WoW’s a big game, and it features plenty of nooks and crannies for everyone to explore and tuck away favorite tricks. With millions of players and years of development behind it, the World of Warcraft is a lot for a new player to grasp all at once. Even after playing on your own for a while, a player who isn’t plugged into the community can miss little techniques that veteran players take for granted. These little hidden features aren’t obvious if no one tells you or you don’t read about them on fan sites or news sources.
Without further comment, let’s dive into 8 tips the veterans use in their gameplay. They might help you out.
8. Get some addons. Addons are an obvious go-to method for improving your gameplay, but you’d be surprised how little documentation exists about them inside the game. Essentially, addons allow you to customize your game, change the UI, and otherwise tackle difficult tasks a little more easily. Addons can do many, many different things, so you’ll have to experiment and explore. Addon Spotlight is a good place to start. As a note, I’d caution you not get too reliant on addons and let your skills atrophy; addons are useful, but don’t let them become a crutch.
7. Grab a partner. Guilds are like big families who kill bosses together, laugh together, and wipe together. But unless you’re tearing up the progression charts, you’ll probably still need to run a few heroic dungeons each week to max out your valor points.
It helps to have partner when you’re doing these dungeons. Even if both of you are DPS (and thus still get long queue times), then you’ll benefit from simply having a friendly face in the PUG. A partner adds a bit of comfort to the PUG and will hopefully make things go faster.
6. Don’t enchant items you’ll replace soon. If you’re leveling a new character to the endgame, it can be tempting to spend a bunch of cash on every single blue and green drop that you equip. Don’t do it; you’ll be replacing that sucker soon enough, and there’s no reason to feed that cash to the AH monster.
At this point, even purple gear at item level 359 should be considered suspect. Take the time to check out what gear you’ll get from Molten Front dailies and valor points. All that stuff is probably worth the cash to enchant, but anything with a lower ilevel is dubious.
Caveat: All bets are off if you’re wearing those blue and green items into a raid. Work with your raid group about that stuff.
5. Don’t buy anything from the auction house. The auction house is an awesome location of player-vs.-player combat, with the perfectly fair goal of robbing you as blind as possible. If you can avoid buying anything from the auction house, avoid it. In a single phrase, “There be dragons here.”
WoW’s economy is inhabited by a class of players who want nothing more than to make as much money with as little work as possible. That’s the dream, anyway, and it’s fair. To accomplish that natural goal, professional AH players ratchet the prices on everything as high as possible. They seek to dominate the market and make everything as expensive as possible. Gaming the auction house isn’t cheating or anything like that, but it doesn’t gel well with your casual or newbie playstyle. Sell your stuff on the auction house, but avoid buying from it unless you absolutely must. Even then, make sure the item you want is worth spending money on.
4. Use a damage meter. I know. I advise against addons all the time, since I believe they turn into a crutch that retards your skills. I carefully caveat that idea, though; some areas of the game absolutely demand addons, because Blizzard provides no functionality for those portions. Damage meters are an example of that.
While I loathe the DPS-obsessed mentality you usually find on the official forums, the fact of the matter is that you can’t improve your damage if you don’t know what it is in the first place. Nothing in the game tells you what your damage is like, and how can you improve it if you can’t see it in the first place? Without a damage meter, a mage auto-firing a wand could darn well believe he’s doing top DPS. While I caution you not to develop damage meter tunnel vision, you should have an idea of your numbers in the first place.
3. Click targets to reduce accidents. Everyone knows you can just hit Tab to target. Slapping Tab quickly lets you cycle through enemy targets fast. The only problem is that it’s easy to too tab too quickly and accidentally pull extra enemies.
Click targeting will clean that up. Depending on your speed with the mouse, you won’t lose much DPS time by click targeting instead of using Tab. However, even if you lose a second or so while click targeting your enemy, it will definitely be safer.
That being said, of course, tabbing when all the local mobs are already aggro is just fine.
2. Item levels count. In general, gear has two scales of quality. Green, blue, and purple is one scale, while raw item level is the other scale. As a general rule, gear is always better with a higher item level. Purple gear is the best within the same tier of item level, while green is the worst. When in doubt, you usually want to go with the highest item level possible.
1. Dying isn’t much of a penalty. Don’t be afraid to die. It’s disappointing, and you can accrue some very mild repair costs. But especially as a lower-level player, don’t be afraid to die. Some of the best moments in the game come when you say, “I can’t believe I lived through that,” and you can’t get to those moments without risking death.
What’s your tip?
The nice thing about this column is that we get plenty of veteran players who stop by and offer advice. So what about it, you guys? What advice do you give new players that isn’t documented in the game itself?
Visit the WoW Rookie Guide for links to everything you need to get started as a new player, from how to control your character and camera angles when you’re just starting out, to learning how to tank, getting up to speed for heroics and even how to win Tol Barad.