Welcome to our series of guides for new players! If you want to explore the vast, ever-changing world of Azeroth, you've come to the right place. We will try to present here the most important information about World of Warcraft, starting with buying the game and ending with more complicated elements of gameplay. If you have additional questions, we recommend visiting the newcomers section of our forum.
This section contains information that you should know before playing the game itself - including where to buy the game, how to install it and how the subscription works. Some of this stuff you may already know, but if you've never played a Blizzard game before, we thought it was a good place to start. This guide is compatible with the 8.1 update.
Battle.net is the official Blizzard platform where you'll find all of their games and is required to play them. Before you even think about subscribing, you'll need to create your own Battle.net account. On this page you'll need to enter your details and select a secret question - you'll need this when talking to Blizzard support if you lose access to your account for any reason.
The next step is to download the Battle.net app which allows you to download and update all of Blizzard's games. The app gives you easy access to the Battle.net store and your account, with built-in text and voice chat, the option to join various communities (including our WoWCenter group), and a live streaming feature. It also displays the latest news or information about upcoming technical interruptions.
If you haven't played a Blizzard game before, you'll be asked to create your own BattleTag. This is a unique account name that will allow you to communicate with your friends across all your games on Battle.net. Think twice before choosing your BattleTag because it is only free and can only be changed once.
To start your adventure with World of Warcraft, you will only need an active subscription (game time). After buying it, you will automatically get access to content from all expansions except the newest one. There are four ways to purchase and renew game time:
A regular subscription from Blizzard: If you assign your bank card to your Battle.net account, you can activate a regular subscription. Depending on the plan you choose, Blizzard will debit your account €12.99 every month, €35.97 every 3 months or €65.94 every 6 months.
Game Time from Blizzard: A one-time purchase of game time. Prices are the same as the subscription option.
Pre-Paid Game Time Card: Can be purchased at game key selling sites and some physical stores. It adds 60 days of game time. Prices on the Polish market fluctuate around 25 EUR.
WoW Token, a gold exchange for game time: In every auction house in World of Warcraft, gold can be exchanged for a WoW Token, which adds 30 days of game time. The prices vary, but usually it's several hundred thousand gold pieces.
If you decide to stop paying for the subscription, don't worry - nothing will happen to your account. Many players take a break and come back when Blizzard introduces major updates or a new addition has its premiere. An account without an active subscription will have similar restrictions as the starter version.
Before you decide to purchase World of Warcraft, you can download the game for free and try it out up to character level 20. The starter account has numerous restrictions - you can't own more than 10 gold pieces, join guilds, chat in the general chat rooms (Trade, Global) or create your own groups. However, it is a good way to try out different classes and learn how the basic game mechanics work.
The newest addition
In addition to purchasing a subscription you can also purchase the latest add-on (currently World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth). Then you will receive a free promotion of your chosen character to level 110, which allows you to immediately start playing in new zones. We don't recommend this for new players though, as it's worth knowing a little more about how everything works beforehand. Also remember that purchasing the add-on does not grant you any additional game time. If you'd rather jump into the action right away, there's also a complete collection available in Blizzard's store that includes both the latest add-on and 30 days of game time to boot.
Once you click install, the Battle.net app should download World of Warcraft in its entirety (the game currently takes up about 70 GB), regardless of whether you have the latest add-on. It's recommended that you don't start the game until it's reached optimal status, but even then you may not have access to the more advanced graphics or some of the cutscenes. If you start the game before the installation is complete, the remaining files should download in the background without any problems.
This is the most important information you should know before buying and starting World of Warcraft. If you have additional questions, feel free to ask them in the comments below or create a topic in the newbies section of the forum.