One of the most important decisions when playing an MMORPG is picking your character. It is not only what you are going to spend your majority of time on but also how you define your personality in the game. There are many approaches to choosing your character. It could be class fantasy, role preferences, or just what it is in demand with the community or group that you play with. There is no right or wrong way to choose your classes and obviously, you don’t have to stick with just one, plenty of players play multiple characters; however, if you are new or returning to the game from a long time hiatus, here is a guide that might help YOU to choose your next WoW character.
Before picking your class, there are some basic terminologies to go over with that might help you.
There are two factions in World of Warcraft, Alliance, and Horde, at war with each other. There is no cross-faction, so if you play Alliance and your friend plays Horde, you guys won’t be able to play with each other, so be sure to coordinate before creating your character.
There are 12 races to each faction (six main races, 5 allied races and pandaren being able to choose between). Brand new players will have access to the six main races + pandaren in the beginning and can unlock the allied races through quests and achievement. Each race has unique racial abilities and access to different sets of classes. Not all races can choose all classes, so keep that in mind when choosing your race.
Before we jump into classes and specializations, I think knowing the role in WoW can be helpful. There are three roles within the game of WoW. The first and probably the most popular one in the game is a DPS (damage per second or a damage dealer). As a dps player, your goal is to deal as much damage as possible to your target. DPS is separated into melee and ranged dps.
The second role is a healer, a person who uses abilities to keep allies alive during combat, whether it’s in battleground or dungeon/raid. They can also mass resurrect allies after combat.
The final role is Tank. In WoW, this term refers to a player whose job is to protect allies (dps and healer) from taking damage by absorbing the damage from the monster. By using ability such as taunt, the tank makes sure the mob is focusing their attention on themselves while the dps can dish out as much damage as they can.
Classes & Specialization
A total of 12 classes are available and within each class there are specializations that you can choose from. Specialization or Spec for short, each class has its own set of specs that offers different skills and abilities that further diversified the class. For example, a paladin has three different specs, protection, retribution and holy. Each of those specs fulfills a role in the game. Players can switch specialization at will, so pick the class that speaks to you the most instead of the specialization.
Here is a simple description of each class available in World of Warcraft and their specs and role. If you want to know more about each class, you can head to the official World of Warcraft website and learn more about them.
Death knight, former generals of the Lich King, now using their class specific resources, runic power to aid in the battle against the jailer in Shadowlands. Death Knight has three specs, Unholy, Frost and Blood. The first two being melee dps and Blood being the tank spec for Death knights.
Followers of Illidan Stormrage, the first demon hunter, wielding the power of demon, the demon hunters seek to destroy the Burning Legion and prevent another attack on Azeroth. Demon Hunters can choose between Vengeance (Tank) and Havoc (DPS).
Druids are the guardian of nature in Azeroth. With the power of nature and Elune, the moon goddess, the druids can shapeshift into different forms to assist in battles. There are four specializations that a Druid can choose.
Guardian – the tank spec, where the druids protect their allies in the form of a great bear.
Restoration – the healer spec, where the druids prevent allies from fatal damages with nature spells. The druid can do this in their humanoid form or in a form of a Tree.
Balance – the ranged dps spec, druids deal out damage to their target with celestial power.
Feral – the melee dps spec, in the form of a feline, the druid lacreates their target with their claw and causes them to bleed over time of the fight.
An iconic class of all MMO, hunters prefer bow, gun and spear in World of Warcraft to bring down their enemy. Hunters can also tame animals as pets to assist them in battles. Hunters have access to three dps specs:
Beast Mastery – dealing damage from at range with a focus on using their pet to deal damage. Beast Mastery hunters can utilize two pets in their battle.
Marksmanship – another ranged dps spec for hunter, but they focus on outputting damage through their perfect aim.
Survival – the only melee spec for hunter, they prefer spear and explosives over their range weapon to take out their enemy.
Another iconic mmorpg class, mage is the master of arcane magic. Wield the power of fire, frost and arcane, mage abolish their enemy with ease. All three specs of Mage are ranged dps with their main school of magic as their specialization names. Mage can choose between Fire, Frost and Arcane.
Monks are the master of martial arts. By using weapons mixed with their love for brew and tea, they take down their enemy with style. Monk has three specializations to choose from, Windwalker (melee dps spec), Brewmaster (tank) and Mistweaver (healer).
Paladins are the defenders of the Light. They repel evil with their heavy armor and their strong faith in the Light. Paladin can choose three specs: Retribution (melee dps), Protection (Tank) and Holy (healer).
Priests can choose between the power of Light and Void to assist their teammates or deal damage to their enemies. Priests have access to two healing spec as Holy and Discipline and one damage spec as Shadow.
The master of stealth and poison, rogues excel in dealing damage from the shadow and take down their enemy before they can react. Rogue has access to three melee dps specializations, Assassination, Subtley and Outlaw.
Shaman brings destruction to their enemy with the power of elementals. Shaman controls the very power of elements and is able to infuse those powers into their weapons, totems, and shields to aid them in battles. Shaman has access to two DPS spec, Enhancement (melee) and Elemental (ranged), and a healer spec, Restoration.
Warlock is the cloth and ranged counterpart of Demon Hunter. Warlock has three dps specializations, Destruction, Affliction and Demonology.
Warriors are the weapon master and the wielder of brute force. Instead of relying on magic, warriors believe in raw strength and their weapons. Warriors has two melee dps specs, Arms and Fury. Warriors can also choose to be the Protection specialization and wield a heavy shield to protect their allies.
When it comes to choosing a class in World of Warcraft, many factors can be considered. There are many choices that a player needs to decide how they will fit their interests and playstyles. Though not all classes are equal in terms of utility and output, each specialization is unique in their own way. While it is enticing to choose one of the “meta’ classes, it may not be the best choice. Instead, I believe you should play the class that you connect with the most because you will have much more fun in the class that you enjoy.