Making Our Own Hardmodes

Fear Da Bears
Fear Da Bears!

Murphy’s Law seems rather bent on gnawing at the underpinnings of whoever’s turn it is to suggest the Blog Azeroth Shared Topic. Thus my own post to my own Shared Topic is a few days late. *mutter* (Technically it runs from April 8-14th, so I’m still on time!)

Anywho, onwards!

I’ve seen a lot of challenges making the rounds lately, from the more traditional ‘you die, you’re out’ to the more complex ‘no spending money on anything’. Leveling only through crafting looks fun, leveling without any gear looks impossible, and making a bazillion gold on the auction house is something I really need to try someday. *ponders*

Anywho, why do you think these sorts of bring-your-own-hardmode are becoming more popular? Is it because the normal game as gotten too easy? Or repetitive? Or that it’s not challenging in the right sort of ways? Could Blizzard incorporate any of these methods of madness into the game itself or it there an inherent appeal to ‘house rules’ versions of the game?

Nothing’s Impossible!

The early leveling stages have gotten significantly easier since WoW was first released. Which is to be expected, considering the level cap has been steadily rising and WoW loves to stick new content at end game—which new players then have to reach.

But for those of us who have been playing for a while, starting a new alt has gone from somewhat challenging to a less than taxing jaunt. (I want my red mobs back in the starter areas! *mutter*)

So we start looking for ways to make those levels a bit more entertaining, since there’s no fast-forward button currently in game.

Personally I picked up dual-boxing because it made things harder. Figuring out how to control two characters effectively probably isn’t the first thing most folks think of when they hit the ‘how do I make this less boring’ wall, but it works for me! 🙂

Current Home-crafted Hardmodes

View Never Changes
View Never Changes

I’m not currently participating in any, but here are all the hardmodes I know about—please let me know if I’m missing any! (I think I might start a bank toon just to level it through nothing but dailies. *ponders*)

Ironman – The insane task of getting a toon to 85 without dying. Ever. No exceptions, no second chances, if you die you start over. Add on other restrictions, like only using white or gray gear and you have something nearly impossible to pull off. Amusingly this would probably go well with the Pacifist Leveling below, but I’m much too paranoid to pull this off myself.

Miser Leveling – Leveling to 85 without spending any money. Even more limiting than Ironman, you can’t buy talents, gear, consumables, anything—but it can be done.

Naked Leveling – You can do everything else normally, but you cannot wear any gear. At all.

Pacifist Leveling – Professions, exploration, and the few quests that require no killing. Since those quests are few and far between (even cooking and fishing dailies require killing sometimes), there’s a lot of plants, rocks, and archeology in your future. I’m actually tempted to try this, but it would probably take me years.

2012 in 2012 – this is a leveling speed competition, where participants are trying to hit a combined 2012 levels this year. It they were starting from scratch it means grinding a little under six levels a day, or just under 39 hours every weekend. Without a break. Which is why they let folks count the toons they already have… Even with my stable of alts there’s no way I could pull this off, but I’m more than happy to cheer from the sidelines.

Hitting the Gold Cap – Just getting there is a challenge, but folks have added to it with requirements like starting with no money, using no professions, or other tweaks. Personally I’d be impressed no matter how they did it, assuming they weren’t using gold sellers!

Class Specific Hardmodes – Hunters leveling with no pets, Feral/Balance Druids leveling with no forms, Rouges leveling without stealth or poisons, Leveling without talents, etc. Basically this is removing the skills or abilities that make each class unique and trying to play without them. To me this takes all the fun out of the game.

Wining World of Warcraft – Completing 100% of the possible achievements. This is more time and energy that I’m willing to put into pixels, but I’m sure someone else has pulled it off since then.

Soloing Old Content – Depending on the class and the content this can certainly be considered a hardmode. Watching the one video of a rogue soloing Patchwerk (took him five hours!) was nothing short of amazing!

Built-in Headaches

I think the easiest way for Blizzard to make things hard again would be to automatically bump us down to the level of the mobs we are fighting. Sort of like City of Hero’s ability to Sidekick up and Exemplar down to match the levels of other folks in a party. That would make old content fun again without requiring folks to self-handicap.

Limiting out abilities would also be fun, such as capping stat levels or turning off higher level talents… The older fights were built with a certain gear level in mind and in theory it would be easy to bring us back down to that.

Or, you know, just required us to be under a certain iLevel to play… *ponders*

Stoic Troll is Stoic

Elsewhere on the Internets

dragonray of Azerothian Life posted here hasn’t done any home-built hardmodes yet, and is having fun just leveling alts in new classes.

Shoryl of Tiny Wow Guild posted here and is currently doing the Ironman challenge (brave soul!) and is a fellow bank-alt-daily-leveling-idea-pondering-person. She’s also set a goal of getting each profession maxed on a toon, which is a pretty nifty idea—too bad my alts are split across servers and factions. *sighs*

Martha Bechtel

My name is Martha Bechtel and I write fantasy and science fiction stories, paint small model horses silly colors, cast resin and plaster magnets, code random code (and Wordpress plugins)... Come on in and join in the fun!

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. JD Kenada

    I hit the gold cap once, prior to Cata. That’s when it was 214k. Now, I don’t think I could do it because I don’t try as hard. Having said that, the new Jewelcrafting mounts (if they go live) definitely have me starting to build up the funds.

    Thanks for linking the 2012! You know, the last thing I expected was for my blog to take off like it did. It seems to have drastically impeded my progress. I’m still ahead of the game, but it could make for a difficult second half of the year at this rate.

    1. Martha Bechtel

      I’m totally in awe of everyone doing to 2012 in 2012—I can’t imagine having that many levels in five years, let alone one! 😉

      Those new mounts are drool-worthy, but I don’t know if I could bring myself to sacrifice four of them for just one. Even if they do form Voltron. *pats the Blue Lion fondly*

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