After a few server hiccups, Blizzard managed to fix the problem preventing players from creating a Hardcore mode character.

I created a female Witch Doctor for a test drive to wreck havoc upon the Skeleton King in Hardcore mode. I have spent about six months on an off playing Diablo III beta, and as everyone has echoed in this past time: “The beta demo is easy”.

I am by no means a hardcore player, but I can say I died maybe 2-3 times these six months playing Diablo III beta. You really have to be foolish to die — i.e. fighting knowing your health is low instead of taking a break or drinking a health potion.

When I started a level 1 Hardcore Mode character, I was expecting to survive up to the Skeleton King considering it’s not even the full Act 1, and seeing how minimal the damage still is throughout the first quests.

Jay Wilson: “Doubled monster damage from levels 1-13 (trailing off to level 20). Feels pretty good! Hopefully we can keep it.”

Yet you can survive the zombie attacks, and even the Harvesters and their eels. Just don’t let them hit you too often, or you will be low in health and get in trouble.

Something that might really get you in trouble at level 5-6 is when you faced a Nightmarish Elite Scavenger at The Weeping Hollow. Things got really tense for me.

You’ll pretty much die easily against a Nightmarish Elite Scavenger. These are the fastest mobs in the Diablo III beta, and they always attack in packs. Chances of outrunning them are nigh impossible. Add to that the fact that Nightmarish Elites cast a fear spell that cancels out your control over your character. A skull icon appears above your head to alert you the character has been feared.

As soon as I saw the pack of Scavengers, I am not going to lie, I ran like a sissy toward New Tristram. My zombie dogs died pretty fast — before I could get half-screen away. I knew my fate was sealed.

Yet I ran, and managed to drop three Grasp of the Dead to slow them down while I ran toward New Tristram, but to no avail. Their fast speed, combined with “fear” cast twice during my run-forest-run routine was met with my character’s bloody death.

My witch doctor was merely level 6. Fallen heroes must be at least level 10 before players may save them to the Hall of Fallen Heroes. Thus, with great regret, my Witch Doctor will forever roam the lands of Sanctuary in penance in the afterlife with no one to mourn, or sing the legendary feats of its short-lived adventures.



At the time of playing, there was an error message when I attempted to play Hardcore Mode using the Search Group, and decided to venture in solo.

The Witch Doctor might need a tweak on the Summon Zombie Dog cooldown. Currently the cooldown is 60 sec. The three dogs didn’t last very long against the Elite Scavenger pack in Hardcore Mode. I am not sure any other class might be able to survive at level 6 with barely any cloths. At that point I only had a blue chest, white pants, blue bracers, and the white dagger weapon.

My humble suggestion is to play up to the Blacksmith’s quest to kill his wife, and abandon the game. Start from scratch. Get more gear. Level up to 10 before venturing into The Weeping Hollow, and try moving forward to the Skeleton King.

It doesn’t matter if you are a hardcore player. Don’t bring in your overconfidence when you create a hardcore-mode character. You only have one life. No second chances. Don’t waste your time getting the gosuest gear in your normal-mode character to deposit it in your stash so that your hardcore-mode character can use it. Stash is empty when you create a hardcore-mode character.

Excuses aside, Blizzard Game Director Jay Wilson said players will die, and he was not joking. Blizzard delivered. — share your comments with our forum community.