WTB: Unofficial Guides, PST

Jennie Lees
J. Lees|06.17.06

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Jennie Lees
June 17th, 2006
WTB: Unofficial Guides, PST
WTB: Unofficial Guides, PST
We've seen some of the problems surrounding unauthorised WoW guides, but just how good are they? I've run into adverts for WoW ebooks and guides on eBay several times now, but I always dismissed them quickly.

Until recently, that is. I've put my money where my mouth is and coughed up for two eBay ebooks -- both with similar advertisements, promising WoW tips, tricks and secrets. I won't advertise the exact products here, but if you're tempted by similar offerings, read on for the lowdown.

Guide A cost slightly more (exchange rates work in my favour) and simply delivered a URL. I hope the seller is confident in his buyers' trust! The disadvantage here is that the seller still controls the ebook (or, rather, website) -- if I want the same information in a few months' time, I've no guarantee it'll be there.

However, the guide itself was interesting and well written. It was clearly a single player writing about his experiences and the strategies and areas he had encountered while playing. Of course, this limits the amount of content -- there's little info on PvP, for example -- but the advice seems sound, and resonates with my experiences.

Guide B, a cheaper product, delivered a huge zipfile of PDFs. Harder to navigate and search, but less ephemeral. However, a great deal of the content -- approximately one-third of the PDFs -- concerned bots and hacking, prefaced with disclaimers about the dubiousness of such activities.

The guide content that won't get you banned was fairly comprehensive, spanning powerlevelling, professions and gold-making. Unfortunately, while its scope was large, its readability and accuracy suffered. Several factual errors and tricks that are either out-of-date or plainly false, as well as repeated contradictions, led me to distrust the guide as a whole.

In summary? Buying WoW guides from eBay is as futile as you (probably) thought. While it's quite likely they'll contain useful information, you could end up with a guide that's inaccurate and incomprehensible -- in comparison, browsing WoW-related websites is free, and there's a surprising amount of useful information on the official WoW forums.

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