The interface of World of Warcraft is fairly simple to navigate. The top left portion of the game's interface displays three important things, your health (red), your current mana (blue), and your characters portrait.
The red indication bar is health; health determines the well-being of your character. Each time an enemy attacks you, you lose a portion of this meter. When the meter is completely empty, your character dies.
Health can be recovered in a number of ways. Spells, First Aid, Cooking, and potions are all effective means to heal yourself. WoW also has a health regeneration system which tends to be fast than most other MMORPGs.
The blue bar below the red one is an indication of your mana, or ability to use special spells and abilities. Each time you use a spell, your mana will go down, when completely empty, you will no longer be able to cast spells.
Mana can be regenerated in much the same way as health. Drinking fluids and quaffing potions are your best options, followed by natural regeneration which also occurs more often than most MMORPGs. Mana will begin the regeneration process 6 seconds after your last cast spell.
Warriors and Druids in bear form have a special meter in place of mana called rage. Rage allows the player to use special abilities in place of mana. Warriors use "stances" which we'll get into later, and druids just maul opponents to death. When rage levels have built up to the point where you can use an ability, it will light up so you can perform a special attack. Special attacks and abilities do not generate rage, but deal more damage than just swinging your weapon.
Warriors and Druids have skills to pump up rage, but alchemists can make special potions as well which allow warriors to have rage before they fight.
Rogues and Druids in cat form use a special meter in place of mana as well called energy. Energy meters replenish much faster than mana and allows the character to use abilities, but each ability takes much more energy to use than one which uses mana.
If you are the leader of a group, the top left can also be clicked to access a pulldown menu which can allow you to set looting rights.
To your top-right is the mini-map. This indicates your current location, zone, time-of-day in-game, direction, nearby allies, and things you are tracking. Zones are the area you are currently in such as "Elwynn Forest" or "Deadmines."
Allies and things you are tracking appear as dots on your mini-map. Tracking is available to some tradeskills and as abilities of the hunter. You can track one enemy type or ingredient at a time on the mini-map.
If you click on the mini-map, you will see a sonar like "ping", all allies can see this ping which helps for coordination. The plus and minus signs can be used to zoom in and out. We recommend you fully zoom out most of the time.
Allies are displayed below the health/mana bars. Each ally in your group has their own mana/health indicator which is useful for healing or guarding your friends. By hovering over an ally, you can see what enhancements or ailments their character my have on them at the time.
The action bar along the bottom is used to quick-link spells, talents, abilities, tracking, and items. This bar allows you to do all of that simply by clicking on an icon or pressing the corresponding button. As you highlight each symbol on the bar, you can get a description as to what it does. As you attain new abilities and items, you can drag them from the spellbook or inventory onto the action bar.
To the right of the action bar is a set of icons allowing you to access your menus. The first is the character screen. This allows you to view your character's "paperdoll" or representation. You can drag items onto the paperdoll to equip them. Also in this menu are your skills and reputation tabs located on the bottom. The skills menu displays all the skills you have learned up to this point. The reputation tab allows you to see how much reputation you have with a particular faction. High reputation allows you to buy certain mounts or access certain quests.
The next tab is you spellbook, which is where purchased spells are stored. Every other level (2, 4, 6, ect) you get to buy or quest for new spells. When you get these spells, they are stored in the spellbook. The spellbook also contains the icons for your tradeskills and talents. Tabs on the right hand side of the spellbook allow you to access different categories of abilities.
Talents appear on this bar at level 10 and allow you to customize your character even further. In a Diablo-esq system, you can place a point you get each level into a particular talent. As you place skillpoints into talents, new branches will open up, allowing you access to more talents.
The next icon is the social icon. This icon is used to manage your friends list, group you are in, guild, and raid group. This also contains an ignore list which allows you to ignore messages from people you don't like.
The world map icon allows you to see where you are in correlation with the world and within the zone.
The main menu lets you set options and preferences.
The help menu allows you to page a GM or game assistant to help you with a technical issue in the game.
To the right of the inventory menu are your bags. Bags allow you to carry items. Click a bag to open it. When the game begins, you start with one bag. In the case of the hunter, you also start with a quiver (holds only arrows). As you progress through the game, you will obtain more bags. Bags also vary in capacity, from six to twenty. To obtain more bags, ask a player who uses the tailoring tradeskill to craft you some.
Above the menu bar and action bar are twenty bubbles, when all twenty are filled, you gain a new level. Levels allow you to invest in new talents, buy new spells, and increase your statistics.
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