One and done? 10.1 PTR reveals Hardcore Realms may be coming to WoW
Dead and gone? Hardcore realms in Wow may be on the way, where one death means you’re kaput. Let’s look at the evidence.
Some folks just have a different idea of fun. For example, take the players of World of Warcraft running under hardcore rules. It's simple: If your character dies, you're done. Delete it. Start over. No soup for you. Popularized on the WoW Classic servers and supporting addons, community events, and more, it's certainly not for the weak of hard. And yet, a 10.1 PTR leak gives credence to the rumor that hardcore realms may be coming to WoW in an official capacity.
Let's look at the evidence and mull over this Diablo-like game mode concept, shall we?
Hardcore realms WoW bound?
Perma-death in video games is often seen has for only the most masochistic. Popularized in the Diablo series, the idea that your character is donezo after one death feels cruel, random, and...Kinda fun? Regardless, it's an idea that has not been applied to a mainstream MMORPG. While a popular community challenge over on the World of Warcraft Classic servers, the idea of hardcore realms in mainline WoW seemed like a pipedream.
That is, until folks like @Meorawr began digging into the 10.1 PTR files and found evidence of its existence.
For those smarter than me, here's the code string found in the PTR:
self:SetBodyText(HTML_START .. HARDCORE_WARNING .. HTML_END);
self.screen = HARDCORE_POPUP_SCREEN.REALM_SELECT;
self:SetBodyText(HTML_START .. HARDCORE_SECOND_WARNING .. HTML_END);
self.screen = HARDCORE_POPUP_SCREEN.CHARACTER_SELECT;
Now, this isn't the first time that random code has appeared on the PTR. It's common for content--or the breadcrumbs of content--to pop up within the deep, dark confines of developer code. However, hardcore realms in WoW would be a fantastic way to create content variety that doesn't interfere with the base experience of others.
Luck of the draw
WoW 10.1 volcanic environment (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)
That said, the idea of taking a new toon from 1 to 70 is a terrifying concept. It's also one that myself and others would surely take on if the incentives and rewards were worth the risk. Even discount being on a PVP server where any adventure could lead to disaster, think about less mundane risks. Suddenly a PUG group for a dungeon becomes potentially lethal. Did you AFK in the wrong place? You're dead.
Would I do it? Absolutely. I'm a bit of an alt-aholic anyways, but add in the potential rewards to reap from such masochism and I'd surely sign up. Regardless, we'll just have to wait and see if this is for realsies and if hardcore realms will expand past just the Classic servers.
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Editor | Twitter @Hammer_Barn
Will has over a decade of print and digital journalism experience, with bylines in Polygon, The Escapist, The Toledo Blade, The Austin American-Statesman, and more. He's also the host of the World of Warcraft lore podcast Essence of Azeroth, loves Murlocs just a bit too much, and owns too many cats.