Vote: Will You Play Hardcore in Diablo III?

We ran a vote on D2 DiabloWikiHardcore play experience a couple of years ago, and while it was (sadly) eaten by a news script switch over, as best I recall only about 10% of respondents had ever played HC in D2. I was surprised that the figure was so low, but what does that tell us about D3 Hardcore play plans? Very little.

So here’s the new vote. Are you going to play HC in D3? Yes? Maybe? No way? Pick an option and we’ll see just how many tears Xanth should shed over your lack of faith.

Will you play Hardcore in Diablo III?

  • 2) Yes, but I'll play normal mode also. (33%, 2,832 Votes)
  • 3) Possibly? I'm a little HCurious. (26%, 2,218 Votes)
  • 4) Probably not. (22%, 1,888 Votes)
  • 5) No way. Not even once. (11%, 904 Votes)
  • 1) Yes, exclusively. (8%, 660 Votes)

Total Voters: 8,494

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Last Vote Results

The last vote went up just as the open beta weekend began, and was thus kind of ignored as you guys had better D3 things to do. Still, I found it interesting that more than half of you guys had a favorite class since you first heard about it. That might correlate with the Barb and Wiz always leading the fave class votes, since we’ve known about them both since 2008, while the Monk came along in 2009 and the Demon Hunter in 2010, after the more archetypal classes had already been revealed.

Do you have a favorite Diablo 3 class?

  • 1) Yes. The same class since it was revealed. (52%, 2,257 Votes)
  • 2) Yes, but I’ve switched favorites in the past. (22%, 965 Votes)
  • 3) I don’t have a favorite. Still undecided. (19%, 814 Votes)
  • 4) Favorites are silly. I play whoever draws my mouse that day. (7%, 299 Votes)
  • Total Voters: 4,335

    Tagged As: | Categories: Diabloii.Net Votes, Hardcore


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    1. D3 HC will bring all the achievement whores to the yard.

      • I’m really hoping for hardcore-only achievements, and I’m disappointed that Blizzard hasn’t mentioned anything about that yet.

        • Agreed, very disappointing, but I’m hoping it’s just a PR oversight.  There are too many cool things they could do.

        • Well at least they’ve got plenty of softcore-only achievements, so they’re halfway there?

      • I assume D3 will be able to teach me….but it has to charge?

      • This.

        I never played hardcore D2.   Achievements however…I’m a sucker for them. They are such silly and simple things yet I can’t get enough of them.  They give me a goal to achieve and I’ll probably shoot for every one of them.  

        I would be shocked if they didn’t have most all softcore achievements duplicated as a hardcore achievement.   


        • Another achievement sucker here :S yeah I might try to finish HC normal just for the points. Actually what draw me most is the achievement reward, that skull base under the banner is just too cool!

    2. Voted for “Probably not”, beacose I got easly tired on doing something same most of times. Than I start watching youtube, browsing fun sites etc … and that’s how I died on my every HC char in D2.

      • I also voted probably not. I will play SC exclusively until that gets boring, then when I need a new challenge (if expansions aren’t out) I will maybe play HC. Or just stop playing the game and focus on studies/career. 🙂

        • i voted “never” since its a waste of time. you WILL eventually die. and that time invested on the character will infuriate me. (yes i know, D3 wont be here forever too, but its a short-term commitment and im not willing to let myself go through that)

    3. Option #2 (hybridcore?) covers a lot of ground. It’s the choice I went with. I want to play mostly hardcore, but I have a lot of friends who are not interested in it, and I don’t want to reject playing with them completely. It’s a hard choice on which class to have as my softcore character, because I won’t play that mode enough to bother having more than one. Probably something fun to play recklessly, like a dual-wielding barbarian.

    4. I played HC exclusively in D2 and D2X, I’m quite surprised at the 10% statistic you mention, for me D2 offered very little in terms of gaming enjoyment after I experienced the thrill of HC.  Despite lag deaths, town portal bot deaths, hacks before Ruststorm, etc.  Even as I became increasingly jaded by the decline of D2’s online experience, hardcore was a rush.
      I may keep a Softie around for Inferno content, or to fall back on to complete achievements, but I voted for the exclusive HC option. I will complete my first play through in HC.

      To those who voted “NEVAR”, you really owe it to yourself to at least try it. It’s like nothing else, and when I say nothing else I mean like no other game out there. You might consider us all masochists but no pain no gain, it’s the best video game thrill ever, IMO.

      • Im not bashing on you, but how does it feel when you die in HC? for me, it feels like waste of time. like a house from a deck of cards you built, for it only to be demolished at any sec. but DUH! not everyone thinks like me 🙂

        • I won’t beat around the bush, it sucks, but the reason I’m playing (and I would imagine the reason 99% of us are playing) is for enjoyment.  Playing 8 hours on a HC character for me is much more enjoyable than 8 hours of a softcore.  The whole game experience changes — everything is more fun, challenging, intense.  But, YMMV.  If you want to show off a character you’ve worked ages on, Softcore is the way to go.  If you want the closest thing to adrenaline in video games, play Hardcore.

        • Just imagine, the day you finally complete a house of 52 cards.  What a feeling!  Were all the failed attempts a waste of time?  They were part of the journey, enjoyable with moments of frustration.  The overall experience is very rewarding.

          • then it was destroyed. *rage Face*. knowing the day will come when the character will die, soon, very soon. if only you would retain the gears, i would be happy to play hardcore. 

            might be rewarding to play HC, but its not worth for ME. anyway, everyone has opinions 🙂 

      • I’m gonna play HC whilst snorting coke from a hooker’s navel, I bet that will be a rush. And I’ll play lots of SC too.

    5. I will probably clear all difficulties (up to inferno) on SC in the first week just in case server stability isn’t up to par.  Then it is all HC from there.

      • your post raises an idea in my head.  You think you will clear hell in a week.  I’m hoping you are delusional.   Which brings me to my idea.  (FLUX READ THIS!!) 

        Would be cool to have a thread at some point where we share the time played to 60.   I guess this might be better in forums, but I tend to really only look at the blog pages.   Perhaps Flux can think of a way to make this happen as a blog post.    Perhaps just a post at the end of each week asking for peoples time played and char level. 

        • It could simply be a weekly Flux news post, or better yet a column which tracks the progress towards the elusive Inferno First Clear.  What levels the highest are at, and how far into Normal, then Nightmare, then Hell, then Inferno they are, for SC and HC.  Anyone could write this column, if someone is so inclined.  I’d certainly read it religiously.

        • I’ll hit 60 for sure in a week.  I don’t think gear checks will be that big of a deal until Inferno.  I might not clear Hell in a week, but I’m betting others and myself will in that time frame. 

          • I might start a forum thread just to keep my personal log if anyone is interested. I love tracking stuff, so this is an interesting idea. In fact I signed up to Xfire just to keep my D3 played time :S

    6. Never played HC but I think I’ll give it a go but only after I’ve seen the game in SC.

      Take one right up and through inferno difficulty.  What could possibly go wrong?


    7. you should add an option – just for achievements !!!! i vote for that one 😛

    8. I’ll end up playing HC at some point, but it won’t be until after I have experienced the entire game, collected and used most all of the best items, and am totally bored with SC.

    9. I just need to muster all of my HCourage and then HConquer Diablo 3.
      HCurious… lol, made my day 😀

    10. “That might correlate with the Barb and Wiz always leading the fave class votes, since we’ve known about them both since 2008”
      Don’t forget about the WD. 🙂

      • Why not? Everyone else has? 😉

        We’ll run a fave char vote next week pre-launch, but as the Barb and Wiz are always 1 and 2 in the other votes I’ve seen, I’m wondering how much of that is just about archetypes. Barb is the basher, Wiz is the mage. Those are the only 2 pure archetype classes in D3.  WD and Monk are hybrids and DH is basically an archer, but with enough weird stuff to not quite fulfill that role, and in any event archers seem to be one of the less popular archetypes in RPGs. 

        D3 devs talked about wanting to move away from traditional RPG roles for their chars in D3, but as you look at which 2 are the most popular…. you wonder if they were outsmarting themselves?

        • Not everyone may appreciate the dev’s efforts to stray away from the classic archetypes, but I certainly do. The WD was love at first sight for me and it remained my favorite class by far even after playing the beta.
          I’m curious to see the results of a favorite class poll as well.

        • I’m not sure the Wiz is a clear favorite for site readers anymore…It  seems like there is a lot more love for the Monk and WD on the forums since the open beta.  I predict in the community vote the Barb will be the highest with the rest being pretty close.  I guess we will see. 

          I agree, though, that among the hoi polloi that will be hitting the game on may 15, Barb and Wiz will be the most common.  Good reason for me to choose the WD, DH, or Monk first.

    11. It’s hard to tell…

      I mean… when Diablo 2 got the respec system, everyone was happy about that. But in fact, I really really liked that neverending rushing, till you got some good gear, and playing every char to what it was.

      The respec was imo really bad. You could just revert your char. It was like you startet with a level 90 char – boring.

      Why should anyone acutually play the game again from normal to hell, when you simply can revert your char? I mean… most of the characters had only 2-3 viable builds. So if you wanted another paladin with a different build, you simply had to respec.

      But in Diablo 3 it is more like respeccing all the time, so all the bad things, that came with the respec system, will be around 24/7. I cant say, if it will lead to even more boredom, when leveling the chars to 60. Maybe it will get so damn boring, that softcore will actually suck as hell.  Maybe you will need those deaths to get the original feeling of powerleveling, rushing (and actually fighting for your Life) etc. back. Maybe I will play HC, although I never played HC in D2… But I can’t tell anything yet, since I first have to play that game. 

      I’d love if I was wrong, and SC was nice. And that the respec system won’t ruin that typical Diablo feeling, I had, when I first played the game.

    12. Hardcore sounds cool, but I have very limited gaming time.  Maybe 2-5 hours per week (family, job, wife, etc.).  Generally I am giving up sleep I should be getting to play games.  So I would like the time spent to be ‘productive’ in a gaming sense.  If I spent one month building up a character, and then lost them + all their equipped items, it would seem like I just flushed that month down the toilet.  Might as well have gotten sleep instead.

      • I hear you man, I am in the same boat.  I’m hoping that when my chars die it will be a good excuse to take a break, catch up on stuff, then I can start fresh.  But I totally see where you’re coming from. Should keep me detached. 😀
        On the bright side if they implement good HC achievements, I’ll have something for my efforts.  No more sitting in the chat channel getting pity /whispers…

    13. One word. Exclusively. Will not play SC more than to lvl 10.

    14. I’ve always had a blast with HC right up until the virtually inevitable server lag disconnect death. 

    15. I never really played D2 on softcore. I only ever once had a lvl 80+ sorc on sc, which I gave to a friend of mine after I discovered HC. That sorc was my first ever character even, so hardly any time spend on her. The build on her was awful also 😀

      Given that fact, I will only play HC. I cant imagine the game without the thrill of death waiting around the next corner. It gives such a thrill to actually achieve something like beating the game (including inferno :D), that imo, everyone should do it! Not just 10%! 

    16. probably not – if SC turns out to be too easy and HC gets RMAH then yes .

    17. Voted exclusively HC, and was very surprised to see that it was currently only 6%. Considering that this site would mostly be frequented by big fans of the series too (especially since it’s not even released yet), we have to take into account that the numbers are probably massively skewed towards HC as well as most casual players would not go there. I’m quite happy we don’t get Australian servers now, would be a ghost town with maybe 1-2% HC players :p

    18. I actually convinced myself today to play HC as soon as its unlocked.
      I will also play sc after each act with other character type. Once I die I will most likely swtitch to sc only.

      Played tons of d1 and d2 but never played hc so quite excited 🙂

    19. I didn’t learn about the magic of hardcore in D2 for at least a year.  By the time I started in HC, I knew every encounter so well it was fun but still not much of a challenge–you just have to be more cautious.  I got a couple dozen characters to 70+ in HC and only had a few deaths.
      But now that I know, D3 gives me the opportunity to learn the game in HC.  There’s no second chance to do this.  Imagine playing D2 and going into Duriel for the first time in HC?  Epic.  So there’s no choice for me.  I’ll SC to level 10 (with something other than a wizard), and then I will roll a wizard in HC and never look back until inferno Diablo is dead.  Or that’s the plan anyway…

      • Exactly. Everything is just more epic.  My brother and I asked Jay a question about Hardcore at BlizzCon 2009 and he remarked, “the only way to play.” 😀

      • You actually made me think of an excellent idea.  I wasn’t happy about having to level to 10 in SC.  A palatable solution to that is to play a class/skill combination that i would never normally play!  This way i will learn the game the least possible.  🙂

        So now to figure out a strong build that i don’t like.  Perhaps the forum can help me here (skip to last paragraph if you have ADD).

        – Witch Doctor: i’m a huge fan of summoners and that will be my bread and butter.  So WD is out.
        – Wizard: normally i’m not big on the mage archetype, but watching the Wizard reveal video yesterday i was extremely impressed and intrigued.  Looks hella fun and it could become my 2nd or 3rd fave class in this game.  Wizard is out.
        – Barbarian: barb is something of a staple for me, in that i enjoy in your face weapon melee classes in most games.  So i’ll certainly play several Barbs and i can’t really consider it in a “least-fave” category.
        – Demon Hunter: ranger was my 2nd choice in Path of Exile, so i guess i quite like the archer archetype.  Not really an option.  Plus this take on archer seems very interesting.
        – Monk: i guess this is who it comes down to.  He’s not that appealing to me, combo classes don’t really do it for me either.  I mean at some point i will play all the classes for sure, but Monk will definitely be last.
        So, here is my question to the forum: can someone tell me a weird, but strong skill progression for a level 1-10 monk that will teach me the least possible about the game?  Strong because the more you fail the more you learn.  Weird because i’ll want to try good builds with a Monk at some point, and i don’t want to know what they are.

        I guess the logical answer to my own question is there’s probably a combo build of some sort that i won’t enjoy, that i’ll be able to figure out on my own anyway. Thanks for reading! 😛

        • I don’t think you can fairly describe a level 8 or 9 char has having a “build.” You’re using half the skills you have, there’s no need for any debuffs or defensive skills yet, the difficulty is negligible, etc.  Play whatever; it’s 60-90 minutes out of your D3 time, and you’ve seen or played all of that content in the beta already anyway.

          In fact, if someone *really* wanted to save themselves, you could jsut level to 10 going up to the Cemetery and the Crypts, without even entering the Cathedral and going down to Leoric, since you’ll see some changes there in the final game, if only in the amount of story and info about the Meteor that’s presented. 

          You’d have to replay the weeping hollow and crypts 2 or 3x, but that wouldn’t take any lnoger on the whole, and would allow your first *real* char to be the one discovering the post-beta content.


    20. I’ll try – but only after a few normal runs.
      If, during a normal run, I’ll get disconnected from server, then there’s no point in trying HC.
      So, I want to play HC, but it may not be possible due to technical reasons. ..can always delete my char manually after the 1st death tho..

    21. Well, I’ve been enamored with D3 since 2008, so I am definately planning to play EVERYTHING. And what I mean by that is, I’ll split my play time in batches, so my first batch of characters will be all five classes in genders I like them in (e.g. male Wizard, male Monk, female DH) with builds I want to try the most (glass cannon-ish Wizard, damage debuff Monk, etc). That will be my firts five characters. My second five characters will be SC opposite genders and weird build chars, something like, long range Barb, battle-mage, patiance hunter (I really like the idea of melee DH), etc. That will be chars six through ten. My third batch of characters will be all hardcores, using whatever builds I feel like doing. It should take a while to get them all to 60, but it should be doable. After that, I’ll be leveling whatever builds I feel like leveling, I also plan to get all the achievements for SC and to try getting them (“gotta catch ’em all, Diablo”) for HC as well. It certainly helps that I have next roughly four months free for gaming.  I doubt I’ll be going out much over the summer. By the time I level 15+ chars to 60 and complete all the achievements, PvP should, hopefully be implemented in the game, giving me another thing to do. 

      So, if it wasn’t obvious, I woted for option number 2, I’ll do both. 

    22. I am going hardcore as soon as I hit level 10.  I saw another persons comment about discovering the fun of hardcore recently in diablo 2, and I am in the same boat.  Last ladder was my first HC exclusive play, and I reached 94 on my javazon.  Had a few hdins, but those don’t count.  

      Diablo3 is going to be much harder though, as we have no idea how to min/max like in D2, so it will be very exciting learning the game hardcore.  

      As for achievements, I hope there is hardcore only stuff.  It will draw a lot more people into HC eventually. 

    23. I’ve always loved HC, and played it 99% of the time in D2.  For me Diablo 3 is all about the RMAH though, so I will vote “Other”:I will play SC until the RMAH is enabled in HC, then I will switch.  In the mean time if I want to have fun I will of course be playing Path Of Exile HC.  😀

      • With today’s news that the RMAH won’t be enabled at launch, does that mean you’ll play SC to 10, HC until SC RMAH, SC until HC RMAH, then HC?  🙂

    24. Hardcore all the way. As a longtime Iron Man mode fan (both in D1 & D2) I really have no other options. No way am I going back to using condoms.

      • Ah finally, someone who knows what Ironman is.  Even among other rabid D3 fans, it feels old to be a D1 fan.  Do you remember the subtle distinction between purist and legit in D1? 😀

    25. Playing an HC char intelligently requires more planning and thought. Smart HCers always played with the knowledge they had a significant chance to die no matter what they did, and changed their playstyle accordingly, both to minimize the chance of death, and to maximize ability to recover from death:

      – Leveling more in lower difficulties before progressing to the next one
      – Leveling with friends when possible.
      – MFing and muling items frequently at lower difficulties, not just end-game
      – Farming runes, collecting gems, having a lower threshold for muling an item (= more mules)
      – Smart choice of build types (this will be much more important in D3 but was still important in D2)
      – And most importantly: Always have 1-3 back-up chars or planned chars ready to go.

      If my MF sorc died, I already had a mid-20s ready to level up to take her place, with back up MF gear.
      If my pally died, I had a gear set ready to roll a new one, maybe even with a different build.
      etc. etc.

      In short: Assume your best char will die and plan for it. It makes HC just as exciting in terms of staying alive, but less painful when you do die (and you will).

      • Yeah, i find it important to stash extensively, including lowbie twink stuff.  That way the sting of losing your main is dampened by being ready to up and go really quick with the new guy.  Otherwise it’s really depressing to start over with nothing at all.

    26. Probably exclusively, unless the game is full of unavoidable cheap deaths.  Which I would probably just drop the game rather than going to SC. 

    27. I lol’d at HCurious. Mainly because it made me think of BikeCurious, and Butters is the man.

    28. I will play HC precisely because I am not going to have too much time to play (family, work, etc…). I want the few hours a week that I will have to be worth it. It does not matter that that my progress will be very slow or that I may never reach inferno, as other have said before what counts is the journey and there is no better and more exciting journey than HC.

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