With release fast approaching I thought I would take a little time to go over the basics of Hardcore. This is not meant to shed light on new ideas or strategies for you old school hardcore folks, but to enlighten those who have never heard of it, or have been on the fence for a bit.
What is it?
Hardcore is the same game as normal. Same monsters, same bosses, same loot.The only difference is that when you die, it’s over. Instead of finding your character resurrected a few feet from your death you will be prompted back to the character screen. You will see a ghostly visage of your character and if over level 10 you can archive it into the halls of the dead.
Why should I play Hardcore? It seems like I’d just be wasting my time if I died.
For myself and countless others it’s about the journey. You will die playing Hardcore, but in the deaths you learn and get better. It can be frustrating, but that frustration leads way to a much greater feeling of success then simply hurling your corpse at a boss until he gives you loot. In looking back at Diablo 2 I don’t recall finding the items I had been looking for, or defeating Diablo for the first time, but each death ( both my fault and out of my control) stand out and remain distinct and clear. Diablo 3 will fade, like all games, but those memories and the feeling of what you did will stay with you for much longer.
How is Hardcore unlocked?
In order to play Hardcore you must have played a soft core character to level 10. You do not have to keep that character after hitting level 10 and it can be deleted to allow more space for your Hardcore characters. Originally you did have to complete all of Normal difficulty but that stipulation has been removed.
How do I make a Hardcore character?
After reaching level 10 on a soft core character, you can then go into character selection and click on Create Hardcore character. After naming your character you will then be prompted to accept the fact that if you die Blizzard will do nothing about it. If you do not see that warning, congratulation you made a soft core character… go back and try again.
What do I lose when I die?
Everything on your character! However anything in your stash(including your gold), and your Artisan’s progress, will remain in place for your future characters( assuming your didn’t rage quit). This is a nice relief from D2. Back then you lost everything on your character and in your stash, and the only hope you had was if someone could loot your corpse.
What about Lag?
There will be lag, I won’t lie on that. However since I’ve played Hardcore on a 56k modem I feel like anything now seems trivial. The best advice is if it’s feeling risky don’t do it. If you don’t trust your connection then maybe Hardcore isn’t for you.
Who should I play with?
Friends would be your best bet. Public games are a crap shoot. You cold get a great group that works together or one that is running every direction. When your life is on the line you want people there you have your back and expect you to do the same. If you don’t have HC friends try our forums, diablo.incgamers to find someone to play with. You know at least that way your getting someone who is concerned enough about the game to seek out other people to play with rather than simply roll the dice.
I died what do I do?
Start over! Start two characters in fact! try to level two characters and keep them around the same level, that way if one dies you have the other to fall back on and take some of the sting out of it. It can be kind of harsh to have to start back at zero and even a few levels can be the difference between restarting and quitting. Other than starting over take note of how you died, what caused it? What can you do to prevent that in the future? those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
How can I stay alive?
Without the retail of the game I can’t get too specific, however there are somethings that translate really well into D3. First :slow down, rushing won’t get you to sixty first, it will get you killed. Second:Play defensively, each class has skills that are made to help them stay alive. Get aquatinted with them. Fire off a your skills in town and in lower level areas and test them out before you go into the fray. Third:If you don’t know ask! We have a great community here and post your thoughts, builds, and questions in our hardcore forum!
I just lost a level 50, this sucks
Okay not a question but losing your highest level character really sucks. I wrote a piece a few months ago on losing a character read it and start again.
If I pause the game as I’m about to die and disconnect I’ll be okay right?
Nope, pausing and disconnecting will cause you to initiate the ten second logout. Which should lead to your demise.
What is the Halls of the Dead?
The Halls of the Dead is archive for your deceased Hardcore characters. You character must have been over level ten when they died in order to be archived. This helps prevent your character slots from being flooded with the ghosts you will accumulate. The Halls of the Dead also provides a view of your character int he gear they died in and you can view their stats and build as well.
Finally some great advice from Toque
Rule #1: Get comfortable. Starting off you’re going to have zero idea of what you can and can’t get away with, so approaching every pack of mobs should be done so with the mindset that they could kill you.
Rule #2: Your shield is your best friend. Giving yourself a chance to block full damage from attacks makes shields an HC players best item for survivability.
Rule #3: Don’t be a hero. If you don’t feel like your character is ready for a specific fight, then don’t go running in guns blazing. This is especially important for bosses. Go farm, craft some gear, grind some levels, then go fight that next boss. If you actually have no clue how to know if you’re ready, judge it by how easy the mobs before the boss are. If the mobs are hard, the boss is going to wreck you.
Rule #4: Gear accordingly. If D2 is any indication, certain bosses will be easier with certain gear. Poison resist for Andy, Fire and Lightning for Diablo, etc.
Rule #5: Don’t ignore resistances. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve watched HC noobs run through higher level content with no resistances and get instagibbed by elemental mobs.
Rule #6: You will die! Never think for a moment that you are safe, complacency is what kills HC characters the most. Thinking you’re never going to lose a character is probably the worst attitude you can have.
Release is getting closer, and even the developers are jumping into the Hardcore realm. The only question that remains is: are you ready to go Hardcore?