Leveling in WoW Classic hardcore might be exhilarating, but when any enemy has the potential to end your life prematurely and send you crying back to character creation, it makes sense to be cautious. A friendly duel seems like a safe way to let off some steam without worrying about your character's mortality, but sadly, the encounter ended the promising life of a poor undead mage called Thegreek.
If you're not familiar, regular duels aren't "to the death" in World of Warcraft, instead, the fight is automatically stopped just short of the losing player falling over. In an unfortunate turn of events, the Horde NPC that happened to be patrolling the area—and would usually be unfazed by a duel going on in his vicinity—rushed over and delivered the fatal blow to the mage before running back to his patrol route and continuing on his way. The mage in question, Reddit user QuadsiusPrime, captured the incident, which you can check out below.
WoW NPCs are generally a friendly bunch. They're there to populate the world and they'll mostly mind their own business. What will annoy them though is if anyone attacks them or any nearby friendly players. So a Horde guard attacking a Horde player should never happen. Except, clearly it did.
Several commenters on Reddit seem to have identified the problem that led to the "bug" that got Thegreek killed. If you check the video closely you see that the damage numbers being applied to the hunter are still ticking just as the duel ends. What appears to have happened is that the patrolling NPC assumed that this was a PvP situation—someone or something was attacking a nearby Horde player—and so he rushed in to deliver retribution. And because the guard is level 40—23 levels higher than the mage in question—retribution in this case meant a one-shot death.
If you're unfamiliar with WoW Classic Hardcore, the premise is this: if your character dies, that's it. Done. No reloading checkpoints, no respawning, no painfully slow run back to your body because someone decided to put the graveyard on the other side of the zone. If you want to continue playing, you have to make another character and start from level one.
So yeah, it's game over for Thegreek, though it's not the first time a player has lost their character's life to some unintended game behaviour. Maybe boars are the safer option after all.