Diablo 3 released by Blizzard in May 2012 to the PC and finally then released to Playstation 4 in August 2014. It has taken another 3 years to bring me to playing hardcore.
Hardcore Diablo is different to regular play in that you only get one shot to push the character as far as your skill and the character’s kit will allow. Once you’re dead you’re done – all the armor sets you’re wearing, you’re powered up gems and anything you had in your inventory. A saving grace that you still have your cubed valuables and your stash to hide your wares for future use, which again only works if you choose the same character class for your next run.
Hardcore Diablo runs at a slower pace than challenging progression rifts and really puts your strategy and tactics to the test. Whether you’re a get in their face and set them on fire kind of player or a range caster hardcore requires a different approach. With slower progression comes slower stash accumulation too. And that’s all the part of the fun.
It does of course make the hardcore characters more endearing and slightly more heart-wrenching when you die. Having played SC Seasons since they restarted on the PS4 where progression rifting and death several times a rift was almost inevitable, HC is a slightly different beast. You can’t die and succeed, you have to start all over again!
- You also lose all the equipment on your followers, if you have the follower equipped with good kit, it may be wise to pop this into the stash while you are not using them.
- All your HC heroes share the same stash and gold, different to your SC heroes whose stash and gold is separate. You lose all other inventory and equipped kit.
- All your craft training is kept for all HC heroes after you’ve acquired all the plans – this only has to be done once – it’s not shared with SC heroes.
- Multiplayer local and LAN can only be done with other HC characters.
This 4th point is a bit of a sore one as several times I have played online levelling up characters in online play at the same pace only to lose it all and start again. Although, obviously you can be power-levelled to 70, the incremental gains on paragon points and set bonus equipped kit definitely begins to show and you can start to fall behind. It’s always good, for this reason, to have a few class characters lined up for these moments so you can easily switch and not lose the rifting momentum.
Of course if the heartbreak is too much, you can always revert back to the last online data file and re-download from the cloud. Fair enough you might lose some paragon progression but you still have all the kit and levelled gems 😛