Originally posted on November 29, 2006

 

World of Warcraft is by far the most popular MMORPG in use today, with a subscriber base of several kazillion. Presumably someone’s buying an awful lot of accounts to keep the numbers up.

 

Scottish Ninja Monkey Squad presents a guide to getting the most out of World of Warcraft. And by most, we mean as much loot as possible, and bugger the consequences.

 

Note

 

This article was written over a long period while I was leveling my first character from about 30-60 (and beyond). It’s old, out of date, and much of it isn’t really that funny. Nonetheless, it’s here in its entirety in case anyone’s interested. Web space is cheap, and there isn’t really much else on the site at the moment.

 

I had once thought I would rewrite the whole thing, but since I no longer play as much, that’s unlikely to ever happen.

 

2010 note: Since I no longer play at all, the odds of a rewrite can be summed up in the words of Eliza Doolittle: Not Bloody Likely.

 

Character creation

 

First up, character creation. If you’re female, you’ll want to play a male character. While being hit on every five minutes can be entertaining, by the time you’ve reached level 40 you’ll be sick of it. If you’re male, you have two options:

 

1. Play a female character, dress in skimpy clothes, and spend your time insisting that you’re not gay at all. This also allows you to lead on male characters, only to reveal that you are in fact male, so they are gay (most male players are so sex-starved that this isn’t difficult). If challenged, you should use the justification that if you’re going to look at an ass all day, it should be a female one. Better yet, accuse male characters of being gay for looking at guys’ asses.

2. Play a male character, and attempt to seduce females. This is easier, as you are undeniably straight because you play a guy.

 

Back in the days of Everquest, any female character would be showered with money and other gifts by horny teenagers who couldn’t quite grasp the concept that the player might be male. Sadly this is no longer the case, so any financial incentive to playing a hot female character is gone.

 

Horde vs Alliance is a tricky one. Alliance has better looking avatars (at least until the Blood Elves are released), but Horde is undeniably badass. It’s generally considered that Horde has better quests, but that doesn’t really matter (my opinion is that once you’ve got a character to about level 30, all quests are much the same anyway, they just change the scenery a bit). However, raid progression is usually faster on Alliance, with a few notable exceptions like Al’Akir. If you intend to buy a lot of gear, you’ll get better prices as an Alliance character. If you intend to sell a lot of gear to unsuspecting morons, you’ll get more money on Horde.

 

In naming your character, be sure to pick a name that reflects your badass nature. Sir Gankalot would be ideal, except that it’s two words and conflicts with the naming rules. Badassmage is a decent choice, and I’m sure you can think of many more (and you’d better, because if Gankalot and Badassmage weren’t already taken on your server, they will be now). The naming rules are seldom enforced on normal servers, so unless you pick something overtly racist, anything goes. If you’re interested in PvP, you could always name your character Parts, and play battlegrounds until you reach the rank of Private (that’s about one game).

 

Do not, however, be tempted to actually play a mage. Mages are highly restricted in the weapons and armour they can use, which limits the types of loot you can justify rolling on. Play a hunter if at all possible, because hunters are cool and get big cats as pets. If your name suggests a completely different class and/or race to your character, other players will admire you for your wit. You might also consider a warrior. While you don’t get pets, you can roll on even more loot than hunters (but still not wands).

 

Pets

 

Hunters and warlocks are able to tame pets (technically warlocks summon minions, but due to some bizarre game behaviour, they tend to show up as pets).

 

Most beasts can be tamed, and you may see hunters running around with various forms of raptor, but undoubtedly the best pet to have is a cat.

 

Since the 1.10 patch, it is also possible to tame feral druids. As it is a new addition, not all druids are aware of this yet, so be sure to remind them frequently.

 

Druids are played by real people, so your taming method needs to be different to other animals. In contrast to normal pets, they don’t always follow your commands exactly. To compensate, you can tame druids up to five levels above your own, and occasionally higher.

 

You should begin by offering equipment, ideally around the druid’s level, and green or better. Feral druids eat equipment, but don’t like edged weapons or heavy armor because the metal interferes with their digestion. Use the normal trade window for this. You will know when you have succeeded because the druid will begin to accept your group invitations.

 

As with other pets, druids may get fed up and turn on you if you don’t keep them happy. This usually takes the form of hearthstoning out of the instance just before you reach a high level elite boss. They need to be fed high level equipment, also using the trade window. First refusal on the Illusionary Rod and anything with "Wildheart" in the name is much appreciated. They won’t say no to Shadowcraft, either.

 

Make sure your druid is at least level 20 when you try this, as otherwise she (you aren’t gay now, are you?) won’t have the cat form. In the 1.11 patch it will also be possible to ride your druid when she gains travel form at level 30.

 

The ultimate status symbol for hunters is to have a tame level 60 druid who will run you through the Deadmines at will. This is quite rare, and many druids are liable to sulk and go off to solo BRD instead (or possibly Stratholme). You may also want to release your druid when she gets to level 60 because feral druids don’t scale well past 60. Don’t worry about what this actually means, half the druids don’t either.

 

Communication

 

Refer to the following list for communication. The channel numbers are the defaults, and will change if you leave and rejoin channels at all.

 

/1 - General chat channel - don’t bother with this.

/2 - Trade channel (cities only) - hold public auctions here. If you aren’t in a city, use general instead.

/3 - Local defense - use this to announce approaching Horde (or Alliance), as soon as they come within five zones of a capital city. Also use it in Duskwood immediately before you get ganked by Stitches.

/4 - Looking for Group - this should be used if you need help on a quest, for recruiting players, for discussing the football, and for pretending to have reported anyone who isn’t actually looking for a group (remember that LFM means they’re looking for a person not a group, so report them as well).

/g - Guild chat - anything you say here is visible only to guild members. Use it to show off any nice equipment you’ve picked up, to berate the guild healers for not doing enough damage or letting your cat die, and to misdirect messages that should have gone to your party. If your party consists of guild members, conduct all communication on guild chat, to keep the other members informed.

/p - Party chat - use this to justify why you just rolled need on [Pattern: Robes of the Void] (in case selling it for 100g isn’t justification enough) in a party of warlocks.

/y - Yell - Most important of all, this is the one you should use to ask people for money outside the auction house.

 

You’ve got two options as regards communication style: txt-spk, or pseudo-archaic.

 

Txt-spk is much like any other chat system. Omit vowels, don’t punctuate, and pick either upper or lower case and stick to it. Lower case is more common and results in fewer complaints.

 

Archaic speech includes lots of "thee", "ye", and additional e’s. Don’t bother researching the correct usage of Middle English – nobody will appreciate the difference anyway. The previous sentence should read:

 

Do notte bother researchinge ye correcte usage of ye Middle Englishe – nobodie appreciateth ye difference anywaye.

 

This is called role playing. If you do put a bit of effort in and learn Middle English, you’ll find that your speech resembles Chaucer during some of his less lucid moments. As a result, nobody will be able to understand you at all – much like txt-spk, in fact. An added bonus is that prior to the first dictionary, nobody cared much about spelling, so anything goes. Even Shakespeare couldn’t decide how to spell his own name. Sadly, modern scholars have now all agreed on one convention.

 

If role playing is too difficult for you, there are UI add-ons available to automate the process for you, provided you want to role play as a pirate. If you want to role play as a drunk, that’s even easier and the game will do it for you.

 

Try to chat up female players. As you know, all female characters are played by girls, because guys playing girls are homosexuals (that means gay). Pick a room in an inn, and declare that it belongs to you and your wife (yes, we believe you). If you go upstairs in the Goldshire inn, you’ll find one unoccupied room - this is ideal. It is also part of a mid-level quest, so you should find a slow but steady stream of other players to impress, and some of them might be hot girls. Better yet, it is the only part of that quest not to spawn level 30 ghosts, so you’re safe there.

 

After a while, you may find that nobody responds to you any more. This is because they are in awe of your communication skills, and feel that nothing more need be said.

 

The term "ninja" is high praise in WoW.

 

Dueling

 

Dueling is great. Everybody loves dueling, especially on PvE servers where they don’t normally get the chance to attack other players.

 

Go to Northshire Abbey and challenge the new players. By defeating them as soon as they’ve logged in you’ll impress on them how awesome you are.

 

If you see a big orange cat-like thing running towards you about 40% faster than normal, it’s probably a druid in travel form. Challenge him (if you can click that fast) – since he can move so much faster, he’s got plenty of time to be amazed by your combat skills.

 

(A word of warning: druids get travel form at level 30. If you’re level 5, you might want to wait before trying this. Then again, think of the bragging rights if you win. Also, if you’re in the Swamp of Sorrows, the cat-like thing might be a jaguar, and is more likely to kill you outright than in a duel.)

 

It’s all about the DPS

 

DPS stands for damage per second, and is the ratio of damage per hit to hits per second. However, you don’t need to worry about this, as the game calculates it for you.

 

As a hunter, it is your right to the highest DPS items you can find, regardless of whether they give +250 to healing spells. Since you use mana, you have a further right to all items with any stats bonuses at all. It’s possible someone will ask you exactly why you want high spirit. However, since nobody wants high spirit, this isn’t a challenge so much as a simple request for information. Say something about downtime and change the subject.

 

Of all hunter pets, cats have the highest DPS, and you should obtain one as soon as possible. Never use any other pet in a party, even if you have no tank. Should your cat die while taking more abuse than it was ever designed to, remember to berate the healer (if you have one – ideally your party should contain five hunters and five cats) for not healing it. The one exception to this rule is Lupos. Lupos is a wolf, but has a chance to do shadow damage on hit. A pet that casts spells (and isn’t one of those gay flying things in the Barrens) trumps one with a high DPS. Blizzard consider this a bug, but as with most bugs, you should be able to reliably exploit it for at least the next three major patches.

 

Since any creativity you may once have had was spent choosing your character’s name, your cat should be called Cat. She should be left on aggressive mode at all times to ward off attackers, especially in instances.

 

Since you have a high DPS melee weapon (probably the Emberstone Staff – the Staff of Westfall has a higher DPS but doesn’t look as cool), you should charge into the heat of battle in order to use it. Never mind that hunters are designed to take almost as much damage as cats. Berate the healer for not resurrecting you immediately, especially if the healer has a 30 minute cooldown on resurrect.

 

In instances, use a damage calculator add-on to find out who did the most damage to the enemy. Berate the healer for being at the bottom of the table.

 

If you’re a hunter with style (and you should be), you should give items a coolness factor, and work with the greater of actual DPS and (DPS x coolness) when rolling, or just (DPS x coolness) when deciding which items to use. For example, Staff of Westfall has a coolness factor approaching 0, while Emberstone Staff has a coolness factor of about 1.3 (1.5 when enchanted) and the Rod of the Sleepwalker around 0.95. You should therefore roll on both Emberstone and Sleepwalker, but only use Emberstone. The Illusionary Rod uses the same model as Emberstone, but has a slightly lower coolness factor as it is green (until enchanted, but beastslaying doesn’t look so good on a green gem). However, it has a much higher DPS and so should replace Emberstone as soon as you get it.

 

Anything enchanted with Crusader has a coolness factor of at least infinity.

 

Commerce and trading

 

The best way to obtain equipment is to look at the listings in the auction house, and find a higher level guild member to buy them for you. If this fails, you may have to make some money on your own.

 

Most humanoid enemies drop money, and others usually drop grey items that can be sold to traders. These are a waste of inventory space, though.

 

If, for some reason, you have equipment that you can’t use, then you didn’t take my advice above to play as a hunter. In this case, announce “WTS: ” in the trade channel at any city. If you’re not in a city, announce it on general. Ideally you should hold a public auction on the channels – this way you avoid the hassle of paying the auction house. Don’t shift-click the item itself to enter its name. Instead, you should mistype the name, and expect all other players to know exactly what its stats are. Alternatively, include all the stats in your message.

 

If you have almost enough money to buy something – say you’re just 50s or so short – then feel free to ask for donations. Better to yell than to announce on general, since some unfriendly people leave the channels. If anyone else attempts this, threaten vocally to ignore them. Never do so, however – you should offer a public service of telling other players who they should ignore.

 

You may decide the personal touch is better when asking for money. This way you can target higher level players who have more money to spare. Make sure you choose players with the letters <AFK> in front of their names: they are less likely to say no.

 

You can buy wrapping paper and gift-wrap items. If you send these through the mail CoD, the recipient can’t see what’s in the package until he’s already paid. Normal spamming techniques apply, except that you should offer cheap epics rather than Viagra and penis enlargements. Blizzard prefers the hands-off approach to scamming, so you can do this without repercussion (but better to do it on an alt – if possible one with a name that looks like a major guild’s bank).

 

Professions

 

Tailoring is an excellent profession because its raw materials are readily available (at least until you get to expert level). Most humanoids around level 10 or higher drop cloth. Furthermore, non-tailors have no use for cloth (first aid being a waste of time), and they will be only too happy to give you theirs. All you need to do is ask. Make sure you ask frequently, in case they drop some cloth to free up inventory space. There is one simple phrase you need to remember.

 

Got any linen?

 

You might get away with upgrading to “got any wool”, or even silk. By the time you need mageweave, people may think the auction house is more profitable than giving it to low level hunters (not all that low, sadly. In the interests of game balance, you need to be at least level 20 to use mageweave, and 35 for runecloth). Accuse them of selfishness. Mooncloth can only be made by tailors, and has a cooldown period of 96 hours. Adjust your tactics by only asking for it every three days or so. Never mind that you can make it yourself (if you can find someone who’ll give you felcloth).

 

Flood the auction house with 6 slot linen bags, and advertise frequently on the trade channel. If your bags don’t sell, complain about more experienced tailors devaluing your wares by selling 8 or 10 slot bags. When you get to expert tailoring, you’ll be able to make headpieces – the azure silk hood is one of the first. Everyone loves these, even though it makes them look like total gimps (I must apologize for letting some factual information slip in: azure hoods really do sell remarkably well, and headbands even better).

 

Your second profession should be enchanting. As an enchanter, you will be able to disenchant green or better items received as loot. This gives you further justification for rolling need on anything and everything. It is rumoured that tailors can make green items then disenchant them in order to build skills and obtain supplies, but this is clearly an abuse of game mechanics, as prohibited by Blizzard. It is also well established that tailoring/enchanting is a fast track to bankruptcy, so don’t forget to ask people in Stormwind for extra money and green items. They’ll always understand.

 

Sell enchantments on the trade channel in Stormwind (or any other city – remember never to indicate which city you’re in). Beastslayer is popular, but never refer to it as that. The correct term is "red glow". You should list every enchantment you are able to make, regardless of whether you have the reagents. This may take several lines.

 

Fishing, cooking and first aid are secondary professions, and you should learn them all. While first aid is useless, and other players’ cloth would be better used by you, this should on no account prevent you from training it yourself.

 

If you ever get as far as level 60, drop tailoring and take up skinning. This gives you the right to roll on Finkle’s Skinner, and in the rare event that you skin the Pristine Hide of the Beast, that’s an instant 500g or more for you. Don’t believe anyone who says you should roll on the hide – if you weren’t there the Beast wouldn’t have been skinned, so you clearly deserve it.

 

Buffs

 

You can always obtain some good buffs by finding a druid and saying "buff ty". Thanking them in advance gives them an obligation to do something for you to have thanked them. Don’t ever feel guilty about that, we love helping people.

 

If you can’t find a druid, try a priest, paladin, mage, warlock, rogue, warrior or (if you’re Horde) shaman. Not necessarily in that order.

 

Travel

 

There are three methods of fast travel: gryphons (also hippogryphs and other variants), boat, and the Deeprun Tram. This is ignoring zeppelins (Horde only) and various forms of teleportation (class and/or profession specific, and non-engineer hunters can’t use them).

 

Gryphons get you quickly between towns you’ve already visited, but can be expensive. If a party is waiting for you, make sure you travel on foot to save money. Justify this by announcing that you don’t have the flightpath to, say, Gadgetzan when you’ve never travelled further afield than Westfall.

 

The hippogryph between Rut’theran Village and Auberdine is free, but you should take the boat anyway because flying makes you feel sick.

 

Boats have no such restrictions, and all you need to do is wait for one to arrive and hop on. You can make some extra money by selling tickets to low-level players. Alliance boats run between Menethil and Auberdine and Theramore, and between Auberdine and Rut’theran Village. The goblins also run a boat between Ratchet and Booty Bay.

 

The Deeprun Tram runs between Stormwind and Ironforge, and isn’t mentioned in the manual. Most players don’t find it until they’ve joined a guild and been told by someone else. Laugh at new players (especially night elves, who tend to get to Stormwind via the Barrens and Stranglethorn Vale, rather than the Wetlands) who take the long way between the two cities, but never let on that the tram exists.

 

The fastest way to get to a new area (or even an old one, for that matter) is to list players there, and whisper to a suitably high level warlock, demanding that they summon you. This is a free service offered by all warlocks over level 20, as it only requires a soul shard and they just have to kill things to get them. A Hydrocane or potion of water breathing is recommended.

 

Quests

 

While you can get some way just killing enemies at random, eventually you’ll have to do some quests. If nothing else, there will be some class-specific ones that you need to do to gain your ninja skills (and your cat). There are only about half a dozen types of quest:

 

1. Assassination - Kill boss X, return body part Y

2. Collection - Find lots of item type X

3. Genocide - Kill lots of enemy type X

4. FedEx - Deliver item X to person Y

5. Bodyguard - Defend person X against attackers

6. Rep grinding - Commit genocide against group X’s enemies

 

Bodyguard quests are great. You have to defend a person as they make some journey. Once you’ve accepted the quest, nobody else will be able to take it until the NPC respawns. Do them solo, and every time you fail, run back to the NPC and try again as soon as he reappears. Don’t accept any help with these quests – other players are just trying to share in your glory.

 

You may find that you can’t find the items, enemies or person you need for a quest. In this case, feel free to ask on general where other players will be happy to help. It is rumored that there is such a thing as a quest log where you can find much of this information, but you’re playing a multiplayer game and interaction with other players is key.

 

Completing quests will get you experience, and eventually level increases. A better way to obtain experience is to use your instant cast spells to tag enemies while other players are casting. Warlocks are ideal for this, as they have no instant cast spells (curses are instant, but don’t start doing damage for a while). Feral druids are also good, as they tend to pull with faerie fire, which lowers armor but does no damage (balance druids aren’t bad either, since starfire-moonfire is a better opener than moonfire alone, and if they’re outside they may not even use moonfire at all, to avoid breaking roots).

 

In the Redridge Mountains, there is a quest to find battleworn axes. You’ll probably do this around level 20, or 15 if you’re a Real Hunter (and who isn’t?). The best place to obtain them is Stonewatch Keep. Send your cat in to a group of orcs with the gold dragons around them – they give better drops. (In all fairness to hunters, it was a mage who did this to me – sent a fireball right into a group of three elite mobs. I only survived because I had soulstone up. God, that was a shit party. It was the hunter that looted a chest while everyone else was rolling, however)

 

Complain that Stitches killed you even when you had PvP off. Monsters don’t walk along roads. Stitches walks along roads, therefore he’s a player. Simple logic, right?

 

Groups

 

If you’re in a guild, you may find you’re invited on organized instance runs. This will become less frequent as you reach higher levels and your ninja skills become apparent.

 

If you aren’t in a guild, you may have to use the LookingForGroup channel, or perhaps the meeting stones. Meeting stones, however, try to pick groups with tanks and healers, so you may end up with some non-hunters. Your message to LFG should either be as cryptic as possible – “Hunter LFG” is a good one, especially in cities – or as long and drawn out as possible.

 

Hi, I’m a level 28 hunter with lots of green and a couple of bits of blue equipment. I’m looking for four more hunters to join me on a run to the Deadmines for experience and loot, as long as I get first dibs on any blue items. Level 45 and over, please, and bring your own cat.

 

It’s best not to mention that the bits of blue equipment are the Lavishly Jeweled Ring and Emberstone Staff that the mage and priest passed on the last time you were in the Deadmines.

 

Obviously that’s a bit too literate for most players, so remember to translate into pseudo-archaic bullshit as usual. Your LFG messages should be longer than the average guild recruitment spam. If you’re looking for a group for regular quests, you should announce the quest name, but not which part you’re doing: "LFG The People’s Militia" is good, as is The Tower of Althalaxx (however, the latter is quite long and difficult, and probably on the wrong side of the world for you). "LF38M Naxxramas" is a good way to get into raiding, but should perhaps be avoided as people might think you’re trying to be witty.

 

The very best way to join a group is to wait halfway down the Deadmines and invite high-level characters at random. If they decline, announce "we have high levels", as they clearly aren’t already in a group or trying to solo the instance (perhaps because of all the hunters that keep rolling on stuff they need). The advantage of being in this sort of group, especially on a low population server, is that all members are relatively new, and you have the best chance of feigning ignorance of looting conventions.

 

If you’re out in the sticks somewhere, particularly mid to high level sticks, assume that anyone else present is there for quests, and invite them to join you. Nobody at that level is interested in the experience or drops they get from soloing.

 

Instances

 

An instance is a dungeon (usually quite a large one, although the Stockade really isn’t that big) that is unique to your group. If another group tries to enter, they will find themselves in a different copy, with their own copies of the enemies. Gather two groups of five people, enter the instance at the same time, and express surprise that you can’t see half the group any more.

 

The correct way to get more than five players into an instance is to organize a raid. This way you get less experience, have to share items between more players, and don’t get any of those pesky quest items that waste inventory space. There are quests specifically designed for raids, but you needn’t worry about them. Make sure you make your party a raid whenever possible, particularly if other members have quests to finish.

 

The most common instances (for Alliance) are the Deadmines, the Stockade, and Gnomeregan. You should try to enter these at level 10, 15 and 20 respectively. Blackfathom Deeps is a good instance for level 12, but is in Kalimdor, so most people never get there. Try to join a group for BFD from Stormwind, especially if you’ve never been through the Wetlands, and ideally haven’t even discovered Ironforge yet.

 

Join high level groups on DM runs – this will allow you to get the Emberstone Staff and Blackened Defias set with little effort. It is common for high level players to pay their respects to Van Cleef, in memory of their first instance. This is known as a tribute run.

 

Combat tactics

 

Normal practice in group combat is to have a tank to take damage, a primary healer to keep the tank alive, and three random players to kill things. Sadly, hunters don’t make very good tanks (and neither do cats), and can’t heal.

 

There may also be a designated puller (not always the same person as the tank), whose job is to draw opponents towards the party to be killed. Hunters are ideal for this. Do not, however, let anyone know who the puller is supposed to be. Your cat can do this job as well, so a full party of hunters can pull at least ten opponents at once, even without the benefit of a huge aggro radius.

 

Your tactics should therefore be centered around making sure that nobody gets hit too much. Everybody and their cat should charge in and attack a different enemy, all at once. If your health starts to get low, run away and hope that someone else draws enough aggro for your opponent to attack them instead.

 

In a really dire situation, you should run back to the instance entrance and back into the world. Take extra care when re-entering the instance, as the enemy will be just inside the entrance, but don’t worry the rest of the party about it. They’ll find out soon enough when they resurrect (not strictly true: mobs in an instance appear to freeze when the last person leaves. Thus they’ll only remain just inside the entrance if everyone died and released before you fled. There are exceptions, but they’re probably bugs).

 

Remember that you and your cat can attack different enemies. In a raid, this means you can be in combat against 80 independent opponents at any given time. This is pretty much the entire population of the Deadmines. Make sure you set master looter, because otherwise you’ll be left trying to share 10 green items between 40 hunters.

 

One method of killing high level enemies is to find a group of players about to die, wait for them to do so, then kill their opponents. If you get your timing exactly right, you’ll be able to claim the kill even though others did most of the work. Blizzard have taken steps to prevent this, so the conditions under which this works are quite specific. The mob should be attacked by two or more groups (or solo players), and the one with aggro should die. Normally the mob will turn around and be impossible to hit until it regenerates and returns to its spawn point. However, as another player has aggro, it will continue to fight. If you can get an attack in after the mob’s name goes red again, but before the other player (quite easy if they’re in the process of running away), then you can take the kill.

 

Helping other players in combat is generally a bad idea. If a player is mobbed by half a dozen opponents and you pull one off him, then they will all attack you when he dies. Instead, you should wait for him to die first, then engage them individually. This doesn’t apply if there’s only one enemy, of course, so if you see a level 60 hunter in combat with a high level elite demon, remember to help him out.

 

Druids are capable of killing almost anything outdoors, but it can take a very long time. If you apply some stings, their fight will be over much faster.

 

Crowd control

 

Some classes have crowd control abilities. Some mage spells can freeze opponents, and their polymorph spell turns humanoids and some beasts into sheep for an appreciable length of time. Druids have entangling roots, which also holds enemies still for a while (but only outdoors and not very reliably), and hibernate, which is much like polymorph but works on beasts and dragonkin. As most instances are indoors and populated by humanoids, druids get the shaft somewhat when it comes to crowd control.

 

As a hunter, your primary means of crowd control is to generate so much aggro that all enemies congregate in the same place – around you. This makes it easy for mages to hit them with area of effect spells (which are great in instances). The healer, if present, will concentrate all his efforts on keeping you alive. If you don’t have a healer, your fellow hunters will admire you for sacrificing yourself for the good of the party, and might bandage you occasionally.

 

If a mage is close to death and freezes or sheeps an enemy attacking him, your first duty is to attack that enemy. Opponents afflicted with polymorph regenerate health very quickly, so you should make sure they spend as little time as possible in that state. Even the time needed for the mage to escape may be too long. You’re quite safe doing this, as the mage will probably still have aggro when the spell is removed.

 

If you are a mage (go back and read the first part again if you’re doing this), you should cast polymorph on opponents that the rest of your party are already attacking, especially if your group has the upper hand. Complain loudly when they continue to attack anyway.

 

Looting rules

 

WoW’s default looting system uses need before greed. If you’re in a party and a green or better item turns up (this is configurable), you’ll get to select need, greed or pass. You should roll need at all costs. Remember that, as a hunter, you are able to use almost anything. In the event that you can’t, you clearly need the money. Other players will tell you to roll greed for that, but they don’t know how poor you are. You should never pass, unless your inventory is full.

 

Some items are bind on pickup, meaning that you can’t give them to anyone else, nor sell them to anyone except traders. Remember to roll need for these, in case another party member accidentally gets something he can’t use.

 

Make sure you try to sell your bind on pickup items in the trade channel. Some people may remind you that you can’t sell them, and any party members in the city will be green with envy.

 

Headpieces are quite rare, hence the high prices they fetch on the auction house. The Bad Mojo Mask is an excellent hunter item.

 

Chests and ore deposits

 

Very often, chests, ore deposits and quest items are guarded by enemies. If you find you are unable to defeat them, wait for another player to engage them in combat before opening the chest. The same applies to ore deposits, although you probably aren’t a miner.

 

In groups, it is common for group members to roll to decide who gets to open chests. You should already be halfway through looting the chest before the first player has rolled.

 

If you didn’t take my advice, and have skinning as a profession, wait around higher level players to skin their kills immediately after they’ve looted them. Chances are they won’t be skinners themselves (certainly not if they’re druids, hunters or rogues). Leave grey vendor trash in your own kills to stop other people doing the same.

 

You may find that other players express some annoyance at you for using these tactics. This is simply jealousy on their part. In reality, they are in awe of your ninja-like abilities. Take care, however, as some inconsiderate players like to pull half a dozen enemies to attack you. At least, we (sorry, they) talk about doing it.

 

Guilds

 

A guild is a group of players that share a private chat channel, maybe have a picture on their tabards, and give you stuff. To join a guild, just walk around Elwynn Forest for a few hours and someone will invite you. This works even if you’ve got a bad reputation elsewhere, because the new players haven’t found the forums yet. At higher levels, try Moonbrook, or halfway down the Deadmines.

 

The primary purpose of a guild is to give lower level members (this means you) money and equipment. Avoid joining a guild where your level is above the median, as you may be expected to contribute. As an enchanter, you should ask for any and all green or better items, no matter how inappropriate to your class (and as a hunter, nothing is inappropriate).

 

You may find that guild members list items on guild chat for other members. Very rarely is any price mentioned. This is because they negotiate prices privately, not on the channel. In the interests of openness, you should do such negotiation in the guild channel. Follow other members’ lead by not mentioning that you want payment until someone else has expressed an interest.

 

Find high level rare and epic items at the auction house and mention them on guild chat. Don’t mention whether it’s something you want, want to sell, just got as a drop, or just saw on a level 60 player passing by.

 

Starting a guild

 

To start a guild, you need a name, and you need a charter. Charters can be obtained from the big cities, but cost money, so yell until somebody gives you some. Then you need to find ten people to sign the charter.

 

Go to Elwynn Forest and start whispering to people randomly. You’ll eventually get ten signatures just to make you shut up and go away. You may find that everyone leaves the guild once it’s formed, but that isn’t a problem. If someone declines, ask them again in case their mouse slipped (this is a good idea with duels as well).

 

Be careful with guild names, as overtly offensive ones are liable to get you banned, as with characters. You might get away with a GNAA guild, but you probably won’t want to because it suggests that you’re gay.

 

To get new members, you can try Elwynn Forest again, or if you’re around level 15, Westfall. If you’re not watching carefully, it can be difficult to tell the difference between a party invitation and a guild invitation, so you may get some people to join that way. Halfway down the Deadmines in the middle of combat is a good time to recruit. Once you have enough members, get them to donate enough money to buy a tabard, and preferably some extra equipment for yourself as well.

 

Your tabard pattern should have lots of blood and gore, and look altogether badass. Don’t be tempted to put bunnies on it, or people will find out you are gay.

 

Congratulations, you now have a guild with a bunch of low-level members. Now create a couple of alts and play them while all the other members level up. You should now find your membership is about 5 levels above you, and you’re justified in asking them to give you stuff.

 

But running a guild isn’t all fun and games – you need to organize things. A nightly raid to the Deadmines is a good idea. Remember to turn the group into a raid to let everyone join, even though a small guild can rarely put together more than five members at a time anyway. Don’t do this on the first run, though, as you’ll want to make sure you’ve finished the quests before you start farming. The Deadmines are so much easier with 15 people (and 15 cats) running around, and if you set Master Looter, you’ll get lots of green and blue items to sell (the blue ones mostly to vendors, but don’t let that discourage you from advertising on the trade channel). If other members actually want to complete the Defias Brotherhood quests, accuse them of being selfish and tell them to find another group.

 

If you run a guild this way, you may find that some members don’t appreciate your leadership and leave. In fact, you’re probably doomed to have a high turnover. This means you need to advertise. Advertisement should be done on the general chat channel, or on LFG. If all else fails, yell or whisper to other players at random. Remember to emphasize that you’re a fun guild, want to do the big endgame instances (don’t worry about what they are, you’ll never see them), and most importantly, that you have a tabard.

 

LeetNinjas is recruiting. We’re a fun, friendly guild trying to get to level 60 as fast as possible and aiming for the big endgame instances. We have our own tabard and website with forums. Hunters only, bring your own cat.

 

For extra authenticity, misspell tabard as talberd.

 

Conclusion

 

If you follow this advice, you will undoubtedly make a name for yourself. And if you get bored, for a small fee you can always transfer to another server where nobody knows you, and start again.

© 2002-2016 James Matthews. All rights reserved.

 
 
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