Rules of Engagement: Classic WoW Hardcore Coming to World of Warcraft soon!

It’s official, Hardcore realms are coming to World of Warcraft. Players will have the opportunity to show if they have the edge, the grit, and the very will – to engage with Azeroth, its denizens, and their fellow players… to survive.

But there are rules of engagement, as there always are. Here are the rules for WoW Classic Hardcore realms and a little bit of the behind-the-scenes thoughts on the choices that have been made.

Hardcore Ruleset Overview


This means that if you die, you won’t be able to run back to your corpse and resurrect, nor can you be resurrected by any other spell or ability. This means that even if you have abilities as a part of your class, such as the Shaman Reincarnation, or Warlock Soulstone, they won’t be of any use to you.

You will continue to exist in the game world as a ghost to facilitate communication with in-game friends and resolve logistical matters such as handing over guild leadership if you are a Guild Master who has died an unfortunate death at the hands of a Defias Bandit or some other deadly creature.

Your character is not necessarily lost if you die, however. After dying on a Hardcore realm, players will be able to choose to utilize the Free Character Move service and move their dead character to a non-Hardcore Classic Era realm. Once the move is complete to the non-hardcore realm, that character may resurrect as normal, but the way back to a Hardcore realm will be closed to them.


Players will no longer be automatically flagged for PvP upon attacking another player. To flag yourself for PvP, you must type the command /pvp.  You won’t be able to take hostile actions against a flagged enemy player unless you flag yourself deliberately.

We’ve added this failsafe to prevent situations in which a player could unintentionally take aggressive action against another player who is flagged for PvP, and unwittingly flag themselves. By requiring players to type /pvp before engaging in any PvP content, this maintains fairness and keeps PvP as a consensual part of the game. It will also reduce the likelihood someone will be “tricked” into becoming flagged unintentionally. It’s important to note that attacking an enemy faction NPC will still flag you even if you haven’t typed /pvp, so steer clear of settlements of the opposing faction!


PvP battlegrounds are completely disabled, as are all PvP Battlemasters. You may still enter premade Wargames, but you may not gain honor or PvP reputations from Wargames.

While PvP is a fun part of World of Warcraft, by allowing players to enter battlegrounds on one-life characters, there is a concern that this would lead to overly defensive play, often to the point of non-participation, especially when you consider how powerful some rewards are from factions such as Stormpike Guard and the Frostwolf Clan. PvP is not the focus of the Hardcore game mode, so we’ve decided to disable normal PvP queuing entirely. If you wish to test yourself in pre-arranged Wargames, however, that’s an available option.  Wargames confer no honor or other rewards. Beware—if you engage in Wargames, death is still permanent.


Various quests and objectives that cause players to become PvP flagged, such as the quest, “The Attack” and,  “The Missing Diplomat,” no longer cause players to become flagged for PvP.

These quests were never strictly “meant” to flag you for PvP, but this was a result of how the creatures were set up at the time and was likely the result of an early technical limitation. We no longer have this limitation, and to prevent unintended consequences or “gotchas” after accepting an innocuous-looking quest, we’ve decided to no longer cause these quests to flag you for PvP combat.

Various quests and objectives that require the player to die to complete or initiate the quest or objective may now be completed without the player’s demise.

While these quests are iconic and flavorful, the requirements of the character to be in a state of death is obviously problematic in a Hardcore realm. As a result, we’ve designed new ways to complete these quests without requiring your character to die or be dead to complete them.

Many quests that require escorting NPC targets have been adjusted in such a way that most escort-related NPCs may no longer be attacked by players of the opposing faction.

Many quest-related NPCs, particularly at a low level, are very easily killed, and there’s very little counterplay to a higher-level player of the opposing faction running up, killing your escort NPC, and running away. This is a vector for gameplay disruption that we don’t feel has a place in the game, nor does it add anything meaningful to normal PvP combat.


Most creatures will leash and reset when leaving the area or zone they were engaged in.

As much as we enjoyed frequent visits from Teremus the Devourer in Stormwind or wandering Devilsaurs in Thousand Needles, being able to drag or “kite” high-level monsters to lower-level areas is a large vector for gameplay disruption and something that doesn’t have a place in WoW Classic Hardcore. The total range that monsters can be pulled is currently fairly large but can easily be adjusted. We’ll be watching for feedback on this implementation from those participating in the PTR. The goal is to prevent high-level players from kiting dangerous monsters across entire zones, but we don’t want to interfere with legitimate gameplay, such as Hunters kiting elite monsters to solo difficult quests and similar expressions of skill.


All dungeons have at least a 24-hour lockout timer for players below level 60.

One of the most important aspects of the WoW Classic Hardcore realms is engaging in adventures in the outside world with other players. Creating random and serendipitous interactions is a core aspect of the original release of World of Warcraft, and spending most of your leveling time in dungeons is counter in spirit to what Hardcore is about. We do recognize that there may be a desire to run a dungeon while leveling multiple times, such as to finish a quest or get an important piece of loot. As a result, we’ve added a 24-hour timer to almost all dungeons for players until they hit level 60. By extension, this also means that level 60 players may never enter lower-level dungeons with players below level 60 for any reason.

Additionally, we’ve carried over the group experience restrictions from Season of Mastery—meaning that players that are significantly higher level than the creatures in a given dungeon will cause those creatures to grant trivial experience to the other members of the group. Higher-level characters “power-leveling” lower-level characters are not something that we feel is appropriate for WoW Classic Hardcore.


The 16 debuff limit and 32 buff limits have been removed on Hardcore realms.

Debuff and buff limits were originally a technical limitation in the earliest versions of World of Warcraft and was not a conscious design choice at that time. This aspect of the original release was maintained for the release of WoW Classic in 2019 for authenticity, but this has always been a contentious part of WoW and places significant constraints on build and class diversity. As a result, we will be removing this limitation in Hardcore realms and effectively uncapping buffs and debuffs.


Paladins will not be able to use their Hearthstone while under the effects of Blessing of ProtectionDivine Protection, or Divine Shield on Hardcore realms.

Being able to “Bubble Hearth” is a fairly iconic, if not exactly heroic, feature of the Paladin Class. However, the Reincarnation ability is also an iconic feature of the Shaman class. While Paladins have enormous tools to prevent death, a Shaman’s core tool to recover from death is wholly incompatible with Hardcore. As a result, we are removing the ability for Paladins to use their various immunity abilities to safely cast Hearthstone and escape danger.


A new feature has been added to Hardcore realms: Duel to the Death.

To issue a Duel to the Death, you will need to right-click the target’s portrait and request a Duel to the Death from the context menu.  A Duel to the Death can also be triggered by selecting the target and typing /makgora in your chat window. Before commencing combat, both parties must read and acknowledge a warning message and type “I Agree” to begin.

As one may expect, death in a Duel to the Death is permanent, just like any other death on Hardcore realms. We feel that this is going to be an extremely exciting addition to Hardcore realms for those who like to play at the highest possible stakes, and those who wish to spectate such contests of honor.


Since bragging rights are important, we will be tracking the number of kills you receive in Duels to the Death with a special cosmetic buff on your character called “String of Ears”. Each time you win a Duel to the Death, you will receive a “trophy,” and the stack count on this buff will increase by 1. Anyone who clicks on your character will be able to see what a frightful combatant you are by the number of Ears you’ve collected. There are some limitations to this, however, as you cannot earn the String of Ears buff before level 10, and you cannot earn the buff if you and your opponent are too many levels apart.

string of ears tooltip


Hardcore realms will have all the original WoW Content phases unlocked and available right at launch.

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. 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.

When considering whether to do progressive phase unlocks on these hardcore realms or not, one of the things that concerned the WoW Classic Team was what psychological impact that following the 2019 Classic or Season of Mastery version of progressive content unlocks might have on players. We see players often ask, “Is it too late to start playing?” shortly after a new version of WoW Classic or content phase is released. While the answer is always “no”, there is still undeniable social pressure to “keep up” with the current content phase, even if the content being released is beyond your level of progression.

By removing content unlocks from the equation and having everything open and available from the start, it removes that pressure for the average player to hurry up and hit max level for the next unlock, especially when most content phase unlocks revolve entirely around endgame content. We are highly sensitive to this in a world where leveling itself is a huge challenge, and players may want to enjoy that journey at their own pace.

On the other side of this, we also feel that for the most dedicated players who want to test themselves in this environment, it could be very exciting to watch how efficiently such a group of players can reach level 60, progress through raid dungeons such as Molten Core, Blackwing Lair, Ahn’Qiraj, and Naxxramas while starting from nothing within the closed ecosystem that is a new server. As anyone who has done a raid in Hardcore can tell you, just because you *can* access something like Ahn’Qiraj or Naxxramas, doesn’t mean *you should* and doing so unprepared is likely to end in disaster.  


Gameplay, Zone Disruption, and malicious player killing outside of consensual PvP will not be tolerated on Hardcore realms.

By this, we mean deliberate action to hamper or significantly impede the ability of other players to enjoy the game, such as (but not limited to) repeatedly killing quest NPCs or kiting important quest mobs far away from their spawn location to prevent them from being killed.

Most importantly, this also includes taking actions to deliberately cause the death of another player, such as (but not limited to) kiting higher level or elite mobs onto or near other players with the intent that they take damage and die, or deliberately causing a wipe in a raid or dungeon group. This is not a PvP realm, and the normal PvP realm rules do not in any way apply to this realm. Outside of a normal Duel to the Death, consensual PvP flagging, or Wargames killing other players isn’t the core goal of Hardcore gameplay.  If players are found to make it their goal to take part in this kind of disruptive style of play, we reserve the right to take immediate and decisive action against anyone found to be deliberately causing this disruption to other players on these realms, including permanent account closure.

On the flip side to this, “report bombing” or intentionally using the ruleset against players to attempt to get their account actioned will also be met with equally harsh penalties. Deaths can and will happen in normal gameplay, and retaliation or resorting to bullying, abuse, or malicious reporting for normal gameplay deaths are not appropriate. For example, if you are in a dungeon group and the tank ends up taking too much damage and dies despite the efforts of the healer in the group, it’s not appropriate for someone to report the healer. While that death is unfortunate, it is legitimate gameplay, and the best thing to do is remain understanding and empathetic, learn what lessons you can from the situation, and try, try again.

Ultimately, it’s critical to the health of these realms that players play nice and play fair with one another, and we will take any hostile or abusive actions that occur between players very seriously.  Upon character creation, you will be prompted to agree to both the hazards of hardcore realms and that death is permanent and irrevocable, as well as the rules around behavior between players.

As with any new development, we’ll be keeping a close eye on player behavior during the test phase and adjust as needed. We want WoW Classic Hardcore to be a fun and challenging experience for anyone who wants to jump into the action.

Do you have what it takes to go Hardcore? You will be able to check out Classic Hardcore on the Public Test Realms.


WoW Tokens now available on Wotlk Classic

Blizzard has now made the wow token available in Classic Wrath of the Lich King. With this, you will be able to use real money to purchase in-game currency. This came as somewhat of a shock to the community because it wasn’t announced ahead of time.

wow tokens in wotlk classic
wow tokens in wotlk classic


The WoW Token is now available in Wrath of the Lich King Classic™. This in-game item is a great way to exchange gold for game time in a convenient and secure way.

Please keep in mind that WoW Tokens cannot be transferred between World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Classic* and World of Warcraft. Certain restrictions apply. Visit our Support article for more details.

* Not available in World of Warcraft® Classic Era.


Oceanic Realm Connections for PVP Reversed in TBC WoW Classic

Kaivax – Blizzard Community Manager


Yesterday, we opened up region-wide PvP matchmaking for Oceanic players, to ensure that all players in this region who compete for rewards actually play against one another. Following that update, however, we heard loud and clear from players who know how it feels to play on distant servers. High latency is not worth the upsides of potentially smoother matchmaking.

With weekly maintenance on Tuesday, June 1 (10:00 p.m. AWST, Midnight AEST, 2:00 a.m. June 2 NZDT), we will revert this change.

We’re committed to providing a responsive, enjoyable game to players in every part of the world, and we will pay careful attention to PvP on Oceanic realms over the first few weeks of the first season of Arena play. We’re looking for ways to improve matchmaking and players’ ability to rank up without introducing unbearable lag.

We don’t want to permanently implement a region-wide rewards system where some of the players never play against the others. We’ll have an update on that for you in the weeks to come.

Thank you very much!

Link: Blue Post

PTR Version 1.13.7 Currently Available

Kaivax – Blizzard Community Manager

Today, we’ve opened the WoW Classic Public Test Realm (PTR) to test version 1.13.7 of WoW Classic. In this upcoming version, we intend to reduce the spell batching delay.

There are numerous class abilities and spells from Original World of Warcraft that were re-implemented in WoW Classic with spell batching in mind, and we initially expect bugs or adverse consequences with spell batching reduced. In this PTR, testers have an opportunity to join us in finding such issues. Raids and battlegrounds are available in this PTR to facilitate testing in a wide variety of game content.

  • Initially, the spell batch window is set to 10 milliseconds on the 1.13.7 PTR, a reduction from the 1.13.6 live window of 400 milliseconds.

Please use the in-game bug reporter (default hotkey: mouseover+F6) in the PTR to submit your bug reports or feedback on abilities with spell batching reduced.

When logged into the PTR, you can mouse over any item, spell, or talent and press the assigned hotkey to initiate a bug report for that item or spell. Bug reports created in this way include valuable metadata about the spell, your talents, and your player-state when the bug is submitted.

If you’ve unbound your “Open Bug Report” hotkey, you can rebind it in Keybindings -> PTR.

Thank you for testing WoW Classic with us!

Ascension Classless WoW New Season 5 Realm Nov. 8th

Project Ascension is back at it again!

Have you ever played the Arena in Hearthstone? You build a whole deck by picking one card from a couple and then you play against other people. The game shows you three cards, then you pick the one you want and it gets added to your deck. When you have 30, your done and you go play against other people. It’s draft mode.

Ascension just did that with Classic WoW.

If you’ve never heard of Project Ascension, their claim to fame has been their slogan of ‘create your own class’. Well, they’re delivering on that pretty interesting this time. Instead of picking all your abilities like normal, or getting them assigned randomly like last season, Ascension is introducing this playstyle where instead of picking all your abilities, you draft three, and pick one. What you draft is random, but you still get to choose. So maybe you get lucky and draft a few good combo abilities like shadowbolt shadowform and mind flay, and then next thing you know the best thing you can grab is mortal strike. Sure, you get a few reroll scrolls to fine tune it, but it actually seems pretty fun to draft a whole hero to 60 and then see how good you can make it.

Their season 5 video they posted up on youtube is like 20 minutes long just because of how much stuff they’re doing with it. Draft mode is kind of the main thing, but they’re also doing ironman, x1 exp rates, and legion invasions (TBC coming soon I guess?). They even put in 1v1 arenas where you can win your opponent’s gear.

I’ve said it before, but Ascension is pretty much WoW plus. It’s familiar but different, and it feels like it breathes new life in a game that by this point we’ve all played to death.

Season 5 releases November 8th, but their last season is still running until that happens. It’s worth jumping into for an afternoon.

You can check them out at

Updates concerning the DDOS attacks a few weeks back


Hello everyone. We wanted to return to this subject and put some closure on it. As always, It is our top priority to resolve any issues that prevent players from having a smooth gameplay experience.

Immediately after the Distributed Denial of Service attacks against our game service began, the Blizzard Security Team worked around the clock with local and international law enforcement agencies to track down the source of the DDoS. It is our understanding that, within a few days, authorities were able to successfully identify and arrest a suspect.

We really appreciate your patience and understanding.

Source: Official Post

WoW Classic Free Character Moves – Realms


As we previously announced, free character moves will become available in this region very soon. When these free character moves open, player-characters at any level will be able to move:

From -> To

  • Arugal -> Felstriker
  • Faerlina -> Heartseeker (new realm)
  • Stalagg -> Heartseeker (new realm)
  • Herod -> Earthfury (new realm)
  • Skeram -> Earthfury (new realm)
  • Incendius -> Netherwind
  • Thalnos -> Netherwind
  • Fairbanks -> Arcanite Reaper (new realm)
  • Whitemane -> Arcanite Reaper (new realm)
  • Bigglesworth -> Anathema
  • Pagle -> Windseeker
  • Grobbulus -> Deviate Delight

For approximately one day, the new realms will be restricted to only those players using a free character move. After one day, any player may create new characters there. This is to allow players using the free character move service a better chance at retaining the name of the character they’re moving.

We will let you know when the new realms open and free character moves are enabled.

Thank you!

Source: Official Post