The basic building blocks for your character are your attributes. They determine your physical and mental aptitude. The five attributes that define your character are listed below. They are primary attributes that influence secondary characteristics.


Strength determines the physical power of your character. Ahigh strength improves your attack power. Strength is also a determining factor in how much damage you block if you use a shield. Rogues and hunters only use a partial value of strength to determine their power.


Agility improves your armor rating, your chance to dodge an attack, and your chance to score a critical hit with a melee or ranged attack, thus dealing increased damage. Rogues and hunters also use agility, in combination with strength, to determine their attack power.


Stamina affects your hit points, no matter what class you play. However, characters designed to absorb damage, such as warriors and paladins, gain more benefit from stamina than classes who have other capabilities, such as rogues and druids, who in turn gain more benefit than pure spellcasters, such as mages.


Intelligence improves your mana reserves. Intelligence has no bearing on non-spellcasting classes.


Spirit determines the regeneration rate for your health and mana. A high spirit results in much faster regeneration, while a low spirit gives you reduced regeneration.


Secondary Characteristics

Your secondary characteristics are stats that depend in some part on your class selection and your primary attributes. Such stats include your health, mana, energy, rage, attack, power, damage per second, defense, armor, and resistances. 


Health, also called hit points, represents how much damage your character can take before it dies. Health is set by your class, and increases as you level up. In addition, the stamina attribute gives you a bonus to your health. Each class gets a different number of bonus hit points for each stamina point they possess, with classes that are melee fighters getting the most increase due to stamina, and spellcasters getting the least. Your health is displayed as a green bar at the top of the screen next to your character portrait.


Mana is what you pay to cast your spells if your class has any spellcasting capability. These classes are mages, priests, warlocks, druids, shaman, paladins, and hunters. The spells of these classes have mana costs that must be paid in order to be cast. The amount of mana you have is set by your class, with primary spellcasters, like priests and mages, getting more than hybrid spellcasters, such as druids and shaman. Classes that are even less reliant on spells, such as hunters and paladins, have even less mana. In addition, your character’s intellect gives you a bonus to mana. Each class gets a different amount of bonus mana, with primary spellcasters getting more for each point of intellect than other spellcasters. Your mana is displayed as a blue bar next to your character portrait. Energy: Energy is used to power rogue abilities. Unlike mana or health, energy does not improve with level, nor is it influenced by any attribute. A rogue’s energy bar always starts at 100 points, unless modified by a rogue talent. When a rogue uses a special attack or ability, it costs energy points. Energy replenishes fairly quickly over time, so a rogue can continue to perform special attacks during a battle. However, energy regeneration isn’t rapid enough to allow a rogue to continue to use many abilities indefinitely. The rage bar is displayed in yellow underneath the character's health bar.


Rage is spent on the use of warrior abilities. Unlike mana or energy, rage does not begin as a full bar. It, like energy, is not influenced by an attribute. Rage has a limit of 100, but a warrior’s rage bar always starts at zero. Your rage bar appears as an empty bar under your health. As it fills up, it turns red.


Attack, also called attack rating, increases your chances of hitting a target in battle with your weapon. It is directly tied to your weapon skill with your current weapon.


Power, also called attack power, increases the damage you do with your weapons. All classes have a base attack power. Classes geared towards combat have higher base power than classes that are geared towards spellcasting. Strength is added to power as a bonus, resulting in greater attack power for stronger characters.


Damage depends on the weapon you use and on your power. All weapons have a damage rating. When you equip the weapon, the damage of your character includes the weapon’s damage, plus bonuses from your power and class. Spells and abilities can temporarily boost damage. Damage-per-second, or DPS, is shown as tool tip info.


Defense reduces your chance of being hit in combat by physical blows. It is directly tied to your defense class skill.


Armor reduces the amount of damage you take from physical blows. Armor is actually made up of your agility, plus the armor rating of any armor you have equipped. Based on your armor rating and type of armor, you have a chance to reduce the damage you take from enemy attacks.


Resistances give you a percentage chance to resist some or all of the damage or effects from spells. Resistances begin at zero, but can be improved with items and spells.


Quest Experience

When you turn in a completed quest, you gain an experience reward. This quest reward is often substantial, and equal to several, if not a dozen, monster kills at once. Quests will range in difficulty, so the rewards will also vary. Doing quests is an extremely efficient way to earn experience and gain levels. Players who only kill monsters do not typically level as quickly as those who also complete quests. Furthermore, not only do quests help you level more quickly, but they also carry material rewards as well.

The Experience Bar

Stretching across the bottom of your screen is your experience bar. At the beginning of a level, it is empty, but as you earn experience, it begins to fill. You can mouse over the experience bar to see your current experience, and the amount you need for next level. When it fills up completely, you gain a new level, and the experience bar resets to zero. In addition, the amount of experience you need for the next level increases an incremental amount. Leveling up becomes progressively harder, not only because your challenges are greater at higher levels, but also because the experience requirement grows. Rest State In World of Warcraft, the rest state has a great effect on how much experience you earn from kills. When your character is rested, they earn 200 percent of the experience from a kill. However, rest state is a temporary condition, and you become less rested after you accumulate a certain amount of experience through encounters.

All characters begin the game in a normal state. Rest state can only be accumulated when your character is standing in an inn, logged out from an inn, or logged out from the wilderness. While you are in an inn or logged out from an inn, your rest state increases every few hours. If you log out in the wilderness, your rest state accumulation is much slower. For the purposes of rest state accumulation, logging out in one of the six capital cities – Orgrimmar, Thunder Bluff, Undercity, Darnassus, Ironforge, and Stormwind – is the same as logging out from an inn. Rest state grows slowly every hour you are logged out of the game or in an inn, but the longer you are away from the game, the greater your rest. There is a maximum amount of rest state you can amass, and that usually is enough to give you a 200 percent experience bonus for one and a half experience bars. However, in order to accumulate that much rest, you usually need to be logged out for more than a week. Rest state is meant as a reward for those who are away from the game and then return. It’s a way to jump back into the game and level quickly if you’ve been left behind while your friends all leveled during your absence. It is not meant as a continual reward for those who play as often as several hours a day.

Rest State Marker

A rest state marker exists on your experience bar to tell you how rested you are. When the filled portion of your experience bar hits the marker, your character then goes to a normal rest state. In this normal state, you earn 100 percent of experience from a kill, meaning you get no experience bonus. To regain your rest, you must then go to an inn or log out of the game. The rest state marker only appears on your experience bar when you are rested.

Rest State and Quests

Experience you earn from completing quests has no effect on your rest state. Nor does rest state give you a bonus to quest experience. Quest experience does not move you to the normal state any faster. Only monster experience is counted towards your loss of rest.

What It Means to Level

When you gain a level, your character becomes more powerful. Your attributes increase; you class skills increase; and as a result, many secondary characteristics, such as health and mana, improve as well. In addition, you gain the ability to purchase trade skills
and talents, and to acquire to new abilities.

Attribute Increases

Primary attributes that are important to your class automatically increase by one or two points when you level up. These attribute increases will change from level to level, but spellcasters will usually gain intellect and spirit boosts, while melee fighters will often gain stamina and strength boosts. However, over the course of your character’s full level range, you will get increases to most, if not all, attributes.

Secondary Characteristics

When you level, you also get an increase in health. If your character is a spellcaster or has spellcasting abilities, you also get an increase in mana. In addition, if your stamina and intellect increase when you level, you also get another boost to your health and mana through your attribute improvement.

Class Skills

Your class skills, which determine the effectiveness of your class spells and abilities, do not automatically improve when you level up. Instead, they improve as you use them. However, the skill cap you have in a class skill does increase when you gain a level. For example, as a first level priest, your maximum skill level in holy magic is five. As you cast holy spells, your holy skill will eventually max out at five points, until you advance to the next level and your holy magic skill cap increases.


Your talents are accessible from the Talents window, which can be opened by clicking on the Talents button at the bottom of the screen or by pressing the hotkey N.

Spells and Abilities

Aside from attribute and stat increases, the other major way in which your character grows in power is through access to new spells and abilities. 

Learning New Spells and Abilities

When your character increases in level, it is a good idea to return to your class trainer to learn new abilities. Class trainers exist in all major cities, but not every class will be represented. You won’t find any shaman trainers in Alliance cities, for example, because the shaman is a Horde only class. Even within a faction, trainers only exist where a large segment of the population can train in that class. Shaman trainers don’t exist in the undead capital of Undercity because undead can’t be shaman either. You can always talk to your class trainer, no matter your level. The trainer then shows you a list of all spells and abilities you can learn in the training window. All your spells and abilities are organized into different categories or schools. These categories mirror your class skills. Shaman, for example, have earth, fire, and water skills. By browsing through the list of items, you can see all the spells and abilities to look forward to as you level. When you click on a spell or ability, a summary of it appears at the bottom of the window. You can also see the level requirement for the ability. If you mouse over the picture of the ability, an info box opens that reveals more detailed information. Once you achieve a high enough level to learn a new spell or ability, return to your trainer, select a spell or ability, and click on the Train button at the bottom of the window to learn it.



Although much of your character’s power comes from your attributes and abilities, the equipment you wear is just as important to your growth. In many cases, your equipment can improve your character dramatically by giving you a great DPS boost, enhancing your attributes, improving your armor and defense, or boosting your spell power and resistances. On the Character Info window, there are equipment slots on either side of your character model. These equipment slots correspond to different parts of your character’s body. The slots on the side are for armor and jewelry. The four slots at the bottom are for your hand-held equipment, which can include melee weapons, ranged weapons, shields, ammunition, wands, and miscellaneous objects.

Armor slots

The different body parts on which you can equip armor are your head, shoulders, back, chest, wrists, hands, waist, legs, and feet. You can have one piece of armor per slot. Of these armor types, the ones that are easiest to acquire, and thus available at early levels, are back, chest, wrists, hands, waist, legs, and feet armor. Later you begin to find rings and shoulder armor. At mid-levels you find necklaces and helmets. At higher levels you find trinkets.

Shirt slot

Your character has a slot to wear a shirt. However, shirts are usually decorative and have no in-game benefits. They can, however, make you stand out among your fellow players. Tailors can make a variety of different colored shirts, and you can also find shirts as quest rewards or treasure.

Tabard slot

One slot on the left is for a tabard, which is a vestment with your guild crest. You can purchase a tabard even if you are not in a guild. If you do, it will appear as a plain gray tabard. It will acquire your guild insignia when your guild chooses a design or when you join a guild that already has a design.


There are two slots for a character to wear rings. Rings are rare magic items that you can win as quest rewards or find as drops from monsters. There is a wide variety of rings. Some improve attributes and statistics, while others give you the ability to heal or do spell damage. Rings do not show up on your character when you wear them, although they are equipped. Necklaces are similar to rings, but there is only one necklace slot. Trinket’s are even rarer than rings and necklaces. They do not show up on your character, but can confer a wide range of abilities on you.” Trinkets do not have the same qualities. They are usually right-click effect items.

Hand-held equipment

The four slots at the bottom of your character window are for your handheld equipment. The first slot is for your primary hand; the second slot is for your offhand; the third slot is for your ranged weapon; and the fourth slot is for your ammunition.

Melee weapons

If you wield a one-handed weapon, it must be placed in your primary hand to be effective. If you wield a two-handed weapon, it is placed in your primary hand slot, but also occupies your offhand slot. Your offhand slot can accommodate a secondary weapon if you have the dual wield class skill. It can also hold an offhand item, such as a shield, torch, orb, magic branch, or lantern. If you are wielding a two-handed weapon, your offhand slot is already occupied.

Ranged weapons

Your ranged slot can hold a ranged weapon appropriate for your character, whether that is a wand, bow, gun, or thrown projectile. You can have a ranged weapon equipped here, at the same time that you have a melee weapon equipped in your primary and offhand slots. To ready a ranged weapon for use, open your Ability book. If you have an equipped ranged weapon, a shoot ability should appear in your book. You can shoot your ranged weapon by clicking the shoot ability in the book, or drag the shoot icon to your action bar to use. Any time you need to use your ranged weapon, you can press this button and fire away. Your character will pull out the ranged weapon and attack. Unlike melee attacks, ranged attacks cannot be toggled on or off. You need to press the shoot button each time you want to attack.

Ammo slot

Guns and bows require ammunition to use. In this case, you need to place ammunition, bullets or arrows, in the ammo slot. As long as you have ammo of the appropriate type in your inventory, you can fire your weapon.


Equipment Level Requirements

Much of the equipment you make or find has a level requirement. If you mouse over a piece of equipment, at the bottom of the item’s info box is level requirement, telling you the minimum level you have to have in order to use the item. Some items, such as armor and weapons you acquire as quest rewards, do not have a level requirement. If you can complete the quest, then you deserve to use the armor or weapon, regardless of your level. Some items also require a trade skill to use. For instance, most items created by engineers require some level of engineering skill to equip or use. Consumable items, such as potions, also have level requirements, even when they are quest rewards. If you are not yet high enough level to equip or use an item, the level requirement in the info box appears red to you.

Unusable Equipment

Equipment that you cannot use usually shows up as red to you. For instance, if you are browsing a weapon merchant's wares, any weapons you cannot use because of your class will appear red in the merchant window. If you mouse over a weapon in your inventory that you cannot use because of a single condition, then that condition is in red text. If you aren’t high enough level to wear the item, then the level requirement text in the info box is red. If you don’t yet have the appropriate weapon skill, then the weapon type is in red letters. Unusable equipment cannot be equipped by your character.

Soulbound Equipment

Many of the most powerful items and equipment in the game are soulbound. Soulbound items cannot be traded to other players. They can be sold to a vendor, stored in the bank, or destroyed. You cannot auction off a soulbound item at an auction house. If an item is soulbound, then it will say so just under the item’s name in its info box. Items have different conditions for becoming soulbound. These options are as follows: 
Bind on acquire: This item is bound to you as soon as you pick it up from a corpse or quest giver. Most quest rewards bind on pickup.
Bind on equip: This item is bound as soon as you place it in an equipment slot. Once it is equipped, the item is soulbound and cannot trade hands again. Most good items that are made through trade skills bind on equip.
Bind on use: This item is bound as soon as you use it. Such items are generally not able to be equipped but have an effect that you use directly from your inventory. Most items that summon mounts are bind on use.
Quest items: Quest items are a special category of soulbound item. If you are looking for items in order to fulfill a quest, these items often have the quest item tag where the soulbound tag usually appears. Items with the quest item tag cannot be traded to other players or sold to NPC vendors.


Equipment Rarity

Many of the items and equipment you find in the world fall into different categories of rarity; this category in turn tells you how weak or powerful these items are. The rarer the item is, the more fantastic its properties. You can tell the rarity, and thus potency, of items by the color of their name. This color appears the same whether you mouse over the item to see its name in an info box, whether you see it linked in chat, or whether you see it as a message when it is picked up
in a group.


These items are of poor quality and have no special properties. They are often called vendor trash by players.


These items are of common quality. Usually, only high-level white items have special properties. Most vendor-bought items fall into this category.


Rarer than white items and often more powerful, these items are considered uncommon. Green items can be disenchanted with the enchanting trade skill for magic reagents useful in enchanting other equipment. Green items are mostly found as loot or created by trade skill craftspeople.


Blue items are of rare quality, and almost always have special properties. They are also considered magical for the purposes of the enchanting skill. Only a handful of items a craftsperson can make are blue items, and even then, such items require many obscure ingredients to craft and can only be made by craftspeople with a high skill level.


These items are epic in scope and power.

It is rumored that even more powerful items exist in the world...


Armor Sets

Rumors persist of unique, distinguished item sets that once belonged to great heroes and legends. These sets are said to bestow additional magic abilities once all their pieces have been found and equipped. When a character is equipped with all the items of a set, additional bonus magic attributes are added as well. When a set item is selected, the names of all the items in the set are listed on the tool tip Durability As weapons and armor get used, they start to wear down. Eventually, armor that continues to get battered in combat will begin to degrade in quality, as will weapons that keep biting into the tough hide of monsters. In World of Warcraft, every time you use a weapon or suffer a blow in battle, your weapon or armor has a chance to take a hit in durability. Your equipment's current durability can be seen by mousing over it from your Character Info window or your inventory. When a piece of equipment drops to low durability, you will see a small representation of your character and the damaged equipment in the corner of your screen. When a piece of equipment's durability gets very low, you can repair it at a merchant NPC who specializes in working on the particular item that requires attention. If an item drops to zero durability, it become useless and will no longer confer any benefits to your character. It will remain equipped on your character, but armor will cease to provide protection and weapons will be so worn down that you will effectively attack as if you had no weapon.