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WoW ClassicAug 24, 2023 5:30 pm CT

5 things to know before jumping in to WoW Classic’s Hardcore Realms, now live

We’ve received a lot of information to sift through over the last few month about the World of Warcraft Classic Hardcore realms main features and rules of engagement, the various changes made to group content, PVP, and how they all fit together for a cohesive Hardcore experience.  If you’re planning on jumping into the Hardcore fray, when realms launch August 24 at 3p.m. PDT globally, here are five things to keep in mind about World of Warcraft Classic Hardcore realms before you make that leap.

Death is permanent — but it’s not the end

The staple of WoW Classic’s Hardcore realms is character permadeath. Once your character dies, they’ll continue to exist as a ghost but they won’t be able to revive, complete or turn in quests, or do much of anything else. As a ghost, the only thing you’ll really be able to do is communicate with other players, which helps in the event of transferring Guild leadership. Quests that require dying — like the Linkin storyline — will be re-worked to remove the player’s death, but it’s not yet clear how that looks in-game. You can still permanently die by engaging in PVP, too.

After that, you have a choice — leave your character as a ghost, or choose to transfer them to a regular Classic Era realm where they’ll be about to revive and continue their adventure.

It doesn’t matter how many times you die on a Hardcore realm. You can always make another character and try again. In the event you haven’t died but have decided that you don’t want to continue on a Hardcore realm, you can transfer your character to another Classic Era realm free of charge.

PVP in Hardcore realms is limited

PVP will be limited to two modes in Classic Hardcore realms — pre-made Wargames and Duels to the Death. PVP quest flagging and battlegrounds have been completely disabled while Wargames reward no Honor if you choose to participate and die, the permadeath rules still apply. Dueling other players is still allowed, however, there is a multi-step process to initiate and participate. Players need to flag themselves for PVP by typing “/pvp” into the chat. A dueling challenge can then be issued by selecting their desired opponent and either requesting a duel through the option menu by right-clicking the character portrait or by typing “/makgora” in the chat window.

Players will then be able to duel until someone dies or runs away. If you successfully kill another character, you will receive a cosmetic buff called String of Ears indicating how many opponents you’ve successfully defeated. If you die, the permadeath rules apply and that will be the end of your character on the realm. If you run away, you will be hit with a debuff called “Coward” and suffer a 20% reduction to your attributes, damage dealing ability, and resistance and armor for 3 days.

All content is open at launch including raids, dungeons (with some limitations), and any associated set quests

When Hardcore realms go live on August 24, all raids and dungeons will be immediately available, including any associated set quests. No changes have been made to boss mechanics but the loot sources of certain items from dungeons and raids will carry over from the latest Classic Era phase. It’s important to keep in mind that most dungeons will have a 24-hour lockout timer which will prevent you from chaining together multiple runs. You also can’t enter dungeons with players who are at a much higher level than you or else your XP gains will be greatly reduced. The enemies in dungeons have also received changes that make them harder to immobilize and stun so they won’t be able to be skipped as easily as they were in Classic Era dungeons.

Creature and NPC behavior has been altered throughout the in-game world

Creature and NPC  behavior have also been adjusted in the in-game world outside of closed instances. If you engage an enemy and runaway they’ll reset and return to the zone they were engaged in. This is mainly to prevent players from kiting high-level enemies into low-level areas and wiping everyone out but helpful to keep in mind when adventuring on your own and being aware of your surroundings. NPCs, namely guards, will also be posted in areas they weren’t in before, like Light’s Hope Chapel. They’ll be extra vigilant and react swiftly to any shenanigans, so make sure you don’t antagonize them.

Malicious gameplay will not be tolerated

Griefing will not be tolerated in Hardcore realms. When you create a character on the Classic Hardcore realm, a pop-up window containing a good faith contract appears to which you agree to refrain from purposely griefing another character. By agreeing, that means if you antagonize other players and seek to deliberately ruin their experience in Hardcore through non-consensual PVP, intentionally causing a wipe in group content, or otherwise intentionally ruin another person’s experience through bullying or harassment, you may be subject to punishment including bans. This includes abusive messages and report-bombing or any other willful subversion of in-game reporting systems. Treat other players will respect and remember: the game is meant to be fun, so be sure to make it enjoyable for yourself and for others.

Originally published August 11, 2023. Updated August 18, 2023.

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