Sunday, February 12, 2012

Gettin' Ferrous

So I've been curious about the WoW Iron Man Challenge of late, having first heard about it viaPysnister's post and subsequently seeing the official post of approval from Blizz. I know it's already been 'beaten' - apparently the first victor was Ironsally, a warlock on Zangar.

I'm thinking I might give it a crack, because it's not as if having an armload of seasonal events, an84 Prot Warr and an up-and-coming holy/shad priest doesn't give me enough to do (Oh, and I should really get around to playing Skyrim and god knows what else).

Class Selection
Psyn himself posited that a hunter or lock would be the go-to, since having a pet means an extra level of protection, an I'm inclined to agree. For a minute I considered attempting to totally fly in the face of common sense and roll up a warrior (this is the problem with having a pet class, you start trying to use it to fix everything), with the argument that a Fury spec would be able to spam Bloodlust and Victory Rush for an unstoppable instream of HP.. but the I remembered that Iron Man Mode means no spec, which means not only no Bloodlust, but Dual Wield doesn't even unlock.

So back to class choice. I'm trying to think outside the box, but when it comes to pet classes, there isn't much left in terms of options. Frost Mage is out (speccing for pet required), same with Unholy DK (again, speccing required, also, no DKs in IMM). So here we are again at this Hunter vs Warlock juncture. Personally I think I'd go Hunter because a) I've had more experience with the class, and b) the focus pool mechanic seems to be more reliable than mana. Sure, locks are excellent at resource regen through various talents, but without +stat gear to buff that Int count, it's going to be a long hard road.

Faction/Race Selection
Psyn's sage advice recommended Troll for this, and I can definitely understand why. There are some quite reasonable perks that would be useful for the task. However, I'm not in a Troll mood right now. I've actually been committed Alliance for a while now, but have always appreciated both factions and art styles - so I think I'll keep it Horde just for some variety. So, no Trolls, but within Horde.

I'm actually leaning towards Undead. Why? I'm not really sure. The perks are.. varied.

Cannibalize - probably the best of the bunch. Munch humanoid corpses for HP. 2min CD means that it's got limited use, but since all I'll have is bandages otherwise, anything helps, right?
Shadow Resistance - not useless, but of negligible benefit.
Underwater Breathing - not useless either, but still of questionable value. I guess it might save me from an embarrassing death if I'm forced to AFK unexpectedly, plus I'll likely spend more time underwater if I'm questing to 85 than if I ran dungeons/PvPed.
Will of the Forsaken - long considered a gimped PvP trink, this will cut a charm, sleep or fear effect. I'm not anticipating a lot of use out of this, but I might stick it in the corner of my bar just to have on more panic button.

I suppose that I should also consider the other races' racials.
Tauren actually has merit, despite Cultivation being 100% useless (no professions in IMM), but Endurance being a helpful HP buff, Nature Resistance being perhaps marginally more helpful than the Shadow variant, and War Stomp being a handy way to get some distance between you and a mob, even with the 0.5sec cast time.

Orc has another interesting mixed bag. Axe Specialisation is mostly useless given a hunter will be dealing death from afar. Blood Fury is a nice way to apply some burst in a clutch situation. Command could pay off in a big way, since having a pet to tank for you will always benefit from more damage, and thus more threat. Hardiness is probably negligible though, but you never know.

Goblins are probably less convincing. Alch boost is pointless, Vendor discounts are redundant since I anticipate having gold out the wazoo (thanks to having to vendor basically everything I find, and questing all day err day), bank access seems like a wasted racial in this incidence, Rocket Barrage is pointless with a 2min CD although the Rocket Jump is a nice GTFO option, and the haste buff is probably of limited general combat use - and I'm pretty sure pets dont benefit from it.

While researching these I've just gone over the Troll racials again and realised how good they are. They are so good. For this, they are actually seriously good. Beast damage, bow crit, haste CD, root shortening, health regen in combat. I'm not going to go into further detail, but I can see why it's the race of choice. Damn it, now I have to roll Troll.

(Oh, and I didn't forget Blood Elves. I just refuse to play an unfinished class. Blizz still haven't released male character models for them. (PS - their racials really are useless here))

Server Selection
This might be a no-brainer to some, but I've actually thought about it. Because we're doing solo world PvE, being on a PvP realm is asking for trouble. I'm no expert, but getting ganked by some chucklehead twenty levels above me when I'm fragging boars isn't fun even when you're playing normally, so having it happen when you're playing Hardcore mode is going to be a hair-tearing moment. I'm also going to want to minimize lag, which means going for a server close to me as possible - in my instance, that's going to be an Oceanic server. Finally, I'd like it to be a new server, or at least one that I don't have any previous Horde toons on. This is simply to reduce the temptation of getting a 'helping hand' from one of my mothballed alts or guildies with long memories (Like I said, I've been Alliance for a while now).

I've actually gone with Saurfang, for no reason other than it's a qualifying PvE Oceanic and I remember the name. I actually had some Ally toons there once, but I jumped on a free transfer to Dreadmaul and never looked back.

In the gaps whilst researching/writing this, I've actually rolled up. I've decided on a Troll Hunter on Saurfang, and when (if?) he hits level 10 you should in theory be able to see him here.

Yeah, I called him Ferromagnet. Because it's the Iron Man Challenge?
Geddit? Huh? Huh? Geddit? Yeah, I'm hilarious, I know.

Wish me luck!

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