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.
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.