There 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 battle.net 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.