The WoW Ironman Challenge

Ironman is clearly a Paladin. A Chaotic Neutral Paladin. But a Paladin nonetheless.

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. 😛

41 thoughts on “The WoW Ironman Challenge

  1. Hey Vrykerion.
    I agree, we have at least some control when we want to up the challenge, and it can be a lot of fun to put some self imposed restrictions up.

    I can’t help but throw some links your way, fx the Thriftee challenge:, who has now dinged 85 without spending any money! This means Thriftee couldn’t take flightpaths, nor train skills, buy items or repair them (and no pet control). Tough one and along the same vein.

    I’m currently leveling a goblin hunter, not the ironman challenge way, but not too far off. I’m wearing cloth gear with no stats (the vendor bought set “tattered”) and a level 6 bow (Luckily no one has laughed at me yet), I am allowing myself, skills, talents, food buffs and whatever quality rings, necks and trinkets though. I’m currently lvl 32 and it’s not hard yet, maybe I need to nerf myself even further, haha.

    I’ll be very interested in your journey, really looking forward to reading it!

  2. Oh and I voted for the gnome warrior, you got me so inspired, so now I’d like to see it happen 😀

    ps: what if your poll ends up with an impossible combination, like night elf warlock?

    1. “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.”

      So it would be whatever race has the highest votes that can be a warlock essentially. 😀

  3. I love this idea! I may have to try this out myself, since I too have been looking for a way to increase the difficulty of the game. Thanks for doing the hard work of coming up with an idea for me. 😛

    1. You’re… Welcome? O.O

      Your welcome to join in on the fun! I know Psynister was talking about allowing guest posts about this on his blog, and I’ll probably do something similar (but to be fair, Psynister is a bit more well known than us here at the Land of Odd, so maybe letting him handle the guest posts would be best.) But I definitely would love to hear from people doing this and every keep each other posted or something or other. 😀

    2. Whether you want to give us a guest post or just toss us a line saying, “hey, I made it to level 14!” We’d love to see what kind of progress other people are seeing as well.

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  7. Oh Wow – Thiftee/Döra here 😀 This is sooo cool, you make me excited for you, and I just know your gonna have fun with this. Facing the unexpected and unintended consequences of a challenge such as this is so exciting, no wonder you can’t wait to get started. I really fancy having a go at this myself, but – oh my, why is a day only 24 hrs? I’m so busy with Ernee the Anxious at the moment 🙂 But I’m tempted. Voted for Gnome Rogue – not because I want to see you suffer, but because I am genuinly interested to see if it could be done with this race/class as my main is a gnome rogue 😀

    Really good luck to you Vrykerion, Psynister and anyone else giving this a go. Have fun!!!

    You any Psynister are def on my blog roll from now on.
    Found this via Ironyca – Thanks Ironyca!

    1. As much as I was holding out for a gnome, seems that zombies were in the cards. 😀 I’d actually think that between stealth, vanish, sap and recuperate, a rogue has a competing chance to do the challenge. Psyn placed it toward the bottom of his list, but I think this one might be a surprise contender for Ironman. Either way, this whole thing reminds me a lot of when I was an ol’ fashioned melee hunter (Not because I wanted to be, I honestly thought that’s how I was supposed to play it. Why else would I have an axe? …Yes, I was once a huntard. But I got better. Around level 40. Still using my start zone gun. /cry) I’m looking forward to it!

      I’ll be sure to add your blog (and Ironyca’s) to my blog roll as well. 🙂

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    1. Welcome to the challenge! I look forward to seeing how a rogue fairs!

      I believed we discussed it a while back on Twitter and agreed that since first aid is allowed, normal non-buff giving foods and regular ol’ health potions would be fine to use. 😀

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  15. Yay I’ve just hit 50 on my Ironman Rogue. Lovin this 😀 Having some difficulty deciding on which is the best poison set up to run with. Any advice?

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  18. Pedro

    Iron dungeoneer challenge (an other version of Ironman)‎
    1) No items equipped other than White or Gray items.
    2) No heirlooms
    3) No talent points – no specialization – you may train class abilities
    4) No professions, primary or secondary, other than First Aid.
    5) No food or water above vendor-quality white items.
    6) No groups- no BG’s, no instances, no raids, no quest groups. No guilds.
    6.1) Exceptions. Dungeons may be done if
    6.2) All in the group are doing iron dungeoneer
    6.3) Dungeon finder may not be used. Ever. (However summonerstone is alright to use)
    7) No enchants, scrolls, potions/elixirs, or glyphs.
    8) No outside financial or equipment assistance (no gold or bags from other toons)
    9) THE BIG ONE – if you die, ever, you delete that toon and start over at lvl 1 Any takers? (Optional)

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