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Diablo 3 Hardcore Diary – Part 1

May 19, 2012

*** Warning – Contains spoilers ***

Despite a memorable lesson learned in Diablo 2 where I lost a hardcore Barbarian half way through Act III and spent a long time staring in disbelief at the screen, I’ve started a hardcore Barbarian in Diablo 3.

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of a hardcore character in Diablo 3, what it means is that you play the game with one life; when you die, that’s it. As explained in this warning that appears when you choose to create a hardcore character:

The game is the same as if played in standard mode, apart from the permanent death issue. You also can’t share items with your own standard mode characters, or team up with other players’ standard mode characters. The auction house is separate, so everything on there is being bought and sold by hardcore characters.

I’m playing it as cautiously as I can. I’m forging ahead on my standard mode Barbarian, finding the times and places where death is most likely to occur and experimenting with skills and gear. Rollins, my hardcore Barbarian, is doing the kind of things that would potentially spoil the game under normal circumstances, things I wouldn’t bother doing in standard mode:

– Repeating (grinding) areas and quests where there is low risk and a fair bit of reward, whether that be gold/gear or xp points. One early quest that is great for a fast repeat cycle is the one where you accompany the blacksmith and end up killing (or watching him kill) his undead wife. Multiple zombie kills, a fair amount of gear from the wife and quest completion xp every time you do it, and the whole thing takes less than a couple of minutes.

– Completely abusing the auction house. Rollins is selling pretty much everything he finds to the NPC merchants and using the gold to buy the best rare (yellow) items that he can afford on the AH. This is arguably overkill through most of Act 1, but it reduces the stress to a manageable level, for me anyway!

In the above screenshot, I have equipped a unique sword called Griswold’s Worn Edge. a lucky random find at Griswold’s destroyed smithy in Old Tristram that turned up in one of many repeat visits to that early location.

At the time of writing this, Rollins is not far from level 10 and the first levelling related achievement for hardcore characters. The Skeleton King has already fallen and, if all goes well, the next entry in this D3 Hardcore Diary will be celebrating that level 10 achievement and probably a few stories in the vein of ‘what happened next’. Either that or there will be a nice screenshot of Rollins’ untimely demise.

[Diablo 3 Hardcore Diary – Go to Part 2]

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