World of Warcraft certainly has changed since I first started. The game has become a hundred times simpler in terms of all the different aspects you had to manage about your character. Also, questing and dealing with most mobs are no longer as problematic because of the clean up of old areas and making mobs more manageable overall. But if you’re a starting player, you might ask yourself, what is the best starting class?
Since Cataclysm, the answer (at least for me) is more about the role you want to fulfill. The game does present challenges but you’ll mostly see them towards the end of the expansion. Until then you have quite a bit of time to evaluate the style of play you enjoy. However, if you want a straight answer from me, I would suggest a ranged class like a mage or even a hunter.
As someone who started around Wrath of the Lich King, I had the opportunity to experience game play of the vanilla content. Originally, I chose a hunter since my friend played a paladin and I thought a ranged class would make a good compliment to him. Back then hunters were pretty difficult classes since you had to manage a pet and had quite a few abilities. If you asked me back then, I would said that a mage would’ve been a far smoother class to play.
Now, many of those issues have been removed and probably the only difficulty you’ll encounter with someone like a hunter (outside of understanding the concept of a damage rotation) is managing your pet’s aggro during a raid (meaning keep taunts off!) But using a hunter or mage for me feels far more straight forward at times compared to a melee class. You could attempt to pick up a spec like tanking or healing, but unless you’re with a group of friends, you might hold off for a while until you get an idea of how the game operates.
The main reason why I chose a ranged class in general is that once you start dealing with dungeons and bosses, I feel that a range class allows you to learn the mechanics of an encounter a little easier than melee. That’s not always true but melee fights can be incredibly confusing at times, especially when you’re facing numerous mobs and have a tough time seeing in an instance. When you’re a ranged class, you can see more compared to melee and for me that’s important since I want to first get a feeling for the mechanics in a fight.
One thing I would do is check out Noxxic.com and learn about the rotation of your class. If you’re starting out you won’t have to deal with the full rotation. But you can get an idea of how complex a class can be by looking at how lengthy a class’ rotation can be as a preview.