April 24, 2010

WoW Rookie: Tips and tricks for rookies

Oh come on, everyone knows that -- well, evidently everyone but you, poor rookie. Ever felt like a chump for not being aware of some game feature or function that would've made life so much easier, if only you'd known? Aww, it's OK. You're not alone. As accessible as designers strive to make games like WoW, it's easy for even a few basics to slip by, especially when you're brand new, thrashing about trying to find your quest objective and attack the monster and talk to that other player all at the same time.

Blizzard's tutorial tips help make sense of a lot of that under-the-radar knowledge. Still, players write in to WoW Rookie every week asking questions or offering various nuggets of acquired wisdom. Time then for another info dump -- the latest in our collection of frequently requested, handy things to know.

Unlearn your profession Finding the place to drop an unwanted profession has got to be one of the more annoyingly obscure functions in the game. Go to your character info, then the skills tab, and then click on the bar that lists the profession you want to get rid of. Now look at the bottom third of the skills panel; you'll see another bar listing the profession, and to the right of it, a small, red icon of a circle with a slash through it. (Check out the screenshot at the top of the post.) If you click that tiny red button, you'll get a pop-up confirmation box that asks you whether or not you'd like to drop that profession. (Whew!)

Some disenchanted evening Been automatically smacking the disenchant button every time an unwanted blue or green drops in your instances? You may be doing yourself a disservice ... The item's vendor value may in fact be higher than the value of the enchanting material you just won. Enchanting mat prices vary widely from realm to realm, but many economies are seeing vendor prices overtaking mat prices in certain level ranges. Pro tip: Visit the auction house and take note of the prices for mats at the level of whatever instances you'll be running. Then before you choose to roll DE or greed, check the tooltip for the item's vendor value to ensure you're selecting the best deal every time.

(On a related note, if you only seem to receive the disenchant option for some items that drop in your instance, it may be your group enchanter's skill level that's the issue. If your enchanter is light on skill points, he -- and therefore, your group -- might be able to disenchant green drops but not blues or epics.)

Lost and found Can't remember which way to head around the darned loop in Undercity to find your trainer? Ask a guard. Guards that show a map symbol when moused over will offer a menu of destinations if you right-click to speak with them. Once you've selected your destination, a red flag icon will appear in your map and minimap to mark the location.

Where's the flight master in this town, anyway? Speaking of finding important figures, the tracking button on your minimap allows you to find flight masters and other useful resources such as mailboxes, armor repairers and innkeepers. Right-click the tracking button on your minimap. (If you don't see one, you probably have an addon that's blocking it. Try disabling your addons to see.)

Pop that trinket If you've poked around with macros at all, you may be stumped at how to use a trinket in a macro. Here's the trick that will direct the action to your trinket slots:

/use 13
/use 14

You can find a list of the corresponding numbers for every gear slot at the official site (or, you know, just look over yonder to the side), along with a slew of other tips on making macros.

Is my character still there? If it's been weeks, months or even (/gasp) years since you last played World of Warcraft, will your old character still be there when you log in? Yes! Unless you physically delete your character (which requires typing "DELETE" into a big confirmation field -- not something easily accomplished by accident), your character and all their goodies will still be there. The only thing that expires is mail left in your inbox for more than 30 days.

Speaking in tongues Click on the chat bubble icon on your chat box and scroll to the language option in order to change the language your character speaks. Language changes will show up in say, shout, guild and party chat, but not in general chat, trade chat or whispers. (Pro tip: Speaking obscure languages in guild chat is a good way to annoy guildmates and get yourself put on ignore.)

Your name not in lights Yes, it is possible to take screenshots without character names in them. You can remove your UI entirely by pressing Alt+Z (pressing Alt+Z again restores it). To remove those stubborn names: Go to your game menu (escape), select Interface, and scroll down and select Names. You can uncheck as many names as necessary for the effect you want. (Just remember to turn them on again afterwards!)

Make sense of it all Do you find yourself sucked in by the lore of Azeroth and hungry to learn more? Read up: Lore 101 will set you straight.

Wondering if there's an easier way to do something? Maybe you've gone and figured out the method to the madness all on your own. Send us your questions, tips and discoveries (lisa at wow dot com), and we'll collect them for a future tips and tricks edition of WoW Rookie. Meanwhile, check WoW.com's WoW Rookie Guide for everything you need to get off to a good start as a newbie, whether you're a new level 1 or a fresh level 80.

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