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World of Warcraft Classic Era Hardcore Era Realms means dead players stay dead (and become a ghost)

"Endgame is not the focus, and the gameplay revolves around the journey, not the destination."

WoW Classic Hardcore Realms
Image credit: Blizzard

Blizzard has a new challenge for World of Warcraft players looking for a "challenging and perilous journey" – Classic Hardcore Realms.

Features include safeguards and class changes, Mak'gora and PVP changes, and permadeath – those who die cannot return to their bodies but will instead "remain as a ghost" to "close out their remaining business on the realm".

Classic Hardcore – Launch Trailer | World of Warcraft Classic.Watch on YouTube

"It’s official, Hardcore realms are coming to World of Warcraft," Blizzard teases. "Players will – to engage with Azeroth, its denizens, and their fellow players… to survive."

This means you'll get one chance to participate in dangerous activities like the Molten Core raid, although if you shake off your mortal coil and decide not to live on as a spectre, you'll be able to transfer to a non-Hardcore Classic Era server for free.

As for those PVP changes? Blizzard says Battleground queuing will not be enabled on Hardcore Realms, but "pre-organised Wargames will still be available for groups choosing to engage in such deadly combat".

"Those wishing to truly test their mettle against others can initiate a duel-to-the-death mode by typing "/makgora". This will prompt the receiving player to acknowledge and accept the high-stakes duel," the team explains. "A new tracking aura will visually communicate how many duels a player has completed and survived."

You'll also notice a reduced log-off timer "to mitigate ill-timed server disconnections", whilst class abilities and spells have been modified to ensure that when you die, you stay dead. The 16 debuff limit and 32 buff limits have been removed on Hardcore realms, too.

"One of the things we love about the Hardcore mode of play is that endgame is not the focus, and most of the gameplay revolves around the journey, not the destination," Blizzard explains. "This also makes Hardcore gameplay 'evergreen', meaning that it's always a good time to pop in and experience it, regardless of what else is happening in other versions of World of Warcraft."

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