Classes and Starting Attributes
Shadowmeld (Instant Cast, 2 minute cooldown)
Activate to slip into the shadows, reducing the chance for enemies to detect your presence. Lasts until cancelled or upon moving. Any threat is restored versus enemies still in combat upon cancellation of this effect.
Elusiveness (Passive, Rogue and Druid only)
Reduces the chance enemies have to detect you while shadowmelded or stealthed.
Reduces the chance that melee and ranged attackers will hit you by 2%.
Wisp Spirit (Passive)
Transform into a wisp upon death, increasing speed by 75% (instead of 50%).
Nature Resistance (Passive)
Reduces the chance you will be hit by Nature spells by 2%.
Here I go over each class with an analysis based purely on stats. A lot of people on forums like to ask what race their should pick for a certain class, and the answer they receive is always the same, “go for whichever race appeals to you most visibly”. But these people aren’t asking which race looks the prettiest, they are asking which one will help them the most with the character. The answer they receive is pretty valid, it really doesn’t matter. But, that doesn’t mean it can’t help as well.
While your race does not make a huge difference in the overall scheme of how powerful your character will be at end game, it can impact how well you do early on. Oftentimes a player will start a character and then decide within the first 10 levels whether or not they like the character. So, it’s important to start off with a solid race/class combination if you’re not one for sticking it out for a while to really give the character a chance.
If you ignore the long term and start out looking just at the base starting attributes then I find the following.
Shadowmeld Is an awesome ability that has a lot of uses in PvP, PvE, and Roleplaying as well. This is an excellent racial and easily my favorite of the race. It can provide you with some amount of safety when you need to go AFK in the middle of a hostile region, and it can help to some degree in PvP situations to hide from your enemies.
With Elusiveness, classes that are able to become stealthed are even harder to find once they do so. A Night Elf subtlety Rogue is almost impossible to find by players or mobs that are not at least three levels higher than them. Classes that are not able to stealth do not gain quite so much benefit from this as those that can, but it does affect your Shadowmeld as well.
Staying alive is always a good thing, and not getting hit in the first place due to Quickness is a nice way to get started off on the right foot for that. Short of being able to heal yourself (like the Draenei), this is one of the best defensive racial traits in the game making you harder to hit.
Nothing sucks more in this game than dying and having to run all the way back to your corpse to resurrect yourself, and the Night Elves are the only ones that give a special benefit like this. When you die you run faster than someone on a regular ground mount on your way back to your body. This also happens to be the only race that has an animation for it other than a greyscale version of their regular character as you turn into a wisp.
As with the Tauren, Night Elves possess Nature Resistance which again is able to help somewhat in certain circumstances. It’s not an exceptional racial trait, but with resistances generally being fairly hard to find every little bit helps.
Druid: While their 18 Strength is not perfect for the feral druid, it is a solid start for either tanking or dps. The 25 Agility shines through for the feral Cat druid’s dps as well as a bear tank’s avoidance. The 19 Stam is their second lowest score, but it also happens to be a very solid score for starting out. With 22 Int and Spirit all of your starting needs for mana and spirit-regeneration are already ahead of the curve. With their starting stats this is about as close to an absolute perfect fit as you can get.
Hunter: Right off the bat a 28 Agility sets the Night Elf as the strongest Hunter in the game as far as base stats are concerned. Next up on a hunter’s needs is 20 Int and 20 Stam which both give you a solid start on your primary attributes. The 21 Spirit will also help to keep your mana regeneration going for minimizing your downtime.
Priest: With 22 Int and 23 Spirit the Night Elf gets a good boost on their starting stats and the 19 Stam is fairly strong for starting out as well. While Agility is not very important to you, being able to start off with a 25 will help you a bit with dodging attacks early on.
Rogue: Much like the Hunter, 28 Agility makes the Night Elf the best stat-based Rogue starting out as well. The 18 Strength could be a little bit higher but the higher Agility more than makes up for that. The rest of the rogue’s stats start off with a 20 which makes for a very well balanced start.
Warrior: With 20 Strength you aren’t going to be the strongest Warrior starting out, but you aren’t going to be the worst either. Your 25 Agility will help a lot with your avoidance which is especially nice if you plan on filling the role of a Tank, and 21 Stam and 20 Spirit will help keep you alive regardless of which path you take your class.
Even though I do not care much for the Alliance Faction and rarely play on any of the few toons that I do have in the faction, the Night Elves are still my favorite race in the game. I could really do without the Michael Jackson dance that the males have, but everything else about the race (especially the occasional front flip when they jump) just fits in perfectly with what I like in the game.
With my constant exception of the ever-hated Warrior class, I love every class selection that the Night Elf has open to them. Narrowing the classes down for this race is really hard for me as they are such a perfect fit for each of them. If I absolutely had to narrow it down to a single one I would say that Hunter is the perfect fit and my personal preference, followed closely by Rogue and Druid, and finally Priest.