I have seen a number of posts over the last few weeks from new players that are confused on classes and specs. I have written a guide that might help you in picking a new class.
I have not written one of these before, so if you don't understand something please ask.
Also, to the seasoned players, if I have missed something or have not done your class/spec justice, please let me know. I am all for bettering this post to make it as accurate as possible:
Firstly, there are 4 types of character roles:
- Tank – A Tank generally leads the raids or dungeons. Classically do low damage, but have very high armour and survivability. The tank must hold the bosses attention and be hit by the bosses attacks, using his skills to take reduced damage, so that the damage dealers of the group can damage the boss in turn. If the tank dies, the group dies very quickly afterwards.
- Healer – Generally do not do any damage when in group, and can lead the dungeon as often as Tanks. They use spells and abilities to keep their groups alive against enemies. The tanks have abilities to reduce incoming damage, but ultimately the healer keeps them alive and makes sure the rest of the group is alive to do damage. Similarly to a good tank, a good healer makes a dungeon or raid much easier.
- Range Damage Dealer – Deals damage to the enemies via ranged spells, guns, thrown traps etc. Generally have to be more conscious of boss mechanics that specifically target range, and need to be able to relocate to a safer place to stand while casting at a moment’s notice. What makes one range better than the other is when a player is skilled enough to know how to move while maintaining their damage output, rather than stopping completely while moving.
- Melee Damage Dealer – Deals damage at a closer range. Generally have to focus on staying behind targets when in a group to prevent being parried, while also needing to remain as mobile as possible to dodge boss AOE damage.
DPS is the abbreviation for a damage dealer (Damage Per Second)
AOE is the abbreviation for Area of Effect, and refers to damage that affects all targets in a specific area, like a broad swing of a sword that hits many targets
ONE – Do you want to be:
- Melee DPS that maybe wants to try Tanking one day? Go to 1
- Melee DPS that maybe wants to try Healing one day? Go to 2
- Melee DPS that maybe wants to try both Healing and Tanking one day? Go to 3
- Melee DPS and never want to Tank or Heal? Go to 4
- Damage dealer who can go Range or Melee? Go to 5
- Range DPS that maybe wants to try Healing one day? Go to 6
- Range DPS that maybe wants to try Tanking one day? Go to 7
- Range DPS that maybe wants to try both Healing and Tanking one day? Go to 8
- Range DPS and never want to Tank or Heal? Go to 9
2 – Melee with Healing option – Druid, Monk, Paladin, Shaman
3 – Melee with Both – Druid, Monk, Paladin
4 – Melee Damage dealer only – Rogue
5 – Melee and Range Damage options - Hunter, Shaman, Druid
6 – Range with Healing option – Druid, Priest, Shaman
7 – Range with Tanking option – Druid
8 – Range with Both - Druid
9 – Range only – Mage, Warlock
TWO - Once you have chosen one of the above, read the below class descriptions to see which ones you like the sound of. If your option only has one class in it (eg: Range with Tanking options – Druid), skip to Section THREE.
- Death Knight – Effectively undead, these are the warriors of death and disease. Summon ghouls, grip targets from a distance and pull them towards you, and infect your targets with plagues. Alternatively can embrace the cold chill of death, freezing his enemy and slashing them down with the classic scythe of Death. 1 Tank spec, 2 Melee DPS specs.
- Demon Hunter – Agile and brutal, the demon hunter literally slashes parts of their victims souls off to heal themselves. Able to double jump, and morph into demon form occasionally. Has wings that allow them to glide. 1 Tank spec, 1 Melee spec.
- Druid – The most versatile of all classes, the druid is a warrior of nature itself, able to transform its body and playstyle according to what is demanded in each situation; from a mighty bear, to a stealthy cat, to a lifegiving tree, to an overgrown chicken that can literally throw moons at its enemies. 1 Tank spec, 1 Heal spec, 1 Melee spec, 1 Range spec.
- Hunter – The legend of traps, bows and beasts. The hunter can tame wild beasts found throughout the world to fight for him and with him. Or they can chose to be more of a sniper, with devastating long range attacks. Lastly in this coming expansion, the hunter can now also be melee damage, with a polearm, fighting alongside his pets, hurling traps and caltrops and harpoons at his enemies. 2 Range spec, 1 Melee spec.
- Mage – A master at the classic sorcerous elements. The Mage can become the embodiment of Fire, scorching their enemies and setting them ablaze for bonus burning damage. Or they can embrace the Frost, slowing their enemies movement and commanding a pet made of pure water and ice. Lastly they can draw upon the Arcane, exploding their enemies and bursting impressive build ups of fluctuating power. 3 Range specs
- Monk – Masters of martial arts and the body itself, the monks can use their knowledge of oneself and potent brews to inflict devastating damage, or heal their allies wounds, or harden their skin to take sustained damage. 1 Melee spec, 1 Heal spec, 1 Tank spec.
- Paladin – Righteous, pure and incorruptible, these warriors of the Light use their powerful blessings, holy powers and selfless nature to empower and inspire all those around him. Capable of Melee damage by judging their targets evils, healing through holy presence, or tanking with impressive defensive capabilities. 1 Tank spec, 1 Healing spec, 1 Melee spec.
- Priest – Servant of the Gods, either light or dark, the priest embraces his religious abilities completely, even at his own expense. Powerful heals of pure holy energy, shielding his allies from harm by damaging his enemies, or embracing the darkness, and flaying the minds and souls of those before him. 2 Heal specs, 1 Damage spec.
- Rogue – Masters of the melee combat, the rogue can be the fencing pirate, the brutal assassin, or the master of misdirection and stealth. These agile melee legends can utilise grappling hooks, pistols, poisons and bleeds to bring their enemies down. 3x Melee spec.
- Shaman – The shaman are one with the world, capable of unleashing attacks empowered and encompassing nature itself. Lava, rock, rains and lightning itself bend to his will, while also capable of communing and transforming into spirits themselves to speed their travel and empower their attacks. 1 Range spec, 1 Melee spec, 1 Healing spec
- Warlock – The spell-weavers of death, corruption and demons themselves. Warlocks not only embrace the darkest of magics, but master and enslave others to it as well. Scorch and burn their enemies in fire and chaos, or cast a plethora of damage over time spells to let their enemies life literally drain from them, or summon and command a horde of demons to fight for you. The warlock is a cherished member of a raid team as well, able to summon other players to them from anywhere, as well as provide other with free health potions. 3 Range Specs.
- Warrior – The classic bloodthirsty, furious warriors. There is a reason they are in every Role Playing game. These masters of blades, shields and maces are fuelled by their rage, becoming more dangerous and powerful the longer combat transpires around them. Charge at enemies, or become a spinning vortex of blood and blade, or aim brutally powerful cleaves to mow down foes. 1 Tank spec, 2 Melee specs.
- Blood – TANK – Surround yourself with the blood and bones of fallen victims to increase survivability.
- Frost – MELEE - Wield 2 Icy blades and become the cold harbinger of death itself, with scythes and icy winds.
- Unholy - MELEE – Summon the undead to do your bidding, infecting your enemies with plagues and diseases which in turn empower your minions.
- Havoc – MELEE – Agile masters of melee combat. Transform into Demon Form and wield glaives that tear enemies souls asunder.
- Vengeance - TANK – Harvesters of souls, they empower themselves with sigils, demon form, and by devouring the severed pieces of their enemies spirit.
- Balance – RANGE – At one with the lunar forces, these spiritual range casters burn their targets with the fires of the Sun and moon.
- Feral – MELEE - Cat form of the druid. They rely on raking their enemies with swipes and slashes of their claws, bleeding their targets before mauling them.
- Guardian - TANK – The mighty Bear, capable of surviving massive incoming damage, while mauling anything that comes within range of its claws.
- Restoration - HEALS – The life-giving tree. The healing form of the druid utilises the world itself, classically using more healing over time spells than brute force healing. This way they can sustain multiple allies with ease.
- Beast Master - RANGE – The mighty BM Hunter has powerful pets he commands in battles, and can summon a stampede while he stands clear and fires at his enemies from a distance.
- Marksman - RANGE - Master of the bow, the Marksman usually chooses to forsake their pet companions, preferring more powerful range attacks that pincushion their enemies for terrific damage.
- Survival – MELEE – The new melee class. This time the hunter puts down his rifle, and fights alongside his pet companions, utilising caltrops, traps and harpoons.
- Arcane – RANGE – Casters who manage their mana and alternates between delivering a high bursts of explosive damage at higher cost, or low damage but efficient spells for sustainable and formidable damage.
- Fire – RANGE - Casts balls of fire at their targets, or make fire explode at their enemies feet. Also causes their targets to catch aflame, burning them for additional damage.
- Frost – RANGE - Attacks that slow and chill their enemies, and also utilise a pet of water to compliment these icy barrages.
- Brewmaster - TANK - The drunken boxers. These monks are hardened kung-fu masters capable of staggering high damage to effect them gradually rather than in bursts, making them very difficult to kill.
- Mistweaver - HEALS – The mist weavers utilise their knowledge of life and mind to heal their allies. Coupled with the monks natural agility, the healing monks are welcome on any raids. Aesthetically brilliant, commanding healing mists around yourself and allies.
- Windwalker - MELEE – The kung fu masters, the windwalker uses their formidable martial arts skills to swiftly beat down their enemies with a torrent of kicks and punches
- Holy – HEALS - Empowered by the light, yet utilising his plate armour, the holy paladin is the holy healer that grows more powerful the closer he is to combat, making him effectively a melee range healer in the thick of the fight.
- Protection - TANK - Few tanks can defend against such raw damage as easily as the paladin. With his plate armour and broad shield, he burns the ground below him with his holy powers, damaging all enemies foolish enough to challenge him.
- Retribution – MELEE – Putting aside the mighty shield, the Ret Pally elects a massive two handed weapons, judging the targets and hammering and slashing them down with the zeal and passion of warrior of the Light.
- Discipline – HEALS – The Disc Priest is the versatile healer, shielding his allies from damage, and healing them by actually attacking the surrounding enemies… heals friends by harming enemies.
- Holy - HEALS – The holy priest is the brute force healer, capable of massive and sustained heals of raw health in an array of different situations.
- Shadow - RANGE – A priest of the darkness, a Shadow Priest wears away at the target with damage over time effects, slowly losing his own mind until he gives into the insanity, gaining unimaginable power.
- Assassination - MELEE – Brutal damage and combat multipliers, the assassination rogue in unparalleled in surprising his targets, bleeding his enemy and utilises poisons with deadly efficiency.
- Outlaw – MELEE – The pirate class. This swashbuckling adventurer wields a rapier and pistol, and is a pirate in all sense of the word, while also inheriting the rogues natural stealth and agility.
- Subtlety - MELEE – The subtlety rogue is a master of stealth, speed and agility, dealing more damage to unsuspecting foes, and capable of stunning and savage burst damage
- Elemental - RANGE – Embrace the mastery of the world itself, throwing rock, lava and lightning at enemies, while being empowered by totems.
- Enhancement - MELEE – Bend the powers of the world around your dual wielded weapons, causing lightning to crash down around you and swing with weapons imbued with the ferocity of a storm.
- Restoration - HEALS – Calling upon the worlds rains and waters, the Restoration is capable of powerful healing totems, waterfalls of life, and heals that chain from one ally to the next.
- Affliction - RANGE – Underestimate the affliction warlock at your own risk. They will throw spell after spell at you, not dealing much damage initially, but suddenly, your life is ticking away faster and faster and faster. The affliction warlock is capable of putting these damage over time spells on many many targets, making him a legend amongst damage dealers.
- Demonology - RANGE – Why do damage yourself, when you can summon a fleet of demons to damage your enemies for you? The more demons you summon, the more damage you deal.
- Destruction - RANGE - Unlike affliction and demonology, the destruction warlock causes his damage upfront. Chaos and fire are his forte, burning his enemies with cold brutality, becoming stronger the longer he fights.
- Arms - MELEE – Cold and calculating, the arms warrior picks his moments to do the most damage possible. Capable of devastating slashes and mighty cleaves, the arms warrior brings purpose to the brutality of the warrior
- Fury – MELEE – Opposite to the massive calculating swings of the arms warrior, the fury warrior instead rages and slashes as hard and fast as he can, sacrificing his own safety in a headlong furious rush to bring his enemies down to pacify his insatiable bloodlust. Can wield a two handed weapon in each hand easily with his massive strength.
- Protection – TANK - The mighty warrior tank. Where other tanks can heal themselves, or stagger the damage, the protection warrior just laughs and chooses to ignore the damage. All that he needs are his rage, his sword and his shield, while somehow encompassing both the bloodlust of Fury, and precision of Arms in a combination of a truly formidable tank.