Zygor Leveling Guide Review

Zygor Leveling Guides

Just before I decided I was going to dive into Cataclysm, casually as it were, I contacted the folks over at Zygor Guides to see if they’d let me try out their fancy leveling addon. The individual that replied to me, John, was most accommodating and set up an account for me in nothing flat. Now I’m not just saying this… John is a really cool guy to deal with, and I think he may be the queso grande over at Zygor because he’s the voice in the videos.

In exchange for providing me the free leveling guide, I offered to write a review of it on my site, so here we go…

Alright… so there were a few reasons I wanted to try out the guide…

For starters, I wanted to see just how helpful these leveling guides were. Some of them are really pricey and I wanted to know if they were actually worth it, or if they were just some unneeded fluff. The reason I contacted Zygor is because after looking at the many guides out there, theirs was by far the slickest.

In-Game Leveling Guide Interface

First off, it’s actually an in-game addon. I wasn’t about to sift through page upon page of some PDF document trying to reference the location of this cave, that quest NPC, or where the eggs were that I needed to gather, etc… F**k that. Convenience and efficiency… that’s what I want!

After looking at the various leveling guides that provide in-game addons, I determined Zygor’s was the sauce. Number one, it looks bitchin, plus it has some options available in terms of sizing and footprint. Anyone who follows my blog knows that I’m a stickler for perfection and precision in terms of how my user interface is laid out. The Zygor Guide looked like it would integrate quite nicely into the ol’ GarUI. πŸ˜‰

Zygor Guides

Dummy-proof Talent Advisor

Zygor Guides Talent Advisor
Zygor Guides Talent Advisor

Another reason I went with Zygor’s is due to the awesome talent advisor. This is a killer tool for anyone leveling a new class. In my case, I was leveling a Rogue. Having never played a Rogue past level 19, plus with all of the changes they’ve undergone over the years, I was a bit unsure as to which route to take with my build. With this guide, you just pick the tree you want to go with, and it suggests the best build as you level – directing where you should allocate your talent points as you get them.

Nowadays, crappy builds are harder to create, as Blizzard has taken measures to dummy-proof the talent point placement process. However, it’s still quite possible to create a not-so-ideal spec. For veterans like me *flexes & polishes old-school PvP badge*, I can typically craft a good build based on common sense and experience, but nonetheless… having this addon makes it sooo easy to build a great spec as you level.

I get sooo many emails and requests for build assistance, which is fine… I don’t mind helping when I have time, but I can’t imagine how many players are not asking those questions and just stumbling around with sub-optimal specs. This talent advisor thing is pretty neat if you want to try a new class and know that you’re not spending your points like a noob, and that you’re getting the most from your spec.

The Interface

So now that I’ve gotten the addon downloaded and installed, I log in… Now anyone who’s played the game of WoW knows that you don’t need any sort of leveling guide for the first couple of levels. The starting area quests are ridiculously easy for a reason. At any rate, I mainly spent this time toying with the addon, ie: resizing and configuring the Zygor addon interface and the directional arrow.

Zygor Leveling Guide

Zygor Guides

By default, the addon uses a pretty spiffy looking interface with all sorts of information, buttons, knobs, dials, etc… Actually, it has a few things you can click, but it’s pretty clean for the most part. You can resize it, move it, change the opacity, etc…

Zygor Configuration Area

You can also minimize it so that only the name of the quests appear – in the order you should complete/obtain them. I ended up mostly going this route. Once you get the hang of the addon, I imagine this is what many people do.

Zygor Guides

Each quest that appears in the addon window has a short descriptor, telling you what to kill, collect, where to go, etc… In the minimalist view, you just hover over the quests and they accordion out showing the additional info when you need it.

In addition to showing quest completion order, the addon also advises on which quests to pick and when. This makes the leveling process a bit quicker and more efficient by reducing the amount of traveling you have to do.

The addon also advises you on where new flight paths are located, as well as when to set your new hearth. Undiscovered flight paths are now visible on the WoW world map, so it’s not like a huge advantage, but it’s still nice to have that friendly prompt when you need to grab a flight path. In this sense, the addon’s basically got your back in the event you miss one or forget to grab it. The hearth advisor is pretty cool though, as you’re not always certain where and when to set a new hearth location.

The directional arrow is something that’s been visible in many of the free quest addons for years, so many of you are probably familiar with how it works. For those that aren’t, it basically just turns you into a quest-completing-guided-missile-of-leveling-efficiency. No matter what it is that Zygor determines to be your next move, the arrow will point you in that direction and show you how far you need to go.

An Efficient & Enhanced Questing Experience

One of my favorite features of the Zygor Guide addon is the little icon that it places alongside the quest info in the addon window. This icon is for quest-related items that you need to use on NPCs, objects, etc… which makes things super easy and convenient. No need to fumble through your inventory trying to find some potion, etc… just click the little icon when you need to use it and done! When the addon says you need to hearth back to a certain location, it displays your hearthstone in the window as well. Pretty neato!

Zygor Guides Quest Item Icons

Along with providing additional info and tips about quests, Zygor also tells you the exact location of quest items you need to find. Again… I know Blizzard has enhanced the world map with added info to help make questing easier, but with the arrow and other slick features of the addon, it’s just that much smoother.

Now I’m not a huge lore guy, but I do like toΒ get into the game and know why these quest NPCs are asking me to do whatever it is they need me to do. I was semi-concerned that Zygor’s would make the leveling process too sterile and void of any fun apart from the main objective — reaching max level. I can tell you that’s not the case.

In my opinion, the addon does not detract at all from the “leveling experience”, if that’s what you’re into. Personally, I think leveling is a good opportunity to learn the class mechanics, but I’m not hugely into it. I like to make the most of it, but anything that will help me get from 1 to 85 as quickly as possible is fine by me. πŸ˜‰ However, with all of the new and exciting questies awaiting in Cataclysm, it has been a fun experience going through many of them.

In short, I found the addon to enhance the questing process overall by allowing for a more efficient use of time.Β Zygor’s basically plans your moves in an optimal order so that you can cut down on travel time – that’s pretty much it in a nutshell. Well… plus a few other bells and whistles like the quest-use item shortcuts and the talent advisor.

Over the years, I remember getting semi-frustrated with having to trek all over the place; turning in this quest and that, only to stumble upon another quest which would have been better performed a few steps back. This caused particular grumbling back in the days when we had to wait until level 40 before we could purchase a mount. It’s not as bad now, but still… if there’s a best and most efficient way of getting through quests… sign me up!

Update: One important feature of the guide that I forgot to mention is something Michael pointed out here. It has auto-accept and auto-turn-in options for questing, which makes the questing process really speedy. If you don’t bother with the quest storylines, or if you’ve already been through them and don’t feel the need to read through the dialog again, you can just set Zygor to automatically accept and turn-in the quests with no NPC interaction. I haven’t tried this option myself, but there’s no arguing that it would make the questing process even more lightning fast.

Multiple Guides So You Won’t Get Bored

Another really cool feature of the addon is the fact that it has multiple guides for the many areas in the game. For example, say you’re a Worgen (like my Rogue), but you’re getting tired of hanging out in Kalimdor and long for the Eastern Kingdoms… no problem. You just hop a boat over to the Wetlands or wherever, and then tell the addon to sort out where best to get started on the new continent. For some reason, I really like the first 20 levels or so in Kalimdor, but then I much prefer the Eastern Kingdoms. Coincidentally, I’m not a huge fan of the starting quests in EK. I guess that’s probably due to some strange sentimental reason, being that my first experience with WoW was as a Night Elf.

Anyway… I mention this because if you need a change of scenery, it’s no biggie. Just open up the guide config and use the Smart Injection System. It cycles through all of the quests and then starts you out on a new journey based upon your level.

Zygor Understands Your Need to Go BG’ing and Dungeoning Now & Again

Zygor Guides Smart Injection System
Zygor Guides Smart Injection System

For players that like to BG (ie: me) or run instances (I like those too) while leveling, this system compliments that style of play quite nicely. After running a few BGs and/or dungeons, you will gain experience that the addon does not essentially know about. In a sense, you get ahead of yourself. If you start getting too far ahead of the game (ie: quests start to become gray), all you need to do is just start the Smart Injection System over again. It’ll blast through its database then spit out where you should head to next to get back on track, and to get the greatest experience gains via questing.

This worked out great for me, as I can only take so much questing before I need a break. My m.o. is to quest for awhile, run a few dungeons to get some new gears, then level through BGs once I hit around the *6 – *9 levels. If ever I started to level beyond the guide’s present itinerary, I’d just click the SIS and let it re-chart my course.

Not being critical, but a few things you should know…

So now that I’ve gone through a brief rundown covering the basics of the guide and have sung its praises, I want to mention a few things you should know… As many of you already know, I’m all about keepin’ it real here on the site, and part of that is being a straight-shooter with uninfluenced opinions.

This addon is a glutton for memory. This is actually to be expected, but just know this before you enter into a BG or dungeon. If your system can handle it, then no problem. Otherwise, it’s advisable you disable it beforehand. Plus, it’s not really necessary to have it active in those cases anyway.

How it stacks up memory-wise compared with other similar addons, I dunno. I just noticed that it sent my memory usage to around 50MB, up from about 22MB. Considering all that it does, it’s probably not that much, but if you’re running Gatherer and/or an auction house addon alongside of it, you will be experiencing some high overhead. This isn’t a major issue, but still worth a mention.

It does experience minor hiccups now and again. However, these are very few and far between, not to mention the Zygor team is actively updating this addon and fixing bugs constantly. I didn’t experience any issues whatsoever until I was in my late 20’s and had reached the Stonetalon Mountains. The addon kept telling me to kill certain NPCs for a quest drop, but as it turned out, I hadn’t completed the necessary pre-requisite quest needed to get the item to drop. But… a quick search on WoWHead revealed the issue and I was off and running again.

Apart from those two (what I consider minor) issues, there wasn’t really anything else I’d noticed that was worth mentioning as a cautionary advisement. All things considered, the addon is pretty damn solid.

Is Zygor Leveling Guide Worth It?

That depends. The version I was given costs sixty bucks I believe, which is a lot of bread for some people. However, considering people spend money on things like race changes, server transfers, sparkle ponies and ffs… $800 tiger mounts — I see the $60 for Zygor’s as money well spent if you want to get the most from your leveling experience.

For a player like me, the guide is marginally worth it. The reason being, I only use it a portion of the time because I am a BG rat. I love leveling through battlegrounds. But… I know for a fact that many of you do not. For those of you that want to rocket your journey to 85 and get the most from your leveling experience, I say the guide is definitely worth a look.

Then again… with all of the new quests available in Cataclysm, it’s likely I’ll be using the guide more and more. πŸ˜‰

There are also other Zygor plugins available for it as well, but I haven’t tried any of them. I’m pretty sure they have a gold guide, dailies guide, and some other stuff that you can add, but I haven’t used them. Considering how well the addon plays, I’d imagine those addons are pretty nice as well. Who knows… maybe if I ask nicely, John will add some of those goodies to my account *waves at John & smiles*. πŸ˜€

Wanna Try the Zygor Leveling Guide For Free..?

Now you didn’t think I’d ask Zygor Guides for a comped copy without hooking my peeps up, did you..? Of course not..!

Because I love you guys, and because the folks at Zygor’s are so freakin’cool, they’ve agreed to let me give out 5 free copies of their guide through the site! That’s right… a $60 addon for free – no strings attached..!

All I ask is that you:

  • Refrain from hitting me up for technical support. If you win the Zygor Guide, please do not look to me to support it. I’ve got my hands full enough as it is. I can tell you that the people at Zygor Guides are extremely cool, and in my experience, provide excellent support for the guide.
  • After using the guide, please post your findings/reviews/opinions here. I’m really anxious to know what you think of it, and I’m sure the community would like to know as well.

That’s all there is to it.

Now I don’t want to keep those of you with alt-itis, who are chomping at the bit to get your paws on this addon, waiting too long. Yet, I want to make sure enough people have a shot at winning, so… I’m going to pick (5) winners next Friday, February 4th. Be sure to get your entry in by then.

Winners will be chosen at random, by some system I have yet to determine… πŸ˜‰ and notified via e-mail. I will then forward your details to John at Zygor, he will set you up with your own account and you’ll be ready to rock!

Of course, in order to win you’ll have to submit an entry form, so here you go!Β Good luck! πŸ˜€

Update: 02/04/11 -I’m sorry folks, but the Zygor Guides contest is officially over. Congratulations to the winners, however!

  • Vilhelm P
  • Heath C
  • Jeremy T
  • Jesse O
  • Joseph A
  • Sandra Y

We had a tie by the way, which is why there are six winners as opposed to only 5. πŸ˜‰

I hope that some of you found this review helpful. There may be a few bits and pieces I forgot to mention, but I think I touched on most of the important stuff. If I missed anything, it’s likely John will cover that in the comments below.

If you want more info on the guide, please visit the Zygor Guides website.

35 thoughts on “Zygor Leveling Guide Review”

  1. Your Page Layout and Customed Banners Are Beautiful lol. I would love to learn how to customized Banners Like you do. If its Ok, Can you please tell me in email what program you used to edit banners? Thanks πŸ˜€

  2. I was one of the winners and let me just say again thank you for you site and generosity! Unfortunately I didn’t find zygor that helpful, I’ve always used carbonite for leveling so maybe I’m just a creature of habit, but I tried to give Zygor an honest shot. I ran the wizard b/c the toon I was trying it on was in his 50’s, that didn’t seem to work. So I manually selected the leveling range. It asked me to go pick up a flight path, so I obliged, after picking up this flight path it wanted me to go back the way I had come. It ended up sending me in circles for a little while. It seems really well done but was just buggy for me. After an hour or so of fighting it I turned it off. I really wanted to like it, I’ll try it again next time I roll a new toon.

    Thanks again and sorry I couldn’t be more positive about it. πŸ™

  3. @AbbyNormal – I had the same problem as you, then I found that it was because I had a number of active low-level quests. I abandoned all my quests so that I had no quests in my list and then selected the right guide and hey presto – it worked!! hope this helps!!

  4. If everyone else is having that much success then it’s obviously just me. I cleared my quests, set the guide to Goblin 25-30, ran the smart injection system and it went right back to where it was before.

  5. I didn’t win Gar but I do have the Zygor Guides and the other guide. I must say that after playing with both guides, I prefer Zygor’s. I feel it’s more polished and more streamlined/convenient to use. I highly recommend it.

  6. How am I liking the guide a month later? Love it! in the month I have used it I have leveled a rogue to late 70’s and various other alts Druid (druid was painful to level last I tried) Mage Priest and a Lock pushed my hunter to 85 ( sadly this was the toon neglected the most since cata release) I had requested the Alliance leveling guide I am probably going to purchase the horde leveling guide since I have been playing horde more lately. All in all it has been worlds better then any other quest assistance mod I have used thanks again Gar and thanks to the Zygor folks for the contest

  7. Yes, I have clicked the 25-30 guide and it keeps resetting back to the lower level. I looked at the “Skip this Step” option but then get all flipped out when it tells me “You can do that but you may need to have this for later”, then I’m back to just following the quest line.

    The next time I log into the alt I will try dumping all of my grey quests and then selecting the guide again. I also got to thinking I wonder if it’s not taking into consideration the guild perks? One more boost of XP in addition to the BOE & Professions XP.

    I have no doubt it’s a Abby-hic and I just need to sit down and look at all of the options again. Or maybe it’s Option overload. Dear Zygor – you need an Abby on your R&D team? Perhaps I should switch to decaf now instead of waiting until 5:00 like I usually do.

  8. I have not having the greatest of luck with it and figure it is a disconnect between the chair and the keyboard. As of right now I’m sitting at level 26 but the guide keeps pushing me to level 20 quests. Maybe it doesn’t take into consideration BOE gear and the added bonus of XP from levelling a profession at the same time.

    I have run the “update” option (the name of the button is escaping me) trying to get it to catch up to me and it keeps going back to where I am in the current quest line. According to the help tips while you can skip ahead but if the guide is directing you to finish a quest you should follow the guide because it could impact something you need to do later. In just following the guide everything is gray and I’m not gaining any XP at this point. Yes, I have printed the users guide but I am obviously missing something.

    I do love the fact that it gives you hints as how to complete a quest or where exactly to go. In one of the early goblin quests I took off the rocket boots and the guide immediately put up a little red light telling me to put them back on for the next few quests in the chain. It’s also very helpful in telling you exactly where the NPC you need is located “Behind a rock in a bend in the road” type thing.

    I’m mixed at this point. I’ve never levelled an alt past 20 and am disappointed this isn’t helping me more than it is.

    • If you’re at 26 now, are you making sure to select the 25-30 guide for your appropriate continent when you’re running the smart injection system?

      I run a lot of instances and BGs when I’m leveling, so I’m using this quite often. If it still tried to send me to a gray quest giver, then I just click the “Skip This Step” option.

      I’ve been messing around on my rogue again (who benefits from multiple heirlooms + guild exp boost), which means I’ve been using the guide a lot lately. I think it takes a little getting used to, but I haven’t had any troubles since around my early 20s (Stonetalon Mountains). Since then, it’s worked like a charm, and I’m betting my hiccup was user-related, being that I was less familiar with how it worked back then.

      I say maybe dump your gray quests, select the 25-30 guide for your region, then see what it says.

      Oh, and by the way… Thanks for posting this feedback Abby! πŸ™‚

  9. I love this guide. My husband got it for my birthday. It’s great. I suggest getting the dalies addon as well. We zip through all the Tol Barad dailies and whatever other faction we are doing and its so handy to have something point the way. I have always had a prolem with finishing a series of quests and wondering where to go next and the guie solves it…. quickest most efficient path for leveling. Even has a guide telling you how to get rep with the Cata factions. The talent thing comes in handy too. I don’t follow it exactly. I might move a couple points around but it gives me a great idea as to what works best.

  10. Congrats to the winners. I’ll admit that I’m a little jealous, but I plan to make myself feel better by shopping…for my own Zygor guides. πŸ™‚

    Gar, love the site! One of my fellow hunters pointed me this way a couple of months ago, and I really appreciate all the work you’ve put into it. It’s a great resource for new and experienced hunters both.

    • Glad you like the site Nevalla! πŸ™‚

      I’ve been a little busy these days and haven’t had a ton of time to post updated guides, etc… But, I hope to begin that process soon.

      In the meantime, there’s a wealth of updated info and hunter-related discussion happening in the forums. If you have any questions about anything, post them there.


  11. I have 2 alts I have started but haven’t made much progress on due to frustration of figuring out which zones to jump to for max leveling. I focused on lore for my main and the first 20 levels of each new toon, now I just want to get done. After reading this I am definately more interested in investing the money. Worth it in the long run to get the most out of 15.00 a month. Nice job as always Gar.

    • Thanks Abs. πŸ™‚

      Yeah, I think the addon is definitely worth it if you want to level new toons. It’s nice knowing you’re getting the most from your leveling. The time it saves you from occasionally having to look up quest info online, read about build suggestions, etc… plus how it plans your questing schedule, makes the thing worth the $40-$60 IMO. Time is money after all…

      Now that Garwulf’s 85 I don’t have it active on him anymore, but I tell ya… I really miss the quest item icon thing that shows in the quest window. I really got attached to that. πŸ˜‰ It’s so handy to always have the on-use quest object clickable right there.

      I hope you like it. πŸ™‚

  12. I am newbie to world of warcraft. My friend just invited me to play this game and was looking for any guides. This site was very useful. Keep up the good work and more power. Hope I win in the contest.

  13. thanks for the great review! i have been considering this guide for quite a long time but couldnt find a review that i could trust to be unbiased. now that problem has been resolved. guess i will wait now to see if i win.

  14. Ooo that’s very nice of them! Out of all the ones I’ve seen Zygor looks the best and it’s come so far (not having to go on talent chick to see spec is SO win) – unfortunately most of my alts are leveled up already only have two which are 30/56 and have sworn not to make any more alts. Doing Loremaster on my main so I think I’ll pass from questing on alts and just gather herbs/mines + instance.

  15. Just a note, all leveling guides will zip you through the quests in the fastest way available. If you’re after lore and content, avoid these guides. The in-game main map quest points are very helpful as they are, especially for new players. You’d get to appreciate the storyline and appreciate the backstory behind your toon and the world. Also, please note that the “level in a few days” that these guides say is the total number of game time you’ve played: 1 hour today + 1 hour tomorrow = 2 hours not 2 days (Also consider this too: playing for 1 hour a day for a year would only be about 15 days 5 hours of WoW game time.)

    *However*, if you’re like me with an 85 hunter main and would like to level or test other races or factions then a guide would be useful. For Zygor’s Guide, like the following:

    1. built-in waypoint arrow (moveable and resizeable)
    2. smart injection system (checks what quests you’ve done and where you can continue from) — but be careful of Dynamic Progression which could skip steps! (Gar, could be the hiccup you wrote about?)
    3. talent suggestion – useful for leveling but can of course be deactivated so you can follow your own talent choices
    4. it’s fast. (Hmmm, let me roll a new Alliance worgen hunter. I’ll /played and make a screenshot and level to 20 and make a screenshot again. I’ll post it in the Forums. Does this count as another entry form, Gar? *kidding*)

  16. I have, and continue to use the zygor add on for leveling my toons. and i’ll agree whole heartedly it’s an amazing well worth add on. to even speed your leveling process even faster. after you’ve caught all the lore, there are options to auto accept and auto complete (turn-in) quests. i got my hunter from 80-85 in a mere 36 hours. I can’t speak for some of the lower levels but i know i also obtained all the quest master achievements for the new zones as well. so you do get all the lore and not just what you need to level.

    • Good point. I forgot about the auto accept and auto turn-in options – mainly because I haven’t used them yet. I’ll have to try it out though for the first alt I level.

  17. I think it’s awesome that you’re making this available to your readers!

    Luckily, I’m immune to alt-itis, so I won’t need the leveling guide. Still, very cool sounding.

  18. Just as a counter-point here, I would like to recommend the new rewritten WoW-Pro Leveling Guide AddOn over at http://www.wow-pro.com. It’s not as slick as the Zygor guide viewer, but it has great potential and is supported by a community of guide writers. And let’s not forget it’s 100% free.
    Personally, I’m not a fan of John Cook and Zygor after he took TourGuide (the original free leveling addon) hostage last year and prevented a lot of people from using it just to try to kill his competition (I’m looking at you Dugi).

  19. I am rather new to World of Warcraft and your sight but so far im likeing it a lot, i have been thinking about scrounging up some money and buying a leveling guide and this review and all of these comments were very helpful.

  20. With a review like the one you just did and the fact that you’re giving away the software for lodge members to test out I’d say they got their money’s worth plus a grand:)
    You are definitely getting a call from me now about building me a site for one of the businesses:)
    For the contest hows ’bout “contribute 30 bucks to keeping my non-ad costing me dough exceedingly helpful site rockin and you ge a Zygor’s guide for half price! ” ? It’s catchy, lol

  21. thanks for taking the time to do this Gar!
    I’m on my first character a Troll Hunter at level 36 but would love to try a restart using another race and possibly even as Alliance (Gak!). Hope I win!

  22. Now for the talent suggester is it suggesting or configurable based upon a specific role? For example, my leveling builds usually have more in them to help make my life easier, than I would for a dps end game raiding build. Like my hunter often takes the one for mount speed while leveling just to make things faster, but I would not take that at end game.

    • I can’t really say. I haven’t used the guide for a baby BM hunter, so I’m not sure if it would suggest things like that.

      However, I think it suggest builds based upon DPS. I’m not sure the reasoning behind that… Maybe it’s based on “best possible DPS builds” for each spec, maybe it’s because making things dead quicker = faster leveling, or maybe its both.

  23. entry form filled in ; ) and nice to see you enjoying your rogue there πŸ˜€

    i used a horde levelling guide that a freind got for me but it was so much hassle = / then eventually i had my memory wiped on my lappie and forgot to save/remember the name of it = s so . . .heres for hope : )

    • Lol. Well it is in a sense. It’s definitely a good product that I have no problem recommending, but after sponsoring me with $300+ worth of free software I had to give those guys some front-page love.

      Good luck btw!

  24. Hi Garwulf.

    I have been using Zygor Guide (bought all the guides because i could afford it πŸ™‚ and i tried a lot of them before. It’s very very good stuff in my modes opinion. I tried Dugi (it’s good, but not so good), Brian Kopp, and some other stuff. Zygor it’s not cheap, but i think it’s the best one available.

    Just my 50 copper.


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