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The Page of Death

hat happens when player characters die? They become ghosts! This page explains the death penalty system in World of Warcraft.
Death is the state a character is in when their health reaches zero (or less). When a player dies, they are unable to take further actions until they release their spirit or are resurrected. Dead players leave a corpse at the location where they died. Upon dying, the player is presented with two options: Release Spirit and Recap. The Death Recap Screen provides a short list of the most recent sources of damage, allowing the player to review their cause of death. Repeated deaths within a short time will cause a "resurrection timer" to appear, which temporarily grays out the Release Spirit button (likely to prevent zerging). After 6 minutes the player's spirit will automatically be released.

Unlike other games, in World of Warcraft you lose no items or experience when you die. Instead, all of your equipped items immediately take a 10% durability reduction (this applies only to items equipped when you died, not to items in your inventory). While in spirit form, you can run back to your corpse and rejoin it for no additional penalty by selecting the "Resurrect Now" button when you come within range; you come back to life with half health and half mana. Run speed is increased while you are a spirit and you are able to walk on water.


As a ghost, you have three options:

  1. You can return to your corpse and recover it. There is no further penalty if you choose this option.
  2. You can have a fellow player (Paladin, Shaman, Priest, or Warlock) resurrect you, which will bring you back to life next to that player. There are also items in the game that allow players of any class to resurrect you. You will not lose any experience when resurrected by another player, but you will have "resurrection sickness" for a few minutes. Players with resurrection sickness will have a temporary reduction in character attributes. Also, you can be resurrected by other players even after you have released your spirit back to the graveyard.
  3. You can talk to the spirit healer NPC to immediately resurrect yourself at the spirit healer's location for a debuff. That debuff is called Resurrection Sickness; ideally, you won't have to use a spirit healer too often since you can be resurrected by a Paladin, Shaman, Priest, or Warlock player. It will also usually be easy enough to walk back to your corpse as a ghost. If you do decide to use a spirit healer, you will become very weak and will have to wait for the debuff to end if you are to do some serious killing.


When the player's spirit is released, they will turn into a spirit form (a ghost or, in the case of night elves, a wisp), which spawns at the nearest graveyard. A player in ghost form appears as a blueish-gray, transparent version of their normal model. As a ghost, you will only have 1 point of health. Death will automatically remove all Buffs and Debuffs from the character, except for the "Resurrection Sickness" debuff, which is applied, and certain Flask effects that persist through death.

"It is not yet your time. I shall aid your journey back to the realm of the living."

Being a Ghost:
Players have special characteristics while in ghost form:

  • Players will be ethereal in appearance.
  • Players will have a modified perspective of the world.
  • In ghost form, players will be unable to interact with most things in the world.
  • Ghosts will neither be seen by nor see living players and most creatures, other than those creatures that are in the immediate area surrounding their corpses.
  • Ghosts can see other ghosts.
  • Ghosts can run faster, which makes it easier to return to where they died. They can also levitate over water.
  • A few special creatures may be able to see ghosts (these will be apparent to players), and they can attack players in ghost form.
  • If players do die in ghost form, they will be transported back to the most recent graveyard that they were at (not the graveyard nearest to where their ghosts just died, if different).
  • "Public chat" will not be available to ghosts, but "private chat" such as /tells, /guild, and /party chat will still be allowed.

Finding Your Corpse
When you are a ghost, it will be easy to find your corpse. An arrow will be placed on your minimap, directing you to your corpse. Once you get near the corpse, a special icon will also appear on the minimap to show you the corpse's exact location.


Reviving as a Ghost
Once you approach your corpse, you will see any monsters that are near it. You do not have to reincorporate directly on the spot where your corpse is. As you come closer to your corpse, a dialogue box will pop up, asking if you are ready to be revived. You'll then be able to pick a safe location near your corpse to come back to life. The range within which you'll receive these options has not yet been determined.


If you die in an instanced portion of a dungeon, crossing the instance line into that dungeon as a ghost counts as reclaiming your corpse. You don't have to go all the way back in to find it, and it doesn't matter if your particular instance no longer exists. You cannot explore the dungeon in ghost form. Also, your ghost may not enter an instanced dungeon in which you do not have an active corpse.


Other Information
Players do not need to manually bind at the graveyard. The game selects the nearest graveyard automatically.

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