What do you do when you log on? Where do you go? Who do you talk to? What does that green circle over that NPC's head mean? Don't look any further. Here are the answers you seek. This short guide goes over a number of elements that should help you get started if you're a first time player.
When you first log in to this new game world you will find many things to do. What do you do first? Me, I found out all I could about the controls, interface, and the chat. It's really pretty simple, and I've laid out a quick overview of each below:
Interface: The interface it set up very nicely in its default form, but if you wish to customize it (as most people do), that isn't a problem. Just hit your "ESC" key and then click "Customize Interface" or click on the Customize UI wrench icon on the menu bar at the top of the screen. This will bring up the menu so that you can customize the interface to your needs. Not only can you move UI elements around the screen, but this feature also allows for easy quick bar customization allowing you to add or remove them as needed.
While we're talking about quick bars, I wanted to note that when you gain a new ability through leveling, the game will automatically slot it into your quick bar. No need to open up a menu and drag it out there yourself...
Chat: The chat commands are pretty basic: /P for group chat, /S for local, and so forth. But there are many other chat commands, and some are a lot of fun to play with. For example /special. To get a complete list of all the chat commands just type /HELP in your chat window and it will bring up the list. It will also list all the commands you need for guild, emotes, groups, warbands and more.
Controls: The controls are very nice, but should be pretty familiar to MMO players. You're looking at WSAD movement and the mouse for targeting and turning. It should also be noted that "Q" and "E" allow you to strafe left and right.
If you wish to customize your controls just hit your "ESC" key and click "Key Mapping". This will allow you to set the keys as you wish.
Once you have the basics of these you are ready to embark on your journey into the world of Warhammer. When you logged in, no matter what race you initially chose, you should have noticed that there is an NPC a few yards in front of you with a green circle over his head. That is where you get started.
This NPC will get you started on your quests. I found that quest givers in the early stage of the game were very clear and easy to understand and were conveniently placed nearby. In terms of keeping track of where you are going, there is a nice built in quest tracker that it makes it easy to keep up with what quest you are on and where to go. It doesn't give you a specific location like some trackers in other games, but instead highlights an area around the quest. This appears both on your mini-map and on your main map (press "M"). If you need to review the quest just click on the quest in the tracker and it will open up your quest log.
Now, about those circles over the NPC's heads. As in most MMOs, these are meant to indicate specific NPC functions: A gray circle means they have a quest you have not met the requirements to get but you are close, green means that they have a quest for you, yellow means that you have a quest to turn into that person, but have not completed it yet and orange means you have a completed quest to turn into that person. These also show up on your mini-map to help you find them. (I would have missed a quest person if it had not been for the mini-map as he was hid behind a huge tree limb).
So, now let's talk a little bit about RvR:
RvR is very simple to get into and you can do it from the start. All you have to do is click the "Join a scenario queue" button at the top right of your UI (it's the WAR symbol at the top left of your mini-map). That will bring up the menu so that you can join in on the RvR for that tier. You will have a choice of three different scenarios. Don't worry about being low level, the scenario will adjust your stats to better help you in the fight, improving your hit points and the damage potential of your abilities (though It will not give you new skills). So, if you are level 4 and enter the battle, it will boost your stats to that of a level 8 player. I did very well at level 4 in the scenarios. In the beginning you will not run into the open world RvR. For that, you'll likely have to wait until you are around level 8.
Those Public Quest Things
Public Quests can be found all over the map and are very easy to do with a group of players. While you do not have to be in a group to take part in them, I wouldn't suggest taking on the boss solo. And with a group it makes things go a lot more smoothly.
You have a couple of options when it comes to cooperation with other players in a PQ. You can either: solo the PQ (though your efforts will still be combined with those of everyone else in the area), head in with your own group or use the open group function to find a group doing your PQ (in the default settings it's on the left hand side of your screen... the icon is a bunch of heads).
The public quest tracker at the top right of your screen will let you know what part you are on and what to do. Make sure you pull your weight in the PQ, because once the quest is complete it will roll for loot and let you know what type of loot bag you get. You then get your loot from a small chest that spawns.
There are three experience-like elements to Warhammer Online: Influence, Renown, and Experience.
No matter what you kill or what quest you are on you will get experience. You even earn XP in RvR situations. This determines your Rank (level in most MMOs).
Renown is what you earn while helping in the fight to take control of an area and RvR. Basically, it's like your RvR experience. You can use your Renown rank to get spiffy items from the Renown Merchant (usually found next to the regular merchant).
Influence is what you earn from doing public quests. You can also get spiffy items with the influence you earn. You get these from the Rally Master. Each chapter has three tiers of influence reward. As you earn influence, you unlock a new tier of reward, each better than the last. When you fill one bar you can choose an item from the first group, fill the second bar and you can choose an item from the second group, etc...
At first I thought I would be able to get all of them as you can with the Renown Merchant. Not so, you choose only one reward from each tier.
I found that by doing the quests, public quests and the RvR that I was able to outfit myself quite well.
In game help is easy to get. You can hit the "H" key to bring up the in-game guide. Also, you have your "Tome of Knowledge" ("K" key) in game that helps you track quests, deeds, and all sorts of other information and things you do. You can ask someone. And last of all there is a nice PDF file named "Player Guide". You should be able to find all the neat stuff in those sources. There are also fan sites with forums that have a ton of information. Plus look at the info published here!
Crafting and gathering skills are very easy. You will run into the trainers for these around level 4 when you follow the quests. There are four gathering skills: Butchering, Cultivating, Salvaging, and Scavenging. There are only two crafting skills, Apothecary and Talisman crafting. You can have one gathering and one crafting skill. If you do Apothecary, I would suggest taking scavenging also. If you decide on Talisman crafting I suggest taking Salvaging. Though you can find useful items from all the gathering skills for both crafting professions.
Quest Items and the Backpack
Backpack: Now don't freak out when you open your backpack and you do not see those quest items you swore you just looted. There are there! If you look at your backpack ("B" key) you will see 3 tabs. One is your backpack shown in icon form. The second is your backpack shown in list form. And the 3rd tab is your quest items.
Personally, I like that the quest items are kept separate. In the first tab you can also set what you would like to show up in the top half and bottom half of your backpack. While you have your pack open just click on the tiny tab on the right side and click the items you want to show up in that section of the pack. Weapons, potions, etc... I find it very helpful in keeping things separate from the useless stuff. Once you pick up or purchase those items they will go to the section you chose for them.
All in all with the information listed here you will be able to get a quick start into the game. This is information I chose as some of it I spent a few minutes trying to find it out. Imagine the confuse look I had when I opened my backpack and didn't see any quest loot when it said I had finished getting it lol. This will save you some time and pain and get you going.