You’ve heard of it. Probably seen it mentioned on the WoW website or WoW Insider. Maybe even tried it. It’s the WoW Ironman Challenge. The test to see how far you can make it in the game only using the most basic tools to survive and defend yourself. Pushing your abilities to the absolute limit in a bitter battle to make it to max level.
The Ironman Hall of Fame
World First Level 85 Ironman: Ironsally the Warlock (US-Zangarmarsh)
World First Level 85 Immortal Ironman: Kripparrian the Hunter (US-Turalyon)
World First Level 90 Immortal Ironman: Lyssan the Priest (US-Vek’linash)
The original version of the WoW Ironman Challenge dates all the way back to July 2011. It was conceived and laid out by Vrykerion and Psynister over Twitter with a bunch of different people jumping in and adding ideas to it. The original idea came from a tweet by Vrykerion pondering how far a person could make it using only ‘mundane’ items (grey or white items) in the game. The thought had occurred when pondering about a very different game – Dungeons & Dragons. In 4th Edition, magical items are essential to proper character scaling. Making it to level 30 without them or some kind of substitute system would be very difficult. This thought then extended to comparing it to World of Warcraft and its own equivalent to magic items, namely greens or better.
The rules began to take shape as more and more points were raised. It should be doable with the right spec. What if there was no spec or talent points? Well you could level off of professions now. Then maybe no professions either? Well you could just do it in groups. How about no grouping then? And the conversation between the group went on and on like that until the first version of the rules were established. Naturally, some clarifications were added on in the next following days to help make sure anyone wanting to try it had a good idea of what they could or could not do. Sadly, the two people responsible for getting the whole thing going did not actually get that far. Psynister and Vrykerion’s ironman toons didn’t even make it to Outland before they were sat indefinitely on the shelf o’ alts. However, other bloggers and internet folks did not give up so easily. This culminated in the very first level 85 Ironman (or Ironwoman I should say) – Ironsally the Warlock, played by the Ancient from Tome of the Ancient.
After that the Ironman Challenge fell into obscurity. Oh people gave it a go every now and then and mentions would pop up here and there. But it wasn’t until months later that the challenge would explode into something huge. At some point, a group of European players had gotten a hold of the Ironman Rules and added what could be considered its most defining characteristic: No dying. If you died, then you would have to start over. Classic hardcore rules. From Europe, the concept of what the original creators have chosen to dub the Immortal Ironman variant (others have called it the No Death Ironman, the Hardcore Ironman, or the New Ironman) took off worldwide! Being featured on websites like WoW Insider or the official World of Warcraft site. Everyone had caught Ironman fever. In March of 2012, word reached us that the first Immortal Ironman had made it to 85, Kripparrian the hunter! Since then there have been tons of reports of 85 Ironmen and women popping up around the globe.
My role in all of this? Why haven’t you figured it out by now? I’m Vrykerion. And I am amazed in retrospect that a simple twitter conversation spawned all of this! Happy Ironman-ing!
The Original Ironman Rules (Posted July of 2011)
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. (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
The Immortal Ironman Rules from the Official World of Warcraft website (Posted February 2012)
1. All gear employed must be White or Grey. Also, no Heirlooms of any sort.
2. No transfer of gear, items, or money from any other character (yours or others).
3. No gear enhancement(s), thus no socketed gems, enchanting or reforging. Exceptions exist for class abilities (example: rogue poisons).
4. No specializations, talent points, or glyphs. This restriction also applies to talent points for pets.
5. No professions or secondary skills. An exception is made for First Aid.
6. No potions/flasks/elixirs (except those labeled as quest Items).
7. No food buffs or other external buffs (this includes buffs from items and other players).
8. No grouping or assistance from other characters, even if not grouped.
9. No dungeons/raids. No battlegrounds/arenas.
10. No guilds. An exception is made for Iron Man guilds. No guild perks.
11. No Recruit-A- Friend activities. The intention of the challenge is that it be done without assistance.
12. No add-ons that assist in combat and/or leveling.
13. THE BIG ONE: No deaths. Character death for any reason disqualifies the character.
– All mounts
– All bags/containers
– All quests (including holiday and daily quests)