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Breakfast Topic: Has character death become a non-issue?

Anne Stickney

I just hit level 60 on my alt the other day. I'm having ridiculous amounts of fun playing an elemental shaman -- not enough to give up playing my beloved rogue, but enough to consider rolling a Horde shaman along with the Alliance one. But I noticed something while working on my leveling journey -- I have yet to die. At all. My character has gone through 60 levels without my even feeling like I was in any kind of particular peril. I don't think I've even gotten to a point where I felt it necessary to use a potion or a healing spell while in combat.

While considering this, I thought about all of the various characters I've played over time. It's kind of funny, really -- when I played in vanilla, death was a very real possibility no matter where I happened to be. And there was a lot of discussion about WoW's idea of a death penalty -- being able to return to your corpse and simply resurrect. In Everquest, the death penalty was a far harsher consequence. When you died, you were returned to whenever you happened to be bound at the time, naked and with experience loss to boot. You then had to run, naked, back to where you died in order to reclaim all your armor, weapons, and your bags with whatever you happened to be holding at the time. It was harsh. It was really, really harsh.

In contrast, WoW's death penalty was scoffed at for being far too forgiving. But these days, it seems like it's difficult to even go through the process of death at all. Mobs are spaced out just so, and most roads are free enough from hostile mobs that you really don't have to worry about suddenly keeling over anywhere but in combat -- and it seems like you have to consciously pull a lot of mobs to even do that. Now, I do have to consider the fact that I've been fully decked out in heirlooms. My health might be slightly higher than the average player. But I wonder -- is this a common phenomenon in today's Warcraft? Do you fear the death of your character? Have you noticed a considerable lack of dying while leveling alts, or even mains? Has the possibility of your character dying become an absolute non-issue? And should it be?

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