Note: I am not a hard-core gamer by any stretch of the imagination. The only other MMORPG I've played is Shadowbane. Yes, because I'm in the Mac ghetto and can't play games usually.
On Horde vs. Alliance: Do you actually have to choose? I'll probably choose Alliance if you do, otherwise I'll have a couple on both sides. I don't play PvP (or haven't, in the past), so I'll pick the servers that don't promote that.
On which classes/races I play: As with all these games, I'm interested in the mechanics, and so like to experiment a lot. I don't play enough to get very far, usually.
Here are the two main characters I worked with:
- Trusha (13): Female Gnome Rogue
Professions: miner, engineer (I got to throw bombs!)
Skills: cooking, fishing (I had a magic fishing pole and caught a 17lb catfish that I could hold in my hand and slap people with while fighting)
- Erselle (11): Female Night Elf Hunter
Professions: herbalist, alchemist
Skills: cooking, first aid
No reason they are both female, it just worked out that way -- I played a half dozen other combinations that were all male, but these were the two that I ended up sticking with.
It was fun to play. You got going pretty quickly, the early levels made it easy to complete a bunch of quests which got you exploring your surroundings. Each class had it's own set of skills to learn -- generally the best combo to use to defeat things. Equipment and money are somewhat hard to come by, but that just makes you value it more. Side activities like the professions (which don't gain you experience) made for a bunch of other stuff to do. I loved fishing -- very relaxing just clicking a single button and listening to the sounds of the waves coming in.
On guilds: I don't play enough. Apparently you need 20 people or something like that? I don't think I know enough people that would play to form a guild, but it might be fun to have a guild of casual players.
(I was the only person from work that managed to get a beta account and download the 2.4GB beta)