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Ah the classic Ironman Challenge.
IMO, since this challenge was invented during the Vanilla age of WoW, the changes that have been made to the hunter class/pet classes make that question a pretty tough call.
If it were me, I would say yes choose a spec for them. However, a tanking spec should be out of the question. The base armor attributes of your pet would flaw the purpose of the challenge itself since your actual tank will start off with a much lower armor count. Plus, Hunter pets were never great tanks back then as they can be currently.
I would say the Cunning Spec would be best till reaching 80 content. Less damage output from the pet seems the most appropriate.
Good luck on your challenge! :)
The short answer is, "no," but let me explain some things first.
The “original” IMC was not a competition against others, a race to cap, nor a way to “prove superiority” of any faction, race, class or combination. The underlying “principle” was (and supposedly remains), “Do you have the skill to take a fresh toon from 1 to level cap in an extremely support deprived environment?”
It contained(s) a number of “squishy” rules which are unverifiable and subject to enormous abuse. That’s why it was (and technically still is) run on an “Honor System”, leaving it to each participant whether they will adhere to the “spirit” of the challenge (by adhering to the “rules” voluntarily) rather than to any “rules-lawyered” letter of the law. Any player honestly feeling they haven't violated the “spirit” of their own self-challenge was/is free to follow or ignore the "rules" as they saw fit, as “cheating” would only be cheating themselves. One would have to read several fully capped threads to really understand the genesis and evolution of the Challenge from inception to its current state.
One of the earliest "rules" of the Challenge (meaning one of those support deprivations) that the large majority of participants agreed on was that no class spec or talent points could be used either for the character or any "pets" (hunter, warlock, et al). Thus, your question gets that short answer of "no" but.. as explained you are the sole arbiter of whether or not you feel that "rule" is good and proper, etc.
Adhere to it it you wish, or not as you please. In the long run it makes no difference to anyone but yourself.
Hope that helps...
That is exactly right.
I do the hard rules, but I can't prove to anyone else I am doing them, and the leaderboard code at wowironman.com cannot see everything.
But in order to really have the experience - you want to keep the rules. It's a hack, it's not the intended game. But it's an amazing experience - refreshing and different. I wasn't here for vanilla, but enough of it was left in WotLK that as I started out my first toon, I got a feel for a world that was a world - a world with mystery and magic in it.
This was my first MMO that was a game and not a sandbox. I was hooked on the lore and the story and often wished there was more of it - more mysteries. So my imagination and other players supplied that, and then as I saw the leap in quality from Classic to BC content I was again hooked.
Leveling that first toon was rough. Even on ironman, an experienced player will not have it so rough as I did at first. But the challenge brings some of the original mystery back.
Rushing through everything at high speed to gear grind can actually get boring and ironman is a way to get out of all that.
My current irons are Mironna, Byronie and Nironen, all on WrA. The highest I got was Myronnae. There is a hard core left and I suspect a lot of us are in it for the enjoyment.
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