Hello Diablo 3 players, today I am going to share with you all the tips and tricks I have learned playing D3 hardcore seasonal. For the record, I have killed 6 wizards and 1 demon hunter before I made it to farm Torment 10 Nephalem Rift and Greater Rifts 50+ solo. This article will guide you through some stuff you should know for hardcore.
Tip 1: Know Your Internet Connection Well
I know this isn’t really a tip per say, but this is a big factor in how you play. If you have a solid internet provider that barely gives you any down time, then you are safe to play hardcore without any problems. However, if you are prone to disconnects at least a few times every week or month, then the odds of your character dying from lag increases.
There are ways around this though. In hardcore, you want to prioritize toughness over damage. The key is to do it such that you don’t sacrifice too much offense and still have strong toughness. That brings us to the next tip.
Tip 2: Get Your Classes Fatal Damage Passive Skill ASAP
Each class will have a passive skill that prevents you from getting 1 shot by any monster to give you a chance to chug a potion or run away. You must get it as soon as you can. This will give you the cushion you need in case you make any mistakes. Here are the following “oh sh1t” skills for each class:
- Barbarian – Nerves of Steel: Fatal damage instead reduces you to 15% Life. For 3 seconds afterward, you take 95% reduced damage and are immune to all control-impairing effects. (Level 13)
- Crusader – Indestructible: When you receive fatal damage, you instead become immune to damage, gain 35% increased damage and gain 107284 Life per Kill for 5 seconds. (Level 25)
- Monk – Near Death Experience: When receiving fatal damage, you instead restore 35% Life and 35% Spirit and are immune to damage and control impairing effects for 2 seconds.. (Level 58)
- Wizard – Unstable Anomaly: When you receive fatal damage, you instead gain a shield equal to 400% of your maximum Life for 5 seconds and release a shockwave that knocks enemies back and Stuns them for 3 seconds. (Level 60)
- Demon Hunter – Awareness: When you receive fatal damage, you instead vanish for 2 seconds and regenerate 50% of maximum Life. (Level 66)
- Witch Doctor – Spirit Realm: When you receive fatal damage, you automatically enter the spirit realm for 2 seconds and heal to 50% of your maximum Life. (Level 30)
As you can see, Monks, Wizards and Demon Hunters get their fatal damage passives pretty late, so you want to play carefully when you don’t have them yet.
Tip 3: Increase Toughness To Give Room for Error
This is important as more toughness means you survive sticky situations that would kill you in soft core. Things like running into a group of melee elite teleporting monsters, lightning orbs, poison fields, molten blasts and homing ice orbs can kill you fast(often in 1-3 seconds) if you lack either physical or elemental resistance.
Monks, Crusaders and Barbarians are less prone to dying fast as they get 30% damage reduction, but if you are Demon Hunter, Wizard or Witch Doctor, you need to make sure you get damage reduction gear at higher levels.
Now let’s talk about what you need for toughness to increase. You need both physical and elemental resistance. Having pure damage reduction will help in both areas. However, you also need enough elemental resistance to make your pure damage reduction effective. I suggest you roll +X to all elemental resistances on your armor, and socket diamonds to improve that further. I have died quickly to lightning orbs due to lack of elemental resistance. Here are the things you can do to improve all round toughness.
- Pure Damage Reduction – This is the best form of defense since it improves both physical and elemental resistance. An item that gives that option is the Aquila Cuirass. You can also use unique items like Gold Wrap which improves your armor based on the gold picked up. At lower levels, this is not as useful, but once you hit torment 6 and higher, elite and big bosses can 1 shot you if you lack damage reduction.
- Elemental Resistance – I made the mistake of not socketing any diamonds to my armor. That resulted to the death of 3 of my wizards. You need sufficient elemental resistance so you do not get killed by any of the pesky skills like the lightning orbs, huge frozen fields, molten blasts, poison fields and homing ice orbs. Having high resistance will give you a 2-3 second leeway to chug a potion or dodge more of these skills. If any of these skills can chunk out more than 1/2 of your health in a second, then you need more resistance.
Vitality also is a huge factor. Here are the recommended health pools for the various difficulties at level 70:
- Normal to Hard – 300,000 Health
- Torment 1-4 – 500,000 Health
- Torment 5-7 – 800,000 Health
- Torment 8-10 – 1, 100, 000 Health
If you have good damage reduction, then these health pools will be okay. Otherwise, add an additional 200,000 health. The general rule of thumb is that if you find yourself struggling and having to run away when fighting elites, then you need more damage reduction.
Tip 4: Kick Your Softcore Habits
Source: D3 Meme
Haha, I am guilty of this. Here are a list of bad habits that will get you killed in Hardcore.
- AFK in the battle fields when you have “cleared” that area
- Picking up items when the area still isn’t cleared yet
- Standing by poison fields, traps, flame spitters and bombs while switching songs on your music playlist
- Running a difficulty that is too hard for your current gear
- Building damage and not enough vitality to survive hits
- Running into a bunch of elite monsters like Rambo
- Playing hardcore when your internet connection is weak
Tip 5: Losing Your Character Isn’t All That Bad
While it sucks that you can lose your character, gear and levels, there are ways you can keep yourself from losing it all. Keep in mind that you still retain your gold, paragon levels and items in your stash when a character dies. Here are a list of things you can do to soften the blow if your character dies:
- Put all your belongings in your stash and avoid leaving them in your character inventory. Leaving them with your character inventory means they disappear along with it when they drop dead.
- Keep spare sets/items for your character
- Get a level 25 Gem of Ease and store it in your stash in case you need them(I sure did)
- You can join clans and ask your guild mates to power level you back to 70 by running rifts.
Tip 6: Get the Kanai’s Cube in Ruins of Sescheron
You can actually get this in Adventure Map early in the game. It allows you to extract legendary item power for you to use. This is very useful as you can run all kinds of different combos to help you in increasing your damage or health. However, you need to be 70 to extract the power if the item though.
You need to do a lot of bounties and rifts to get enough ancient items to extract them. Here are the things you need to extract legendary power:
- 1 Legendary item with a legendary affix.
- 1 Khanduran Rune
- 1 Caldeum Nightshade
- 1 Arreat War Tapestry
- 1 Corrupted Angel Flesh
- 1 Westmarch Holy Water
- 5 Death’s Breath
Tip 7: Look For Ways To Improve Your Damage Without Sacrificing Health
Once you feel like you have enough health to survive attacks without having to run away when encountering elites, you will want to mix and match items to see what works best for you. Certain set items and legendary items will give your character super power spikes that allows you to jump a few levels of difficulty.
To get set items, I suggest you collect blood shards and gamble the various parts you need for your set items with Kadala. Alternatively, you can go leech Torment 1 and 6 rift runs for loot. If you have high level friends that can do Torment 10 easily, you can ask them politely if you can tag along. 🙂
Tip 8: Recovery Is Your Friend
Now this is often overlooked as a newbie. You can have tonnes of health but with poor recovery, you are left with nothing after chugging a potion. There are 3 types of life recovery available.
- Life Regen/Second – This is more suitable for characters that don’t like to use primary skills for leeching. A high regen means you are back to full health in no time after taking a fatal blow.
- Life on Hit – This works best on characters that like to use primary skills for dealing damage. Characters like Barbarian, Monk, Crusader and Demon Hunter will benefit the most from this.
- Life per Kill – This recovers life after you kill an enemy. Works best in if your character can kill mobs very fast.
- Health Globes – This will drop when killing enemies. There are items that will increase the drops of these.
Having tried all forms of recovery, I think Life Regen and Life on Hit is one of the better options. Focus on the one you like the most. I like life regen more, but it is all down to your preference.
Tip 9: Look for Suitable Legendary Gems To Improve Gear
Once you have your desired set items, it is time to do some Greater Rifts and find the legendary gems that will further improve your survival and damage. Most of them are for jewelry. Below are the more common gems that hardcore players like to use:
- Bane of the Powerful – Gain 20% increased damage for X seconds after killing an elite pack.
- Bane of the Stricken – Each attack you make against an enemy increases the damage it takes from your attacks by by X%
- Esoteric Alteration – Gain X% non-Physical damage reduction
- Simplicity’s Strength – Increase the damage of primary skills by X%
- Taeguk – Gain 0.5% increased damage for 3 seconds after spending primary resource. This effect stacks up to X times.
- Mutilation Guard – Gain X melee damage reduction.
When the gem hits level 25, you gain a bonus effect that can help you in battle. I suggest you mix and match based on what you need the most.
Tip 10: Practice In Softcore
This is probably the more boring tip. Make all the mistakes you can in softcore before jumping into hardcore. Run into the poison fields, take some lasers in the face from Diablo or eat that molten blast to your hearts content. By doing that, you know the limits of how much a character can take before dying. Once you gain knowledge on the bosses and how to avoid their attacks, then hardcore will be a bit easier.