In honor of Byron ‘Reckful’ Bernstein, Blizzard has added a Rogue Trainer NPC under his gamer tag to World of Warcraft, with various odes to his legacy as possibly the game’s most iconic player ever.
Reckful passed away at 31 years old in July 2020 and the World of Warcraft community responded as thousands banded together and paid the WoW and Twitch innovator homage by meeting and sharing stories of his impact at sites like the Stormwind Cathedral (the Cathedral of Light) and Grommash Hold. Now, Blizzard has echoed those sentiments by immortalizing him as an NPC who can be found at that first location.
Today we all witnessed not only the largest in-game memorial but also the largest in-game player-driven event in the history of World of Warcraft
In times like this it's easy to think of the evil that people are capable of but we can't forget the purity and kindness as well. pic.twitter.com/5mzOSZrM3Z
— Zack (@Asmongold) July 3, 2020
Those communal mournings constituted the largest player-driven in-game event in the history of the game, and it has become obvious that Reckful’s influence is not lost upon Blizzard. Although he had already been given a Byron Burnside NPC years ago, this new one is more fitting and a more direct reference to the name he was more popularly known by.
Reckful was one of the most skilled Rogues of all time, so the character choice is on-point. But it’s the dialogue touches and the choice of location that lend the most weight to this act of immortalization.
— Wowhead (@Wowhead) August 6, 2020
During Wrath of the Lich King, the Assassination Rogue became meta and widely considered overpowered. But Reckful, unbothered by trends, maintained his Subtlety Rogue class, ignoring the Assassination Rogue’s core ability, Mutilate, and proceeded to Rank 1 across arenas like a true WoW iconoclast.
That history is rekindled with Blizzard’s NPC, as the character tells you “I don’t train Assassination Rogues” upon interaction.
Further, although his class may have been named for subtlety, Blizzard has not shied away from what this addition to the game is about. In dialogue options with him, players can choose to ask for training or simply tell him what many wish they could: “It was good seeing you again.”
From Warcraft and Hearthstone esports to pioneering Twitch streaming, Reckful holds one of the deepest and longest-lasting legacies of gaming content creators. The responses to his passing reinforced that effect on the industry and culture.
Blizzard’s inclusion of his namesake, befit with personal touches, ensures that said legacy is immortalized in a location that has found new meaning for a community that misses him dearly.