Ironstevo has done it! He has gone where no other undead have gone before. He has finally completed the WoW Ironman Challenge! It was a long, perilous and incredibly nerve-wracking journey. Now that it's over Ironstevo is going to get himself a cold one, put up his rotting feet and relax.
For anyone unaware the WoW Ironman Challenge is to level from 1-85 using the rules below.
Only White or Grey gear. No Heirlooms of any kind.
No transfer of gear, items, or money from any other character (yours or others).
No gear enhancements, including gems, enchanting, and reforging. Class abilities are allowed (eg. Rogue poisons, Shaman imbues).
No specialization, talent points, or glyphs. No pet talent points.
No professions or secondary skills, except for First Aid.
No potions, flasks, or elixirs except for required quest items.
No food buffs or other external buffs (including buffs from items and other players).
No groups or assistance from other characters, even if not grouped.
No dungeons, raids, battlegrounds, or arenas.
No guilds, except for level 1 guilds created specifically for the Ironman Challenge.
No addons which assist in combat and/or leveling (eg. leveling guides, Ovale).
THE BIG ONE: No deaths. Character death for any reason disqualifies the character
The following are allowed:
All class abilities, racials, and personal buffs.
All mounts, bags, and non-combat pets.
All quests, including holiday events and dailies (unless prohibited by some other rule, eg. Fishing and Cooking dailies).
More info on the challenge can be found on this thread on the World of Warcraft forums: The Official Ironman Challenge Thread. There is also a leader-board that automatically tracks progress at wowironman.com. This morning after Ironstevo hit 85 it looked like this:
|Yaaaay!! (Click to Enlarge)|
For a quick recap, Ironstevo was my second attempt at the Ironman Challenge. My first toon (Ironsteve, undead hunter) died at level 52 in one of the most ridiculous ways possible -- when I clicked on an Alliance flight master in Tanaris. Durka durr, yeah not exactly the best way to go. Here is the post where Ironsteve said goodbye to the world...of Warcraft.
After Ironsteve died I rolled an iron druid with the same name, and then shortly after rolled Ironstevo to level at the same time. My thought process was -- if either of them died at least I would have another ironman toon to fall back on. Well, Ironstevo ended up passing Ironsteve the druid rather quickly and eventually I found myself on Ironstevo almost exclusively. Ironsteve the druid is still alive (he is almost level 50) and I'll probably pick him up again at some point.
So these Iron toons were really made with one basic goal in mind (other than reaching the top, which I figured wouldn't happen, but am VERY happy it did) and that goal was for something fun and rare-related to talk about on my blog. For each of my ironies I went crazy frapsing and taking screen shots of all the rares I was finding, which was a ton of fun. The rares I found really helped the leveling process with the massive amount of experience that they give now. This extra experience made it possible for me to really cherry pick the quests I was doing, so I could be extra careful. Any quest or mob that I was even remotely uncertain about I skipped.
When level 60 came for Ironsetvo the rares diminished and I really began taking my time from level 61-72 in Outland. Luckily now that Outland has the oldest quests in the game I was very familiar with just about all of them after leveling armies of toons through those zones before. Then, right before I left Outland I ran across a treasure chest in Blade's Edge Mountains that gave me a massive amount of experience when I looted it. After doing some research I found out that these chests are all over the world and I really started looking for them. When I entered Northrend I started finding them all over the place. They were giving me double the experience that a quest turn in would give. Again, this really let me cherry pick the quests that I did. I wrote up a post about how to find these chests a couple weeks back called: Treasure Chests and why you should be looking for them.
So basically rare spawns (that fight back) were replaced with rare treasure chests later on in Ironstevo's journey. Ironstevo even got his final ding on one in Sholazar Basin.
I certainly feel like I've gained a lot from this challenge. It gave me a whole new outlook on the game. Having to be so careful and aware of your surroundings...ALL the time. Looking for alternative ways to complete quests that everyone else does without a second thought. I think if nothing else, this challenge is a great way to make yourself a better player.
I also find I have a new love for the warlock class. I've never really been a fan of warlocks for multiple reasons, but having spent so much time with Ironstevo over the last couple of months I've changed my mind. Unfortunately they will never be as awesome as mages, but what can ya do?
I have met some incredible people out there in the ironman community. The support of other ironman players has been amazing. I would also like to give a big thank you to my readers who have been offering their support as well. You know who you are! You guys rock.
So to wrap it all up (or if your too lazy to read what I've just written and would rather just listen to me talk about it) here is a video below of Ironstevo's journey to 85. The audio is a bit scraggly (sorry about that), my mic is from the Marty McFly days...