One Life to Live: Re-leveling Trivialized

hardcore levelingDeath in HC always brings us back to where we started. Back at humble beginnings and a quest to reach where we fell off. However after falling several times you want an expressway back as opposed to a rural commute and now with ROS The expressway is up and running.

In an incident of Irony, or perhaps fate, I lost my WD last week after declaring my avoidance of death.

Death story time: After cruising through a few rifts with a clanmate( who shall remain nameless..cough *aazmandius* cough) and a few other people we jumped into a new rift. Or rather they did, They managed to load a bit faster than I did and rounded up a few of the most furious monsters, several packs, and all the arcane beams they could find and quickly ported back to town after proc’ing their own cheat death passives.My spirit vessal proc’d by the time my screen had fully loaded, and I was dead before I even saw what hit me. Not a great way to go but that is Hardcore, and I knew the risks well before I entered that portal.

It stung, probably more than any death before it, but I soldiered on. I wasn’t in much of a hurry to get back to 70 but of course each moment not farming rifts was time I wasn’t getting my tasker and theo, granted the same could be said about most of my rift farming but I digress.

I hit 30 the night of my death, I had a few things to make the low levels tolerable and was content with that progress for the night. As I logged in the next day I knew what was in store for me but was curious what people were doing for a power level now that ROS and adventure mode was in play. Was it harder? Or more dangerous? The answer was neither.

I joined a community for powerleveling and quickly found out how it works. You create a game on T6 looking for 2 bounties. Clear the Damp Cellar in Act 1 and Cleanse the Hell rift in Act 4. After that you spam the chat looking for a someone to help clear. People quickly respond and you have a game going in a few seconds. The clearer will rush to the quest zone and zone into the cellar. They clear and call you down. You then hide in the corner near the exit while they complete the chest event, racking up xp for both the monsters killed but the bounty as well. My first game I joined was for cellar only and I went from 30-35 in a manner of minutes. The process for the Hell rift is much similar, though you can also just zone in and portal to town in order at least receive the bounty xp. That process continued for a half an hour of creating and joining games until I found myself the proud owner of a level 61 WD.

From there I teamed up with Aaz again (making up for previous sins) and cleared act one bounties until 70. The time it took to go from 30-70 was actually less than it took me to go 1-30 solo. I can’t say I’m surprised by this, Power leveling and Diablo go hand in hand, we’ve seen iterations of it before with quest cascading back in the early stages of D3 but this actually seems faster.

As I mentioned before the sting of death isn’t really in the 1-70 loss but in the items. The journey back just adds a little level of harshness to it. I can say contrastly that it was nice to bypass it this time and go back to running rifts right out of the gate. Will I continue to do this for each new character? It’s hard to say, it certainly is easier but there is a level of cheapness to it. Leveling in ROS doesn’t take too much time but the end goal is still to get back to 70 to farm and as a result the shortest path is always most desirable.

The question then remains will Blizz do anything about this?

There is precedent here for Blizz to interfere. In D3 classic they swooped in nerfed quest cascading in act 2 that was allowing players to quickly progress through 1-60 while doing nothing in town.This new power leveling is now actually easier than that ever was. As I mentioned earlier power leveling is mainstay of the game, but when the levels come this quickly is it too much? Sound off in the comments below!

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 him on Twitter @HCXanth or contact the author directly. For all the archived news about Diablo 3 hardcore check our Archives!


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  1. Well, I am at the point where I think leveling is unnecessary downtime. Especially at level 60 to 70. I just can’t stand the though I am wasting leveling a char I could have been running level 70 Rift and picking up the candy. Hence why my only 70 so far is my main Wizard and Barb.

    • What I hate more than leveling, is actually finding legs during leveling. Those level 43 Thunderfury, Cindercoat.. That’s the main reason I don’t want to touch the character until he’s lv 70.

  2. I probably don’t have a lot of room to talk since I’m not playing HC, but I would see the leveling as part of the game. I just finished getting my 6th char to 70 (had to get one of each) and while the grind can get a little old I don’t really see that as a problem. More of an incentive to not get killed, and the grind back to 70 is just more chances to die.

    On the other hand, perhaps Blizz should capitalize on people wanting to shortcut like this and offer a service where you could pay to get extra XP or just jumped all the way to 70. Or, just give an option so that once you have hit 70 with a class you can just start a new character at that level automagically. You would still lose the loot that was on the dead character, but if people are going to shortcut it anyway then Blizz might as well make it legit…

    • The idea of having a new Char starting off @70 is a good one – for HC only!!!
      No need to pay extra, of course.
      As to what concerns gear, you’d be getting a naked character, and the problem of gearing up for it would be your own. Anyway, I think that playing on Normal with yellow items (you can use the pool of gold and mats to craft your own, get some upgraded @the Mystic and gamble on Kadala).
      Then, farming in Normal will still give you access to nice Legendary items… and you’ll be up again in no time.

      This would certainly make more people embrace HC – but definitely, the loss of the dead character’s equipment should always occur, that would be the penalty!…

  3. There is a good forum thread on this:

    And yes, I like easy power levelling, especially with chars for all classes on my account…

  4. I think it’s rediculous that you can level so quickly. Nothing cheapens hardcore mode more than having a level 70 char with only a couple of hours investment.

    I would say sure let softcore do the fast levelling… They don’t care about death why care about how fast it takes to level?

    But in hardcore why is it so easy? Please look up the definition of hardcore!

    • For veteran HC players, there isn’t anything hardcore about leveling 1-70, its easy and boring… The sting of hardcore is the item losses, not the relatively paltry time from 1-70.

  5. Leveling is a joke and a complete waste of time since it’s impossible to get a single endgame quality drop below level 70.

  6. I think that just leveling from 1-70 is so much faster in RoS than it was in vanilla, there’s hardly any need for powerleveling like this.

  7. I joined the ‘HC Power Leveling’ community last night to find out how well it operates.

    I easily got a new barb up to 70 in next to no time.

    After leveling I decided to switch and try clearing for people. It definitely takes some solid dps to clear 4 person games depending on the torment and character level of the game. Overall I got legendaries, gold, exp and helped alot of people get new characters up.

    For new people: CC=cursed cellar, HR=hell rift. From 1-50 I recommend only CC. Format for chatting: Torment,(char lvl),area found, spots available. Looks like: ‘T6(41) CC looking for Clearer + 1 leech’. The torment and character level are important because not all clearers can handle all difficulties [i]especially[/i] past lvl 60.

  8. If leveling up after death is inconvenient, Hardcore mode is probably not for You.

    • If there was no inconvenience to death then everyone would play hardcore because it wouldn’t matter.

      The loss and ‘inconvenience’ is what makes hc exciting, because you have something to lose.

  9. Leveling’s got to go. It’s had its time, and now it’s nothing. Get rid of it. Earn skills from beating bosses, rift guardians, bounties, whatever. Add more and better leg/skill synergies. The gear is the hardest thing to replace, always was. Stop the stupid leveling crap, just b/c that’s what we’ve always done. Even WoW let’s you skip to level 90 now, b/c they realized there was nothing in the 1-89 game that was better than playing w/ your friends, guild, etc at end game.

  10. Am I the only one who doesn’t mind leveling? It’s fast, learn new builds, provides a change of pace. Though I rarely die, I’ve made new characters for level 70 gear I’ve acquired (main wiz’s gear is all set to frozen orb, new wiz is using those fun special legendaries).

    Just a side note, these are insanely op for leveling: hc

    It seems that your first bounty cache has a guaranteed drop, so act 3 for these.

    • I agree, every time I level I experiment with new builds. Once I get to 70 I’m pretty locked in to how I’m going to play that character (until it dies or I get a build-changing legendary.)

      Leveling too fast takes the fun out of it.

  11. As you said, it’s quite cheesy to level in this way but it’s a grind to level repeatedly, especially the same class, over and over. It isn’t as if it’s an opportunity to put right some permanent design choices you regret making with the dead character. Not with free respecs. The temptation to take a shortcut to levelling is completely understandable.

  12. Death in HC wasn’t a problem in D2 either, it took like 7 hours to level to Hell if you muled all the items you used leveling. Even there the only thing that stung was losing items if you soloed.

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