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.


Oversized Bobber adds Accessibility to Azeroth for many Disabled Gamers

Hello Ability Powered gamers! We have been adventuring through the new Legion Alpha and discovered something that will make may of you guys happy. It’s called an Oversized Bobber.

What does it do?

The oversized bobber is an item that increases the size of your bobber dramatically. It’s actually bigger than my gnome! ! found it for sale on the fishing vendors in the major cities for 2g 50s for a stack of 5.

Oversized Bobber vendor in Stormwind. The effect lasts 30 minutes and the bobbers stack to 20,  This should give you plenty for those long fishing trips in Azeroth.

Oversized Bobber buff "This fishing bobber is giant size!"


Why is it important?

Tweet "Russ Petersen ‏@nite_moogle Feb 19 .@AbilityPowered it was actually a community suggestion from a disabled gamer. Happy we got it in!"

This is exactly why it is such an important addition to Legion. Azeroth is full of a huge variety of people and many play with a disability of some type. Fishing is a part of the game that is important to people chasing achievement points, getting the best food for raiding, farming pets and mounts and many other things. The Oversized Bobber keeps fishing accessible and makes it easier for gamers with a variety of disabilities. People with visual impairments can see the new bobber much easier while gamers who want to reduce mouse movement now have a larger area to aim for when clicking on the bobber.

Gnome fishing on a bank.oversized-bobber6

Final Thoughts

Gnome in WheelchairThe Oversized Bobber is definitely much easier to see and will help a lot of various disabled gamers enjoy fishing a lot more. I worry about the trolls of Azeroth abusing it’s size to interfere with other gamers, much like they do when they make their mounts huge and sit on mailboxes. but hopefully the fact it’s only usable in water will help. Another concern I have is the price. Sure those of us who have garrisons have enough gold to fill Stormwind Keep with bobbers, but new players who need the bobbers due to visual or physical impairments might not be able to afford them early on. Since the Bobber is intended to be something to help gamers and isn’t something to increase skill, it would be nice to see it priced lower for new players.  We are in early beta and nothing is set in stone yet but if prices stay at 2g 50s I urge guilds to keep a stack in the guild bank if you frequently have new players joining your ranks.

I am incredibly proud that Blizzard heard the cries of a disabled gamer in the community and came up with a solution to make the game more accessible. It says a lot about the company when they make items to make their game more inclusive. It also gives me hope that we will continue seeing this trend. Maybe someday even rotate buttons on the move pad!  Great job, Blizzard!

So what do you guys think of the new Oversized Bobber? Let me know in the comments!

Addons for Accessibility – Say Sapped

Hello Ability Powered Gamers and welcome back to another Addons for Accessibility! This week we are going to look at an addon for PVP. It’s called Say Sapped. Say Sapped does exactly what you would think it does. It announces to the people around you in range of /say that you have been sapped to let them know a rogue is near and you need help or the need to protect the objective.

Gnome in WheelchairFor some gamers with disabilities this is a useful addon because it saves you time typing.  In PVP things move fast and if you need onscreen keyboard to type you know how slow that can sometimes be. Removing the need to type while still alerting your team makes this a great addon for accessibility.  But don’t take my word for it, check it out on curse!


If you have a addon you would like to see on Addons for Accessibility leave a comment and let me know what it is! I would love to check it out and share it with other Ability Powered Gamers!


Darkest Dungeon Accessibility

 Hello Ability Powered Gamers! This week we are checking out a RPG/Dungeon Crawler called Darkest Dungeon. I was so excited when this game came out that I actually was playing it long before time to test it for you guys. I know, shame on me. I could set here and ramble on about my adventures but I know you guys are here for one thing…  Darkest Dungeon Accessibility. Let’s take a look!


Darkest Dungeon opening screen


Game Start Up and Options

I honestly can’t remember if the game started in Fullscreen mode or windowed but it was easy to change it to windowed before you actually need to type in your game save name. You can name your estate easily with onscreen keyboard while in windowed mode.  To access the options you can click on the candle in the lower right corner. There are options for Graphics, Audio, and Other.



Darkest Dungeon Graphics Option Menu

Graphics options are in game for Fullscreen vs Window mode. This means you can easily access your desktop and onscreen keyboard. You can also put the game in various resolutions. One thing notably missing is any colorblind mode.  This game is dominated by red so some way to change that would be nice.



Darkest Dungeon Audio Options Menu

Audio options include subtitles, hooray! There’s also options to mute all sounds and volume sliders for:

  • Master Volume
  • SFX Volume
  • Music Volume
  • Narration Volume
  • Cinematic Volume



Darkest Dungeon other options menu

Under the “Other” menu there’s options for things like data collection and language, but as far as accessibility is concerned I liked the bark options. The bark option has to do with the characters during the game. Occasionally when you are in your hamlet between dungeons, your characters will say different things to you.  Some try to convince you to take them with you while others beg you to leave them behind.

Character with chat bubble

The bark option let’s you toggle these interactions on and off. Being able to edit the bark time is what impressed me.  You can make the chat bubble stay onscreen longer if you need a little extra time to read the bubbles. I thought it was a nice addition to the options.




Darkest Dungeon Controls Menu

There are a number of hotkeys you can use to play but to the sadness of disabled gamers everywhere these are not remappable. The good news for mouse only gamers is you can play the game with only left and right clicking. Almost the entirety of the game is played through left clicking alone including movement and attacking enemies. Right clicking was needed for things like accessing the character menu.


Final Thoughts

Darkest Dungeon Quest Complete popup

Darkest Dungeon has been crazy fun to play. It is hard so completing tasks felt extremely rewarding. Being able to give each character any name you want and characters having permadeath adds to the satisfaction you get from living to see another day   It is turned based so fatigue from quick mouse movement or clicking shouldn’t be a problem. You can take as much time as you need between turns

Mission ending screen showing subtitles Subtitles are nice and big.  They play during cinematics and at the hamlet anytime the narrator talks. I also loved the chat bubbles that pop up while you are in your hamlet. This makes characters more human and makes you be extra careful during dungeon runs since you legitimately care if they live or die.

One thing I wish would be included in colorblind options. As I said earlier this game is veryA trap in the game Darkest Dungeon. very red.  That combined with the darkness, I could see being a problem. In particular where traps are concerned. Traps are meant to be hard to see, I understand that’s what defines them as a trap. My concern is the indicator that the pile of debris is a trap and needs to be disarmed is a thin red line around it. Being able to change the color of life bars would also be helpful. Another helpful addition would have been remappable hotkeys.  This can make a huge difference in the quantity of any game for disabled gamers.

Gnome in Wheelchair

Other than that I completely loved Darkest Dungeon. A dungeon crawling RPG that I could play only with a mouse was great.  Windowed mode and onscreen keyboard made hotkeys accessible but I didn’t need to use them.  Sitting back and clicking my way through dungeons was fun and satisfying, but don’t take my word for it check out Darkest Dungeon on Steam!


Do you have this game? If so,  have you beat the Darkest Dungeon? What did you think about the game? Leave a comment and let me know. Also, if there’s a game you want to see on Accessibility First Look, let me know!

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