WoW Classic’s permadeath community may be prompting Blizzard to create a new ruleset


While the thrill and buzz around WoW Classic has fallen off sharply in the past half-year, there’s a segment that’s actually on the rise thanks to a community initiative that’s gotten the notice of the developer.

Many players have flocked to the idea of engaging in a self-applied permadeath mode — or “Classic Hardcore,” as it’s called. The idea is that you install an app that tracks your progress, gives you alternate achievement goals to pursue in a hardcore run, announces deaths to the entire hardcore community, and immortalizes those who actually make it to level 60 without a single demise.

As the permadeath community’s increased in size and publicity — most notably on the Classic Era (i.e., vanilla) realm — it looks like Blizzard may be thinking of appropriating the idea for an official ruleset. Dataminers have found references to “hardcore warnings” on the public test realm, which some have taken as proof that permadeath servers are on the way.

It would be a smart move for the studio to capitalize on the growing enthusiasm for this type of game mode, following in the footsteps of other titles like Dungeons and Dragons Online, which periodically runs a hardcore server challenge.

Activision-Blizzard is considered a controversial gaming company owing to a long string of scandals over the last few years, including the Blitzchung boycott, mass layoffs, labor disputes, and executive pay fiasco. In 2021, the company was sued by California for fostering a work environment rife with sexual harassment and discrimination, the disastrous corporate response to which compounded Blizzard’s ongoing pipeline issues and the widespread perception that its online games are in decline. Multiple state and federal agencies are investigating the company as employees unionize and call for Bobby Kotick’s resignation. As of 2023, the company is being acquired by no less than Microsoft.
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