#1 - The economy.
Probably the #1 reason to me. I have gear worth 250m+ and 50m in the bank at paragon 39 having never run MF gear or anything. The economy is much fresher because everyone is dying and making new characters, as long as you have the right combinations, there is always a demand for mediocre mid-level gear as everyone is dying and making new characters all the time. Most of my money is made off sales in the 1-5m range, and it's easy for someone to start and just make a few million gold with some starter a3 mp0 gear (you'll have 30k dps which may feel slow coming from softcore, but the amount of stuff that is worth selling makes a huge difference). There also is not always the availability of godly gear, not every high end character looks the same because there might not exist more than one 6% crit mempo on the server, and the highest dps char has something like 260k dps unbuffed.
#2 - Character progression and accomplishment
It's a great feeling to hit 60 for the first time, and if you still enjoy leveling, I definitely recommend leveling it yourself for the first time. If you don't, I'm willing to powerlevel a group of TLers with my archon wizard. Even past level 60, every paragon is one level you didn't die, one piece of gear that you worked for. There is a much bigger feeling of accomplishment.
#3 - The community and playing for the journey
This one is hard to understand til you've really played hardcore, but you come to appreciate the game and the people around you much more by playing hardcore, rather than your gear and the number of gold you have. I regularly see hardcore players donating eachother gold and items found in their farming when they know they'll help out their friends - everyone will die in the end anyway, so you just have to enjoy sharing the game experience with everyone around you. If I find a strength crit mempo, my first thought is no longer "omg I'm so rich now!", it's "maybe my barb buddy could use this!" Coming from softcore you might have a much bigger attachment to your own stuff, but if you let that go, you'll just have a much more relaxed communal experience.
#4 - A new challenge, something fresh to try
If you're like me and played softcore for months on end, you eventually wonder why you're still playing and what else there is to accomplish. HC can be a new challenge, a chance to try a new class, a new playstyle, and make new friends. This alone was enough to get me to try HC.
HC isn't for everyone. You will inevitably die (even if you have godly gear you'll disconnect someday) and that is a fact you must accept. It is a challenge that requires patience and careful attention. On the flip side, it feels a lot more rewarding and satisfying.
Again, I'd be willing to powerlevel any TLers who just want a fast level 60 in hardcore, but I think it's definitely worth the experience to level the first time. (Either way, if you wanna play HC, add/msg me Pokebunny#1967!)
Alright Pokebunny, you've convinced me... now what class should I pick?
It depends on what you want. Common choices include:
- The class you play in softcore, because you know it best: If you really like your softcore character, go for it, but I personally recommend against this. You'll have the chance to try out everything when you die, so you might as well go with something new!
- What you think will be the "best" class (usually barb): only if you really want to. People have a common misconception that hardcore is just about being really tanky and snoring everything to death, but current inferno is honestly not that difficult and you have some room to try some cool stuff. I recommend just trying a class you always thought looked cool.
A general rundown of the classes, from "best" to "worst":
#1 - Witch Doctor. Softcore players are almost always surprised when I say this, and honestly it doesn't make total sense to me, but it is indeed true. Witch Doctors have the lowest gear requirement for progression, as pets and careful play can keep you safe even with fairly low AR, and you don't get hit all that much. You also have spirit vessel. Once you have decent defenses, you can play aggressive and farm very fast even with 40-50k DPS (trust me, I've seen it a lot) using spirit walk / grave injustice / bears or acid cloud. Overall witch doctor is the easiest starter class.
#2 - Barbarian. Probably what people expected to be #1 is still a powerhouse in HC. WW is viable at decent gear levels for speed farming, and the vast availability of defensive skills and especially sustain make barb a great choice. Revenge and rend: bloodlust are excellent at both dealing damage and keeping you alive, war cry is great for party survivability, and WotB is a great emergency button against those scary frozen packs.
#3 - Monk. Similar to barb except with slightly less solid defense, monks need a bit more sustain and defense innately, but OWE also makes gearing substantially easier for an inferno starter character.
#4 - Wizard. With Diamond Skin, Prismatic Armor, and Teleport, Wizards can hold their own defensively, but they don't really have any great farming builds until you have gear good enough to safely do archon and you have to play really carefully until then. Overall, expect a long period of feeling like your character kinda sucks when you play wizard.
#5 - Demon Hunter. A bit better now with boar, perfectionist, and nice sentries, DH is still the most difficult to start with in HC. Similar to wizard in the sense that they do have some decent defensive skills but they do need to play very carefully, the biggest difference from wiz is that DH has no new great build once you get good enough gear like archon or CM for wizards. Still, it is a fun class and you'll always be on your toes.
Always start with too much defense, and progress to gain damage as you feel more comfortable with your character. Softcore players are always tempted to cut defensive corners and like to complain about having 30k DPS, but trust me, you want a good handle on your character and make sure you know what you're doing before you drop defense. Melee classes start with shields. Inferno is now easy enough that ranged classes can use their respective offhands.
... Okay, basically I've now realized I'm repeating a lot of unkkz thread, so feel free to ask me questions