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World of Warcraft Classic Beginners Guide Classes

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Hi guys! Welcome to the World of Warcraft Classic Beginners guide. In this post, I’ll be focusing on classes. This is a long post, so you’ve been warned!

As I mentioned previously, you can choose to play on the Horde or the Alliance. You can read the first post in the beginner’s guide series for Classic WoW. After you make the choice of what faction you’d like to play, then you must choose a race and class.

Each race has their own racial abilities. I’ll touch on each one briefly but the purpose of this post is to help you choose a class. The races are mostly a cosmetic choice unless you’re going to participate in PvP (player vs. player) combat and environments. However, you’re unable to change your race in Classic like you can in Retail WoW, so be sure whichever race you choose you’re going to be happy with it.

And, if there’s something you’d like me to cover in my World of Warcraft Classic Beginners guide, let me know in the comments. I’d like to remind you this Classic WoW beginners guide is only meant to get you started. For a complete overview of each faction, race, and class, I’ll list sources in the summary.

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World of Warcraft Classic Beginners Guide: An Overview of Races: Horde

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If you’re For the Horde! then you may want to know what the differences are between the races. I’m not going to get into the story (lore) in this post, as I’m focused on the gameplay.

All World of Warcraft Classic Beginners should know that there are eight races in total. Four on the Alliance and four on the Horde. To play in the Horde, you can choose to be either an Orc, Troll, Undead, or Tauren.

Orcs are strong and filled with honor. In PvP, they have an ability called Hardiness which makes it harder to stun them. It’s a good ability to have if you’re fighting against a player playing a Rogue.

Also, Orcs have abilities such as Blood Fury, which increases melee attack. They have an ability called Command, which means hunter and warlock pets have a 5% damage increase. Orcs also have Axe Specialization, which means their skill with Axes and Two-Handed Axes are increased by 5.

The Orcs make great hunters in PvP due to the Hardiness ability. Hunters are fast and agile, so it’s a great choice if you learn to master the class. But, hunters take skill to play well, I’ll get into that below.

An Overview of Races: Horde Continued

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Next, I’m going to briefly touch on Trolls. The Trolls have many tribes but only the Darkspear Tribe is in the Horde during Classic, and the Trolls shared a starter zone with the Orcs. Trolls have an ability called Berserking which is great in PvE (player vs. environment) encounters.

Berserking increases attack and casting speed. This cooldown is great for caster classes such as mages, priests, or shamans. Trolls also have Beast Slaying which increases their damage against beasts by 5%.

Also, Trolls have Regeneration which increases their health regen by 10%. They also have Bow Specialization, which increases their skills with bows by 5%, and Throwing Specialization which increases their skill with throwing weapons by 5%.

Now, we move on to the Tauren. The noble Tauren are a strong race with shamanistic roots, so they have powerful ties to nature. Tauren has an ability called War Stomp which is great for tanks because it stuns up to 5 enemies within 8 yds.

The Tauren also has Cultivation which increases Herbalism skill by 15%. This racial can help you make money with the Herbalism profession. Tauren also has Endurance which increases their health by 5%, and Nature Resistance which is increased by 10.

The final Horde race is the Undead. In PvP, the Undead have a cool ability called the Will of the Forsaken. This allows the Undead to have immunity from the charm, sleep, and fear effects.

Cannibalize is an ability the Undead have which helps them regen their health faster. They also have increased shadow resistance by 10%, and their Underwater Breathing lasts 300% longer than other races.

Classic WoW Beginners Guide: An Overview of Races: Alliance

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Alliance races in Classic are Human, Night Elf, Dwarf, and Gnome. Humans have a racial trait called Diplomacy which increases their reputation gain with factions by 10%. This is a great racial if you’re trying to gain rep quicker.

Humans also have Perception which increases stealth detection for 20 secs. They also have something called the Human Spirit which is good for casters, because it increases spirit by 5%.

Humans also have Mace Specialization and Sword Specialization. These racial traits increase their skills with Maces, Two-Handed Maces, Swords, and Two-handed Swords by 5%.

Next, we’re going to talk about the Gnomes. The Gnomes live in the city of Ironforge with the Dwarfs, so the races share a starter area in Classic.

Gnomes are obsessed with tinkering, so they’re always inventing new technology. This is why they have Engineering Specialization as a racial, which increases their skill in the Engineering profession by 5%.

They also have Expansive Mind which increases their intellect by 5%, which is great for caster classes like Mages and Warlocks. For Gnomes Arcane Resistance is increased, and they have Escape Artist which helps them escape immobilization and stun effects.

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An Overview of Races: Alliance Continued

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Now, we’re going to talk about the Night Elves. The elves are an ancient race from the continent of Kalimdor.  Since the Night Elves are close to nature, they have an increased Nature Resistance by 10.

When Night Elves die, they can turn into a Wisp, which grants them a 50% increased movement speed. In Classic, it can take a while to get back to your body when you die. Honestly, no player wants to die, but if you do, at least Night Elves can find their corpse faster.

The Night Elves also have Shadowmeld which helps them slip into the shadows, making it hard to detect them. Night Elves who are rogues and Druids are much harder to detect when using both Shadowmeld and Prowl.

Lastly, the Night Elves have an ability called Quickness which increases their dodge chance by 1%

The final Alliance race is the Dwarfs. In Classic, the Dwarfs from Ironforge (the Kingdom of Khaz Modan) were in the Alliance. Dwarves are strong and sturdy, which makes up for their short stature.

Their best racial is by far Stoneform, because it grants immunity to bleed, poison, and disease effects, while also increasing armor by 10%. Stoneform is a good racial for PvP.

Dwarves love guns, so they have increased skills in Gun Specialization by 5. Since Dwarves come from the snowy lands of Dun Morogh, they have an increase in Frost Resistance by 10.

And their final racial is Find Treasure, which helps the Dwarfs sense nearby treasure by having it appear on the minimap.

World of Warcraft Classic Beginners Guide: Classes

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Now, that we’ve covered the eight races, let’s get into the nine available classes in Classic. Each faction had one class restricted to it, so only Horde could be Shamans, and only Alliance could be Paladins.

What you first need to know is that different classes fill different roles in group settings. We have three roles Tank, DPS (damage per second), and Healer.

When you choose a class, try and imagine what type of group role you’d like to fill. Tanks are the strongest members of the party. Their job is to grab the attention of enemy mobs and taunt those mobs to attack the tank.

DPS (damage per second) classes are focused on dealing as much damage as possible in an encounter. If the DPS is too low, sometimes the group may struggle to kill a boss.

The final role is Healer. Healing classes are focused on keeping the party alive. Without Healers a group can’t run a dungeon or a raid. 

Classic WoW: Overview of Classes: Tanks

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Tanks take on a huge responsibility in group settings. If you’re more of a solo player then maybe being concerned about tanking, healing or DPS doesn’t concern you and you’ll be able to choose whichever class you want. But, I’m going to go over each class type, and which classes fit that type just in case.

Classes that can tank are Warrior, Druid, and Paladin. These classes are strong and take on a protective role in groups. Every race can play a Warrior, but only Night Elves and Tauren can play Druids, and only the Alliance can play Paladins.

A tank may fit your personality if you like to lead. Players who’re good at leading and wish to protect their allies are suited to be tanks.

Tank: Warriors

Warriors are your basic combat warrior class. They’re slow to level. You’ll have to stop and eat to regen your health often as you quest. Warriors don’t wear plate armor until level 40.

It’s a good idea to choose Mail items which fit your class spec, rather than to choose Cloth or Leather because those armor pieces won’t protect you as well.

A Warrior’s base stats are Health and Rage. Warriors need armor which increases these primary stats.

The Warrior is a master at weaponry and wields anything except wands. They have three talent trees called Fury (DPS), Arms (DPS), and Protection (tanking spec). Warriors have stances that make the class interesting to play.

These stances include Battle Stance, Defensive Stance, and Berserker Stance. Battle Stance is available at level 1 and is the primary way the Warrior does damage from a low level.

Defensive Stance provides tanking abilities that increase your threat. To acquire the Defensive Stance, the Warrior must embark on a quest at level 10.

Berserker Stance increases critical hit chance but causes the Warrior to take increased damage. This stance becomes available at level 30.

Tank: Druids

Druids can only be played by Night Elves and Tauren, as they have a close relationship with nature. The Druid is a hybrid class, which means the class can Tank, DPS, or Heal. Cloth and Leather armor are what Druids wear. Leather is stronger than Cloth, so always choose Leather armor if it increases your stats.

The Druids are also shapeshifters. They can change into a Bear Form or Dire Bear Form (tanking form), Aquatic Form (which increases their swim speed), Travel Form (which helps them travel faster), Cat Form (their primary melee form similar to a Rogue), and Moonkin Form (their primary casting form).

To be a tank as a Druid, you have to play in Bear Form. The Bear Form is similar to Warriors because the Druid gains a taunt spell and a stun to interrupt spell casting. But, unlike the Warrior, Druids don’t have different stances.

In Bear Form, Druids gain the abilities Swipe, Growl, Demoralizing Roar, Bash, Maul, Enrage, Frenzied Regeneration, and Challenging Roar. When Druids shapeshift, they may have different abilities depending on which role they’re filling at the time.

The Druid talent trees are Balance (spellcasting), Feral Combat (cat form), and Restoration (healing). Druids are able to use staves, daggers, fist weapons, and one and two-handed maces.

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Tank: Paladin

In this World of Warcraft Classic Beginners Guide, we’re now going to talk about Paladins. The Paladins are a class of holy warriors that were only playable by the Alliance in Classic. Humans and Dwarves were the races who could play Paladins.

Paladins are also a hybrid class. They’re able to Tank, Heal, or DPS, but most groups primarily used them as a healer. The holy warriors also gain class mounts at level 40 for free, and level 60 by doing a quest and paying a hefty amount of gold.

These holy warriors learn to wear plate armor at level 40. I would suggest to only wear mail armor to level 40 when you can because mail is stronger than cloth or leather.

A Paladin’s base stats are health and mana. Always make sure the armor they wear increases their stats. Paladin’s have three talent trees to pick from. The talent trees are Retribution (DPS), Protection (tank), and Holy (healing). Weapons available to the Paladin include two-handed swords, two-handed maces, two-handed axes, and polearms

When a Paladin is in a group, they have passive buffs called Aura’s which help the team. Paladins can also cast Blessings on the group, but only one blessing can be active at a time.

Classic Wow Beginners Guide: An Overview of Classes: DPS (Damage Per Second)

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DPS classes make up the meat of dungeon and raid groups. A dungeon group has one tank, three DPS, and one healer. Depending on how large the raid group is will determine the amount of each type of player. For example, in Retail WoW, a 25-man raid group has two tanks, about 5 or 6 healers, and about 15 DPS.

When the DPS is too low in a group, some boss encounters will be challenging. There will be encounters a group can’t complete if the DPS isn’t up to par. To increase your DPS output, it’s important to choose good talents, have the appropriate armor and item level, and to make sure you know your rotation.

All DPS classes and talent specializations only focus on putting out damage. Never try and pull aggro (threat) from the tank in a dungeon or raid, or the party may wipe (die). Be careful not to pull aggro, and then have the healer take too much damage. If the tank or healer dies, then the group will most likely wipe.

Some DPS classes have pets or minions. It’s important to keep an eye on your pet and know where it is at all times. Pets and minions can sometimes pull aggro from the tank, causing a wipe. I’m not saying don’t play a hunter, warlock, or mage, but be aware of your class’s common pitfalls so the party will succeed.

Also, both Mages and Hunters can auto-shoot by right-clicking on a target. If a Mage has a wand equipped, be careful not to right-click. Hunters have the same issue with guns and bows. You don’t want to be the player who wiped the group, so be careful.

Pure DPS classes are Mages, Warlocks, Hunters, and Rogues. These classes can’t heal or tank. A well-played Hunter may be able to off-tank or kite with a pet, and so can a well-played Warlock if they’re using a minion. In general, these classes are solely focused on DPS.

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DPS: Mages

Mages can be played by Humans, Trolls, Gnomes, and Undead. They wear cloth armor (like a t-shirt) so they’re veeeeeeery squishy. Remember, Mages are a ranged class. If your spells are red to a target, only step forward slightly until the spell turns white. The distance is far, but that’s what you want because you want to DPS the target down before they catch you.

Whenever I quest with a mage, I normally hug the sides of the map, and I stay close to trees. I try to only pull one mob (one enemy) at a time, and to make sure I always have an escape route behind me in case I need to run.

In a group setting a mage doesn’t need to worry about having an escape route. The tank should be holding aggro, and the healer will keep the group alive. What the mage needs to focus on is dealing as much damage as quickly as possible.

During a dungeon or raid, Mages are useful because they can provide the group with free food and water. Playing a Mage is also a great way to make gold, as Mages can teleport players to any major city. In Retail WoW, we have portals in Stormwind and Orgrimmar, but in Classic it wasn’t like that, so getting around was harder.

Mages’ primary stats are health and mana. Mages can use wands, daggers, staves, and swords. Their three talent trees are Arcane, Frost, and Fire. Classic gave all the classes more freedom to choose their talents. In Retail WoW, a frost mage is only a frost mage, but in Classic, you could also learn fire and arcane spells.

DPS: Rogues

Rogues are the master of stealth. These skilled assassins are hard to catch in PvP because they’re always hiding in the shadows. The class is cunning and knows when the best time is to strike.

Playable races for Rogues are Humans, Orcs, Trolls, Gnomes, Undead, Night Elves, and Dwarves. Their primary stats are health and energy. Rogues wear cloth and leather armor. Leather armor is always stronger than cloth.

If you come across a locked chest, Rogues are excellent at picking locks and picking pockets. They also create and buy poisons. To buy poisons, keep an eye out for Shady Vendors in the game. Rogues can deal with powerful DPS in both PvE and PvP combat.

The class can use Fist Weapons, Swords, Guns, Daggers, Bows, Maces, Crossbows, and Thrown. Rogues can be good in groups if they’re stealth ability is high. They can scout ahead and find mobs to pull, without aggroing a whole instance (dungeon or raid). Their three talent trees are Assassination, Subtlety, and Combat.

DPS: Hunter

Hunters are a unique class. If you prefer to play solo, they’re a great class to choose because they have a pet that can hold aggro. They’re close to nature and understand the beasts in the wilds. As a hunter, you won’t tame your first pet until you’re about level 10. Hunters have to remember to buy ammo for their gun or bow, or they risk not being able to attack from a range.

The races which can play Hunters include Trolls, Dwarves, Night Elves, Orcs, and Tauren. Classic WoW featured a Dwarven Hunter in it’s first cinematic. He was in the snowy mountainous hills of Dun Morogh with Ironforge in the distance. The dwarven hunter was wearing warm furs, and holding his gun, with his animal companion a bear, by his side.

Night Elves are a great choice for hunters because they’re rangers. They can also use shadowmeld to stealth because Hunters are agile, this can make them a formidable opponent in PvP.

All Hunters have to remember to control their pets in a group setting. Pets can hold aggro because they’re like the Hunters personal tank when they quest, but within a group setting, turn off Growl so that the tank doesn’t need to compete with the pet.

Hunters have the ability to auto-shoot and need to remember not to right-click on bosses unless the tank already has aggro. The Hunters primary stats are health and mana in Classic. Hunters can wear cloth, leather, mail (level 40) armor. Until the Hunter is level 40, be sure to wear leather armor when possible.

Their talent trees include Marksmanship, Beast Mastery, and Survival. Hunters are able to use Axes, Guns, Bows, Fist Weapons, Crossbows, Daggers, Swords, Thrown, Two-Handed Axes, Staves, Two-Handed Swords, and Polearms.

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DPS: Warlock

Warlocks were once mages. These casters were fascinated by demonic power, and some have chosen to work for the Burning Legion and others against. They have minions which are shackled to them against their will. They use the minion’s demonic power to aid their master (the Warlock) in battle.

Humans, Orcs, Gnomes, and Undead can be Warlocks. The class’s primary stat is health and mana. Warlocks are a great class to solo play with because they have their minion which can hold aggro, and create health stones to heal themselves. Warlocks are also handy in groups because they can cast a Ritual of Summoning, which summons team members to the instance.

They have a class mount that they can obtain through quests at level 40 and level 60. Warlocks wear cloth like Mages and Priests. This means they’re squishy! Their minion can act as a tank when they quest.

Their talent trees are Affliction, Destruction, and Demonology. For weapons, Warlocks can use wands, staves, daggers, and swords.

World of Warcraft Classic Beginners Guide: An Overview of Classes: Healer

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Healers provide support in a group. These casters are crucial in order to keep a party alive. Healing classes include Priests, Druids, Paladins, and Shamans. This final section will focus on Shamans and Priests.

Healer: Shaman

In this World of Warcraft Classic Beginners Guide, we’re going to now talk about the Shaman. The Shaman class was exclusive to the Horde in Vanilla WoW. If you’d like to play a Shaman your options are Tauren, Orc, and Troll. These spiritual casters are connected to elements like Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water. A Shaman is always focused on keeping the natural order. If the elements are out of line, a Shaman will try to help.

Mail armor is available to wear at level 40. Always try to wear leather armor until then when you can. Shamans are able to use totems in combat which can aid themselves, allies, or harm enemies. Totems are learned by questing, and you can have four totems active at a time.

Ghost Wolf is a unique ability available to Shamans. It’s similar to a Druid’s travel form so that the Shaman can travel faster through the world. Shamans have an ability called resurrection which allows them to resurrect themselves. They can also grant a group the ability to walk on water, and their Astral Recall ability gives the Shaman an extra hearthstone.

In Classic, Shamans are primarily used to heal within a group. Their talents are Restoration (healer), Elemental (DPS), and Enhancement (DPS).

Healer: Priest

Priests use the power of the holy light to heal their allies. They wear cloth armor only. So they’re squishy just like Mages. When playing a Priest as you level, always remember to cast your spells from a ranged distance. You want to kill the enemy (or at least have them at half health) before they can start chewing you up.

In a group setting, a Priest is protected by the tank. Priests can be played by Dwarves, Undead, Night Elves, Humans, and Trolls. Their primary stats are health and mana. The talent trees are Discipline (healing), Holy (healing), and Shadow (DPS). In combat, Priests can use wands, staves, One-Handed Maces, and Daggers.

A unique trait Priests have are the additional racial talents they add. Dwarves had Fear Ward (a friendly target can’t be feared) and Desperate Prayer which instantly heals the caster.

Night Elven Priests have Starshards (which rains star shards on the enemy and causes arcane damage), and Elune’s Grace (which reduces range damage).

Humans also had Desperate Prayer, and they had Feedback (it surrounded the Priest in a shield which protected them from bad spells).

Undead Priests had Devouring Plague (which placed a disease on the target and healed the Priest). They also had Touch of Weakness (which increased the Priests spell power when attacked by a melee enemy).

Priests don’t have a class mount, but they can obtain a special weapon at level 60 through a questline.

World of Warcraft Classic Beginners Guide: What Next?

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Don’t forget to check out the first post in the WoW Classic beginners guide. The third and fourth posts explain the story. You can find them here WoW Classic beginners guide story part 1, and the Classic WoW beginners guide story part 2.

Feel free to visit the difference between WoW Classic and retail WoW, and the best addons for WoW Classic. There are also helpful articles about the Professions in WoW Classic, the Seven Best Quest Chains in WoW Classic, the Most Interesting Zones in WoW Classic, and How to Make Gold in WoW Classic.

World of Warcraft Patch 8.2.5 Content Notes was released last week. The holidays are coming up fast, so feel free to visit the 23 must-have gifts for World of Warcraft fans. Want a more general list? Then check out the 22 must-have gifts for Video Gamers. WoW Classic has been a hit, so don’t miss the. BlizzCon is next month and we’ve got many juicy things to discuss. Check out the World of Warcraft Story so far, and the possible World of Warcraft Expansion leaks.

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