Preparing yourself for Diablo 3 Hardcore Mode
This post will not have too much information about Diablo 3 strategy itself; instead, we will focus on the psychological aspects of playing hardcore and how you can best prepare you mind and body for a much more intense Diablo 3 experience.
Hardcore Mode on Diablo 3 is a mode whereby if your hero dies, you die forever and have to restart your character. The word “Hardcore” couldn’t sum it up any better.
Why would anyone play Hardcore? What are the benefits?
From an actual “in-game” perspective, there is no “benefit” to playing Hardcore. The benefits are all in how you experience the game.
People play hardcore for a variety of reasons, including:
- More of a challenge
- More thinking and planning
- Play with others who are more serious
- Bragging Rights
Ready to accept the challenge?
What to do to prepare yourself for Hardcore
1. Understand up-front there is a good chance you will eventually die
You’ll want to do everything in your power to ensure your character never dies, however you need to know in your mind that the odds are stacked significantly against you. Sometimes your computer will crash/disconnect, sometimes your party members might leave a pack of elite at the door of a dungeon, only for you to insta-die when you go down. Not to mention, you’re going to want to play Inferno, right?
Knowing and accepting that you might eventually die will make it less painful when it actually happens!
2. Patience, Patience, Patience!
If you are not a patient person, Hardcore might be the way to train into being one. There can be no, I repeat NO way you can just run into huge mobs and smash them care free as that kind of behavior yields negative expectation overtime. You will have to always kite, always be patient and of course, be willing to run away if you think there’s a chance you might die. This is a big change from Normal mode where you don’t really care if you die, and sometimes you have the attitude “ok I’ll just have to die a few times to kill this mob/elite/boss”. You don’t have this option in Hardcore. Do some reading on improving your internal locus of control for help with this one.
3. Be willing to play your Normal Mode hero when you’re not “feeling it”
We all do it. We login even when we don’t really want to play. We run around care free, jumping from game to game, dying here and there between games. Sometimes we’re watching a stream or some videos on youtube while playing, or IMing with our friends. These types of behaviors will be detrimental in Hardcore mode; so make sure you’re ready to switch back to your normal character when you just want to screw around.
4. Don’t play under the influence of alcohol (or anything else, for that matter)
Now I’m no life coach or anti-partying kind of person, but the time you put into your character is truly “invested” since you lose all of it when you die. Most likely, you’ll want to be in tip-top mental shape when playing this character to ensure that it never dies. And nothing makes someone more careless than being drunk and playing a video game.
I expect a lot of boos for this point, bring them on!
5. Don’t be afraid to spend all your money on potions
I don’t know about you but in Normal mode I almost never buy potions. I only carry the ones I pickup from mobs. In Hardcore mode, a potion can mean the difference between erasing 50, 100 even 200 hours out of your life. Make sure you’re always stocked up. Having 0 potions in your toolbar should raise the same flag as having all your equipment in the red (and needing repairs). Don’t leave home without them.
6. Consider Defensive/Survivability Builds vs High DPS Builds
Remember your objective: to never die. That’s it. It’s not a race, it’s a marathon. And with that, you may want to ensure you have a lot of defensive items and skills/runes vs the high DPS. Sure it might be less “fun”, but anything you can do to increase your odds of surviving the long-term is a worthwhile investment.
7. Over Prepare and Over-Gear for each Act / Difficulty Level
In normal mode, all too often you’ll either get your high level friends to power you through all the acts to get to level 60 as fast as possible. And you probably died a few hundred times along the way as well. You’ll never want to do this in Hardcore mode. Be prepared to repeat easy quests and dungeons over and over again until you are a few levels ahead of what’s required for the next steps. With that as well, you may want to make sure your gear is also “too strong” for the next step, to ensure your survival as you progress.
Most people are going to play normal mode, that is just the fact of the game. It’s also always more fun to play these types of games with your friends. If you have friends who are as serious about the game as you, consider trying to convince them to make a hardcore hero as well to level up with you. Having a friend who has a vested interest in you will go further out of their way to save you from mobs, warn you when it’s not safe, and work together with you to clear levels at a safe rate etc.
9. You’ll have to be a cheap bargain hunter in the Auction House
Money will be harder to come by in Hardcore mode since it will often times take you more than twice as long to kill monsters and farm (because of all the cautiousness). As a result, you can’t just blast away your money in the auction house guilt free and expect to rebuild your bankroll in a few runs. Make sure to really think about the items you need, and check for good deals every few hours. Just because a good item at a good price isn’t available at the time you search, just be willing to part with nothing and check back again later.
10. Have an actual goal to beat Inferno and thus, beat the game.
In Hardcore mode, psychologically you can’t actually “beat” the game. In normal mode, when you beat Inferno, sure you’ll have a sense of accomplishment but if you died thousands of times a long the way, how good are you actually at this game? And if you know people are doing this in hardcore mode, how does that make you feel? Beating inferno on Hardcore mode is the highest level achievement you can get in Diablo 3 – why not shoot for the stars? Don’t turn Diablo 3 into a game like World of Warcraft (WoW) where the game just never ends. Games are supposed to end…
Think of you have what it takes to be a Hardcore Diablo Grinder? Let us know your BattleTag in the comments below and we can party together!
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