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Addon Spotlight: TourGuide (UPDATED)

Sean Forsgren

Amid the madness of yesterday's patch, there has been some desperate drama happening in the official UI & Macros Forums. It seems the massively popular leveling addon QuestHelper has encountered some troubles, with many users not able to use their beloved quest... helper.

As with many crossroads in life, this presents an opportunity to consider a change, or at least a reason to try something else out while the developer of QuestHelper figures out the disconnect. Some time ago, I stopped using the memory-hogging giant in favor of one of Tekkub's creations. TourGuide may very well be Tekkub's greatest mod to date. It serves much the same function as QuestHelper, but it takes a different approach, one that doesn't eat up nearly as much memory. To me, it was sort of like selling my huge truck for a fast, agile Subaru. (Which I did in RL, yay!)

I've been promising to profile this bad boy for a couple of months now, as I've yet to finish my own work on it, but I felt like you all needed an alternative. Besides, you may end up swearing by TourGuide like I do, it was more my style. (I've been working on a guide for TourGuide, but my day job has been bogging me down.)

TourGuide is more akin to a traditional leveling guide than the so-called smart system of QuestHelper. With the "helper", I felt like I wasn't doing quests in the right order, at the right level and that I was missing out on some great quest chains.

Basically, what TourGuide is doing for you, is stepping you through a leveling guide, along the lines of the much-loved guides of Jame or Joanna. Like the traditional leveling guides, TourGuide offers tidbits of advice and shows tips when you hover your mouse over the on-screen element. Tekkub does a pretty good job describing his addon:

"TourGuide is an interactive leveling guide addon. It is designed to provide the user with a streamlined order of quest completion with smart detection. It is also designed for easy creation of "guides" for users with little-to-no programming knowledge."

There are a number of built-in features that facilitate quick and easy leveling, here's a list!
  • Automatic detection of objective completion
    • Detect quest accept, completion and turnin
    • Detect travel (by foot, flight, boat and stone)
    • Detection of flight point discovery
    • Detection of Hearth point change
    • Conditionals based on class, level and item possession (only tell the player to accept the quest if they have the item that starts the quest)
  • Small "lego block" style frame shows current objective, detailed tooltips on hover
  • "Use item" frame, for those annoying quests where you have to use an item on a mob before you kill it, or you have to equip something, or you have to use an item to start a quest
  • Pop out frame for detailed view of quest sequence
  • OptionHouse-based guide config panels
  • Automatic mapping of coordinates with TomTom or Cartographer
I've talked about TomTom here at Addon Spotlight before, mostly as a precursor to featuring this addon. So, aside from the small block of information about your current progress in a given guide, you can partner TourGuide with TomTom, which provides waypoints to pertinent locations.

Thus far, there are a number of guides available for players, covering the 1-70 grind, plus some dailies. TourGuide also supports user-created guides, adding a huge bonus to players like myself who have a certain way of doing things and would like to have a more personal touch with the guides. (After leveling a few toons, you typically establish a certain way of doing things.) Tekkub has provided a page of instructions on how to edit TourGuide guides for those of you wanting to customize your own guide, or make changes to an existing one.

The memory footprint of TourGuide, even when partnered with TomTom, is significantly less exhausting than QuestHelper. So, if you're a current QuestHelper user and have found yourself up the creek with no proverbial paddle, TourGuide is your solution. If you're new to this type of addon, check out the TourGuide / TomTom duo, I'd bet you'll be pleasantly surprised. If your QuestHelper is functioning, try this out regardless; you never know when something might just make more sense to you.

That was it for me, TourGuide just worked for my playstyle. I use it, therefore it has my stamp of approval, for what its worth. Dismissed!

Tekkub just reminded me an important feature! If you are using Lightheaded, which I would personally advise, TourGuide will query Lightheaded for quest accept and turn-in locations. Together TourGuide, Lightheaded (with Doubewide) and TomTom form the Holy Trinity of Leveling. As many commentors have mentioned, this is really intended for players working on a second (or beyond) level 70 character. If you're working on your first toon (or one starting on the opposing faction) I would highy recommend that you read the quests, enjoy the lore and savor your experiences. Good luck with your alts!

Are you an addon-addict? Is your User Interface a living work of art? Welcome home, my friends! Every week, Addon Spotlight profiles a different addon, brings you mod-related news and dishes out free addon advice. See out what's been said and done in the addon community by checking out past features or our addon and UI directory.

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