Tuesday, July 11, 2023

A Guide to becoming Hardcore


Yes I want to discuss further my passion for Diablo 4 with anyone who will listen - This is a game that has ascended to the peak of my gaming experiences. There's this intoxicating sense of impending danger lurking around each beautifully realized corner of this stunning artistic masterpiece. I often find myself pausing, entranced by the minutiae of the world – the torchlight reflecting from pool of blood splattered on a dungeon floor. A poetic illustration of the light triumphing over darkness? Or just really high quality horror and gore? It's a game that can at times be transcendently terrifying. 

There's nothing quite like the gut-wrenching dread when your health plummets, or the triumphant relief as you decimate the monstrous horde that almost laid you low. This ongoing struggle against an ever-looming demise is what makes Hardcore mode of Diablo 4 incredibly enticing. But you know this from my last post

As the inaugural season of Diablo 4 kicks off on the 20th of July, I plan to roll out a Hardcore character. For those of you who are daring enough to tread the same path, I'd like to offer some advice. 

1.      First and foremost, understand that death is inevitable in Hardcore mode. The world is teeming with nightmarish creatures, it is a literal battleground where Angels and Demons are locked in the eternal conflict. You are choosing to be a hero in that world. Good luck Bucko. The odds are stacked against you, but how you manage these imminent deaths will dictate your success in this game mode.

2.     For your first character start on World Tier 1. This is about setting up for the future. Take it easy to start with while you unlock all the powers that’ll make the higher tiers safer.

3.      In Hardcore, it's not about raising a single, unstoppable character, to godhood. But rather establishing a robust legacy. Even when your character perishes, they leave behind infrastructure for their successors to build upon. Therefore, the primary focus should be on building this legacy - accumulating gear, creating sets, and unlocking account wide bonuses.

4.       A viable strategy could involve having sets of gear for every ten levels or so. This way, you're always ready to bounce back after a death. Gear is the most important aspect of character power in D4. The world scales to your level so the stats on your gear is the most important differentiator of power.  Here is my rough plan of character level to item power

Level 01-10 Item Power 001-149 World Tier 1

Level 11-20 Item Power 150-339 World Tier 1

Level 21-40 Item Power 340-459 World Tier 1

Level 41-60 Item Power 460-624 World Tier 2

Level 61-80 Item Power 625-724 World Tier 3

Level 80+ Item Power 725+ World Tier 4

5.      Couple this gear plan with the Renown system - which lets you earn renown with the 5 zones in the game to unlock permanent account-wide bonuses There are 10 skill points to be had from renown they are worth securing early so new characters can be ready with the core of their build from level one.

6.      Legendary aspects are granted as rewards for completing dungeons. So they are a priority, so long as you are confident you can kill the boss at the end. Those fights can be tense. Be careful. Plan the aspects you want and weigh the risk against the reward. Again these unlocks are account wide so they are highly valuable to get early.

7.      Another consideration are the Alters of Lilith, which also provide permanent character power boosts. They too persist across characters, offering yet another leg up for your successors. Whether you choose to discover these through gameplay or follow a guide is a matter of personal preference. I followed a guide and now regret it. It’s probably more fun to discover them “in the wild”.

8.       Lastly, two items are crucial for Hardcore characters. First is the "Elixir of Death Avoidance" that grants you a second chance at life when you drop to zero health. The second, "The scroll of Escape," teleports you back to town when you're in peril. Both can save your life, but they are expensive to craft and hard to find so should be used judiciously. 

Why play a high-risk game that could end in a moment of less-than-perfect gameplay or a random disconnect? The answer lies in the thrill of survival, the joy of building a dynasty of heroes that stand against the forces of evil. Even if you die to a disconnect, if you’ve planned and prepared, you are setup for the next character to level up and fill the void left by their predecessor.

So, take the plunge into this heart-pounding journey and make the first season of Diablo 4 a memorable one! The risk is high, the journey is challenging, but the rewards? They're absolutely worth it. Happy hunting, fellow adventurers!