Congratulations to Twothirsty on becoming our first grey geared Blood Thirsty Champion (3rd overall) as well as our 34th Iron Champion during Legion. 2Shanks had the added difficulty of following the Iron Challenge gear rules along with the Blood Thirsty Challenge questing rules.

2Shanks started playing WoW in Vanilla. His first time trying out the challenge was back in Cata with some of his fellow raiders to see who could get the furthest. He got to about level 20 before they stopped. It was during Warlords that 2Shanks got bored with the expansion and decided to try the challenges with a more serious attitude. It made the game feel like more of a challenge again which was a lot of fun.

Twothirsty was started under the old rules of only grey or white gear. When the rules were changed to allow green gear, 2Shanks decided to continue on under the old rules. “When I created the character, I had no intention of adding it to the Iron Man list since every Blood Thirsty was also an Iron Man. It wasn’t until around the early 90’s that I decided I would add my character because of the added challenge of doing it in grey or white gear,” said 2Shanks.

Levels 1 through 60 were spent mostly going after rares. He would take a lap around a zone rare hunting and got a pretty good idea of how long the rare spawn timers were. Then 2Shanks would either log out and level a different challenger or would farm some mobs until it was time for another lap around the zone. Rare spawn timers were a lot longer in Outlands zones, so he played mostly with rested XP and killed normal mobs. His time in WoD was spent with the Podlings just east of the garrison in Shadowmoon Valley. For Legion, 2Shanks took a page from Neverdied’s book and went to Valdisdall in Stormheim.

Two near-death experiences happened around level 97 for Twothirsty. The first was a d/c due to his internet going down momentarily. By time 2Shanks was able to get back into the game, his pet was dead and the mob had just started attacking Twothirsty, “I feigned death, hearthed, and logged out for the night to calm down from the scare.” The second one was caused by Freezing Trap hitting a critter instead of the intended mob. 2Shanks said,”I did not notice this until I had lost about 40% of my health, but I was able to Feign Death and get the mob back on my pet. Since then I have been killing all the critters I see. I guess Pacifist isn’t the only challenge that can be wrecked by critters.”

The main advice 2Shanks has for someone trying to list on both the Blood Thirsty and Iron Man challenges would be to play a Hunter. “With 7.3.5, the difficulty killing mobs, later on, is much higher. Other classes may be able to do it, but not with as much ease as Hunter, which I think is important for the number of kills you’ll need for each level. Some advice for Blood Thirsty is to take advantage of rares 1-60, farm mobs that drop pets or give rep, prioritize yellow mobs when you can and level mostly with rested XP after 60. Yellow mobs are especially nice because you don’t have to worry about respawn timers which is even more important when in grey & white gear. Advice for Iron Man, with the current difficulty of the challenge it can be hard to level in later expansions. I believe it’s safer to take a Blood Thirsty approach and kill the same mob over and over again. I was able to do WoD and Legion after 8.0 so at least Iron hunters can do it too. From the bit I’ve done on the PTR, BfA should also be possible, although very slow.”

2Shanks said, “The reason for the last minute push to beat out the BfA release was because I had spent a lot of time on the character and I wanted to be able to say I completed the challenge even if it was only for less then 24 hours.”

Good luck with all of your challengers, 2Shanks, and once again congratulation on becoming our first grey geared Blood Thirsty Champion in Legion!

level-110Congratulations to Lyssan for becoming our first ever Legion Iron Champion, hitting Level 110 just a mere 29 days after the Legion expansion dropped! This is another in a long line of firsts for Lyssan and this particular character. Lyssan was the first Iron Champion for Cataclysm (Level 85), Mists of Pandaria (Level 90) and Warlords of Draenor (Level 100).

He also has the first ever Warrior Iron Champion, achieving this in Warlords of Draenor at Level 100 and has another Iron Champion with a Petless Hunter, also in Warlords.

Here’s a video he posted where he hits 110! Congrats again!

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBfgkyJxtW8[/embedyt]


LegionLogo_lessglowLegion is now live on EU servers, so our code changes have gone online. The new maximum level to be attained is 110.

Congratulations to all Warlords Champions and condolences to everyone that lost their challengers… thank you for participating in the challenges… you are among some 20,000+ attempts at the Ironman, Blood Thirsty and Pacifist challenges!

blueswordsLegion is now available in both EU and US regions. We knew we were going to be getting quite a few changes: default specs, glyph removal being the larger two right now (artifacts come in August 30).

So What Happened?
We did get a feature that no one was expecting. It seems some classes were given blue weapons in the mail. That’s not really a problem; they’re not equipped… no big deal. Some classes logged in to find those weapons EQUIPPED automatically. No mail. No clicking. Just log in and see new Rare weapons equipped. As all challengers know this is certainly a flaggable offense.

Whether you had a weapon equipped on logout before the patch did not matter. I’ve personally had two warriors receive weapons: both had nothing equipped prior to the patch. On log in, one had the weapons equipped, the other had the weapons in the mail.

What we do know is that this has affected certain classes where there was a weapon change.

Monks – default spec is Windwalker, so two swords were sent.
Death Knight – default spec is Unholy, however, Frost is now dual-wield, so DKs were sent two one-handed weapons.
Warrior – default spec WAS Arms, however, it seems now Fury is the spec of choice… so two two-handed weapons were sent.
Hunter – default spec should be Beast Mastery, however, since Survival is melee, a pole-arm was sent.

Hunters were also presented with a surprise. Their beloved Brunnhildar Bow has been changed from a white quality item to green quality, making it no longer allowed for challengers. The worst part is that on logging in, characters will have their stats and gear adjusted which will cause them to be flagged.

What We Are Going To Do
Very shortly, I’m going to be running a job that will inspect all listed characters. I don’t want to get into the specifics but at the end of the day, we’ll be making exceptions for any character that was listed so your characters *should not* be flagged because of these unexpected features.

After the Job is Done
The job is going to take a few hours and I will need some time to ensure character data is still valid. There might be some folks still getting flagged… if this is you, please let me know but overall I think the job / exceptions should cover everything.

wowlegionWe are currently not accepting new characters or allowing existing characters to be updated due to behind-the-scenes maintenance related to the Legion Pre-Patch being deployed on Tuesday July 19 2016.

Once the servers are back up we’ll be working hard to get the site up as quickly as possible, however, there is very likely a risk it will not be up for EU challengers until at least July 20 (the date Blizzard is rolling out the Pre-Patch to EU).

Thank you for your patience and we’ll see you on the other side!

LegionLogo_lessglowI will tell you, that I absolutely felt the same concern that you do when I heard the off-the-cuff statement about “default specs”. I was sitting there collecting my thoughts about the new transmog system and wondering if it could be applied for Challenge characters or not… I had even gone so far as to formulate a well-thought out question when I heard the question of 3rd specs get raised.

No big deal, I thought. I turned to my wife to see if she’d be a good sport and go up to see if my question could get asked (I’m not the best public speaker that’s for sure), when the developer mentioned something about a third spec…  and hey… a fourth spec too, for druids.

Wow, I thought… that’s great! Inwardly I cringed at the thought of being forced out of my Unholy spec for Frost for a particular boss fight. I’m listening to the response include something about no more ‘no spec’.

Immediately I cursed. Whoopsie! The people around me turned and looked at me wondering just what my problem was. For the starting player, yes… this is good. For challenge characters, this basically negated a pretty crucial part of the challenge. It felt like an eternity, but I think it was probably only five minutes before I got up and left.

After a brief stop at the Blizzard Store and a meet-up with Griffter (I mean, how can I pass that up? Incidentally, you can catch his BlizzCon roundup where he talks about us meeting… he chuckles because he could tell I was literally in shock about the news), I went to the Legion demo area. The lineup was super long and there wasn’t a way for me to skip the line… standing in the line wasn’t an option unfortunately as my body was already giving me the signs that it was time to turn in.

I did get the opportunity to chat with a Blue Shirt at the demo who knew a crap ton about the demo. I have also asked about the changes with two devs later that day at the Hilton. The following changes are slated to happen once 7.0 drops:

  • Characters are assigned a spec at Character Creation.
  • Each class is assigned a default spec until Level 10 at which point they’re able to change specs.
  • Currently the Druid default spec is Feral. A list was not posted or made available because the default specs are subject to change.
  • Talents are NOT selected by default.

Default specs are thought to be DPS-related, however, I could not get a confirmation on that… it does make sense though as really there’s not a ton to learn for tanking or healing from 1-10.

Why write all this stuff? I wanted to let you know that I am completely on the same page as most of you. When I step back and look at the changes several things jump out at me:

  • Leveling from 1-100 will definitely be easier since Challengers will have a spec. We may actually see Warriors on the leader board again.
  • Leveling from 100-110 is going to be a lot more difficult due to Mob scaling in Legion zones.

Overall, I would expect to see more contenders for max level compared to Warlords, however, we had this when the challenge was more prevalent during Cata and Mists due to several factors (only 85, 90 levels vs. 100; Warlords saw the stat squish; several classes also only had limited abilities).

The change might not be a bad thing as it will undoubtedly help folks speed through the lower levels until they hit Legion zones.

Another thing to keep in mind, that has been pointed out to me by some of the folks at BlizzCon, was that default specs could be scrapped before Legion. It’s possible, yes…  but…. this isn’t a game-play thing… it’s a quality-of-life improvement for new players that looks to be working from what I could see of some guy playing the 1-10 experience.

For what it’s worth, I did let the two devs know how this would impact the Iron Man challenge and they would let folks know at BlizzHQ to see if there was something they can do, however, one guy did state it was doubtful since the spec is assigned at character creation and it requires more work to remove it. I’ve also lobbed a tweet at Celestalon asking for some kind of no-spec option… sort of an advanced setting that is hidden for folks that really want to run with no spec.

At this point all we really have is speculation but, if you were worried, I want to you to rest assured that the Iron Man community will never let the Iron Man challenge die, nor will I.