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World of Warcraft Classic introducing new permadeath Hardcore Realms

If you die in the game, you die forever

Molten Core, as depicted in World of Warcraft Classic Image: Blizzard Entertainment
Cass Marshall is a news writer focusing on gaming and culture coverage, taking a particular interest in the human stories of the wild world of online games.

World of Warcraft Classic is a way to time travel back to the earliest days of the MMORPG’s history and re-experience the original game. Blizzard has also added some optional modern twists to the game, like seasonal runs. On Wednesday, Blizzard announced Hardcore Realms, which enforce a new challenging set of rules to the usual adventure through Azeroth.

For instance, if you die in Classic on a Hardcore Realm, you die forever. Permadeath is in effect, but players can log on as a ghost to conclude their affairs. A guild leader might transfer the reins over to a more corporeal colleague, or check their mailbox. Beyond that, all players can do after experiencing permadeath is roll a new character and try again.

When it comes to PVP, it’s a whole new game. There are no Battlegrounds; it’s tough to do capture-the-flag without killing the flag carrier. Instead, players can engage in duels... to the death. Type /makgora in front of another player, and if they accept, it’s do or die. Players who engage in duels will earn a new tracking aura that shows off just how many duels they’ve survived.

Blizzard developers will be looking on to make sure that there are as few unintended casualties as possible, such as death by flightmaster. Classes with resurrection abilities will have them removed, so there are no sneaky escapes from the Reaper. Players also won’t be able to kite enemies out of their zone, so the common tactic of pulling a big bad to a lower level quest area isn’t possible.

The Hardcore Realm enters testing on June 29, and it’s expected to go live later this year.

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