Alright, nerds: Here’s what to expect on a WoW Classic Hardcore server cover image

Alright, nerds: Here’s what to expect on a WoW Classic Hardcore server

Know before you go hardcore. Blizzard announced the rules of its upcoming WoW Classic Hardcore Servers. Play fair or don’t play at all.

Yo, loser. Yes. You. Are you ready to run for your life? Is that treasure chest surrounded by a pack of Murlocs worth the risk? Do you really trust that cute Tauren Druid over there telling you they know a really cool cliff to go smooch near? Well, know before you go when it comes to the rules of the new WoW Classic Hardcore Server.

Blizzard revealed the full ruleset and server stipulations for the upcoming mode. And for those out of the loop: A hardcore server means--just like in Diablo--that if your toon dies once, it's gone. Donezo. Finished. Completed. Finish Him. You are the 'Weakest Link." Please leave the Big Brother house.

Let's look at those rules and bite of fingernails together.

What is a WoW Classic Hardcore Server?

With different rules than a normal realm, the WoW Classic Hardcore Server ruleset is as follows.

  • Death on Hardcore realms is permanent
  • PVP battles are opt in
  • PVP Battlegrounds and Battlemasters are disabled
  • Most creatures will leash when leaving the area or zone
  • Below level 60 all dungeons have a 24 hour reset timer
  • New feature: Duel to the Death
  • Gameplay, Zone Disruption, and malicious Player Killing outside of consensual PVP will not be tolerated on Hardcore realms.

What does all that mean? For starters, it means that when you die there's no corpse run or rez from a friend to save your character. Even class abilities like a Warlock's Soulstone won't help. However, if your toon does die you can choose to move it to a new realm with the Free Character Move service to a non-Hardcore server.

And if you're worried about WoW Classic Hardcore Servers being a PVP gankfest, take heart. PVP isn't automatically flagged and you cannot take action against a hostile target unless you're flagged. No worry that you're bopping along through Elwyn to start your adventure and immediately getting spawncamped.

Oh, and sorry Paladins: The good old Bubble Hearth won't work. Hearthstones are disabled when under immunity effects.

Duel to the Death

Just because PVP isn't automatic on a WoW Classic Hardcore Server doesn't mean it won't still happen. To that end, the new Duel to the Death mode is one part bragging rights and another bragging rights. You can challenge any person to a Duel to the Death, with the winner gaining a "String of Ears" buff that shows how many people you've slain.

You know... assuming you win.

It certainly feels like Blizzard is looking to make Hardcore Servers fair, fun, and balanced. A lot could go wrong in a hurry on one of these realms. And nobody wants that, so it's heartening to see Blizzard looking to make such a daunting experience an even-keeled one.

Hardcore realms are currently on the PTR. A release date has not yet been announced.

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