Choosing what class you want to be in World of Warcraft is probably the most important choice you will make about your character. Unlike races – which can be changed for a fee – classes are permanent, and cannot be changed once a character has been created. Well, what exactly is a class? A character’s class determines what abilities and powers are available to them; what weapons and armor they will use; what combat roles they can fulfil; and to a significant extent their strengths, weaknesses and playstyle. Your choice of class will affect how you play your character, and how you play with others, and each class has something very different to offer.
Choice of class is limited by your choice of race; each race can only play certain classes, and vice versa. A mage is a class, a warrior is a class, a dwarf is not a class, it’s a race! For a table of possible class/race combinations, see below. For more help on how to choose a race, see the Choosing a race page.
You should try to choose a class that’s capable of fulfilling the role/s you find appealing. For instance, if you like helping others, supporting the team and keeping others alive, you might want to choose a class with healing capabilities. If leading the party into battle and protecting your allies by taking the brunt of enemies’ attacks is your thing, then you might want to choose a class that is capable of tanking. If you’d prefer to be the one dishing out the damage, you might consider whether you want to be standing toe-to-toe with your enemies, or smiting them from afar.
It also helps to choose a class with a playstyle you think you will enjoy playing. For example, if you like the idea of striking from the shadows, assassinating targets with pin-point precision and slipping away into the night, you might enjoy playing a rogue or a feral druid. On the other hand, if you like being in the middle of the fray, charging into battle and tearing your enemies apart with massive weapons, you might prefer a warrior. Each class has its own, very different style.
Lore can also affect choice of class. Do you like the thought of being a stalwart paladin, champion of the Holy Light? A wise druid seeking to restore nature’s balance? A meditative monk seeking inner peace and enlightenment? Or a dark warlock delving deep into demonic powers? Choosing a class whose background you enjoy can add a lot to playing your character.
In addition the choice of class, each class has three different specializations or ‘specs’ (druids have four). Each specialization represents a very different approach to playing the class, offering numerous new abilities and often changing the combat role the character is most suitable for. Each class can therefore be considered to have three (or four) major variants, each with its own skill-set, strengths and playing-style.
Note that there is no reason not to experiment with any and every class you want to. Many players will try a class for a while, then be drawn to try another, and then another after that. It’s alright to keep changing around, especially if you’re still looking for that class that really clicks. Keep trying new classes until you find something you really enjoy, or just keep switching between characters as the mood takes you. Players can create up to 50 characters on a single account, so you should feel free to jump in and try out any class you feel like.
New players should also remember that a class’s strengths and character may not be obvious until later levels (particularly 40+). Sometimes all you need is a single spell that changes your gameplay from maddeningly difficult to extremely fun. Playing a certain class might seem particularly difficult during early levels, but the class may suddenly change after learning a new ability or talent, increasing the fun and excitement of playing it by several notches. Having a source of advice on playing your desired class, from the beginning until the level cap, can also be helpful if you’re having trouble getting to grips with a class.
Finally, it should be noted that World of Warcraft is a constantly-evolving game. Any given class or specialization’s potency may vary dramatically from patch to patch. The class descriptions below intentionally minimize references to class balance and specific abilities for this very reason.
Here is a list of all classes:
Thanks to: Gamepedia