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Permadeath can mean a few things:

  • For role playing purposes, it refers to a player character being killed in an RP/IC (Role-Play/In-Character) sense. This death of a character, if the Real Life (RL) player chooses, can be permanent, hence permadeath. The player should not log on as the character if they have declared this for that character.
    • This can also mean that the RL player deleted their character off of the server and wrote up an RP story to explain it — most likely with an OOC (Out-of-Character) explanation as well.
  • The player has deleted his character. This can however be overturned; Blizzard can be convinced in rare cases to recover the character (too much to explain the details of here).
  • If the player chooses to log-in with the char that has permadied, most likely it will be for PVE/Game Mechanic Reasons (checking mail, raid, Battlegrounds etc).
  • In rare circumstances, the RL player of that charecter has died, therefore will not be played ever again.

Other games that support permadeath

Diablo II Hardcore Mode: In Hardcore Mode, you only have one life when you create the Character, if your Character dies it is a permanent death(cannot be resurrected) and will not under any circumstances be resurrected by Blizzard/Battle.Net