WoW Classic Season Of Mastery's Hardcore Mode Makes The Game Even More Challenging

Players are trying to hit level 60 and defeat the final boss of the game's first raid without dying a single time.


World of Warcraft's Season of Mastery is now live, bringing fresh servers and a whole host of changes including faster leveling speeds and more difficult raid bosses. But more than a few players are looking to up the challenge even more by playing on "hardcore" mode using Season of Mastery's new Soul of Iron system.

In Season of Mastery, two newly added NPCs will grant players a special buff if they have yet to die called "Soul of Iron." This denotes that the recipient has never known defeat and is visible to other players. It's the first time WoW has officially supported a "hardcore" mode, even if it's not fully fleshed out.

While many official hardcore modes, like Diablo II's, result in permadeath, WoW Classic's Soul of Iron system simply causes players to lose their buff and instead receive a debuff reducing all stats by 1%. The debuff can be removed, but a character that has been slain can never again receive the Soul of Iron buff. The goal is to see how far players can go without dying, with the added risk associated with dying resulting in a more intense gameplay experience.

Even though the game doesn't officially support it, many players are taking the Soul of Iron system one step further by vowing to delete or never play their character again should they die. Other common hardcore mode rules include being unable to use the game's auction house, no grouping outside of dungeons or raids (and only then with other hardcore players), and no self-resurrect abilities.

Many hardcore players playing Season of Mastery are using the Classic Hardcore add-on to assist with the endeavor. The add-on automatically disables receiving mail from other players or using the auction house, and also provides notifications when other players have failed in their attempt. It also sports anti-cheat detection to ensure hardcore players are playing by the rules and uploads runs to a leaderboard.

As more than a few dedicated WoW Classic players know the game like the back of their hand, playing a hardcore character is a way to keep the game exciting and add some extra challenge. Many hardcore players in Season of Mastery are looking to go all the way with their characters by taking part in a community event that's being called "Road to Ragnaros." The goal is for players to level to the max level of 60, gear up, and attempt to defeat Ragnaros, the final boss of the game's first raid, without dying once.

Considering top WoW Classic guilds defeated Ragnaros within the first week of WoW Classic's 2019 launch, the feat definitely seems doable, though there are sure to be a few players who lose their characters along the way. You can follow the progress of various players participating in Road to Ragnaros over on Twitch.

WoW Classic Season of Mastery launched just as a bombshell report from the Wall Street Journal detailed how Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick may have hid knowledge of sexual harassment and discrimination allegations from investors. It's just the latest chapter in the ongoing scandal that began earlier this year with a state of California lawsuit accusing Activision Blizzard of allegedly fostering a "frat boy" workplace culture, which has since led to additional lawsuits and investigations.

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