Choosing a class

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Classes Death knight Druid Hunter Mage Monk Paladin Priest Rogue Shaman Warlock Warrior
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Choosing what class you want to be in World of Warcraft is probably the most important choice you will make about your character. Unlike races - which can be changed for a fee - classes are permanent, and cannot be changed once a character has been created. Well, what exactly is a class? A character's class determines what abilities and powers are available to them; what weapons and armor they will use; what combat roles they can fulfil; and to a significant extent their strengths, weaknesses and playstyle. Your choice of class will affect how you play your character, and how you play with others, and each class has something very different to offer.

Choice of class is limited by your choice of race; each race can only play certain classes, and vice versa. A mage is a class, a warrior is a class, a dwarf is not a class, it's a race! For a table of possible class/race combinations, see below. For more help on how to choose a race, see the Choosing a race page.

You should try to choose a class that's capable of fulfilling the role/s you find appealing. For instance, if you like helping others, supporting the team and keeping others alive, you might want to choose a class with healing capabilities. If leading the party into battle and protecting your allies by taking the brunt of enemies' attacks is your thing, then you might want to choose a class that is capable of tanking. If you'd prefer to be the one dishing out the damage, you might consider whether you want to be standing toe-to-toe with your enemies, or smiting them from afar.

It also helps to choose a class with a playstyle you think you will enjoy playing. For example, if you like the idea of striking from the shadows, assassinating targets with pin-point precision and slipping away into the night, you might enjoy playing a rogue or a feral druid. On the other hand, if you like being in the middle of the fray, charging into battle and tearing your enemies apart with massive weapons, you might prefer a warrior. Each class has its own, very different style.

Lore can also affect choice of class. Do you like the thought of being a stalwart paladin, champion of the Holy Light? A wise druid seeking to restore nature's balance? A meditative monk seeking inner peace and enlightenment? Or a dark warlock delving deep into demonic powers? Choosing a class whose background you enjoy can add a lot to playing your character.

In addition the choice of class, each class has three different specializations or 'specs' (druids have four). Each specialization represents a very different approach to playing the class, offering numerous new abilities and often changing the combat role the character is most suitable for. Each class can therefore be considered to have three (or four) major variants, each with its own skill-set, strengths and playing-style.

Note that there is no reason not to experiment with any and every class you want to. Many players will try a class for a while, then be drawn to try another, and then another after that. It's alright to keep changing around, especially if you're still looking for that class that really clicks. Keep trying new classes until you find something you really enjoy, or just keep switching between characters as the mood takes you. Players can create up to 50 characters on a single account, so you should feel free to jump in and try out any class you feel like.

New players should also remember that a class's strengths and character may not be obvious until later levels (particularly 40+). Sometimes all you need is a single spell that changes your gameplay from maddeningly difficult to extremely fun. Playing a certain class might seem particularly difficult during early levels, but the class may suddenly change after learning a new ability or talent, increasing the fun and excitement of playing it by several notches. Having a source of advice on playing your desired class, from the beginning until the level cap, can also be helpful if you're having trouble getting to grips with a class.

Finally, it should be noted that World of Warcraft is a constantly-evolving game. Any given class or specialization's potency may vary dramatically from patch to patch. The class descriptions below intentionally minimize references to class balance and specific abilities for this very reason.

Can't decide which class to choose ?

When choosing a class, it's certainly worth reading about the different options that appeal to you, and doing a little research before jumping right in. If you already have a character, speak to friends and guild mates about their classes, and what it's like to play them. Bear in mind everyone has their own perspective on classes. Also, watch others play, and decide what looks like fun to you.

However, one of the best ways to explore a class is simply to roll a character of that class. The character and playstyle of a class will usually become quite clear over the first 10 or 15 levels; spending a short while playing a class will usually give you a fair idea of whether you want to continue with it. Remember you can always leave or delete a character if that class turns out to be not for you, or if you change your mind about your character's name or race. Do remember though that classes develop significantly on their way to max level; there's really no way to know what it's like to play a class at max level until you get there! Also, unless you need to delete a character for a specific reason, it's better to simply leave them be; some day you might decide to try that class again, and save yourself a lot of trouble!

Also, remember that you can roll a character of any and every class. There's really no need to choose a single class; many players have one or more characters of each class. Whatever class you choose, you can always choose to leave that character for a while and start a new one; you can come back to it later or just keep trying new classes until you find one you really enjoy! Many players roll multiple characters, and switch frequently between them as they level, while others will find a single class they love and play it to the exclusion of all others.

Class, race and class role

Choice of class is limited by choice of race, with certain classes only available to certain races. Class also determines which class roles the character can perform (see below).

Class Alliance Alliance Neutral Neutral Horde Horde Roles
DraeneiDraenei DwarfDwarf GnomeGnome HumanHuman Night elfNight elf WorgenWorgen PandarenPandaren Blood elfBlood elf GoblinGoblin OrcOrc TaurenTauren TrollTroll UndeadUndead Tank Heal DPS
Druid Druid Yes Cata Yes Cata X X X
Hunter Hunter TBC Yes Cata Yes Cata MoP TBC Cata Yes Yes Yes Cata X
Mage Mage TBC Cata Yes Yes Cata Cata MoP TBC Cata Cata Yes Yes X
Paladin Paladin TBC Yes Yes TBC Cata X X X
Priest Priest TBC Yes Cata Yes Yes Cata MoP TBC Cata Cata Yes Yes X X
Rogue Rogue Yes Yes Yes Yes Cata MoP TBC Cata Yes Yes Yes X
Shaman Shaman TBC Cata MoP Cata Yes Yes Yes X X
Warlock Warlock Cata Yes Yes Cata TBC Cata Yes Cata Yes X
Warrior Warrior TBC Yes Yes Yes Yes Cata MoP Cata Cata Yes Yes Yes Yes X X
Death knight Death knight WotLK WotLK WotLK WotLK WotLK Cata WotLK Cata WotLK WotLK WotLK WotLK X X
Monk Monk MoP MoP MoP MoP MoP MoP MoP MoP MoP MoP MoP X X X

Class roles

There are three main roles in group play: tank, healer and damage dealer (DPS). Tanks protect their allies by absorbing damage and drawing enemies' attacks toward themselves; healers keep their allies alive by healing their wounds and protecting them from harm; and damage dealers (DPS) focus on the critical task of dealing damage to the party's foes. Role is largely determined by specialization, with each specialization designed to perform a specific role. The tank role is almost entirely limited to PvE encounters, with healers more common in PvP.

Each class has different capabilities in terms of which roles they can fulfil, and if you have strong ideas about which role/s you'd like to play, it can be a good idea to choose a class that can perform that role.

Pure or hybrid class

In choosing a class one has to determine if they want to be able to fulfill one or more roles for their character. Pure classes are only able to fulfill one role and that is always a DPS role. Those classes are hunters, mages, rogues, and warlocks. All other classes are hybrid classes and can perform either 2 roles or all 3 roles of DPS, tank, or healer.

The hybrid classes are classes which are able to fill different roles in the game. The hybrid classes are death knight, druid, monk, paladin, priest, shaman and warrior. Monks, paladins and druids are able to fulfil any of the roles - dealing damage, tanking or healing - while shamans are good at dealing damage (caster or melee) or healing. Death knights and warriors are able to deal melee damage or tank, while priests are good at healing (with two healing specs) or casting damaging spells.

Pure and 2-role classes tend to be the simplest for new players to get to grips with. They have only one purpose - to defeat their enemies. These classes usually have few healing and taunting options, with all of their abilities focused on direct engagement with the enemy. In contrast, 'true' hybrid classes (those capable of performing all three roles) have all the types of abilities that a pure class has, as well as abilities for healing and tanking. This adds a lot of versatility to these classes, but can make it harder to decide how to handle encounters. Do you charge straight in with melee attacks, or stand back and smite them with spells? Do you assume a defensive posture in order to survive their blows, or focus on dealing damage as quickly as possible? Do you conserve mana to use for healing yourself, or use your mana to quickly defeat the enemy before they the chance to harm you? These options can make hybrid classes less straightforward when first learning the class.

On the other hand, some players prefer hybrid classes for precisely this reason. While all classes will find each of their specializations to offer a different style of play, hybrid classes can switch role entirely. Get sick of DPS at level 40 and want to try healing instead? Tired of healing and want to try out tanking? Simply switch spec and you can! Levelling a hybrid class means you'll have at least two different roles to explore. Some also claim that levelling hybrid classes with healing abilities requires less downtime, due to their ability to heal themselves between fights.

Tank

The tank's job is to take all the damage for the group. They are often the first ones in and the last ones out in a fight. They must stand proud, keeping all the monsters' attention (threat) while their party members deal the damage and kill the monsters. They usually make up the smallest percentage of players. Classes that can become tanks are druids, monks, paladins, warriors and death knights. The tanking role is for the most part limited to PvE, although tanks can be effective in PvP such as capture the flag battlegrounds.

Tanks are vital members of any group or raid as they have to pull the enemies' attention to themselves, so as to not let the DPS or healers get harmed. This is achieved through dealing damage, using special abilities called taunts, and generally earning the hatred of the enemies. If mobs begin to attack other players, it is the tank's responsibility to 'pull' them back to the tank. For this reason, tanks can expect to take the vast majority of all damage in any fight. Tanks therefore have extremely large health pools and high damage mitigation which they need to be able to withstand bosses' attacks. Tanks deal less damage than DPS, trading their damage output for survivability.

Tanks are usually expected to lead the group through the dungeon or raid. This means that tanks have to research bosses beforehand to learn all the bosses' special attacks and strategies to take them down. Tanks need to know the boss through and through as they are the ones who will be taking most of the bosses' damage, and are often expected to teach other members things to note about the boss.

All in all, being a tank is a big responsibility as their death usually means the end of the fight and a wipe for the party. A healer can tell if a tank's damage mitigation is good or bad while a DPS can tell if tanks pull threat well or not. A tank who fails to pull enough aggro will lead to other players getting attacked, while a tank who cannot withstand the incoming damage will quickly perish in the face of the enemy, or drain the healer's mana until the whole group is left without healing. A good tank holds enough aggro for the DPS to deal their damage, and handles damage well enough for the healer to keep them and the rest of the party alive.

Anyone looking to be a tank must be generally patient, have good leadership and also able to learn from their mistakes fast. If a tank dies or makes a serious mistake, the whole group will usually die. New tanks will experience a lot of criticism and need to learn from what they are doing wrong. Once they become proficient at how to tank, tanking will become the easiest role to play.

Healer

The healer's job is to keep everyone alive. In PvE this primarily means focusing on the tank, while in PvP healers need to switch rapidly between targets. Healers support the group through the use of healing spells and abilities, and also tend to be responsible for removing harmful debuffs. Healers are the least common class role after tanks. The classes that can become healers are druids, monks, paladins, priests and shamans.

Healers keep the group alive through anticipating incoming damage, and need to be aware of the health of multiple targets at all times, and respond quickly whenever their abilities are needed. Healers typically spend their time watching the health bars of the other group members, while keeping aware of the boss in order to anticipate their special abilities.

Healers use a range of healing and damage mitigation spells, including direct heals such as [Flash Heal], heal over time (HoT) effects such as [Rejuvenation], area of effect and multiple-target heals such as [Chain Heal], damage reduction abilities such as [Pain Suppression], and protective abilities such as [Power Word: Shield]. Healers also tend to have several direct healing options, ranging from very fast but extremely inefficient, to very efficient but extremely slow. Knowing when to use the right type of healing spell is critical to being a healer.

Unlike other roles, the prime challenge of a healer is usually not that of simple capability, but one of efficiency and longevity. Most well-geared healers are capable of healing targets through the heaviest of onslaughts, but doing so without rapidly depleting their limited mana reserves requires forethought, anticipation and a thorough knowledge of their skills and cooldowns. Healers who simply use their fastest and most powerful heals will quickly find themselves out of mana, powerless to aid themselves or their allies. Healers must therefore strike a fine balance between speed and efficiency, often risking the lives of their charges in order to ensure their mana will last the fight.

In the heat of battle, healers also have the unenviable responsibility of triage, making split-second decisions as to who will live, and who must die. It is often not possible to save every target, and there are times when even the best healer must allow one of their charges to perish, in order to save the others. Tanks in poor gear may blame the healer for not keeping them alive, and DPS may refuse to stay out of the fire, and blame the healer for their deaths. Healers are rarely thanked for their efforts, and when everything goes wrong, the healer may be held responsible for not miraculously saving the group. However, experienced players know the difference between their own mistakes and those of the healer, and anyone who has served in the role knows the challenges of healing a tough encounter. A healer must know their limits, and that they cannot single-handedly keep their allies alive if they do not watch out for their own survival.

Healing requires quick reflexes and constant vigilance for that spike of damage that can suddenly wipe out the party. In exchange, the healing role offers great satisfaction for those who enjoy helping and supporting others, managing and watching over the group, and knowing that their skill, focus and anticipation have single-handedly kept the group alive through all that has been thrown at it. Those who enjoy healing tend to enjoy keeping multiple plates spinning at the same time, multi-tasking and managing a number of shifting priorities while responding to unpredictable events with calm determination and a cool head. Healing is the one role which doesn't address the character's enemies, but rather their allies. For this reason the satisfaction of playing a healer can be a bit more internal than the obvious glory of personally killing the big monster - the healer gets to sit back and know that they were indispensable in making the group's success possible.

Being a healer is quite possibly the most stressful and most under-appreciated role of all. Nonetheless, it offers a unique challenge. A good healer is capable of turning around any encounter, creating an indomitable team of adventurers who can take on anything. As the person most directly responsible for their team's survival, a skilled healer can single-handedly save their party, their quick-thinking and mastery of their abilities sweeping their group from humiliating defeat to jubilant triumph. A good healer may stand in the shadows, but they alone are capable of raising their team into the glorious light of victory.

For more information, see Healer.

Damage dealer

The role of damage dealer (commonly referred to as DPS) is perhaps the most obvious of all; they focus on dealing damage to the party's targets. While the tank holds the attention of the enemy and healers keep everyone alive, it is up to the DPS to actually deal the damage which will result in victory for the party. Every class is capable of performing the DPS role, using the right specialization.

Compared to players in other roles and specs, DPS can deal damage very quickly and sustainably. However, good DPS must learn not only how to deal damage, but how to do so without drawing the fire of the target; dealing too much damage too quickly may lead the target to turn its wrath upon the DPS, leading to a stressed tank, a mana-drained healer, or simply a dead DPS. Most DPS specs have aggro control abilities which can help with this, but must still take care not to exceed the tank's capabilities for holding aggro. DPS often have additional responsibilities within the group, such as interrupting critical abilities and applying crowd control, and may also be called upon to assist with healing or off-tanking.

DPS tends to be the most numerous role in any group, with at least half of the group typically being DPS, and is usually also the least critically responsible. A tank who fails to taunt quickly enough, or a healer who fails to notice a target taking damage can quickly lead to the death of members of the group; the DPS usually have a greater degree of latitude in performing their role.

However, the DPS must still pay close attention to the fight; not only are they often responsible for critical interrupts and other situational elements, but should the DPS fail to deal sufficient damage in a period of time, the group will usually wipe, whether because of a boss's enrage timer or the healers simply running out of mana. It is therefore the responsibility of the DPS to deal damage quickly enough for the group to triumph.

The DPS role is available to characters of all specs, and these specs are often chosen for use while levelling, since they deal damage more quickly than the others. DPS is by far the best way to begin experiencing group play. Its limited responsibility allows players to find their feet before taking on a more critical role, and the basic experience gained in this way is vital for performing either of the other roles.

For more information, see DPS.

Melee and ranged

In addition to the three basic roles, characters tend to be considered a melee or ranged type. This mainly refers the distance at which the spec is able to operate, but also reflects certain strengths and weaknesses. Most specs are one type of play or the other, while some such as monks mix the types by combining melee and ranged abilities.

  • A melee spec excels at close-range combat, dealing heavy amounts of damage to the enemy (and likely taking quite a bit as well). Melee fighters don't rely on spells and ranged attacks to the extent that ranged specs do, and therefore must maintain a close proximity to the enemy in order to be effective. Melee specs tend to use physical strikes and weapon attacks to deal damage and strong armor or stout shields to absorb blows.
A melee spec will be most enjoyable if you enjoy in-your-face action and fast tactical thinking. Melee types generally try to position themselves behind targets, where their attacks cannot be dodged or parried. In PvE, melee types have to get up close to the bosses, and run quickly between targets. In PvP, playing a melee spec means constant movement, circling enemies and chasing ranged types, and have special abilities like [Charge] and [Death Grip] to help close the gap.
  • Ranged or caster specs perform their roles from a distance, using magical or ranged abilities, and prefer to keep the enemy at a distance. These specs generally do not have armor strong enough to withstand close combat, and have a range of tricks for stopping enemies from getting too close.
In PvE, ranged types can stand back and smite foes from a distance, without getting caught up in the fray. In PvP, ranged types try to stay away from melee attackers, and may duck behind pillars and obstacles to prevent other ranged types from targeting them. Ranged types can use abilities like [Frost Nova] and [Entangling Roots] to root, snare and kite enemies, casting spells and firing projectiles while keeping out of reach.

Brief overview of classes

Each class in World of Warcraft is played in a distinct manner in many ways from the other classes available (and there are often considerable variations even within the same class), but certain broad generalizations about play styles can be made. See the following sections for a more complete description of each class.

  • Death knights are a melee class that can be either a tank or a DPS. The death knight cannot wield a shield making their tanking abilities quite unique, yet not ones to be underestimated. The death knight can often be asked to focus on interruption, as they have a spell that does this quite well. The death knight is also a hero class, meaning that they start off at level 55 with a full set of powerful gear. Before you can create a death knight, you must have at least one character of level 55 or higher on any realm on your account.
  • Druids are an extremely versatile class, able to fulfill every role in the game – including tank, healer, and ranged and melee DPS – and this versatility makes them a popular choice for brand new players (particularly those who are unsure yet of how they want to play as they level). They are able to shapeshift into different animal forms (including bear, cat, raven, and many others). Depending on their current form, specialization, and equipped gear, a druid is able to fill any role.
  • Hunters are ranged DPS dealers that depend on a pet they have tamed to protect them as they rain death on their enemies with a gun, bow, or crossbow. They have access to a wide variety of abilities – making them valuable members of any PvE or PvP group – including traps, stings, [Feign Death], and many others. Because their pets are so powerful, hunters are very popular with new players. They are in fact one of the more difficult classes to master; players who have reached endgame may find themselves overwhelmed by the many abilities available to them and the considerable tactical shifts necessary to function effectively in groups. Depending on their spec, they can be more reliant on their pets (Beast Mastery), become ranged DPS machines (Marksmanship), and PvP and PvE "mixed bag" gameplay in the hard to master tree of "Survival".
  • Mages are ranged DPS dealers par excellence. No other class has such a huge variety of massively powerful abilities. (Mages are sometimes referred to as nukers for this reason. They are also referred to as glass cannons due to their cloth armor). However, mages are probably the most fragile class in World of Warcraft; a mage that allows an enemy to get close to them will likely not live long. For this reason, only a rogue has more tricks up his or her sleeve than a wily mage does. Mages are also very valued for their AoE (damaging many enemies at once) and crowd control (removing enemies from combat) abilities, and are able to open magical portals to major cities that their group can use.
  • Monks are a versatile class, able to use their martial arts prowess to either tank or melee dps, or their knowledge of life and Chi to heal. Monks are unique among healers in that to maximise their healing potential they must be in melee range of the boss. While the way of the Monk was developed by the Pandaren, they have since taught other races their techniques and many races can now be Monks.
  • Paladins, like druids and monks, are versatile and are able to find a spot in almost every group. Depending on spec, gear, and need they are able to melee DPS, tank, or heal; they have almost no ranged DPS abilities. Paladins are very valued for their diverse collection of blessings and auras. In endgame, paladins are very useful as either DPS, Tank, or Heal and bring much raid utility. Paladins were originally restricted to Alliance players, but with the release of the World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade expansion they became available to the Horde.
  • Priests are powerful healers, and can be deadly as ranged DPS. Priests were long the premier healers in World of Warcraft, and although other classes have been improved to match their prowess, priests will still generally be assumed to fill the healer role in groups. Players who do not enjoy healing are thus advised to consider a different class, as playing a priest guarantees that you will be healing at some point. Priests can specialize in the shadow tree to become extremely effective single-target ranged DPS casters, and at higher levels (50+) the damage they cause can return mana to their group. Priests are also able to cast a number of very useful buffs that any party will find useful.
  • Rogues are users of dirty tricks, preferring to hide in the shadows and attack from an advantageous position rather than go toe-to-toe in a fair fight (Like a warrior would). The signature ability of a rogue is [Stealth], an invisibility-like ability that allows them to pick and choose their fights. They possess immensely powerful melee DPS abilities, and have a wide variety of debuffs designed to turn the fight to their advantage, from stuns to poisons. Against a single target, it is difficult to out-damage a well-played and well-equipped rogue, but they are rather fragile, being only able to wear leather armor. Unlike other classes (except cat-form druids), rogues use energy to perform special attacks and have a shortened global cooldown.
  • Shamans, manipulators of the elements, are able to be healers, ranged spell DPS or melee DPS depending on their spec and gear. Until endgame instances, they are sometimes able to tank passably well, although they are considerably more limited in this than a Druid, Death Knight, Paladin or Warrior. Shamans are able to place totems that provide a huge variety of useful buffs to their group. These buffs are restricted to a relatively small area of effect surrounding the totem, and a Shaman may have no more than four totems active at one time. Shamans were originally restricted to Horde players, but with the release of the World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade expansion they became available to the Alliance.
  • Warlocks are masters of the demonic arts. In World of Warcraft, they are mages who have been tempted away from the use of arcane magic, but they retain a number of similarities with their former profession, and fulfill a similar ranged DPS role in groups. The largest difference is their ability to summon a variety of demon minions, each of which has different abilities and is useful in different situations. Warlocks are feared for their DoT abilities, which are able to cause huge amounts of damage to their targets even after the warlock has died, and their curses, which cause a variety of debuffs, and they have a few buffs and other abilities that, although somewhat situational, can be very effective.
  • Warriors are in groups as either in a role of tanking or melee DPS. Warriors have a huge variety of damage-mitigating and threat-producing abilities which allow them to be extremely effective as tanks, and thus were long expected to tank any PvE group they were in. They have since gained respect as single-target melee DPS in PvE and especially PvP. Warriors are, more than any other class, dependent upon the gear they have equipped – a level 80 warrior will often carry around two entire sets of armor and a number of weapons. Unlike other classes (except Bear Form druids), warriors use Rage to perform special abilities, which is generated by dealing and taking damage, and must be built up during a fight to perform special abilities.

Classes

Death knight

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The death knight is a plate-wearing melee class and World of Warcraft's first hero class. Compounding the survivability of the warrior, the raw frontal damage of a rogue, and the damage over time that would make a warlock proud, they are a force to be reckoned with.

In PvE play, a death knight can be used as a tank, like the paladin and warrior. Unlike these classes, however, the a death knight cannot use shields. While this dramatically hampers their apparent defensive ability, they have three presences to choose from that function almost exactly like a warrior's stances. Blood Presence increases the death knight's stamina a considerable amount, improves his armor by a whopping 60%, and greatly augments his threat generation. This last part is one of the most important aspect of death knight tanking: They do not have the reactive threat a paladin specializes in, and also don't have the wide array of high threat skills a warrior can use. They are forced to generate threat through sheer damage (something death knights are very, very good at).

Death knights are among the best solo-playable classes available, second only to hunters and warlocks. This is especially true of Blood-Specced knights, who have a very prominent life-stealing/regenerating theme as well as high damage output. Death knights are capable of tremendous damage mitigation, combining Blood Presence with numerous mitigation talents. Unholy knights have the Ghoul, which through focusing on Unholy becomes their own minion-type ally that follows them wherever they go. They also have numerous Area of Effect damage abilities through certain talents, and are excellent at defeating many enemies in a hurry.

Blood death knights regenerate life almost as fast as they lose it in combat, making them monstrously efficient and have skills like Rune Tap and Vampiric Blood, as well as fast runic power generation but (curiously) no real runic power dump besides Dancing Rune Weapon. Frost knights focus on keeping the flow of battle under control with the vicious [Howling Blast]. Unholy emphasises diseases more than the other trees, as well as containing a very powerful utility skill in Anti-Magic Zone, along with a Ghoul pet and serious Runic Power dumps such as Gargoyle and an improved Death Coil. All of the trees provide speedy, efficient kills, little downtime, and a very active and energetic experience.

If you prefer a quick and active combat style with durability, power, and a wide variety of ways to defeat your victims enemies, and the aesthetics of being a fallen hero turned walking engine of ruinous power, the Death Knight may be a perfect fit.

Druid

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Druids are a shapeshifting Hybrid class. Unlike other hybrid classes, Druids do not fulfill several roles at once (e.g., both healing and melee at the same time), but can choose which role to take by shifting into one of their forms.

In their normal form, they are healers and casters, with a wide array of heal over time spells and some offensive spells. In [Bear Form], they gain considerable toughness and a Rage bar, allowing them to act as a tank. The [Cat Form] gives them an Energy bar and Rogue-like abilities for a high damage output, while their [Moonkin Form] (balance talent) allows them to gain extra armor equal to plate, give their group a spell crit aura, and cast potent damage spells on par with a Mage. They also have 3 travel forms: [Travel Form] for land, Aquatic Form for Water, and Flight Form for air, which dramatically increases their speed, and therefore often survival.

The Druid gains more from stats than any other class (e.g. 20 Agility = %1 Critical hit & 1% Dodge, etc.). This allows them to be moderately sufficient in all roles. If a Druid concentrates all of their equipment to suit one of the Druid branches and uses the correct talents, they can be as efficient as any class for a given role. While Druids can only wear Leather armor and Cloth armor, this is offset by their Bear, Moonkin, and tree forms, which increase their armor by a large percentage (180% (Bear), 200% (improved tree), or 370% (Moonkin and Dire Bear) increase on top of base armor); this makes high-level Druids with the right gear the class with the highest armor in the game. Druids are also the only class to have a resurrection spell which may be used in combat, [Rebirth]. However, unlike the other resurrection spells, it can only be used fairly infrequently (5 minute cooldown) as a trade-off to its combat-usability. This, in addition to their heals, tanking and [Innervate], makes a well-played Druid able to save a group from what would otherwise be a guaranteed wipe.

In end-game raiding, Druids historically were expected to heal. This has been changed with the talent change in 2.0 and increased gear supporting the Feral talent tree. Nowadays feral Druids can spend their talent points in such a way that they can be both a melee-damage-dealer (Rogue-type) in cat form and a tank in bear form. No other class offers that much versatility (DPS and tanking in one single talent build), though the two roles require two different sets of gear. Beyond that, Druids can still specialize to become a healer or a DPS caster.

If you enjoy fulfilling multiple roles, the Druid class might be for you.

Hunter

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The hunter is the only class in the game that can deal effective damage with bows, crossbows, and guns. These are available to other classes, but only do token damage and are chiefly used for ranged pulling, while they are the Hunter's main weapons. A Hunter's DPS and ranged attack rating scale as they increase in level, much like a Warrior's attack power scales with melee weapons. In addition, Hunters gain many special abilities with ranged weapons that either cause extra damage or help control the enemy in some way (slowing, stunning, increased miss chance, etc.).

By contrast, hunters do not gain significant attack abilities with melee weapons. While certainly more deadly in melee combat than most spellcasters, the Hunter will be outmatched in a serious swordfight (or axefight, fisticuffs, etc.). Close-range combat is not a strength for Hunters and is avoided as much as possible. Before patch 2.3 there was a minimum range for the use of ranged weapons referred to as the "dead zone." This referred to an area that lay just beyond melee range and just before ranged attack range where the hunter was unable to attack. It was often exploited in PvP combat and has since been removed.

The Hunter is able to tame many animals from the wild and use them as pets, a central aspect of the class. They are the only class allowed to name their pets, but note that names are semi-permanent and need not be assigned right away, so choose carefully. (To change a pet's name, you will need a [Certificate of Ownership].)

The Hunter class is the most well adapted class for solo play, and is often considered to be the easiest and fastest leveling class. In solo play, the Hunter will send the pet to engage the enemy and shoot the enemy from a distance during the fight. Keeping the enemy focused on the pet, rather than running back to the hunter, is a balancing act Hunters must master to play effectively. Hunters can keep pets throughout the life of the character if desired; pets level with the Hunter and can be trained in new abilities as the Hunter learns them. Specializing in [Exotic Beasts] can ultimately give the pet considerable destructive power.

Hunters also have the ability to lay traps, which can either damage or crowd control the target. Hunters are often expected to use their freezing trap in group situations to help with crowd control.

In groups, Hunters are usually considered damage dealers, using their normal modus operandi to hit the target (pet engages, hunter shoots). In instances, the skilled Hunter can often be very useful at pulling, as the Hunter has the ability to cancel the encounter using the [Feign Death] ability, presuming it is not resisted and the group is far enough away. It should be noted however that Hunters must be practiced at controlling their pets in instances for reasons of aggro control, knowing when and how to keep the pet restrained so as not to interfere with other group members' duties.

In PvP, Hunters have traditionally specialized in ranged damage (Marksmanship) and traps (Survival), but this has been turned around thanks to the changes made to the talent trees and pet skills in Wrath of the Lich King. Beast Master tends to be a caster-killer build, thanks to all the pet damage boosts. Survival is more of a heavy-armor killer, since the powerful and dangerous [Explosive Shot] deals pure fire damage and ignores armor. Marksmanship is the middle ground, but still dangerous thanks to [Silencing Shot] and [Chimera Shot].

If you think you would enjoy controlling a pet, using crowd control, generating high powered burst damage, and tackling difficult encounters by yourself, the Hunter may be a great choice.

Mage

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The mage is the archetypal ranged DPS spell-caster. Mages arguably cause the most straightforward damage in the game, and have the biggest arsenal of instant cast offensive spells of all the ranged classes, allowing them to inflict great burst damage when combined with long-casting spells.

Mages are famous for their area of effect spells (AoE), such as [Blizzard] or [Arcane Explosion], that cause damage to all enemies in a given area simultaneously. When used improperly, this will result in a small army assaulting the mage directly and the mage's sudden death. When used judiciously, however, AoE spells shorten fights, save group members' lives, and make certain encounters easy that might otherwise be very tough.

Mages have other useful abilities besides their destructive spells. They have a quite useful crowd-control spell called [Polymorph] which temporarily turns an enemy into a sheep, pig, turtle, or even a penguin. This comes in very handy when facing multiple opponents, and in PvP also provides comic relief. Mages are also popular for their ability to open Portals for their party to use to travel to a capital city (Orgrimmar, Ironforge, etc.), and their ability to conjure water and food for faster regeneration of mana and health between fights.

Mages have particular weaknesses that offset their strengths. Their greatest weakness is that they are limited to cloth armor and cannot long survive melee combat, which they should avoid more than any other class. Their other chief weakness is their total reliance on mana, which limits the sustainability of their damage. Mages cannot do significant damage with melee or ranged weapons, so if they run out of mana they are relatively powerless (Wands might be useful for pumping out more damage while waiting for Mana to regenerate, but their DPS is pathetic compared to nearly all other weapons of the same level). As a result, Mages can be considered, in terms of play style, unforgiving with mistakes. Timing and awareness play a huge part in survival. In fact, while the Warlock and the Hunter are considered by some to be overpowered, the Mage is hardly mentioned, due to the Mage having among the lowest survivability in the game.

In PvE groups, the Mage should never engage the enemy immediately; instead they should allow the tank and other classes to wear the enemy down and build up sufficient threat. Once the enemy is suitably focused on the tank, the Mage will unleash a torrent of damage that quickly ends the fight. Knowing when to start attacking and how much damage to do is one of the main skills a Mage must master.

In solo play and in PvP, the Mage relies on spells that slow or freeze the enemy in place so it cannot approach within melee range. They have several escape abilities (e.g. [Blink]) that can help if they are losing a fight.

If high-powered ranged combat and mass carnage suit your tastes, the Mage is a good choice.

Monk

Monks are the newest class in World of Warcraft, and this shows in their design. Set apart from the other classes, monks have a unique combat system, combining energy or mana with the combo point-like chi, and a range of stances to define their current role. Students of ancient pandaren martial arts techniques, monks embody the skill, focus, meditativeness and deadly effectiveness of a skilled Kung Fu master, battering enemies with a flurry of punches or flying kicks, incapacitating enemies with an intimate knowledge of nerve centres and acupressure points, and using their inner calm and connection to the universe to heal and restore balance to their allies.

A true hybrid class, monks can perform a melee DPS, tank or healing role, and similar to paladins tend to provide a little healing in any spec. However, unlike paladins these students of enlightenment wear only light armor, and can roll or spin out of harm's way, dodging blows and disarming foes. Monks have a number of hybrid abilities that combine damage and healing, and also make use of stationary statues and a range of herbal brews to empower their abilities.

Monks are a uniquely mobile class, and are affected by their physical location more than other classes. They can generate Health and Chi Spheres, special objects which must be passed into in order to gain their benefits. This creates a mobile battlefield, with monks quickly rolling and soaring across the arena to restore health before leaping back into the fray. All monks are melee types - even the healers - and need to be up close to make the most of their abilities.

Brewmaster monks are perhaps the most unusual tanks in the game. With a stumbling gait easily confused for simple intoxication, these mighty tanks utilize the style of the drunken master to absorb and stagger damage, while relying on potent brews to restore their vitality. Devoted masters of ale, these curious but undeniably effective defenders hurl kegs of brew at their enemies, setting them alight with their flaming breath, and use purifying concoctions to wash away harm. Evading their assailants' blows apparently by accident, these elusive brawlers sway and stagger across the arena, provoking their attackers with drunken taunts. Brewmaster monks do not use shields, preferring to leave both hands free for drinking. And for swiping at enemies, of course.

Mistweavers are also unusual, combining the healing power of their mastery of chi with skilful strikes to generate healing for their allies. Using mana instead of the other specs' energy, Mistweavers can channel their chi to envelop allies in a protective bubble, or retreat into a deep meditation to redirect their allies' damage toward themselves. Steadily restoring targets using a variety of surging, soothing and renewing mists, Mistweavers gently uplift groups and detoxify them of harmful effects. Like Discipline priests, Mistweavers can also derive healing from dealing damage, and are often to be found in the thick of battle, rather than standing on the sidelines.

Windwalkers are the classic martial artists, melee DPS who eschew weapons to pummel foes with fist and foot. With lightning reflexes these indefatigable fighters leap and roll across the battlefield, using their martial prowess to overpower opponents with a combination of speed and deadly accuracy. Similar in some ways to rogues, these agile fighters conserve their chi to build to devastating special moves, stunning targets with Blackout Kicks and pummeling foes with their [Fists of Fury].

Aside from combat, monks also enjoy some interesting abilities like [Zen Pilgrimage], and a daily quest to train with the monks at the Peak of Serenity, slowly teaching the player how to engage in more advanced battle tactics, as well as serving to accelerate their rate of experience gain.

If you're looking for a different class which features some rapid melee action, the monk might be for you. The Brewmaster with its Staggered damage offers a slightly different type of tanking experience, while the Windwalker presents a classic martial arts style of play, and the Mistweaver offers a refreshingly hands-on approach to healing. If you like the idea of hidden pressure points, flying kicks and fists of fury, it might be worth your time trying a monk.

Paladin

Paladins are plate-wearing holy knights. With the soul of a priest and the brawn of a warrior, paladins combine Holy magic with powerful weapons and stout armor. Like the knights of legend, paladins fight the good fight, smiting enemies with divine wrath and bringing allies back from the brink of death with the power of the Holy Light. A true hybrid class, paladins can fulfil any role, and can usually do a little of all three, thanks to their combination of damaging, healing and protective abilities.

Paladins are especially well-known for their supreme survivability. Abilities like [Hand of Protection], [Divine Shield] and [Lay on Hands] enable them to render a player all but invulnerable at any time, or instantly heal them back up to full health just when defeat seems inevitable. In PvP, this can make paladins one of the most frustrating classes to play against, with groups of players sometimes joining forces to try to bring a Protection paladin down.

Paladins are also well-known for their range of buffs and support spells, and are arguably the strongest support class in the game. Paladins can grant a number of different hands and blessings to fit any occasion, and use a range of seals to grant them specific benefits each time they attack. Paladins tend to combine self-heals with damage dealing, effortlessly maintaing their health bar while focusing on bringing their targets down. Paladins and execute their abilities through a combination of mana and Holy Power, a kind of combo point system which allows them to build to a powerful burst of healing or damage.

Holy paladins are dedicated healers. Specializing in single-target healing, Holy paladins also have some damage absorption effects and multi-target heals. More heavily armored than any other healing spec, Holy paladins can take a hit or two and can also dish out some respectable Holy damage.

Protection paladins are well-respected tanks. Their substantial AoE damage and multi-target attacks allow them to effortlessly hold the attention of a crowd of mobs, and sometimes to single-handedly defeat them, too. Protection paladins draw great strength from being attacked, and are at their best when surrounded by enemies.

Retribution paladins rely on melee combat supplemented by magic buffs. With a fighting style that mirrors that of a warrior, the paladin uses similar types of skills to deal both physical and Holy damage to their opponents. When geared properly a Retribution paladin is a very durable and damaging melee fighter and is deceptively powerful in all types of play.

The paladin is a true hybrid class, with all three specs capable of respectable healing, as well as providing their allies with a range of buffs, and enjoying an incomparable level of survivability. With a combination of Holy magic and good old fashioned combat, if you want to be a holy knight slaying your enemies and protecting and healing your allies, the paladin is the class for you.

Priest

Devout followers of the Holy Light, priests are a cloth-wearing caster class. Traditionally masters of healing, the priest's knowledge of the Light also grants them control of the darker powers of the Shadow. Discipline and Holy priests are powerful healers, while Shadow priests are potent damage-dealers comparable to Affliction warlocks. However, whether blasting their enemies with Holy Light or sinister Shadow Words, all priests combine some of each school, and are capable of performing beyond their main role.

Discipline priests specialise in in damage mitigation, using a range of powerful shields to magically protect their charges. Excelling at single-target healing, Discipline priests can keep a single target alive for a long time, thanks to spells like [Power Word: Shield] and a solid range of healing options. Discipline priests can also heal through dealing damage, using their attacks to take care of their allies' needs during quiet periods or gaps in their rotation. Disc is a great and strong spec to play, with its protective abilities granting breathing room in PvP, and its healing/damage-dealing combination adding fun to PvE encounters.

Holy priests are the archetypal pure healer. They have an extensive range of healing options for all situations, exchanging the Discipline priest's anticipatory damage absorption effects for good old fashioned healing power. Holy priests use a combination of direct heals, heal over time (HoT) effects, and AoE and multi-target heals to respond to any situation. They also possess some unique abilities like [Lightwell] and [Guardian Spirit]. Holy priests are far more vulnerable in PvP than the other specs, but are excellent at keeping groups of players alive thanks to their healing versatility. Holy focuses on healing even more than Discipline, boasting sheer healing output which is hard to beat.

Shadow priests represent an entirely different approach to the class. These masters of darkness apply damage over time (DoT) effects to their enemies and slowly drain the life from them with [Mind Flay]. Shadow priests offer some similar gameplay to Affliction warlocks, keeping a number of DoTs active on targets at all times while filling the rotation with lighter attacks and bonus procs. However, the Shadow priest lacks the complexity of the Affliction warlock's range of options, having a much simpler and tighter rotation. Capable of dealing good burst damage, the Shadow priest really shines when they can place DoTs on multiple targets, dealing massive amounts of damage without lifting a finger.

The telltale sign of a Shadow priest is [Shadowform], an altered state that renders the priest a dark shadow of themselves, and improves their play as a DPS. The one limitation to this is that it prevents the priest from casting most healing spells. However, the priest is still capable of dropping briefly out of Shadowform to heal themselves or their allies, providing extra utility and survivability when needed. Shadow priests can also provide a good amount of group healing through [Vampiric Embrace] and hybrid damage/healing abilities available to all priests. However, a Shadow priest cannot be relied upon to maintain healing, as their mana pool will rapidly run dry.

When levelling, many priests choose the Shadow spec, since it deals damage far more quickly than the other specs. However, the healing specs are quite capable of facing mobs alone, and benefit from far greater survivability than the DPS-oriented Shadow spec. Both specs are capable of switching quickly from healing to damage when the situation demands it, with Disc generating healing all the while. This versatility allows priests of any spec to bring a little extra support when it's needed, and to experiment with their preferred playstyle. For example, a Shadow priest might choose focus entirely on DPS while their allies die, or may take a sideline in support, yanking friends out of the fire with [Leap of Faith] and throwing out a quick [Power Word: Shield] for a beleaguered tank, or even going all-in as a temporary healer to save the day when the main healer dies.

Another string to the priest's bow is their range of dispel abilities. Powerful abilities like [Dispel Magic] and [Mass Dispel] make priests some of the most powerful dispellers in the game, with Disc and Holy priests excelling in this role. They also have some fun spells like [Levitate], Mind Control and [Mind Vision].

The main weakness to the priest class is their cloth armor, making them very weak to melee attacks. Priests have abilities like [Psychic Scream] for when things get out of hand, but need to stand back from the fray if they wish to show their true potential, and are more dependent on help from other players than some classes. In PvP this can make lower-level play more challenging, as their armor offers little protections from attackers, and stout protectors may be hard to come by until higher levels. Even at higher levels, it often pays to stay out of sight, or at least to try to avoid drawing the attention of several enemies at once, since the priest's armor offers limited protection to heavy attacks. However, when they are able to focus on applying their talents, priests have some of the most impressive outputs for their roles.

Overall, the priest is a great class with room for a variety of playstyles. If you enjoy healing and supporting others, keeping a target (or several) alive through thick and thin, and being the supporting backbone of the team, Disc and Holy offer a great and powerful healing experience. If you like being a sinister shadow master, destroying targets with a suffocating mass of dark plagues and mental torments, keeping a steady wall of DoTs chipping away at targets' health, and steadily draining your enemy's life while they stand powerless to oppose you - you might enjoy playing a Shadow priest.

Rogue

Sinister masters of the night, rogues are a lightly-armored class which uses [Stealth], poisons and sharp blades to dispatch enemies without a sound. Focusing exclusively on DPS, the rogue represents a counterpoint to the warrior's brash guts and glory approach to battle, preferring to strike from the shadows and [Vanish] without a sound, their only code of honor the contract on their target's life. Valuing dexterity over muscle, rogues wear leather armor that leaves them free to move swiftly through the night, and usually wield light weapons in each hand.

Rogues rely on their rapidly-regenerating pool of energy to deal damage, granting combo points to build toward devastating finishing moves. Rogues are one of the most infamous classes in PvP, capable of incapacitating opponents for extended periods with a variety of poisons, bleeds, stuns and other disabling effects, while they slice and dice their helpless target. Rogues have excellent access to [Stealth], able to sneak around undetected by enemies and pounce upon their prey with special opening attacks, and have a range of evasive abilities for escaping combat when the odds turn against them. Rogues can also pick locks and [Detect Traps]. With the ability to incapacitate foes, high burst damage, many spell interrupts, and strong evasion abilities, rogues are formidable opponents.

Each rogue spec focuses on DPS, but has its own way of achieving this. Assassination rogues use poisons and finishing moves to deal bursts of damage to their targets; Subtlety rogues are dark stalkers, leaping from the shadows to ambush foes before slipping back into the night; while Combat rogues are the exception, cunning swashbucklers who use agility and dirty tricks to stand toe-to-toe with enemies.

The rogue class has two primary strengths that are ironically in opposition to each other: they are tremendous damage dealers, yet they are also the best at avoiding combat in the first place.

The [Stealth] skill is the rogue's best friend. Rogues have stealth-enhancing talents that can allow them to travel nearly anywhere in the game by themselves, even to the extent of exploring high level instances solo without ever engaging in combat. They can even grab a few extra coins on their way by picking pockets, though this is not a significant source of income. If you enjoy control, and prefer to pick your fights, the rogue is a very enjoyable class.

Once in combat, rogues are very potent damage dealers. The rogue is a class that "fights dirty" (which is shown through their large arsenal of Stealth abilities, as well as their multiple Stuns and other CC abilities), and they are frequently found at the top of damage-monitoring statistics during endgame raids, although it is common to find rogues sacrificing some of their damage (still leaving it very high) to incapacitate the target through the use of other abilities. Through the use of the combo point system rogues have many abilities that can either stop an enemy in its tracks or slay it quickly. Like warriors, they need close proximity combat to be effective. They are limited to leather armor and can withstand much less damage than warriors; a rogue will be outmatched if suddenly made the attention of multiple enemies. However, stealth often allows them to escape this situation, either to get away completely or to restart the fight under better circumstances.

In PvP rogues are one of the most feared classes because of their stealth capabilities, high burst damage and stunlocks, letting a rogue kill an enemy player without them being able to fight back. This can be very satisfying if you enjoy lying in wait, then pouncing from the shadows to deal huge amounts of damage to the incapacitated enemy, before swiftly slipping away. Subtlety rogues excel at this type of combat. However, in levelling and PvE play, this approach can become slow and repetitious, causing many rogues to favour Assassination or Combat specs for steady combat.

Several of the rogue's most useful combat abilities (e.g. [Cheap Shot], [Ambush]) require the rogue to be in Stealth, which means that in solo play they can only be used at the start of a fight. In groups, [Vanish] and [Preparation] can allow more chances, while in PvP, combat fades after 5 seconds without fighting, allowing you to re-stealth.

If you enjoy a class that provides a high-octane, quick-reflex environment, the rogue is for you. Win or lose, fights as a rogue are often over quick. Take care: if you are prone to committing mistakes, your rogue will become an easy and vulnerable target. But with a cool head and knowledge of the weapons of your disposal - cheap tricks, lethal poisons, an iron grasp of martial arts, and a dozen ways to control your opponent - a well-played rogue will take you far.

Shaman

Shamans are mortal mediators between the very elements themselves. Spiritual leaders of their communities, these powerful practitioners commune with the ancestors and seek to balance the raging elemental forces, and can call upon them in battle to scorch and blast their enemies, or to strengthen and heal their allies. Shamans can enhance their weapons with elemental effects, smite enemies with lightning strikes and bursts of lava, and summon powerful elementals to do their bidding. Shamans can also grant themselves and their allies powerful elemental boons, and call upon the ancestors to assist them, transforming into a [Ghost Wolf] or using [Reincarnation] to return from the dead. Shamans can also use a selection of stationary totems to gain a wide variety of effects, from restoring mana and automatically healing allies to snaring foes and attacking the shaman's enemies. Shamans are versatile and formidable opponents, able to respond to any situation with a range of unique abilities.

Shamans are able to specialize in offensive spellcasting, melee damage dealing, or healing. Elemental shamans are powerful spellcasters, fulfilling a caster DPS role to blast and scorch enemies from afar; Enhancement shamans are melee damage dealers, smiting opponents with elementally-empowered weapons; while Restoration shamans are versatile healers well suited for any situation.

Shamans can wield most melee weapons and shields, and can wear Cloth armor, Leather armor and Mail armor at level 40. Shamans can use a range of totems to fit the situation, and can summon elementals and spirit wolves as temporary pets or guardians. They can provide excellent raid buffs through totems and abilities such as [Bloodlust], wreak havoc in PvP with their burst damage, and can provide wipe recovery for the group through [Reincarnation]. Shamans are also known for their multi-target spells such as [Chain Heal] and [Chain Lightning].

With the better armor protection, shamans are more survivable than the cloth wearers, but need it because they generally lack aggro-reducing abilities. In PvP, Elemental shamans are often considered "turrets" since they pretty much just sit and spam their ranged spells, turning when needed, while Enhancement shamans feature a hectic playstyle, dual-wielding elementally-augmented weapons to frantically smite their foes.

Warlock

Warlocks are a cloth-wearing DPS caster class, known for their wide range of debuffs and damage over time effects. Warlocks are also recognisable by their demonic minions, used to deal damage to foes, as well as to provide both offensive and defensive utility. Warlocks have a number of crowd control options, and a wide range of utility spells, which can be used to benefit the entire group. Warlocks also have an interesting relationship with health, capable of converting their health into mana, sacrificing their minions to save themselves, and even trading their own blood in exchange for powerful effects, and possess numerous dark methods for restoring their health, including draining the life from their enemies, and bringing themselves or their allies back from the dead through Soulstones.

The warlock is one of the more eccentric classes in the game. Masters of dark demonic forces, these former mages and shamans use their powers to inflict terrible suffering upon their enemies, corrupting and draining the very life from their victims, immolating and incinerate attackers, and summoning great and terrible demons to serve them in battle. Warlocks deal damage from afar using spells and DoTs, while using their pets to tank, incapacitate or devour their enemies. Warlocks are similar to mages, except they have a Demon minion, and tend to focus more on Damage over Time (DoT) spells than Direct Damage (DD) spells.

All warlocks fulfil a caster DPS role. However, each warlock specialization offers a different approach to the class. Affliction warlocks are the masters of damage over time, draining their targets' health with an array of powerful curses and DoTs. They tend to focus on maintaining a formidable array of debuffs to cripple their enemies, using their unparalleled range of DoTs to deal slow but unstoppable damage. Demonology warlocks are the hardiest and most hands-on of the warlocks. Focusing upon their demonic powers, these warlock benefit from empowered minion abilities and access to the Doomguard minion. Most importantly, these warlocks use [Metamorphosis] to regularly shift into a demon form, where they have access to an altered range of abilities and tank-like armor. Destruction warlocks are more similar to mages, using potent burst damage and Fire spells to sear and incinerate enemies. With a range of powerful nukes, these warlocks focus on direct damage and can rapidly reduce unprepared opponents to a pile of cinders. Each spec also has its own special resource, in addition to mana, used to empower their spells, further defining their unique playstyle.

Probably the most iconic part of being a warlock is their minions, each of which has different abilities and is useful in different situations. Warlocks can summon a range of demons to serve them as their permanent and controllable pet, including the seductive succubus, the tank-like voidwalker, the fireball-hurling Imp and the horrific Felhunter. These can be used to control targets, to prevent incoming damage, to counter enemy spell casters or simply to burn the enemy to a crisp. In addition, warlocks can summon temporary demons like the mighty Infernal for powerful bursts of damage, while at higher levels [Grimoire of Supremacy] allows warlocks to summon a new range of demons, with improved abilities and fearsome new forms. Minions are fully controllable, and can be commanded by the warlock to attack targets and use their special abilities to great effect. Similar to the hunter, this means the warlock is rarely alone, and adds an additional element to play.

Warlocks have several potent forms of crowd control ( [Fear] and [Seduction]), and a warlock's DoTs will drain their opponent's life away, regardless of whether the warlock himself survives. In comparison to the other cloth classes, the warlock can be involved in multiple fights without having to take a break, thanks to their life-draining abilities.

A well-played warlock is arguably the busiest DPS class in the game; there is plenty of debuffing to be done to help the group, a pet to control, crowd control to be handled, all the while trying to maintain a high damage output. If you enjoy playing a less straight-forward spellcaster and seeing your enemies suffer, the warlock might be for you.

Warrior

Warriors are melee fighters highly trained in the arts of weaponry. They are strong and quick on the battlefield. Clad in plate armor and wielding mighty weapons, they can deal large amounts of damage and are capable of withstanding large amounts of damage to protect other party members. Warrior abilities are fuelled by rage. Rage is generated through damage being dealt to and by the warrior and is capped at 100. Warriors have many abilities capable of aiding rage generation. Druids in [Bear Form] are much akin to warriors. Arms and Fury warriors are fearsome melee DPS, while Protection warriors are indomitable tanks.

Warriors can change between three combat stances: [Battle Stance], [Defensive Stance] and [Berserker Stance]. Each stance provides different bonuses, allowing the player a variety of responses to any given PvE or PvP situation. Warriors can wear any type of armor, preferring plate (available at level 40). They are able to use shields and can wield any weapon except wands. The primary warrior attributes are strength and stamina. Warrior gear focuses on strong armor and devastating weapons. Warriors tend to be more dependent on the quality of their gear than other classes.

Because warriors use rage — which is built up during combat — instead of mana or energy, there is relatively little downtime between fights. In PvP play, warriors suffer the disadvantage of having to be near an opponent to deal damage. All classes have a weakness in PvP though, and warriors certainly have the strengths to compensate for this. Abilities like [Charge] and [Heroic Leap] allow warriors to close the gap, while abilities like [Hamstring] help them ensnare enemies once they do.

Warriors are usually to be found leading the [Charge] into battle, tearing across the battlefield and using furious shouts and terrifying banners to rally their allies and intimidate their enemies. Whether striking down opponents with mighty two-handed weapons, tearing into packs of enemies in a whirlwind of steel, or standing firm in the face of death itself, warriors excel at battle with a range of powerful attacks and battlefield manoeuvres, masters of both skillful strikes and devastating blows.

Playing a warrior means action, and lots of it. Warriors love the thrill of close-combat and are usually found in the thick of battle, battling crowds of enemies in a [Whirlwind] of steel. DPS warriors have a lot of powerful damage-increasing cooldowns, and often focus around combining these to provide devastating bursts of damage, while snaring and running down their enemies. If you enjoy the thought of smashing foes with massive weapons, carving your opponents to pieces with a sword or axe in each hand, or being an immovable bulwark of steel facing down death itself, the warrior may be for you.

See also