- Author: Pride
- Date: October 21, 2021
- Expansion: WoW Classic
In Blizzard’s most recent update to the Season of Mastery beta, Blizzard had one particularly cryptic bullet point among the list of changes:
High Elf Watchers have made an appearance in the Ironforge Library and Undercity Apothecarium, seeking to chronicle those who bear a “Soul of Iron”.
It was not completely clear who these High Elf Watchers are and what their purpose in-game is, but now we know: they’re here to facilitate features for Hardcore mode players. Very sneaky of Blizzard to add such a feature without any fanfare, but fans of the mode will appreciate it nonetheless.
For those who are not aware, Hardcore runs are special challenge runs in video games where upon death, one has to restart the game from scratch. They are very popular in action RPG games like Diablo and Path of Exile, rogue-likes, etc., where they are actual game modes.
For some time now, players have done similar Hardcore runs on WoW, albeit unofficially — there is no way in-game to track if you died or not, and no special bells and whistles whatsoever. But no more — say hello to the Soul of Iron!
To activate the Soul of Iron, simply head to one of the Chronicler NPCs in the locations listed in the quote above, interact with them, and tell them you are a soul of iron.
Upon doing so, you will receive the Soul of Iron buff, which has no in-game effect besides bragging rights.
While you have the Soul of Iron buff, you gain access to a spell called “Soul of Iron” which turns your character model black & white and has you flex, to signify how much of a badass you are.
On the flip-side, if you die with the Soul of Iron buff active, your soul “leaves” you, so to speak, becoming an non-interactable Soul Fragment on the ground that reminds you of your shame. Additionally, you gain a debuff called “Tarnished Soul”, reducing your stats by 1%.
This is of course merely a token to signify that you have failed the Hardcore run. Most players who are undertaking the challenge will simply delete the character and try again at this point, but should you want to continue playing the character and are unable to bear the shame, you can go back to your faction’s Watcher and have them remove the debuff, or restore it if you want to keep showing it for some reason.
This does not go as far as other games’ Hardcore modes do but it is unquestionably a sign that Blizzard is listening, as fans have been requesting a feature like this for a while. The fact that it exists means that it can be expanded upon at a future time, and that the possibility of support for other similar runs, such as iron man or solo runs, also exists!
What are your thoughts on this? Will you be trying a Soul of Iron run, are you impressed that Blizzard is adding player-requested features, or is this just not an important enough feature for you? Let us know in the comments below!