Edits: 2012/06/15 - added some numbers for when to progress into inferno under the gear section.
Alot of people are saying Diablo 3 is lackluster. There is no sense of accomplishment, you can bypass content and beat things you are not supposed to. The only character progression is made with items which slightly increases whatever main stat your class has. Inferno is a oneshot feast and not really challenging difficult but rather "stupid" difficult. The game is shallow and the economy is down the toilet. All of these things are to me only true in "softcore" - hardcore is a brand new world and im here to tell you why and how to get started.
The economy Many consider the economy in softcore to be ruined. Either by people being way ahead in content then they should be, or simply by bots. Any item below Inferno pretty much has no value since items never leave the economy and inferno items exist in adbundance.
As you can see, items below 60 and well below inferno still has value. People die and level new characters, they need new items. Their previous items? Gone, out of the economy. I haven't died yet, but friends have died wearing millions worth of gear, this keeps the economy somewhat in check compared to softcore where you never take any items out of the economy.
Another factor is that people actually _need_ items, a new shield can be a lifesaver, that little extra resist can allow you to safely start pushing into act 1 inferno. People have to gear up before a challenge, not after or during since you cannot skip content and clear things you aren't geared to clear. Hence you cannot wait around for tier 4 items, you need proper gear progression to actually get money and progress yourself.
Sense of accomplishment & character progression
Hardcore is harder for starters, it's easy to die to something stupid or your own misstakes. You get one chance at every boss, every bosspack, every pull. There are no do overs. You either kill it or start all over at level 1. While this turns a lot of people away from HC it is also what gives it it's sense of accomplishment and character progression. There is a thrill to almost dying to a boss/bosspack but then living to kill it. It also keeps you on your toes always trying to improve.
Walking into a bossfight knowing that it is you or the boss, even if you know bosses are easy in Diablo 3, it kinda makes you a bit edgy unless you severly outgear it. That first hell Butcher or Diablo kill, the first Inferno Butcher kill... it makes your stomach tingle.
There are people in HC Inferno, but the number is significantly less than in softcore. You can't run into inferno with level 55 yellows and almost no resists in HC, you will die. You have to farm or buy from the AH until you are ready. Progression is being made slowly and you will make it slowly but it will be all the more meaningful. The way hardcore and its progression plays out in inferno is the way Blizzard intended the game to play.
You care what happens to your character and its gear, after all you put alot of time into it. Hence you will do everything to assure its survival and optimization. It actually helps you progress and survive vs the "i just got 50 more dps, yay" in sofcore. The thought of all that going down the drain when you are close to dying, you are already deciding what class to play, how to level, are you gonna powerlevel? do you have money to buy new gear? And then... you live! By some miracle you are alive, either luck, skill or sheer divine intervention but you are alive. Here is a good example of that feeling about 1min 30 sec into the first clipp:
Have you ever gotten that sensation playing softcore? That adrenaline rushing through your veins making you shake for minutes afterwards? I doubt it.
You will die so you better just come to terms with it. Dying can be funny, dying can be sad and dying can make you angry. Angry at the game, at yourself or at your class. 60% of hardcore characters die in Act 1 according to Blizzard, so you just gotta man up and deal with it - death is a big part of the game. Death matters, death has a consequence.
Here's a few good deaths:
That whas the why, now for the how.
Ranked from easiest to hardest.
Barbarians have it the easiest in HC by far. You can go the "tank spec" and still do very well solo, you are a fortress of damage mitigation relying on the skill "Revenge" to dish out alot of damage but also to heal yourself.
I ask if anyone playing a barbarian in late hell/inferno to write a bit more on specs and abilities.
Monks have it the second easiest. Albeit a bit more gear dependant then barbarians a monk can solo most things comfortably. The ability to stack very high resistances is key to the monks success and survival.
Spirit Walk - 7% life rune Soul Harvest - life rune Haunt - 288% 2 second rune Horrify - 24 radius rune
Passives Rush of Essence (mana return from spirit spells) Jungle Fortitude (20% DR) Blood Ritual (life regen)
Reasoning: Spirit Barrage and 2 second Haunt will be your single target dps. Locust Swarm will be your aoe. Spirit Walk, Soul Harvest, and Horrify are your 3 escape spells. You'll have an escape spell available roughly every 5 seconds.
Rush of Essence + mana rune on Spirit Barrage = you can spam Spirit Barrage and Horrify with a little help in mana regen gear (i have 7 mana regen on my 1 hander). If you have trouble with mana regen, put the mana rune on Locust Swarm.
Spirit Barrage + Rush of Essence vs Poison Dart + Pierce the Veil Going the Poison Dart way gives you more "dps", but Poison Dart has 3 problems; it roots you in place a little longer than Spirit Barrage, you can't shoot over mobs (very important when targeting invulnerable minion elites), and Poison Dart misses more than Spirit Barrage (Spirit Barrage acts kind of like a homing missile). Dropping Rush of Essence means you can't spam Haunt.
Gear Upgrade Investing in mana regen gear will go a long way. You can substitute Locust Swarm for a more direct and spammable aoe like Acid Cloud. You can switch Rush of Essence as well when you have enough regen.
I ask if anyone playing a Witch Doctor in late hell/inferno to write a bit more on specs and abilities.
Wizards do ok in HC, they have some dmg mitigation abilities and a decent set of escape abilities while maintaining good damage. If geared properly they are not that much of a glasscannon and rely heavily on kiting. The BLizzard spec with poison hydra seems to be the most popular choice of build.
I ask if anyone playing a wizard in late hell/inferno to write a bit more on specs and abilities.
The Demon Hunter
The most fragile class in the game even if built for survival with alot of resists and a shield. You have to run 4 defensive abilities and two offensive in order to stay alive. Caltrops, preparation, Smoke screen and vault are all needed to survive. Many SC specs skimp out on vault and rely purely on smokescreen but if you get trapped you are dead so, you need vault. The offensive abilities should be Hungering arrow runed w devouring arrow and elemental arrow with nether tentacles.
Yes and no. Many think that vitality should be the main focus for survival, while somewhat true you also need damage to actually kill things. If you cannot kill stuff it doesn't matter if you stay alive forever. A balance between vitality and mainstat is what most if not all people go for. For instance if you find a pair of boots with runspeed, mainstat and crit chance but no vitality, you will struggle to sell them on the AH. Most people do however gem for vitality and in the early stages of the game it's all you have stat wise to survive.
In late hell/inferno the stat "all resistance" becomes the most sought after stat. Armor pieces with resist all is what goes the highest on the AH and mitigation wise it pretty much always beats out vitality on a more then point to point basis. Effective HP is what matters not the amount of HP your red bubble displays.
Armor is not to be shrugged of either, it is a very good mitigation stat especially for melee classes.
To shield or not to shield?
Melee classes need a shield, period. There is no way around it. Once you get into nightmare you are gonna have to suck it up, no 2 hander or dual wield for you. The extra armor is vital to survival and since you can block pretty much everything in this game block is also a very good stat.
For the ranged classes there is some debate. Some people roll with their respective class offhands for more damage and rely on purely never taking a hit while others sport a shield. I myself prefer a shield simply due to block and to have a buffer when i do get hit, i can't always play perfect and if a shield means i'll die in three hits rather then two, i'll gladly sacrifice some dps for it.
When can i progress safely into Inferno?
Note: I do not care if you, on you third character run into inferno with 0 all res and 20k hp because you are so damn awesome. These numbers are "safe" numbers, intended as a general guideline for first timers who are venturing into HC Inferno.
I get this question a lot so i will try and answer it best i can. As mentioned earlier effective HP is what matters, hence judging if you are inferno ready is pretty much based on your amount of all resist. The most important resists the way i see it are fire(Fire chains, mortar, molten) and physical resistance. Arcane orbs, plague and frozen usually outright kills you if you stand in them/get hit by them. But as mentioned earlier, the all resist stat is king and you can get a fairly good amount of it from the AH and farming/crafting gear for yourself in hell.
Since people ask about this a lot: 40k HP is a good amount to aim for when it comes to actual HP. You can have more, you can have less but 40k is a good median number.
The amount of resists and armor required ofcourse varies from class to class. For barbarians most i've spoken to on my friends list gives 70%ish dmg reduction from armor and 200 - 250 all resist as a go ahead to get into inferno and run some skeleton king. For barbarians DPS is less of an issue and i've seen people do fine with as low as 8k, this is all assuming you are using 1h + shield and revenge ofcourse.
- Witch Doctors
WD's have alot of damage reduction via passives, up to 40%, as well as pets, CC and crowd control. The ones i've asked has about 200 resist all as an obtainable number to be relatively safe. You can go in with less, some even go straight in from hell if they have the DPS. But safe before sorry, get around 200 all resists - won't cost all that much.
200 if you wear a shield, 300 if you don't. Getting these numbers are fairly easy as a wizard due to the rune on energy armor(?).
- Demon Hunter
I myself felt that around 250 - 300 all resist(fire in this case, durr) i could eat a mortar or two without shitting my pants, this is with a shield. Before this with around 175 all resist everything hurt so much and i was very scared of pretty much everything in act 1 inferno. You are however never "safe" as a DH, no matter your resistance, armor or gear. You will always take more damage then everyone. So good kiting and dodge abilities beat any form of resistance coupled with quick smokescreen reactions. I would however strongly advice on getting survivability before entering inferno simply to be able to take two or three hits because one can not always play perfect.
Most people roll with 3-4 defensive abilities and one good single target dps ability/generator and an aoe ability/spender. You don't really need more to kill bosses or trash mobs. You will kill slower then in softcore, alot slower but you will also have alot more survival and "oh shit" escape buttons.
Strenght in numbers
With the removal of bonus damage when more people are in a game, rolling with 2-4 people is always better then solo. You can take on a more wider diversity of bosspacks and you can save eachother. It is also ofcourse alot more fun for most people to have a social aspect to the game.
But the most important part about this, having friends, is that if you die you will get help. You will die, and you will need new items. Your friends are there to help you out, granted you do the same for them ofcourse. Yesterday i gave away a 800 dps 1 hander to my barbarian friend. That would've netted me 3-4 million on the AH easilly doubling my gold. However i know that if he finds a good bow, he'll give it to me. Same if he finds a pair of dex boots and if i find a pair of strenght boots he will get them. You get the idea, having friends helps alot, so find someone to play with to enjoy the game more and also make recovery alot smoother.
To anyone thinking Diablo 3 is stale and boring right now in softcore, i urge you to try hardcore. It is so much more rewarding to get gear and when you pull something off. The game makes a lot more sense and has a lot more meaning on hardcore, give it a shot. I have some kinks and updates for this but for now this post will do.
I really got that feeling around about the time I hit hell, and the game actually started to make me think a little about what I was doing. But It didnt have much meaning because I could just go for the highest dps and kamikaze till the enemy dies. Felt a bit cheap and hollow, and started toying with the idea of going hardcore.
The problem for me is time..dont have enough time to sink in long hours, and a loss of the investment.......well it could be a quite heart breaking. Especially if it's something like lag(the lag here is bit quite spiky, does not help when you hit vault...but dont..and then suddenly you vault thrice, back to the same spot). bu I am extremely interested, will probably get a bunch of friends and see how it goes, just to see how far we get.
P.S: I think both the pics are the same (41-50).
NightOfTheDead Lithuania. June 11 2012 21:51. Posts 1359
it's hard to describe how much more fun HC is compared to SC. i licked blood, and even after i lost my first lvl.60 two days ago. haven't logged into any SC since, probbably gonna sell all the good gear for $$ everyone should give it a try, never thought d3 could be this much fun.
to the hardcore paradox - (because you can die it's more exciting, but you play uber safe and it'll end up beeing a boring grindfest)
it makes sense if you think about it, however, it doesn't hold ground in practice. just make sure you're not playing alone
nice thread, we need more hardcore players!
Doraemon Australia. June 11 2012 22:24. Posts 9698
On June 11 2012 22:48 Heh_ wrote: Your WD skills aren't optimal. Soul harvest is good in the early stages of SC because you can afford to die. It's virtual suicide to do it in HC or even in late stages of SC.