In this article, I want to talk about the current state of Official Hardcore Servers in WoW Classic. Before I get started, I must stress that I am personally very supportive of Blizzard developing them.
Besides, I will also explain to you why this is not a priority for Blizzard, nor will it ever probably be a priority, and there is a slight chance we never get Official Hardcore Servers, no matter how much we really want them to happen, and that will be explained in this article.
What Classic Hardcore Is?
Before we start though, I just want to do a quick recap on what Classic Hardcore is, as there is a chance someone has no idea what the term “hardcore” even refers to
Basically, Classic Hardcore is a No-Death leveling challenge in Classic WoW that is taking part mostly in the Classic Era Servers, with thousands of active players every single day. The goal of the challenge is to make it to level 60 without dying, and if you die and want to keep playing in the challenge, you have to start over from level 1 again. By the way, if you want to solve this problem, maybe you can use WOTLK Classic Gold to equip yourself.
When we talk about Official Hardcore Servers, this refers to Blizzard embracing the Classic Hardcore Gameplay & Community and supporting the movement by adding official Hardcore-type of servers, where if you die you can’t resurrect or you have to delete your character, basically permanent one-life servers.
Pros Of Having Official Hardcore Servers
So, now that we are all caught up to speed, let me highlight some of the positive aspects of having Official Hardcore Servers. Before I introduce, some people might consider me being negative or just overall pessimistic, but it’s really me looking at the idea of Classic Hardcore Servers with an objective point of view and realizing that Blizzard is a business after all.
Here are positive aspects of having Official Hardcore Servers:
There’s an obvious demand for them. I did some player scans recently, showing exactly how many people were online at the same time on the Classic Era Hardcore Server for Europe, and there’s literally between 2 and 3 thousand people playing at the same time on a regular Monday evening.
Having Official Blizzard-Supported Hardcore Servers would make it way more appealing to everyone. First, you would have way fewer grievers, like playing on the current Classic Era Servers, there’ are a lot of grievers, because they can level to level 60 and just grieve anyone else playing Hardcore, without playing Hardcore themselves.
If we’re on an official hardcore server, grieving will be a lot more risky and a lot more difficult, because first of all the grievers have to level themselves up in a hardcore environment, and then if they decide to grief, they actually have more risk involved because they are playing hardcore themselves.
Less grieving equals to more fun gameplay and more appealing to quite literally everyone. Right now, playing on Classic Era, you have to deal with some people playing Hardcore, and some people not playing Hardcore, and it’s actually quite messy.
For example, if you as a non-hardcore player want to do a somewhat difficult quest or kill a named mob, and you try to group up with a hardcore player do the same thing, that hardcore player is literally not allowed to group up with you, which might cause you to get annoyed at the hardcore player because you’re killing the same mobs and could have helped each other, and if you don’t know he’s doing the hardcore challenge, he looks like a complete jackass, so it’s quite messy.
It makes it a lot more convenient & easy to try out. Right now, in order to play Hardcore, you first need to find out which serves the hardcore community is playing on, then you need to download a Hardcore addon. But if we had official hardcore servers, you eliminate having to find out which server to play because they’re already public, and we wouldn’t need the hardcore addon.
And by the way, the Hardcore Addon has over 200,000 installs, so once again there’s obviously a demand for this.
Why Blizzard Haven’t Implemented Official Hardcore Servers?
Now, let’s think about the idea of Official Hardcore Servers from an objective point of view, and think about why Blizzard hasn’t implemented them yet, if there is such an obvious demand? Actually, it’s all about money.
Blizzard is a company, they like making money. When they came out with Classic WoW, they tried to keep it as similar to Vanilla WoW as possible, which they said was a “love letter to their community”.
But I will bet you right now: They always had the intention of coming out with the level 58 boost and the TBC Deluxe Editions for TBC Classic. Classic WoW was just them earning your trust, for then to profit from that trust later on, they 100% thought that through before even beginning to work on Classic WoW.
So, let’s continue to Hardcore Servers. Here’s how I see it:
Everyone that is currently playing Classic Hardcore, is playing on Classic Era. 99% of people that know what Classic Hardcore is, are currently playing on Classic Era. In essence, what this means is that 99% of people that would play on Official Hardcore Servers are already playing the game and are already giving Blizzard their monthly subscription revenue.
Blizzard needs a financial incentive to make Official Hardcore Servers, and to be honest, I simply don’t think it is quite there yet. For the people that know about Classic Hardcore, it’s a fantastic idea, but then again, most of us are already paying & playing on Classic Era, why would Blizzard spend their time & resources on implementing new types of servers for us, when it’s obvious that we are still playing and having fun on the Classic Era Servers?
In the long run, sure, it could bring more people back to Classic WoW by offering something new & fresh, and it has been successful for some other games in the past, but is the financial incentive really there right now?
I really do think, and I’m not motivating anyone to do this, but I think in order to get Official Hardcore Servers anytime soon, we would quite literally have to organize a gamer strike or an era boycott to actually give Blizzard a financial incentive for these Hardcore Servers, because that way we are sending the message: “If you want our money, give us what we want”, while right now, we are giving them the money either way and begging them to pet us on the head and say “good boy”.
Diving even deeper into the financial incentive hole, I can’t help but think: What would Official Hardcore Servers actually look like: Judging by how Classic WoW went, it started off great, really authentic & vanilla-like, at least in most ways, and then when the expansion came out, they capitalized by introducing boosts & deluxe editions. What if a potential Official Hardcore Server follows the same trend?
They give us exactly what to ask for, in the beginning, but then they start adding random things to milk us for every penny we have, first we would get cosmetics which people would be somewhat okay with, then we would get mounts which again people would be somewhat okay with, but then imagine if they went the extra mile and offered Paid Resurrections?
For Official Hardcore Servers, I want to say “Death = Delete”. But if you pay $50, you can resurrect your character and keep playing! Or maybe they would make like a Chronoboon Displacer item that costs $50 and allows you to travel 1 minute back in time. So if your character is ever about to die, you can use that item. Or, maybe they would introduce a Light of Elune type of item into the cash-shop, allowing anyone to bubble-hearth, essentially.
This is just me speculating on how many ways Blizzard could potentially screw up these servers, but I really wanted to highlight the financial incentive aspect of this conversation, as it’s something that isn’t being talked about enough. As players, we care about having fun while playing the game. As a company, Blizzard cares about making money. When you want something to happen, you have to consider both these things.