Diablo 3 Hardcore Death Exploit?

It’s an area of much debate on our forums, but one of great interest to the DiabloWikiHardcore community. What constitutes an exploit and when is it okay? Kungen has found his way into our news again this time due to his avoiding death.The original post from the forums that grabbed my attention was:

Kungen (Swedish meaning: The King) is rerolling his barb, and he has gotten to hell Diablo. During the fight he lags or such, and on low hitpoints he gets caged and picked up by Diablo. Certain death.

Kungen pauses the game. On another comp beside him, he logs into Diablo III and into his account. This kicks him from his paused game and voila, he did not die.

You can view the video of the exploit here.( the exploit in question is about 23 minutes in) They gray area of this whole situation is the bug on Kungen’s end. After being trapped by diablo in shadow form he then proceeds to the final phase still stuck. As his health fades he has someone log into his account which forces him to log off and saves his character from it’s demise. It seems as if he uses one bug to remedy another. Now I don’t want to go into a diatribe about ethics and whether this was a right or wrong choice.

What should be talked about is how this should be fixed. With many hours spent on characters you don’t want to lose them, having personally just lost my 60 WD I would have loved the option Kungen had. However, this cheapens death in Hardcore. Now when things are looking grim you can always pause and live yet again.

Blizzard needs to stop this fast. Not everyone who uses this will be bugging out or lagging, it is taking the risk and the death out of Hardcore.

What do you think about this bug? Have you used it?

EDIT: I misreported that Kungen pauses the game in order to do this. He does not pause but has someone log in to interrupt his session. I have no data as of yet whether pausing and doing this will work but feel free to let us know!


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  1. Uhhhh yeah. This needs to be fixed, now. They need to make it so if an account is currently logged in, it is impossible for someone else to log into that account.

    • That would suck for people who literally get disconnected on their end due to a connection drop and then try to come back. It would lock them out of the game for a period of time because their connection crapped out on them. 

    • I’m fine with using this bug to counter serious lag or another bug to avoid death. I would never use it to compensate for sloppy gameplay however. The streamers I’ve watched seem to have the same mentality.

  2. He’s not the only one doing this, Kripp’s been doing it for a while. I don’t have a problem with this since it would’ve been a death due to lag or a DC, etc.

    • The point is it can be used even when there is zero lag. If he gets jailed and is about to be killed, he can just pause the game really quick and suddenly make his mistake not matter.

  3. Clearly a bug. When you log in again, it should still take 10 sec to log out for the first char (after unpausing).

    People using it should have their chars deleted tbh.

  4. As a hardcore player, I believe this needs to be stopped.
    So, Kungen, isn’t actually that great of a player. He should have died long ago. Good to know.

    • So you’re saying that there was not a single great player in D2 Hardcore? Since you could Save and Exit any time you wanted, which is basicly the same thing as this.

      • Those were the rules of D2. I would argue that one is acceptable, and one is not.  If you Save & Exit in D2 (which actually wasn’t as easy as you might think, unless you were using a script, which is an entirely different matter), the programmers made that work.  You could do it. You could leave the game at any time for any reason.
        This, however, is a network exploit.  The game designers never intended for you to “exit” the game this way.  In fact, that’s precisely why Jay Wilson didn’t like Town Portals. It was too easy to escape. So you can see the intention of the developers pretty clearly. I would say that’s a big difference.
        They need to fix this now.

      • Diablo 2 was a different game with a difference pace and set of rules. Save and exiting prior to dying was part of the game and was in no way an exploit.
        Diablo 3 was designed in such a way that you can’t just instantly TP to town or instantaneously leave the game.

        • Thats not what I ment, ofc it wasn’t an exploit in D2, but you saying that hes not skilled couse he used something like that would mean that everyone in D2 sucked, and that’s simply not true.

          • OK, you’re still not quite getting it. in D2, the difficulty level, monster damage, etc., were factored into the conception of the Save and Exit feature. D2 was more about fast reflexes and micromanagement.
            In D3, the difficulty level, monster damage, etc., were factored into the conception of the logout feature–where you need to wait 10 seconds before you can leave the game (if you’re not in town). D3 is more about well-timed cool downs and rotations, as well as tactics.
            Of course, good reflexes, micromanagement, tactics, rotations, etc., make you a better player in both D2 and D3; however, the two games favor different styles and so the way in which you leave the game are different. In D2 there were a lot more random “Oh shit” moments that were completely out of your control. In D3, when you get into a, “Oh shit” moment is has more to do with your lack of experience and skill.
            To answer your question, no, players in D2 who played the game in the way it was intended are not cheaters and bad players.

    • > So, Kungen, isn’t actually that great of a player.
      > He should have died long ago. Good to know.
      This x1000.  I guess the pressure of having a stream got to him and he needed to cheat to make progress to attract viewers.

      • Or.. as it was clearly stated, it was lag that got him killed…

        obviously this issue needs to be fixed, but so do these lag spikes… 

    • Umm what?  He has already died with one char, and he did this by pure luck when he got bugged… I really can’t understand why that would make him less “great”? Or are you just trying to feel better about yourself since you are far behind? 😛 

    • Um, how can 19 people upvote a post like this? Kungen encountered a critical bug that would have caused his death, and you somehow manage to bring player skill into this?

      • I see your point, but I thought everybody said that connectivity issues were a part of the game, and a part of the danger of hardcore? In which case Kungen should have accepted his fate (or tried to log out when he realised he was having log issues, at any rate)

        Edit: Ok I read further on and it was actually a massive bug and _not_ lag that killed him. So fair play, that makes more sense now. But still, part and parcel of HC? Or a justifiable escape??

      • I don’t get it either. Kungen used the bug to counter a bug nothing more. I agree this needs to be fixed but so does the other bugg!!!
        I don’t mind dieing in HC when it’s my fault but bloody hell I would’ve been pissed if I died from being permi trapped like Kungen was.

    • How about you actually watch the clip before spouting crap?

  5. I think we can agree that death due to a bug is bad, and something would need to be fixed.

    Using another bug, especially one that is known and is initiated on purpose, to compensate for the first bug is quite the slippery slope. When you play HC, you know there’s a chance you’re going to die and lose everything. That chance includes any existing bugs, known or not. Is it “fair” to lose to program bugs? No, not really. But they’re unintentional bugs that people don’t knowingly initiate. Escaping death through a bug if it’s known and initiated on-demand, however, is really unfair.

    I guess the short version is that both bugs need to be fixed. The first is unintentional and unfortunate. The second is unintentional on the programmers’ end, but is being exploited on the users’ end, and that’s sort of double-wrong.

  6. Fine with this as it is not nearly as unfair as having an alt+f4 panic button in D2 (which I did haha)


    • All you need to do is press esc, after that you’re in the clear as the game is paused… explain how it’s “not nearly as unfair” as alt+f4?  One button seems easier to push than two. Further, D3 isn’t really designed to kill you instantly on walking around a corner, it’s designed to kill you when you run out of resources / cooldowns which is something you can see a lot further in advance than a triple boss pack featuring extra fast, fanat, might, amp which makes instant exit that much more reliable way of surviving.

  7. never will use it, as i refuse to play hardcore,

    my game lags hard when massive aoe is done, or lags when other people in the game, or lags when environments are being destroyed, or lags when too much is going on in the background…

    Act 3 for all of that on the castle walls.

    i wouldnt live long in hardcore, not because i am a crappy player, but apparently my computer can not handle playing diablo 3. it is too much of a risk to even attempt it. Maybe when i have a properly working computer. 😥 😥 😥 😥 😥 😥 😥

  8. It seems clear that this is against the intention of the developers, and classifies as an exploit that should be fixed.

    I just wonder how hardcore players generally feel about the mechanics of the game, since they did change from D2 a bit. You used to have two main escapes that all classes had access to: Town portals during fights, and instant save/exit (or alt+f4 as used by some).

    I think D3 hardcore is much more difficult from this standpoint, with those escapes being removed.

    • I play HC, and those changes made hardcore much better. No more cheap tricks to escape death!

    • I had probably hundreds of HC chars in D2, and I wasn’t a pro-gamer or anything but I did pretty well, topping out in the 80s.  Most deaths in D2 that I remember were instant (MSLE bug) or lag related (delay, then instant).  For awhile there was a bug in Hell difficulty with Fire Enchanted damage, again, another instant death if you were too close. So it’s hard to compare.  If you could actually get away with Save & Exit fast enough, I guess that was your lucky day.
      I think anyone who plays hardcore, is a real fan of that mode, is not going to see this exploit as fair or intended in any way.

  9. This is not “just a bug”.  It invalidates hardcore.  Deaths in D3 hardcore rarely happen instantaneously.  You realize things are going bad, your run out of cooldowns.  That is plenty of time to hit ESC. Boss fights lock you into a room for a reason. 
    It’s a good thing inferno is overtuned at the moment.  Otherwise any HC accomplishment until this is fixed is meaningless.

  10. This game is a joke, in terms of difficulty and robustness.
    I don’t remember a game session where I didn’t make use of several exploits, some even unintentionally.

  11. Where abouts in that video does he do this? The one you linked to is 11 hours long.

    Found it 23 minutes in. He doesn’t lag, he gets picked up by Diablo just as he kills him and when the third phase resumes he is perma-stunned and his health is dropping. It’s a bug caused by Shadow Diablo dying while you’re in the air. Not only that it’s monk (which is now dead anyway from an ISP outage) not a new Barbarian.

    The fact checking in this “news” post is abysmal.

  12. Xanth, didn’t see anyone else say this, RIP on your WD. At least you got to 60, way to go.

    • Thanks Leoric! It sucked but it was a laerning experiance and i’m focusing on how quickly I can get back to 60 (39 atm)

  13. Sorry to hear about the loss of your WD Xanth, are you picking up on the barb or re-leveling a new WD?

    • I’m in the process of releveling the WD actually. I’m back up to 39 with him and hope to be 60 by next week at the latest. I’ve pushed the Barb up to 28( i think) but he’s on the back burner til i hit 60 again. It sucked to see the WD go but I went right back at releveling within a minute or two. It’s been much easier with the stash and artisans to levle this time around and since I know what to expect I’m much more comfortable.

  14. I suppose hardcore mode in D3 now is a totally different beast from D2 because there wasn’t supposed to be an instant save and exit or alt + f4 from the get-go (they wanted to change cheesy combat and escape mechanics).  In D2 you always had that as an option.  

    My first reaction when reading this was “so what?  you could do that in D2 hardcore”.  But the context has definitely changed, and all exits from combat are now timed.  Circumventing that goes against the game design and is definitely an exploit.  Sure, it makes it more safe like D2, but this is D3 and thus should be changed.

  15. I’ve gone in details in the hardcore forum about this matter. TLDR version of my opinion: approved, especially when you counter a bug with it.

  16. The annoying part is now that I know this exploit, I’m going to be *really* tempted to use it until its fixed.

    In theory of course I don’t want to cheapen the HC experience by using methods not intended by the developers to circumvent death. But when my character’s life is on the line, its going to be pretty hard to resist doing this.

  17. As Glass pointed out, the summary of this video is completely wrong.
    “During the fight he lags or such, and on low hitpoints he gets caged and picked up by Diablo. Certain death.
    Kungen pauses the game. On another comp beside him, he logs into Diablo III and into his account. This kicks him from his paused game and voila, he did not die.”
    He gets grabbed and pauses for seemingly no reason, yes, but he does not log out during this time. The grab only takes maybe 25% of his hp and then he finishes off shadow Diablo as normal, however right as the shadow form of Diablo is defeated, he gets grabbed again. Kungen skips the cutscene for the Final form of Diablo and finds himself permanently stunned and losing health after being teleported back up. He does not lag, he does not even pause the game. He does however log in on another computer to save himself from a gamebreaking bug, yes a debatable tactic, but he was about to lose his character over a glaring bug rather than simply exploiting in order to make up for a failure of his own.

  18. there are actually morons on here that believe Kungen deserved to die to a bug?

    He used a bug to cancel out a bug that would’ve killed him.  Golley-gee-willickers. 

    • This isn’t about Kungen deserving to die or not.
      No, he does not deserve to die to a bug.

      One bug does not justify another bug however.
      Both should be fixed. Using one to avoid the other is still exploiting.

  19. They just need to remove the pause option. I never understood why they put it in the first place if you play alone. How hard is it to cast a town portal stay in town if you need to take a break. The pausing seems a bit cheap altogether. You see a champ pack, you pause, check their abilities then run away if they are not to your liking. The decision should be quick and on the fly. 

    • As hardcorebob pointed out above, Kungen didn’t even pause the game.  Removing the solo pause doesn’t stop the exploit.  It makes it harder to execute though, since you have mere seconds to log in on another computer, rather than all the time in the world.
      However, i don’t really understand why they put pause in the game either.

      • @Adema & Entranced: U both mad brothers….. suppose you are fighting a champ pack…. and the phone rings, somebody calls on your door, your kid starts a fire or something….. That’s the reason the PAUSE button is there, or haven’t you played any game before? Holy crud dudes it’s just a game not a way of life and this in no measure should affect your “REAL” life (if you have one). :mrgreen:

  20. I don’t think its hard for anyone to understand, that a feature which you can use at a touch of a button (Pause) can then be used in conjunction with a login from another PC, to cheat death.

    Thus this is a HC ‘IWIN’ button, in that as long as you press this, you cannot die. Anyone foolish enough to support this, should stick to playing SC, as it completely negates the point of playing the game in HC mode.

  21. Correct me if I’m wrong, but won’t unplug your computer amount to the same thing? Or killing the diablo 3 process for that matter, although from what I’ve seen it doesn’t act like a normal application and it won’t let itself be killed…

    • No, killing the game unpauses the game for about 10 seconds while a logout is performed.

      Apparently “bumping” yourself by logging in from a second location immediately removes you from the game. 

      I would like to see a proof video where they stand in an obviously lethal place on a low level character, pause game, bump themselves and then show that they survive.  Should be able to do this by standing on the poison blossoms in the field of misery without any vit gear.

  22. Disclaimer: I don’t play HC.
    I don’t see why this matters. If you think its “wrong” then don’t do it. How does how someone else is playing the game affect how your playing it.
    Where the death runs through inferno “wrong” probably in the same way but I don’t care because it doesn’t affect me.
    Let people play how they want to play and play how you want to play.

    • Really? I mean really?  IT’S CHEATING.  It affects the entire game’s economy, achievements, you name it.  You may not understand because you don’t play hardcore, but being alive or not alive is kind of important.  It’s the equivalent of duping items in softcore.  Are you cool with that too?  If you think it’s “wrong” don’t do it…

      • Duping items effects everyone in that bad items are passed through the economy.
        Maybe there are a few more items in the HC auction house because someone who didn’t die when he should have found some stuff but how does this break the game. They are legit items found in game. Would the fear of buying such an item prevent you from using the AH?

        EDIT: also how does someone else’s achievement affect your achievements. Maybe I’m wrong but world first doesn’t get you anything special. Also I’m not too concerned about someone have more achievements than me they are a neet aside nothing more.

        • It is in fact the same.

          If every time someone stood a chance of losing a HC character, they did this, it would be many more items than the “few more items in the HC auction house because who didn’t die when should”

          It would be the same as duping.   Its not one person that is the issue as leoric mentioned, its the fact that its cheating.

          If one person dupes his set of gear, that’s not really going to break the economy.  If everyone dupes their gear, its a big problem.

          Same principle here, if one person does this once, no big deal for the rest of the game.  If everyone can do it whenever they want, its game breaking. 

  23. He lost all respect from me. Its hardcore for a reason, and I dont give 2 cents how many reasons you give to exploit the damn game. All who approve arent playing hardcore.

    • Let’s put this into a little perspective.  This is just a game.  When someone uses a personal exploit like this it doesn’t affect your game.

      • It in fact does, how many of these kind of ”tricks” will give a shitload of more high lvl loot on the AH?

        • Again, doesn’t affect you unless you choose to let it affect you.  Who cares if there’s high level loot to buy on the auction house if you don’t want it.  Play your own game.  The only downside is that there’s potentially more loot for you to buy which, as stated, you don’t have to buy.

          • So, it doesnt affect me if I cant use the AH where items are bought or sold? I have to actually ignore a part of the game so I dont get affected by scared kids who log themselfs out so they dont die in hardcore? Go play softcore if you are afraid of death, dont bug others with your immature stance on the game. It doesnt matter how you put it, it does affect people. You cant go like, if you dont want it to affect you, it wont, cause if I have to ignore a part of the game, it affects me.

  24. Yes this is an exploit BUT that doesn’t mean you should have to lose your character due to a lag spike. I honestly don’t know why anyone would make a Hardcore character with the server issues.

  25. lol so many mad boys, am glad he did that, horrible death because of bad game design that would have been. everybody knows that playing hardcore now is not viable 😀

  26. So now, when I see a HC bragging about getting to level 60, I’ll just laugh it off and say “Yeah….sure you did.” Frankly, you can’t tell if someone has used this bug or not hence it completely invalidates any HC character.

  27. How did you manage to die with spirit vessel? :p

  28. I totally agree this disconnect bug should be fixed asap, because it invalidates hardcore. Period.
    BUT I can understand why Kungen used and I would have done the same. It is basically self defense. You are not allowed to hurt another person in real life, but if they try to hurt you first, you can defend yourself. This is exactly what Kungen did. He used a bug to defend himself from a bug. 
    Still, it needs to be fixed asap because it can be abused. 

  29. Why would anyone do this?  The whole point of playing HC is to have death matter.

  30. Friend of my died to a disconnect, lost his first HC character due to sloppy servers. It sucks, but you know it can happen. It’s hardcore for a reason. If you want to use cheap tactics like this to save your character, you shouldn’t be playing hardcore in the first place. The fact that he would lose his character to a bug does not justify using another to save your pity ass.

    I’m currently progressing through act 4 nightmare with my first hardcore character (since my softcore lvl 57 barb got itemstolen), a demon hunter. Almost died to the second act 4 Boss, was a very intense fight, but i made it. Surviving such a thing or learning if you don’t, is what makes hardcore so much fun. Playing with the knowledge that you can just hit escape and be fine (or enter on the other computer) ruins the hardcore part of hardcore. Both bugs need to be fixed, and every character that has been saved by this exploit needs to be converted to softcore!

  31. Correct me if I’m wrong but doesn’t Diablo’s grip leave you at 1 hp instead of killing you outright? In other words, you’re able to drink a potion as soon as you regain control of your character.

  32. Its. Just. A. Game.

    This has absolutely no bearing on anything, ever.  I play HC for the challenge.  If I want to pause the game and keep my character alive, well thats my choice.  Ive actually done something similiar before, but Ive also lost several characters, a 52, a 42 and a 30.  So its not like I havent taken my licks, and the character that I did it on died anyways later on.

    Seriously, out of all the other issues in the game, I think this would be the last thing people care about.  

    For the record, I love this game, but it feels a lot like D2c.  I want my runewords and shaftstops! 

  33. I really like this site, but with news posts like these, with lots of unchecked rumours posted as facts I doubt I will return much. Only takes a 4th grader to see that this is on his Monk and the quoted description is full of errors. Please get your facts straight or stop posting crap like this…

  34. Just a reminder to all who are critic on Kungen because of doing this: we have paid for a product, and thus it should be free of bugs.
    I find perfectly valid the option to conpensate a bug with another bug.

    • Sure but do you have any evidence that he does not do that in ANY other situation when he could die , even a no bug one ? If so this is a real issue.

  35. oh… so people found another ‘BUG’ in Bli$$’s perfect online only game… 😈
    What your problem people…. It’s his game copy… he paid for it. He has a right to play it any way he likes, be it exploiting or taking advantage of bugs. People asking for deleting these guys who use this trick are morons… you hear ..MORONS.

    EDIT: You know, this is exactly what Blizzard underestimated when making the game online only… it was to prevent cheating right…? Dupes and Bots are cheating and I think they are somewhat far of right, for now anyway.
    So now people have discovered new ways to “CHEAT”. doesn’t that void the whole point of the DRM?
    just wait for the RMAH on the 12. Then the real horror stories will come to pass.

  36. That was bugged as hell, I think using an exploit to save yourself from losing dozens of hours due to a game-breaking bug has its merits. Kungen explicitly stated that he would not try to cheat to save himself if he’s dying in a regular ingame situation.

  37. Why bother with second PC etc, when pause menu Ctrl+Alt+Del end D3 process will do the job just fine.

  38. I think one issue that is overlooked in the discussion up to now is that he (or his friend) is doing that really quick, and without time to think. They didn’t go through any kind of, “wow, I’m dying, but it’s due to a bug, so it might be OK to log in from another PC to survive” kind of thought process, there just isn’t time for that. That means they had everything set up to use this exploit, and someone was checking on him to execute it if necessary. I can’t see them making any kind of agreement that it would be OK to use this time, so I have to assume they would do it everytime they got the chance for it. And it’s a bit hard to believe that after they agreed later on that the death was in fact not due to lag or bug, he would go back in and suicide his character… So it feels a lot like they were doing it with inferior intentions, and only this time there is some justification for it..

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