Classic Hardcore WoW has been fairly popular since the original release of classic and has had a significant community. Blizzard recently released the fact that they will release official hardcore servers.
Hardcore on the official normal realms has typically been solo self found, since it is unofficial. Players have been on Classic Era Servers, so the AH has not been hardcore only. Hardcore realms will have trading, and presumably the Auction House enabled. It’s possible parts of the community will play Solo Self Found of course, but overall I expect most players will engage in the economy.
Will there be an economy?
Once again I saw Wowhead comments from people saying “There won’t be a goblin/AH player economy”. I saw the same opinions before Classic launched, which seemed incredibly silly to me. As long as there are ways to improve your character with items that you can buy there will be an economy. The exact balance of prices will vary, and it’s possible it will take slightly longer on hardcore realms for enough gold to be generated, but I was making gold on the AH week 1 of classic, and the same will most likely be true on hardcore realms.
We can expect the overall economy to be lighter on cash than originally, but as always the amount of gold in the economy will always be going up. I expect players will stash gold on a level 1 character so that if they die they are not completely back to square one. This type of gameplay is very normal in modern hardcore games. A lot of high value areas will be mostly off limits due to the risk involved (such as going into caves to mine) as well. Both materials and gold will be lower in supply in general. This could end up with an economy that is very similar to the actual classic economy, but we’ll just have to see.
Alchemy will likely be a fantastic option for goldmaking on Hardcore. Low level consumables, particularly healing potions are a LOT more valuable when dying kills your character forever. Herbalism is always a popular way to make gold for players who don’t like engaging with crafting professions or the Auction house, so you will likely have a plethora of herbs to buy on the AH to refine.
Lowbie gear will be great
Since you can always die having the best possible gear at any point in time will be very useful. I expect items like low level crafted gear will actually have demand, as players try to equip themselves. Of course your clientele will have to generate items they can sell on the AH to afford this, but since the crafted item will use the same level appropriate materials it should be fairly straightforward.
35 is a magic number
If you can get to level 35 you can max out your professions on a character. Of course you won’t be unlocking every recipe at that level, but you will be able to craft items across the entire board. Engineering and alchemy consumables for instance are two item types were you will be able to craft the vast majority of the relevant ones.