For hardcore Def>Off every time. Well, at least for me that is. So when I play my monk, I will have an arsenal of abilities available to prevent death such as healz, dodge, more resistance etc... Well.. I could always lag and get killed :/ Oh well.
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Surviving in HC is probably the biggest rush of excitement and on the flip side disappointment... you know when you swear of diablo cause your lvl 88 sorc died that had a "TARN HELM" remember when that was the mf helm of choice. The closet near death experience would have to be valley of the snakes when i first started that always got me... man the mini boss down there hit hard! can't wait to see which bosses/mini bosses make us quiver in fear like diablo of old!
The only thing i can think of asides from playing it safe is not trusting new people unfortunately. Aside from exploding fetishes the only thing that got my killed was people. Dirty portals or hostiles.
I'm going to have to keep an eye on this topic. My plan is to play largely hardcore (might have a softcore character, if I'm dying too much in HC to see the end of the game :P) from the get-go. Since I never played HC in D2, I'm going to need all the tips I can get, I reckon.
1. Packs of cows can be extremely dangerous on an unstable connection. I've hardwired all my computers again to eliminated the possibility of Wifi related issues and payed for better internet so even on "bad" days I've got the connection I need. On that note - make sure no one else in the house is downloading a movie :| ..... because running across the house going "Are you on the internet right now?!?!..." doesn't get your level 97 Javazon back.
2. Test new zones on softcore first. Can't even count the number of times I'd wished I'd done that. Playing a melee class (Barbarian on D2) you got pretty dependant on life-leach when WW'ing through a big pack of mobs. Finding out they can't be leached from..... priceless.
3. Don't trust strangers.... POP... that's all I can say. Private games are the way to go after you've grinded through the early levels.
4. Hunter Tactics FTW. Kite outlying mobs away from large packs where possible. Fighting a pack of 6 is a lot easier than a pack of 12, you just have to pick away at 'em.
5. Any mob that is Extra Fast, Spectral, Lightning Enchanted, known to knock-back, or any combination thereof is dangerous.... very dangerous. Not to mention their lackies who share in the fun.
6. The best offense is a good defense. If it's harder for you to die, then obviously it's easier for you to live. Vitality, heavy leaching, pots, mercs, anything that helps lay down a buffer will get you far.
7. The best defense is a good offense? I know it's the opposite of what I already said, but sometimes being able to take a mob down fast is better than not being able to kill it at all - in which case you'll never see the end of the game.
8. Esc key is your friend, your best friend.
9. A dead hardcore character can't harvest Inferno difficulty gear for you anymore - no RMAH for you good sir.
I'm sure there's a ton of those "tricks of the trade" missing from this little list that won't come back to me until it's too late.... here's to remembering them in time!
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First of all (it's kind of logic) : never start a new class as a hardcore. First learn how to play the game, learn your class weaknesses and strengths and as you fight your way throughout the acts carefully learn how each monsters behave, how they can kill you and how you can prevent that from happening.
Then you can start playing hardcore. Never underestimate monsters and never overestimate your strength. Take your time or you'll only rush to your death.
When you fight lightning/fire/frost enchanted monsters, keep your distances !
Also : don't trust anyone. You might think that high level Hardcore players won't risk their life to kill you, but some of them are pretty evil.
Finally, if you don't think you can make it because of the spawns, you can always start a new game.
Of course, you could also rush around and pray on Luck to stay alive until max level ;).
On a side note, Playing hardcore with adrenline pumping when you get hit and surive with 10hp with your lvl 90+ Char is just amazing.
So play safe never rush in, and tbh easiest time was when i played Necromancer. Many minions = less chance you will get hit aka You will have a much easier time lvling.
But then again this is d3 and much has changed, In diablo 2 you could not play Barbarion for example before you got some awsome loot for it of your other chars, cause barb was too dependant on items for dmg and survavability.
With that said, I like the new you cannot go hostile to others in a game in diablo 3. That is what ruined most of my experience in hardcore Diablo 2 and made me never play with others just by the fear of getting tppked.
Glad to hear PK is gone that was only ever used by grief players who were able to hack TPPK and such for years without Blizzard doing anything about it.
That was part of the biggest lesson of all - you are in the hands of Blizzard. Thinking of just some of the ways they screwed me over the years in HC:
1. PK hacks.
2. Hell Ancients bug after 1.10 patch hit.
3. Gloams and other non-survivable surprises.
4. Character Not Found - even when it shouldn't have been deleted.
5. Iron Maiden - it took them until patch 1.13 (about a year ago) to remove it. It just meant some classes couldn't do CS runs at all for fear of instant death.
What did I learn? Well:
1. Never trust a stranger.
2. Never play in public games beyond about level 20.
3. Build with as much life as possible.
4. Play safe classes and builds.
5. MF slowly.
6. After any patch, play very, very carefully.
7. Think outside the box. Others may be saying "Can't do Meph runs with skelemancer because doorways get blocked" but don't stop thinking (use Confuse, Attract or Terror to get the monsters to run from the doorway and let your guys pour in),
I lost more characters to the 3 month rule than to the game. My favourite was a skelemancer, super-safe build for WSK runs, travi runs and some Pit runs.
My biggest concern over HC is that Blizz have decided not to allow control over char stats so being in their hands as to how much life is enough scares me. Developers never guess how a game will really be played and they probably won't change gameplay much before the first expansion, probably a year in, so we'll be stuck with whatever they release bar a few bug fixes. Note: since D3 is not an MMO with a monthly fee getting frequent updates.
This was an interesting thread, and actually made me want to play HC a bit more than I did before. I got into D2 really late, only about 4 months ago, and never bothered at all with HC, I definitely saw the reason people loved it so much, but the possibly frustration was just too much for me. But I think I might give it a go. Luckily I'm planning on WD being my class of choice, and I thihnk they have a really good skill set for HC.
I'm certainly going to play through SC on my WD first though, learning what to expect throughout the game is going to be incredibly useful, with the level cap at 60 though it won't be nearly as bad, I had no desire to hit cap in D2 but it will be much better now, and I think it will be easier to deal with the frustration of perma death, here's to hoping.
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The only HC character I ever had was a lvl 97 javazon. Didn't get to 99 because I got tired of the game (this was around patch 1.10).
My best defence was resist + run speed + cow runs with friends. Never really got into much trouble. In 99% of the games I was even the one to get wirt's leg because I was so damn fast nothing could hit me. Just in and out. But I'm always a sucker for run speed. I even used to prefer this armor with run speed on it wich was mostly useless, I don't remember the name.
Also, when playing softcore, avoid dying at all costs. I don't remember any of my sc characters dying apart from in duels (= intentionally) and the occasional boss trouble. I don't think you can become a good HC player if you allow yourself to be careless in SC at the same time.
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"?
My first major death was a 64 Zon doing Nightmare Baal runs. I remember thinking "OMG THIS IS SO COOL I'M LEVELING LIKE CRAZY IN HARDCORE MODE". Assassin traps went ZAPZAPZAP through a bunch of Stygian Dolls and that was the end of that. All of my best stuff. My awesome Normal Mode farmer. Dead. :| Stupid dolls...
Also, what is a general tactic you've learned in D2 HC which you believe will help you survive in D3 HC?
The big thing is paying attention to monsters with enhanced abilities (if it says Fire Enchanted, etc. that's D2 of course) and understanding the mechanics of said abilities. Before my venture into Hardcore mode, I played Softcore on a Barb and just pretty much facerolled the game. Once I got into HC, everything changed. My actual first death was at level 6 or so trying to kill a female boss in a cave (damn you Coldcrow!). That's when I realized that the text underneath the monster's life bar with things like Cold Enchanted are a REALLY good thing to pay attention to. Of course, there were a ton more such things that I learned with my face as I progressed. Stygian Dolls anyone?
I am going to really enjoy the thrill of trying to stay alive in HC and make it into Inferno to farm, but it's going to cost a few high level HC characters along the way. There's simply no avoiding it. It will happen at least a few times to everyone. I suppose the biggest tactic (aside from reading up on abilities etc., maintaining awareness of my surrounding foes, perhaps progressing through the game in Softcore mode through Inferno simultaneously with HC until all is known) is making sure I don't keep all my eggs in one basket. So, AS SOON as I get a good item, if I'm not using it on that character, XFER, XFER, XFER! lol Ohh man, so many uniques and high runes have I lost...
The one monster that you will never defeat is the lag monster. I'm sure Blizzard has gone as far as they can to compensate for possible lag mishaps, but there's still going to be connectivity issues that will ruin your day at some point or another. Never carry an item for absolutely any longer than you must!