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World of Warcraft during it's original release had nine playable classes - Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Warlock, Warrior, and Shaman. Each class had special talents and spells which give them all a unique purpose in the game. The Alliance faction was the only faction that had access to Paladins, and the Horde faction was the only faction able to access Shamans.
Druids in World of Warcraft are able to take on multiple roles within one class and to transform into various animal forms to suit a variety of tasks.
- In caster form, Druids can cast damage spells and healing spells, as well as various offensive and defensive support spells. The druid can also resurrect other players in combat.
- In Bear form, the Druid can act as a Tank. When shifting to bear form, Druids gain an increase to their armor and health.
- In Cat form, the Druid acts as a melee DPS class. Using their boosted attack power and various Energy skills.
- The Moonkin(an owlbear-like creature) form gives the Druid more armor and an aura that is beneficial to near by party members. In this form, the Druid can only cast Balance spells which are two schools of magic - Nature and Arcane.
- Druids may also learn to take on the form of a cheetah and sea lion, giving a speed bonus on land and water respectively.
The Hunter class is based on the beast master and ranger classes seen in traditional role playing games. Their primary source of damage comes from ranged weapons such as guns, bows, and crossbows. As a hunter levels up, they may learn how to track nearly any type of friend or foe.
The hunter may learn to tame beasts as pets to assist them in battle. Most pets are unique and can learn a variety of different abilities. Hunters used mana as their resource in the original release.
The hunter also has Aspects. These allow the player to passively improve their skills or talents by taking on bestial traits from animals such as cheetah, monkey and hawk. Hunters can also lay traps to freeze an enemy, slow several down, do additional damage to a single target or multiple targets via an area of effect when triggered.
Mages are a magic-using class who focus on elemental and arcane spells. Although they can deal large amounts of damage in a short period of time, survival is difficult due to their low hit points and limitation of only wearing cloth.
Only mages can conjure food and water, allowing for quick regeneration of hit points and mana out of combat. A mage may also conjure a mana crystal that provides the creator with a one-time mana boost similar to a Mana Potion. Mages also have the ability to teleport themselves to any of their faction's major cities. Mages can create portals to teleport their entire party to a major faction city.
Mages have spells available from three schools of magic: Fire, Frost, and Arcane. Mages can also polymorph their target rendering it unable to act for a short period of time.
Mages may use staves and learn one-handed swords and daggers as well as off-hand items. Mages, along with the Priest and Warlock classes, may also use wands for ranged attacks.
The Paladin is a supportive, hybrid melee fighter. Paladins use an assortment of spells, auras and blessings to aid themselves and others. Paladins also have powerful offensive spells against undead and demons.
The Paladin is also able to heal others, magically augment themselves and their allies, and sustain large amounts of damage from enemies. Paladins, just like warlocks, are rewarded with a free class-specific mount and epic mount.
Paladins were only available to the Human and the Dwarf races of the Alliance during the game's original release.
The priest possesses the most powerful healing spells of any character class in World of Warcraft as well as having the capability to resurrect fallen players and cast buffs to temporarily enhance the attributes of the party. Each race has two class specific spells unique to the priest class.
Priests normally focus on either healing or damage dealing spells. Priests are either classed "Holy" priests or a "Shadow" priests. Holy Priests are normally centered around healing. Shadow priests are better at doing damage and fighting.
Rogues are the "assassins" of World of Warcraft. Rogues are available to all races except for the Tauren and the Draenei in the upcoming expansion World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade.
Rogues rely on Energy for their abilities instead of Rage or Mana. They also use combination points to execute finishing moves. They can also Stealth. Stealth makes the rogue invisible to other player and non-player characters as long as the rogue maintains the required distance.
Rogues may wear cloth or leather armor. They can wield daggers, one-handed maces, one-handed swords, and fist weapons. They can also employ ranged weapons such as crossbows, bows, guns, and thrown weapons. Rogues can also learn to dual-wield, allowing one-handed weapons to be equipped in each hand. Rogues can create and apply poisons to their weapons, this is a skill unique to rogues and it can give either boost in damage output or for example deprive the opponent of movement speed.
Rogues also have the ability to unlock locked doors, chests, and boxes.
The Shaman is a healer, warrior and mage hybrid class, and as such, the Shaman is one of the most versatile classes in the game. They are designed to enhance all parts of a party while not being particularly focused on any one aspect of the game. Along with basic damage and healing spells, they have totem spells which can affect the area around the totem, usually positively, and "Shock" spells, instant cast damage spells with a secondary effect. Finally, they can augument their weapons with the elements, giving them an extra effect, including the ability to have a 20% chance hit 3 times.
The Shaman class was only available to three of the Horde races during the game's original release: Tauren, Orcs, and Trolls.
Warlocks are Mages who have delved too deep in to dark magic. They are a spell casting class and their strengths lie in their summoned minions and their Damage over time spells.
Warlocks are able to directly summon four demons as pets, but may only have one pet summoned at a time. The pets available are the Imp, Voidwalker, Succubus, Felhunter, Infernal and Doomguard. In the upcoming expansion to World of Warcraft, a seventh demon will be added, known as the Felguard. They also have a summonable mount which means that unlike most classes they do not have to pay for a mount and the ability to summon an Eye of Kilrogg - a fast scout which is incapable of attacking.
Warlocks could use the spell Enslave Demon to take control of a local demon as a pet. They can also banish a demon making it temporarily unable to attack.
Warlocks in the game's original release used Soul Shards. These shards are used to summon their minions, and are required for certain spells. Warlocks are also able to use a Soul Shard to start a Ritual of Summoning, using the power of two other party members to summon another party member to their current location.
A Warrior is a class in World of Warcraft that excels in melee combat and playing the role of a damage dealer or tank. Warriors are analogous to Fighters in other RPGs. Rather than drawing on Mana to power their abilities, Warriors use Rage which, like a Rogue’s Energy, has a maximum limit. Rage builds up as the warrior attacks.
Warriors can shift between several stances or combat modes. The Battle Stance is the normal stance, while they have the ability to also switch to the Defensive Stance and the Berserker Stance.