Unfortunately having just posted an update about the Lunar Festival and recommended the Tour Guide plug-in, various rumours were flying about the sudden withdrawal of the TourGuide mod from curse and wowinterface. What had happened, where had it gone, would it be coming back again? Nothing was posted on the author's web site and it had also disappeared off the listing there.
Luckily WoW Pro has the details - TourGuide has been bought by a levelling guide maker and so won't be available for free any more. The author's web site now has a couple of posts here and here explaining what has happened. For now, only purchasers of the levelling guide will get access to TourGuide, although anyone with it already installed can continue to use it.
It's hard for me to get worked up about this though - the mod was free software and thus the author can do what he wants with it. If he wants to take an opportunity to make some money from his hard work, good luck to him. We didn't have any guarantee he would continue to maintain it, or just dump it like so many other mods, or withdraw it. In that way, its quite nice the author has made sure those of us still using TourGuide can continue to do so. Also there is no monopoly on TourGuide-like mods or anything preventing anyone from coding a different one (apart from a lot of hard work of course).
WoW Pro did have a levelling mod before they switched to TourGuide and it seems they are planning on developing a new mod, or resurrecting their old one. Good luck to them. Given that new mods spring up to fill gaps in the WoW community, I hope authors have an incentive to develop their own TourGuide-like mod, now that the defacto one is no longer around.
For now, anyone with TourGuide installed can continue to use it, although I don't think anyone will be publishing guides for it any more (free or otherwise), so it's use will become limited once Cataclysm hits. I will probably leave my Hallow's End guide up, but there is little incentive to develop it further. Farewell TourGuide!
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