Or So You Want A New Addiction But Don’t Know Where To Start
Since Blizzard has decided to make World of Warcraft (WoW) free for new players until level 20, many have signed up and many more are now on the fence. The only thing I can say to the fence sitters is, “what’s the worst that can happen?” It’s a free game. Also, you should get down from there. That has to hurt, and I don’t want ass prints on my fence. To aid in the conversion, here’s a three-part guide to give a basic explanation of the sides, races, realms, classes, and game play so you can have the best experience possible when you start to get into the game. I’ve decided to use my years of studying cultural anthropology and my time in the nerd culture to give a broad overview of World of Warcraft and its components (read: time and a lot of money well spent for the greater good). This week’s article covers the races that compose either side as well as the realm types you can play in. Next week will be the different classes and the final week will be game play.
SIDES: As any old Warcraft gamer (or anyone with a finger on the nerd pulse) knows, there are two sides in WoW: the Alliance and the Horde. Each side is composed of six playable races of beings, each with their good and bad points. Also, each side hates the living piss out of the other one (and reinforcesJay's article)
Yep…That’s a human…
Not much to say about them, same as you or I. These humans just live in a world with other humanoids, battle a huge-ass dragon every now and then, and can throw fire and magic from their hands if they’re special enough. A lot of people starting out (read: Fucking n00bs!) and gold farmers (Read: STFU pulls out banhammer) on the Alliance side play this race before moving onto other options because it’s the most comfortable and closest to a large Alliance city.
Yeah, that dagger and bikini will really keep you safe while adventuring through the world.
Night elves are basically slender humans with funny ears. Think Lord of The Rings Orlando Bloom with bigger ears and darker skin and you’ve got the picture, for both males and females. Most of the players using this race can be broken down into three types: The Serious RPing Assholes, Female Gamers (although from my experience, I do know that women also play a lot of the other races), and The Slut. The Slut keeps a female elf character with no clothes in a large city to dance for people and to “have sex” with other players for in game money. Most of the time The Slut is played by a male player, fyi, for any of you with insecurities about your masculinity or anyone that wants to experiment with that idea.
Two feet tall and will kick your ass 18 ways to Sunday
Gnomes, for the most part, are the equivalent of internet trolls. The players are usually good at playing their class, but the only reason they chose the gnome race was to laugh as their small statured character runs around yours. They typically have the oh-so-mature names as “darknuts” or “smallsack” or really anything that is a reference to their genitalia, which by no means shows their penis envy to the world. On occasion, you’ll meet a decent player that uses the gnome for the intelligence boost the race receives and makes a great magic user. Good luck finding them, though, in a sea of players that are yelling obnoxious phrases and misspelling every other word.
By no means was this influenced by Lord of The Rings, by no means at all…
Players who use dwarves tend to be a bit more stable. Every now and then, when players get bored, they’ll get their character drunk and run around cities mostly naked (which from what I heard is pretty much a normal episode of Jersey Shore), but other than that, they usually play the game well and usually can keep up in raids.
This guy dares you to make fun of his purple dress.
Introduced in The Burning Crusades (first expansion pack for WoW, not a journey to find the cure for gonorrhea), the Draenei are the first race to really break the Alliance’s “Let’s have humans with different heights” mentality. They’re aliens that crash landed onto Azeroth (read: WoW’s world) and were immediately attacked by Blood Elves (more on them later). The Alliance saved their asses and now these hentai villain looking bastards work for the humans. The semi-serious player usually uses this race to make paladins or mages and tends to do well in raids and battlegrounds.
Scott Howard, this isn’t. And for anyone who got that, you’re awesome and 10 points to whatever house you want.
Worgen were introduced in the third (and latest) expansion pack for WoW. These are humans that can turn into werewolves, essentially. They look cool, but their players tend to be either an asshole that takes things too seriously or a 12-year-old kid who can’t stop making furry jokes. This race is really hit-or-miss on the play style, so be careful when interacting.
This slack jawed, blank eyed orc was the Horde’s leader and I, for one, shall follow him always.
The Orcs are the leaders of The Horde. They’re the equivalent of humans in that it’s the basic race that many first timers use. This means that orcs are usually the ones running around towns yelling for help because they don’t know how to do things like use potions or use emoticons in chat. There’s a lot of newbs and a lot of experienced players making for a diverse race and the stupid ones are usually weeded out quickly.
Yeah, I-wait, what?
For some inexplicable reason, the trolls have Rastafarian accents and are the token stoners of The Horde. The more laid back gamers (and usually the more helpful gamers) play trolls and usually play as shamans (more on that next time). The only X factor (read: Simon Cowell is disappoint) for troll characters is how baked the player is at the time they’re trying to help you. There’s a possibility that you can ask a simple question, such as the location of a town and get a paragraph long rambling sentence about how baked they are and they think the town is near that place that looks like that one other place.
For only five bucks he’ll keep the jockstrap on, or take it off. Either way it’s five bucks.
The Tauren were saved by the orcs from dick humans in the Alliance and swore allegiance to The Horde. They’re the biggest race in the game and are pretty hippie-like. They specialize in herbology and commune with nature. However, that doesn’t mean that they ignore their strength bonus, the biggest of all the Horde races, and won’t punch you in the face with an axe when they feel like it. Players tend to be easy going and helpful is you ask them nicely for information. These players also tend to have a pun fetish (ahem Jay) and usually have “moo,” “cow,” or some other bovine reference in their name.
My, grandmother, what lovely bones you have.
The Undead, if played right, can be an epic in-game experience for you. All you got to do is start up a human, play for a couple of hours, get killed, then log and start up an undead character with a similar name and garb, because the undead are literally just dead humans. Why they didn’t keep to their side once they came back is unknown to me, but I’m sure there’s a bigger WoW nerd out there that can answer that for you. Probably goes without saying, but usually the metal heads play this race and have a lot of Iron Maiden references at hand for when they’re playing.
Oh yeah, you don’t read “stuck up bitch” at all.
Looks just like The Alliance’s Elf, but pale and much more prissy. These guys were apparently harvesting something valuable when the Draenei crashed and messed up their day, so they killed the hell out of them and joined up with The Horde. This race is usually played by the RPers and whores who want to make in game money without going out to work for it (because where’s the fun in playing a game when you can act like a whore to get people to pay attention to you like you wish they did in real life?). Those that actually play this race tend to do well in most situations; you just got to weed out the sluts.
“We represent the SHUT THE FUCK UP Guild, sister to the Lollipop Guild.”
With that brief (and believe me, I do mean brief) introduction to the races and the interactions both by the races and players, it’s time to move on to the realms (read: Please no more writing about 12 races, my fingers are bleeding).
Once installed, you have the option of playing on one of four server types (or “realms”). Each one takes a unique style to play the game.
Player Vs. Player These realms are very unfriendly to new players. The people on these servers know exactly what they’re doing most of the time and are working on getting the best gear to pwn their enemies. Also, a lot of high level players tend to spend their free time in the low level areas of the other side and slaughtering everything in a worse manner than Anakin did to the Younglings. Only when you’re more experienced should you go here.
Here is a typical Tuesday afternoon on a PVP realm
Player Vs. Environment (PVE) This realm type is the most friendly to new players. The douchebags that try to kill low level players are mostly stunted from doing so because Player Vs. Player (or PVP) is turned off for the majority of the play time.
Yep, this is the life.
Only when your dumbass wanders into enemy cities or when you decide you’re feeling too good about yourself and enter into battlegrounds and arenas where you’re pitted against the other side, do you feel the annoyance of being killed in five seconds and your corpse being sat on, nuts right to its face.
Oh yeah, this is playing fair. There’s no way I can’t get out of the city full of guards AND being watched by 2 players.
Role Play (RP) This is where WoW gets a bit too weird for me, personally. RP realms are populated by two kinds of people. The first kind are players that want to have an in depth experience to the point where they only talk in a certain dialect (usually old English) and make with the sexing a lot, but in such a way that even the most hardcore sex addict would look at them funny. The other part of RP realms are trolls with nothing better to do so they try to make RPers break character and talk in a normal dialect or log off. This player usually “TaLKs Leik ths dUde!!!11!!one!” in chat and is around for a very short time.
“Wait- is this bestiality or just nature?” “Doesn’t matter, about to have sex.”
Role Play Player Vs. Player. Also known as Utter Fucking Chaos. These realms tend to be populated by both the asshole players that are on a gear grab and the players that get their jollies off by cybering in game. I rarely use these servers since if I’m not being killed by jackass level 80 human paladins, I’m being chased around by “women” trying to flirt with me.
“Shall we cyber or fight?”
Next week, classes and game play will be covered. But for now, any questions or comments? Go ahead and ask or give me your thoughts on this article or anything else.