Diablo 3 Hardcore Guides around the web

A few websites have taken to preparing the masses for DiabloWikiHardcore immersion. They offer some tidbits of advice sprinkled with plenty of useless drivel(not that I’m not guilty of such).

The articles and analysis after the bump

First is Gosugamers article.

Some Higlights:

Since you’ll be prioritizing life over damage, it might take time defeating enemies. As a ranged character you should use a sufficient amount of Crowd Control (cc) spells to keep you safe while you’re whittling down enemy health. As a melee character, always check your health while fighting and make sure to have some sort of Escape Mechanism when things go bad. Taking Elective Mode to have more freedom with skills and using more Defensive Skills at the expense of damaging ones is the way to go.

Do not play with lag. You probably know this but we decided to include it anyways. It takes just 2 seconds of no control over your character to get clobbered to death by an elite pack. In Diablo – Lag = Death. If you experience delay or even worse – lag spikes, stop playing and fix your connection.

Couldn’t agree more We have to sacrifice some damage in order to survive, and lag is the beast stalking each one of us.


Once you hit your twenties around act 2 and as you progress to act 3 you’ll start getting proper items and this is where decisions have to be made. At the current state of the game’s economy, the best way to get good items is the Auction House. You should ignore the blacksmith completely. This also means selling your items and not salvaging them. A random magical item can be sold for around 80-120 gold, or salvaged to give you simple crafting material and a chance to get a rare material. Putting that chance aside, crafting items (both normal and rare) can be bought for less then the sell price of a single item – this means you are better off just selling your items.

I couldn’t disagree more with this. You should be leveling your artisans as they are tied to you account! Sure they may not make something great now, but after you die you will be damn happy to be able to run over and craft up some decent gear to get you going. Yes, the AH is great but can be pricy and it’s nice to have something to fall back on.

Up next an article from Game on Net.


One: Build the Crucible

Diablo III has your stash, crafters, and gold shared across all characters. Even when a hardcore character dies, you keep all these for other characters to use.

You win hardcore through evolution. By depositing to the stash, each character is a cycle, improving the odds for the next once demons/the Reapers kill the previous. Eventually, you’ll be strong enough to complete the game.

Know the difference between breezing through content, and struggling. You’re struggling when it starts taking more than two hits to kill a demon. Then it’s time to either buy new gear, or replay content to over-level the area. This will mean taking much longer to progress through the game.

Going slow also means not running headlong into each fight, as some champions are just stupidly powerful. I was breezing through one Nightmare dungeon until hitting a frozen jailer. I would have died had I not withdrawn under stealth, before restarting the game to reroll the encounter.

I like this guy already. You’ll notice he agrees with me on artisans so bonus points for him. Taking it slow is a needed bit of advice and a helpful reminder for those determined to rush through everything. Also it is a great point that if you buck up against something you can not handle leave! Don’t try to be a hero, just leave and resume and your champion pack might have changed to something more manageable.


You don’t have to beat the game on Inferno. You could be satisfied with ending the game on Hell. The lure of hardcore-only achievements in Inferno may just be Blizzard’s indoctrination attempt to get you killed.

I don’t care for this concept. We all know Inferno is tough but the second we accept that it’s impossible we may as well stop playing. We have to keep pushing into content that could kill us otherwise we are not accepting our mortality.

What each guide fails to really address is what new players to hardcore need to know. They cover some basics and how to succeed but fail to really explain what they mode is. For a nice Hardcore 101 check out this.

One thing I noticed from both that is lacking is the concept of mentality. In this mode you have to know you will die at some point and be ready for that loss. As a result you must also do everything in your power to prevent it. For example the other night I ran into a pack of with arcane, waller and desecrate. At some point my health was getting low and so was the pack. It would have been easy to panic and just say it’s over. However if you accept it you don’t prevent it. So I quickly hit a potion and tried to move away. I got out of the area a bit, regrouped and went back at them. It’s a classic fight or flight response. I’d rather my character die doing everything I could, than panicking and letting it happen.

It’s great to see more guides come out and steer people into something I’m finding to be even more challenging than D2 Hardcore. For more Diablo hardcore news check here. Aquaint yourself with our Hardcore forums and stay alive!

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    21 thoughts on “Diablo 3 Hardcore Guides around the web

    1. Panic/mentality is the killer, once that sets in you stop paying attention to the nearest health globes, you accidentally hit your cooldown/potion, you stop dodging attacks…
      Also agree with you on leveling the Artisans. In the long-term at least if you die you’re not starting from zero.
      Just completed my first playthrough of the game on HC. Wish they had a Feat of Strength for that. :mrgreen:

    2. Glad to see HC community growing! It’s best, I find, comparing to SC, much more friendly and helpful and willing to share knowledge/wealth… unless you’re in D2 with the tppk kiddies.

    3. Couldn’t disagree more on the artisans.  They’ve proven to be a complete failure even on the anemic HC AH.  You’re way, way better off just buying (or finding) things than trying to craft them.

      • That’s kind of short sighted isn’t it? When you start finding Rare or Legendary plans, and you can start milking those to HC players who either didn’t level an Artisan or couldn’t find the recipe, that could be a great boon to your HC career.  I hate to make a comparison to WoW, but you could make a ton of gold off a single hard-to-find plan if you stayed the course with your professions.

        • The thing is, those “hard-to-find plans” don’t really produce items that are superior to what you can find with drops or through the AH. Sometimes those patterns are pretty good, but in pure cost/benefit terms they’re not especially efficient. You can spend 20k gold trying your chances with a random item… or you can buy an item specifically-tailored to your needs on the AH for half of that. This may change depending on how gold values in the economy inflate, but at present it’s not terribly prudent to try to gear yourself through the blacksmith. The blacksmith was useful if you were one of the first leveling up and there wasn’t much yet available on the AH, but I don’t believe that’s still the case. There might be a case for upgrading the jewelcrafter with the commodity auctions down all the time, but often it’s cheaper to buy a higher level gem rather than to combine lower-level ones.

          You’d be much, much better of spending that early gold on increasing your stash size and stashing away items that you might use on other characters instead of upgrading your artisans.

          • That’s disappointing but it makes sense. I did end up buying the best Ruby I could get, for the +% XP.  I can’t imagine Blizzard not fixing this, somehow, in future patches.  I hope they buff some of the plans with the patch.

            • Recent blue posts indicate that in a future patch they’re lowering the cost of low-level blacksmithing and making gem upgrades require two, not three gems. In my view, the fact that Blizzard is suggesting that the crafting is too expensive is further proof that it’s not terribly wise – at least not at present – to invest heavily in the artisans, especially in Hardcore where farming up gold isn’t quite as easy as in SC.

      • exactly 
        when you die, your new char will be much better off having tons of gold and buying inexpensive items specifically tailored to his needs that he can use now from the AH than to be short on gold and craft items that are beyond his level and have random, crappy stats 

      • what about when you progress further than the rest?

        there are 3 slots that i need upgraded, and the AH maybe will catch up in 4 days.  I want them now. 

    4. I’m afraid I have to disagree with you about artisans in the current form of the game. I level mine for the long-term, but the long-term is really patches ahead when the costs are fixed appropriately for the items they produce at the low and mid levels. As it is now, the mat and gold cost is much too high for the items you creates compared to the auction house value of them.

      The only reason I craft items at all now is because the auction house is currently down, I’m too lazy to leave the game, or I’m just bored and feel like flushing gold. In very few circumstances is it the “optimal” choice.

    5. Great job putting these together, Xanth. Really enjoyed reading your highlights/lowlights on each. I’d like to add how important it is to prepare for bosses properly. Make sure you know the encounter and have a mental strategy prepared for dealing with each of the boss’s primary abilities. Two men enter, one man leaves. Don’t enter a boss fight you either A) aren’t mentally prepared for (strategy), or B) aren’t physically prepared for (gear).

      I haven’t bothered with the blacksmith yet (only 1 HC character at level 30, mid Act 3 normal), but I am working my JC up. Especially with the commodities AH down so often at this point, it’s worth finding and crafting my own gems. That said, because there is such a premium on vitality+your-class-stat on the AH, you have to shop deals to find good items. Sometimes, when not able to find a reasonably priced upgrade for a gear slot, I’ll drop one of my AH filters (say intellect), and go for pure vitality on that item (or vice versa), and make up the difference on another slot.

      So far it’s worked pretty well. I don’t think skipping the BS entirely is a smart idea for the reasons you point out, Xanth, but from a fiscal point of view, it’s too expensive right now to justify. We need that patch soon that takes a second look at the craft costs (I don’t have a problem with the upgrade costs, just the per-item crafts are crazy). 

    6. Forgot to mention one more thing… be EXTRA careful when logging in with your HC character!

      1) Never go AFK when logging in (seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how you might do this without thinking coming from normal mode)
      2) Always be prepared to fight immediately when logging in

      I know the checkpoint I am at right now in Act 3 (right before Siegebreaker at the end of the bridge), I am often dumped with a large pack (non-elite) immediately. I can’t TP out, so I’m stuck fighting. Honestly, I just need to find time to finish Siegebreaker and find a better checkpoint… but still! Be careful! 

      • That’s a really good tip David. I will also add that certain network functions, it seems, could also cause a death. I was checking out other player’s Achievements in General Chat last night, and after each network request my game would lock up for 10 seconds.  I know it’s not my computer.

      • Second this.
        I lost my HC Char to this. At least it was only lvl 13 but I wasn’t paying attention because I assumed you would spawn in town. By the time I could jump to my computer to spam a pot or run away, I was dead.

      • Also, be careful when joining a game and jumping to other players via the banner.  I had a few near-death experiences doing this.

      • Funnily enough I just died in exactly this scenario, logging in to the checkpoint just before Siegebreaker. I was dead before I could even move (thanks to the start-of-game lag I’m cursed with). Thankfully it was a SC character, but I’ve learned my lesson!

    7. I was a D2 hardcore player.  And I have much respect for the HC community.  But man I don’t think I can handle D3 HC.  I try to play carefully, and I am very conscious of Defensive playstyles, and my barb wipes all too often! 

      • I hear you, at the same time though I’m thinking about dropping Softcore altogether… with 500 or whatever skills there’s already enough to think about, I’d rather adapt all my strategies to one end, HC.  I figure… if there’s an achievement for Hardcore Inferno, heck, I may not get it for 20 years but I’ll try! 😀

    8. The blacksmith is useless.
      You can get all the items you need from drops and fill the gaps with AH purchases so the advice is solid.
      However, personally I dislike the way that the AH is the best way to gear in the game and as such I am personally opting to not use the AH on any of my HC characters.

    9. Don’t know if anyone has made this point yet:
      With the blacksmith you can throw money at the gear problem without setting foot outside the gates.
      While the AH is an option, the blacksmith is still another one, especially when most hard core players are going to be farming areas they are comfortable with, lower level mobs and lower level drops (sell the items for gold and buy your mats on the AH though, just good financial sense) but why limit your opportunities?
      Yes, it’s just like gambling was back in d2, but there’s still the chance you can pull something better than you could buy for the price and/or re-sell that for more than it cost you to make. Hell, I make things sometimes because I’m bored of a piece of gear and want to see what will come up. It’s not often 7’s but quite a few times I found some nice random stuff, hell, my level 50 was still wearing a 27 piece that couldn’t be beat and in the end i had to spend 50k just to find a replacement for it.
      Finally: You only have to pay for it all once. Where’s the debate?

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