WoW Classic Hardcore hosts a dramatic duel to the death with dozens of bloodthirsty spectators—and of course it's because a hunter stole a belt

A dwarf does the chicken dance over a night elf he bested in mak'ogra on World of Warcraft's classic hardcore servers.
(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Warcraft. Warcraft never changes. The words "hunter weapon" or "hunter loot" became its own meme back in the day, due to the fact that hunters could use—and technically benefit from—a bunch of loot otherwise relegated to specific classes. Rogue dagger? That's a hunter weapon. Warrior axe? That's a hunter weapon.

So of course the first high profile mak'gora—WoW Classic hardcore's system that allows players to duel each other to the death—was over a hunter stealing a belt. That fact alone floods me with something between shame and genuine, full-blooded patriotism for PC gaming culture. 

The fight took place between the mage Mcwiggles and the hunter Butternutz—fortunately Mcwiggles streams on Kick, so I was able to watch the whole thing play out after the fact. During a run of Shadowfang Keep, the last boss Archmage Arugal drops the Belt of Arugal, a cloth item which gives a huge boost to Int and smaller bonuses to Agility and Spirit. Mcwiggles prematurely celebrates: "The belt dropped, boys!"

Like sharks smelling blood in the water, both the druid tank and the party's hunter roll Need. Mcwiggles only rolls an 8 while his companions—soon to be mortal enemies—roll a 68 and a 89 respectively. The arguing starts immediately: "It's a cloth caster belt", Mcwiggles says, to which Butternutz replies: "Spirit and int are very good for levelling."

Granted, they're not wrong. Hunters can make good use of the belt's other stats even if it didn't give him more agility—and while cloth gear provides less armour, hunters like to stay at range so it's less important. Mcwiggles didn't like that answer, though. The, uh… reasoned and civilised debate between these two players quickly spiralled as Mcwiggles challenged Butternutz to a mak'gora—a challenge of single combat, where only one player walks out alive. Again, this is hardcore—the loser's character is gone for good.

On the long journey from the dungeon to Orgrimmar word spreads like wildfire, and by the time the two are poised by the gates, a crowd has already gathered. Some of them giving the duelists buffs to help in the oncoming battle, like squires polishing a knight's armour—or kids on the school playground hurling insults to further amp their mates up. At one point, a player named Noears runs up to Mcwiggles to trade him an Elixir of Minor Fortitude and a Rumsey Rum Light, which both boost his health. The atmosphere's electric.

Mak'gora to settle a loot dispute - Defias Pillager Horde. from r/classicwow

Perhaps at this point Mcwiggles might question whether it's worth it to ruin hours of progress over a belt—he doesn't, hitting accept and sounding off with the gamer battlecry: "Let's go." Butternutz momentarily declines, begging the crowd to buff his pet—true heel behaviour.

Finally, the mak'gora begins in earnest. Mcwiggles opens up with a well-placed frost nova, keeping Butternutz's pet at bay—though he quickly chokes, polymorphing the pet into a harmless sheep before breaking his own crowd control with an accidental fireblast.

It's a backfoot Mcwiggles never recovers from and, tragically, the hunter wins—making excellent use of the gates themselves to block line of sight. Like a pack of hyenas descending upon a fresh kill, the crowd gathers around to jump on his dead body and spam 'f' while jumping—truly the only way it could end.

Mcwiggle's death is celebrated by a crowd of jubilant world of warcrafters.

(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment / Mcwiggles on Kick)

The duel was later posted to both the main WoW and the classic WoW subreddits by onlooker Myth_Of_Er_, who writes: "The man lost his belt and his life soon after. RIP." Mcwiggles himself actually made an appearance, commenting: "Yeah, I initiated the Mak'gora over the Belt of Arugal. I'm not going to lie, I was panicking heavily and freaked out, forgot where my spells were (as it's a new character). It is what it is, he beat me and it was fun."

The fate of Butternutz and his new belt is unknown, but I'm thrilled to see these kinds of stories play out on classic hardcore. Any other day, a mage losing a duel would be pedestrian—but the risk of losing your character permanently just heightens everything. Knowing how heated loot arguments were back in the day, I doubt this'll be the last grudge match we see. I give it less than two months before someone fully recreates Fight Club.

Harvey Randall
Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.