One month in, nearly 2 million World of Warcraft Classic Hardcore characters have met their maker in the permadeath spin-off of Blizzard’s old-school MMORPG.
As revealed by Blizzard, precisely 1,982,716 players have been killed since the game’s official Hardcore servers launched. A huge portion of that number, 401,980 to be exact, were Hunter players. Warriors, one of WoW Classic’s most challenging classes to play but also one of the most rewarding, have bitten the dust 332,970 times, while Mages, the masters of crowd-control and area-of-effect attacks, have died 294,082 times. Death numbers for Paladin and Shaman are relatively small, likely because they are unique to the Alliance and Horde respectively and thus played by a smaller number of players overall. Combined, the two faction-specific hybrid classes rank below Warlock in number of deaths.
The stats can tell us a few things if we read between the lines. For starters, Hunters, Warriors, and Mages are among the game’s most-played classes, which then translates into higher death totals. Hunter, in particular, is an interesting case study. Many WoW players would assume Hunter to be “easy mode” in a permadeath scenario, as they can feign death to get out of sticky situations and also have a pet that can assist with holding aggro and killing enemies. The only problem is that Hunters don’t get their pet until level 10. If I had to guess, I would bet a significant portion of the over 400,000 Hunter deaths occurred prior to level 10.
Stats from the game’s first week revealed that the average player level upon death was right at level 10, with falling and PvP duels ranking among the top five causes of death. The most popular classes were Warrior, Hunter, and Mage, lining up with each class’s higher death totals, while the game’s three most popular races were human, night elf, and undead.
Given how close to 2 million characters have died in their quest to max level, it seems like WoW Classic Hardcore has found an audience. Blizzard made a select few changes for the game’s Hardcore servers, like making PvP opt-in and adding a duel to the death option, but overall largely left WoW Classic the same as it was when it re-released in 2019, aside from only having one life, of course.
Players have wasted no time recounting their (oftentimes hilarious) deaths on places like Reddit, where stories have been shared of high-stakes duels to the death over loot, embarrassing demises like going AFK too close to a cooking fire and slowly burning alive, and even cases of Hunters pretending to be dead for so long they actually died. While dying is the end of that character’s Hardcore journey, players do have the option to transfer slain characters to a non-Hardcore server, where they can be resurrected and live to fight another day.
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