Before we set out an conquer the whole of Azeroth I humbly suggest that we finish off some of these Brill quests. If you’re having a problem with any of the quest: cannot find where you need to go, who you need to talk to or what you should collect or kill answers and assistance is available in abundance. Rather than reinvent the wheel I’m going to point you to the best resources on the Internet to get help and answers. For information and help with quests and items there is really only one place to go and that is Wowhead. If you’re really struggling with something chances are someone has before you, there’s an equally good chance they posted advice at Wowhead too. If you find a solution to a quest problem that isn’t listed at Wowhead I urge you to post your solution to assist other players.

Back in Brill Junior Apothecary Holland will give a quest which takes you to Garren’s Haunt and report to Apothecary Jerrod. Take this quest and make you way north. During the next several quests: Doom Weed; Graverobbers; Maggot Eye; and Planting the Seed of Fear you should reach level 8. Level 8 is remarkable for Hunters as you receive and new ability Concussion Shot. This useful ability will slow mobs as they run to attack you. This way even if you have aggro (rather than your pet) the mob should not be able to reach you (and start pummelling on you) before you can kill it. This is an excellent ability, make sure you’re using whenever it’s appropriate. Assimilate it’s use ‘into your rotation’ as you did with Steady Shot, to regenerate focus mid fight to continue casting Arcane Shot. A spell/ability rotation prioritises certain abilities at certain time. At this low level you have a tiny three shot rotation so it’s easy to describe:

  • Arcane Shot until low on Focus
  • Steady Shot until Focus levels are high
  • Concussion Shot (if mob comes for you)

You open (or pull) withArcane Shot and continue the use of this your high damage ability until you are out of Focus then switch to Steady Shot until Focus is back up. Use Concussion Shot to slow the mobs advance on you, if it turns on you away from your pet, then switch back to Arcane shot. Repeat as necessary until dead. As very basic rotation.

Once upon a time in World of Warcraft people talked about rotation as cast this spell, then that spell, then another. Now all classes have more of a priority list which is more complex (and more fun). Priority lists are more of the style: cast this spell until this happens then cast this other spell, unless so and is happening. The onus is on you to make decisions, controlling your balancing of maximising damage and regenerating your primary resource, for Hunters this is Focus, of course.

Level 10 achievementPet Action bar announcementKeep questing alone the beach at Garren’s Haunt or up into the Agamand Mills area if necessary until you reach level 10.

Pet Action Bar Attack iconReaching level 10 is a real benchmark now you become a real Hunter and have full control over you pet at last. Your actionbar gains an extra container above as the box on you screen proudly announces (left) this is your Pet Action Bar. Probably the most valuable part of the Pet Action Bar is the far left button: Attack. This allows you to send your pet in to attack a mob without you having to engage with it first. Also, if you find yourself fighting multiple mobs you cannot control which one your pet attacks.

The three buttons to the right hand side of the Pet Action Bar are worth noting here too. Assist IconThe first Assist (left) sets your pet to help you by attacking anything that you attack, as you attack it. The Defensive iconmiddle of the three is the Defensive setting (see left. This forces your pet to attack only those mobs that attack you. So even if you begin attacking your pet will not join you until you receive a blow. The final Passive iconbutton, on the far right of the Pet Action Bar, is the Passive setting. As the name suggests this prevents your pet from attacking at all (see left).

On your Actionbar 1 you have some new abilities including your first DoT. Damage over Time spells do exactly that they do damage across several seconds rather than all the instant they land ( as with Arcane Shot). Your first DoT is Serpent Sting, it’s an excellent ability to incorporate into your ‘rotation’. Cast Serpent sting early in the fight (right after the ‘pull’) so that it can begin to start doing it’s damage. Each time a DoT delivers a piece of it’s damage is referred to as a tick, DoTs tick several time before they finish or ‘fall off’. Make sure you cast early to get Serpent Sting ticking and if it’s damage effect falls off before the mob dies refresh Serpent Sting, in this case by recasting it. Later on you will get an ability called Chimera Shot as well as delivering a significant amount of instant damage in it’s own right Chimera Shot refreshes Serpent Sting (starts the DoT effect ticking from the start without having to re-cast Serpent Sting). Making it more valuable as it’s like casting two abilities at once. The time save not having to re-cast Serpent Sting becomes more significant over long fights as you still get all of Serpent Sting‘s damage but the time you would spend casting can be used for other damaging spells. So refreshing Serpent Sting with Chimera Shot increases your damage output by a significant amount.

SPecialism indicator

As well as getting the new abilities and the Pet Action Bar at level 10 you also get to specialise in one of three categories. For all character class their are three ‘specs’, three types of play styles and abilities and spell specific to that spec. For Hunters the three specs are Beast Mastery, Marksmanship and Survival. The choice of spec is entirely your own. Read the description for how each spec plays and simply choose the one that appeals to you. Some players will select only the spec that delivers the highest potential damage and change spec if Blizzard make changes to the game to re-balance the damage potential of one particular spec or re-balance classes. This happens all of the time as Blizzard hone the classes so that no single class is much more powerful than the others (over powered or OP).

At the time of compiling this guide Beast Mastery Hunters would seem to have a small edge in damage dealing, whether that will be the case when you are reading this guide or by the time you reach level 90 will be another matter. It is widely accepted that raw damage output is not the most important factor when levelling. Survivability is a much more highly prized factor. No one wants to spend half their time doing corpse runs. Specs can be unlearned and new ones learned without any penalty so your choice of spec is not too important or decisive. Indeed at level 40 you pay gold to enjoy Dual Specialisation and have two specs and easily switch back and forth between them.

Naturally at this point the specs will become divergent and Hunters can receive different spells and abilities as they level. For that reason I will not discuss each new ability as it is received. However, you are not entirely on your own. Once again the Internet is awash with guide that will assist you specifically with play your Hunter, or whichever class you choose or will choose next. One of the best websites for concise advice on how to get the best from you particular class is Noxxic. In bite size and easy to understand chunks Noxxic will suggest the most efficient rotation, for doing the most the damage, for example. They also advise the best stats to look for on gear and which gems to place in the sockets on that gear. You will find the best enchantments to put on your best gear and suggest which Talents will get you the best result (more on Talents later).

Now it is important to note that Noxxic guides are written with maximum level players in mind. So their discussion of spell/ability rotations will include abilities that you have not learned yet. So when considering your rotation you will have to apply Noxxic’s advice to what you actually have. If you find utility in an ability that Noxxic does not recommend then continue to use it.

Now don’t worry about enchants and gems. These items are expensive upgrades for your gear and you’ll be changing gear regularly as you level so there is no utility in wasting money upgrading it. Add to this that you probably won’t see any gear with sockets, that accept gems, until you are level 60 and above. We should take a look at stats however. Luckily for me all Hunter prioritise gear in exactly the same way currently (you should check your own PvE spec to make sure that is still the case). Noxxic offers this as a Hunter’s stat priority:

Agility > Expertise (7.5%) = Ranged Hit (7.5%) > Crit > Haste > Mastery

This indicates that our single most important statistic for increasing our damage output is Agility. So we’re definitely looking out for leather gear with Agility on it. Our next most important stats are of equal value Expertise and Hit. Increasing Hit rating reduces your chance of missing. Expertise operates in a similar way to Hit, increasing Expertise reduces that changes of being dodged (or parried if applicable).

Cue Cue GlovesLook for leather gear (until 40 then switch to mail) with Agility on it, more is better. Every missed shot does zero damage, so even a weak hit is better than that a shot that would’ve been very powerful, but missed completely. 7.5% is the cap beyond which having more Hit rating on your gear adds no value. Hit rating which was your second most important stat has no value at all above 7.5%. It’s very important to get as much Hit as possible until you reach 7.5% when additional Hit become worthless. Foreman's GlovesExpertise reduces the amount of damage our target can mitigate (reduce) by dodging our attack. For this reason it’s important to get our Expertise to 7.5% as well of we can. Our next most valuable stat is Crit, or Critical Strike rating. A critical strike causes much more damage than an ordinary attack so increasing our chances to Crit will increase our damage very significantly.

Vest of FortuneHaste is a good stat that can reduce the time interval between our shots, making us damage faster. The rate at which Haste reduces our cast time compared to the rate at which Crit increases our chance of having a critical strike, point for point, means that Crit gives Hunters a better damage boost. So we prefer Agility leather with Crit over the same with Haste, but do not reject good Agility gear simple because it has Haste on it. Warlocks spec’ed Affliction, for example, gain far less from Crit point for point than Haste. For this reason Hunters will favour gear with Agility, Hit and Crit much more than gear with Agility, Haste and Mastery. Of course higher level gear will have higher stats so taking the a piece of gear with much higher Agility, with Haste and Mastery, is sensible over a piece of gear that has lower Agility, with Hit and Crit.

Smelting PantsAgain focusing too hard on gear choices is not necessary at lower levels. In a few levels time you should have replaced all or most of your gear. Gear becomes extremely important at Korloff's Raimentmaximum level for end game content, such as raids, but you are always looking for good upgrades. You will discover that Hit is difficult stat to manage. you want to get as close to 7.5% of this rating as possible without going very far over. Hit over the 7.5% cap is a wasted stat and worth exactly zero to you. You are much better having any other stat than Hit after the cap. With your constant swapping of gear as you level maintaining the cap is difficult and you shouldn’t worry about it too much. If you are offered a choice of gear consider the amount of Agility and Crit and opt for the one with high stats, if all else is equal opt for the gear with Hit. So at very low levels we can probably simplify our gear priority even more:

Agility > Crit > Ranged Hit

Hunter Ability Beast Taming iconTaming a new pet. One of the most fun things about being a Hunter is taming a new pet. You have a limited number of slots for pets, so the next time you’re at your inn seek out the Stable Master and you’ll discover where you ‘park’ extra pets (remember to Dismiss your current pet, another new ability). Or you can always permanently remove a pet and ‘release it back into the wild’. You can tame almost any beast you come across so why not try taming the next Darkhound you see. Get close enough to tame, the mob may begin attacking you and if you fail to tame the beast it may kill you. You can only tame mobs at the same, or lower level, than you. Once you have tamed your new pet you can have fun renaming him. Be on the look out for rare or good looking beasts that you can tame as pets.

I hope that by now you’re really getting to grips with the basic nuts and bolts of the game. My advice is going to become much more generic and applicable to every class now. If you need more specific advice regarding your own particular class and spec there are much better resources on the Internet than I can hope to provide and keep up to date. I’ve pointed you at just two. After hitting level 10, choosing a specialization and familiarizing yourself with your new spells and abilities I suggest heading back to Brill to empty your bags.

After selling your vendor trash it’s time to decide where to go. Again I’ll suggest doing a little exploring and discovering new locations. Either play it safe and head south west out of Brill along the road. When you reach the crossroads turn east and pass in front of the Ruins of Lordearon that are above the Undercity. Or be a little more adventurous and eschew the road and travel south south east passed the two tall Zeppelin towers, on your left and the Scarlet Watchtower, further down on your right. If you’re feeling curious explore inside the Ruins and try to find your way down passed the Tomb of Terenas Menethil II to the Undercity lifts…the other way in. Otherwise continue south south east to Silverpine Forest.

Silverpine Forest

Flight Point Mini-map indicatorFlight Path Available iconAs you enter the Forest follow the road down to the first crossroads. Look out for a tiny exclamation mark on the mini map, like a quest giver only green. Always look out for the green exclamation marks they’re unlearned flight paths. If you wander around the Forsaken High Command you’ll come across The Dark Lady herself, Sylvannas Windrunner, the Forsaken Leader. Stay a moment and you’ll meet the great red skinned meathead Orc, Garrosh Hellscream, the Leader of the Horde. If you see the Mount Pointerwhole of their interaction with Sylvannas demonstrating her use of Valkyrie to raise the dead and replenish the Forsaken number, you will probably see a wagon arrive. The Horde Coffin Hauler click on the wagon and get on board.

Ride this vehicle all the way to the Sepulcher then click the button on your toolbar to dismount and make your way up to the Sepulcher and find the flight point. From the Sepulcher find away over the hills to the north and head due north until you find the Forsaken Rear Guard and another new Flight point. From here the choices varied. Fly or run back to the High Command and pick up some or all of the quest and quest your way through Silverpine, much as you did in Tirisfal Glades, eventually you will receive a quest (or two) sending you further south in Hillsbrad Foothills. In this fashion you will gradually discover more and more of the Eastern Kingdoms continent. Or you can spread your wings and explore further afield.

If you choose the latter option get the bat back to Brill.

From Brill head south, south east to the Zeppelin Towers. You want the eastern one. Make your way up the tower until you reach the first platform, the Zeppelin that docks here will take you Orgrimmar. the platform on the other side of tower will take you to Stranglethorn Vale. The other tower takes you to Howling Fjord in Northrend, however you’ll need to be level 70 to fly there.

Welcome to Orgrimmar. Even though we’re Forsaken you have to marvel at the Orc capital, the Capital City of the Horde. Not least because it’s huge. Take some time have a look around. Familiarize yourself with the location of your profession trainer and maybe the fishing and cooking trainers too. Remember it’s only your first time once so enjoy it and spend as much time as you like just wandering around. There are trainers, auction houses and banks to be discovered and vendors abound. You’ll find a zone with Tauren, one with Trolls and a very polluted and oily zone full of Goblins. Enjoy.

Oh you’re back. OK, bring up the map. That, course is Orgrimmar. Right click on the map and you’ll zoom out to the current zone with is currently Durotar. Right click again and you’ll see the continent of Kalimdor that you’re now on. Mouse over Durotar (south of your pointer) you’ll see Durotar (1 -10). That’s the level range of quests in the Durotar region. So like Tirisfal Glade you can see Durotar is a starter zone (for Orcs and Trolls in this case). Since we’re now level 10 we’re looking for zone that will offer quests 10- upwards (like Silverpine Forest (10-20) in the Eastern Kingdoms). Handily, right next door to Durotar is the Northern Barrens offering quests in that 10-20 range. You can either explore all of Durotar or make your way directly to  in the Barrens. The choice is always yours.

I’d advise exploring at least as far as Razor Hill in the middle of Durotar and picking up the quest Conscript of the Horde. This leads you nicely into the Barrens. The next part of the guide is Barrens Chat.

 What we have learned.

At level 10 all classes can specialise into one of three specializations with their own spells.
Hunters get a Pet Action Bar to control pets.
The Noxxic website provide detailed advice on how to play specific classes and configure gear and spec for maximum efficiency.
All classes have a priority for different statistics. Hunters rate Agility and Hit rating (to cap) above all others, closely followed by Critical Strike rating.
You can tame beasts out in the wild that become your new combat pet and rename any of them too.
New Flight Points appear on your mini-map with a green exclamation mark. Flight Path Available icon
Orgrimmar is the huge captial city of the Horde.
Durotar is another (1-10) starter zone (for Orcs and Trolls).