One life to live #38: The final countdown

Next week at this time we’ll be dying, thriving, and playing Diablo 3. It feels good to finally say that. However there are a few things to do before we step into Sanctuary.


What class to take?

I thought I would know by now. After having the beta for ages, and following the game for so long, I was sure I would have it in my mind what I would roll day 1. Yet here I am still stumped. It’s a toss up right now between the Monk, the Barbarian and the Witch Doctor. I like each one in varying ways, and while I know I’ll play them all, your first hardcore is something special. It’s probably the first character you’ll be afraid to lose, the one you’ll build your stash with, and the first you may lose. All great memories and important to choose wisely.

Your First Hardcore Character Will Be?

  • I'm not playing any Hardcore characters. (17%, 192 Votes)
  • Witch Doctor (15%, 175 Votes)
  • Still undecided. (15%, 173 Votes)
  • Barbarian (15%, 171 Votes)
  • Wizard (13%, 152 Votes)
  • Monk (13%, 151 Votes)
  • Demon Hunter (11%, 126 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,140

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Which class will get me to hardcore fastest?

If the beta is any indication, I found the monk was the fastest to clear those first ten levels with. So while I’m agonizing over what to take into Hardcore i’m steady in this decision. This character is purely about speed and how quickly I can get into Hardcore. From my beta experience 1-10 takes a little over an hour. Which is much easier than a full clear and leaves us available to conquer Hardcore unspoiled.


Spoilers or no spoilers?

Waiting 12 years is a long time. Waiting five more days shouldn’t be hard. However when your privy to all this information it’s damn tempting. However part of the reason I wanted to see a Hardcore from the start was to experience everything fresh and new. So in a sense not only would I spoil that but I would be going back on my own convictions. So I push on with blinders trying not to spoil things for myself.


How do  I plan for release?

I can’t play until 2 am. I also have to work the following day. So I think I’ve figured out what I’ll have to do since by no means can I not play on release. So I will be going to bed early, and waking up to play until work. Ideally I will be well into my Hardcore character before I even have to get ready. I wish it was something more epic, like taking a week off while feasting on bacon and steak, pausing only for the bathroom and mandatory sex breaks administered by Scarlett Johansson and Sofia Vegara. However since it isn’t I’ll take solace in just enjoying the time I do get.

What about you? How are you approaching release? What class will you be taking in? What time are the Hollywood starlets arriving?

One Life to Live covers the Hardcore play and life style in the Diablo community. It is written by Xanth and published weekly. Post your comments below, Follow me on Twitter @HCXanth or contact the author directly.

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28 thoughts on “One life to live #38: The final countdown

  1. Cept for Flux.  He will be playing the torchlight 2 beta trying to convince himself its better.

    • I voted “still undecided.” No idea when I’ll do my first HC, though if i didn’t have this site to run and a  need to zoom through normal asap to gain info, I’d be very tempted to start out HC. I’d probably do a DH in that case. By the time I have time to play HC… I’ll do whatever char I’ve found works best for me and is the most fun from my SC play.

      I won’t be playing TL2 beta vs. D3 full game, though TL2 beta is a lot more fun than D3 beta, just since there’s so much more content and challenge in it., but I’ve only had time to play through one Embermage and a bit of a Berserker. Just too much work to do on this site and for RL things.

      BTW, I just got 1000 TL2 beta keys; so big quick contest coming up soon.

      • Because clearly all us trolls think there’s way too much TL2 favoritism on a Diablo 3 site.

  2. Recently divorced so I don’t have sex to break from, I’m good to go…although I’d probably swap Diablo 3 for sex any day of the year.

  3. For hardcore? Gotta be WD. With the pets and DoTs, you can spend relatively little time using attack skills and more time running around like a little girl.

  4. My girlfriend already photoshopped her face onto demon hunter artworks and tries to lure me by saying things like: “i would also look hot in an outfit like that”…

    • My wife has a different approach. She gently shakes her head and sighs “Omg you´re such a dork..”

    • OMG this is hilarious.  my girls already “planning” ahead as well.  as long as shes ok w diablo 3 bjs and sandwhich making for the next month ill be gtg 🙂

  5. Sex break? Pfft. Only breaks I’m taking are to take the dog on a run and go to the gym. Your butt won’t fall asleep from sitting all day if it’s full of muscle.

  6. These are all valid points, and I don’t have an answer to most of them. Now, I am not exclusive hardcore or softcore player, I do both, but my main and first several of characters in D3 will be softcores, just to get things going. I won’t play hardcore untill I am certain I have a solid grasp on gameplay, to minimise my chance of dying (of course I’ll die, every HC char dies eventually, but this will help me make those deaths less common).

    As far as your bulletin list goes,

    -I have already decided on my main SC PvM, HC PvM and PvP chars, and those will be, Wizard as my main SC, Witch Doctor as my main HC, and Demon Hunter as my PvP char, once PvP is in the game. Witch Doctor just looks like class with highest survivibility. Of course, survivibility is very relevant, ranged classes stay away from the fray, melees get that passive damage reduction and just overall have more health and defense, etc. However, in my mind, WD is the best HC char because it offers substitutes for all the benefits that the other classes have. It can have up to five permenant pets out, which with proper passives can have plenty of damage, health and armor, it’s the best CC class and the only class with cheap, spammable, AoE slow, it’s DoT spells function in very much fire&forget principle, and it is possible to stack a lot of DoTs on group of monsters alongside GotD to slow them down and with pets to tank them, Mongrels (I still prefer Zombie Dogs) serving as meat shield and distraction, with Gargantuam adding to your damage. Overall, pet heavy, CC, map-control WD with plenty of health and armor seems like ideal choice for hardcore character.

    -As far as spoilers go, I have been avoiding spoilers for a long, long time now, ever since the first datamined information about full bestiary and later acts and quetss became available. While many people play Diablo games purely for their (amazing) gameplay, I have always found Diablo lore, story and characters that populate the world to be as interesting as the gameplay, sometimes more, sometimes less. I am completionist and in all my years and years of playing D2 I have never rushed the game, I always take it slowly, going through each zone, killing all the monsters and getting all the loot. Same thing with bosses, sure, Andariel and Duriel aren’t as lucrative as Mephisto, and Diablo is so much harder to reach then Baal (and Baal’s potential loot is better as well), but I still always enjoyed the experiance of playing throught it. So, I find the lore to be interesting and amazing, so I tried as much as possible to avoid spoilers, sadly, I haven’t been 100% successfull, and I know few things I’d prefer not to know.

    -And, finally, as for my release plan, it’s pretty much the same to Xanth’s. I have final classes on May 15th and 16th, so I will install the game when it becomes available here in Europe, which should be around 8 pm on May 14th (I have already digitally purchased the game and downloaded it), patch it with that first day patch and play. I’ll make sure I get too much sleep during the day so that alongside Red Bull (or just plain strong coffee) should make me fully awake and let me play through the night. I’ll play all night long untill morning, in the morning I will go to classes, after classes I will play some more (by that point I should be at the end of normal difficutly) and then go bed early on the 15th. Wake up for classes on 16th, come home to school and then play rest of the day. After that, rinse and repeat.  

    • The countdown clock is set to 0:00 May 15th on your machine. If you’re somewhere that launch isn’t at midnight, such as the US East/Central/Mountain, or the UK, or non-CET EU,  then the timer won’t be exact.

  7. Hi Xanth

    I will be rushing to 10 with a Monk before making the HC Barbarian. I would like to finish the story before I get spoiled but I don’t know if that’s realistic. I will most likely start more HC characters quite early, I want to have a handful of characters so no one death is too much of a setback. Also its boring playing the same character all the time.

  8. Going to play through SC a few times before rolling HC… only rolling with a class that I am comfortable with – still undecided.  Trying to avoid all spoilers.

    Trying to stay busy to pass these final ~3 days.

  9. Well red bull will be my friend launch day, maybe topped off with some Jagermiester to celebrate.  Bathroom breaks will be necessary unless I can get my wife to do what Cartman’s mom does for him during his wow marathon, but I can probably scratch that.  She will be more inclined to the sex as she will be craving attention.
    I’ve prepared my schedule for the first week to collect as much loot as I can so that I can be ready for when the RMAH goes live.  Also gold to level up my blacksmith ASAP.
    Lots of coffee!  Coca-Cola Galore! and lost of delivery (Placing Pizza Hut and Chinese Restaurant on speed dial). 
    Well, good luck to all and.  GG GL HF

  10. Male Barbarian with Tower Shield. Haven´t decided on Longsword or Battleaxe though.
    Thanks for all your HC efforts during the long months, Xanth ! You are truly an Avatar of hardcore and surely made waiting easier for me.
    Please mind to hand over Scarlett during MY sex breaks. Thanks 🙂

  11. After I get first softcore char to level 10 (probably Wizard will be fastest) and switch to hardcore I’m planning so start with barbarian few times. After that probably will try Witch Doctor.

  12. Scarlet, guess she’s going to be very busy on the 15th, so I’ll call up Kirsten (Dunst).
    One problem though, wife will probably not approve, so I’ll tell her that Kirsten has come over to play D3.

  13. “What class to take?”  Going Witch Doctor, longtime personal preference for summoners.

    [voted] “Your First Hardcore Character Will Be?”  Witch Doctor.

    “Which class will get me to hardcore fastest?”  Rather than fastest, i will take the class i like the least.  In this way i spoil my fresh HC experience the absolute minimum.  For me it’s Monk. I’m also going to re-run early areas to level to 10 rather than go as far as possible, to see the least possible.

    “Spoilers or no spoilers?”  No spoilers, or at least the minimum.  I’ve unintentionally glimpsed the occasional tidbit here and there while devouring news, but that’s not the end of the world.  I didn’t apply for the beta, and did not play the Open Beta weekend.  I wonder how many others are as insane as me, no beta whatsoever, and fastest to HC possible.  Surely only a handful.

    “How do  I plan for release?”  I am lucky in that i have a very flexible job.  So basically i’m going to play from midnight until i can’t keep my eyes open.  And then again the next day, and the day after, and the day after, and the day after, and the d

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