Some More Experiences with Hardcore

I didn't immediately forget about my mage on the Stitches server after launch day; I did in fact go back to play her some more and see what else was happening on the server, plus I figured I might as well play until I died, which was surely going to happen soon.

I picked up mining and herbalism in Stormwind to supplement my income, figuring I'd avoid any crafting profession since levelling that would've just felt like wasted effort once I died. I also vendored most of the herbs I picked - when I talk about using gathering skills to make money, I'm not talking about the auction house, since it was so utterly flooded that absolutely everything was going for coppers. If you actually do want to level a crafting profession though, it's probably not a bad time to do so. I've seen plenty of crafters advertising their wares for cheap at all times of day, and I myself used the services of a tailor to get some bags made and bought a cheap wand from an enchanter.

As far as my gathering was concerned, it was hard to tap ore nodes and pick flowers before anyone else did due to how busy it was. While visiting the Elwynn farms, I found myself wishing that I'd taken up skinning instead, as I watched a constant stream of skinnable, hyper-spawning boars fall to adventurers keen to feed Billy MacLure.

I also joined a guild, not out of any particular desire to be social, but simply because someone threw me a random invite and I was curious to see what life was like in a hardcore guild. The first message I saw was someone talking about farting into their hand, which honestly made me want to immediately leave again, but then there was so much text scrolling across the screen, I did want to at least see some more first. The guild message of the day declared that the guild was "international", which manifested itself in people speaking a variety of languages in guild chat that most members probably didn't understand.

Death announcements were scrolling by pretty frequently and elicited a chorus of Fs in chat pretty much without fail. The average level of people's demise seemed to be around 8, with frequent causes of death including kobolds, murlocs and wendigos. Aside from that there were constant "so-and-so has joined the guild" announcements as the guild master appeared to be spam-inviting absolutely everyone for reasons unknown.

One guy that stood out to me among all the crazy chatter was someone who claimed to be a Catholic priest and who, unlike most people, talked in full paragraphs that were only slightly preachy but sounded very sincere. I couldn't help but wonder whether he was for real or some sort of elaborate troll or chat bot. I never found out, because he died to a kobold at level five and I don't know what he did after that.

I quested my way through the entirety of Elwynn and was level eleven by the time I hit the border to Westfall. And honestly, despite the constant death announcements, it was less scary than I expected? I just made sure to always run away if I wasn't 100% sure of the outcome of a battle. The only thing I had that was somewhat close to a near-death experience was when I went into the Fargodeep Mine (yes, I've heard all about the dangers of caves but I wasn't not gonna hunt down Goldtooth) and found myself running very deep inside because there were people everywhere and no mobs - until I suddenly saw a kobold in front of me, turned around, saw a kobold behind me, and everywhere else I looked I was suddenly surrounded by kobolds with no other player in sight. I basically just started running and didn't stop until I was out of the mine and the four or five kobolds I had in tow had reset. Frost Armor probably saved my hide there by slowing them after their first hit and allowing me to get away. When I made my way back into the cave a second time, I advanced more carefully and managed to find and kill Goldtooth with no problems.

Oh, and while hunting gnolls, Hogger spawned right on top of me not once, but twice. He hits pretty hard for his level and took about a third of my health off in a single hit both times, but again being a mage was helpful with getting away.

All that said, I didn't really want to start questing in Westfall and deal with Defias at level eleven, so I returned to town and logged off in order to accumulate some restedness. When I logged back in a week later, the guild had shrunk from over 500 members to less than a hundred, with a lot of the still active ones now being in their thirties or forties. I guess on hardcore a guild can die in a more literal way.

I decided that I was going to get a couple of levels in Loch Modan. I know that troggs can be dangerous too, but I seemed to remember the ones in the open hills being a bit more predictable and less janky than the Defias in Westfall. And indeed, being rested, I gained two levels doing just three or four quests in the area to kill troggs and wildlife. There were quite a few bodies at the entrance to Stonesplinter Valley though, and I witnessed a death "live" for the first time, as a female human warrior or paladin (I didn't quite catch it) was fighting near me one moment, and then I looked over just in time to see her expire to a trogg. It felt oddly traumatising to know that character was truly gone now.

Back in town, I heard a strange sound that sounded like a crowd of people shouting and which I couldn't place, but I soon learned through a guildie that this announced a character on the server having hit level 60. 

Lossy the mage remains alive at the time of me writing this, once again chilling in Stormwind after having hit level 13. Apparently that already makes her better than average, as the official Warcraft Twitter has enjoyed sharing some statistics about official hardcore life (and death).

I like how in the heat map included in that first link, you can see the trail of death from people attempting the Wetlands run at low level... and to think Pallais thought people weren't gonna do that! A lot of the causes of death listed in the second post also align with my own experiences based on the death announcements I saw, though I'm surprised to see fall damage and PvP ranked that high. I can't even think of that many places in Vanilla where you can fall to your death unexpectedly, unless the Undercity elevator still does that thing it used to do...

Anyway, I guess I'll casually keep going for a little longer until I either die or get bored.


  1. Well, I was definitely wrong about the run. It might be tempting to try the run, but I suspect with my luck I'd have a whole trail along the Wetlands just by myself. ^_^

  2. You’re probably just mad because you can’t make it past Westfall and you got invited into a guild that thought they could tax members. You won’t discourage us though lol. Welcome to the real Azeroth, kid. Stay in stormwind. You can safely blog from there.

    1. Eh? Who's mad? Who wants to discourage hardcore players? What an odd comment. 😄

  3. People in my HC Guild (randomly invited) say you can swim from Westfall to Menethil Harbor and avoid the run. Had not heard that before and haven’t tried it. Great if it works! The guild has a few hundred members with 80-90 on at a time which is better than I’ve seen in a long time. Atheren

  4. The biggest surprise to me was finishing up the Abbey in Elwynn to find a Night Elf Hunter next to me.

    "Holy crap!" I said in Gen Chat. "How on earth did a L5 NE make it here?"

    There was no response. My suspicion is that someone was providing ports at this point, because an L5 isn't going to survive the Wetlands Fun Run without being part of a large crowd or getting an escort.