Free to Play: Getting the Most out of Starter Edition Accounts
Last month, Blizzard introduced free-to-play Starter Edition Accounts. With these accounts, players could level up to 20--of course with some restrictions--and play for free indefinitely. It's an easy way for new players to test out the game, but it's also gained popularity among twinks who are looking for even more of a challenge with in-game restrictions. We've covered all the things you can and can't do on a trial account below.
Activating an Account
Players can get a Starter Account edition by visiting
the home page
, receiving a Recruit-a-Friend invitation, or through a trial key obtained from other Blizzard products.
Once signed up, you will be prompted to download the game, which can be played as the streaming client downloads data in the background.
Previous trial accounts made before 4.2, which had expired, are permanently reactivated. Characters level 20 and below on these accounts can be played again.
Upgrading an Account
Upgrade Online: Use [url=
Fine Dining: A Guide to the Food and Drink of Azeroth
No matter how you choose to level or spend your time at 85, it's a sure thing you'll be needing to eat or drink at some point. On one hand, in-game refreshments seem quite simple--they restore health and mana. But there's over 600 types of food and drink in our database. Some require specific levels, some are only sold by one vendor in the middle of nowhere, and yet others can get you completely drunk. We'll cover basic food-related things like what to use while leveling and how to complete achievements, as well as featuring some of the stranger things your character can eat.
Here you'll learn about the basics: what to eat and drink while leveling, what quests grant food and drink, and how to easily complete related achievements.
: Once requiring alcoholic beverages, this now works on any drink in the game. Again, find various innkeepers and bartenders--should be an easy achievement.
: Added in 4.1, you'll need to track down new beverage added in Cataclysm. Here's an easy table:
[table border=2 width=60% cellspacing=3 cellpaddi
The Entitled: A Guide to Titles
This guide covers all the titles in WoW from the serious to the silly, organized by topic and linked to their achievement and basic source details. Collecting titles became easier in Mists of Pandaria with account-wide titles and achievement progress.
In Mists of Pandaria, many titles became account-wide, meaning alts can use titles they haven't individually earned as long as they're at the minimum level it could be acquired at. For example, a level 80 alt could wear
<Name>, Death's Demise
if another character on the account earned it.
Only a handful of titles aren't account-wide, most notably RBG titles,
of the Shattered Sun
The other major change was account-wide progress on meta-achievements like
. Players can work on holiday, PvP, and raid meta-achievements across characters now, instead of repeating the achievements on any character that needed the rewards.
A few notable exceptions include
Professions 201: A Guide to Collecting Recipes
Finding recipes is the mark of a dedicated collector--beyond dutifully ticking off achievements and diligently doing tasks simply for points. You are solely responsible for setting your collecting pace; the freedom can be frustrating at times, but exhilarating when you've finished a subset of recipes and feel like you've solved part of a large jigsaw puzzle, hunting down recipes from obscure instances and reputations. It's fun to chase down patterns across Azeroth, when so many achievements and quests are now straightforward. Plus, you may even find generous twinks willing to tip hundreds of gold for obscure recipes!
I began to collect recipes seriously during the dog-days of ICC. I rolled a priest to learn inscription techniques and tailoring patterns, as well as a deathknight to learn most blacksmithing. I began to care more about enchanting on my rogue, finished up most engineering schematics on my warlock, and hoped for transmute discoveries again on my alt rogue. For obscure reasons, Jewelcrafting and Leatherworking have never held a particular charm--perhaps it's because I rolled these professions purely for raid benefits and blithely unlearned them to pick up Tailoring and Engineering mounts.
It's been over a year, and
Vanity Roundup and Guides for 4.2
We've been enjoying the small additions as well as the major raid content in 4.2; here's an overview of some of the quirky items that didn't really fit anywhere else. We've also provided a practical guide to
if you've been trying to sort out the numerous options from our previous guides.
The Molten Front introduces 4 additional pets and two vanity items.
If you miss throwing bears from the dailies, check out
for . It is purchased from
. We made a video featuring
, also available from Varlan for --it's gorgeous and summons flowers and animals in your path.
costs , available from
. It is obtainable only after completing
. Ayla also sells
for . This chair is quite literally a mushroom chair—perfect for fishing.
10 times will award you
. Inside will be the other mini jouster you
Leveling 201: A Guide to More Enjoyable Leveling
Leveling in Cataclysm is easy; but with all the additions, there's bound to be something surprising, whether you're a veteran or on your first alt. For better or for worse, Cataclysm has streamlined questing--but has also featured alternative ways to gain experience if questing becomes tedious on your 5th alt. Personally, I've leveled toons numerous ways: a rogue to 85 through questing on the first day of the xpac, a warlock in legacy epics through mining, a priest in full BoAs primarily through instances, a rogue strictly through herbalism, and a DK questing in half-BoAs. I've got a mage at 62 that's currently done a lot of LFD, but outpacing the quests for particular zones drives her crazy with the lore and consistent plot lines. I have friends that wait for Alterac Valley weekend for leveling, another that leveled a toon through LFD with 0 quests completed on purpose, and some insane guildmates that have leveled multiple toons through Archaeology in the hopes of getting an elusive epic (cough,
) for their mains. Big thanks to Psynister for his expert leveling advice!
Once you hit 85, all the new Justice Point gear, Molten Front dailies, and Firelands rep farming await, so let's highlight all the ways you can get th
The Exalted: An Overview of all Reputations
Like achievement points and reputation rewards? 4.2 introduces a new raid-only reputation, the
, as well as a slew of daily quests to boost reputation with
. It's a crazy time in 4.2 with all the new things to do, but really, quest hubs and rep grinds are nothing new to the game.
is still a prestigious title to get, especially if you haven't been playing since vanilla, so we'll highlight the available factions and spotlight fun titles and vanity items you can get along the way. Blizzard has a history of putting in complex reputation hubs--Isle of Quel'Danas, Argent Tournament, so if you enjoy Hyjal dailies, these older hubs are worth checking out when the 4.2 dust settles. if you can't stand questing, you can zerg older instances in your level 85 epics. We've recently updated the information on some of our faction and currency pages, so now is a great time to check them out!
For personal achievements, there are a series of reputation-related ones:
New Options in Firelands: A Guide to Gear in 4.2
Edit 7/6: Clarified info about tier as well as upgradable gear with Firestones. All VP items can be upgraded with Firestones--you 'use' the stone on an item. Source:
Edit @ 7:00PM PST: Regular Firelands trash gives rep until 5999/6000 Friendly, with Molten Giants and Hounds giving small amounts of reputation beyond that. Can hit honored just on trash.
Edit @ 3:00PM PST: Bosses give 250 (275 with
) rep; can get to friendly easily farming trash--this means Avengers capes are pretty easy to get.
Edit @ 2:00PM PST: Ashelia has confirmed that the new crafting recipes for boots and gloves drop from Firelands trash:
Firelands and 4.2 introduce a whole new set of epics; it's the easiest it's ever been to gear up. From raid epics to additional rep rewards, there's something for all playstyles. We've taken the basic framework of the 4.1 gear guide; this time we've skipped the blues and just compared the epics.
See how good the new loot is and also see what gear is easily obtainable before raiding right after the break!
This guide does not aim to provide a BiS set of heroic Firelands gear for e
Mountain o' Mounts: A Guide to Collecting Mounts
Last week, we covered all pets in the game, in anticipation of
. This week, we’ll do the same for mounts and outline some easy ways to collect 100. With the split opinions regarding the recent
, it's clear players care about their mounts.
offers detailed info on each mount, as well a way to track your mount collection. You can also use Wowhead's profiler to track which pets you've collected, and out of the remaining ones, which you're interested in still getting. Our friends at
also have achievement-themed articles dedicated to obtaining mounts. We've provided some tips on how to acquire all the mounts, from the easy ones to the challenging ones, below. (Note: currency prices listed are the full non-discounted cost. Players Exalted with factions or benefitting from
may save gold on some mounts.) You can also get seven of these mounts from the
, but it's a very small chance plus you have to be the right class/role in order to be eligible in the first place.
Here are all of the mount-related achievements thus far. There's nothing new added in for 4.2, but there will pro
Littlest Pet Shop: A Guide to Vanity Pets
With new rewards for obtaining 100, 125, and 150 pets in 4.2, there’s been a lot of talk on how to get those few remaining elusive pets. Many players stopped after collecting 75, as there were no more incentives. Well, in 4.2 there are three new pet rewards as shown in
our video last week
, as well as several more from Firelands, so it’s time to start collecting again. (Edit: We've updated the guide for 4.3 and there are even more with the Darkmoon Faire.) Some pets are easily obtainable from questing, vendors, and achievements. Others may take some time and luck to farm up. We've got it all organized and covered for you though, so you should be able to get 150 pets easily!
of pet companions one can obtain. As you can see, there’s a good deal more than the 150 needed, but some are no longer obtainable or cost money from the Trading Card Game. You can keep track of pets on our very own Character Profiler;
is also a great resource, as well as in-game addons like Collectinator.
Shifty Hands: A Guide to Picking Pockets
, for the less-agile and uninitiated, is a unique ability allowing rogues in stealth to loot special items from hostile mobs without entering combat. If done sloppily, it can aggro mobs, annoy your party members, and make you look pretty clumsy. If done correctly (and with enough bag space), you can amass a collection of unique items, and if you’re lucky, some epics inside of a lockbox. There's a lot of mundane objects in the pockets of Azeroth, but one's trash is another's treasure--you might find something amusing like a trashy novel or loaded dice.
This is a guide using Wowhead's vast database to show you every fun item you can pickpocket in World of Warcraft. Either for vanity item collections or just to send your friend something fun, this list will help you rediscover Azeroth and more.
Brand New Hairstyles on the 4.2 PTR
A number of races got additional hairstyles on the PTR this weekend! We’ve taken advantage of the race/faction changing-options to find out what exactly you can get on the PTR: we've got screenshots and names of all the available cosmetic options.
Of course, there’s been hairstyles on previous PTRs that weren’t implemented, but with so many additions, hopefully some will stay--these seem to be generating quite a buzz, so maybe it will even encourage Blizzard to add more. We'll keep updating if more customizations become available.
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