Firstly, I should get the caveat out of the way that I have not played every character to level 85, so apologies If I have missed anything out. Also, I am not a PvP player, so any PvP related information will also be rather thin on the ground if any there at all.
What I will give you is a brief rundown of all the different classes that you can play in World of Warcraft, explaining the more impressive aspects of each class.
So without further ado…
Deathknights were introduced as part of the ‘Wrath of the Lich King’ add-on and are the first and only Hero class available in the game to date. Deathknights are former soldiers of Arthas the Lich King, who when they found out they had been betrayed by Arthas himself, vowed to get revenge on their former master, and joined either Horde or Alliance depending on their race. Deathknights are plate armored killing machines that use a combination of frost, diseases and blood magic to damage their foes.
The huge benefits of a Deathknight are that they start at level 55, with a free 100% speed increase mount, and a full set of rare items to equip them with. You cannot create a Deathknight until you have at least one character greater than level 55. The other thing to note about Deathknights is that the only profession that they come with is First aid (Starting at around level 275) so if you want your Deathknight to have professions, then you will need to go back and level them up from scratch.
Deathknights have three talent trees, Blood, Frost and Unholy (Disease).
- Blood – Blood is your tanking tree, specializing in damage reduction and self-healing with blood magic.
- Frost – Frost is your dual weapon specialization tree, using frost magic to slow and damage their enemies,
- Unholy – utilizes diseases to damage multiple foes, as well as having your summoned ghoul act as a permanent hunter-like pet rather than a temporary pet.
Druids are the guardians of nature. It is their job to ensure natures balance is preserved. Druids, through their shapeshifting ability, are able to fulfill all roles within WoW; melee DPS whilst in cat form (which works very similar to the rogue style of play), tanking whilst in Bear form (which is very similar to the warriors method of play) are available at all times, although varying degrees of success depends on the gear you have and whether or not you have specialized in the Feral talent tree of course.
The remaining two roles can be fulfilled at any time to a lesser degree, although when you set your specification as either ‘restoration’ (healing) or ‘Balance’ (Ranged Spell DPS), you will learn a form dedicated to improving that ability. In the case of healing, you can become a Treant (a type of Treeman), while as a ranged DPS you become a large bipedal owl called a Moonkin.
If all of the above wasn’t enough, all druids gain an underwater shapeshift ability (which at present looks like a seal, but I’m really hoping they change it soon), and allows increased speed and breathing underwater; as well as a flight form which, whilst using it, is the only class able to use their gathering professions such as skinning, herbalism etc. whilst mounted (Flight form in this case) which is good news for all your farmers out there as you don’t need to remount (taking 3 seconds a time) every time you gather.
Druids have three talent trees, Feral, Balance, and Restoration
- Feral, is your tanking and melee DPS trees, which will increase your ability to fight/tank in Bear and Cat form.
- Balance – Balance is your Nature/Arcane Spellcasting tree, highlights include summoning your own Treants to attack for you, summoning mini-cyclones, and becoming a Moonkin which increases your Spellcasting ability.
- Restoration – Restoration is your healing tree. This tree provides more healing spells and better healing efficiency, as well as enabling the Treant to shapeshift form.
At present only 4 classes are able to play as Druids; Troll and Tauren on the Horde side, Night Elf and Worgen on the Alliance side. Trolls and Worgen Druids were introduced as part of the changes Cataclysm brought; Trolls as part of the pre-Cataclysm changes, Worgen as part of the Cataclysm release itself.
Hunters are masters of the bow/gun/crossbow; firing at long range while their pets rush in and kill their opponents while using a variety of traps to hinder and damage their enemies. They are one of only three classes that have a permanent pet; Warlocks and Unholy Deathknights being the other two, but neither of these two classes has the variety of pet personalization options of the Hunter.
Hunters can tame a wide variety of pets throughout the World of Warcraft, each of which bringing their own unique skill. They are divided into three different types, Ferocity, Tenacity and Cunning. Tenacity pets are better suited for personal tanking (Taking a lot of damage) and compose of creatures such as turtles, bears, crocodiles, scorpions, crabs, etc. Ferocity pets are better suited for increased DPS (Damage per second) and consist of creatures such as large cats, wolves, bats, and vultures, etc. The final category is cunning; these tend to have skills better suited for Player vs. Player combat, such as stuns, holds, etc. Cunning pets are creatures such as Dragonhawks, Spiders, etc. Of course, all pets can work in other situations to some degree, but the specifications are better at it.
A starting Hunter will begin with a pet (Which varies depending on your race), at this time you will have to control over your pet, and it will do what it wants, in this case attacking any enemies you attack until dead. However, at level 10 you gain both the ability to tame new ones as well as the ability to control them.
Hunter pets, like the hunter, will gain talent points as they level. These points are used to develop each pet to suit the owners’ needs. Talents are dependant on the type of pet they are (Ferocity, Tenacity, Cunning) but each tree will come with some points increasing survivability, while others improve the pet’s DPS, and others provide new skills for the pet.
Hunters can now store up to 25 pets in the stable, and by level 85 will have the ability to call one of five pets to them at any time. Before setting out make sure you are taking the best 5 pets for that situation out with you. It is worth stating that any pets stored in the Stables will have their talent points erased, meaning that when you withdraw your pet for use, you will need to re-apply your talent points.
Hunters have three talent trees, Beastmaster, Marksman, and Survival
- Beastmaster – The Beastmaster tree focuses on increasing the effectiveness of the hunter’s pet. The Hunters personal damage will suffer accordingly, but the mini Sherman tank at your disposal more than makes up for it. Beastmaster Hunters gain more pet talent points and have the ability to tame rare pets.
- Marksman – The Marksman talent tree focuses on increasing the long range damage of the Hunter and killing foes before they can close in, with new and powerful shots and attacks.
- Survival – Improves the effectiveness of the Hunters traps, venoms and close combat abilities.
All races, except Gnomes, can become hunters, with the starting pets being as so…
- Orc – Bear
- Troll – Raptor (Bipedal Velociraptor type lizard)
- Tauren – Plainstrider (Emu-like Bird)
- Forsaken/Undead – Spider
- Blood Elf – Dragonhawk (the Flying lizard that breathes fire)
- Goblin – Crab
- Human – Wolf
- Dwarf – Bear
- Night Elf – Nightsaber (Sabertooth Cat)
- Draenai – Moth
- Worgen – Mastiff (Dog)
The below classes all have abilities that would increase the hunter’s effectiveness.
- Dwarves – +1% Critical hit chance with guns
- Trolls – +1% Critical hit chance with bows
- Orcs – pet damage increased by 5%
Next time, I’ll go through the Mage, Paladin, and Priest.