After finally logging in let’s move you around and get you questing and killing – the nuts and bolts of World of Warcraft.

Defaukt Blizzard Actionbar

At the bottom of your screen is the default Blizzard Actionbar. Later on I’ll discuss addons, mods that you can install, that do a variety of cool things, one is change this default interface. But right now let’s just use the default and start moving around the world. Take a look a your Actionbar.

Spell and Ability actionbar

Your backpackThe left hand side is spells and abilities. If you created an Undead Hunter it will look exactly like this with only one ability, Arcane Shot, far left. Towards the centre you have three other non combat abilities. These are Cannibalize – eat dead corpses to renew health. This is an Undead thing. The Undead have an interesting back story (Lore) and odd racial abilities. The whistle icon is Call Pet if you should get separated, this is a Hunter thing as is the next icon, the hand, which is to Revive Pet, for if it dies.

The section on the right is the ‘Bag Bar’. You currently have one bag, your Backpack, with sixteen slots to hold sixteen unique items. Next to the Backpack are four grey (empty) bag slots, you can equip four more bags to increase how much crap you can carry around.

Character Info buttonQuest Log buttonThe middle section gives access to various interface panels. The first one is the Character Pane more about that, and all the other buttons, as we progress. The fifth button from the left is the Quest Log button, more about that soon.

Game Menu button  Micro menu buttonThe only button that need concern us too much at this point, is the Game Menu button. Selecting this button pops up the Game Menu. From here you can do a variety of things including Logout, logging off your current character (so you can log onto another) or Exit Game entirely.

The coloured bar broken into 20 segments along the top is the ‘XP bar’ which shows how much experience you have gained as a ratio to how much you need to level up.

Quest Givers.

Your first job, upon entering this new world, is to click on the character hovering right above you with the big yellow exclamation mark over Quest giver pointertheir head. when you run your mouse over this character notice how your mouse pointer changes into an exclamation mark too (see right). The  indicates that they have a quest that you can do. If you see a grey one over someone’s head, they have a quest but you’re not eligible for it yet (come back after increasing your level). This quest giver isn’t another player, it’s an NPC (non player character). A quest giving NPC is referred to as the Quest Giver by convention. When you click on the Quest Giver either a quest window will open up detailing what you need to do (click Accept at the bottom) or you will be presented with a list of quests, if they have more than one. If you want to read the quest directions again press ‘L‘, or Quest Log button iconclick the Quest Log button (right) on the Actionbar, this shows a list of all your Quests. Then click the quest you want to see the details for again. If the quest isn’t in the list you didn’t click Accept.

Quests.

Quests fall into four very loose, overlapping categories. If you read the quest instructions you’ll see that at their core Quest Givers want you to do one of these:

1) Go somewhere and:

a) see what is happening
b) find something or someone
c) speak to another NPC (often to hand in the quest to that NPC and get some more).

2) Kills monsters or enemies (‘mobs’)

a) Simply kill a certain number of mobs
b) The mob has something you want, kill it (or them) and loot the item from the corpse(s) (the loot items you want are called ‘drops’)

Note: Two quests will often be available around the same area. One to kill the mobs the other to loot something from those mobs. look around for all the quest givers in an area. If you don’t have the collecting quest the mobs often will not drop the item. Picking up the quest later will have you going back and killing mobs all over again.

3) Collect things lying around the environment.
4) Escort an NPC somewhere and keep them alive.

Here is one lesson I simply cannot stress enough, especially when you’re playing your very first character (or char): if you kill something loot it, LOOT EVERYTHING. Later on you’ll be able to buy more and larger bags to carry all this junk around. Much of it is junk but do take it all! You can sell all this crap and trust me you will NEED the money.

So you have a quest! Your very first quest usually involves no more than going to report to some dude you can see from where you are. They’re very easy to recognize with that large yellow question mark over their head. If you mouse over them your pointer changes again to a yellow question mark, see left. You need to stand right next to them to hand in (complete the quest), if you’re too far away your mouse partner will look like that to the right, ‘greyed out’. So get over there!

Moving around the game world.

It may not be the way you’re used to moving in other games, but even though the WASD keys will work, as with many games, move your character around with the mouse. You may find it cumbersome, but start learning good habits now, it’s much easier than unlearning bad habits. You’ll thank me later.

Hold down the right mouse button, keep it held down. Move your mouse around. You should be able to look around the world: right and left; up and down. Notice the way your character moves around too, they always have their back to you. By holding down the right mouse button you’re actively changing the way your character is looking. Imagine a camera behind your char’s head and you’ve grasped one in-game metaphor. Hold down the left mouse button and move the mouse again. You look around the world your character remains static. The camera can swing all the way around in front of your character and you can see what she looks like and look up her skirt…if you want a close up use your mouse wheel to zoom in or out. If you can’t see your char or they’re very close to the camera zoom out so you can see a reasonable area around them. This reduces the chances of being surprised by mobs or blundering into places you really didn’t want to be.

OK, back on the right mouse button, hold it down, point your char where you want to go (at that NPC with the ? over his head) press the left button down too. You move! If you keep both buttons held down you run and keep going. Lift off the left button and you stop. While moving, move the mouse left and right and you will make your char turn and slalom all the way to the Quest Hand-In. Up and down mouse movement doesn’t effect your character’s movement or direction but it does move the camera through a arc. The arc runs from directly over your characters head to right between her feet, so you really can look around the whole world 360 degrees and up her skirt if you desire. Seriously: play with mouse. Move around the world a bit, change the camera position...look at everything. It’s a beautiful world…well it may be a little gloomy in the Undead starting zone Deathknell, but these mouse/camera skills you’re building will prove very valuable later on.

Now get to that Quest Hand-In!

Quest Hand In.

Either a left or right click on the NPC is fine here as long as you’re close enough to hand in. Another window, much like the quest log opens with some chat and a reward listed. If the reward is a gear item you have to select one before you can Complete. At the bottom is a Complete Quest button. Click it!

He will offer you another quest immediately. Accept it. If he offers more than one Accept them all. If your very first quest wasn’t to go over to some dude and hand in but complete one of the goals listed above and then hand in skip the next section and go down to Questing and then come back to Rewards. It’ll all make sense in the end.

Rewards.

The most important reward from any quest is the experience (XP) it yields. Gain enough experience and you will complete a character level. As you ‘level up’ your character becomes more powerful and new spells and abilities become available. Quests also reward money, and sometimes gear (armour and weapons). Let’s take a look at your first monetary reward. Press ‘B’, or click the backpack icon on your Actionbar, to open you bag. A small box labelled Backpack opens bottom right, it has 16 item slots (only one of which is currently filled) and at the bottom of the Backpack is your ‘Gold’ at the moment, yours probably says 2 next to a sad looking brown disc. You own two copper. The item in your bag is a Heathstone. More of that later. Notice that on the Actionbar on the Backpack icon there is a number (15) this refers to the number of free items slots you have. when this reaches 0 your bag is full.

Questing.

I ‘rolled’ an Undead Hunter to write this guide. If you did the same your second quest asks you to obtain some items to stitch up some newly risen Undeads that didn’t ‘hold up’ in the ground as well as you did. I love the Undead. In the top right hand corner of your screen you can see a circle with a silver pointer in the centre. That’s the Mini-map, it’s good for finding things Minimap Arrowin your immediate vicinity, the silver pointer marks where you are, it points in the direction your char is facing. In this way you can navigate, with precision, to something close to you. You’ll see that your current location, in the title above the circle, is The Deathknell Graves.

Nothing valuable showing up on there at the moment so that’s no help. Press M to open the World Map. Or click the World Map button on the Mini-map right of the location bar  (see right).

World MapWow, that sucker fills the screen. When running along the road to somewhere you may want to open the map to check which way to go. If it fills the screen you may miss a wandering mob spot you and not know about it until you’re already under attack.

For this reason I prefer a smaller version of the World Map, if you click on the (downward pointing) Arrow in the top right hand corner (next to the X) you can use the same. If for some reason you want the huge map back (it has it’s uses) click the (now upwards) Arrow again to toggle it back.

Mouse over the yellow circled 1 (no yellow circled 1? Click on Undertaker Mordo and Accept his quest this time!) it will pop up the name of your quest. Keep the smaller map open and move your character so that the pointer on the map is directly on top of the circled 1. Are you on a slope next to a clump of trees?

Wrong Place

Er…there’s nothing here…?

The Shadow Grave

Oh…it’s underground!

Well done, you’re in the wrong place (left). Look up. Nothing up there but tree. So maybe what you want is underneath you? Yeah it is. Not far off is a crypt, you’re going underground. Off you go and find the way in. At the top of the stair notice that the Mini-Map (see enlarged picture right) has changed and now says Shadow Grave (Click L and check the Log for this quest) now you can be sure this is the right place. Go downstairs.

Quest Items.

See the table in the corner? See the glowing sparkles. That indicates something you’re looking for is over there, on that table. move you pointer over the table, your pointer hand turns to golden cog wheel and the pop up “Thick Embalming Fluid” appears in the bottom corner. Look around some more and you’ll find “Corpse-Stitching Twine” on the same table. If the cog is grey (see left) you’re too far away to ‘use’ the items, so move closer. If they’re golden click on them (again left or right is fine) The item appears in a little widow top left. Click that to loot it and gold writing appears top centre to indicate part of a quest has been completed. Click the other item and more gold writing appears.

OK, two steps to complete one action is rubbish. So press Esc on your keyboard or click  the Game Menu button. Click the Interface button. You should be on the Controls page, if not, click Controls in the left hand side of this Interface window. Go down to Auto Loot and click in the box next to it until there is a tick. Click Okay and Return to Game. Now if you click on something with a cog that you need the little window will still open top left but the loot will go straight into your bag (no further clicking required). This is a real time saver.

Turn on Auto Loot

Look at the Minimap. It should now show a ?. Press B to open your backpack. You should now have three items, if you clicked on both items and looted them from the pop up windows. If you don’t have three items: Hearthstone; Corpse-Stitching Twine; and Thick Embalming Fluid; click the appropriate item(s) on the table again. Notice how the two ‘quest items’ you just picked up are bordered in gold in your bag (compare them with your Hearthstone). All quest items appear in your bag bordered in gold like this.

Run back up the stairs to hand in. If you cannot see the Quest Hand-In NPC you can use the Mini- or World Map to navigate closer until he appears on the screen in front of your character and you can move directly to him. Click him, click Continue, then click Complete Quest. More Experience and 15 copper. YAY!

He gives you another quest and notice that the reward is a choice of some gear. You also have to kill 6 mobs so now we need to think about combat. Suddenly you’re surrounded by mobs with names over their heads. These are your quest targets. Notice that the names are yellow. When mousing over mobs or NPCs you will see a box appear bottom right, the colour of their names instantly tells you something about them. Green – these mobs are friendly, they won’t attack you and you can’t attack them. Yellow – these mobs are neutral they ignore you unless you attack them. As you can see the Mindless Zombies surrounding you are yellow and neutral, they won’t attack unless you do first, so nothing to be concerned about. Red – the mobs will attack you on sight.

When you mouse over or a red or yellow labelled mob your mouse point will turn to sword (see left) indicating you can attack it, be careful not to accidentally click nearby yellow mobs you did not want to fight.

OMFG They’re everywhere!

Caretaker CaiceMultiple Quests.

Your quest log holds up to 25 quests so before you start bothering zombies take a look around to the left of the Shadow Grave, just nearby is another Quest Giver. Get over there and take that quest. Caretake Caice wants you to chat to three other people. In the starting zones of other races you will get different quests, but they usually boil down to the same thing. Kill stuff, collect stuff, talk to people.

Speech bubblesCheck the Minimap again. Take a close look at those ‘white clouds’ on it, they’re actually speech bubbles – a clear sign that someone you need to talk to is there. OK, pick any one of the three and move towards them. On the screen you’ll see an NPC with a large white speech bubble over his head. Before you speak to him look underneath the Minimap. You should see Objectives (2). Yes, they are your two quests. Under 2 you should see:

  • 0/1 Speak with Lillian Voss
  • 0/1 Speak with Marshall Redpath
  • 0/1 Speak with Valdred Moray

 

Completed Objective in Quest LogHovering over the NPC the mouse pointer will change again, this time to a speech bubble. OK, right or left click to chat to your NPC. Click through all the options labelled with a speech bubble until the window closes (and the NPC disappears). Again, Golden text appears in the top centre of the screen:

One of your objectives will have disappeared. Press L to open up the Quest Log.

Under The Wakening one line with be grey and now read:

Speak with Valdred Moray: 1/1 (Complete)

You may have spoken to one or both of the other NPCs. So naturally their names will be greyed out in the Quest Log and be missing from the Objectives too. The quest is complete and ready to hand in only when all three Objectives are complete. Close the Quest Log. Look at the Objectives by the Minimap again. Click on 2 The Wakening – you opened the Quest details for that quest. Click your other quest 1 Those That Couldn’t Be Saved. The details for Those That Couldn’t Be Saved replace The Wakening.

Good we learned a new short-cut for checking our Quest Log. Now we need to learn how to kill stuff. Killing stuff is central to all we do in World of Warcraft.

Combat.

Sword, combat pointerBefore you actually engage a mob to attack it you with need to ‘target it’. Mouse over any attackable mob and the pointer will turn into a sword (left). Now this is very important for Hunters! Left click a Mindless Zombie to target it. If you right click it you will actually begin to attack. I direct your attention to three things. If you’re a hunter or a warlock you have a pet. This pet will fight with or for you. Use it! Always have it with you. On Summon Petyou Actionbar at the bottom right, near the middle is button to Summon or Call Pet (see right). Hunters also have a Revive Pet button (in case it dies), warlocks simply pull their demon pet back out of the nether realm (the pets don’t seem to impressed with that to be honest). At the other end of the bar, far left, is your one and, currently, only special ability.

Mousing over it will tell you what it is, for hunters it’s Arcane Shot. Now most classes have an automatic attack. If you don’t use a spell or special ability you character will simply swing their sword, fire ordinary arrows, poke mobs with their weapon. These attacks are really not what it’s all about. As a hunter, for instance, casting Arcane Shot will fire an arrow which does 100% of the damage the bow is capable of plus 10 Arcane damage. Much more powerful than an auto attack. To cast Arcane Shot DO NOT click the Actionbar button with the mouse pointer. Click the number 1 on the keyboard! This is very important, key casting is essential, your mouse must be free because soon you will need to move and cast, do not fall into the bad habit of click casting.

LEFT click a Mindless Zombie to target it then press the number 1 a few times, remember to use the keyboard for using spells and abilities do not use the mouse to click the number 1 slot of the Actionbar. Your pet will run out to the mob and very quickly (at this level) the mob should be dead.

During this combat (or the next or any subsequent fight) keep an eye on the top left corner of the screen:

Character and Enemy Portraits

You can see a small portrait of yourself with two coloured bars next to it (underneath is an equivalent for your pet. to right opposing you is the mob you have targeted and, in this instance, are fighting: the Decrepit Darkhound. The most important bars are green, this is health. The most important thing about combat is that the mobs’ health bar should reach zero before yours. If it doesn’t you die. The lower, orange bar, is your Focus. This resource allows you to cast any special abilities like Arcane Shot (AS). You will need to manage your use of Focus. Before level 3 if you run out of Focus you will have to autocast until you very slowly regenerate enough to cast AS again. Focus regenerates very slow while you are in combat (fighting or fleeing), out of combat Focus regenerates quicker, but you might have to pause for some time to recover all of your Focus before fighting again. Auto Shot does so little damage compared to AS that entering a fight without Focus or running out of Focus mid fight could be costly.

Your pet scampers back to your side when the mob dies. This hunter lark is easy! Kill another one. Notice how the corpses sparkle like the quest items in the Shadow Grave. Move to the nearest corpse and right click it to loot. Remember LOOT EVERYTHING! Notice that both corpses stop sparkling. You have actually looted both corpses, one loot action will loot all mobs in a small area.

Look around until you spot another NPC with a white speech bubble over their head or use the maps to navigate to them. Chat to this next NPC. Now kill two more Mindless Zombies. LOOT! Find and talk to the third and last NPC. Kill two more Mindless Zombies. Both quests should now be complete.

DING

DING!

Levelling.

I’ll be very surprised if you and your pet (spider) don’t level up. But don’t hand in just yet! The experience of interacting with three NPCs and killing 6 mobs should take you to level 2. You’re going to need more XP to reach level 3 than you just did for making level 2, so you need to complete more quests. The amount of experience you need to move up another level increases all the time. Fortunately so does the XP that killing and handing in quests gives, even so it will take a little longer to level each time.

Look at your Actionbar (it should look like the one immediately above.) The blue line we started with has turned purple as we progressed through the level. This is equivalent to how much XP you have gained towards completing this level. There are 20 gradations, or  conventionally “bars”, on the ‘XP bar’, so each one is equal to 5% of the level. On the Actionbar at the Mousing over the XP bar.top of the page you can see the XP bar is almost full, that char has gained about 97 / 98% of the experience necessary in that level.

By mousing over the XP bar you can get additional information: a full breakdown of your XP and expressed as a percentage of the current level. In this case (right) we have earned 1,571 XP or the 2,800 required this level, this represents 57% of the level complete. Therefore we need 1,229 more XP to level and we are well over half way with 43% to go.

OK, hand in. For the quest Those That Couldn’t Be Saved as well as the all important XP and some copper you’ll be offered you choice of some gear. Select the Flax Gloves then click Accept.

Steady ShotOne of the rewards of levelling is opening up new spells and talents. More about talents later. At level 3 your Lil Hunter will receive the first of many new abilities, this one is called Steady Shot. It has a long cast but as well as doing more damage than an auto-shot, it also regenerates Focus. When you run out of Health you are dead, when you run out of Focus you cannot cast shots that require Focus and could very well end up dead. Currently your only special ability is Arcane Shot. Remember that AS does much more damage than an Auto-shot so if you can regenerate Focus to cast more Arcane Shots that is going to increase your damage, and the speed a mob dies, a great deal. If you run low on Focus while fighting cast a Steady Shot (SS) (by pressing number 2 on the keyboard) to regenerate some. If the fight is long one you may have to use SS several times, if Focus is low and the fight long try throwing in pairs of SS, one after another. Notice that if you hit either 1 or 2 too soon after your last shot you character will say: “That pell is not ready yet…” Red writing appear in the top centre of the screen telling you “Spell is not ready yet“. Arcane Shot is an instant cast ability, you press 1 and immediately your character fires AS if she can. Immediately after a cast all spells are greyed out and you will see the colour fill back in as if a clock hand was sweeping around the button repainting it. This times the duration of the Global Cooldown, a minimum period between being able to cast successive spells.

If you chose not to follow this guide so closely and chose another type of character then you will have a resource, like Focus, of your own to manage. Casters (e.g. Mages, Warlocks, Shamen, Priests) have a blue, Mana bar. Without mana caster cannot use any of their spells. Casters all have their own individual ways to regenerate mana, for example, at later levels Warlocks get the spell Life Tap, which converts health into mana. Warriors have a different resource, Rage, rage is generated using rage generating attacks, for example, Mortal Strike and spent with attacks like Slam or Heroic Strike. Read the pop up text for your own spells to see what resource you use to do your most damaging abilities, then see which abilities spend and regenerate that resource. Rotating between generating (lower damage) and spending (higher damage) the resource is central to how a character class plays. Spell/Ability rotations become important to playing your character well later on, when you have a few more spells to rotate. Much more on this later.

It was hard work getting killed at this level, I had to pull 9 mobs and then stop attacking.

The last thing I’m going to teach you today is about death. In World of Warcraft death is not the end. As I noted earlier the objective in combat is to make the enemy’s health bar go away before your own does. However, from time to time you will fail in this objective. Don’t worry, dying is an important part of the game, mobs can defeat you and this is good because without this there would be no challenge and ultimately no fun. This is a game after all.

You’re dead. The first job is to accept your death and Release your Spirit from your body. Cick:

Release Spirit

You’ll resurrect (rez) at the Spirit Healer in the nearest graveyard. If you talk to the Spirit Healer she can resurrect you there in the graveyard. This usually comes at the price of resurrection sickness which will make you extremely vulnerable. Corpse marker coffin iconThe best thing to do is to check the Mini-map for a coffin icon, this marks the location of your corpse.

Mini-map with coffin indicating corpse location.Run back to your corpse. This is traditionally referred to by players as ‘doing a corpse run’. When you get in range of your corpse you will be afforded your opportunity to resurrect, simply click:

There’s a good and simple reason why you don’t resurrect immediately you reach your corpse. There’s a reason you died and my still be there prowling around your body. For this reason resurrect has a range, ideally standing at the edge of this range will allow you to rez without attracting the attention of whatever killed you. Useful as you resurrect with low health and no Focus. Remember that this only applies to mobs with a Red Name, Yellow Name mobs will only attack if attack them. If you cannot rez without the mob that killed you attacking you again simply run towards wherever you know to be safe. If you are killed again you will be a) further away from the mob next time you rez and b) closer to safety. It is possible that using this method you will have to rez and run a couple of times until you can finally rez safely and then regenerate your health and focus in a place of relative safety before questing again.

Spirit Healer

Eerie isn’t she.

What we learned:

Always use the mouse to move and look around the game world.
Make sure to turn on Auto Loot and LOOT EVERYTHING.
Get a quest from an NPC with a !
A ! indicates a quest you haven’t done but do not meet the requirements for (usually you’re too low level)
Single enemies or monsters are call mobs, so you can have a group of mobs.
A drop is the random loot mobs give when looted after killing.
To loot  is to take items, often from a corpse, or items you have taken from a corpse.
Hand in a completed quest (and get a reward) at the NPC marked with a ?
Quests reward primarily experience, but also money, gear or items.
Quests can be reviewed in the Quest Log [Press L]
Open your bag by pressing B.
Check the World Map by pressing M and resize it with the arrows.
A gold cog wheel indicates something for you to use. (If grey move closer.)
Quest items and looted objects go into your bags
After casting a spell a Global Cooldown (GCD) is triggered, you cannot cast again until this period is passed.
If you die you resurrect at a Spirit Healer and need to run back to your corpse, a ‘corpse run’.

Now you’re ready to start Building on The Basics