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Making WoW Classic Hardcore comes with “enormous pressure”

Blizzard's take on WoW Classic Hardcore has been unleashed upon the world and, given the mode's legacy, the World of Warcraft devs are feeling the heat.

Making WoW Classic Hardcore comes with "enormous pressure": A blond woman runs from an orc in a campsite area raising her hand which glows with golden magic as a purple, jagged spiral surrounds her on the ground

It’s official: WoW Classic Hardcore has been reborn, and its out right now. I use the term reborn, though, because Hardcore realms have a storied history in World of Warcraft Classic, and with that a legacy to live up to. I asked Blizzard if bringing their interpretation of the already popular mode into the age-old MMORPG comes with any pressure, and the team admits they’ve been feeling the heat.

When I ask assistant lead game designer Tim Jones and game producer Linny Cooke Saverline if they felt the pressure of reimagining what is an iconic game mode, they both nod intensely.

“We want to make sure that we’re capturing that fun and honoring this cool vision that was brought for it,” Cooke Saverline tells PCGamesN. The team does, however, want to “build and narrow their own vision, too.

“The core tenets are that you get one life, and everything is very PvE focused and PvP optional. Once we established those pieces it was like ‘okay cool, what fits within that philosophy?’ Then we could introduce our own new things like the Mak’Gora [duel to the death] that wasn’t available to players originally, but absolutely keeps that spirit of Hardcore where even your duels can now become scary so long as everybody has agreed.”

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“There’s an enormous amount of pressure,” Jones continues. “There’s a very specific audience that likes Hardcore, and we don’t want to sort of mutate it into something that doesn’t appeal to anyone in an attempt to try to appeal to everyone – I don’t think that that serves any community. So we really want to honor the Hardcore community and be very mindful of the changes that we make.”

A lot of the changes Blizzard has chosen to implement are to make things a little easier for casual players, including a limit on dungeons and changes to some quests that initially flagged players for PvP. When I ask whether or not those changes could potentially cause upset, Jones replies “I don’t think anyone will be disappointed.” I, for one, rather like the idea of not accidentally flagging myself for PvP and getting murdered (been there, done that).

With Hardcore on the horizon, it’s worth checking out our WoW WotLK Death Knight guide; after all, they’re quite good at killing things. If you prefer to eat health bars from afar, though, I suggest trying out the WoW WotLK Affliction Warlock – they’re my personal favorites.