Everyone in the World of Warcraft, at one point, rolled their first character and found themselves surrounded by a new world, new people, and a daunting amount of new information. "The Journey of One Thousand Miles" series is directed to those new players, with some quick tips on making their way on Azeroth.
The first 15 levels go much faster now than ever before, with almost all of the starting areas renovated by the Cataclysm, and the "Old World" questing streamlined significantly. Still, there are some things that experienced players take for granted that can help smooth the leveling experience significantly.
Take the first steps with me, after the jump.
Items are picked up all over Azeroth, from a variety of sources. Knowing what to keep, what to sell; what to auction, and what to vendor; what to save for crafting or what to equip can make managing your inventory and limited bag space much more efficient.
1. Soulbound vs. Bind on Equip (BoE): Most equipment is either Soulbound or BOE. If an item is Soulbound, it cannot be traded to or disenchanted by another player. They can be sold to vendors, however. If a BOE item is equipped, it will become Soulbound.
BOE items can be traded to other players, sold on the Auction House (AH) or disenchanted by other players. They can also be sent to other characters on your account through the mail (as long as they're the same faction as your character; Alliance/Horde)
2. If the color of an item is gray, SELL IT. Your bags will fill up quickly early on, and knowing the colors of items can help you determine if you want to sell it or keep it.
GRAY = Vendor trash; only good for selling
WHITE = Has a use other than sale, possibly for cooking or crafting. These can sometimes be sold on the Auction House for much more than their vendor value ([Deviate Scale] for instance, sells for a couple of gold on my server, rather than a couple of coppers)
GREEN = an Uncommon item; these can be disenchanted if you have the Enchanting profession, or can be sold.
BLUE = a Rare item; these are similar to GREEN items, but are more rare and more powerful. They can be disenchanted for more difficult to find Enchanting materials.
PURPLE = an Epic item; very rare and powerful items, you will be unlikely to encounter these items until much higher levels. BOE epic items can often be sold for a great deal of gold.
3. Don't buy bags from the Bag Vendors! You will find bags as world drops or as quest rewards as you go, and the prices at the "Bag Vendor" Non-player characters (NPCs) isn't worth the expense.
4. Don't buy weapons, armor, etc. from the Vendors! You will get much better equipment from world drops and as quest rewards.
5. When you find the trainers, learn how to Cook and how to Fish. They're fun diversions from the questing grind, and with the new cooking system in Mists of Pandaria (MoP), very, very valuable at maximum level. You'll likely find a lot of Cooking materials as you quest, and you can use these to level your Cooking skill.
6. Speaking of Cooking, you can level it almost immediately to ~40 skill just by buying 40 [Simple Flour] and 40 [Mild Spices]. Cook [Spiced Bread] 40 times, and watch your Cooking skill climb!
7. There are four types of Armor:
Cloth = Used by Priests, Mages, and Warlocks, and generally has Intelligence (Int) or Spirit
Leather = Used by Rogues, Druids, Shaman, Hunters, and Monks; leather usually has Agility (Agi), Int, or Spirit
Mail = Used by Warriors and Paladins; mail usually has Strength (Str), Int, or Spirit
Plate = Plate is not available until level 40; more about that in a later post.
The Armor Value of armor directly reduces the amount of damage your character takes. Cloth has the least, plate has the most. Generally speaking, if you are a melee dps (you hit things with stuff at close range), you want Agi or Str. If you're a hunter, you want Agi. If you're a spell caster, you want Int. As a melee dps, Int does nothing for you (unless you're a Mistweaver monk, a very specific example). By the same token, if you are ranged or a caster, Str does nothing for you. Equip only what you can use, sell or disenchant the rest.
We'll talk more about Classes and gear in the next installment of "The Journey of One Thousand Miles."