So I’ve played a little World of Warcraft, but not much. I decided to start a new character and make notes of the experience of bringing a character up from level 1 as a relative newb. I just came off my trial account and have a couple characters under level 12. I haven’t made a rogue yet, so I’ll try that out.
It seems like the Alliance are the good guys and the Horde are the bad guys, even though the descriptions at the character creation screen don’t say so. While I think a Gnome or Elf might make a better Rogue, I’m still most comfortable making a Human character. Each race has its own advantages and an Elf might be the best choice here, but I don’t like to just play along stereotyped lines.
When creating your character you get quite a few choices of hair style, face, skin tones, and the like. There are differences in what you can configure depending on the race you choose. Settle on a race before you start changing things because changes are lost each time you choose a new race or gender. On my new character I had to take a short hairstyle and keep checking for piercings, since I wanted to have none. Then pick a new hairstyle if you like. Male humans get facial hair and Elves get markings to configure.
Usually, when you’re entering the world, you get a tip. The tips show up as a button with an exclamation mark in the bottom-middle of the screen. Pay attention to these – they can be time savers or things you’d never know without (gasp) interacting with other people.
For example: Shift-Right click to loot everything
As a human, I enter the world first in Northshire Abbey. This is part of Stormwind. There are plenty of beginner quests to start here. The first few revolve around killing some Kobolds and Wolves in the area immediately surrounding the Abbey. This will get you the first couple of levels. If you’re more interested in role-playing and not so much the hack-and-slash, just bear with it for a while and things will get better. The first little while though you’ll be doing a lot of sword swinging.
So I set in to take care of my first quest. Find Mashal McBride inside the Keep, then he sends me out on the real quest: kill 10 Kobold vermin in the woods. Yay. Often you’ll find in WoW that there are many quests you can accept at the same time. They all show up in a log that you can refer to and you’ll see as they’re completed. So I think if I wander around after accepting McBride’s mission, I can get a couple other jobs to do while I’m out in the woods. Maybe.
The mini-map in the top right corner will show a gold dot where there are people who want to talk to you. This is a quick way to find quests. Sure enough someone around behind the Abbey wants 8 pieces of tough wolf meat. There are wolves wandering around near the same area as the Kobolds. Killing some of them will let you loot the tough wolf meat from their corpses. This all sounds pretty gross to me, but I just think of the parts I don’t like as bits and the parts I like as story. Feel free to adapt to your own ethics as needed.
Okay, those two are all the quests I can find for now. So I’m going to set about my gruesome mission, but first I’d better make sure I have the tools to do the job. I’ve been promised some 25 copper and some boots or other once I’m done, but for now I’ve got no real armour and my only weapons are a worn dagger and 100 throwing knives. In my bag are a heartstone (more on that later) and 4 servings of cheese in case I feel weak. Great. Let’s go.
The quest from the wolf skinner gets some armour for me, so it sounds like that will make me tougher for the next quest. That means I’m going to find some wolves first. The beasties in WoW are given variations on their names based on their level. So all the level 1 wolves are Young Wolf. As I approach and prepare to attack my first wolf, I notice a couple other abilities that will help me out. The default attack with the dagger is bound to 1, the throwing knives are on 4 and on number 2 there’s a special attack called “Sinister Strike”. Sinister Strike costs 45 energy and does a little extra damage. The thing with special attacks is that for each class they use a kind of regenerating energy that’s unique to the class. For a Rogue it’s called Energy, for a Warrior it’s Rage, for mages and a couple other classes it’s called Mana. In any case it regenerates over time, so in battle it’s a use-it-or-lose-it oppurtunity. This isn’t so true at higher levels, but at a low level you get so little Energy and have so few ways to use it that you may as well burn it up. That means my simple strategy is to pick a target from a distance, then use the distance attack. My distance attack is the throwing knife. Then the enemy – the wolf – comes charging at me. So my next attack is the Sinister Strike since I have the energy. There’s no reason to save this attack for later since I want to kill the wolf as fast as I can. The Sinister Srike uses my dagger. So my character knows to automatically follow up with the normal dagger attack – I don’t have to keep pressing 1 over and over. I just wait until Sinister Strike is available again and use it. If I don’t have enough energy then my character knows to keep up the normal melee attacks. There’s one more attack on 3 that I don’t know yet but I’ll try it out and see if it fits in.
The next wolf I kill has a Ragged Leather Vest (don’t ask me where he carried it). When I get an item that looks useful, I open up my bag and my character view. The quick way to do this is with B (for bag) and C (for Character). Then I can put the mouse over my current armour and the new armour to compare their ratings. The other quick thing to do if you don’t care about anything but the armour rating is just look at your armour value and watch as you drag the new armour on. So in my case, near the bottom of the character window it said “Armor: 48”. Then I dragged the vest from my bag and dropped it on my character. Then the number changed from 48 to 79. Bigger is better, I’m done. If it’d been lower I’d just locate my old armour in the bag and drag it back. Couldn’t be simpler.
Next I find some Flimsy Chain Boots. What’s with the wolves wearing boots? In red under the name of the item it says “mail”. The red text means that for some reason my character can’t use the item. If you want to know the details just do a web search for the red text and your characters class or race. In this case I just guess that mail armour is too clunky and loud for a rogue. I’ll still hold on to it to sell. For some reason the mail armour is really quiet in the bag, it’s only loud if it’s going to be useful to you.
So I get a message after looting a wolf that says “Tough Wolf Meats: 8/8”. This means I’m done that things that quest needs and can go back to the person that gave it to me to complete it and collect my reward. If you want to see your progress toward a goal, press L and you’ll get a list of the quests you’re on and can see how far along you are with each. I go see Eagan Peltskinner and choose my reward by clicking the bracers then Complete Quest. Now I’ve got the bracers so I open the bag and my character (press B then C) and drag the bracers onto my character. Yay. I also got some experience points for that. Killing wolves also got me some experience points. Somewhere in there I got up to level 2.
There are a bunch of different kinds of merchants next to the Abbey. Since I’m carrying a bunch of stuff I have no use for, and I’ve got limited space in my backpack, I go to sell some junk. You can sell anything to the merchants and they’ll all give you the same price. The things you can buy from each merchant are different however. So sell off the wolf pelts, chipped fangs, and whatnot then go buy a weapon or some armour if you can afford it. I made enough to buy some cracked leather pants and boost my armour up a little. I’ll also need money for training to learn new skills, but I’m going to do that later. First, the Kobolds.
The Kobold Vermin aren’t really any tougher than the wolves were, just watch the level and make sure you don’t get swarmed. Some of the Kobolds are level 2 or 3, and at level 2 you can beat them, just pay attention to who you’re getting started with. As well, for this quest only Kobold Vermin (level 1 and 2) kills will count. You get experience and loot for those level 3 Kobold Workers, but they don’t count to the 10 for your quest.
On your way to find the Kobolds – just north of the Abbey – watch how many enemies you get close to. You don’t want to charge through a pack of wolves that are ready to attack you. Just keep your distance and kill the ones in your way as you head across the field. These first couple quests are pretty simple and will let you get a feel for combat in the game. Kill some stuff, get some loot, make it to level 3. After you’re done there’ll be some more quests. I go back to Marshall McBride and collect the 25 gold. Then he’s got a letter for me to deliver and he wants me to go kill 10 more Kobolds. This time they’re Kobold Workers (level 3) near the mine. I happen to know that there are still more tougher Kobolds inside the mine, but that’ll come after. Remember any workers you kill before you get the quest don’t count. I accept these two quests and go look for some more before heading out. Wilem wants me to go kill 12 of the Defias Brotherhood across the river to the east. I think these guys are a little tougher so I’ll save them for after. It helps to know that the reward will be a new dagger though, since that means I won’t spend my hard-earned loot buying my own.
Apparently Jorrik Kerriden, the recipient of the letter from McBride, is right around behind the Abbey. He’s also the Rogue Trainer – I should spend more time reading, I’m sure it said that somewhere and I skipped it. While I’m there I ask Jorrik for some training and find that Stealth only costs 10 copper. The other skills have to wait until I’m higher levels, up to 6. Okay, off to kill some Kobolds I guess.
There’s not much different now from killing the other stuff. I learned a couple things though. Now that the fights last a little longer I see there are dots along the enemy’s picture that turn red one by one as the battle goes on. The move on number 3 is Eviscerate. The damage that Eviscerate does depends on the number of red dots that are filled in. That’s what makes it a Finishing Move I guess. After it’s used, I didn’t see the red dots come back, so maybe it only works once per enemy.
The other thing I tried out is stealth. After I learned Stealth I see that I can activate it with the icon in the action bar at the bottom left side of the screen. When it’s on I’m hard for enemies to see. I used this to get back after killing the 10 Kobold Workers. This meant I could take a direct route and not worry about spending any time on the lower level Kobolds and Wolves wandering around. Speed in Stealth is halved, so there’s a balance to consider. While in Stealth (or when any buff is active), the buff icon shows up to the left of the minimap. To deactivate a buff like Stealth, just right-click that icon. Stealth is also deactivated if you attack someone.