|Zygor In Game Addon|
Recently, I was able to lock down the "King of Leveling" and ask him a few questions about his guide. Take a few minutes, enjoy the interview, and if you don't have this great guide, don't hesitate to click any of the links on this page to find out more about this great addition to WoW.
First off, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions…I gotta start this off with an easy one. We all have a beginning in WoW, tell me about yours…
Honestly, I didn't play many MMO's at all. For me, it was all about Diablo 2 but, after a while, stopped playing that all the time when a lot of my friends flocked to Final Fantasy XIII. Eventually, I followed them to Final Fantasy XIII, but it always just felt like something was missing in that game, to me - particularly the ability to play by myself when it seemed like I was the only person in the game (I'm a big night owl, haha). Then came along World of Warcraft, and everything changed when I got into the original Vanilla beta. Ever since the game's original release date, November 23, 2004, I knew I had found my "fix".
Do you still play WoW? What is your playstyle? Raids, Dungeons, PvP, Auction House PvP?
I've always enjoyed playing game content solo, so to be able to do that in WoW, a game with such a huge scale, was a dream come true. I don't have quite the amount of free time as I used to, so I don't play a whole lot just for fun anymore, but when I am, you can find me solo Power Leveling, that's definitely my playstyle, I love it. However, I (and some others on our team) love playing the Auction House to try to make tons of gold, which has been an inspiration while starting to build our newest Top-Secret project. We originally set out to create just a regular gold guide, but there's already about 500 of those being sold online, so we decided to scrap that and focus on coming up with something that would really stand out from the crowd, something that would REALLY be useful and awesome - that's our entire goal with any and all products we create.
What made you decide to start up making a leveling guide?
Well, when I first started playing WoW, I started with a group of friends, just like a lot of other people. It started to hit me that I might be great at solo leveling in WoW when my friends were continuously asking me how I was leveling so fast and passing them in levels - and I was playing less time, haha! Eventually, and it wasn't even my idea, they asked me if I could make them a leveling path to follow, so they didn't have to always be asking me. It seemed like a pretty good idea, so I did it and they loved it. They were constantly talking about how great it was to have that as a resource to help them level faster, and then one of them casually joked that I should be selling it, saying people would love it. That got me thinking, and I decided just to go for it, sort of like "why not?"
It was humble beginnings, and it definitely wasn't always this massively powerful software tool that we have now. Initially, in April 2007, it was just a PDF document (Alliance only) with in-game map dots that could help you find what you were looking for, using the free Cartographer addon. The problem was, there were hundreds of dots on your map all the time, so it still sort of took forever to find where you needed to go, trying to manually find the coordinates on the map, haha. Needless to say, it was clunky and there was definitely room for improvement. It just always felt like there was something missing.
Then one day, around March 2008, a light bulb moment happened - the idea moment, lol. Seeing addons like MetaMap and Cartographer, we thought "Hey, what if we could put these guides inside the game, using an arrow like this one to automatically point you where to go every step of the way, wouldn't that be amazing?" That's when we really hit the ground running. We assembled a great team of people and, in May 2008, released our very first in-game Leveling guides for World of Warcraft. Ever since then, with a constant drive to improve and continually revolutionize our products, we now have this really awesome tool that people love. It's an amazing feeling, honestly.
How crazy was it to basically reset the whole program for the release of Cata and the new zones (1-80)?
Oh man... it was crazy around here for the entire last half of 2010. We definitely got into the Cataclysm Beta - the very first day, in fact, haha. There was so much that was going to need to be changed, as well as new content that needed to be added, that we HAD to get in as soon as possible to even have a chance of getting it all done by the time the game was released. But we have a great team here, and everybody buckled down and we just barreled through it and got it all done in time, before the game released.
Some new content is free, some of it requires a purchase. For example, new expansion content, particularly new additional levels, require an Upgrade fee. But once you own a level range, like 1-85, you get updates for that level range free from then on. If the next expansion adds levels 85-90, you'd need to purchase those new levels, but any changes made to levels 1-85, you'd get a free update that you can just download and install. Completely new products, such as our Dailies guides or our upcoming Achievements and Professions guides, require a separate purchase.
When updates are released, we get the word out a few different ways:
Email: You can sign up for our email newsletter on almost every page of our website, and inside our Members Area.
We also have an automatic update client that you can simply open each time before you play WoW to see if there is a new guide update available. If there is, you can update all of your guides with just a click of a button - it's super quick and easy.
Lemme give you a hypothetical. "I bought your Ally/Horde guide, but I am interested in more. I see that you have a “daily and events” guide available as well? Why would I purchase this?"
Our Dailies and Events guides are a great way to make a lot of gold in a short amount of time, especially using the included "Speed Gold Runs". The speed gold runs are designed to make you the most gold possible, with dailies, in the least amount of time. We currently include all the Wrath of the Lich King dailies and, with the release of Cataclysm recently, we added all of the new Cataclysm dailies (Tol Barad, Uldum, etc). With patch 4.2, Blizzard is adding a dailies quest area to the Mount Hyjal zone. We'll be adding those dailies, as well, and that is something that would classify as a Free Update, just as an example.
You are known to have the best support of all the leveling guides out there, how do you pull that off?
Our customer service is something we pride ourselves on, definitely. We just make it one of our top priorities to make sure each and every person is well taken care of and happy. I don't think there's really any secret to it, it just boils down to whether customer service is important to you and your company. It is for us, very important. We also have some secret weapons on our community forums, our friendly neighborhood moderators. They work tirelessly to help each and every person who posts in our community forums, and they share our obsessive devotion to great customer service. They rock.
I know there is some good things “coming soon” with Zygor, what is the insider information you can give us?
We have a lot of new cool stuff planned. Right now, we're gearing up to release our totally revamped Smart Injection System (SIS), which is a feature in our guide that constantly works to keep your character doing quests that are appropriate to your specific level. For example, if you use Heirloom items, or run dungeons or do pvp to level a bit, our Smart Injection System will automatically recommend guides for you to use that are directly suitable to your level. So you are free to do other things in WoW, and be flexible, without being locked into having to follow the leveling guide exactly, for fear of getting off track. It's okay to get off track whenever you want to, because it's really easy to get back on track. That's a huge change to have this new version of SIS, as the old version of SIS became too difficult to use and inaccurate with the release of Cataclysm.
In this same upcoming update, releasing March 22nd, 2011, we're adding a ton of new content to our Leveling guides to allow players to get the Loremaster achievement, one of the most highly sought after achievements in the entire game. Most people say that we've lost our mind when we tell them the new Loremaster content will be a 100% Free Update to our Leveling guides, haha. The new changes to our Smart Injection System will also be free. :-)
After March 22nd, 2011, we're planning on providing solutions for Achievements, Professions, Gold-Making, and possibly Dungeons, as well. We're definitely going to be very busy, and we're excited!
Thanks for the opportunity to do this interview, we appreciate it a lot. Hope you are as excited about what's to come as we are!
I hope you enjoyed reading about how it started, how it evolved, and where Zygor Guides is going. Take the time to check out a few of the links (any that are highlighted in blue), read more if needed, but I am telling you, this is a MUST HAVE for your leveling ease in WoW. Especially since "The Shattering" as the zones have changed, new quests were added, and it's nice to go back and check the old zones out with a new toon. And this is the way to do it. =)