Blue Defends Normal Run-Through Before Hardcore

A popular topic on the official forums on fansites in the past week has been the requirement of completing a DiabloWikinormal difficulty run-through of DiabloWikiDiablo 3 before gaining access to the DiabloWikihardcore mode. The popular consensus amongst fans is that the choice should be available out of the gate.

Looking back to the old days of Diablo 2, this was originally a requirement for hardcore access as well. Only in a relatively recent patch did they give players the option to start hardcore without that normal prerequisite. For those of us who had gone through multiple accounts as hardcore players, it was a nuisance to continually run a character through normal on every alternate account.

This is the way it worked in Diablo II and we like it. We want players to give the game one play through to experience the story, the flow, the boss fights, and the baseline difficulty before risking a whole character on a single death. Players interested in Hardcore mode will have plenty of time for that.
But we’re happy with it being a setting you have to unlock first.

Unlocking game modes has been a staple of gameplay achievements since the early stages of console/computer games. Diablo 3 seems an unlikely candidate for such a feature, though, as it is a popular mode of play that gains no benefit from its normal counterpart. While playing normal allows one to get accustomed to the game and storyline, there are many that wish to have the hardcore experience from the very beginning of the game. Diablo 3 is not a game like Castlevania, where Boss Rush Mode and the like require you to begin the game anew.

The only thing I can say in its defense is that it may be used as a “gambit” to entice new players to even notice that hardcore exists in the first place. When you get the “achievement unlocked: Hardcore Mode,” it may gain more recognition. But… if you’re hardcore, you already knew it existed… right?

DiabloWikiZarhym continues the defense:

I just realized blue is definitely not a HC player. I wonder if any of them even understand why we want this? I think women feel like this when they try to explain make-up to men. (most men)

You’re just on a whole different level and playing field, Zane. After years of pouring blood, sweat, and tears into what we believe will be an amazing gameplay experience, we just don’t understand where you’re coming from. We’ve spent all this time focusing on making an incredibly fun game with a lot of depth. And yet, as a development studio,

we never stopped to consider that we’re just confused men in Zane’s makeup aisle.

Thanks blizz ! I love it when you tell me what’s best for me!

I see a lot of people parroting this and find it a little silly. What do you think a game is? There are scores of predetermined parameters in which you have to play. We made the entire game from the ground up. In designing a game, we spend a good chunk of time deciding what’s best for players. There’s not much of a point in arguing this situation is any different.

The reality is, the moment you log into the game for the first time, you want access to a gameplay mode we think should be unlocked through completing the game on normal difficulty. We’re not telling you how to play or doing what we think is best for you.

We’re doing what we think is best for the game.

To be honest, I’m not really sure where the OP was coming from and I think that Zarhym’s response was adequate. The entire game is built upon parameters that Blizzard has created for the player interact with, so lamenting the fact that we’re “being told what to do” seems to be a rather moot position.  And really, there is no one person singled out by Blizzard with their design choices: whether you agree with the decision or not, Blizzard truly feels that it is best for the game. As to whether or not it actually is the best, we’ll see. While this decision is not a demand on how to play the game, the root of the matter, I feel, goes much deeper. It is homogenizing the first hours of gameplay for their entire audience that, in some cases, may alienate the hardcore base of players.

Personally, I’ve been a hardcore player for possibly a majority of the time I’ve spent with Diablo 2. At this point, I’m indifferent as to whether or not it will require a normal run-through simply due to the fact that I’ve been so used to the prerequisite. By the time the requirement was lifted, I had switched to Softcore PvP and didn’t experience the benefit. But that doesn’t mean the same for many. Hardcore is hardcore – there is no preamble. Your first play-through of the game sets the tone for the rest of your experience, and some people want to start it off playing all or nothing.

How do you all feel about a normal run-through being required for hardcore? It would seem that such a decision to unlock a mode would only affect a very small percentage of their players – and it is for this reason that I feel the requirement may not really be necessary or feel all that awesome once it unlocks.

Update from Flux: Since I was writing a post about this when Nizzy’s went live, I’m going to tack my already-written remarks here.

I’m probably wrong, but this is the first time I can remember “D2 did it that way” being used in defense of a feature, rather than as a reason to do something new and different? (Which quite often winds up evolving back to the D2 system, 2 years later.)

I am not going to play Hardcore first, largely since I need to rush through and get screenshots and info to post news and wiki updates, etc. But if I did not have that responsibility, and had the leisure time and patience to reroll and suffer, I think it would be so awesome to do HC my first time through. Imagine meeting every new boss and quest challenge when battling for the highest stakes? Seeing all the new content while having to play on your toes and at your highest concentration!

Hardcore players want to play the game hardcore. Right from the start. Not sleep through the god-mode walkthrough that is Normal difficulty level, ruining all the surprises and new content. I can easily see HC players getting a friend to rush them through normal, skipping as much of the content as possible so they can save the surprises for when they start playing for real, after navigating the “Normal-first” hoop Blizzard is forcing us all to leap through.

While talking to friends about D3 lately, we’ve been using the (slightly awkward) neologism “MomShioked” to refer to the dozens of features (or removed features) in D3 that clearly owe their entire existence (or non-existence) to the “might possibly confuse a non-gaming casual” test that Blizzard keeps applying to D3’s design. Someone like say, Bashiok’s mom (a non-gamer Bashiok did once mention as providing *useful* D3 feedback).

I think “no HC from the start” is pretty much Exhibit A in the “MS’ed” category, as even in this post the CMs make no effort to defend it with any logic or reason. We brought this up in our two-part Hardcore podcast, and Xanth has written about it a few times, and we saw support for it in a recent vote, but it remains inexplicable to me. Why isn’t HC from the start an option? Is the fear that some noobs would click it by accident and then come crying to tech support really that crippling? Seriously, this isn’t that hard to fix. Include HC at the start but make players navigate to a submenu, include two or three very dire pop up warnings, etc. Problem solved. Problem Momshioked!

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109 thoughts on “Blue Defends Normal Run-Through Before Hardcore

  1. Reasonable… seriously, some1 playing HC could be THAT hc to cope with a normal runthrough before failing at the first trap or whatever xD… well, its a one time play through so dudes, its ok!

    • I added the comments I was typing when Niz posted this to the OP above, so I won’t go into the argument here. But… yes it’s only one time through, but it’s your first time through. You only get to lose your D3 virginity once, and for Hardcore players, how they lose it is a big deal. They want to play through the first time, with all the surprises and new monsters, and new quests, etc, and see those with fresh eyes when living or dying actually matters.

      Blizzard has said, repeatedly, that normal is essentially a god-mode walk through. And that sucks, especially for people who play HC to add challenge to an otherwise easy game.

      Imagine if the first play through had to be with say, a Barbarian? Blizzard decided that was the easiest class, and everyone should get their feet wet with a simple point and click melee tank. Playing a DH or Wizard first is too hard. Might confuse the noobs. That would be really stupid and aggravating, but at least those of us who aren’t big Barb fans could be like, “Oh well, it’s just one play through, and I’d probably have done a Barb at some point anyway.”

      That’s not the case for HC players. Many of them didn’t EVER want to do a softcore play through, especially not on NND (normal non-difficulty). So not only do they have to play a boring game mode they don’t like, on a boring difficulty they don’t like, but it has to be their first time ever, ruining all the fresh experiences.

      And no, “find a friend to play through for you on SC” isn’t a valid solution. Do you have such a friend who would give up his own play time and character advancement to do it for you? Would you be willing to wait several days to start playing D3 while a friend worked your account through normal?

      • It’s like Blizzard is afraid someone in HC will die in normal and /ragequit… when only a complete fool who shouldn’t even be in HC would do so.
        They don’t seem to understand the fun of HC – that it’s the journey that counts, not the destination. It’s like this rule was made by people who’ve never played HC…
        Death is to be expected for a newbie, SC and HC alike. Do they really think so little of players’ intelligence that they think a first-character HC player won’t expect or be able to handle dying in Normal from a surprise attack/ambush?

        Edit: Flux you’re assuming the Normal content will be super-easy and the players will have enough skill not to mess things up. I am assuming the game will be a bit harder and theoretical HC player will be more newbie-ish therefore will have a greater chance of dying than living. Even so, my point still stands (since when do complete newbs to a game expect to be immortal on their first chars – anyone with half a brain will go in HC first char expecting to die but trying not to and having fun along the way) and your viewpoint of Normal’s difficulty if it is correct fortifies my position even more.

      • I agree with you completely about HC issue. However, one point I would disagree is the normal being god-mode. I don´t think that normal will be quite the cake-walk everybody expects. I mean, looking back on it now, D2´s normal is, to me, now, easy to the point where I feel safe to play on /players 8 for majority of the difficulty, and yet I still ocassionally die. Basically, my point is, I do believe we will die on normal, especially in the early playthroughs, but even later.

        • THIS!

          Can you imagine the QQ when people playing the first time got to the end of Act 3 and then right at the start of Act 4, died to an unlucky moment of lag, or a crazy monster combination – and then realised they’d have to play all the way through again, just to find out how the story ended for themselves? 

          There would be tears…I think it makes a lot of sense for 99% to have it unlock after normal. This site certainly is heavy on that remaining 1%, but even you guys must admit, in the above situation, you’d be thinking ‘sh*t…wish I’d played softcore once first’….go on, admit it…just a little bit…

          • Also – good work guys, you have forced me to download the game again from – goodbye weekend! 😛

          • Why would there be QQ’ing? They made a choice to make their first newbie char HC instead of SC, they implicitly know that their inexperience could get them killed in Normal*, but they did it anyway for the fun of it, for the thrill of fighting for their life. Have you ever played HC? If you play HC and you QQ and ragequit from dying, you shouldn’t be in HC. (unless it was a lag-death then you can QQ a little… but if lag is really that bad forcing people to waste time in SC Normal as a buffer won’t help much so that’s a moot point). If you think dying in HC will make people QQ enough to warrant this restriction, then I get the impression you never really played HC and don’t understand it.
            *Please don’t use the “people are stupid” argument. Yes, some people are incredibly dumb, but not dumb enough to not understand the “HC = perma-death” warning text. Unless they are either: 1) illiterate or 2) younger than 11 years old mentally or physically (the age at which humans gain the ability to understand abstract reasoning i.e. imagine things that haven’t actually happened to them and think about how they’d act. This also allows them to legally consent and form contracts). You would have to be either illiterate, a very dumb ten year old, or severly mentally challenged not to realize what you’re getting into when making your first newbie char. a HC char. Worst case scenario why doesn’t Blizz just put an extra popup warning to suggest to do SC Normal to be better prepared…

        • Everyone expects it since Blizzard has repeatedly said that normal is meant to be very easy and almost like a walkthrough, and that the real difficulty starts on Nightmare, or maybe even in Hell.  If they hadn’t said that so many times, I’d assume that it was only the beta, or maybe act one, that was so marshmallow-soft, and that things started to get real in Act 2 or 3.

          • Oh right I think I do remember them saying this somewhere… even the item magic attributes will be noobified in Normal… good point. So only sloppy, rush-y HC’ers (and those encountering the lagmonster) will die.
            Hmmm… so perhaps the beta health boost/low relative mob damage is meant to stay… don’t they realize they might lose gamers if they make Normal too easy? Some Diablo newbies might /tooeasyquit before they hit Nightmare and into more challenging stuff

            In related news:
            While talking to friends about D3 lately, we’ve been using the (slightly awkward) neologism “MomShioked” to refer to the dozens of features (or removed features) in D3 that clearly owe their entire existence (or non-existence) to the “might possibly confuse a non-gaming casual”  
            Oh… does that mean they will “MomShiok” simplify the EULA too? If someone can’t understand the concept of permanent death as explained by the popup warning and must be kept from immediate HC access, how will this person ever understand the popup EULA?

  2. On that magical first playthrough, I want to not know what’s coming AND actually be worried about what it might be.

    They’re removing my ability to do that because… “it’s better for the game.”

    Good reason, champs. Good reason.

    • You can ask a friend to complete normal for you if it’s that important. Tip: think of why it would be better for the game and you might change your mind (maybe still worse for you, but better for the game).

    • Actually it is a good reason. It’s their game, their money and their potential revenues. If you don’t like it don’t play it. They make it to get money and they will do whatever it takes for it to be succesful. If they deem hc from start might hurt the game they lock it until sc playthrough.

      You people are silly. Acting like it’s your game lol.

      • @MAZ

        This is a tremendously weak argument. “Don’t like it, don’t play it.”  You could apply that ‘reasoning’ to every single disagreement about any part of the game.  It’s on par with ‘ner ner’. Really, come on.  You could apply that to this very situation ‘don’t like what you’re reading (comments), don’t read them’.  See, it’s like being mauled by a toothless dog.

        “Acting like it’s your game”.  That’s another one.  Poor.  That, that there, is the absolute lynch pin in this whole deal, it’s 100% what Blizzard want, it’s what they are driving for and achieving I might add.  Emotional investment in a game is the single most solid foundation of any game.  Without it it is utterly disposable. Forgettable. Trust me, no one in Blizzard’s accountancy department consider that ‘silly’.

        I don’t play hardcore so this doesn’t affect me. Although I share some of the sentiment, as I’ve said numerous times on the News Attack podcast, I’d like my first time (SC) to be on Nightmare so it’s all brand new and difficult.  I don’t want to be able to eat my noodles (podcast reference) my first time.  It won’t happen. Too bad.


        I guess, to some guys, it’s like taking a turn on the best roller coaster you can think of at 1/4 speed so you can take in every skilfully designed turn, dip, climb and twist first. Then once you’ve experienced the ride, you get to experience the thrill that attracted you to the ride in the first place. Only it’s been dampened down a bit because, well, you’ve been there, done that.

    • Here’s a half-decent compromise: Once you die in SC, delete you character. This way you can experience content as if you were playing in HC.
      Only problem with this is, once you beat SC you still have to roll another in HC to play HC, so you’d be wasting time leveling up your HC char to the level of your “SC” char, despite having played your SC as if he were HC already…

      • ^   Seriously, if you want to die permanently just do that.
        Yeah it sucks that you have to do normal again for your real HC guy. But you can just start a new class in HC anyway.

        • Like I said, that’s just a compromise in case you want your first time learning the lore to feel like HC but the problem with this is you end up wasting a lot of time as you still need to create and level a new HC char afterwards. It would be way better to just get rid of the SC Norm requirement.

  3. Not requiring a SC run through would effect say 1% of players positively. I believe however that doing so will also effect perhaps 50% of players negatively.

    Although I personally want HC from the start I think Blizzards way of doing it is actually better for the game.

  4. I don’t understand all the drama.

    You go through normal softcore ONCE, you unlock Hardcore mode, you play hardcore and never look back at softcore.

    What is the problem again ? That someone will have to play for day or two to unlock hardcore mode? Geez. 

    LOL @Captcha: Enter the following “heated debate”

    • You dont understand, I will explain BECAUSE THEY DONT WANA KNOW WHAT ENCOUNTERS WILL COME !!! I am not HC player, but People should have right to chose what they like.

      It is like, You can’t play SC2 online, because you didn’t finished campaign “for game is better” What the heck?

    • The problem will happen when people’s softcore chars get deleted from inactivity and they pickup the game again only to have to make another sc char. Even worse for multi-account users (i.e. a family computer)

      • I doubt very much that characters will be deleted from inactivity this time around – between the lack of an offline mode and the inability to so easily make multiple accounts (without buying the game again), it doesn’t make much sense for them. They want it to be easy for people to pick the game back up and keep playing, so they can keep making money via the rmah.

  5. Lets just rush normal, skipping all dialogue and cut scenes, with eyes closed (not a problem since we can die all we want) or let someone else finish normal for us before we start playing. 😐

    • exactly, which just shows how utterly stupid this response is, 
      “We want players to give the game one play through to experience the story, the flow, the boss fights, and the baseline difficulty before risking a whole character on a single death.”

      It really makes no sense at all. If they really want people to experience the story, the flow and the boss fights, then they’d force everyone to play HC first, because nobody would rush through!

  6. Just curious – why do you say that it would affect players negatively? It seems like there should be enough Pavlovian rewards in the game to satisfy players without the addition of this one more.

  7. I love this site, and check regularly throughout the day, but honestly, I think about 95% of the people that post here would complain about not having enough to complain about.

  8. The game will probably be really laggy when the game first comes out since it is online and usually online games aren’t that stable at first.  It is to your benefit to play through normal first because of all the lag.  Beat the game on normal and the lag should settle by then.

    Besides hardcore mode is stupid because I only died because of lag in hardcore.  I had a level 99 barbarian by the way too so I am a hardcore veteran.  It was simple to just max defense stats with a barbarian and run the cow level over and over.

    • Good point – people rolling HC first chars do so at their own peril…. but those that do so would already be expecting to die. They’d have to be complete idiots not to. This is why they should be allowed to choose – because it’s quite obvious that if they roll their first char HC they will, as newbies, in all likelihood die in Normal. (edit: unless the game is super-easy as I’ve heard it might be in Norm)
      Lag deaths is just another way to die. It sucks, it’s the worst way to die next to a real-life distraction, but like TPPK, you sort of get used to it … only difference is if you really don’t like it you can choose to play SC for a while and wait until it is fixed. (How long does it take to beat normal in SC? Will it be fixed by then? If not, all HC players will have to face this issue).
      If they really can’t fix lag a lot less people will play HC, but that’s besides the point of this article.

  9. Just because YOU don’t want to play HC from the beginning, doesn’t mean it’s ok to eliminate the option for those of us who do.  

    • Agreed. What they don’t seem to understand is that newbie HC players that go HC on first char will be expecting to die but will have fun trying not to, worrying about what dangerous traps lurk ahead… Those that don’t plan on dying in Normal will do a SC normal run to be prepared.
      This requirement they’re putting does have a benefit: Due to the effects of a “customer is always right” customer service culture or simply the effects of plain stupidity, a small, tiny fraction of whiny, self-entitled players will ragequit and/or complain to Blizz about their HC dying in Normal because of a group of monsters or a dungeon setup they deem brokenly hard.
      (i.e. in D2: Lam Esem Tome Extra Fast mob ambush when entering the temple, Claw Viper lvl2, Rakanishu as Extra Fast and first L.E. mob, Duriel before they nerfed his Lagspike spell… D1: The Butcher)
      However, the number of people that will do this is very small, and compared to the number of people who will complain after they got back playing D3 from a, say, 12-month hiatus and now find that they have to make a new SC char and beat normal before they can make their new HC char and really start to play the game… I think more people will complain about that and in the end they’ll have to get rid of the requirement.

  10. Blizzard is very much telling people how to play in a bunch of ways, and them trying to deny it is laughable.

    As is their justification of “That’s how it was in Diablo 2” when every time a fan uses that response to them they respond with “We’re trying to make Diablo 3, not Diablo 2.5!” Double standards, much?

    • “This is the way it worked in Diablo II AND WE LIKE IT.”

      if they didn’t like it they wouldn’t do it the way that diablo 2 did it

      They do what the want because the can and thats why we like the games they make. 

  11. Have we really reached the point with the game being delayed so long that people are actually upset that Blizzard is making them play the game.

      • i guess it sucks if all you want to do is play hardcore, which probably most hardcore players intend to do, but i don’t think its that bad of a prerequisite. But since im gonna play softcore mainly and probably only dabble in hardcore i must not understand what a joy it must feel like to play the mode you want on your first playthrough.

        Im sure this must’ve been suggested already but you can just treat your first softcore playthrough as if it were hardcore and punish yourself when you die by deleting the character. It may take a bit longer to unlock hardcore mode but at least you get that precious 1st play through the way you want it. 

  12. Not a hardcore fan myself but I can appreciate the annoyance of having to complete normal once on softcore before being able to play the mode you actually want to play.

  13. I’ve thought about it a lot and i really can’t think of a single reason why this matters at all. If you want the excitement of playing hardcore your first time through the game, then just make it a personal rule for yourself that you’ll delete your character if you die. I mean if I want to do a metroid speed run, I just do it – I don’t have to check a box when I start the game.
    If you’re worried that you’ll change your mind when/if you die and decide not to do hardcore, then that just justifies blizzard’s design implementation.
    and you won’t have to do it again every time you re-install the game because you’ll have an achievement in your account, so unless you decide to buy multiple copies of the game, this really will be a one-time issue.

    • You clearly never played Hardcore.  Imposing an arbitrary rule on yourself is completely different than abiding by a rule set in the game.  Additionally, it’s completely different than merely setting a “goal” such as a speed run. 

      Not to mention that, but part of playing hardcore is still in building your wealth, even if you recognize that your individual characters are fleeting.  By forcing yourself to restart every time you die on Softcore, you lose that entire aspect of asset building that can actually make playing HC more fun and in-depth. 

      Sure, it’s a one time issue, but it can have significant impacts on the experience of the game in particular.   I understand why it would be easy to write off as someone who hasn’t ever enjoyed playing HC though. 

      • i’ve played plenty of hardcore. it’s funny how people immediately make assumptions about me to explain why my opinion is wrong instead of actually making a rebuttal. same thing happened to me on the hellgate forums during this same argument. i can appreciate that the psychology of having hardcore forced upon you by the game rules is different than making it your own rule, but I feel like that argument is off-topic to the discussion of specifically having hardcore on your first playthrough or not. That’s more of a debate about hardcore as a mode in general.
        should every alternate playstyle have its own game mode in order to make it ‘feel better’? like a no-town mode, or a naked mode, etc.?
        on a slightly unrelated subject:
        i do think it’s weird that your gold is automatically stored in your shared stash though… can you take it out? what if you want a fresh start on a new character with no hand-me-downs?

        • whoa whoa whoa Hardcore characters keep their gold?

          reply @ cordell o ok i just didn’t understand what the dude meant when he said “building your wealth”

          • uh no i doubt it. that would be even worse! i was just referring to how even your softcore characters don’t have to earn their own gold. i guess a lot of people like it that way i dunno

    • Problem with this is even if you play a “HC” SC char you’ve still wasted time as that char can’t be transferred to HC mode so you have to start over in real HC mode if you want to interact with other HC players. So the SC Normal requirement will still end up being a time-waster

        • Problem not quite solved.
          Even rushing takes a little bit of time but more importantly, if you want to really experience the lore/story parts and feel real fear of entering new dungeons, taking on new quests and fighting new monsters for the first time, rushing in Normal SC will ruin all that since by the time you get to HC you’ll know everything already. You’ll know what the harder quest uniques are, what quest dungeons are setup to ambush you, what types of mobs do what types of attacks, etc. and if you skipped the lore to rush in Normal the cutscenes, etc. won’t make as much sense so it’ll be like giving yourself spoilers when you focus on the lore in HC and realize, “oh, this is why this will happen later on”

  14. The blue response is ridiculous.
    “We want players to give the game one play through to experience the story, the flow, the boss fights, and the baseline difficulty before risking a whole character on a single death.”

    That makes no sense at all. If they really want people to experience the story, the flow and the boss fights, then they’d force everyone to play HC first, because nobody would rush through! 

    • ha good point, and they really are encouraging people to just rush through, with all the hype about how the real game doesn’t start until inferno, and all the people who want to farm for RMAH are going to want to be max level asap

  15. As a correction to the main article, you didn’t have to run a character through normal to get to HC on every new account because the HC allowance was a registry key on your computer, which affected the entirety of the game regardless of single player, open, or any of the closed realms.

    On the topic, it seems kind of silly to require people to play through the normal difficulty, primarily because normal difficulty is going to be so woefully easy that it may actually detract from the game experience for many people.  In fact, there’s a good argument to be made that you should be able to start playing the game on nightmare, and normal should just be there for the truly un-initiated and inept. 

    By requiring people to play normal, blizzard is basically saying “we are going to hold your hand throughout the first playthrough of the game, whether you like it or not.”  Which, as pointed out, is their perogative.  That doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for the game, at least with respect to the players who don’t want it.

    One of the problems in many modern games is the issue of “challenge” and very very few developers adequately take difficulty into consideration.  Only time will tell if the mandatory handholding through normal will be justified, though.  It could be that the game is so brutally hard on normal that people wouldn’t want to go to NM, which is fair enough, but I find that unlikely with how woefully easy the beta seems to be. 

    • yeah videogames have gotten a lot easier over the years. probably to increase their marketability, and hey, it works! i think most younger gamers have no idea what “challenge” in a videogame really is. they think beating halo on legendary is the definition of challenge or something. lol. to them i say try playing a graphical-text-adventure for apple 2 where there’s no instructions, no clues, and the extreme likelihood of getting stuck in an unwinnable situation

  16. I dont hear people moaning that console games require you to complete Normal/Hard to get the Hard/Very Hard setting…. it’s the same with Diablo, unless you’re gonna own more then 1 account whats the big deal?! You beat the game once on normal, it takes you 6~8 hours tops, and then you forget you ever did it… not to mention there will be separate achievements for SC and HC so a real completionist would beat the game 5x on SC and 5x on HC.

    • It’s very, very different. 

      Not only is it not merely a modified difficulty setting, but it’s a completely different set of “stuff” you’re playing with.  Basically, In Diablo when you play you accquire stuff for all your current and potential future characters.  That’s part of the fun of Diablo for many, many people.

      By forcing someone to play through normal first, you’re saying that they don’t get to start accquiring that stuff until later, and eveyrthing they’ve done so far has to be flushed down the toilet. 

      What if a normal player had to delete their first character after finishing normal, so they could make a character eligible to go to nightmare.  Only they have to play through normal again.  That’s what it’s like…

    • SIGH, hard core doesn’t mean the person is hardcore gamer, hardcore anything.  It’s not a difficulty setting.  It’s not about using your imagination.  It’s not about achievements, its not about being a completionist.  It’s about a fucking experience that in this case is tied to a first play through.  You can’t have a first play through twice.

        • After beating Normal SC you still have to start from scratch in HC, wasting time in the process – problem not solved

          • Couldn’t reply to your last post, but I will say that I have not seen a single argument that doesn’t come off as even the littlest bit entitled when it comes to people wanting to play the game ‘their way.’
            People are upset that they can’t get exactly what they want – thus entitled.   
            Also the idea that there’s hand-holding in modern game design is true – get used to it.

          • for some reason I can’t reply to your reply of my reply, only to my reply.
            The concept of getting a game their way…. yeah if a small number of people want a game this way and the cost:benefit ratio isn’t good enough then it won’t get done, otherwise… every good game developper is trying to make their game your way, so that’s a semi-flawed argument. But I know what you’re trying to say – Blizard can’t please everyone, changes cost resources.
            Problem is, this restriction benefits…. no one except the most dumbest of dumb noob gamers as far as I can tell, and removing this restriction doesn’t really cost anything in terms of man-hours/coding/etc.
            New HC chars are already warned, and any newbie with any reasoning ability will know immediately that it might be better to start in SC to learn the content if they don’t want to die. But, removing the restriction allows newbies who don’t mind dying in HC Normal to play HC Normal on first char. so they can experience the content and feel the thrill and apprehension of taking on newer, bigger enemies, bosses, quests for the first time – and possibly not making it out alive.
            I know about the hand-holding trend, but if they really wanted to hold your hand they should require one character to reach SC Inferno because higher difficulty monsters act differently and tactics that work in say, Nightmare may be useless in Hell as mobs get tougher. But they’re not doing this so why not just go all the way but give people an extra popup suggesting doing Normal in SC first to be better prepared. The fundamental problem is Blizzard thinks newbie gamers are just too stupid to read these warnings and decide for themselves. As if the perma-death warning isn’t enough to scare away the undecided…
            Also, hand-holding may be a trend, but that doesn’t mean Blizzard has to do it on everything. Hand-holding is only useful if the player has a net gain from the hand-holding. Limiting skills and skill slots so players learn the ropes and don’t get overwhelmed is a good example. Restricting HC when players are already warned about how HC works in the first place, is an example of a bad hand-holding design… unless you really believe that some newbies are so stupid as to disregard the warning and /ragequit after dying. I know some players can act really dumb, but this is ridiculous. No one would be that stupid.

  17. So hardcore players want to experience a fresh game on hardcore mode –
    Pro-tip: use your imagination. If you die on softcore – delete and repeat.
    Stop being whiny little entitled pricks.

    • That’s an incredibly stupid solution.  You realize the problem is not being able to access hardcore mode soon enough, so you’re saying people should purposefully push that game mode further back. 

      It’s not even close to logical.  How can it solve the problem in anyone’s mind other than someone who has never played or cared to play Hardcore?   Stupidity is all it is. 

  18. Not sure how many examples have to used, how many goddamn posts have to be made , etc, etc.

    You go to a theme park, they’ve created this amazing haunted house.  You can go through it with all the lights on or with the lights out and extra scares for measure if you like.  This is your first time going through and you want to get a good bang out of your first run.  Wait! You have to do it once with the lights on.  No ifs or buts.  You can \rush\ through it (how the fuck someone can rush through a game like diablo without ruining most of the encounter is beyond me, seriously???) and then head back in for the real scare you wanted.

    It’s the same reason half of you assholes ask for spoiler tags so much.  Who the fuck would listen to someone if they told you to just skim the posts quickly and get to the end??

    You are deliberately ruining an experience for a subset of the community and don’t try to come up with any made up stats as to how big that subset it.  Even if its 1 person, including hardcore is a positive action as you you’re not taking something out of the game.

    And stop with the shit about affecting players negatively.  How can it negatively affect anyone who knows what he’s getting into?  How is an idiot’s comprehesion of the descrition \Hardcore character suffer permanent deaths\ improved by playing through the game once?  If they can’t understand it on the first play through, they sure as hell won’t just because they beat the game. Yes I’m pissed, not because I’m necessarily attached to HC but because its such a non starter of an addition that lifts all boats.  Why the fucking stonewall and idiocy about it, I won’t get.  How much shit do people get for saying this isn’t D2 and yet they can’t make this simple change?   **Please excuse for the multiple typos and grammar errors and expletives.

    • That’s a very bad example – a haunted house does not comapre to a game. The haunted house is a very passive experience while the game is a very active experience.

      Games have set of rules that must be followed – you’re not any more special than anyone else playing the game.   

      • Wtf does passivity have to do with shit?  Are you obtuse?
        No shit I’m not special.  The point of the example was to illustrate that the way some people wanted to experience a haunted house wasn’t optional UNTIL after they’ve gone through it once.

        And you know sometimes it makes sense, which is why lots of people have asked WHY?  And this blue effectively came out saying “there isn’t a reason besides us wanting it to be so.”

        •  The reason is their bottom line – if noobs started playing ‘hardcore’ because they thought it meant they were hardcore then got upset after they’d lost their character, they’d have a higher chance of quitting.
          You’re just another entitled prick. You don’t deserve special treatment.

          • Keep calling me a prick. I’m not sure what that does for you or your ego.  I won’t get bogged down by your rationalizations.  A crude implementation of HC would be to delete your character.  A crude way of getting players to try out different playstyles and skill builds was to reroll a character.  Know why its gone in D3?  Because its POOR design.  In what world do you live in where “delete your character” is good design?  Even if that’s okay in yours, for all of Blizzard’s iteration, they missed this one?
            Anyway, I’ll leave this topic with a previous comment I made earlier at the official forums.

            This leads me to think that you haven’t played hardcore mode before.  Besides its been pointed out numerous times the content in HC is slightly different.  That aside its very different game psychologically to know that you’ve made it to the last boss with a great character and Diablo actually pawns you and that’s it.  You really are dead. In SC, its not the just the same mind game and if you wanted to, you could bend that rule.  In HC there is no going back.

            It’s still an opinion of yours that it “just” a small annoyance.  That’s all.   Just as for some people it was an opinion that “picking” up gold was not annoyance.  Or running to deckard cain over 1000s of times to do the same thing was okay.  Or others who think redoing a character 10 times because they prefer permanent skill point allocations.  Degrees of how we perceive doing certain things a certain way to be annoying can vary but there is a yardstick of design we can measure to.  Is it good design to have a player constantly clicking to pick up gold?  Would they not want to anyway?  Is it good design to have stat allocation where for the majority of players don’t understand its an arcane system and overall statistic show a normalized stat allocation?  These are question that can be answered through appropriate design.

            In light of that, how can anyone in hell say its a good DESIGN choice to tell someone to play through the game this way and then DELETE your character so that you can finally do what it is you want?  (To be clear what is wanted is the experience of playing HC the first time through).

            When the alternative is simply putting in a check box?  I honestly don’t see how the former is in any shape or form a better design solution.  Unless of course there is some alternative priority that takes precedence.

            Finally …. [cut off not relevant]

            I’m still reading only responses about how to “deal with it” and still not one good reason as to why it should remain this way.  One good design reason.  I’ll take that and shut up.
            Gravity you remain squarely in the group of asshats who keep trying to say “fuck off” without giving one good reason why it shouldn’t be available from that start.  

          • Do you realize how incredibly stupid someone would have to be to make this mistake? HC Character creation will come with a warning explaining HC. No noob with the ability for abstract reasoning would make this mistake, no matter how noobish their personality. They might get pissed if they die in Normal from a surprisingly hard scripted encounter, but if they make their first char HC without doing a SC Normal run to checkout the content, they implicitly wanted to be surprised and that’s what happened. A small amount of QQ’ers might quit HC from that but not the game. (And they’ll get ridiculed if they complain)
            Nice ad hominem… and a red herring too!

          • @please:
            Well said. It seems that couple of problems with D3 would be solved with just adding an on/off switch for said issue, so players can make a choice. But some are brainwashed to point where they have choice taken away from them, they just smile and say it’s for the better for some arbetrary reason.

          • @gravity
            Yes, I know the old “ppl are stupid” meme, but even if we assume the player is quite dumb and clueless, the perma-death warning would dispel their idiotic assumptions about what HC is all about. You would literally have to be 10 years old, the age just before you gain the ability for abstract reasoning, to not know that permanent death would mean. Even then, you’d have to be a dumb 10 year old…
            Either that or you didn’t read the warning text. But if you don’t read there’s not much that can be done – people who are too dumb to read (assuming people that dumb they exist which they don’t) would have trouble even completing quests and would complan about being stuck in A1

          • @Please

            I think a better argument is that Blizzard doesn’t trust their player base. They don’t think people 18+ should have the choice to play hardcore from the very beginning because they don’t trust us. They don’t think we can actually enjoy dying on our first play through and losing like that.

            But if they want to make us go through hoops, they have every right to do that – they made the game.

            If you want to play from the start on hardcore mode they can provide that experience for you but they don’t trust you. They don’t think your making the right decision.

            Either that or it really does have something to do with the RMAH. Otherwise you’d be able to enjoy the game how you want to because you paid for it. Thus they don’t trust you as a gamer.

            That’s a better argument to make. Making a comparison to a haunted house isn’t deep enough to have any effect.

  19. Added nuisance and time waster sure but the outrage is kinda silly because you won’t be able to die on normal if you tried anyway. There’s no missing thrill.

    • You know this b/c you’ve played all of Normal in the Beta, right?  Who knows, maybe all of Normal is like the beginning, but I kind of doubt it.  I do think Blizzard is overdoing it on the hand-holding – it should be possible to make the game accessible to casual non-gamers without handcuffing everyone to the same rules.  Like was said earlier, bury the option in a sub-sub-sub-menu and create massive warning pop-ups and any inexperienced players who still proceed and lose a character have themselves to blame. 

  20. I’ve been playing HC exclusively since July 2000. If I am forced to play softcore, then I will not bother with this game.

      • Actually, I’ve been on the fence about the game since long before this news. If this is how it ends up being at launch I assure you I will not be playing.

        • Oh. Now that’s what I call indecisive. You should write to Blizzard, this is important feedback. They probably do cost:benefit analyses  with these things. They must think a small fraction of people are somehow too stupid to read and understand the perma-death warning popup (but not too stupid to understand the EULA?), and will /ragequit D3 because all those minutes/hours they lost has traumatized them so much they can’t even play SC anymore.
          If they see people like you it will make them reconsider…

  21. Same logic goes for the majority of the crowd, you get all nerd ragey when they don’t do something like D2 did it that you are just as hypocritical getting mad over something that does follow the D2 policy. That doesn’t mean I’m not sympathetic.  I have zero interest in HC and will probably never roll an HC char but I think if you suicidal nuts with too much free time want to waste your time re-rolling constantly and never getting to Inferno, you should be able to go right on ahead.

  22. This whole thing reminds me of the abortion debate. personally on this debate i am “pro-choice” as this position also supports being “pro-life” i am a pussy and will probably choose “life” for my first playthrough but why rob someone of the joys of HC. both sides on this is getting very petty and either way i think this is the least of the problems the dev team should be concentrating on.

    cant we all just get along? 

    • uh-oh, I see a political flame war in your comment’s future…

      But to really be like the pro/anti-abortion groups, the people defending and criticizing Blizzard’s position would also have to be painfully inept, throwing around buzzword-y and emotional arguments mostly designed to preach to the choir. So far, they’re getting there but the level of logic and well-worded discussions in this thread is still suspiciously high.

  23. The only way they could fix this, other than getting rid of this requirement, is giving your first SC character the option of converting to nightmare HC after beating Normal, but coding it so all AH items get returned and all items get automatically sold so there’s no inter-trading or item xfers between SC & HC, but at the same time the newly converted HC char has some money to buy new items. Perhaps they could give you some randomly generated items of your level made for your class as well. /endrunonsentence

    Edit: That would still somewhat gimp people gear-wise but if Blizzard’s HC department is still filled with “would somebody PLEASE think of the children/newbie” people who have never played HC nor understand its philosophy and therefore can’t fathom why a newbie HC 1st char. player won’t get upset from dying in Normal HC by something that sprang up and took her by surprise, by the time D3 is released then it’s the best we’ve got so far.

  24. They could just put multiple disclaimer dialogs, but they don’t want to be unfair to newbies since there is most certainly a slew of hardcore achievements. What about all the hardcore grannies? … well, that just didn’t sound right.

  25. Zarhyms response was terrible. “We don´t know where You´re coming from !”. Really ? What is going on with these community managers ? So either he is too stupid to understand the point of the hardcore players or he is lying ? I tell You what I think: Every hardcore player is a player not using the RMAH. THAT is whats negative for their game when they let hc´s have their will. But the argument: “It´s our game” isn´t even an argument at all. It´s something You put forth when You dont want Your real reasons to be laid open. If he/Blizzard REALLY doesn´t grasp by now where the hc´s are coming from then I close my case. But, hey: So stupid ? I´m not buying it.

  26. I got the best solution to this: RELEASE THE FUCKEN GAME.
    So everyone can shut up and play the damn game.

  27. iam on blizz`s side on this one
    they worked on this game for about 7 years now….
    its totally legit …. they want that everyone enjoys the whole game without any flaws @ 1st playthrough
    iam a hardcore player too but come on guys we will kill normal in no time 😉

    • You are not making any sense. Having players of one type of game mode forced to play another type of game mode because apparently new players are smart enough to read, understand and agree to the EULA but not smart enough to read and understand the popup warning when selecting HC mode is an actual flaw.
      …and this is year 4-5 of development.

    • How is it enjoyable for someone who wants to start playing HC mode on their 1st playthrough again?? If i may bring up the theme park analogy it’s like being told you must get on the merry-go-round before you can ride the giant drop. 
       p.s i don’t understand why people call the HC-from-start-guys whiney and entitled??? its a mode already in the game? it costs nothing to enable it from the start and its a way a decent amount of ppl wish to play. imagine if SC “God mode” was unlocked after having to go through HC. Imagine how you would jump up and down.

      • HC’ers are called whiney/entitled by some because SC is seen as the default, automatic mode everyone wants to play. HC is That Other Mode your mother warned you about when walking out alone at night…
        Being forced to play SC mode is not seen as a problem because isn’t everybody a SC’er? But man… HC’ers wanting a change so THEY can play their mode from start to finish and learn the lore of the game in HC mode? Now that’s asking too much. Isn’t it enough HC’ers even have a mode? D2 had the same restriction, why are you HC people getting all uppity all of the sudden? Innocent SC’ers might accidentally find themselves in a HC game, and what then? what then? They might pickup one of those nasty HC habits, like running around to do something called “kiting” and staring at their globes. They might actually die and feel bad because they lost precious hours of their lives they’ll never get back – but with HC’ers losing hours in SC it’s different… I mean ya git yurself a SC!! everybody loves them SC, just try it you’ll love it…
        It isn’t their fault really. Blizzard says it wants to simplify everything so a non-gamer can pickup D3 and not get lost. Well, after reading and consenting to the EULA (which imo will need quite some simplification for non-gamers if D2’s EULA is any indication), the newbie’s brain cells will be depleted from reading legalese and once they click HC mode they will not have enough brain power left to understand the complex terminology that will pop up on the warning window, such as “death”, “permanent”, and possibly “is”. (Didn’t anyone ever tell you newbie non-gamers, like people under the age of 11, lack the capacity for abstract reasoning and can’t grasp these things very well. They might /ragequit after dying and this is very bad so its worth screing the HC community over if it’ll make a few SC’ers feel more safe… afterall, doesn’t everyone play SC?)
        Of course, if SC’ers were required to finish HC Normal to have access to a part of their mode, with no sense of irony even most of the “HC’ers are whiney/entitled” guys would be all up in arms and there are so many of them they’d win.

        Imagine if SC’ers really did have to finish HC Normal to have access to Inferno… as a way to show they’re ready for inferno… you know because Inferno is hard and they don’t want people dying too much so playing HC will teach people who tend to be more reckless how to take care of their chars. This way beating HC Normal will prepare them for Inferno…

  28. I’ve played a wide range of games allready. And while I can imagine the need for some people to immidiatly start in hc. You may not underestimate the stupidity of people. If hardcore would be available from the start many braindeads would select it assuming it’s something uber or whatever that pops up in their imagination right then. Completely ignoring even the biggest pop-up you could ever imagine telling your character will be permanently lost upon death. After their death they will just freak out and QQ on every possible media that they lost their character even doh they agreed with it. Sadly those braindead kids will highly likely generate the biggest income for blizzard. It basicly runs down to two options: Cater to the few thousand hc fanboys who will buy and play the game anyway. Or make the game more idiotproof and cater to the million or more braindeads who just click next whitout even reading what the big warning says when those idiots will highly likely be the biggest rmah spenders. What do you think will generate most money for blizz? While I would like to start in HC myself. I can understand why they chose to do this.  

    • The “people are dumb” meme has been raised more than once, but in this case it makes no sense –
      for people to be too stupid to understand the popup warning when selecting HC mode, they would have to not understand what the words “death”, “permanent” and possibly “is” means nor understand their implications. (but apparently they are still expected to understand and consent to the EULA)…
      In order not to understand the popup window warning, one would either have to be 1) illiterate in English, or 2) lack the mental capacity for abstract reasoning… a mental capacity that is developed when one reaches about 11 years of age. (Actually I think even a ten year old who understands basic principles of the game could understand the popup – it doesn’t take much abstract reasoning to understand your character can’t respawn).
      This is why that argument is both invalid, and condescending to every teenage & adult gamer who isn’t mentally challenged/neurologically impaired. I know game devs try to design things so even the bottom 10 or 5% of people on the intelligence scale can understand, but this is just overkill. Even a very low-IQ individual can understand what “permanent death” means – at least understand enough so they won’t QQ and will steer clear of HC on their first character.

  29. One more time for the people:

    Just play “Homebrew Hardcore” until you beat SC/normal.

    If you are too weak to voluntarily delete your character when it dies, then how hardcore are you, really?

    • What an obvious “I’ve never played HC before” mentality. 

      We don’t want to be forced to spend several hours playing a character that we will never play again before we can start enjoying the game the way we want to. You obviously have no interest in HC so stick to arguments that affect you. 

      • Sorry dude, I’ve been playing hardcore since D1 (not a typo).

        We would all prefer to be able to start in HC mode. We’re not getting that support from Blizzard though, so we have to do something.

        For me (and I’m guessing you) softcore just sucks the life out of the game. It’s too important to go without, so the DIY approach is unfortunately the best option we have for our first D3 session.

  30. HC should be an option from the start, it’s a choice for the player, just add enough preventative measures so noone makes a bad choice.
    It would be interesting to hear the honest reason for not including the choice of HC mode from the start, we all know it involves grandmothers but I really want to know Blizzards true view on this.

    P.S Valve just announced LAN for DotA 2, some companies can still deliver the good news.

    • I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but it might have something to do with the RMAH… either that or this is a design decision that hasn’t really been well thought out…

  31. I value the story and the flow of the game enough to respect this decision. If you die halfway thru the game and have to play thru what you’ve already seen, again, before clearing the remaining content, you wouldn’t get a great story experience. I would probably play the game once on normal first even if I had a choice, and I say this as a pure hardcore player. However, the no-death-penalty-whatsoever in softcore along with respawning at checkpoints fully geared is ludicrous and makes it almost pointless to play the game once you’ve experienced the story. If they for some reason would cut hardcore from the game, I honestly wouldn’t buy it. Not for one playthrough.

    • You can’t get a “great story experience” if you can simply blow caution to the wind in SC and not even worry about figuring out how to fight new mobs, new bosses, complete new quests since the death penalty is a joke.
      If you die in HC Normal you can skip the story/scenic route until your new char is at the same level/quest your old one was. Except HC Normal player would have to proceed with caution when entering newer areas, meeting newer mobs – the way the devs probably intended it…
      Is that worth having to spend a little time catching up/rushing previously completed content if you die? I think it is.

      Edit: But if you don’t care about that feeling of seeing a new monster for the first time and thinking “does this guy have a hidden super-attack? Does he hit like a freign train?” and feeling genuinely anxious then you’re right, you could just do SC normal on storymode and rush HC normal.

      • Just to add to what I posted…
        Have you ever played D2 when it came out?
        Remember the first time meeting the flayer shaman? their inferno that could take out half your health in the blink of an eye?
        Remember the little ambush upon entering the temple containing Lam Esem’s tome? Remember meeting Rakanishu for the first time? Running around like a lunatic after a pack of Doom Knight mages began shooting tons of high-damage spells from off the screens? Remember those pesky meteor-tossing Ghoul Lords?
        Remember entering Duriel’s tomb and realizing “oh shit dude’s RIGHT THERE!!!”, or fighting any Act bosses and wondering what they had in store for you?
        Remember the first time Big D mowed you down with his lightning inferno because you hadn’t learned to watch for the pre-attack animation, hadn’t stocked up on enough +LR% gear during the game and hadn’t figured that dodging that one attack was the key to beating Diablo?
        Back then I played SC almost like it was HC – I didn’t want to die, and despite playing my first D2 char like a D1 char and messing up my skill point distribution, effectively turning Normal mode into Gimpy-Hard mode, I was too cautious to die. But nowadays as RPGs have weaker death penalties and gamers are more prone to just charging in and seeing death as a minor inconvenience, how many SC’ers are going to basically want to rush the Normal content, won’t strategise and won’t care about dying from a well-designed mob encounter. HC gamers will have to play with these people, and by the time they get to HC Normal they’ll know all about these little surprises waiting for them. This ruins it for those people who really do want to be genuinely surprise and don’t mind getting their asses kicked by a well-designed, hard encounter.
        The only alternative is to delete your char. after death in SC… this fixes that problem, sort of, as long as you don’t play with rushers/reckless SC’ers… except it creates a new problem – once you beat SC Normal without dying you still have to waste time doing it all over again in the actual HC mode… unnecessary waste of time considering popup warning windows will keep the clueless & curious  SC’ers from accidently stumbling on HC (unless they willfully don’t read the warnings, in which case Blizz has still done its due dilligence – if that’s what they’re afraid of what will they do when people who don’t read the RMAH instructions complain when Blizz “steals” their money?)

  32. Here’s a possibility I haven’t seen raised:
    It could be the case that hardcore mode, even on normal difficulty, has differences from the softcore game. Maybe certain bosses have different abilities, or maybe there are certain surprise encounters or things like that, and Blizzard wants you to have a sense of what’s “normal” before they throw the other hardcore changes at you?

    Just speculation. 

    • If that’s why they’re trying to prevent us from making a HC char then why not force us to get to Inferno? Nightmare and Hell mobs get more resist/immunities, more boss attributes, function slightly differently as well. How will a HC player even get throught Hell the first time if they haven’t been forced to complete Hell SC?
      Besides, what’s “normal” for SC isn’t “normal” for HC already. By that logic why don’t they force us to die & respawn at least once and use the RMAH once on SC too since that’s “normal”, but missing in HC

  33. Can I just point out that in the diablo2 expansion, we could start hardcore mode right away. Sure, it was only 1 extra act (with a new character type) and not a whole game, but it was still amazing. And yes, there was surprise encounters such as the ancients and the throne room etc which probably killed quite a few characters, but that’s the whole point! We know what we are in for when we play hardcore and as devastating the feeling is when you die, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Like someone else said, what if you softcore players had to delete your character after finishing normal and you had to re-start normal from scratch again just because you unlocked nightmare? I bet you would wouldn’t be fine with playing it by blizzards rule then. That still does not really ruin the story/suspense for you as it does for us hardcore players, so maybe they should force you to read through the entire story line before being able to play the game at all? Just to make sure there are no surprises which might make you feel uncomfortable.

    It’s obvious that the people who understood what hardcore was about has left the company, which is a shame. I guess we should be happy they haven’t cut out hardcore completely, as I’m sure it would have been a touch and go decision to keep it at all with current management.

  34. Well I’m in the bunch who prefers liberty ! Let the players play the way they like it without trying to coin them in the way you think will be the most enjoyable. the most enjoyable way of playing is a personal thing. Since 2008, I’ve been thinking if I would start with a HC Sorceress or with a HC Barb. Now the deal is done : The HC mode is now “locked”, like the skill runes, and the skills, and the stash tabs ; I wish they put keys back in the game to unlock all this.  🙂

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