Tag Archives: The WoW Ironman Challenge

Sometimes You Meet a Player in WoW, who is a Complete Enigma

Screenshot by Jayrei (via Wowhead.com)

Horde druid travel form, stag version. Screenshot by Jayrei (via Wowhead.com)

Sometimes you meet a player in WoW, who is a complete enigma – I met one such player a few days ago.

Here’s the story of the stag-druid.

Noelani and I were questing in Krasarang Wilds in this area where you have to release Alliance slaves, kill a number of enemies and pick up relics on the ground – a classic combination of quest types.

A druid appears in stag form, he is standing slightly behind us watching while we kill several mogu. We wonder if he is waiting for us to clear the area so he can release the Horde slaves. A little cheeky really, so we sit down and pretend to eat.

The stag-druid then wiggles around on the spot – also known as key-turning. After a minute of idling, he finally decides to attack an enemy and thus he proceeds to walk right up to it and spam wrath – in his natural tauren form.

Odd.

We also see him auto-attacking in bear form and melee hitting with his staff. Stag-druid practically has no modus operandi and seems to prefer standing around in stag form in between combat. After he has killed a few mobs slooowly in these multitude of ways, he gets attacked while again observing us as a stag. He wiggles and wiggles, but ends up dying. We then help him kill a couple of mogu a few times, but he never appears to be looting anything nor actually progressing on his quests.

It becomes clear this person is not waiting specifically for us to clear the area, in fact we have no clue what he is doing. We find him later in Valley of the Four Winds brutally beating a fox to death with the staff again. I know it was a Nesingwary quest, but still.

Valley of Four Winds by Ner1 (via Wowhead.com)

Valley of the Four Winds by Ner1 (via Wowhead.com)

Maybe stag-druid had gained some confidence at this point, because we then see him fighting four mushan beasts at the same time. Stag-druid struggles and of course one of those stealthy foxes comes out and attacks him. Maybe it was karmic, maybe it was just bad luck or maybe stag-druid has always been a tree-hugger and not a killer beast!

Clearly overwhelmed, he backs closer and closer to the edge of the lake nearby and falls down the hill and dies on the bank on top of a turtle. We don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Again stag-druid appears to be a mystery – he was popping cooldowns so he couldn’t be completely clueless. He also used bear form, which is the logical thing to do in this situation, but he would also go out of it to cast wrath and stick fight…

Noelani logs a Horde character and travels to his location, entering a scene where stag-druid is actually about to die again. Noelani tries to strike up a conversation with the intention of offering assistance, but stag-druid stops replying after thanking Noelani for saving him.

We take a look at his armory. It shows him as being mono specced resto and geared accordingly (no respecs), but having only done 15 dungeon ever (never raided). He likes pet battles and has maxed professions. He has waved eight times, hugged twice, but never cheered or laughed – aw! The armory also reveals he has his own guild with 35 members, eight of which are his own, including two level 90 dual-specced characters, which look straight-forward and conventional, though not impeccable.

It’s strange seeing how the armory can be used as a tool for drawing out a whole player-profile. Thinking about this, I’ve often felt like the armory was able to tell people a lot of things about me, that I actually didn’t think were any of their business. Anyways…

It was in the middle of the night on a Saturday, so it could be anyone. I like to imagine this extremely committed, yet young and inexperienced player. Someone who doesn’t have their own account, but they know their relative’s password and they snuck out of bed after everyone was asleep, turned on the computer and beat a fox to death with a stick!

In a way, I admire it. Even though playing is so hard, every mob is a challenge, dying over and over, the guy kept going – like an ironman!

Equal Amounts of Stubbornness and Desperation

Since Elford had reached exalted status with Stormwind and had become a free man, he decided to go back to his old profession – business. Last time he had been to Booty Bay, he could tell his void had been filled, everyone only had errands for him, no one offered him back into the inner circles. The business was tough, everyone wanted to rise above the rest and Elford had lost his old position as an executive, so he had to be clever about building up a new network of partners. However, this was not as easy as he thought it would be.

What happened next was purely driven by equal amounts of stubbornness and desperation. He needed to get back on track!

Duskwood was close nearby so he traveled there to try and make connections to potential business partners.

Even though Elford thought gnomes would help gnomes, they couldn’t offer him anything.

Trying to network with humans was often overly bureaucratic and it was difficult getting further than the front desk.

Even his old friend Carl Goodup, who was working at the Darkmoon Faire as a balloon salesman, only had old grudges from when Elford had invested in a few highrise buildings right around Carl’s small house.

There was no way Carl would forgive that old blunder.

He even went to Goldshire to see if anyone sane was in town.

Even thought his personal story made for excellent entertainment, these people spent more time drinking and fooling around than talking serious business.

He then figured he could travel across the Great Sea to Gadgetzan. This was initially a good idea, but even though Stormwind might have forgiven his hiccup of trading with Bilgewater, Gadgetzan hadn’t.

Here he was the laughing stock, an example of everything you shouldn’t do, and yet Elford knew none of these people had high ethics about cross faction trading, to them it was all a matter of not getting caught.

He did everything he could to help out in Tanaris, but maybe what he really needed to was to wait for some other goon to mess up and become the new comedy gag of the month.

And so he knew what his next move would be…

- From the beginning: Elford the (former) Executive and the Ironman Challenge

The WoW Ironman Challenge – Level 40 Status

I know the surge of the Ironman Challenge has not been new and exciting for a long time, yet I am still happily playing my ironman character Elford. He’s a side project really, sometimes I get bored of him, sometimes I log in and thoroughly enjoy playing him, sometimes I just don’t have much time to play WoW, so he doesn’t move forward very fast.

On Difficulty

Elford has reached level 40, however the secret is that it happened months ago and that I am far behind portraying his story.

He is currently lvl 49, but I am holding off with lvl 50 until I have caught up here.

When reading the status post at lvl 30, I sound like I am not intending to level him much further and that I don’t see him going into Outland.

But these 10 levels changed a lot. While getting out of Stranglethorn and into the thirties, the difficulty somehow went down into comfortable – not easy, but comfortably difficult. I still go to zones 6-8 levels below Elford’s level, mobs are green, so that is fine. The only issues I may have is evaluating how hard a quest-boss or rare elite will be. They vary a lot in strength, but I have not had issues to the degree of Chief Gaulus (in STV) and Grand Magus Doane (in Redridge) again.

When Elford ran into Hagg Taurenbane, a rare in Southern Barrens, I had to try my luck. It’s the thing with rares, you just have to try. Both Taurenbane and Elford were the same level, but his hp was 3 times higher – facts that made me expect certain death.

To my surprise, I managed to get him! I was so proud and so was Elford.

Of course if you read on Wowhead, you’ll learn that lots of people solo him at 23.

Elford has since killed several rare elites, so difficulty is now scaling better, he will surely go to Outland, although I suspect he might have to be lvl 65 or so to tackle it.

On Sub-Goals

Because I didn’t see Elford going far, I had made the sub-goal of reaching exalted with Stormwind, which was also tied into Elford’s storyline.

Finding a good sub-goal that has a shorter horizon than lvl 85 worked well to keep my motivation going, especially when fx lvl 40 is no longer a milestone the way it used to be. Now you don’t get any fancy new spells, you don’t get riding at that level anymore (’cause you got that at 20 instead), nothing happens! Level 50 does promise me the spell Mirrior Image, which both Elford (and especially I) will be looking forward to. But that’s why reaching exalted with Stormwind was really nice timing.

However, it also posed a challenge in the narrative. Why would Elford keep leveling as a mage, now that the initial reason no longer exists? He will need to have along thought about what he wants for the future and where his life is heading. Finding a new sub-goal would also be a good idea.

- Next episode: Equal Amounts of Stubbornness and Desperation
– From the beginning: Elford the (former) Executive and the Ironman Challenge