Death is the state a character is in when their health reaches zero (or less). When this happens, they leave a corpse at the location where they died. If the player decides to release their spirit from the corpse, they will turn into a spirit form (a ghost or, in the case of night elves, a wisp), and the spirit form spawns at the nearest graveyard.
If you die from a fall in an inaccessible area, your ghost may not be able to get close enough to your corpse to rejoin it; in this case you will have to resurrect at a graveyard. This is sometimes the case if you fall off the edge of Outland. (When falling off of Outland, the corpse of the player usually is placed at a reachable area on the edge somewhere; it may, however, place the corpse in an unpleasant location).
Durability as a GhostEdit
When your ghost is killed, you suffer another 10% durability loss on equipped items. For example, if you are killed in combat and you get your ghost killed trying to rejoin your corpse (now having died twice), then give up and use the spirit healer, you would suffer a 3x10+25 = 55% durability loss on all equipped items and 25% on inventory items.
Upon dying in World of Warcraft, 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). You have a few minutes in which to be resurrected by a player, or you may release yourself to the nearest graveyard as a spirit. 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 to 125% of normal while you are a spirit (night elves have a special racial ability called Wisp Spirit that gives them even more speed) and you are able to walk on water.
Your ghost can breathe underwater in lakes, rivers, coastal waters, and even lava, but if you swim into the deep ocean your ghost can still die of Fatigue.
Exceptions to the rules on durability lossEdit
If you are killed by another player in PvP combat, you do not take the initial 10% durability hit. However, you will still take a 25% hit and suffer from resurrection sickness if you are resurrected by a spirit healer.
If you are killed by self-inflicted death — such as a paladin's Divine Intervention, a warlock's Hellfire, using a life draining trinket/item like the , or using a — then you will not suffer any durability damage to your armor or items unless you are resurrected by a spirit healer.
The spirit healers present in each graveyard can bring you back to life immediately, saving you a trip to your corpse. However, doing this will cause all of your equippable items to take an additional 25% durability hit; this applies both to equipped items, and to items in your inventory. In addition, you will suffer from resurrection sickness. This sickness decreases all of your attributes and damage dealt by 75%, and has a duration that varies depending on your level:
- Characters from level 1-10 are not affected. (However, they still take the additional durability decrease)
- Characters from level 11-19 will suffer from one minute of sickness for each level they are above 10. For example, a level 12 character would be sick for two minutes, while a level 18 character would be sick for eight.
- Characters level 20 and up suffer from ten minutes of sickness.
Starting in patch 2.4, players that have the resurrection sickness debuff will be worth no honor.
Quests accessed while deadEdit
There are a couple quests that can only be accessed while the player is dead. Those quests start by talking to a NPC who is only visible and accessible while in ghost/wisp form. On a side note, if one levels due to turning in one such quest, they shall regain all their life and mana but will not resurrect.
It was rumored, on this wiki page, that there were over twenty quests that could be accessed in such a manner. Not a single shred of evidence was provided. The only Blizzard post — to be found — confirming ghost quests is cached here and those "couple" of quests are listed below.
- Linken Quest Chain - ,
- Shadowforge Key Quest Chain - ,
- Molten Core Attunement Quest - - (can be acquired while dead, death not required)
- In Wrath of the Lich King, when dying in Icecrown or Storm Peaks, players will have access to a spectral gryphon upon death to retrieve their corpse because of the mountainous regions. However, since Night Elves are wisps they don't have the gryphon, they simply fly.