Saturday, February 23, 2013

And the Ironman Challenge Continues...

Well, it's that time again. The time where a new expansion has been out long enough to evoke longer stretches of boredom while playing my mains. Dailies wore out their welcome months ago, raid finder hasn't produced a drop for any of my toons in weeks and one can only do so much pet battling before their brain explodes. So I find myself once again picking up where I left off with the WoW Ironman Challenge last summer.

For anyone new to this blog, last year when things got dull at the end of Cataclysm I decided I'd give the Ironman Challenge a shot. Here is a quick recap of the rules (Full list of rules and current challengers can be seen at

Level from 1-85 using the rules below. (1-90 now that the level cap has been raised.)

Only White or Grey gear. No Heirlooms of any kind.
No transfer of gear, items, or money from any other character (yours or others).
No gear enhancements, including gems, enchanting, and reforging. Class abilities are allowed (eg. Rogue poisons, Shaman imbues).
No specialization, talent points, or glyphs. No pet talent points.
No professions or secondary skills, except for First Aid.
No potions, flasks, or elixir  s except for required quest items.
No food buffs or other external buffs (including buffs from items and other players).
No groups or assistance from other characters, even if not grouped.
No dungeons, raids, battlegrounds, or arenas.
No guilds, except for level 1 guilds created specifically for the Ironman Challenge.
No Refer-A-Friend.
No addons which assist in combat and/or leveling (eg. leveling guides, Ovale).
THE BIG ONE: No deaths. Character death for any reason disqualifies the character

A quick history of my Iron toons (the Ironsteves):

For this challenge I added a little twist of my own in addition to the above rules, and that would be that most of my experience was to come from killing rares. (You can see all of my Ironman related posts by looking under the label WoW Ironman Challenge on this blog.) I made it to level 52 with my first toon Ironsteve, an undead hunter. I died when I accidentally clicked an Alliance flight master (d'oh!). I deleted him and re-rolled two more Ironman toons (Ironsteve the troll druid, and Ironstevo the undead lock). Ironstevo quickly overtook Ironsteve in levels, gaining most of his experience from finding treasure chests once reaching Outland and finished the challenge in early June of last year. You can read the post where I re-caped his journey here: WoW Ironman Challenge Complete!

I haven't touched either toon since then, but I decided that with a new level cap and not much else to do right now it would be a perfect time to dust both of them off!


Greetings! ~From Ironstevo and his trusty meat-shield Belnak
A lot has changed since I've last touched the iron-toons. When I had been participating in this challenge previously talent points had not yet been re-vamped. Ironstevo had a whole wealth of spells and abilities at his disposal (although none of them ever hit hard). Now that most spells become available once you choose a spec post-mop, Ironstevo has been left with the bare-minimum to work with. If you look at the UI below, you can see what Ironstevo has been left with. I pretty much only ever use buttons 1-5 with him now.

Soul Fire used to be Ironstevo's "big hitting" spell pre-mop. Corrupton, Agony, Immolate, Drain Soul...these were Ironstevo's bread and butter. Well now Ironstevo has been left with only one dot, Shadow Bolt and not a whole lot else. Ironstevo's rotation currently looks something like: Curse of the Elements, Corruption, Shadowbolt/Fel Flame/Drain Life (I like to switch up these three spells to keep it interesting) until the target is dead. It's slow going, but the voidwalker does a much better job at holding threat now and deals a fair amount of damage (he hits harder than poor Ironstevo). Ironstevo also noticed he got a lovely new racial ability called Touch of the Grave which deals about 40% of his dps and heals him for a hefty amount when it goes off. Between the new racial and Ironstevo's blue marshmellow shield it makes up for a lot of lost dps.

Another change that is quite nice is Ironstevo's mana pool. Now that mana pools are dependent on level instead of intellect, Ironstevo is sitting at a hot 100k just like the big boys with actual gear at 85! He can now last a heck of a lot longer without needing mana! Ironstevo even dinged level 86 a couple of days ago while doing his Love is in the Air dailies and was pleased to receive another 20k to that mana pool, and an extra 18k hp. 18k may not sound like a lot, but for an ironman toon it's a pretty big spike!

Ironstevo enjoying some holiday quest experience
Ironstevo received most of his experience from 85 - 86 by continuing to find treasure chests throughout Northrend. This amounted to most of his experience. Holiday quests, the daily quests A Way to His Heart... and Tending the Garden (LOVE this daily), and occasional Argent Tourney dailies accounted for the rest of his experience. The amount of xp chests give him only went down slightly when he dinged, so I have a feeling most of his experience will be coming from the same place at least until level 87. After that I've got literally everything available for Cataclysm content, as I've done no Cataclysm questing on him at all. Ultimately whatever I decide to do though, I'll be taking it slow n' steady.


Ironsteve the druid is still around (and alive) as well. He's been following Ironstevo's footsteps using rares and treasure chests to get to where he is now. That is actually ALL he does for xp besides the occasional holiday quest. He's been spending a lot of time killing the various mobs in Swamp of Sorrows and Blasted Lands each day.

Ironsteve finds a treasure chest in Swamp of Sorrows
Ironsteve was also pleasantly surprised when he dinged level 60 to learn that he could continue killing rares for only slighty less xp than he was earning at 59. Last year when Ironstevo hit level 60 the mobs all began to give only 10% of the amount of xp they gave before hitting 60. I am fairly confident that with this welcome change Ironsteve will be at least level 62 or 63 before hitting Outland (assuming he is still alive then).

Ironsteve dinging the big 60 right in Garrosh's face!
The iron druid has changed quite a bit just as Ironstevo has, but for the most part I am really liking the changes. Everything gets killed in kitty form. I generally start out a fight with a wrath, moonfire, rejuv then hop into kitty form where I rake, mangle until 5 combo points and then ferocious bite (popping out of kitty to rejuv when needed). Each tick of rejuvenation is worth about 25% of Ironsteve's health, it's an honest to kittens lifesaver. <3

Anywho, that's where my Ironman toons stand at the moment. Stay tuned for updates, and for anyone who has never tried this challenge before I highly recommend it - it's a lot of fun! ^-^

Monday, February 18, 2013

Burning Steppes Rares Spawns - Including Tamable 5.1 Rares

When patch 5.1 hit the number of rares in Burning Steppes doubled. Deathmaw used to be the only tamable rare in this zone, but with the addition of nine new beasts there are now ten interesting rare pets here to choose from! There are even a couple with completely unique looks.

Sunwing - Tamed
Tamable Rares:

The most notable one is probably Sunwing, the absolutely gorgeous black dragonhawk (pictured on the right). Before patch 5.1 Sagan was the only dragonhawk in game with this beautiful coloration. Being the pet of an npc however, he was not tamable. Well now with a little bit of patience (or luck) this pretty pet can be yours. He spawns in the far southwestern part of the zone, between the mountains west of Flamestar Post. You'll know your in the right area when you see a bunch of scorpids and worgs wandering around. Now unfortunately with CRZ and this being a fairly busy questing location, some camping may be necessary to find this guy alive. When he does spawn in he will be flying high above the ground - not so high though that your tame beast won't reach.

Chiaa, the black and yellow spiked wind serpent, also has a totally unique look. You can find him in the mountains just north of Blackrock Stronghold. He is extremely easy to spot when hes up not just because of his color, but because he's fairly large as well (see size comparison in the screenshot at the end of this post).

Although not unique, Favored of Isiset (the black and white two-headed vulture) is a fairly rare skin in that it only shares this look with one other mob in the game. That mob is Trachela, a quest npc required for the quest Torgos! in Terokkar Forest.

Heading to Molten Core to tame yourself a red corehound? Check to see if Magmagan is up first. He is now the lowest level tamable red corehound, and you can find him wandering just outside Blackrock Mountain near the lava behind Blackrock Stronghold. (Do note, he is exotic and requires beast mastery spec to tame.)

Ornat, the red nether ray, is one of only two nether rays with this look that can be tamed before encountering the Netherskate nether rays in Shadowmoon Valley. The only other tamable nether ray of this color is Blackbog the Fang (also a rare), you can find him in Felwood.

There are also two neat-looking ravagers, a dark green one (Venomspine) and red one (Azelisk). Each of these are colors that won't be common until reaching Hellfire Peninsula.

Deathmaw, the long-time tamable rare in this zone, used to have a unique look prior to patch 5.1. He now shares the same model and coloration with another rare worg named Grovepaw in Felwood. Deathmaw has long been known for his barking and making other random worg-type sounds when clicking on him. He also matches perfectly with one of the colors that the Worg Pup can summon in as.

Non-Tamable Rares:

Hmmm, not going to spend too much time on these guys. So here's the down low - Volchan is a rare elite, most people probably won't notice the difference, but my ironman toon sure did. The dude nearly killed him, so he does indeed seem to hit a little harder than a normal rare. Terrorspark is flippin' huge for a grell, and he no longer spawns in the trenches - you can find him just outside the trenches now. Hahk'Zor can be found all the way at the end of the Firegut Furnace (the lowest and most western cave entrance will get you there). Also, his name makes me lol.

Click map to Enlarge
I have screenshots below of each of these rares in order by level. The ones with the stars in the bottom left hand corner are the new tamable rares added in patch 5.1. The colors of the stars correspond to where they can be found on the map above.

VolchanAzeliskCatal & Deathmaw
Favored of IsisetGorgon'ochOrnat & Sunwing
Thauris BalgarrVenomspineGruklashHematos & Jaxx the Rabid
MagmaganTerrorsparkChiaaHahk'Zor & Malfunctioning Reaver
All of these rares can be added to NPCScan. You can simply cut and paste these macros in game to add all of them automatically:

"Whoa, Nelly! Your BIG!"
/npcscan add 10119 Volchan
/npcscan add 50725 Azelisk
/npcscan add 50807 Catal
/npcscan add 10077 Deathmaw
/npcscan add 50810 Favored of Isiset
/npcscan add 9604 Gorgon'och
/npcscan add 50361 Ornat
/npcscan add 50357 Sunwing

/npcscan add 8978 Thauris Balgarr
/npcscan add 50730 Venomspine
/npcscan add 8979 Gruklash
/npcscan add 8976 Hematos
/npcscan add 50855 Jaxx the Rabid
/npcscan add 50842 Magmagan
/npcscan add 10078 Terrorspark
/npcscan add 50792 Chiaa

/npcscan add 9602 Hahk'Zor
/npcscan add 8981 Malfunctioning Reaver

Friday, February 15, 2013

Searing Gorge - Tamable Rares added in 5.1

Many zones in Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms were given some rare love when patch 5.1 hit, Searing Gorge was one of them with seven new additions. Each of these new rares are beasts, and are therefore tamable. There are now fourteen rares total in this zone. You can see the other seven in this post: Searing Gorge Rare Spawns.

The only one of these beasts that requires beast mastery spec to tame is Slavermaw the devilsaur. Although he is only level 48, that still means he cannot be tamed until at least level 69. Slavermaw can be found patrolling in the mountains among a bunch of searing lava spiders north of The Cauldron. When he is up he is quite easy to spot because he's rather large. Slavermaw also shares the same model and color as King Mosh (the devilsaur in my header image).

Slavermaw isn't the only large and in charge rare addition to this zone, Hogzilla (oh how appropriately named) is also enormous. He spawns in front of the blocked off cave entrance in the far southwest end of the zone. During the Lunar Festival Elder Ironband stands right in front of where Hogzilla spawns. In the screenshot on the right (where Hogzilla is about to eat the poor elder) you can see a nice size comparison of the two. Hogzilla is the only tamable rare with this look outside of Razorfen Kraul.

Crystalback, the blue and white felboar, is also a pretty neat addition to the zone. This boar shares the same look as the Shard-Hide Boars on Ogri'la plateau in Blade's Edge Mountains. That means hunters can now have a pet with this look over 20 levels earlier.

Rexxus, the black mastiff, is the only dog with this look that can be tamed by non-worgen hunters before encountering the Onslaught Bloodhounds in Dragonblight. So like Crystalback, this look can be tamed over 20 levels earlier as well.

Click map to Enlarge
Here are some screenshots of each of these rares in order by level. (Click on pictures to enlarge them.)

HogzillaRexxusScorpoxx & Slavermaw
AvisCrystalback & Snips
Each of these rares can be added to NPCScan. You can simply cut and paste this macro in game to add all of them automatically:

/npcscan add 50946 Hogzilla
/npcscan add 51048 Rexxus
/npcscan add 51002 Scorpoxx
/npcscan add 50846 Slavermaw
/npcscan add 50876 Avis
/npcscan add 50948 Crystalback
/npcscan add 51010 Snips

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Silverpine Forest Rare Spawns - Including Tamable 5.1 Rares

When patch 5.1 hit, Silverpine Forest saw the addition of five new tamable rare beasts. There are now fifteen rares total in this zone and seven of them can be tamed by hunters. Low level undead hunters, this means you have a lot of choices now for interesting rare pets when leveling through here!

Tamable Rares:

Finn's Gambit, the armored black boar, is the lowest level tamable boar with this look. The next boars with the same skin that you can find are in Razorfen Kraul. Finn's Gambit stands on the hillside west of the murloc village eyeing some mushrooms when hes up.

The Lost Gilnean Wardog (pictured on the right) is the lowest level tamable rare with this look for non-worgen characters before finding the level 40 Blighthounds in Eastern Plaguelands. You can find the Lost Gilnean Wardog running very quickly in a circle around some abandonded campsites just north of the Deep Elem Mine.

Gnath, the blue worm, is the only worm that can be found in this color outside of Maraudon. (Please note - Gnath is an exotic beast, and therefore can only be tamed by beast mastery spec hunters.)

Gorefang, the light grey worg, is the first wolf with this look that low-level horde toons will encounter before stumbling upon many level 30+ that look just like him in the Hinterlands. As of patch 5.1 Gorefang also seems to have at least one additional spawn point. I have been finding him repeatedly in Valgan's Field, just east of the farm patrolling among the dark grey worgs and ferocious grizzly bears.

Non-Tamable Rares:

It would definitely be a good idea for people leveling through this zone to keep an eye out for these rares no matter what class your playing. They are on short respawn timers (about 30 minutes), and when killed they grant an incredible amount of experience.

There are a couple of notable ones as well that I think are worth a mention. Fenwick Thatros, previously a quest mob for the rogue class quest Fenwick Thatros, has since retired and can be found fishing on the dock next to the vendor Killian Sanatha. He is not hostile to members of either faction, and when attacked he cries out "All I wanted was a little peace and quiet!" -poor guy

If your questing along and all of the sudden A Chill Runs Up Your Spine it seems your very close to my favorite rare in the zone, the Lost Son of Arugal. Anyone that leveled through Silverpine pre-cata surely must remember the elite, unforgiving, way-higher level than he had any right to be - Son of Arugal roaming the land eating those unfortunate enough to cross his path. Well, the Lost Son of Arugal is not elite and his level has dropped a bit, but he has thankfully maintained the original badass, non-fluffy kitten style worgen look. The kind that I SO wanted to play when I found out that they were becoming a playable race. Ah well. You can find this guy patrolling through pretty much the entire zone. I marked his path with a grey dotted line on the map below.

Click map to Enlarge
I have screenshots below of each of these rares in order by level. The ones with the stars in the bottom left hand corner are the new tamable rares added in patch 5.1. The colors of the stars correspond to where they can be found on the map above.

Gorefang, Kree, Nightlash & Gnath
Krethis the Shadowstalker, Bolgaff <The Mad Hunter>, Berard the Moon-Crazed & Lost Gilnean Wardog
Fenwick Thatros, Aquarius the Unchained, Finn's Gambit & Corpsefeeder
Effritus, Lost Son of Arugal & Thule Ravenclaw
All of these rares can be added to NPCScan. You can simply cut and paste these macros in game to add all of them automatically:
"Get down here you!"

/npcscan add 12431 Gorefang
/npcscan add 50330 Kree
/npcscan add 46981 Nighlash
/npcscan add 51026 Gnath
/npcscan add 12433 Krethis the Shadowspinner
/npcscan add 47003 Bolgaff
/npcscan add 46992 Berard the Moon-Crazed

/npcscan add 51037 Lost Gilnean Wardog
/npcscan add 47008 Fenwick Thatros
/npcscan add 47009 Aquarius the Unbound
/npcscan add 50949 Finn's Gambit
/npcscan add 50814 Corpsefeeder
/npcscan add 47012 Effritus

/npcscan add 47015 Lost Son of Arugal
/npcscan add 47023 Thule Ravenclaw

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Arathi Highlands - Tamable Rares added in 5.1

When patch 5.1 hit, Arathi Highlands saw the addition of nine new rare beasts. This ups the total number of rares in the zone to a whopping nineteen. You can see the other ten non-tamable rares in this post: Arathi Highlands Rare Spawns.

Every one of these rares can be tamed by hunters in any spec except for the shale spider Glint. Glint is one of only three tamable shale spiders that can be tamed early on before hitting Deepholm. So Beast Mastery spec hunters - that means you can have a shale spider right at level 69.

None of these rares are unique, but as you can see in the screenshots below there are some pretty nice looking ones. I love the coloration on Boros the wasp. This is the lowest level wasp you'll find with this particular look. Phalanax, the black and white beetle, also has a pretty rare skin. You can find him inside the ogre cave in the southern end of the zone.

Click map to Enlarge
Here are some screenshots of each of these rares in order by level. (Click on pictures to enlarge them.)

Snuffles, Phalanax & Saurix
Ripwing, Swee & Boros
Zorn, Cackle & Glint
Each of these rares can be added to NPCScan. You can simply cut and paste this macro in game to add all of them automatically:

/npcscan add 51040 Snuffles
/npcscan add 51063 Phalanax
/npcscan add 50865 Saurix
/npcscan add 50804 Ripwing
/npcscan add 50940 Swee
/npcscan add 50891 Boros
/npcscan add 50770 Zorn
/npcscan add 50337 Cackle
/npcscan add 51067 Glint

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Silithus Rare Spawns - Including Tamable 5.1 Rares

Silithus is a pet collector's dream for hunters. With the addition of ten new tamable beasts to this zone in patch 5.1 there are now sixteen tamable rares, and nineteen rares total in Silithus. Five of these new rares have totally unique looks too!

One of the most notable additions is Acroniss (pictured on the right), a beautiful pink and red arcane wyrm. You can find him in Twilight's Run (his exact location is marked with a red star on the map below). He spawns in the very back of the cave, right where the summoning circle is and he does not patrol.
Acroniss - Tamed

There are also three new damaged silithid "brain" bugs; a pink one (Qem), blue one (Manax) and an orange one (Qu'rik). These bugs have a really neat glow animation with tiny bugs flying over their damaged heads - and they keep the look when tamed. All three can be found underground. Qem and Qu'rik you will find in Hive'Ashi, and Manax can be found in Hive'Regal. NPCScan will pick them up above ground, and having a raid target icon on them will prove very helpful in pinpointing their exact locations. (Please note that silithids are an exotic family, so you will need to be in beast mastery spec to tame them.)

The final unique pet that was added to this zone is Karapax, a very colorful ravager (orange, red, pink & purple). He spawns above ground between the termite mounds northeast of Hive'Ashi. He is not exotic and can therefore be tamed by hunters in any spec.

Although not new to the zone, there are two more unique pets that can be found flying around. Those are the wasps Rex Ashil and Zora. Rex Ashil flies in and out of the tunnels around Hive'Ashi, and Zora has multiple spawn points underground at Hive'Zora.

The remaining added rares are not unique, but there are still some really neat looking ones. Losaj and Bornix the Burrower share the same models and color as Vem and Lord Kri respectively. Toxx, the green armored scorpid shares the same look as the green version of Madexx in Uldum.

Click map to Enlarge
I have screenshots below of each of these rares in order by level. The ones with the stars in the bottom left hand corner are the new tamable rares added in patch 5.1. The colors of the stars correspond to where they can be found on the map above.

Acroniss, Ffexk the Dunestalker, Huricanian, Zora & Gretheer
Grubthor, Karapax, Krellack, Lapress & Rex Ashil
Setis, Toxx, Twilight Lord Everun, Manax & Qem
Losaj, Qu'rik, Bornix the Burrower & Tix
All of these rares can be added to NPCScan. You can simply cut and paste these macros in game to add all of them automatically:

/npcscan add 50737 Acroniss
Qu'rik - Tamed
/npcscan add 50897 Ffexk the Dunestalker
/npcscan add 14478 Huricanian
/npcscan add 14474 Zora
/npcscan add 14472 Gretheer
/npcscan add 14477 Grubthor
/npcscan add 50370 Karapax
/npcscan add 14476 Krellack

/npcscan add 14473 Lapress
/npcscan add 14475 Rex Ashil
/npcscan add 14471 Setis
/npcscan add 51004 Toxx
/npcscan add 14479 Twilight Lord Everun
/npcscan add 50743 Manax
/npcscan add 50742 Qem
/npcscan add 50745 Losaj

/npcscan add 50744 Qu'rik
/npcscan add 50746 Bornix the Burrower
/npcscan add 50747 Tix

Oh, and if you run across one of the more notable tamable beasts such as Acroniss or one of the brain bugs - please, for the love of puppies DON'T kill them. People wait for hours for some of these lovely pets.