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I have been playing World of Warcraft on and off since the game launched back in 2004. WoW is such a massive game, however, that I’m still continually discovering things I didn’t know were possible within the game. Judging by multiple forum threads devoted to the same subject, I’m reasonably sure I’m not the only one who finds himself continually discovering new shortcuts or functions within the game, so it seemed appropriate to share some of the WoW secrets I've discovered.
Some of these items have since emerged as tips that appear while the game loads. Many people pay no attention to these screens, so I have included the most useful of those tips as well.
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Food and Drink
1) Back in the dark ages of vanilla WoW, I was one of those who had no idea eating and drinking at the same time was possible. Yes, as in real life, your Warcraft character can consume both food and drink to regenerate health and mana simultaneously.
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2) It seems unbelievable, but there are those out there in Azeroth who don’t know that pressing the numlock key will cause your character to auto run. This way, it’s possible to run and type at the same time, just be sure to make occasional course corrections so you don’t end up jogging off a cliff. Numlock works while on a mount, as well.
3) Another oft-overlooked movement tip: you can press the “/” key (above the number pad) to switch between walking and running. I can’t think of many instances where walking would be necessary, but if you happen across one, now you know how to do it.
4) Pressing both mouse buttons simultaneously will also cause you to run forward. Just in case you need to move forward but can only use one hand, like while eating a taco, or something.
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5) In combat, it’s sometimes necessary to use the /assist command to automatically attack the same target as the main tank. It was a long time before I realized that pressing the “f” key performs the same function. It’s not necessary to create a macro or frantically scramble to type the /assist command, just target the player you’d like to assist and hit “f.”
6) Many players discover this by accident, but pressing the “v” key will bring up health bars for all nearby mobs. This makes it much easier to keep track of enemy hit points without targeting each one individually.
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Inventory and Gear Management
7) Are you sick of repeatedly right clicking to purchase from vendors? Did you know that you can shift+click to open a window to specify how many items you’d like to buy at a time, up to 20? A very handy tip for anyone working on trade skills or otherwise in need of large amounts of vendor goods.
8) Did you know that socket colors are more of a guideline than a rule? Until just the other day I had no idea that I could put a red gem in a yellow socket. Any gem (excluding meta-gems) will fit in any socket; you just lose the socket bonus if you put in a gem of the wrong color.
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9) Players who like to speak with their friends in private chat channels know the frustration that comes with trying to sort out your friends’ messages from those in the general channels in a major city. Until recently I had no idea that by right clicking on the “general” tab in your chat window, you can actually customize the colors of all your chat channels. No longer will the words of your buddies be lost in a see of similarly-colored text. Make them stand out with a hot pink chat color!
10) Our final tip is an obvious one, but one that few people seem to take advantage of. Press the “i” key to bring up the Looking For Group/Looking for More interface. Simply input the instance, zone, or specific quest you’d like help with and you’ll be automatically entered into the LFM channel for each. Now instead of spamming the general channels, you can simply enter this information and go about your business, confident that anyone with similar aspirations will be able to find you in the LFM window.
Some of these tips probably seem very obvious to many veteran WoW players. I’m willing to bet, however, that even those who have reached level 80 will find that they had no idea at least one of these ten tips existed.
Thanks for reading and try not to autorun off of any cliffs, okay? I'd feel terrible if these tips led to someone's untimely demise.