Ramblings of a Not-so-Elder Edainne
Posted March 1, 2010on:
Khi over at Tree Burglar suggested a wonderful topic for this Lunar Festival season: as an Elder of the game, what do you recommend for newbies coming into Azeroth for the first time?
I don’t see myself as an Elder. I’m not eternally calm, nor do I strut around with a moonbeam following my every movement (oh but to dream…). Heck, my main has NO influence over the natural world whatsoever; she’s a priest who was given holy powers by a band of interdimensional geometric shapes. When I entered Azeroth, I was guided by a knowledgeable warrior whose friends lavished me with kittens, moths, and prairie dogs; I leveled my priest as holy at a time healing was a stat on items because I had someone there to beat down the monsters for me.
I’m not really making myself look good here. Moving right along…
As Elder’s Assistant’s Sister’s Baker’s Apprentice Edainne, people usually only flock to me for advice when their cookies come out as flat little discs (hint: use a heaping tablespoon of baking powder!). But today, with Khi’s encouragement, I’m here to give novice players some advice to survive their first few adventures in Azeroth!
1. Never, ever buy white-level gear from a vendor. You don’t need the armor that badly. And while it may look cool, chances are you’re going to replace it the next time you hand in a quest. So save your hard earned silver and copper for things you really need, like training! The only thing that breaks this rule is ammunition, but that’s more of a consumable rather than equipment.
2. Set your hearth early and frequently until you make it to a major city. You might be able to get by if you’re a mage, because then you’ll be able to port yourself anywhere you’d like. But for all of us non-Twisting Nether travelers, setting your hearth is CRUCIAL. Otherwise, you might find yourself teleporting to the little beginning area every time you’re forced to use it. It helps to check for an inn keeper every time you make it to a new friendly outpost.
3. Know your tracking options! On your minimap, there should be a little bubble with some sort of icon in the middle of it. If you click on that bubble, you’ll be able to track everything from herbs and mining nodes to trainers and vendors. If you’re having a hard time finding someone who sells candles, or you don’t know where your bank is in a foreign city, this is the place to start.
4.Choose one talent tree and stick with it in the beginning. I know that the first tier of each tree seems to have so many exciting talents. But honestly, the talents just get better as you get deeper in each tree! Pick a tree you want to start exploring, and as you’re leveling fill out that tree until there are no longer talents you find interesting or useful. If you spread yourself too much at the beginning, you won’t be able to get the really awesome talents quickly (like the loveable Boomkin form or the ability to tame exotic pets).
5. Be polite in the wilds. Occasionally you’ll come across another adventurer questing in the same area as you. Be considerate of their experience. If they’re of the same faction, send a tell to the player (/w <player’s name>) to see if they would like to quest together so you don’t accidentally kill their targets. If they’re of the opposite faction, acknowledge them, and try not to hit the mobs they’re targeting.
6. Team up with other people from your realm! The looking for dungeon feature is a GREAT way to get groups together, especially in early content. But I recommend asking in your server’s looking for group or trade chat first. Even if you only get one or two responses, you may be able to find a new friend on the server to group with more regularly. Then the two (or three!) of you can comb the dungeon finders together, while also being available to help each other on group quests.
7. Explore! The World (of Warcraft) is an immense universe filled to the brim with countless experiences to be had. It’s up to you find them yourself. Take some time to run around places you were never sent to quest. You might just find your favorite fishing spot, or contemplation nook.
8. Experiment! Maybe you first started out with a squishy priest and hated every moment of it. Or the Undead starting zone just didn’t resonate with you. Try again! Play both factions. Try your hand at a melee dps or a caster. Maybe a tank is more your speed. Give roleplaying a whirl. Sign up for a heart-racing player versus player battle. There are so many options to your race and class and realm experience, it would be silly to have one bad experience and completely write off the entire game. Maybe in the end, WoW just isn’t the game for you, but can you honestly know until you’ve tried all it has to offer?
9. Pick up cooking and first aid. It might seem like a hassle to level it, but it’s always great to have band-aids and roasted meat around. The food has been (mostly) updated so whatever you eat will give you some sort of buff to make your experience a little bit easier, and even classes with heals can benefit from having a bandage in their backpack when their mana is low.
10. Be patient. Relax. It’s only a game. The first few levels might seem difficult, or even boring. But it gets better with time. The spells become more interesting, the game play mechanics begin to make sense. If you’re having trouble with something you can take a break and come back to it when you’re bigger or when your mind is clearer or when you’ve found someone to help. It will be there waiting for you.
And as a bonus, my final piece of advice:
11. Remember, you’re never alone. Sometimes when you’re playing in a world as massive as Azeroth, it can get a bit lonely. You might feel like you have no one to turn to or that it’s too intimidating to talk to people. It’s ok. I think we’ve all been there. But that’s what’s important to remember: we’ve all experienced it ourselves. Some of us forget this, and may treat you as disposable, but a great many of us haven’t. 9/10 times if you ask a question in your server’s general or trade chat, someone will answer you. Someone will try to help you. And if you’re reading this blog, or any other blog for that matter, you’re already one step ahead of the game. Blogs are a form of conversation, and most bloggers I know are happy (if not estatic) to help new players who have legitimate questions and concerns. Talk to us. We’re here.
And that’s all advice this apprentice can muster for today. How about you all? What tips would you give a budding WoW Enthusiast taking their first steps into a brand new world?
As a note: if you ever have a question for me, whether its about my preferences, my gaming style, healers in specific, healers in general, or raiding/leading, please feel free to ask away in the comments or to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org