Keep dying to packs of low-level Murlocs? You aren’t alone! Check out our WoW Classic Hardcore guide for tips to living one level longer.

So, you've decided to spin up a toon on the new WoW Classic Hardcore server, huh? Well, aren't you a brave little toaster. I'd hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you aren't alone and it hasn't gone too well for those hundreds of thousands of other characters. What makes you think you'll do any better? I'll tell you why: Because this WoW Classic Hardcore guide is going to arm you with the greatest weapon ever.

Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker That's right, knowledge!

For reals though, you need a plan if you want to survive past the starting zone in WoW Classic Hardcore. Lucky for you that we have the tips, tricks, and advice needed to go the distance and (hopefully) outlive the competition.

Get some Fs in the chat going for all those other suckers, because here comes some knowledge bombs!

WoW Classic Hardcore guide: The basics

If you're looking to know what a 'hardcore server' even is then check out our explainer by clicking here. The most important thing to know is that this is, indeed, vanilla WoW. With that comes a lot of archaeic designs and foibles that could potentially get your toon killed before you're ready. Here's some things to look out for.

  • Enemy mobs spawn in faster, and in greater numbers
  • Always have food and drink items in supply
  • Don't jump off anything too high--fall damage is for realsies
  • You can be tagged for combat simply by healing or buffing a stranger

Remember: The name of the game is staying alive and minimizing risks. Any basic cave or alcove of enemies could be the place where you get surrounded. With that in mind, let the WoW Classic Hardcore guide give you some free advice.

Character creation: Utility

Even past the preferences of race and class, be sure you've got a plan when it comes to your character. After all, each has unique advantages and abilities that could save your life. The Tauren War Stomp ability stuns enemies around you. The Night Elf's Shadowmeld allows you a chance to hide in place. More so than that, think about class abilities and your style of play. I chose a Night Elf Priest for my first WoW Classic Hardcore toon, mostly for the ability to heal, regenerate mana, and the shield spells.

Choose what is most comfortable for you, but also remember that each choice comes with advantages.

Don't get ahead of yourself

When it comes to vanilla-era leveling, thoroughness is your friend. After all, the thing that will most likely get you killed the fastest is heading into a zone or area that you are under-leveled for by comparison. Because of that, exhaust the quests in a region before moving forward. Even green quests are easy and safe XP, so don't skip them! This may seem like the coward's path, but remember: The name of the game is staying alive.

South Park did it first

You didn't think you'd read a WoW Classic Hardcore guide without a reference to the game's most mainstream touchstone, did you? Yes, the South Park episode Make Love, Not Warcraft may be 17 years old at this point (oh god, I'm old now) but it has some solid advice on leveling. Level grinding is very much a real thing in the OG version of World of Warcraft, so use it to your advantage.

After all, fighting mobs that are even two levels higher than you is a dangerous proposition. If you're finding that you're using a lot of time and resources on an area of enemies then it might be a sign to go back and kill some boars. We're not saying to never leave Elwynn Forest or anything like that, but there's no shame in grinding out the last few bars of that level before moving on.

WoW Classic Hardcore guide: Danger of the mundane

The thing that is most likely to kill your toon isn't Onyxia or an opposing faction member. It's this green, slimy jerk and his 20 friends. Never forget that when one death is all it takes to end your good time, even a pack of low-level enemies mean serious business. So far it appears as though a lot of players are dying to your run of the mill, basic mobs. Murlocs, Kobolds, boars, and more.

As always, be sure to have a plan and to take things one mob at a time. This is especially true when it comes to Murlocs with nets. Mrgle.

Recruit-a-friend

While you would think that the WoW Classic Hardcore servers would be a hive of scum and villainy, it's mostly just a lot of solo players doing their thing. After all, nobody can jump you or initiate PVP without consent. Take that as a chance to friend up the other nearby adventurers, especially for tougher quests. I've been throwing out Priest buffs to anybody I see, and I've seen that kindness come back to me in return.

We're not in this alone, and there's no glory in dying by yourself in a cave. Send that invite to those nearby players also grinding out the same quest mobs as you and see what happens! You may be surprised just how fast the time goes.

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