do you know which class you want to play? I recommend levelling one of each class to level 20 if you’re not sure. This will give you the chance to think about it, and experience the game play in several different ways.