Zygor’s Guide for the Win
Is it perfect? Probably not. Do we like it and use it? Oh yeah.
Update: Zygor’s is (and has been) completely updated for the 5.3 patch and will be for 5.4. You’ll be able to do the blast to level 90 in very good time and get into all that good stuff.
Disclaimer: Part 1: If you buy the guide through these links I do get a cut. Part 2: With the guide I have leveled one Rogue from 70 to 90, another from 1-90 (yeah, two 90 Rogues,) a DK from 55-90, a mage from 1-90, and various others. Family members have leveled an assortment of other characters, some with little gear, others with full heirlooms and Recruit a Friend (3x XP.) So I confess, I like this guide. We all do.
Need to Hit the Level Cap Fast?
What I’m going to do here is go into some other guides, first. This will give some background on why we think Zygor’s Leveling Guides are so cool. Just scroll down if you want to skip this part and get to the review.
In the Beginning
In the beginning there was Joana’s Horde Leveling Guide. For Horde only, it promised, and delivered, on a fast path from level 1 to level 60. It was later updated for the Burning Crusade expansion and offered a fast path to level 70. (I used Joana’s to get my first Rogue from 1 to 70, the guide is now good to 90. )
Shortly thereafter, Brian’s Alliance Leveling Guide came out, offering a similar system for Alliance characters.
Both of these excellent (and they are) guides had a lot of similarities, besides being Hunter oriented and solo friendly.
- They offered a fast and efficient route to 70
- Little, if any, need for grinding. Everything is based around the quests.
- They were both PDF documents (digital ebooks.)
- They were both built around the Hunter class, arguably the fastest leveling class in the World of Warcraft.
- Both guides have links to sites such as Thottbot.com for extensive info on every quest in the guide.
- Both guides eliminated the need for grinding to level.
- Both guides come with a customized version of the Map Notes addon which heavily modifies the in-game map, adding coordinates for the location of every quest in the guide. Get the quest, get the cords from the guide, enter the map, find the point, set your waypoint, and follow the arrow to your destination. Couldn’t be easier, right?
- Both guides are intended for the solo player, so don’t require you to group (generally) or enter any instance (ever.)
- Both guides also offered extra goodies, such as builds, tips, and user submitted guides for the various classes.
- Both are printable, so you can print ‘em out, put them on a clipboard, and check off things as you go.
- Both guides will still get you leveled at a very nice pace.
As with all things there were a couple of issues that could be directed at either guide, or any other ebook type guide:
- Since they’re both ebooks you have to switch back and forth between game and ebook. Unless you are/were among the few, the proud, the owner of two monitors crowd.
- Not all the quest detail was included in the guides, though Brian’s did have more than Joana’s. This meant not only reading the guide, but also the quest log and the occasional link to Thottbot & Co.
- If you leave the game you’ll have to remember where you left off.
- The leveling path was built around using a Hunter character and run by a player who knows how to use that character well. For the average player running, for example, a Paladin, the guides could be frustrating in spots, due to the level of the mobs. I played through Joana’s Guide with a Rogue (all the way from 1-70) and was able to deal with most everything, except for a few elites and I skipped most all of the group quests.
The next level in leveling guides, such as the TeamiDemise Leveling Guide, put the entire guide in-game. This was slick. You go to the in-game map and see a listing, like this: step 1, step 2, step 3… Click the step and the marked point on the map glows, making it easy to find and set a waypoint.
The iDemise guide wasn’t class specific, either. Play what you want and the guide would get you leveled in good style. It also included Pro Tips, which was cool. No more switching back and forth to a pdf, either.
The only real hits were some typos, the need to switch back and forth to the in-game map, and that you already had to know how to get from zone 1 to zone 2, since the guide offered no help in that area. Not an issue for experienced players, but definitely one for new players.
Now we have the next step:
Zygor’s Leveling Guides ( for Horde and Alliance.)
John Cook has put this thing together and we think it’s pretty darn cool. Given the way this guide is put together, and assuming some fast and efficient leveling on our part (don’t take the scenic route, etc.) then I think that many of us will be able to hit 90 in just a few days. Others, more disciplined, will easily be faster.
Determined people should be able to easily beat that time, determined people with Zygor, a full heirloom set, and Recruit a Friend should be able to crush that time.
Here’s how Zygor’s Guide works:
No more switching: The entire guide is in a small, resizable window on your main screen. All the detail that you need to complete the quest is included. You’ll never have to switch back to a PDF, a website, or even the in-game main map to see where you have to go or what’s next.
How is this better than the in-game quest helper thingie? While that shows you the destination of your quests it doesn’t show you the best order in which to take them. Zygor’s show you the optimum path to take to complete the most quests in the least time, which will save you lots of time over the quest helper.
Here’s a shot of the in-game guide window. Note the detail and descriptions of the steps. The waypoint arrow can be moved anywhere on screen. Also, note the little guy to the left of the guide. That’s a pic of your target. You can turn it off in the configuration options, if you like.
A small version of the guide window looks like this:
If you had just finished the checked quests above (handed them in) the guide would automatically switch to the next step…
By the way, both the guide window and the waypoint arrow can be moved anywhere on screen. I usually keep the arrow top center and the guide at the bottom right, but go ahead an put it anywhere it makes sense for you. You can even disappear the guide window anytime you like. No point in having it up while you’re raiding the other side’s towns, right?
One of the very cool things about Zygor’s Guide is that it’s automated. Not only do you not have to manually switch from game to guide, you won’t even have to click to the next quest. Complete a quest and the guide will automatically update to the next quest. The guide does it for you (usually, sometimes you’ll have to click to the next quest on your own.) It really is like having someone giving advice over your shoulder. Here’s the next quest, here’s what you need to get…
No more setting waypoints: They’re all set for you automatically, and include distance and time to target. Plus, a dot is placed on both your mini and main maps, if you want to use them. Each time you are on a quest you follow the arrow, and do what you need to do. This system makes it pretty hard not to find your objective.
No more having to remember where you are: the guide remembers all. Log out and come back in a week and you can pick right up from where you left off. Try that with a PDF.
Starting off at some mid level? Come into the guide from any level, scroll through, find and click the level you want to start with, and the guide will take it from there. Zygor suggests starting the guide a level or two before your level. This is to allow you to work you way into the local quest chains. Just skip the chains for quests you didn’t pick up along the way, or the quests that you already did.
If you come in at any level you can, with a couple of clicks, pick the correct point in the guide. For example, if you want to do your questing in the Eastern Kingdoms (and you’re Horde:)
Just step through the menus, hit accept, and the guide will start up in the right place. By the way, this also works fine if you’re 85+ and in the new Mists of Pandaria zones.
The entire path of quests is visible in the guide window. You can scroll forward or back at anytime. Want to skip something? Click the next quest in line and the previous quest is grayed out.
By the way, all the quests are grayed out as they are completed, so you can always see where you are at a glance, plus where you’ve been and where you want to go next. Want to skip a quest? Just click the next one, or the right arrow, and the skipped one will become gray.
No more websites - Enough detail is included so that you rarely have to look at your quest log and certainly never at any website, it’s all in the guide. Previous guides (eg: the PDF guides) linked all the quests to appropriate sites, which is cool, but scanning these sites for the detailed info will slow your leveling speed way down.
The leveling path is not class specific: Zygor’s can be easily run with any character class and most builds. Naturally, builds that are faster at killing things (Hunters, Rogues, etc.) will go faster than, say, Holy Priests, but everyone should find the leveling path that Zygor presents to be quite good. You can also set the difficulty level!
Required Class quests are included. Yeah, even for you Druids out there.
(You’re also reminded to grab the flypoints and when to set your hearthstone.)
Is the path faster than that of any other guide? I can’t really answer that, not having played through all of them to 90, but you will certainly move at a very fast pace. You will never wonder about where to go and what to do next. Consider this, also: Zygor advertises a 1-90 time of under 7 days. That’s as fast as anybody does it. I can also state that you’ll never be at a loss as to where to go or what to do. Zygor’s avoids the time wasting quests, as well. Overall, we’ve found it easy to use and we can just go boom, boom, boom through the quests. Very nice.
- No more having to set waypoints, they’re set automatically. That’s a time saver.
- No more having to switch back and forth between game and website or pdf, it’s all on the main screen, saving more time.
- No more having to dig into quest details, all the detail you need is in the guide, on the main screen. Just follow the arrow and level.
- No more having to visit Thottbot and the others. Think of how much time that will save you.
Now how much time will all that save you on your path to 90? Just the fact that you don’t have to do all the time wasting lookup stuff is going to cut huge amounts of time off your leveling.
The home page for the guide says that using it is like having a leveling guru giving you constant advice. Having used the guide for a quite some time now I’d say that’s pretty accurate. You’ll always know what to do and where to go next, automatically. Remember all those questions in the in-game trade chat, asking what to do or where to go next (for whatever level?) It won’t be you asking those questions.
Here’s a new feature:
With rest XP, recruit-a-friend, and heirloom gear you will level out of any particular area quickly. Zygor’s has that covered. As soon as you’re ready a popup will let you know and give you the option to move on, This presents you with a “difficult” choice:
- Stay where you are and level by mashing easy mobs,
- click “yes” and advance forward to something a bit more difficult.
The guide will skip quests, sometimes several at a time, and will keep up with you. This is a pretty cool feature, in my opinion.
It also works well if you’re leveling in the dungeons or battlegrounds. Leave the questing to gain a few levels, come back to Zygor’s, hit that right arrow, and the guide will advance to the next suitable quest. Slick.
What could be easier?
One more thing: It really doesn’t matter how many levels you gain in the dungeons, PvP, or what level you start using the guide. Zygor will figure out where you are, where you need to go, and will let you delete obsolete quests. Cool stuff.
Quibbles? Very few.
- See above for a rare quibble about step skipping.
- No Battlegrounds are covered, so if you’re collecting XP by killing other players then, as with instances, the guide will catch up with you when you go back to questing.
- No dungeons are covered, but you don’t need a guide for those. All the quest-givers are just inside the dungeon doors. Doing a lot of dungeons will put you ahead of the guide, but advancing to your new position in the guide is easy.
- Every once in awhile the guide doesn’t update automatically. It’s easy to fix, though. Just click the next item manually and you’ll be back on track. Originally various quests didn’t all update automatically, but updates have corrected this. With the updates you will likely find that the only time that things don’t automatically update is when hearthing or flying in to someplace.
- There are times when you will be fighting things a couple of levels higher than your character. This is easy enough for some, but others might find that they need to be a bit more careful. If you let yourself get a couple of levels ahead of the guide then this ceases to be an issue. If you look through the configuration options you’ll see a place to set your difficulty rating.
In conclusion -
Our family has four WoW players, ranging from pretty new to very experienced. We all agree that Zygor’s is our leveling guide of choice. Having all the necessary info right there on the main screen has pretty much spoiled us for any of the other guides (though they’re all coming out with in-game guides now.)
It’s easy for the new player to follow and efficient enough for the experienced player to want to use it. That’s a tough act, but John pulls it off nicely and his Zygor’s Guide rocks. Of course, one can argue that it makes the game too easy, but I’m not one of them. Want to make it a bit more difficult? Don’t worry so much about your gear and send those heirlooms to your other alt.
Need to get a character to the level cap fast?
Then get your copy of Zygor’s Leveling Guides here.