Come out, come out, wherever you are ... We know you're out there leveling! The dungeon finder feature isn't the only way to meet new and leveling players – in fact, it's one of the worst, since you'll only occasionally be paired off with another player from your home realm. Today's WoW makes it possible to scuttle from the auction house to the dungeon finder without forming any lasting relationships to speak of at all. Here at WoW Rookie, we're all about enjoying the journey, rather than racing for the finish line. Let's go over the best ways, then, to join up with folks you can adventure with along the way. In ascending order:
10. Hit the dungeon finder. We know, we just said the dungeon finder is not a great way to make friends. It's not. That said, we've heard more than one tale of players who transferred realms to play with friends they met through the dungeon finder. You're more likely to find a compatible group for the length of a single evening than a permanent partnership that persists over the levels -- but hey, it could happen.
9. Try the random battleground finder. It's the PvP version of the dungeon finder system. You're not likely to meet as many players from your own neck of the woods, but it's a start.
8. Recruit a friend. There's nothing like a built-in leveling partner. In case you hadn't heard, you get a pretty sweet two-seater rocket from the Recruit-A-Friend program these days. We'll show you how RAF works. Have friend, have rocket ... will travel.
7. Try a classic raid. Classic raiding (groups that stop leveling at level 60 or level 70 to pursue vanilla- or Burning Crusade-era raiding content) won't last long for you if you're just passing through on your way up. Still, if there's a classic group that takes puggers on your realm, you'll get a chance to meet some of the locals and snag an invaluable introduction to raiding, too.
6. Group up with the level 80s for some retro raiding. It's more likely that you'll be able to hook up with a group of retro raiders -- essentially, classic raiders without the strict level restrictions. While some groups may insist that raiders be level 80 or fully raid-experienced, plenty of other groups seem quite happy to take on any player who meets the general level and gear requirements for the instance in question. Anecdotally, you're likely to find the latter type of group to be filled with savvy but relaxed players out to squeeze as much fun out the game as possible -- well nigh a perfect choice for a new player seeking to meet people. (Looking for a group? Ping The Classifieds.)
5. Join WoW.com readers and staff for in-game adventures. Follow along with a growing number of WoW.com staffers playing in our Choose My Adventure series on US Zangarmarsh-H. The WoW.com-based guild there, <It came from the Blog>, is filled with players of all levels.
4. Talk it up. Say hello to other players who are doing the same kill quests in your area and invite them to group up to speed things along. Chat with others in the local zone channel. Don't be afraid to ask more experienced players for help.
3. Hang out in old world towns. Sure, Dalaran is a convenient place to set your hearth, but spend time conducting your actual business in an old world center. The pace is a little slower and a little more personal, and of course you'll be rubbing elbows with players of all levels there.
2. Craft stuff, and buy crafted stuff. You have no farther to look than this week's Random Acts of Uberness for an example of how trading with others can build personal connections. Don't keep your nose stuck in the auction house.
1. Join a leveling guild. At some point, even social butterflies who meet other players at the drop of an emote should consider teaming up with other players in a more structured way by joining a leveling guild -- by far the best way to forge friendships as you level up.
What ways of meeting other players have worked for you over the levels?
Visit the WoW Rookie Guide for links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's. WoW Rookie walks you through all sort of new-player concerns, from game lingo for the beginner to joining your first guild as a mid-level player and on to what to do when you finally hit level 80.