In World of Warcraft, the next adventure is always just around the corner. Together, you and your friends will take on and overcome challenges far beyond your wildest dreams and become the heroes Azeroth has been waiting for.
In this chapter, we will explore some of the more advanced gameplay elements that await you in World of Warcraft: dungeons, end-game raids, and player-vs.-player content.
You can rally your friends to fight monsters together, or you can use World of Warcraft’s built-in Dungeon Finder to let the game automatically match you with other players. The Dungeon Finder will find a group for you based on whatever parameters you choose, and you can use it to fill out the last remaining slots in your group if you already have a few people together. The dungeon finder is useful when you’re just starting out and maybe don’t have that many in-game friends yet, and it remains an incredibly powerful tool throughout your career as it allows you to find a group for any dungeon easily and quickly. The Dungeon Finder is your friend!
All dungeons are instanced, which means that anytime you step through the dungeon’s entrance, World of Warcraft creates a new copy of the dungeon specifically for you and the members of your group. Think of it like a private adventure where you won’t be interrupted by other players.
Elite and Boss Monsters
You will find the monsters that inhabit the dungeons of World of Warcraft to be much more dangerous than the ones you encounter out in the world. They hit harder, can soak up more damage, and may also have some additional tricks up their sleeves. In short, they’re out to ruin your day. But if you keep your wits about you, stay calm, and pay attention to their behavior, you will eventually see patterns that you and your friends can use to your advantage.
In Case Of Fire
Sooner or later, even the most formidable heroes will meet their match and be defeated. If the entire group perishes, this is called a ’wipe.’ Wipes are a setback, but they are not the end of the world. You can return to the dungeon and try again, but beware: some of the minor monsters you and your group cleared earlier may have been replaced with fresh reinforcements, so watch your back.
Slaying dragons can be its own reward, but it’s always nice to walk away from your vanquished foes with a souvenir. Whether it’s a better weapon, a powerful new piece of armor, or a magical trinket pried off the cooling corpse of a boss monster, the loot you find in dungeons is of higher quality than what you normally encounter in the world. Boss monsters drop a variety of different treasures, giving you a good reason to re-visit dungeons even after you’ve already cleared them.
World of Warcraft dungeons are home to some of the game’s toughest monsters, but they also guard great treasures. In a nutshell, dungeons are special challenges designed specifically for small groups of five players working together as a team. You progress through a dungeon by methodically eliminating the monsters within, gradually working your way up to the boss monsters – your group will have to fight as one if you want to overcome the dungeon’s most dangerous challenges.
World of Warcraft’s raid dungeons are even more challenging than its normal dungeons. You will likely visit many normal dungeons while your character is leveling up, but raid dungeons are the exclusive domain of high-level characters. Just like dungeons, raids come in various degrees of difficulty and different level ranges. You will need bigger groups of ten or even twenty-five players to bring down the monsters guarding these lairs.
Max-level, endgame raids put your skills to the test like nothing else in World of Warcraft. Knowing how to play your class well is crucial, but being a good team player is even more important. Downing a raid boss takes skill, coordination, and perseverance. More often than not, raid bosses will throw your group a curveball with an unexpected twist; be on your guard!
While you are adventuring in Azeroth and beyond, you will become embroiled in epic storylines that tie into the overarching plot of World of Warcraft. Whether you are defending the kingdom of Stormwind against a terrible threat from within or fighting to contain an ancient and unspeakable horror deep within an ancient Titan stronghold, these stories will lead you to the raid dungeons of World of Warcraft where you will be able to see them through to their ultimate conclusion.
Raids are where you will earn World of Warcraft’s greatest treasures: powerful magical armor, the mightiest weapons, and mystical artifacts of unfathomable origin. If you want to get your hands on these items, you will have to defeat the most powerful beings in all of World of Warcraft. Wear them proudly to let everyone know that you have proved your worth.
With tensions between the Alliance and the Horde at an all-time high, skirmishes between members of both factions are taking place everywhere. You can jump into the fray at any given time and fight for your faction, for fame and fortune, or for the simple thrill of battle.
Battlegrounds offer a structured PvP experience. Battlegrounds are PvP instances where two teams of players meet on the field of battle and have to complete mission objectives to achieve victory. These objectives can be as simple as grabbing the enemy flag and taking it to your base, or they can be as complex as setting demolition charges, breaching the other team’s defenses, and capturing the defending team’s artifact. Each Battleground has a different objective, and they also vary by number of players per team. You can join Battlegrounds by yourself, in which case you will be on a team with other random players of your faction, or you can queue up as a group together with your friends.
Some say the Arena is the ultimate test of a player’s PvP prowess; others simply enjoy its straightforward deathmatch-style PvP and its team-based, competitive organization. In the Arena, two small teams fight each other until one team is eliminated. The team with the last player or players standing wins. Arena teams share one similarity with guilds in that they are persistent groups that exist for as long as there are players on the team’s roster. Winning Arena matches will improve your team’s rating and potentially your ranking on the Arena ladder, where the top teams across several realms compete for the top position. Successful gladiators also gain access to powerful weapons and armor specifically tailored to PvP combat.
Beyond instanced Battlegrounds and the Arena, world objectives offer yet another spin on objective-based PvP in World of Warcraft. Some locations throughout the world can be conquered by players of either faction, and holding these strategic locations offers unique benefits to whichever faction is currently in control. These benefits can range from simple, zone-wide buffs to special item rewards and even exclusive access to new areas.
Whether you want to defend your honor, settle a score, or simply see who is the better fighter, you can challenge players of your faction to a friendly duel. Duels are not fought to the death, and only the two players involved in the duel can harm each other. The duel ends when one player’s health drops close to zero, or if one of the players flees the duelling area.
The simplest form of Player-vs.-Player (PvP) combat in World of Warcraft is free-form, open world PvP. Anytime you run into another player of the opposite faction and you’re both flagged for PvP, either one of you can attack the other. Some areas are PvP hotbeds where players clash frequently, while other places are relatively quiet. On PvP realms, you will automatically be flagged for PvP almost everywhere you go, but on Normal realms you are safe from attacks by other players unless you willingly flag yourself for PvP.
We’ve barely scratched the surface of what World of Warcraft has to offer. From the sun-baked shores of Tanaris to the snow-capped mountains of Dun Morogh, from the shattered realm of Outland to the Light-forsaken depth of Icecrown glacier, there’s a whole universe out there for you to explore. Gather your allies. Hone your skills. Dive into a fantasy universe unlike any other.
The World of Warcraft awaits!
Chapter IV: The Late Game