I’ve started thinking about one of my alts as the next character to play a bit, and realised that my knowledge on the class mechanics for almost all of them is well out of date. In digging for answers across many classes and roles, it turns out that I follow a set of very similar steps regardless of the character.
So here is my cheat-sheet / guide for learning about a class.
Start with the EJ forms landing page for your class.
This will be initially an overload of information, but it is best to jump into the deep end. Sometimes printing the first post and reading in spare time is better to get a grip on the information presented. Go to Elitist Jerks, click the class mechanics. Find the thread for the spec that you’re interested in. These will usually have a leading 25-30 lines of basic information on stats, gems, specs, and rotations. Skip any of the comments after the first ten.
Then jump into the class specific forums on the official forums. Generally you’ll not see anything as useful or detailed as in the EJ forums, but there is still sometimes a post that is “how to”, or “introduction” based. Generally skip the comments, as they will be less and less useful as you get further through them.
Things to establish first are: How to select a Talent Tree.
Pick the tree which is suitable for the way you wish to play in a broad way of speaking, and confirm that it is useful for levelling by doing a quick Google search. Each class will have many ways to level, but one spec which is considered better than others. For almost all cases this means picking a tree which has high dps particularly if it is burst dps, and potentially either a good set of defensive or “oh-shit” buttons, or a spec which gains a pet.
Examples of the really solid levelling talent trees for classes are:
- Demonology Warlocks,
- Beast Master Hunters,
- Unholy Death Knights,
- Frost Mages,
- Shadow Priests,
- Ret Paladins,
- Feral-Cat Druids,
Basically any dps role if the class only has one dps talent tree. There are also very viable ways to level in almost any tree, these are just the most common, or easy.
For spending your points use the spec listed in some forums (below), but remember to only spend a maximum of 5 points per level. You do this so that you can select powers deeper in the tree, as the powers generally get much better the further down the tree you select. Be careful not to select abilities which are focused on either a lot of survival or reducing cool-downs on stuns and such, as they are generally for PvP, not for levelling. You’ll have an opportunity to grab some of them later anyway.