There is a very slight (+/-3 points) stat difference based on race; starting stats are determined mainly by your race. Your race choice determines your faction allegiance (either Horde or Alliance), your starting area, and your Racial Traits. What you can do with your character, however, is determined mostly by your choice of class. See the Race and Class pages for discussions of the different race and class options.
As your character increases in level, these racial differences become negligible with the exception of racial traits, which can be strategically useful in some situations. Therefore, play the race that you find most interesting based upon appearance and racial traits, and don’t sweat the little differences.
As your character increases in level, these racial differences become negligible with the exception of racial traits, which can be strategically useful in some situations. Therefore, play the race that you find most interesting based upon appearance and racial traits, and don’t sweat the little differences.
Can’t decide what class to play? Make one of each that sound interesting (you can have up to 10 characters per server), play them up to level 5-15 or so, and decide then. It only takes an hour or two to get the first few levels, and then you’ll have a much better idea of what it’s like to play each class. You may still miss out on the more significant parts of playing a class, as some important skills are given at level 20 or 30 for the first time, but you will get the gist of the class so that you can at least understand what higher level characters are talking about. Alternatively you can read the description of each class to have a general idea of them.
An important factor to consider when choosing a class is whether there is going to be much demand for characters of your class in groups. Generally, tanks and healers are in higher demand than damage dealers for most servers. Therefore, if joining instance group/raid is you first priority, choosing classes that can spec tank or healer may improve you chance of getting invited.
For those who want to be the tank in instances, warrior (Protection), Death Knight (Blood), paladin (Protection) and druid (Feral) are your choices. With the right gear and spec, they can have higher health and armor than the rest of the party. You can absorb large amounts of damage and prevent others from being attacked. Warriors and paladins can wear mail at lower level and plate after level 40, which provide them with very good armor and survivability. Druids can only wear leather or cloth. However, they get Bear Form and Dire Bear Form at level 10 and 40 respectively, which gives them large amounts of health and armor bonus (Bear Form is similar to a Warrior in Mail armor, Dire Bear form is similar to a Warrior in Plate armor).
If you want to heal others, priest (Holy/Discipline), druid (Restoration), paladin (Holy) or shaman (Restoration) can be considered. All of these classes, with specific talent point allocations, will make a competent main healer. In addition, all of them provide useful buffs to the other members of the party. Paladins have auras which buff all players in their group within a radius, and beyond that have blessings that they can cast on anyone that give different benefits. Shamans have totems which act similar to auras in that they buff party members near them, but they have very different benefits. Druids can increase the critical hit chance, spell critical chance, or amount of healing done to the entire party, in bear/cat form, or moonkin form, respectively. Priests’ stamina buff is always useful to everyone. With certain specs they can also help party members regaining mana at a much faster rate.
The five classes mentioned above can also be damage dealers(DPS Damage Per Second) with the right gear and spec. However, there are four classes that can be considered as pure damage dealers: mage, warlock, rogue, and hunter. Mages excel at dealing massive magical damage to their enemy. Their powerful AoE damage is helpful in many encounters. Warlocks have abilities to summon a demon as a pet which will do the player’s bidding, and are 100% controlable in every aspect by the summoner. They are famous for their DoT spells. Rogues have stealth abilities, can open locks, and can deal lots of damage by sneaking up behind enemies and using stealth only abilities such as Ambush. Hunter is the only ranged class in game that do mainly physical damage. They can tame pets to help them in a fight. Depending on what type of pet you decide to tame, you get different spec options for your pet. Go to the Pet talents page for more information on pet specs. Hunters also have the unique ability of putting down various traps to help the party and handicap their opponent(s). Depending on their spec, they can also boost their party members’ damage output in different ways. 

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