Here's a bunch of stuff you might want to know that didn't really fit in any of the other categories...
ACCOUNTS: Your World of Warcraft account will support up to 8 characters per server, according to Blizzard's website. While there are forced servers in the sense that only North American players are supposed to play on NA servers, US players will be free to play in any of the 4 time zones across the country. (International releases are coming!)
Accounts run 14.95 per month, have a free first month, and will include a 30-day trial period for a friend to try the game.
AMMUNITION AND QUIVERS: Ammo adds damage to your ranged attacks. While you need *some* type of ammo to shoot, you can have the most basic type if you want to save on costs.
Quivers and ammo pouches are special containers that can ONLY hold ammunition. Possessing one increases your attack speed with a ranged weapon, however you do not need one to use a firearm. It is only recommended that hunters have one, as the loss of an extra bag slot is not justified for warriors or rogues.
ATTRIBUTES & STATISTICS: Your characters have 5 major attributes, strength, stamina, agility, intellect, and spirit. Strength affects melee damage and blocking rates. Stamina affects max HP. Agility affects chance to dodge or parry, ranged damage, crit rates, and melee damage for rogues (split with strength). Intellect affects max mana and spell crit rates. Spirit contributes to health and mana regen.
In your character window are several other statistics. Alongside your character are 5 icons for different spell resistances. Below that is your character's ability to hit with a weapon and the power with which he/she strikes your opponents. Mousing over this area will also give a DPS rating for your character, split into each hand if you dual wield. This section is repeated for your ranged weapon.
BUFFS & DEBUFFS: When you receive a beneficial spell, it will go in one row. When you receive a detrimental spell, it will go in a second row. Spells that remove effects will ONLY affect debuffs on you, and buffs on your opponents. You cannot dispel your own stamina buff trying to remove a slow spell. Likewise, you will negate the heal over time on your enemy rather than removing the silence effect you just cast.
DUAL WIELDING: 5 classes can dual wield. Rogues learn to at level 10, and at level 20, warriors and hunters gain this ability. Shaman can learn it via talents and Death Knight start with it. Since rogues have no other real option for their off-hand, rogues almost univerally dual wield, but warriors rarely do, and hunters often prefer a two-handed weapon.
The main issue with dual wielding is that there is a base 24% chance to miss, and the off-hand weapon damage is halved, meaning that for equal DPS weapons, a second weapon only adds about (.75+.375) = 12.5% damage increase. A hunter will typically prefer the extra damage a two-handed weapon, and a warrior will either want a 2H or a shield.
DURABILITY: As you participate in combat, your equipment will slowly wear. If you die, your items all lose 10% of their max durability. If you use the spirit healer, they lose an additional 15%. So after dying several times, your items will eventually break if you do not return to town and repair.
Items that are broken are not gone for good. They merely stop working. Repair costs are a minor nuisance at lower levels, but at the higher end of the spectrum, they help keep inflation in check by being quite expensive.
ETIQUETTE: Your reputation with other players is important. As such, try to be polite and considerate. There are any number of ways that this could be described, but getting into all of them would make this post a novel. Just remember that other people are here to enjoy themselves too, so don't explicitly try to screw them, and don't spam general chat with tons of stupid comments. If someone clears to an ore vein, don't run up and mine it while they are fighting the last mob in the way. Don't skin other people's kills until they walk away from the corpse. Don't rush to attack something just because you see somebody else going for it. If someone is waiting for a named to spawn, let them have it. I could go on, but I don't want to actually write that novel.
THE FIVE-SECOND RULE: When any class performs an ability that uses mana, with little exception, their mana regen does not function during the cast or for five seconds after it is finished. Blizzard was concerned with the potential for players with a pure spirit build to be able to effectively chain-cast whatever they wanted. Unfortunately this game has a tremendous impact on the low-end game for starting players, and often affects strategy in a rather negative way.
I try to be largely impartial writing these guides, but I have to come out with a personal opinion here: the five-second rule sucks, and doesn't seem to really serve any benefit. Blizzard, if you're reading this, please remove the five-second rule.
GAME CLOCK: The timer in-game runs on a 24-hour cycle. When it is day in real life, it is day in the game. Night time does actually get dark, although depending on your gamma setting, it may or may not be very noticeable. The clock is based on wherever the server is located, so a West Coaster playing on an EST server after dinnertime hours will find it to usually be night in Azeroth. This aspect of the game is why shadowmeld works at any time of day - some people would never be playing at night.
INNS AND RESTING: Inns serve two purposes. The first and more obvious is that they are the home points for your hearthstone. You can move that bind point to any inn you travel to.
The second is resting. When your character portrait is flashing yellow, this means you are resting. This sometimes occurs in other parts of a major city. While you are resting, a small notch appears in your experience bar in front of where your actual exp stops, and (very) slowly moves up the bar -- to be specific, at a rate of one block (5%) per 8 hours. While you are considered rested, the experience you get from creatures will be doubled.
This effect remains until your experience catches up with the notch. Other sources of experience, like quests, do not affect your rested exp and will move the notch as well. The maximum amount of rested exp you can accrue is 30 bars, or a level and a half.
INSTANCE DEATHS:When you die in an instance, you cannot run all the way back to your corpse. You will revive as you zone into the instance. While not everything in an instance respawns, some of it will, so you may not be able to simply pick up where you left off. If you are grouped with a player who is able to, they can resurrect you back to your corpse. This means it is rather significant to have a paladin, shaman, or priest in your instance group. (Druid rez is only once per half hour.)
LEVEL CAP: The maximum level in World of Warcraft is 60. There are no plans in the near future to change that. Eventually hero classes will be added into the game to give you something to do at the level cap to further progress your character. Nobody knows anything about hero classes.
MACROS: The macro window is in the options menu. It has very limited use. To make a macro, pick an icon and add the lines you want in the macro, and finish by giving it a name. You can drag the macro down to your hotkey bar from there.
Legitimate commands in macros include and slash command or using an ability (which you can add easily by shift-clicking the ability in your spellbook.) One thing you can NOT do with macros is add a pause command to chain commands together. This was done intentionally to prevent botting.
NAMING CHARACTERS: Blizzard has a big long naming policy that a lot of players have protested as being fascist. Simply put, this is what the naming policy says:
Your name must be a *NAME* that *YOU* created.
Those that complain want names that are either unoriginal or not something you would name your child, even in an alternate world. If you really can't come up with something, use the random name generator.
NON-TRADE SLOT: In the trade window, there is a special slot for items that will not be traded. This is for performing services on that item, especially if that item is soulbound, such an enchanting, unlocking, or applying smithed goods.
QUEST ITEMS: Items for a quest that have the specific heading "quest item" will only appear for people who actually need that item. If you do not have the quest, or you have finished it, you will never see the item drop. If someone else in your group *does* need that item, they will have the option to loot it, even if the rest of the corpse is your loot. These items become FFA among the people who need them.
REPUTATION: Reputation hasn't had a significant effect on the game in beta. As you perform acts for a given faction, they begin to like you more (or hate you more if you are killing them.) This can make a hostile group become neutral, or a neutral group regard you as friendly. Some factions won't give you quests, or their merchants will give you better deals if you have good reputation.
If you perform in dishonorable PvP kills, you will lose reputation with everyone, which could leave you without a single place to conduct your affairs such as repairing your equipment or buying drinks.
SET ITEMS: Some very rare items are parts of a set. These are almost exclusively from instances, and not many of them are very low-level. Items in a set will gain bonuses from wearing multiple pieces of the set. Set items are clearly marked as such, and will tell you the other pieces in the set.
XXX "of the Bear" or "of the Owl" is not a set item.
SLASH COMMANDS: In addition to talking, there are a lot of commands that can be performed by typing slash-something. Most of these can be accomplished by other means as well. /sit can be done by pressing X, for example. Since there are alternatatives to these commands, listing them isn't terribly important. /follow is the command I find myself actually typing out most often, although I could just right-click my group member's portrait instead. A couple fun ones you might try are /dance and /train.
SPELL INTERRUPTS: When a caster is performing a spell, their cast bar fills from left to right. If they become hit during this time, the bar jumps a bit to the left and continues from there. Usually this results in an extra second of cast time. Damage prevention abilities like Power Word: Shield and Blessing of Protection can prevent this.
Some special abilities actually completely stop casting, either by knocking the caster down or making them unable to cast in general. The paladin immunity skills are unaffected by these, but skills that absorb damage will not prevent these effects.
Casters can also fail to cast if, upon completion of the spell, they can no longer see their target because an obstacle is in the way or they moved behind the caster. In PvP, melee will very often circle-strafe behind a caster to try to avoid being nuked.
ITEM STACKING: Some items stack. You will not be able to stack bastard swords, but you can stack smaller objects like herbs and pieces of cloth. Depending on the item, it might stack to a limit of 5, 10, 20, or 200. 200 is almost exclusively for ammunition.
To split a stack, shift-click on the item. Before you actually "pick up" the item, the game will prompt you for a number of them. Control-clicking will take a single item from that stack.
TRADESKILL TRAINING: Tradeskills can be learned from any tradeskill trainer, and the most basic recipes can be learned from them. Note that you should start with a few recipes. (Ignore recipe comments for gathering skills.)
When you first take a tradeskill, you can only learn up to a maximum skill of 75 in it. When you reach a skill of at least 50, you can raise your training from Apprentice to Journeyman, which will make your cap 150. Apprentice trainers cannot teach you this, and you must be level 10.
Additional ranks of tradeskilling include Expert (new cap 225, requires skill 100 and level 20) and Artisan (new cap 300, requires skill 150 and level 35.) These level caps are imposed to keep a player from simply creating an alt or mule to do their third and fourth tradeskills. They are usually not terribly restrictive to someone actually playing that character and skilling up as they go.
At higher levels, there will be fewer recipes that are learned from trainers. Aside from the occasional rare bought recipe, you will need to rely on finding them as loot or buying them in the Auction House from people that find them. The non-profession tradeskills must be raised past journeyman through alternate means. (Expert requries finding a book somewhere, and artisan involves a minor quest.)
UNLOCKING: Sometimes you will find a chest or door that is locked. Only rogues and blacksmiths can open locks. If one isn't in your group, you might be out of luck. If the chest is small, i.e. lootable, you can take it to give to a rogue later. Use the non-trade slot so they don't just steal the items inside!