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WoW ClassicAug 23, 2023 5:00 pm CT

WoW Classic Hardcore will have Duels to the Death, now live

When Blizzard first announced the development of a Hardcore realm for World of Warcraft Classic, they teased two hallmark features that would be included in their Hardcore mode: permanent character death and the Duels to the Death system. At the time, Blizzard explained both features would function exactly how they sound — if you die, your character is permanently dead with no way to be revived, and you can challenge other players to a 1-on-1 Duel to the Death where you risk losing your character permanently upon defeat.

On June 28, Blizzard released the full overview of the Hardcore Classic ruleset that went in to more detail about how all aspects of the Hardcore Classic realms will work when they arrive on August 24, including the Duel to the Death system.

  • To engage in any PVP, you need to first flag your character by by typing “/pvp” in your chat window or by right-clicking your own portrait then enabling it.
  • You can start a duel in two ways — right click the target player’s portrait and request a duel, or you can select the target and then type “/makgora” in the chat window.
  • At this point, a pop-up window will appear requiring both players read through a warning message and typing “I agree” to continue.
  • The duel commences and results in a victor and a loser. Death on Hardcore Classic realms are permanent and this includes deaths suffered in a Duel to the Death — if you die in a duel, your character is permanently dead. You’ll still be able to transfer to a regular Classic Era realm of your choosing, regardless of how you die.
  • Players who win a Duel to the Death will receive a cosmetic buff called “String of Ears” that increases by one for each victory, giving you the opportunity to show off your martial prowess to other players. Players will not be able to earn any String of Ears before level 10.
  • Characters engaging in Duels to the Death need to be within a comparable level range or else the victor wont receive credit for the String of Ears buff. Right now, we don’t know what the range is but, given the nature of Hardcore Classic, it’ll probably affect dueling characters separated by five or more levels.

On this same day, the Hardcore Classic PTR was released for the first round of testing which finished on July 13. During the initial round of testing on that PTR build, it was noted that players wouldn’t be punished for running from an honorable Duel to the Death but a deserter-style punishment was being developed for a future build to discourage players from running away. This will take the form of a debuff called “Coward” — players who flee from duels to the death will have their attributes, damage dealing ability, and resistance and armor decreased by 20% for 3 days. This mark of shame is for the entire in-game world to see, though, the only exception to receiving this debuff is if the player is under the effect of crowd control. Duels to the Death are also having their total area increased, likely in an effort to further prevent players from fleeing. On the subject of death and everyone knowing about it, guild death messages are getting quality-of-life options that allow players to configure these messages in their chat windows so they can see exactly who (or what) killed their guildmates and where.

Even though PTR notes and testing are always in flux and could change before the official release of any content, the upcoming Hardcore Classic PTR is shaping up to an experience that meets its namesake. Be sure to check back here as testing continues to stay up to date on the latest Hardcore Classic news!

Originally published July 17, 2023. Updated August 18, 2023.

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