All posts for the month June, 2015

dancingflamesThe Midsummer Fire Festival has arrived! You can check out’s guide here.

There have been some questions as to how the Fire Festival applies to the Iron Man (and other challenges)… I hope I can address them here.

Festival Bonfires & Other Daily Quests

  • Iron Man: Yes, you can do these… ride around (or better, FLY if you’re 60 or higher) and grab as many as you can!
  • Pacifist: I believe you *can* do these, however, we have not tested it yet. I do not think it’ll count as a “kill” if you desecrate a bonfire… if in doubt, test it on another toon.
  • Blood Thirsty: You technically can do these, however, keep in mind each one will likely count towards your quest count.

Ribbon Pole: The XP buff is NOT allowed for any of the challenges we currently have as this is an external buff that you must intentionally initiate.

Bonfire’s Blessing: Yes, this is an external buff and wouldn’t normally be allowed, however, you are unable to cancel the Aura / Buff. You shouldn’t be going up to the bonfire and initiating the buff, however, if you are in a zone where someone else happens to initiate it, then so be it. You will not be flagged, nor should you stop playing your challenger.

LyssanThere have been WoW Iron Challengers since Cataclysm and really only a handful of Victors, however, the original incarnation of the challenge site was more of a listing site instead of what we are trying to do here: show-casing the Iron Man Challenge community that was built and continues strong today. My recent appearance on Leeta’s Behind the Avatar made me think having a spotlight on some of the folks in our community would be a great thing, especially when times are lean. I’m expecting a lull in Iron activity when 6.2 drops… but that’s okay…  once folks are bored with that, they’ll come back looking for a challenge again.

I would like to start off this series by shining the Spotlight on Lyssan… the first Iron Challenger to hit Level 100 in Warlords and not only that but this is the THIRD time this same character has achieved an Iron Man level, doing it twice before for Cataclysm (85) and Mists of Pandaria (90). Lyssan hit 100 (on December 14 2014) before the WoW Challenges site was up, so you may not have heard the news but that doesn’t mean we can’t highlight the achievement now. Lyssan’s newest challenge is to level up a Petless Hunter!

Here’s my Q&A with him (please go easy on the criticism, it’s my first time doing a Q&A).

Q&A with Lyssan:

WC: How long have you been playing WoW?

Lyssan: I started playing WoW in 2007, right before Burning Crusade. I’ve been playing on and off ever since.

WC: How long have you been playing the Iron Man challenge?

Lyssan: I was attracted to the Ironman concept since it started as an idea on the forums around 3 years ago. My first Ironman toon, a paladin, died at level 42 in Eastern Plaguelands. After that I played several other challengers among which a Warrior that ended her run at level 79 in Dragonblight, a level 81 shaman killed in Zul’Drak (both are still the highest level in their class, as far as I know) and of course the priest Lyssan who is still alive at level 100. I am now playing a hunter variation that doesn’t use a pet at all – currently level 71.

WC: Your character, Lyssan, is the first Iron Man to hit Level 100 but also has three Iron Challenger belts… do you remember what you were thinking when or feeling when you hit 85, 90 and 100?

Lyssan: Getting to 85 was pretty hard. I felt good but I was also motivated to try again in the new expansion. I started the 85-90 trip a couple of weeks after MoP launched and getting to 90 was exhilarating. One of the reasons was that the Ironman community was, much as it is now, very active and supportive during that time. In contrast, leveling from 90 to 100 felt a little bit anticlimactic. Most of the interest for the challenge was gone, official tracking website was not maintained, there were only a handful of people (the “usuals”) active on the forums and also the game felt easier than before. It was a bit of a letdown, I must admit.
(as a trivia, Lyssan has 22 days, 4 hours of /played time across three expansions).

WC: Did you intentionally pick a Druid to level as an Iron Man vs. the more popular Hunter? (as an aside, I KNOW Lyssan is a Priest but Druid popped up in my head because of the link colours I use on the site… I will likely be changing that soon).

Lyssan: Lyssan is a priest not a druid but the reason I went with the priest was that until that point I haven’t previously played a priest at all. I was not sure how far I could go in the challenge especially that the overwhelming majority of the ironman community thought priest was hard – with no pet, no cc, no armor. It turned out to be a challenging and fun choice.

WC: What is your fondest Iron Man memory?

Lyssan: Two days after I reached level 90 as the first Ironman to do so, I received a letter in the mail from somebody who created a toon on my server just to congratulate me for the feat. That felt pretty good.

WC: What was one of the worst or embarrassing ways you’ve died as an Iron Man?

Lyssan: I’m pretty cautious and I don’t die very often but sometimes that is not enough. The worst way to die has to be my level 83 horde rogue who fell to her death during the quest The Drakkensryd in Storm Peaks. For those that don’t know this is a quest that takes place around a Storm Peaks mountain and requires you to jump from drake to drake using a harpoon. Sometimes the quest bugs out and your drake despawns before you can get to another one which means certain death – unless you are a priest (or a mage … I think).

WC: What made you decide to try the Petless Hunter?

Lyssan: I like hunters. My first ever WoW toon was a night-elf hunter (original, I know :)). But I always thought hunters are a little less challenging for Ironman (especially since they got their fully spec’d pet). So, I thought, maybe a hunter without a pet would make it more challenging. And I was right – it is more challenging and very fun to play.

WC: Do you find Petless Hunter significantly more difficult than going in as a regular Hunter?

Lyssan: A petless hunter still has the full hunter kit, mobility and DPS – the only thing missing is the meat shield to keep the mobs occupied. the most important thing is positioning and having room to kite. So, yes, it is more difficult but nothing that you can’t overcome with skill and game knowledge. I have never used Ice Trap and Concussive Shot in so many different ways before – it’s very fun to play.

WC: Do you think the Petless Hunter is more viable than other classes? Like, say Warrior?

Lyssan: Absolutely. Comparing it to warrior is a little unfair because currently Warrior is “almost” impossible to play (I say “almost” because I still think it’s possible but extremely hard and tedious – whoever takes a Warrior to the end line deserves a medal for patience). But I would venture to say the petless hunter is easier than other classes like Mage or Shaman. Can definitely make it to the end line.

BEHINDTHEAVATARLast night I spoke with Leeta on Behind the Avatar. I’ve told her this before but when you look at the caliber of folks on her show, I am most definitely not worthy. You don’t even need to look very hard… merely have a look at who her guest was on Episode 91.

The first half is about me, yes, so you can skip that part and get right into the WoW Challenges portion for the really good stuff. Being on this podcast isn’t really about me, it’s about the effect that we have all had on the WoW community at large… while I won’t say we’ve been truly embraced by everyone, we have most definitely had an effect on a LOT of people. For them, I’d say this podcast was as much of a result of your work as it was mine.

Thank you Leeta & Behind the Avatar for aiding our cause! You can find us on Episode 92 at Behind the Avatar.

CAWRedLogo400smOn Friday night, Aprillian & crew graciously hosted me on their podcast, all the while we played the Blood Thirsty challenge. This was my first attempt at the Blood Thirsty challenge and I found myself running from some over-powered mobs quite often.  We talked all about the Iron Man challenge and the WoW Challenges site, basically what went into it… it’s history from, the veterans that kept things going and where we are now.

I was super nervous going in there as this was only my second podcast (see The Blue Recluse for my first one) and this show featured Rogueslayer, a veteran Iron Man challenger and Leeta, a newcomer to the challenge. The nervousness quickly went away as they all made me feel very comfortable…  one of the reasons I like listening to the show.

I guess all of my yapping led to two things:
1 – a record long episode of Ctrl Alt WoW
2 – my guild wiping on Heroic Gruul while they were waiting for me to finish up…

SORRY for that…  well… sort of…  I really enjoyed my time there and want to thank Aprillian, Leeta, Rogueslayer, Vrishna, Marzana and Jeppy for letting me come on the show and being so supportive of the WoWChallenges site. I would do it again at a moment’s notice!

You can listen to Episode 424 now and see all the show notes here:

You can find Ctrl Alt WoW on Facebook ( and Twitter (@CtrlAltWoW). You can also follow the hosts and co-hosts on twitter here… they’re good people!

Aprillian: @Aprillian
Leeta: @Leetawow
RogueSlayer: @RogueSlayer1
Marzana: @PatchworkGirl_g
Jeppy: @eljeppy
Vrishna: @Vrishna

jernmandToday, we are crowning our first Level 1 to 100 Iron Man Victor: Jernmand, a Night Elf Hunter from Earthen Ring-EU. Since the Warlords Stat Squish on October 15 2014, we have not seen an Iron Man challenger go all the way from level 1 to 100. We do have four other Level 100’s at present, however, they continued their current Iron challengers from 90… it is still an impressive feat, just not in the same category.

Jernmand, Danish for “Iron Man”, hit Level 100 on Thursday June 4 2015 @ 6:08am North American Pacific time. It took Jernmand 57 days, 16 hours, 54 minutes, 33 seconds to go from Level 10 to Level 100. Please note this is not /played… but I think it is important to illustrate the kind of effect and dedication this kind of a challenge takes. Patience does go a very long way.

Congratulations Jernmand!

4fae673afa5d12aec6bec6c7b5e3406bOn Sunday May 31, Belle used her Belle’s Bites (Bytes?) to talk about the WoW Challenges site. This is a huge deal to me as I’m a very big fan of the show. I can totally relate to the folks on there and really enjoy how they interact with each other (I still laugh at the whole Casual Belle thing… nice going Hots!). To me they feel like regular WoW gamers that are dealing with the same issues that you and I do.

Their episodes are not live (YET) but you can catch them airing on Sundays over at They also have a couple articles posted daily at that you should also have a look at.  Sure they may “only” be at Episode 58 now, but look past the numbers and look at what they bring and are trying to build with our community…. for me they are firmly entrenched as my must watch / listen shows each week.

On a personal note, even getting a *shot* at going on the show made me go fork out some dollars for a webcam and set all that stuff up. I honestly loathe the general public as I have a tough time relating to folks…  but once I feel like I know you, it’s all good. Belle, Lycan, Frysa, Hots, Bloke and even the occasional Dark have a permanent place here at “Stone Central”… so much that I’d get over my own speech issues to go on their show at the drop of a hat…. well unless I’m in mid-raid… and as main tank I can’t really let my team down, now can I?

You can watch Episode 58 – Have You Iron-manned Today? right now!

You can also reach the hosts on twitter:

Belle – @belleofwarcraft
Lycan – @Lycan_PWNcast
Hots – @Hotsforshots
Bloke – @Mrgiant81
unfortunately I don’t know Frysa’s or Dark’s twitter handles, if anyone knows, please let me know so I can update this post!