Should the Ironman Challenge Become an Option in WoW?

Iron Man Challenged is so popular, I hope Blizzard adds it as an official option when rolling a character one day.  It seems like it would be an easy thing to add, just tick a box and you can’t equip uncommon armor, enter instances or BG or learn professions…  Oh and when you die your character is dead forever.  Official integration would lead to a few ‘convenience’ features, like an official leader-board, and the ability to mail all your gold from your dead character to one of your living toons.  Heck, it could be as simple as having the title “Iron <name>” on all new toons that is then lost the first time you die or equip an uncommon/rare/epic item.

The best time to have added a leveling challenge would have been right after Cataclysm.  New leveling content and an incentive to run it in a new way.  Perhaps if they rework the level content again (unlikely) they will add it.  I think they are close to making boosting level at the beginning of an expansion so cheap and easy as to make leveling in the old world irrelevant.

wowchallcrestI was checking out the leader boards they have at wowchallenges.com. Their other challenges are really interesting too.  Along with variable levels of the Ironman (such as Tinman) They have a Pacifist and Blood Thirsty challenges.

Pacifist has gotten a lot of attention from Polygon’s series “World of Peacecraft” staring the gnome rogue Raandyy, and before that the extreme efforts of the pandaren shaman Doubleagent.  In the past, I’ve said that Pacifist should be a separate ‘class’.  I say that because I think it’s the easiest way to make a character that does not have the ability to attack.  As a class they could get a low level sprint and some kind of aggro reducing ability.  Lorewise they could be cast as Merchants, leading to them being unfriendly/neutral with the opposing faction.

Blood Thirsty is challenging (all grinding mobs, no quests), but it feels like it’s missing something.  If Blizzard added something akin to Blood Thirsty, I think they would have to amp it up. They could making it starkly the opposite of pacifist and put you are at war with BOTH Alliance and Horde.  Those characters would need to have their own starting zone.  Story wise, they could lump all those characters together, like remnants of the Twilight’s Hammer, or make them unique per race, like Leper Gnomes and Grimtotem Tauren.  Something that puts them on the outside of society story wise.  There are certain places that tweaks would need to be made so that these characters could get around the world, like up to Northrend.

The biggest challenge I see with making these philosophically, is that they can not join groups or guilds.  Not being able to party up puts these type of characters at odds with the social nature of the MMO.  That being said, I don’t think anyone would play a challenge mode as their main.  I would love to see some new ways to play baked right in as an option.

WoW Challenges can be found on their website at wowchallenges.com and on Twitter: @WoWChallenges

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Gnomes with Class: The Mission

Enter, Gelbin Mekkatorque

Mekkatorque: “Greetings everyone!  I’ve called you all hear today to apply gnomish ingenuity to a problem.  I’ve received information regarding an invasion of Azeroth by the Burning Legion.  We need to approach this problem from every possible angle.  I’ve called you all here today because you are unique among gnomes.  Each of you has been studying an area that gnomes traditionally eschew.  We need to get gnomes in to these areas of study.  We will be better off as a people with more diversification and specialization, AND we can offer our services and perspectives to those that already practice these arts bringing them new innovations.

Comic1.2.1

Your task, should you chose to accept it. Firstly, train a group of recruits in the techniques you’ve mastered.  Secondly, develop a new technique or modus operandi to bring back to the communities you have been studying and demonstrate to those communities the benefit that only gnomes can bring.

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((Considering doing a comic about 3 gnomes, each assigned to bring a new class in to the skill set of gnomes, and their comedic set-backs.))

Gnome Paladins!

Gnome Paladins would be cool.  We’ve been in the Alliance sense paladins were ‘invented’.  Gnomes have priests, and are very strong in our convictions.  Just because you want to understand how something works doesn’t mean you don’t believe it.

The only argument against gnomes having paladins went away when gnomes got priests.  It would have made sense to add Gnome Paladins during Cataclysm, that is when they added these sweet gnome paladin items.

Vagaries of Time and Timepiece of the Bronze Flight

GnomePaladin

I hear a lot pf players ask for Gnome Paladins, but was surprised when I did a poll that overwhelmingly Gnomes wanted Hunters.   I hear people ask for Gnome Druids too, but that usually is just a set-up for a joke about what the forms would be.

Note: *I was going to write this post the day after my Gnome Hunters post, but then they literally announced Gnome Hunters that day, so it felt ungrateful to ask for another class right out of the gate.

Race Class combos in Warcraft

Any race can be any class in World of Warcraft.  That is, there is no ‘physical’ limitation that prevents any race from being any class.  Forsaken can wield the light, and Blood Elves can call nature magic. (Both of which we see NPCs do) There is nothing stopping an individual of any race from being any class.

That being said, I do acknowledged that players are not individuals, we are the masses.  The race/class combos that exist represent what is common for those groups culturally.  You can’t play a dwarf druid for the same reason you can’t play a dwarf that shaves his beard off.  It’s not a part of Ironforge’s culture to be druids or shave.

Now, lets be honest, some of the race/class restrictions don’t make sense.  Limiting hunters and rogues doesn’t make any more sense that limiting warriors.  I don’t personally understand why any race would have ever been restricted from those choices.  With Legion, it looks like hunter will now be available to everyone.  Rogue should too.  There are several Tauren pirates out there.  Tauren pride themselves on being hunters, and being stealthy is an important part of hunting.  We’ve also seen Draenei in SI:7 and a race that has been on the run and in hiding for ~25,000 must be good at stealth right?

Each expansion opens up new story opportunities.  Adding new combinations is a great way to show the progression of each culture in game.  The best example of this is when the Wildhammer and Dark Iron dwarves moved in to Ironforge.  It expanded their lore and their game play options.  It would have been nice if more story had been done when monks were added, rather than a Pandaren plopped in to each starting zone.  I just rolled a gnome monk and I feel like the characters has no direction.  Once I hit level ten and was able to be a brewmaster I felt a little better, but honestly, at level 10 what does my gnome know about being a mistweaver, or a windwalker?  I only talked to Xi, Friend of the Small once, and all she said was “Go talk to Mekkatorque.”

Race is little more than an aesthetic choice.  I personally would like it if Blizzard removed the race class restrictions, but I would want to see them do it in a way that is interesting lore wise.

RaceClassCombos

What should be the difference between a spec and a talent?

It seems like there are some talents that make a spec so much different from other choices that they are possibly a bigger deal than the spec you choose. Gladiator stance changes Protection from tank to DPS, but Arms and Fury are always melee DPS.  It makes it seem like “Do I play Protection with or without Gladiator Stance” is a bigger choice than.  “Do I DPS as Arms or Fury”

Ideally a talent changes your play-style or rotation some, but how much is too much?

How much is too little change to justify different specs?

It seems like what Blizzard would currently LIKE is for each spec to be a different role for each class (tank/healer/rangeDPS/meleeDPS/Dots), but that the specs have too much history to make those changes now.

Would it be too drastic for example to make ONE melee DPS spec for rogues, and then have what are currently the signature abilities of the 3 current specs as talents, then give rogues a tank and ranged DPS spec?

I don’t think they could make a change that drastic at this point, but I would be interested to see them try.