I finally had a character die out in the world in Classic. (I did have a few deaths on my druid in a dungeon). As predicted, it was because of stupidity, rather than the game being hard.
I was on my level 13 Warrior, and I joined a group of around the same level to kill Defias. After that, the group wanted to kill gnolls, so I tagged alone. They went to the southern gnoll camps, the ones with level 16 or so gnolls. That's +3 levels, so high enough to be dangerous, but there were four of us.
Surely it would be easy enough if we pulled carefully.
After killing one mob, I turned around and noticed the healer had managed to pull four level 16 mobs and was half-dead. Like an idiot I charged in instead of running away. And shortly thereafter we were all dead.
Otherwise, I'm pretty much just making low level alts in Classic. I have 7 characters between levels 7 and 15. Maybe I should just give up on Classic. It hasn't managed to really capture my interest. It really feels like the best or most optimum way to play is to play in as tedious a manner as possible. And the game is already tedious enough.