Guynumber from Area 52 brings up a good point: why did Blizzard even bother putting game information in their original manual? Surely, they must have known that they'd be changing the game quickly, and while of course they'd have had no more idea than we had that some things so big would change (no ammunition, anyone?), they could have at least kept in mind that patches were coming.
Curious, I pulled out my old original manual. Here's some tips straight from the original release of World of Warcraft, when Magister's Terrace was a twinkle in a dev's eye, and Icecrown was just a level in Warcraft III, that aren't applicable any more:
- Pallies are only available to Alliance races and Shamans are Horde only.
- As Guymember points out, the manual says you will lose significant experience on death (but not so much as to lose a level).
- Only the Priests, Shamans and Paladins have resurrection spells.
- Attack Rating increases your chance of hitting a target with a weapon.
- As a first level priest, your maximum skill level in holy magic is five. As you cast holy spells, your holy skill will max out until you level up and the cap increases.
- The Paladin spell, Healing Aura, can be used to heal party members over a short period of time, but can only be used out of combat.
- In order to cast a totem spell, the appropriate totem must be in the Shaman's inventory.
- "There are over 2000 quests in World of Warcraft" (technically still true, but that number is cute now).
- The first time you encounter a battleground, you must walk through a red portal to enter it, though you may use the flying mount system to return there if you have learned the flight path.
- If you engage in objectionable PvP, such as killing new players or noncombat NPCs, you will earn dishonor. Earn enough and you will be branded an outlaw, suffer experience penalties, or even be attacked by every NPC on sight.
In Blizzard's defense, there is a note right at the beginning that lots of things will have changed in the game, and that you should... look at the readme.html page on the CD for recent changes. There's no note about the latest patch notes page, though, so maybe even Blizzard didn't realize how much they'd be changing the rules in the future.
Some of those changes are a trip back through time -- remember dishonor? I'd completely forgotten about it. And of course, lots of the manual is helpful, so to answer Guynumber's question, many of the "mechanics" directions -- left click on something to select it, right click on something to interact with it -- are still helpful for new players. But yeah -- reading through the original manual shows just how far this game has come since it started. Any Paladins want to start campaigning to bring back Healing Aura?