There are nine classes in World of Warcraft, ranging from the usual archetypes (warrior, priest, mage, etc.) to some that are relatively unique (hunter, shaman). This section is intended to give you a bit of an introduction to each of the classes, and let you know the relative strengths and weaknesses of each.
To begin with, we’re going to give you a basic idea of what the class is all about, then segue into a discussion of specific tactics you might want to use in a variety of situations. Since WoW enables you to play solo if you wish, we’ll be discussing tactics applicable both to solo and group play, both for player versus environment (i.e., AI-controlled monsters) and player versus player combat.
Does anyone really need to have the warrior explained to them? As in most fantasy-based games, the warrior in World of Warcraft is the big, burly melee warrior that goes toe-to-toe with the enemies and tries to draw their attention away from the weaker members of your party.
In point of fact, that’s the most succinct description of the warrior: in most group play, your role won’t be to dish out extreme amounts of damage (although you can do this quite well), but to hold aggro on enemies so that they don’t switch over to your mages and priests. This is accomplished partially through dealing damage (which encourages enemies to attack you) and through skills like Taunt and Mocking Blow, which will have your character appear more threatening to the monster. This will let your pure DPS classes, like mages and rogues, wail away on your target without having to worry too much about getting pounded. Holding aggro on multiple enemies is rather difficult, though, so be sure to encourage your teammates to use the /assist command, or a macro thereof, to automatically aim at whatever your target is. If they target a "fresh" monster, i.e. one you haven’t Taunted or attacked yet, it will usually make a beeline for whomever attacks them first, which is bad news! See the Aggro Management 101 section in the Combat Basics chapter for more details on controlling groups of enemies.
One of the aspects of the warrior class that makes them so appealing, beyond the familiarity of the archetype, is the fact that they can change stances to adapt to almost any combat situation. You have three stances as a warrior: battle stance, which is a good balanced stance for most combat situations; defensive stance, which is useful when you’re a group’s main tank, as it will boost your defense and make it easier for you to control aggro; and berserker stance, which will increase your damage output but also increase the amount of damage that you take. As a new player, you won’t have to worry too much about stances at the outset; you initially begin with only the battle stance, but will earn the other stances as you level up.
Warriors, not being much inclined to use magic, rely on a rage meter instead of mana. Unlike mana, energy, focus, or what have you. A warrior’s rage meter doesn’t refill automatically over time; in fact, it naturally decays down to zero. In order to build it up, you’ll have to enter battle and start wailing away on an enemy. (Some of the warrior’s abilities will add a bit of rage to the meter, as well.) Thus, in order to use your abilities in battle, you’re going to have to ensure that you’re landing a lot of blows and are staying in the thick of things - but hey, you’re a warrior; this shouldn’t be too difficult. It is important to budget your rage, though, as using a bunch of powerful techniques in the middle of a fight can leave you starving for rage near the end, when you’ll want to use things like Hamstring and Rend to finish off a foe.