Why I Love: The Ironman Challenge


Hello Ability Powered Gamers! This weekend I started an epic adventure in Warcraft. If you played late in Cataclysm you might remember a challenge that swept Azeroth as players grew more and more weary of the end of expansion blues. It was called The Ironman Challenge. Your mission?  Reach level 100 without dying. Oh but there’s more! You can only wear grey or white gear, you can’t party, you can’t have talents, you can’t…  well just check the official rules here.  Needless to say, it’s a huge challenge.

I have always been drawn to this and have had my share of failed attempts. I always take a break after a painful death but eventually there I am starting a new IronShort. I have narrowed it down to two main reasons why I always come back.

WoWScrnShot_031116_181034I love Azeroth. It gets easy to become disenchanted with it at times though. It’s our own fault really. When a new Alpha opens, it begins.  Sites start data mining,  we go look at every item, mount and pet. There’s guides going up on how to get these things and we read them. Videos are posted of raid bosses and we rush to watch them. We love our game, it’s natural, but when launch day comes we already know everything. We know how to get the new mounts, we know where quests lead, and we have seen the bosses.

We have new content but no surprise. We have a new world but no unseen adventure. The same thing happens every PTR update. We have the information to run through content without needing to really focus on what we’re doing and seeing. We put on gear that makes us untouchable and we fly through content.  By the end of the expansion we grumble about how there’s nothing to do, not enough to see, it’s too easy.  Enter the Ironman Challenge.


I guarantee if you commit to the challenge, even off and on, you will see Azeroth in a whole new way. If you die, it’s game over so every quest or kill demands your complete focus.  Does this mob enrage? Does that mob stun? These are things you HAVE TO pay attention to. What about the quest? Is it in an area that is crowded by mobs? Do they respawn fast? What is the safest route to go? What is the closest safe place to log out? Warcraft becomes exciting.  It’s no longer something you can plow through without thought. Your decisions could make or break your character.  You have to navigate through the content masterfully.

Speaking of navigation, that brings me to my second reason why I love the Ironman Challenge. I think it is a perfect challenge to show how accessibility friendly Warcraft is. I have gone to war before against accessibility reviews that knocked Warcraft accessibility (and I always will).  Is it perfect? No. We need rotate buttons on Move Pad,  ways for keyboard only gamers to use AOE spells which require you to target the area, and less jumping puzzles for treasure chest which require detailed jumps (Especially if it’s tied to unlocking flying skill).  Do these things make the game unplayable?  No.


So dear readers, I am throwing my hat in the ring again. I am entering the Bloodthirsty Ironman Challenge which I guarantee you need to be able to move well to complete. You guys know how I play…  a mixture of click to walk and Move Pad.  Just me and my mouse. Will I die? Most definitely but it won’t be because Warcraft is hard to navigate, it’ll be something dumb I did. I may die multiple times but I will die seeing the world in a new way… Having to focus on my surroundings. Wearing gear that doesn’t let me plow through enemies. I will have excitement each pull and be fearful of my characters death. I will be playing Warcraft the way I did 9 years ago when I first started and you can too! Check out WowChallenges.com and try it out. Never again can you say Warcraft is too easy or that there’s nothing to do.


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