Diablo 3: The Hardcore Lounge

We who are about to die salute you!

This thread is for the discussion of Diablo 3’s hardcore mode. For stories of success against all odds and bitter defeat, of triumph and tragedy.

I always found hardcore mode intellectually appealing, but it was the last Qt3 podcast, where Tom and Jason were talking about the suicidal danger of playing a HC Wizard, that finally got me to give it a shot.

Man, what a difference this game mode makes! Certain things are obvious- when your character’s life is on the line, of course combat takes on new meaning. Even Normal mode’s relatively languid pace suddenly has teeth. Here’s another thing, though- can you imagine that EQUIPMENT suddenly becomes more exciting? You pore over every piece of gear. The balance between vitality and your damage stat is particularly agonizing.

Choosing skills and runes takes on a new meaning, as you cannot easily just slap together an experimental build- you need to use every skill slot carefully, considering frequency of skill use, resource drain, all that good stuff.

Anyway, so my Wizard is creeping through Act 2 right now. Just like the Bartertown, Hardcore mode has no rules, but I have promised myself not to grind areas over and over again like a coward. It’s forward, forward, forward, and death or glory!

Right now I’m running Diamond Armor with Prism, Disintegrate, Magic Missile, Magic Weapon (why the heck doesn’t it have an icon? That’s gonna get me killed!) and Force Wave. I’ve been using Disintegrate at range, then heroically been running into the pack of enemies with Diamond on, followed by a force wave. It gets the job done in dramatic fashion, but one of these days it’ll get me in big trouble. I’ve been considering using Time Bubble, but what to take out? And I am one level away from Teleport…any Wizards out there have thoughts about builds for surviving Hardcore?

So what are your experiences like so far? Does anyone want to party up?

Oh man, I beat Act 1 on my Wizard a few days ago and breathed a BIG sigh of relief after successfully downing the Butcher. I was so nervous going into it and there were some close calls, but I felt I had accomplished something.

And I dunno about you, but I’m okay with grinding at least a little on areas if that means I have a leg up on future battles. Hardcore mode is serious business after all. :D

I really love Hardcore mode, but it’s something I will only play when I’m fully awake, focused, and ready to kick some demon ass. Otherwise it’s back to my immortal characters.

I’ve lost two >10 characters on Hardcore thus far, one of whom was >20. Fun times! :)

Wait, what about “Bust a deal, face the wheel?”

Hardest thing I’ve had so far in HC, only level 12 Bounty Hunter is manage to stay online and survive the huge spikes in ping that occasionally happen.

I just hit 17 on my monk, and I’m working on grinding up one or two more levels before heading onto the Butcher.

I’ve also been stacking Life Regen, Life on Hit, and Vitality… giving them priority over things like Gold find and even Dexterity. Really hurts my DPS, but frankly, I’d rather be alive than awesome.

I agree with you in principle, robo, but I think offense has a defense all it’s own - dead foes do no damage, after all. The balancing act is figuring out at What point higher defense is actually making you take more damage due to greater mob longevity.

Sure, it takes a little bit of finesse to get it right, but I’m usually relying on 2 or 3 other people to dish the damage and even things out. I’m the healer; if I die, it’s bad for everyone.

I’m not sure if it kicks in for Normal, but bosses can become enraged if you take too long to kill them, so damage is very important.

I think in normal, ‘steady state’ sort of combat, the ability to kill with 50% greater speed is balanced with the ability to survive a certain situation for 50% longer. However, the stuff that gets you killed is when you are in a very dangerous situation and you need time to react. Damage won’t save you in a lag spike, or if you got caught in a prison.

That is really what made me go all out for survival stats. Every single time I’ve lost a character so far is because there was some kind of tactical trap and I didn’t have enough life or life recovery to react and get out of it.

I’ve not had too much trouble with walling, but what’s really gotten me the last few times is a combination of lag and knockback. That is, if a mob executes a knockback skill while you are running away, it pulls you back towards the group you’re trying to get away from. Twice it’s happened when I tried to avoid area poison/acid, and I kept getting pulled right back to the same spot, which killed me in short order.

Been playing a Barb on hardcore. Hit level 22 last night. Getting close to the end of act 2, which has me nervous given the difficulties I had in normal mode.

Barb seems to be the safest choices for a foray into Hardcore. Plenty of survivability skills that double as offensive skills.

Considering trying a witchdoctor on hardcore, but that feels like a lesson in frustration.

I’ve got a Barb and a Wizard at level 25 (and a Monk only to level 10) that want to party whenever. Public games are great, and I’m glad the option’s there, but I always feel rushed and rushing in HC is death. seaurch#1715, hit a brotha up.

My HC strat is simply to stack as much Vit and mitigation as I can (without nerfing damage output too much) and I’ve been re-running quests up to the point where the mobs are hardly worth XP to try and stay ahead of the levelling curve. I’m hoping once I transition into NM that’ll help.

Level 14 monk and level 11 WD. Just started really.

I killed someone by accident already. I was running like crazy just trying to find a door out, as an increasingly large train of enemies built up behind me. Led them all right into the random barb who had apparently just joined the server. I tried to help from a distance when they swarmed him but alas, I ultimately had to worry about my own neck and bailed.

The life a hero.

I really like hardcore because I don’t feel bad using the AH to get every edge I can get even with my level 14 dude. Whereas in normal it just makes the game boring. And with dying taking items out of the game, the economy there kinda makes sense.

I lost a level 21 Witch Doctor to getting myself in a stupid situation… already have a Monk back up to 13. I feel like the Monk is going a lot more smoothly, in no small part because I’ve already played the class up through NM (whereas that was my first WD). Hardcore is all sorts of fun, but the ping near peak times really worries me, so I try to stick to the non-dying characters then.

The thing about hardcore that keeps me on edge is there are so many things that can kill you with just unlucky timing and there’s nothing you can do about it. My 27 barb had no troubl leaping into a massive group of enemies and whirlwinding them all to death. But then a couple of those little exploding guys surprised me and he was down before I could even pop a potion.

Me and Frank are level 17 with a monk/wizard combo, doing pretty well.

I’ve only ever died two times in Normal mode on my other characters, and that wasn’t really due to lag or stupidity… first time was on my first Belial fight and the second was because I had forgotten to switch over from potions. Other than Belial and the exploders in Act 3 I can’t see any reason for actually dying in Normal difficulty.

just downed the Butcher last night with my 16 Barb. I didn’t realize I was walking into that fight and had a lousy skill setup for it, which made things that much more nerve wracking.

Anyone lose a character yet while chasing a treasure goblin? I swear that’s how this character will probably die. So much easier on my WD to lock them down.

You’re right, but things happen. I bet if you think about it, there have been a number of times where you came pretty close, had to drink a potion, etc. those don’t really have much meaning when playing normal, but each is a brush with death in hardcore mode. Getting careless is a sure way to die. I had a close call at about level 12 on the fields of misery. I got held in place by a jailer boss then charged by a beast.

That’s the thing, you just never know what is lurking around the corner.

Yeah, just let those goblins go, 'cause man, they’re gone.

I was chasing one yesterday. It had opened a portal and I snatched it back with my Ancient Spear right before it stepped through. My son was rather impressed with that one.

I’m going to do my best to give up my habit of chasing those things for HC. Especially since I’m currently running a baby monk (9? 10 maybe) who I’m not smart enough to de-slot the teleporting fists of fury thing. I can picture exactly how it’ll go… “Oooh… treasure gobli…err…those are champion grotesque… oh he… AIIEEEEEEE!”