WoW Classic's Hardcore servers will make MMO fans hang out as ghosts if they die

A WoW Classic player chased by a dinosaur in a green forest
(Image credit: Blizzard)

WoW Classic is getting Hardcore servers, and soon at that.

Blizzard reveals on the MMO's forums that WoW's more brutal cousin releases sometime over the summer, though not before a round of testing on the PTR that goes live today. 

Alongside everything being way more difficult, the most notable feature of Hardcore servers is that death spells the end for your character – no revives here. Blizzard explains that's the case for WoW Classic's Hardcore servers, though with a bit of a twist. Once you die, you can wander around as a ghost to "facilitate communication with in-game friends and resolve logistical matters such as handing over guild leadership". I'm sure that won't lead to oodles of ghosts tootling around to grief the living. 

It's not all bad news if you die, though. Each character can be moved to a non-Hardcore Classic Era realm for free. 

Some of the bigger changes to the main game relate to PvP. Blizzard has made tagging yourself for battle more deliberate to "reduce the likelihood someone will be 'tricked' into becoming flagged unintentionally," and quests that automatically flag you as that will no longer.

PvP battlegrounds and Battlemasters are also completely disabled, though you may enter premade Wargames, you just won't get honour or PvP reputation. 

"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," Blizzard says.

"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 honour or other rewards. Beware—if you engage in Wargames, death is still permanent."

That's not to say that Hardcore servers will be particularly peaceful. A new feature allows you to challenge another to a "duel to the death", which is a very high-stakes bout indeed. Winners will get a cosmetic buff that continues to stack with each victory. 

Hardcore servers are due to launch later today on the PTR – June 29 – with all the "original WoW Content phases unlocked and available" for release this summer.

World of Warcraft's Dragonriding is "here to stay" for future expansions.

Deputy News Editor

Iain joins the GamesRadar team as Deputy News Editor following stints at PCGamesN and PocketGamer.Biz, with some freelance for Kotaku UK, RockPaperShotgun, and VG24/7 thrown in for good measure. When not helping Ali run the news team, he can be found digging into communities for stories – the sillier the better. When he isn’t pillaging the depths of Final Fantasy 14 for a swanky new hat, you’ll find him amassing an army of Pokemon plushies.