If you like a challenge, WoW Classic’s Season of Mastery has Hardcore Raids where death means deleting your character
I’ve said before that World of Warcraft should steal more ideas from the Diablo franchise, and the WoW Classic Season of Mastery has done exactly that, introducing the Soul of Iron buff/Tarnished Soul debuff system to make Hardcore play possible. Named after the popular Iron Man community challenge, by applying this buff you can finally play WoW Classic in Hardcore mode. Dying even once will apply the Tarnished Soul debuff, permanently reducing all of your stats by 1%. While the debuff can be removed, the NPCs who put Soul of Iron on you — Chronicler Fero and Chronicler Morta — will not do so again once you’ve died.
This means that at last, players who are undergoing the challenges of the endgame raids can do so with the added complication of playing in a manner similar to Hardcore in Diablo. Now, the character isn’t destroyed, so you could keep playing, but you’ll do so knowing that you died, and anyone wanting to do a Hardcore raiding group would be able to tell because you don’t have the Soul of Iron buff anymore.
And WoW Classic players have responded to this challenge — which grants nothing special save bragging rights — by starting a Hardcore raiding guild and raiding in Molten Core, so far managing to kill four bosses with 0 deaths. That level of determination is pretty amazing. Up until this point, there have been Classic Hardcore communities in WoW Classic, players who play the game and delete their characters upon dying, but it was entirely self-enforced. Now, because Soul of Iron was introduced in WoW Classic‘s Season of Mastery, there’s a clear means to determine if a player has died or not.
Molten Core has been raided by Hardcore players before the Season of Mastery, but considering the raid balancing has been changed in the Season, it’s pretty interesting to see players take on the only really available raid at this point and get as far as they have without anyone dying. They’ve managed to essentially put Lucifron on farm, using the Tome of Tranquilizing Shot to remove Magmadar’s Frenzy and keep their tank alive, and after successfully killing Magmadar they took the fight to Garr and Gehennas and successfully cleared those fights with no deaths as well. That’s four of the MC bosses cleared, with six to go — Baron Geddon, Shazzrah, the Sulfuron Harbinger, Golemagg the Incinerator, Majordomo Executus, and of course Ragnaros the Firelord himself.
They’re obviously taking it much slower than their non-Hardcore compatriots because after all, a Hardcore raid that loses a player loses them potentially forever — even if they’re willing to let that player roll a new character, they need to level to 60 without boosting their character in any way or even buying gear on the auction house. Attrition would really make their chances of finishing the raid almost nil, so I’m fascinated to watch and see how it progresses in the future.
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