Monday, March 4, 2013

World of Warcraft Newbie Guide 2b: Choosing Your Race

There are currently twelve races of choice. Each has some unique passive and active effects known as "racials" that set them apart from other racials, which are subject to being balanced like other aspects of the game. In this section I will focus on what each race brings to the table and recommended classes for each race on the basis of their racial bonuses (which are advised, but not necessary - I will not recommend Death Knight or Monk for any race as of yet). Keep in mind that each race has a limited class selection, so you should click the race name to see what classes are available for play (especially if you don't want to follow my recommendations, which is okay). I will not go over races that may be more aesthetically pleasing than others due to subjectivity because while my game knowledge may be opinions based on game knowledge, aesthetics are based largely on the viewpoint of each individual.

Thus, without further ado, these are the races World of Warcraft has to offer:
  • Humans: Jokes about generics aside, Humans are one of the major races of the Alliance. Humans are exceptionally proficient with Maces and Swords, gaining expertise while wearing them, which allows them to hit targets that have a tendency to avoid attacks more often. Humans gain improved health and mana regeneration by virtue of an increased Spirit attribute. Humans gain reputation with factions at a quicker rate, allowing them to make friends faster (more on reputation and factions in a later article). Humans can remove all effects that incapacitate them periodically as an activated effect. Because of their expertise with maces and swords, Humans can make good use of melee classes such as the Rogue, Warrior, or Paladin. Because healing classes benefit from Spirit, a Priest may also be advisable (Paladins can also heal). Other racials may make them desirable as a race, regardless of class.
  • Orc: Orcs are one of the major races of the Horde and often shown as warlike or villainous in the fantasy genre. Orcs are exceptionally proficient at using Axes and Fist Weapons, gaining expertise while wearing them. Orcs can periodically make themselves stronger, dealing more damage for a time. Orcs have fantastic command over pets, increasing the damage they deal. Orcs are very resilient, reducing how long they can be stunned by a short time. Because of their expertise with axes and fist weapons and their damage-oriented racial, Orcs can make strong Warriors, Rogues, and Shamans. They also make fair Hunters and Warlocks due to their racial to command.
  • Dwarf: Dwarves are a rugged, mountainous race that have been long allies of the Humans, and thus a part of the Alliance. Dwarves make fantastic archaeologists because of their proficiency with being expedient and finding fragments other races cannot normally find. Dwarves are accustomed to a cold climate, and thus have a resistance to Frost damage. Dwarves are exceptionally good at using technology, especially the Gun weapon. Dwarves are also great fighters, using the bludgeoning Mace weapon with fantastic expertise. Dwarves were originally born of stone, and can thus assume this form periodically to remove afflictions, poisons, and bleeds while also decreasing the damage they take for a short time. A Dwarf's racials suit them towards a tanking role, such as that of a Paladin or Warrior. Because of their specialization with guns, Dwarves can also make good Hunters.
  • Night Elf: The Night Elves are an age-old race that was once immortal and allied only with the forest, but now joined with the Alliance. Having lived in the forests for all their lives, they are more resilient to Nature damage. Night Elves are exceptionally agile, allowing them to avoid attacks at a slightly greater frequency than other races. Night Elves are exceptional at hiding and blessed by their goddess named Elune, allowing them to become invisible if they stay stationary every once in a while. Night Elves have a different spiritual form, allowing them to move faster in their Wisp form while dead and with their spirit released. The Night Elf's racials don't really make one class stand out too well, although arguably the increased avoidance can make them better tanks as Warriors or Druids.
  • Undead/Forsaken: The Undead, also known as the Forsaken as it is a freed subfaction of the greater Undead faction, joined the Horde to further their own objectives. An Undead can feast on the corpses of humanoids and other undead, restoring health and mana. As Undead were raised from the dead by use of dark magic, they are innately resilient to Shadow damage. Undead aren't really technically living, and can thus stay underwater for a longer time. Undead are resilient against effects that would normally affect living creatures, allowing them to shake off Sleep, Charm, and Fear effects. Because of the design of the Undead racials, classes more or less equally benefit from them, although classes that may need downtime like a Warrior, Rogue, or Mage could benefit from Cannibalize.
  • Tauren: The Tauren are a semi-nomadic race of creatures resembling cattle that joined the Horde when the Orcs helped them defeat one of their long-time enemies known as the Centaur. Tauren are well attuned with nature and can gather herbs faster than other races. Tauren are tough, and will have a bit more base health than other races. Like Night Elves, Tauren have exclusively lived among nature and as such are resilient against Nature damage. All Tauren can stomp the ground hard enough to concuss nearby enemies, stunning them for a brief duration. The racials a Tauren have to offer hint towards a more tank-oriented role like Warrior or Druid, but the difference isn't too significant and they can be okay at other classes.
  • Gnome: Gnomes are an intellectual race that craft advanced technology and are a close cousin of the Dwarves, granting them a place in the Alliance. Gnomes are resilient against magic and have resistance against Arcane damage. Gnomes can create incredible technological objects, giving them a bonus if they take the Engineering profession. The small size of the Gnome allows them to escape from binds easier periodically. Gnomes are highly intelligent, and thus have a larger mana pool. Gnomes favor the usage of smaller blades suited for them, giving them great expertise with daggers and one-handed swords. The racials of a Gnome suit them towards a caster role like the Priest, Mage, or Warlock, but the expertise with blade weapons gives them a niche in the Rogue class as well.
  • Troll: Trolls are an age-old race like the Night Elves and while most Trolls aren't friends of the Horde, one group of Trolls known as the Darkspear Tribe have joined with them. Trolls are adept at killing beasts, increasing their damage done to beast class enemies. All Trolls can berserk themselves to increase their attack and casting speed. Trolls are exceptionally good at using Bows and Throwing weapons. Trolls are agile enough to reduce the duration of movement impairing effects by a small amount. Trolls have incredible passive regeneration, increasing their health regeneration and allowing a portion of it to occur in combat. Because of how Troll racials are designed, damage-dealing classes can have a significant benefit from playing as a Troll. Hunters in particular are great because of the Bow specialization racial, but alternatives include the Mage, Warlock, and Rogue.
  • Goblin: While shown as a neutral faction in World of Warcraft, some goblins exclusively work for the Horde. When the Shattering transformed Azeroth, one group known as the Bilgewater Cartel became the first group of playable Goblin characters for the Horde. Goblins are exceptionally good at cutting the prices on most vendored goods due to the commercial knowledge, giving them a 20% discount on items from a vendor that is part of a faction as if they were already Exalted with them. Goblins are also crazy about explosives and other chemicals, making them great Alchemists. Goblins can summon a pack hobgoblin friend to access their bank from anywhere for a brief moment. Goblins have a rocket belt that can either fire rockets at an enemy for some damage or jump forward (these abilities share cooldown). Goblins understand that being efficient with their time is beneficial for them financially, giving them a passive haste bonus. The situation here is similar to the Troll race, though I find that classes that need to get closer to a target need the rocket belt to jump towards them more than classes who need to get away from a target, giving Warriors and Rogues an advantage in that regard.
  • Blood Elf: Blood Elves are part of a group called the High Elves, a distant relatives of the Night Elves. Given their recent quarrel and racial tension with the Humans, the Blood Elves eventually turned to the Horde to quell their neverending magical addiction. Blood Elves are exceptionally good at using magic and make great enchanters. Blood Elves are resilient against Arcane damage on account of their affinity with magic. Blood Elves can create a torrent of magic centered on themselves to silence nearby targets while restoring a small amount of their class' resources (such as Mana or Energy). Because of the latter racial, Blood Elves can make decent healers as Paladins or Priests.
  • Draenei: Hailing from the ruined planet of Draenor, a group of them landed on Azeroth and joined the Alliance forces. Draenei are exceptional jewelers, giving them a bonus to the Jewelcrafting professions. Draenei are granted power from the Naaru, giving them the power to heal themselves or their allies periodically. Draenei have unnatural accuracy that gives them an increased chance to hit their enemies. Draenei previously dealt with dark magics from opposition, giving them innate resistance to Shadow damage. Because of their racials, classes with less sustain that can perform a damage dealing role are better choices, such as Mage, Hunter, and Warrior.
  • Worgen: Worgen are a race of lycanthrope-like creatures capable of maintaining both a human and bestial form. Having been part of the Alliance as the Gilnean humans and as worgen have roots among the Night Elves, it is natural they would continue to follow with the Alliance forces. Because Worgen are associated with both darkness and are closely related to wild beasts, they have resistance to both Shadow and Nature damage. Worgen can move with quick bursts of speed periodically and once they get strong enough they can run as fast as any land mount. With their claws, Worgen are naturally good at skinning animals, allowing them to skin fast. In addition, they also have an increased chance to critically strike for similar reasons. Finally, a Worgen will eventually have control over both their human and animal forms, allowing the player to switch between both at will (but can only use the animal form in combat). Worgen have similar combat-based racials to the Goblins, meaning classes like the Druid, Warrior, or Rogue are strong for a Worgen.
  • Pandaren: Statements about Kung Fu Panda and the like aside, Pandarens hail from the southern continent of Pandaria. Pandarens are experts in cuisine and are generally something of connoisseurs for food and drink, giving them increased cooking skill and doubling their benefit from food buffs. Because of this culture, having a large body girth (while still somehow being agile) gives them the ability to sustain less falling damage. Pandarens are generally skilled in martial arts no matter what their class path is, allowing them to strike pressure points of enemies to incapacitate them. Pandaren also benefit from having rested experience (this allows you to gain double experience from monsters for as long as it lasts and it can last up to as much as 30 bars of experience, or 1.5 levels) accumulate twice as fast (maybe they're good at sleeping?). Because of Quaking Palm, melee classes such as Warrior or Rogue are good choices.
    To go to the next section of to choose your class, click here. Click here to return to the main article.

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