Hi guys! It’s me Rhii! Remember me? I used to post here all the time. 😛
Just a quick plug, if I may be so obnoxious, I’m blogging full time now over at Oh My, Kurenai. Don’t of course, abandon Aurdon, but drop by now and then, won’t you? Awesome.
I’m stopping by here to write up something for Aurdon that I told him I’d do quite a long time ago. You see, his wife is a bit of an altoholic (it’s one of the reasons that we’re such good friends) and she’s absolutely fallen in love with a leveling guide/addon combo for leveling her many alts. She’s not much for blogging though, so I said I’d give it a try and write up a review on her find – Dugi’s Leveling Guide.
So here I am, bored on a Sunday night after all my other guildies were in bed, and I don’t have much to do. So I rolled up an alt to test it out. Meet Sumiki, the orc warlock.
The Guide –
The free trial version is downloadable from www.ultimatewowguide.com. You do have to enter your email address and the free trial version will be sent right to you. It was easy to download and install the accompanying addon. You’ll also need TomTom because the guide includes a set of coordinates mapping out the quest order they’ll be sending you on.
The free trial version of Dugi’s guide will take you to level 40, after which you’ll have to buy the full version if you want to go the rest of the way to 80. Since I’m only level 16, I’m sticking with the trial for now.
So How Did It Work, Already?
It’s nice, guys. Real nice. For the dedicated altoholic, who perhaps, like me, finds leveling a lowbie very soothing and zenlike, Dugi’s Guide is a great companion. It tells you when to pick up a quest, when to complete it, and when to turn it in. It also gives helpful tips on hover, if the quest goals are at all obscure. It will even tell you when to use special items and when to change the location of your hearthstone for the most reduced travel time possible. You get a satisfying sense of progress, because you always have an immediate goal on your addon quest tracker, and a nice big waypoint arrow from TomTom that tells you not only approximate direction, but your distance from your goal. It’s well integrated with the Blizzard built in quest tracker, also, so it’ll automatically update your quests tracked list and supply any quest items you might need in your tracker.
Both of the addons can be dragged anywhere on the screen easily, and they haven’t been in the way for me at all during regular questing. I would recommend disabling them if you intend to pvp or run a lot of dungeons, because I found that they got in the way of my clicks a little too often when I was running, jumping, turning rapidly, and casting on the fly.
You can choose any guide appropriate for your level and activate it, like so:
And once within a guide you can view the quests that are available in the order that the guide recommends you do them. If you want to skip something, just put a checkmark in the box next to it, and the guide will consider that step completed and move you on to something new.
I actually chose to roll an orc for this project kind of on a whim, which was both good and bad. I’m sort of a troll addict, so I’ve already leveled through Durotar about half a million times. Actually, if I was to be serious, I’d say I’d leveled through there more than ten times, but less than twenty. I wouldn’t expect there to be much new going on in that zone. I sort of regretted not going through Mulgore or Tirisfal, which are zones I’m less intimately familiar with. But it turns out that Dugi’s Guide had a few things to teach me, even in the very familiar zone I was leveling in. Several series of quests were completed in a totally different order than I would have attempted them in, and it was significantly more efficient. In fact, I’ve always had trouble soloing Fizzle for the quest Dark Storms, but Dugi’s Guide showed me a trick that let me down him much more easily. I was frankly impressed that there was anything more for me, a bona fide Durotar veteran, to learn from a leveling guide, but there was!
Things aren’t one hundred percent updated for changes in recent patches though. The guide directed me to pick up the quests to acquire both the imp and voidwalker pets, both of which have been removed from the game. I found it easy to skip these quests, and just move on, so it wasn’t a big deal, but it is worth mentioning. Also, there are a few changes to the quest lines in the Echo Islands that aren’t updated in the guide yet, but if you just take the quest that is offered instead of the suggested quest that isn’t available anymore, it still works out pretty well. If I was a new player, though, I’d be legitimately confused. I hope that the team is just waiting until Cataclysm releases to do a big update on all the quests. Or perhaps, only the trial version is a bit behind, I haven’t tried the subscriber version yet, so I don’t know if it is more updated.
Also, you should be aware that you’re going to go through the level ranges for the zones much faster than you’ll go through the quests available — especially with heirlooms. Of course, that’s not the guide’s fault, and if at any point you feel like you outlevel the content too much you can switch guides to a more appropriate zone. I followed the Durotar guide to completion and was already level 15 before I headed to the Barrens, which is not the most efficient way possible.
When I say I did the Durotar guide to 100% completion, I mean I did 100% of the quests available in Durotar — according to EveryQuest. This guide would be awesome for people pursuing the Loremaster achievement! I can even imagine doing most of the legwork for the achievement while leveling, and only going back through to pick up zones you didn’t level in after hitting 80.
It would probably be a very organic way to explore the zones as well, as I got the Explore Durotar achieve shortly before I finished the zone.
I’m going to add this in briefly, because I’m not a review bot, and I’m not being paid to write a fangirl review (even though I liked the guide a lot). I know that Blizz has a policy about addons that require you to pay to use them. When I looked at the website for Dugi’s Guide it states that they are in compliance with this policy, because their addon is totally free, and it is only their coordinates and routes that you have to pay for. I struggled with this for a while, because I have trouble seeing where the line between a paid-for addon and paying for data to plug into an addon is. But after I compared it to addons like Gatherer or Routes, where the data can be added separately, I have decided that I don’t have a problem with someone selling their hard work in assembling all those coordinates and putting together the efficient routes like they have done. After all, I have a fully functioning addon running in my game right now, and I haven’t paid them a cent.
So What’s the Verdict So Far?
I like it! If you’re interested in leveling more efficiently, doing the Loremaster achievement, getting the most out of your 90 days of recruit a friend, or if you just want to zen out while you level your new warlock (heehee) Dugi’s Leveling guide is working great for me so far.
I’ll keep using it as I level Sumiki, and I’ll be back in touch to let you know what I think of later zones and features.