Revisiting the WoW Ironman Challenge: Making Leveling Interesting Again

Make leveling interesting again with the WoW Ironman Challenge.

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Leveling in World of Warcraft has
become a bit of a joke. Back in the early days of the game, leveling
was a struggle. It took time, effort, and more than a few
not-so-polite words along the way. Reaching max level was an
accomplishment that left players with a sense of pride for overcoming
the leveling challenge. However, things have drastically changed.

As mentioned above, leveling is a bit
of a joke. Things have gotten easier, to the point where leveling is
no challenge at all. Players can now breeze through in record time
with little to no effort at all. While I understand that making it
easier to some degree was necessary, it has, in my opinion, gone much
to far. There is no struggle, no real investment, and no real
feeling of achievement when max level is finally reached.

The WoW Ironman Challenge

If you are in the same boat as me and
wishing that there was some way to make leveling a little more
challenging, then I want you to know that there is hope. You see,
World of Warcraft players are always looking for new and inventive
ways to experience different aspects of the game, including leveling.
Recently, while browsing the depths of the internet, I came across an
idea that might just solve my (and many other player's) leveling

The idea I am speaking of is called the
WoW Ironman Challenge. This
Challenge was put together by two World
of Warcraft fans; Ironbraids and David Casagrande, back in 2012. This pair
put together a challenge that at first seems simple; level
from 1-85. Easy right? Wrong!

Rules and Regulations

You see, the catch behind the Ironman
Challenge is that players must level in the most basic way possible.
The rules set forth by the duo are pretty simple to understand, but
do make leveling quite a bit more tricky. Check out the rules and
regulations set forth to (legitimately) complete the challenge, as
seen on the WoW Ironman Challenge
, below:

Level from 1-85 using the rules below.

  1. Only White or Grey gear. No Heirlooms
    of any kind.

  2. No transfer of gear, items, or money
    from any other character (yours or others).

  3. No gear enhancements, including gems,
    enchanting, and reforging. Class abilities are allowed (eg. Rogue
    poisons, Shaman imbues).

  4. No specialization, talent points, or
    glyphs. No pet talent points.

  5. No professions or secondary skills,
    except for First Aid.

  6. No potions, flasks, or elixirs except
    for required quest items.

  7. No food buffs or other external buffs
    (including buffs from items and other players).

  8. No groups or assistance from other
    characters, even if not grouped.

  9. No dungeons, raids, battlegrounds, or

  10. No guilds, except for level 1 guilds
    created specifically for the Ironman Challenge.

  11. No Refer-A-Friend.

  12. No addons which assist in combat and/or
    leveling (eg. leveling guides, Ovale).

  13. THE BIG ONE: No deaths. Character death for any
    reason disqualifies the character

The following are allowed:

  1. All class abilities, racials, and
    personal buffs.

  2. All mounts, bags, and non-combat

  3. All quests, including holiday events and dailies (unless
    prohibited by some other rule, eg. Fishing and Cooking dailies).

As you can see, following these rules will complicate the leveling
process just a tiny bit. No more breezing through levels and wandering
about the world without worrying about death. Instead, players will need
to constantly be on the alert and playing their best, to be able to
complete the task, an idea that has been missing from leveling for some
time. Without a doubt, leveling with this set of rules will be intense.

Tracking Your Progress

If you decide to take the plunge and
participate in the challenge, you can head on over to the WoW
Challenge website
where you can type in your character's name and
track your progress. Your character must be over level 10, not of the
Death Knight variety, and visible on the WoW Armory to make use of
this feature.

Once you have entered your character's
name will be added to the list of “Current Challengers” that is
viewable by all who visit the website. As you may have already
guessed, the tracker uses the WoW Armory to make sure your character
is following the rules. Characters that have thus far stayed within
the rules have a green check mark beside their names. Characters who
have not followed the rules earn a red X.

Don't worry if you feel like you can't
follow all of the rules, the website states that the creators intend
this to be a fun personal challenge and not a competition. If you
break the rules, your character will still continue to be tracked,
unless death occurs. Once your character has died, their name will be
moved to the “Honorable Dead” section of the website to be
forever immortalized. So take on the challenge however you would
like, but try not to get yourself killed.

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Completing the WoW Ironman Challenge

So you may be wondering what happens
when you complete the WoW Ironman Challenge. The answer is, you hit
level 85. There is no achievements, titles, or any parades held in
your honor. If you are looking for that, this probably isn't a
challenge you will be interested in. What this challenge does give
you is excitement, danger, and a sense of achievement that has been
missing from the leveling process for quite awhile.

An Old Challenge Reborn

As mentioned above, the WoW Ironman
Challenge has been around since sometime in 2012. I am in no way the
first author to write about this challenge and many of you may have
already heard of it. In fact, Blizzard even featured it in a blog
post back then entitled; “Till
Death Do You Part”

How I missed out on this challenge when
it was first revealed is beyond me, but somehow I did. So you may be
wondering why I am writing about this now, so long after it's
creation. You see, now that I have found it I believe it is time it
gained recognition again. The Ironman Challenge is a great way to
breathe some new life into what has become a rather boring process
and as many players as possible should know that challenges like it
are out there just waiting for them.

Will I be taking on the Challenge? I am
seriously considering it and will probably do so in the very near
future.. There are several new toons I want to level and this may be
the perfect way to spice the process up. If you are interested in the
WoW Ironman Challenge head on over to the official
or the
where a very helpful post resides full of FAQ as well
as relevant (and useful) links.

Would you consider taking on the WoW
Ironman Challenge? What other challenges have you come across or
personally created for yourself? Share your thoughts with us in the
comments section below!

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About The Author

Amunet, also fondly known as Memtron, is an organic life form best known for its ongoing obsession with Blizzard Entertainment's numerous properties. To that end, Amu has authored hundreds (thousands?) of the most popular World of Warcraft guides, editorials, and Top 10 lists on the planet. When not gaming and writing, Amu is busy chasing after her three children in a perpetual loop of ongoing disaster.

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