Classic Hardcore Tips and Tricks
Do you want to have the safest Hardcore journey imaginable? Check out all of our tips and tricks to help you survive Hardcore.
Tips and Tricks for Hardcore
This page is full of all kinds of tips and tricks that have been built up over my time playing Hardcore over the past three years. Utilize these to make your journey as safe as possible.
Don't rush your journey, take it slow. It's extremely easy for things to go south while leveling, especially while leveling quickly. Don't rush by packs of mobs or attempt to do some funky skip that you saw someone do and just go slow. Kill everything around you and play it safe. Safety is the key to success in Hardcore.
Do Not AFK
This might sound like an obvious one, but you'd be surprised at how many people step away from their computers for a brief second, then come back and see their character getting beat on. If you're going to afk, even for one minute, always log out. It only takes 20 seconds to log out when you're in the open world, so don't lose your character over it.
Awareness is Key
Keep your head on a swivel, always looking around at your surroundings. When you're fighting enemies, it's easy to get distracted by that enemy. You should always be looking around you while you're fighting because many mobs will be walking around and can agro to you. Too many times have people not been looking around while they're fighting.
Always log out in a safe place, no matter how long you'll be logged out for. Don't log out where mobs can jump you right when you log back into the game. Take the time to run to a road, or better yet, an Inn or major city, to get that precious rested experience.
While staying rested in game gives you rested XP and is always nice, I'm referring to staying rested in real life! The more tired you are, the more likely you are to make mistakes that you otherwise wouldn't make if you were rested up. Stay hydrated, stay rested, stay alert!
Know Your Class
One of the biggest tips is to know your class in and out. Knowing what spells and abilities do, as well as what and when you should use them is massively important. Hardcore will have you using parts of your class that you may not be used to, and it's important to adapt to the more niche aspects of your class's toolkit. The difference here is life and death. We have Hardcore guides for every class here on Icy Veins if you're looking to learn.
This goes off of the last tip about knowing your class. Once you learn your class, make sure to utilize ALL of your toolkit. You'll find abilites and spells used in Hardcore that you've never needed to use in normal PvE or PvP content in Classic WoW and it's important to know and use them all. For example, Warlocks use Curses that they otherwise wouldn't use in most content, Warlocks and Hunters use pets that typically wouldn't, and Rogues use poisons and stuns that they'd normally not utilize. This is just a short list of examples.
While professions aren't mandatory, they are drastically helpful. I won't go too far into detail on each and every profession and its benefits, but you can check out the Icy Veins Classic professions page for more in depth information.
Enginnering provides many bombs and grenades that not only boost your damage, but also stuns all enemies, which can provide you with a head start to run away if needed. Engineering also has some gear and items that can be crafted like Target Dummy which taunts all enemies around, acting almost like a get out of jail free card. Make sure to check out your favorite profession and see what it can bring you.
No matter what you decide to do for professions, you should always pick up First Aid. This will provide you with many different types of Bandages depending on your skill level, such as Heavy Runecloth Bandage. You will always find enough cloth off of mobs to keep your First Aid leveled up, so it's just a quick way to heal yourself. Don't worry about this taking up one of your primary profession slots, since this is a secondary profession.
Skinning is a phenomenal way to earn gold while leveling, which as you've learned from the past few tips, is very important in Hardore. You can learn it very early from the first town you go to. Make sure to buy a Skinning Knife next to the trainers and skin everything you kill and vendor it all!
Items and Storage
Get in the habit of looting every enemy that you kill, even if you think it's not worth it! It's hard to come by gold in Hardcore, and you'll want your mount upon hitting level 40. A large majority of us are left at 40 hard farming gold for our mount. Unless you're a Warlock or Paladin, mounts are very expensive and you can expect it to take awhile to get your mount. Make sure you loot and vendor everything!
All enemies are capable of dropping much more than loose change and some cloth. They also drop Bind on Equip items that can be very strong if you can use them. If you can't use it, you'll be able to put it up on the auction house and make some good gold from it.
This applies to mounts as well, but depending on what class you play, you will have to buy more spells and equipment than some other classes. Skill, spells and abilities can end up being quite costly, and there are quite a few of them you can skip. Take a look at our Hardcore guides for your specific classes for an in depth list of all the spells and skills you can skip and save a ton of money.
Make sure you buy bags! Especially early on, you will be battling the inventory boss. This means that you'll frequently have your bags full and end up leaving all that precious loot on the ground. You can head to the auction house and pick up some cheap bags that will help you out tremendously.
Keep Potions Stocked
This is one of the most important tips that will save your life. Stock up on health potions. This is important for every class. You will certainly find health potions like Minor Healing Potion, Lesser Healing Potion, Healing Potion and many more. However, frequently check the auction house in any major city and try to pick up these same potions to ensure you always have a handful in your bags, keybound, and ready to be used.
Bank alts, or stashes, can act as a way to hold all your gold and items. If you find items, materials or gold while leveling, make sure to have a level 1 bank alt made, sending it your unwanted items and gold so that if you do die on your character, you won't lose all that you've accumulated.
Check the Auction House
You are allowed to use the auction house on the official Hardcore server, so make sure to check it frequently to get new weapons, wands, armor, pots, elixirs and other items to help you on your Hardcore leveling journey.
Every zone has certain mobs that are special, and even elite mobs or dangerous roaming mobs that can end your Hardcore run rather swiftly. Always try to learn your zone before you start leveling there. You can find information all over the internet about special enemies in zones, take the time to learn them and your run will be much safer.
Caves and mines are the most dangerous places in the game. Most of them are enclosed with only one way in and out, meaning you have nowhere to run if things go badly. Respawns are the main cause of deaths here; you'll think you're fine and there won't be any mobs around you, then out of nowhere all the mobs respawn on you and you have no way out. Not only are they full of creatures, but other players in caves can be deadly. It's possible for another person to be running for their lives from pulling too many mobs, they'll die, and all those mobs leash onto someone else close to them. If you must go into these dark places, never skip any of the mobs and move through towards your objective as fast as you can, safely. If you can, Hearthstone out.
Water can be a dangerous place. We all know that you can drown, but it becomes very easy to forget to look at the breath meter while you're fighting mobs under water, especially multiple mobs. People have had trouble with disconnecting underwater while fighting mobs as well, so make sure to be extra careful in water. It's always suggested to pick up some Elixir of Water Breathing off the auction house.
Weapon and Gear Upgrades
Make sure to keep your weapons and gear upgraded as you level. This is more so for some classes than others, but it's very important to keep it all upgraded, especially weapons for you melee players, as you level. Always check vendors and the auction house for new affordable upgrades. You can also check for rares in your leveling zone. They always have some solid upgrades and you can easily track them with rare scanner addons.
Always try to be one or two levels higher than where you're leveling. Remember that mobs can be green, yellow, orange and red:
- Red means you should avoid at all costs.
- Orange means you can kill it, but you really shouldn't be fighting them as you have a much higher chance to miss.
- Yellow mobs are on par with your own level and a good option to fight. You'll find yourself fighting them frequently.
- Green mobs are a couple levels lower than you and the best enemies to fight. You have a higher chance to hit them and sicne you're a couple levels higher, you'll be able to kill them much faster, while they do less damage to you.
If your questing addon tells you to fight yellow or orange mobs, then it's wise to mob grind for a little to get that next level up before going back to questing.
Group Dungeon Safety
Dungeons are a great place for experience, and of course brand new gear. While it's sugggested to do most of the dungeons if you can, it's important to make sure that you and your group are a good level range to do the dungeon. Don't enter the dungeon if players in your party are underleveled. It's suggested to make sure everyone is atleast yellow to all mobs.
Make sure to turn on enemy nameplates, which are by default off. This will help you keep track of the health of all mobs around you and if they're aggroable.
Line of Sight
Alot of enemies cast spells, typically dealing a ton of damage. Luckily you can line of sight all casters. Simply move out of sight when you see the enemy start casting their spell and you'll find yourself looking much healthier.
Y axis means that enemies can hit you vertically. For example, if you're upstairs and the enemy is downstairs, you will still be able to be hit. Many Hardcore characters have died this way. This makes towers very dangerous, so make sure to kill everything as you're running up and down through vertical areas.
Kiting can prolong a mob hitting you and cause you to take less damage. Some classes like Warlock, Hunter, Mage and Rogue can easily slow their enemy down and run faster than them to get out of range while waiting for cooldowns, Energy, Mana, Health, etc to come back. Utilize kiting as much as you can.
Kiting With Obstructions
Part of kiting is kiting mobs around fences and pillars. If you jump over a fence, the mob will not jump over it with you. Instead, it will run all the way around it. This is the same with pillars or anything else you can jump around. Mobs do not jump, they take the long way around. Utilize your damage over time spells, poisons, bleeds and whatever else to your advantage with the terrain.
Be Prepared to Run
This is a simple one, but many people won't do this. Always be prepared to run. When fighting enemies in the world, you should be constantly looking around for a way out and be ready to flee. The world is very dangerous and can go from safe to deadly in an instant, so be prepared for it.
Light of Elune
the Light of Elune is an Alliance only item that will make you immune to all damage for 10 seconds. This can be used to simply run away, Hearthstone out of a sticky situation, or even save you from taking lethal fall damage. The list goes on. However this is a one time use! Once you use it, you'll never be able to use it again.
This might sound silly, but make sure you play zoomed out. Alot of people play zoomed out all the way, but some people can't stand that and if you're one of them, atleast don't be zoomed in all the way. You need to be able to look around your character often. The more you're zoomed in, then less you can see. Here's a macro that will allow you to zoom out further than the default camera zoom.
- /console cameraDistanceMaxZoomFactor 3.9
Leashing is a very important mechanic to everyone in the game and can sometimes be the difference between life and death. A leash begins when you attack a target. Once you attack a target, he is now leashed to you. In order to break the leash you must not cast anything or interact with the mob for 10 to 13 seconds. This means no crowd control, spells, melee dmg, etc. If you do, this resets the leash timer.
In order to drop leash, you must be atleast 31 yards away from where you originally agro’d the target. If you do any damage to the mob it resets this leash, making the mob continue to chase you. Mobs can also reset their leash if they stand still for atleast one second. For this reason, when you are trying to reset your leash, always keep moving.
Expanding upon the previous section even more, Warlocks and Hunters have a Pet that messes with the leashing. Whenever a pet hits the mob, the leash is now queue’d to the pet. This means whenever our personal leash breaks or resets, the mob will then go to your pet. You can then cast anything on the mob to get the agro back, or simply run away. This can be extremely handy when fighting all types of mobs out in the open world. Knowing how to handle your leash can be one of the most important things for your survival.
A very helpful thing you can do as a Warlock is bounce agro back and forth between each other using this leashing mechanic. You can start by both you and your pet hitting the enemy. Put your pet on "Stay" while you run away, but don’t out render the pet. Once the mob stops attacking you, he will run to your pet. You can then pull threat back off of it by casting anything. This process can be repeated to ad infinitum.
This pet leashing technique can also be used if you need to escape. Simply taunt with your pet or drop the leash on your pet, press Stay, and run away. The mob will despawn with your Pet.
Split pulling can be very important when looking a fighting more than one mob. If you see a pack of enemies and you pull them with your normal skill, thrown or spell, you will pull the entire pack and that pack will all be leashed together. This meaning if you tried to run away, all of them would chase you for the entirety of the leash. Split pulling, if done correctly, will pull all the mobs, but once you run past your leash all but the one you're attacking will de-leash off of you. This is nice when you need to kill only on of the enemies in a pack. You can split pull by using an AoE item like a grenade, or an AoE spell like Blizzard or Rain of Fire or body pulling by running close enough to the mobs. Then when you pull, run away, while still casting something or hitting your kill target and all of them besides that target will reset.
You should keybind all of your abilities and important items, like potions, ensuring they're in an easily accessible location for you to reach when needed. You do not want to be in a panic situation where you're frantically opening your bags or rushing to click your potion. This is an easy way to die.
Strafe and Daze
Strafing can help you get around much better than keyboard turning left and right. Plus, you can get dazed if you get hit from behind while running from enemies. Strafing is an easy way to avoid this. Go to your keybinds settings and set strafe left and right to A and D and get used to it. You won't regret changing this.
- 03 Jul. 2023: Overview added.
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