If you are a new player in the World of Warcraft, you have many decisions to make. If you haven’t already, you need to choose a server, a faction, and a race. These are all covered in another of my articles, which can be found here. The most important decision you will make in choosing a character, though, is which class your character will be. What follows is a description of each class, along with a breakdown of any special abilities of each class.
This class was new with the release of Wrath of the Lich King. The catch with this class is that you must have another character of at least level 55 in order to create a Death Knight. Once you do have the chance to create one though, it is absolutely worth it. The character you create will start at level 55, and the starting area of the Death Knight is fantastic. They are able to take damage very well, and can wield most melee weapons. They also get Death-Knight only mounts and weapon enchants, as well as the ability to walk and ride mounts on water.
This is one of the most versatile classes in the game. The Druid is in tune with nature, and because of this, Druids learn over their leveling how to shape shift into a number of different forms. They can stay in their Night Elf or Tauren Forms and function as a caster with a small arsenal of healing spells. They can become a cat, using energy to deal a good amount of damage. They can also become a bear, able to deal with multiple enemies and take good amounts of damage. They also have Druid-only flight forms, since the Druid is able to shape shift into a bird. They also have an aquatic form, good for getting across rivers and lakes faster than any other class.
One of the major advantages to this class is the ability to train and use pets in game. These pets can help the hunter (who is already great at throwing out damage from long range) do an additional amount of damage. The arsenal of weapons a Hunter may use is quite vast, though the controlling of pets may present some troubles for first-time players.
The mage is arguably the best pure damage class available in World of Warcraft. Though mages are usually restricted to fighting one enemy at a time, they are able to make their own food and water without reagents and therefore bounce back from a fight with relative ease. They are able to use their magical ability to teleport and portal players to the major cities of the game.
Paladins, like Druids, are a very versatile class. They are able to take and deal out damage, as well as heal themselves and other players when needed. They are able to buff up other players with one of a multitude of Blessings, and therefore are a great asset to any dungeon or raid group. They also learn to summon a Paladin specific Warhorse mount (that looks pretty spiffy if I may say so myself).
Priests are the epitome of Healers in the World of Warcraft. While learning how to heal properly is without a doubt a difficult task, it is worthwhile in a group where a healer is needed. They have a few tricks up their sleeves in dealing with multiple enemies, and have a few very powerful buffs. Priests need to watch out, though, because they are not able to take damage very well, and tend to die easily if no one else is there to take the hits.
The Rogue class is the classic ‘dirty dealings’ class in WoW. They are billed to be working only for themselves, and in doing so will play sides to benefit numero-uno. They are able to use a stealth ability and not be seen by other player or non player characters, and have the unique ability to use the lock picking skill, opening chests and doors that other classes cannot. They do a great deal of damage, but are not able to wear more than leather armor, making them take a hit harder than other melee classes.
Shamans are a great class for dealing damage and healing. They have the ability to acquire pets, have the ability to walk on water, and have a Ghost Wolf shape shift form for faster travel. The main learning curve in playing a Shaman is getting used to using Totems. Finding the right combination for each in game instance can be challenging, but is well worth the effort.
The Warlock is, in very basic terms, the combination of a Hunter and a Mage. One great asset to the Warlock is soul stones and health stones that one can use to gain health or resurrect. Dealing in the Demonic, they are able to deal great amounts of Shadow and Fire damage, as well as call a minion of their choosing out of the shadows to their aid. Though Warlocks cannot take a hit as well as some of the other casting classes, the Voidwalker minion at the Warlocks disposal is a great aid in dealing with multiple enemies at a time. The Warlock also gets its own special mount, a fiery Dreadsteed that looks quite formidable.
The Warrior class in WoW is absolutely priceless when it comes to taking damage. The amount of Stamina available to a Warrior allows him to take a ridiculous amount of damage and still somehow still be in the fight. While they cannot heal, they are able to manage the Hate of multiple mobs at once, and have a plethora of melee skills, as well as the ability to use all game weapons, save wands.