I assume not many of us are not going to be going into D3 Hardcore without prior experience of playing D2 HC... although Permadeath play is gaining quite some popularity even outside Diablo franchise. To those brave hearts coming into D3 HC having never played D2, I have to say: I salute you. And pity you a litle. You don't know what you're getting into!
But for the rest of us, who spent countless hours crying over yet another dead character in D2 and D2X, I propose with start a preliminary exchange of ideas: what is the mindset of Diablo Hardcore player? We're going to be entering unknown territory: new mobs, new bosses, new quests... but do we have an edge over newbies? Of course we do! So let's share.
What do you remember as your first death or near-death experience in D2 which made you go: "ok, holy crap, I gotta be careful with these things from now on"?
Also, what is a general tactic you've learned in D2 HC which you believe will help you survive in D3 HC?
For me, the exploding bosses are a big one. Fire and Cold enchanted bosses are particularly nasty against melee characters. Often, it's not even the killing blow itself, but the shock of health dropping fast, and then some stupid Fallen champions finishing you.
As I'm going to be playing a (fem)Barb in D3, as my first HC character (I will do normal non-HC prerequisite with my eyes closed as a Sorc ), my tactic around ALL bosses will be to melee them down to 10%ish, then run off a bit, and finish them with a Weapon Throw. Cowardly, but safe!
All input appreciated, let's share some: any class-specific tactics, and more general things as well.
At first I didn't really feel much at danger with my barb in pre-lod. I had decent gear and got some freebies from friend who had started HC erlier.
First bad experience was in lvl 27 at City of Damned. I went thru river to damned and had a huge lag spike. My computer only had 64Mb of RAM and loading new areas really was nightmare (this was year 2000).
Next times I don't really remember, when you got 30 with barb and got Whirlwind all things was very very easy before you hit Hell and started to face some nasty bosses (MSLE).
General tactic.. in early levels at least.. lots of survival skills. In D2 it was vitality basically. If you started a game with "New game here"- theme where there was about 8 people starting new chars. By the time you reached Act2 about 3/8 people had gotten killed :)
The longer you get the more powerful skills and stats you get. Then you can repeat easier areas for exp if you think the next area is too difficult. At very beginning there is not much to do but to push forward.
I remember when my first HC character died(past lvl 10 at least). I was so upset both with myself and the game. I thought why would anyone do this, and decided to go back and play softcore. Dammit, the game had lost all of it's challenge, and back to Hardcore I went.
A) Flying through content isn't that important - Of course we all play Diablo to acquire sick loots and pimp out our characters, but it can't hurt to slow yourself down and grind a bit. I remember that Act 1 never really required any staying behind to level up, but once I would get to Act II, I would do multiple sewers runs to get my character to higher levels. Hardcore is about beating the game, and doing it without dying...once. This is much easier as your character levels up gaining important stats and Skills.
Health is a valuable stat - I remember pumping all my stats into vitality(apart from those to equip gear). The more health I have, the less chance I have of dying.
C) Iron Maiden is bad - Never play Zealadins.
D) Rakanishu should be an end of act boss - This little jerk has killed more of my HC characters than anyone/thing else. His lightning enchant, would hurt you at the start of each difficulty due to the different resist levels.
I remembered dying with my first character in yet another regular Sewer run in Act II.
My most horrible experience anyhow, was certainly that I was unable to escape from a batch of cows after being surrounded, which led to the infamous message at level 98 just having received the last piece of Tal'Rasha's armour set. I think I broke a few keyboards in that matter.
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"The game is my wife. It demands loyalty and responsibility, and it gives me back fulfillment and peace."
- Michael Jordan
I remember not to play with friends that you have made angry. I was playing with a friend that i guess i pissed off at some point in the game and we were moving a long smootly then all of a sudden he says brb and i thought he went to camp but no he went a differnt way and pulled 20 + mobs and brought them to me... You can only guess what happened then... Needless to say i never found that to be funny.
One of the most important things about hardcore in my opinion is that you need to take time to study your class/skills and monsters, especially rare monster abilities, knowledge is one of the most important aspects of hardcore.
Hardcore turns a mindless (for the most part) hack n slash game to a tactical slower paced action RPG, playing unfocused or un concentratedcan and will result in tears
When it comes to alcohol and playing hardcore i have mixed results he he
Another one I've thought of is: the biggest differences between D2 HC and D3 HC, survival wise are:
1. Can't TP to town at will
2. Can't spam potions
With that in mind, a nice way to practice for D3 would be to play D2 HC from start to finish without
1. Ever using TPs in combat
2. Not using purple potions and pretend like red ones are the health orbs.
I suppose instead of my enemies dying of shock when they see their comrades dying in battle ill have to rune my weapon throw with the gold runestone so this time they'll die with the help of their comrades!
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Bashiok - Blizzard Representative - 08/01/2011 -"So how many skill combinations are there now? Well taking into account 6 active skills, all the rune combinations, and 3 passives we currently expect each class to have roughly 2,285,814,795,264 different build combinations."
"Hey, I thought you'd like the witty irony of grub-on-glowie violence!"
Do not skip school to play! I did this once during the first ladder season of 1.10. I lost my lvl 95 hammerdin due to the blue screen of death which happened JUST as I weapon switched from hoto+zaka to alibaba+milbregas during a mephisto mf run. I was top10 overall on the ladder. This made me really upset for a few days but with time you get over it and create a new toon. Not once did I skip school again to stay home and play. A good lesson.
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I was an avid D2 player, I had all classes over lvl 90(in softcore). One day a friend told me about how his cousin also plays d2. Excited about having a new friend to play with I told my friend to get him in one of our games and my friend said "We cant, he only plays hardcore."
From this day on I made it my goal to level up a HC character. My first couple attempts were fruitless, Die'ing carelessly at low levels. Finally I got my zeal Paladin into nightmare(I know.. Zeal.. really? haha). Fresh into act 2, Me and my friend were fighting through the deserts when his cousin joins our game to lend a hand with a rush in hopes of leveling us up faster. The fast pace rush made me rather careless again, and Sprint ahead into duriels lair, BIG MISTAKE, I was almost instantly dead.
This isn't all my hardcore experience. I went on to level a few more HC characters, some died, but a couple made it into hell mode. The level of strategy, teamwork, and sense of pride to have made it that far without die'ing once is a whole new experience when compared to softcore. Your have to gear your character to be able to survive while still having damage output. Skill choices were key. But most importantly the people you choose to play with. I learned alot in my short time playing hardcore right at the end of my D2 career(not a career but you know ) When D3 is finally released I look forward to the community and challenges I will experience in my lust for a death'less experience in the world of Sanctuary.
1. Don't play intoxicated. I remember a colleague and I went out for some drinks on a business trip and stopped by an gaming cafe on our way back to the hotel and logged our Hardcore characters for a quick tour in the sanctuary. Bad idea.
2. Don't forget to mule often....this shouldn't be a problem with a shared stash now though.
3. If you see your friend die to mobs ....just run away..its not worth it. Unless you have to loot the poor sucker.
4. There is no shame in letting someone else lead the group. Let those who feel the need to run to the front of the pack and get the first swing on mobs go ahead and do that. Live to tell another tale. Nobody remembers you when your gone.
5. Game bugs are in the developers way of saying "Life isn't fair".
6. Starting a new character again can still be fun.
Ok..but in terms of actually surviving Hardcore. Killing slowly and having lots of life are more important than killing quickly and dying even faster. I'm expecting attributes that boost life and defense will be key to surviving in inferno.
Rakanishu should be an end of act boss - This little jerk has killed more of my HC characters than anyone/thing else. His lightning enchant, would hurt you at the start of each difficulty due to the different resist levels.
That bleedin lightning enhanced on well pretty much anything in act 1 nightmare or hell used to be death for me, fire and cold i could avoid by running away... but lightning argh
What i learned from Diablo 2 Hardcore was " Do not ever, under any circumstance trust strangers "
That has got to be one on the most truthful words i have seen spoken here. There used to be a lot of people going around who simply tried to get other HC characters killed simply for loot, or maybe they just always came after me.
But on the other side i found the best thing in my case was just to go slow and know when I reached brick walls (I almost never had decent gear on any character )
Im thinking a way to go in D3 is to play through the game a bit in softcore to at least work out how nightmare/hell/inferno will go before i try to step foot into hardcore this time around
My most unforgiven memories are due to multi lightning enchanted mobs and iron maiden, pretty much this.
As for future solutions, as we are going there for the first time... (well You can always go and farm soft till You know all the things needed before hc, tho it takes time...)
First of all... I am going to play with friends, arranged party, with a proper aproach to bosses.
Proper in this case means - careful if not on farm status.
Second thing, while playing hardcore - pay more attention to deffensive skill and Your resource.
Last but not less important - positioning - may be crucial
"Do not trust strangers": so very true, especially valuable considering this is more of a "social" tactic, rather than combat tactic.
To expand on this, PKing is gone from D3 HC, but there are still ways to get griefed, D2 style. Here are a few I've thought of:
1.Waypoint train. You went to town to restock consumables and sell some trash from your bag. The "friend" you've been partied with has in the meantime trained a crowd of Arcane-enchanted Fallen over the waypoint which you will no doubt take in order to return to the next quest/farming area...
Way to counter this, when you are stuck partying with strangers: Keep yourself educated as to how close your party member(s) are to a waypoint. Were there any scary bosses near WP last time you passed it? Clear all the near packs from every WP you approach, and don't leave any hanging around when you travel further.
2. Bailing from the heat. You are fighting a tough boss pack (or several of them). Your party members suddenly bail: they run off or teleport out, leaving you surrounded by some Fanatatic Dolls.
Solution: be ready for this. Pick skills which would give you some time to collect yourself out of the fray and into a safe zone.
Oh, and don't be a hero, if you value survival. In a 2-3-4 player game, the monsters are proportionally stronger. If your "friends" bailed, get the hell out.