Honestly, I’m still completely shocked that the completely silly Ironman Challenge idea that we brewed up on Twitter all those years ago is still kicking around. Now we’ve got our brand new level 90 Immortal Ironman. For those who haven’t visited the OddCraft Archive’s Ironman page, the Immortal Ironman is the much, much, much, much, MUCH more well-known No Deaths variant of the challenge that the World of Warcraft Community came up with months after the original rules were posted. (No, I’m not still sore about this all. I swear. I’m NOT! Stop saying it. I do not protest too much. And I’m not a lady, bub… Sorry about the bub comment, Ma’am.)
But I was thinking about the Immortal Ironman version of the rules, and the past World Firsts that made it with no deaths, and I realized that there was an aspect of that whole challenge that really bothers me. Something I think kind of undermines at least what I personally sought to see with the original Ironman Challenge and one of the reasons I didn’t WANT a ‘No Death’ rule in the game.
It makes you play it safe.
The 85 Immortal Ironman? Dinged doing level 80 dailies. The 90 Immortal Ironman? Questing in Hyjal. Are you kidding me? I mean, yes. You did something amazing, hardcore, bad ass, all that. But come on people. You can’t even do it in the current expansion’s content? You could just do damn dailies over and over until you ding. That’s… borderline cowardly!
In my mind, Ironsally did it right. Ironsally went into Hyjal and Deepholm and did battle against things that were compared to trying to solo raid bosses. That is awesome. And yes, she died. But survival wasn’t the goal. Conquest – VICTORY – was the goal. And victory she achieved. She killed them. She waded into hell wearing her skivvies and emerged bloodied, beaten and victorious.
I really don’t want to diminish the victories of those who decided to undergo the Ironman Challenge with the no death rule. It’s still an amazing accomplishment. But in my mind, to play it safe is the undermine the true goal of the challenge. To face the forces of darkness with nothing but barest of essentials. To see if you could do it. To see if you can even HIT or KILL a level 85 monster at level 84 with nothing but your underwear and a wooden sword. That’s where I was going in my mind when the initial conversation on twitter took place, that’s still where the REAL challenge is in my mind.
But that’s not what the community wanted. They made the challenge they wanted. They took our framework and modified it. That’s fine. They have their champions, we have ours. But if they want a challenge. A REAL Ironman, best of the best, Ironman challenge. Allow me to offer one additional rule to pair with their hardcore ‘No Death’ one:
14. No Daily Quests.
I’m asking you to show me how ‘Iron’ you are. I’m saying drop your safety net. I think we’ve shown that Ironman is doable and Immortal Ironman is doable. Now I’m upping the ante. Show me what you have, WoW community. I’m eager to see how tough you are.
Well, it’s happened folks. The challenge was set forth and the World of Warcraft rose to meet it. We have a new Ironman.
It’s been declared that LYSSAN of VEK’LINASH (US) is our World First Level 90 Immortal Ironman. A great big congratulations on the achievement!
As it has been with past winners, your name is now eternally carved into the history of the Ironman Challenge.
And I must say, a huge props on accomplishing this task with a priest. Early on in the challenge I know a couple people tried to do priests, thinking that the heals and shield would be helpful in the long run. Ultimately they were defeated by the massive drain of their mana pool. While I’m not sure if that has changed at all in Mists of Pandaria, I am still willing to say that hitting level 90 on priest Ironman style takes balls. Iron balls. So a massive congrats to Lyssan!
Well, back when we did the original Ironman Challenge, I gave a huge shout out to Ironmary for being the first person to make it to 85 and conquer the challenge. Well, since then we have got a new variation, which some have decided to call the ‘Hardcore Ironman’ or the ‘New Ironman Challenge’ or a couple different names – but I have decided to call it the ‘Immortal Ironman Challenge’. Not dying is a heavy duty task to tack on top of an already difficult challenge. A name like Immortal is deserving of one who can pull this off.
Thus it gives me great pleasure to announce that we do have our first Immortal Ironman Challenge victor: Kripparrian the Troll Hunter from Turalyon-US. You can find more info and Kripparrian’s video here.
Congratulations! You are an Immortal Ironman! Eat, drink and revel in your victory! You have earned it. If anyone sees Kripparrian in game, give him a /cheer!
(Thanks for MMO Melting Pot for finding this and sending it out on Twitter)
Wow. Just… wow. That’s about the only word I can muster for the amount of sheer awe that I have for this. Which coming from a guy who spent 5 years of college learning to use fancy words – that says something.
To bring you all up to speed, a long while ago I asked a simple question on Twitter. ‘How far could you get in WoW without using green or better items and not spending talent points?’ Regular readers of this blog or long time followers of my twitter will recall that’s when Psynister and his Notebook jumped in and began an epic back-and-forth of hashing out the rules of the original version of the WoW Ironman challenge.
Several of us attempted the challenge. Ironkerion made it into the 20’s before I kinda fell out of WoW altogether (We decided to see other people. We may reconcile over some Pandas.) and so there Ironkerion sits. I’m not sure how far Psynister made it, but I know that the nerves-of-steel Ironsally from over at Tome of the Ancient made it all the way to 85 on an Ironman Warlock. (Ironsally now hosts a regular video segment being the media darling that we all know and love.)
Cut to months down the way, I have more or less forgotten about the Challenge because I no longer have a subscription to the game. Then, like a bolt of lightning in a black sky, it reappears. Not only that, but it’s been built on! The rules have been expanded to include a “NO DEATH” clause, where if you die you must delete the character and start over. Talk about taking it up to 11! The no death thing was discussed in the original twitter conversation, but if I recall we ruled as it because that really danced the line between “fun challenge” and “masochism”. So we decided to nix the idea. So those of you attempting to take on this new incarnation have both my greatest respect and deepest sympathies. You have your work cut out for you.
On top of that, they’ve turned it into a legitimate challenge. They’ve got a website for it, and everything! They managed to even get featured on not only WoWInsider but also a WoW community blog post on the official World of Warcraft website! And now that this entire thing has become a world wide phenomenon, it’s time for good ol’ Vrykerion and his pal Psynister to take that first step into Internet Celebrity-hood!
…Why is nothing happening? What’s that? People are arguing about who created it? Uh huh. And no one knows our names? Not even mentioned, you say? I see.
Well, never mind on the whole internet fame thing. The hipsters can still read my blog cause it’s all ‘underground’ and ‘uncool’ or whatever the heck hipsters like. (I know NOTHING about hipsters.) Mostly I’m just happy to see something I had a small part in creating became something amazing. Even if no one ever acknowledges my existence. As per usual… I’m gonna go put on My Little Pony and cry.
Regardless! Good luck to all of you, you Iron-Legion! May your names be carved in the bedrock of hardcore-ness! Which is someone near the lake of awesome. South of YouDaMan-ville. Yea, I’m gonna go shut up now.
For those who don’t know or don’t recall a while back Psynister and I laid out the rules for the WoW Ironman Challenge. We wanted to know how far you could make it without a single of piece of uncommon or better gear and without spending a single talent point.
The challenge has since garnered a lot of attention from many people – except me. Sadly, Ironkerion the Undead Warlock has sat idle for quite a while. It’s been hard to find the motivation to play him when you have someone who has demonstrated the true power of an ‘Ironman Warlock’.
Who do I speak of? Well, that would be the wonderful warlock Ironsally! Ironsally is Tome of the Ancient‘s entry into the Ironman Challenge, who just today has happily announced that her warlock has just reached level 85 wearing nothing but a cobbled together outfit of gray and white items totalling in a whopping average item level of 105.
Seriously, go over to Tome of the Ancient and give Ironsally a hearty congrats. The entire journey from level 1 to 85 is documented on the blog wonderfully and better than anything I could ever piece together.
So I got a chance to work on Ironkerion this past weekend and push his way all the way through Silverpine Forest and up to level 21. I must say that compared to things I’ve been hearing from my fellow challenger over at The Tome of the Ancient I’m thinking that a warlock has been definitely a boon to Ironkerion’s success. After completing the Tirisfal quest line to completion (though the final quest with Ms. Voss bugged out on me and I got disconnected. Quest still got completed, but the paternal slaughter? Definitely missed.), I ventured down south into the Silverpine Forest to meet up with the Banshee Queen.
I’ve done the Silverpine questline in whole about 3 times now and I must say, it really does quite a bit in terms of making the Forsaken seem justified in their actions. Granted, most of Hillsbrad undoes that, but I find myself hard pressed to find a reason that the Alliance should have a stake in Lordaeron. Oh I’m sure there are reasons. They always have reasons, but when lined up to the Forsaken’s reasons… eh, I’ve got to agree with the forsaken. However, in regards to Gilneas – Gilneas is not part of Lordaeron. Heck, neither is Hillsbrad, Alterac, or Arathor for that matter. They were part of the Alliance of Lordaeron, but that’s like saying every country in the United Nations is part of America because their club house is in New York. If Sylvanas is referring to the entire continent of Lordaeron… then no, sorry, that doesn’t belong to the Forsaken by default. In fact, I’m sure your Sin’dorei relatives would probably take issue with that statement too, since Quel’thalas is part of the continent of Lordaeron. However, since the fall of the Seven Kingdoms between the scourge and the Third War (and that little incident with Deathwing probably didn’t help matters), the entire continent has been more or less a state of nature. In fact the only reason Gilneas and Kul Tiras survived was due to their seperationist tendencies, and now that they wall is open… sorry Greymane, a new challenger has appeared.
Questing in Silverpine on Ironkerion wasn’t really that difficult until the end. Once you get to the point where you are sent into Gilneas to assist the front lines, that’s when things started to get a little hairy. My voidwalker, while easily keeping threat, didn’t have the health to stand up to two 7th Legion soldiers at once. I died many times attempting to penetrate Gilneas City and peer through its ridiculously oversized telescope. I was able to kill the completely optional elite Ettin that wandered the Gilnean countryside though. I simply dotted him with everything I could and health funneled my blueberry. When the blueberry eventually died, it was just a matter of fearing the ettin away long enough to soul burn summon another voidwalker for immediate disposal (They hate me soooo much. I just know it.) Using this process, I eventually killed the ettin and claimed the start-a-quest item he drops for a fabulous new ring that I sold to some random forsaken vendor (I can only imagine that they find this mildly insulting. I’m wearing whites and vendor trash and keep selling all the nice rewards they give me. And yet I’m still revered with them.)
The other place that was tricky was penetrating the Kirin Tor bubble (oh god that sounds dirty). While the elementals that patrol the non-phased bubble, and the mages around the crater, were spaced out far enough that there weren’t issues, the phased bubble was a pink, sparkley death trap of doom. The mages were so packed in places, I was pulling 2-3 at every turn and I will not hesitate to tell you I died a few times trying to get out of their town hall. Once I reached the witchaloks, it was much easier. They summoned wolfoids but luckily I was prepared because I read ‘Lord of the God-Kings‘ before venturing into mage territory. Did I have three wand-claws bursting from each of my hands? No. I am a warlock. I have warlock stuff. Warlock stuff instantly beats any mage stuff. The internet told me so. However, I did jack one of their dresses.
Those were the two biggest problem areas really. Other than that the mobs were sparse enough that I only had one at a time on my voidwalker, and if they hit too hard I could always funnel him up. Ironkerion himself can’t take too many hits. Maybe 10 direct smacks and he’s down. Thank the nether that I have a tank-in-a-box.
Oh, also this:
Next up: Hillsbrad. I try to not murder Johnny Awesome, and attempt to justify playing a forsaken some more. Wish Ironkerion luck!
So after posting the rules and guidelines for the Ironman Challenge, I opened up a poll to decide what race and class I should play for this. Declaring that I couldn’t trust myself to make it too easy or too hard, I figured my loyal and always appreciated readers should decide what I should play and what they would read about.
The poll was set to go until Saturday, but seeing as how we got 28 votes already and the Warchief Elections ran a better part of a month and only got like 110 votes, I’m gonna say this was about all we were going to get. Especially after votes were turned into a trickle of once every4-5 hours after this afternoon’s rush of about 10 votes. I decided to end the poll early and sent the call out on twitter (if you are upset by this and didn’t hear about, well… maybe you should follow me on twitter. 😛 ) And after all was said and done, I am happy to present to you the reader voted on winner of the Ironman Toon poll:
He is Ironkerion (get it?) an Undead Warlock. I’m a bit shocked that one came out on top. I figured people would pick a hard class for me to do this with (okay, the runner up was warrior. But warlock just barely beat it. Okay fine there’s an uproar about it, I can switch.) So a pet class it is. I’m actually a bit intrigued, I haven’t played a warlock since early WotLK, and that toon was mostly leveled during Burning Crusade (My first max level toon actually). So this is semi nostalgic for me. He’s currently level 5, dressed in the all white gear you can find off of the Deathknell cloth armor vendor, and just setting off into the great big world.
I really don’t expect much a difference from levels 5-10 anyway. I seem to recall pre-Cata there wasn’t an abundance of green gear to be had in the 1-10 areas (heck, I remember everyone going to Ghostlands because that’s where you got the “best” 10-20 gear compared to Silverpine and the Barrens.)
In case you want to follow along or see if I’m around to say hi or anything, Ironkerion is on the horde side (duh) of the Zangarmarsh realm – US. So all you folks in <It Came From The Blog> better say hello. 😉 He’s currently my only toon on that realm, so it’s definitely a “no financial aid” situation. My imp is named Grobham or something like that. It seems oddly fitting. I too enjoy grob and ham. Often with a side of hathuun and rice. Expect many a joke about demon names folks. This is what you voted for.
Speaking of votes, here is a quick breakdown of how it all turned out:
LET THE IRONMAN BEGIN-ETH!
(Like that -eth suffix? Makes it more medievally in my opinion. Which in metal terms makes it instantly like 3-4 times more bad ass.)
WoW is total EZ Mode now!
…How many times have we heard that statement? How many times must we listen to how the World of Warcraft is no longer and will never be “hardcore” ever again. Personally I’m tired of the argument myself. Call me old-fashioned, but I’m nearly thirty so I’m entitled to my first old man rant now, dangit. Back in my day (which considering people still do it, I guess that means… Now?) if a game wasn’t hard enough, you didn’t complain on the forums. You MADE the game harder: time trials, pacifist clerics, and need we forget Final Fantasy white mage soloing?
This line of thinking sparked a single focused thought: “How far could you get in WoW without using green or better items and not spending talent points?” I was actually surprised when the whole thing started to build into a full-blown discussion between several people, including Psynister. Each contributing ideas of how to flesh out this concept.
The idea became to evolve and take form in what Psynister coined, “The WoW Ironman Challenge.” The rules are simple:
1. Use only white/grey items.
2. No spending talent points. No specialization at level 10. (Regular skill training is fine.)
2. No Primary or Secondary Professions other than First Aid.
3. No means of XP boosting (No Recruit-A-Friend, No Guild, and obviously no Heirlooms)
4. No consumable bonuses (food, potions, elixirs, etc) – Rogue Poisons are Okay.
5. No enchants.
6. No Groups. (Since clarification was requested: That means no dungeons, no Dungeon Finder, no battlegrounds, no anything that puts you in a group and no grouping up with people to quest or anything.)
7. No Death Knights.
8. No Glyphs
That only leaves the matter of what race and what class. Naturally, one would choose the path of least resistance (maybe a troll hunter or something) or perhaps stretch to find the most difficult combination possible (Gnome warrior?) but instead I’ve decided to let you, the readers, decide who I will play in this contest of chutzpah.
In the case of a Class/Race incompatibility, preference will go to the class and the race will be the one with the most votes that can take that class. The polls will close on
Saturday afternoon (12pm PST) Thursday Night (9pm PST) (EDIT: I changed the time because 1. I think we got most of the votes we were gonna get based on last years Warchief Election, and 2. I really really REALLY want to get started on this project), so make your voice heard. Will you make me suffer through utter brutality? Will you let me slip down easy street? Is there a class you really want to see this done with? This is your chance.
I also want to make it clear that this is not a race. I for one only play WoW some of the time. I do have a job, and a life (and by life I mean many other video games to play), so I’m not going to barrel through this and pull my hair out. This is simply a challenge mode to see how far this will go. Will I make it to 85? Will it become impossible to kill something by level 20? We will see, and you can expect to see updates of progress here on the Land of Odd as well.If you want to take the challenge yourself I encourage you to do so! Feel free to keep me updated with your own progress as I’m updating mine to you! 😀
UPDATE: In further discussion, I realize some details got left out. So here’s some extra details: Yes, rogues can use poisons. They are a class specific thing. No, you can’t use glyphs. 😛