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WoW Classic Hardcore won’t ban trading, Blizzard says

The excitement around WoW Classic Hardcore is real, but if you're planning to try it out on the World of Warcraft PTR, you may find some issues with trading.

A pixelated woman wearing a blue hat and robes with golden thigh high boots and long brown hair conjures golden magic from her hands with a staff on her back

World of Warcraft Classic Hardcore mode is something we’ve been hoping Blizzard would lend official support to for some time. Now, that dream has become a reality: dedicated WoW Classic Hardcore servers are coming and you can test them on the PTR. As we ready ourselves for the fight of our lives, one player has expressed concern about how trading will work in the MMORPG‘s new mode, prompting a response from Blizzard that may not be what you want to hear.

In a lengthy post to the official WoW forums, World of Warcraft Community Council member ‘Azelon’ expresses their “concerns about Classic Hardcore.” Their first concern is regarding the ‘String of Ears’ cosmetic buff, which you obtain by completing Duels to the Death – PvP encounters where you challenge another player to a duel.

The main focal point, though, is the trade system. Azleon’s concern is that, in its current state, trading allows high level players to farm powerful weapons for low level players, upsetting the balance of the game. They also ask for a ban on “chain trading,” the practice of trading weapons down level ranks (a level 50 player will give a level 45 player an item, then they pass it to a level 43 player, and so on), and ask for limits on the amount of gold that can be traded back and forth.

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In response, senior game producer Josh ‘Aggrend’ Greenfield states that “no-trade mode is not something we are looking at enforcing for all players baseline, with no ability to opt-out of. Generally speaking, we’re uncomfortable with taking player agency away or restricting options unless we absolutely must.”

He clarifies, however, that “we are hearing feedback about this and are considering some ideas around adding an opt-in option for no-trade or ‘self-found’ gameplay in the future. There’s a few ways to potentially approach this but all of them are out of scope for our initial patch 1.14.4 launch and will need to come with a future Classic Era Hardcore update.

“As far as I am aware, the current tools and addons that the community utilizes to enforce these challenges will continue to be maintained and function, and that is still an option that is totally available to those who want to pursue additional challenges. We fully expect player communities to pop up around these opt-in restrictions as well which we are super excited to see.”

A comment from senior producer of WoW Classic on World of Warcraft Classic Hardcore mode trading

As someone who plays a lot of hardcore in Blizzard’s sister series, Diablo, I can immediately see where trading is an issue. To use Azelon‘s words, “Classic Hardcore should be about the journey from level one when you start with nothing and survive through all the difficulties,” and I completely agree. Hopefully Blizzard finds a middle ground, but I do like Azelon’s idea of giving the item a cooldown as a penalty for constant trading.

If you are looking to dive into WoW Classic Hardcore, you may want to check out our WoW WotLK Death Knight guide – after all, they’re the new (yet old) kids on the block. We also have a WoW WotLK Affliction Warlock guide, and given their high DPS output, they’re worth considering for your hardcore runs.