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Reader Comments (20)

Posted: Mar 15th 2011 8:17AM (Unverified) said

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Oh man, back when I was much younger I got those damn strat books all the time. In fact I owned a few in that picture. The internet is so vast that to pay for a strategy guide anymore is pretty much folly. Unless you want reading material on the pot.

Posted: Mar 15th 2011 8:25AM Jestor said

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In the early 90's I used to buy strategy guides all the time. They were useful. Now they are usually from an olod build which means they are horribly wrong and they are over priced compared to the "free" forums where you can find better information.

Posted: Mar 15th 2011 8:41AM Matix said

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@Jestor DEAD ON! The very nature of MMOs means that the data changes month to month. Only a constantly updated source of information is reliable and it's all I use.

And after the 1990s, when consoles lost the gaming wars and became dumbed-down computers, even console games can be updated now.It's no longer a guarantee that a console game strategy guide will be 100% accurate anymore.
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Posted: Mar 15th 2011 8:37AM Jade Effect said

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When it's a game I enjoy, I like to carry the strategy guide around and pore over it. I guess there's something about information that's neatly packaged together, in addition to game artwork sprinkled around the guide. That was when strategy guides are mostly text-chunks from GameFaqs.

Nowadays, there are wiki sites that has all the information packaged nicely. And when we're talking about MMOs, the information in the guide become outdated so quickly there's little point really to buy the strategy guide.

Posted: Mar 15th 2011 8:37AM (Unverified) said

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It's a mixture of both for me.Sometimes i buy prima strategy guides but lately,i've just been using said game's wiki or something.

Posted: Mar 15th 2011 8:55AM Scuffles said

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I really can't recall a time where I didn't use either brute force (trial and error) or the internet. I really haven't put much stock in printed strategy guides for games in years.

Before the Wiki you could find everything you needed to know by dredging around various game related forums and after the Wiki, you could just go look at a Wiki.

Of course all that only serves as a point of reference. Unless you just want to go full out cookie cutter. Usually I try to put my own spin on things which has both at times worked wonderfully and failed spectacularly.

The most successful of which as I recall was my bonedancer who before I quit DAoC was able to with regularity dispatch the Absorbacrom without any outside help.

I do know people who bought every guide they could for games like DAoC and WoW but they were on average just as accurate (sometimes less) as the forums or the Wiki/Database sites.

Posted: Mar 15th 2011 9:19AM Jade Effect said

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@Scuffles


I wouldn't count forums as a good source for strategy guides. You can occassionally find a helpful/informative post, but you have to wade through tons of whining, flaming, trolling, bragging and stupid memes used by people who think they're cool.

Guild Wars guru forums is a rare place where posters actually discuss strategies and builds.
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Posted: Mar 15th 2011 9:10AM MagnetHead said

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The only Strategy Guide I have is the one for vanilla World of Warcraft. Which I only read for fun these days, since it's data is almost useless.

Posted: Mar 15th 2011 9:45AM Space Cobra said

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Like a few here, I still use a mixture of wikis, forums, google, and even strat guides.

I know strat guides can get out of date, but not really for single player games. Many times, even with Launch changes, there is still some good info and opinions in them (and the pics are nice, plus it is easier to read game lore and history in them for me).

At the very least, it is easy to write in them to update things of concern to me or add new notes. And while I do Alt-Tab more nowadays, I like having a physical map to look at (and not printing up ones and then misplacing them).

Posted: Mar 15th 2011 9:46AM Ohhlaawd said

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I use YouTube quite a bit these days.

Posted: Mar 15th 2011 10:40AM Dumac said

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Aside from reading up on WoW raid boss and Guild Wars mission strategies (wikis), i don't think i have ever used them. I like to go through things by trial and error.

Posted: Mar 15th 2011 10:54AM Khalus said

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Never used or bought strategy guides. I always enjoyed the exploration, trial and error way of playing to learn things and eventually defeat said game. Course that was back in the day.

I'm getting older though and my patience is waning, so if I become bored with a game or frustrated due to poor design but I still want to finish it for the story at least, I will look up info online. There are so many places to get tips and strategy info, full play-through videos and guides for free, why would anyone buy these guides, and honestly why are they still being made!?

Posted: Mar 15th 2011 11:41AM Haldurson said

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I used to buy books, but I don't anymore. With an MMO, more than any other type of game, books have some problems as compared with online resources:
1. Books are not as easily searchable. Sure, some have an index, but those have become a rarity.
2. You can't ask a question of a book. Websites tend to have forums.
3. The quality of both books and websites vary incredibly. That said, if you buy a poor-quality book, you wasted some bucks. You find a poor-quality website, just skip to the next one.
4. The best websites are often updated daily with new information -- they aren't perfect, and they lag behind on new updates and so on by a little, but that's nothing compared with how badly books get left behind in their usefulness.

The only things that books have over websites is that they often smell good, and you can have one open on your lap, or desk while you play. Then again, it's not USUALLY a terrible inconvenience to alt-tab out of your game to look something up. And you can always make a printout of indispensable web pages pages.

Posted: Mar 15th 2011 12:15PM Tinkus said

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The last strategy guide I purchased was Kingdom Hearts. My girlfriend at the time loved the game (Square Enix fangirl that she is) and wanted the guide for her collection. The last guide that I bought for personal use was Gamefan's (think that's who did it) Darkstalkers 3, which I got mainly for the art and animation breakdowns.

Nowadays, of course the internet makes guides worthless. If I need build advice I hit the forums.

Posted: Mar 15th 2011 12:57PM Seldra said

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Nice! I pretty much all those strat books too! Yous mah soulmate! :P

There's little need for them these days other than collector's items, special artwork, etc. It's so much easier and faster to simply just go online and grab any info you want.

With hardcore gamers ripping through a newly released game in hours these people can have the information out the door and into youtube, their personal blog, or a forum/wiki in hours. As someone mentioned as well, updates and patches can render paper media pretty obsolete rather quickly too. We're in the digital age, paper is going away.

Posted: Mar 15th 2011 2:13PM Poordevil said

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The last guide I bought was WoW. I remember reading a post about it saying not to bother because MMOs are updated regularly making a guide on the game as launched just about useless. But I picked it up anyway because WoW was my first ever MMO. I wanted a handy guide to the basics of the gameplay and having a detailed guide of all the different zones was was helpful. It was a nice game guide, made very good use of it, never was sorry I bought it.

I have never bought any guides for single player PC games, preferring game forums or online guides if I get stuck. Back in the N64 days I picked up guides for Turok Dinosaur Hunter, which was my first ever video game, and Zelda Ocarina of Time. Made heavy use of them both, especially Turok. Being a total video game noob, I about relied on that guide to get me through the game, lol!

Posted: Mar 15th 2011 4:03PM Sente said

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I have never bought a strategy guide.

Sometimes I use wikis, for example to find an NPC I have been searching for without success and the whole thing has become quite tedious.

Posted: Mar 15th 2011 4:25PM Rasetsu said

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I'm a strategy guide buyer. Mostly because I consider myself as a console gamer.

That said, most of the games there are stagnant back in the 90's, so I purchase these guides. I remember taking pride in having one of the few copies of the original Bradygames FFVII strategy guides...

Nowadays, because of the backlog of games that I have, I rush most of the games. If I get stuck at one part, I'll hit the internet for tips. On special conditions where I just consider the game as too tedious to play on its own, and fearing for the "gone forevers," that's when I buy printed guides.

Posted: Mar 15th 2011 7:27PM Eamil said

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If Nintendo Power still made their own strategy guides I would buy them. They used to have a lot of interesting flavor text and lore notes on top of actual game information. Now they shove that workload onto Prima and I've never been very impressed with their work (with the exception of their Morrowind guide).

Posted: Mar 16th 2011 10:17PM Valdamar said

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Never bought a guide/strat book - had one given to me once that a RL friend gave me for an MMO I still played that he was quitting (it was EQ2 iirc) - most of the info in it was wrong or misleading - printed guides for MMOs get outdated so fast you pretty much have to use a wiki instead.

I do use wikis occasionally if I get stuck on a quest or can't work out how something works in a game, or just want to save time so my friends don't get bored of waiting for me to try and work stuff out (happened with one of the zone puzzles in RIFT, heh). But I try not to look stuff up too much until the novelty has worn off, because in the early stages I find that knowing too much can lead to me getting burned out on the game because I actually enjoy working things out for myself.

Once I start looking up tons of info on an MMO my inner min-maxer gets set loose - I start making up my own fact sheets of optimal routes through the game, comparing different stats, making reference tables for various things, etc. and soon I start treating the game more like work than fun and I burn out on it - I still have folders full of printouts from all the past MMOs I've played, so that I had quick reference information next to me at the PC without having to alt-tab.

Honestly though, you can find strategies and guides to most things on the Internet, so for MMOs in particular why buy a printed guide that will be outdated so fast?

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