Methrin's guide to Hardcore.

Posted by Member Methrin on 8/1/12 05:52 PM #1
Posts: 163

Here is a quick index to help you Ctrl+F your way to whichever part interests you.

1.0 Introductions

1.01 What is hardcore ?
1.02 Why play hardcore ?
1.03 Why read this guide instead of another ?
1.04 Disclaimer

2.0 Basics

2.01 Vitality
2.02 Gems
2.03 The Auction House
2.04 Safety in numbers?
2.05 2 Things that WILL kill you (if you're not careful)
2.06 Cheating death
2.07 Be there
2.08 Don't be afraid to run
2.09 Have an escape ability
2.10 Treasure Goblins are bars of soap
2.11 A close call is a wake-up call
2.12 C'est la vie
2.13 Shrines
2.14 Help a brother out
2.15 Use the damn stash
2.16 Your level matters
2.17 It gets easier
2.18 Life to avoid death
2.19 Read those tomes
2.99 The last rule

3.0 Advanced tips

3.01 The art of escaping
3.02 Spatial awareness
3.03 Running is a sound strategy
3.04 Treasure goblins are really like bar of soaps

4.0 Math

4.01 Finishing normal mode
4.02 Finishing nightmare mode
4.03 Finishing hell mode
4.04 Finishing inferno mode

5.0 Cartography

5.1.0 Act 1
5.2.0 Act 2
5.3.0 Act 3
5.4.0 Act 4

6.0 Bestiary

6.1 Basics
6.2.0 The list
6.2.1 Act 1
6.2.2 Act 2
6.2.3 Act 3
6.2.4 Act 4

7.0.0 Classes

7.0.1 Basics
7.1.0 The Witch Doctor
7.2.0 The Monk
7.3.0 The Wizard
7.4.0 The Barbarian
7.5.0 The Demon Hunter

99.0 Contributions


1. Introductions

1.01 What is hardcore ?

Hardcore is a mode that is unlocked at level 10. The biggest difference regular mode and hardcore mode is that in hardcore, deaths are permanent, meaning that any character that dies will no longer be playable.

Because of this peculiarity, the hardcore environment is self-contained. Meaniing that your hardcore artisans, stash & gold are not connected to their normal equivalents. Likewise, the Auction House in hardcore features only items collected in hardcore and most of all, the Real Money Auction House is not present.

1.02 Why play hardcore ?

There are several reasons to play hardcore, I will enumerate the ones that pop up the most.

- Extra challenge. Clearing Inferno on hardcore is much harder than in softcore because you have very little room for mistakes.
- Achievements. Some people only play hardcore long enough to score some/all the hardcore achievements.
- The Auction House. In hardcore, people die every day and as such, people level every day and as such lower-level items sell quite easily. Because of this, substantial amounts of gold can be gathered by leveling.
- The community. Hardcore attracts a different playerbase, the general concensus on forums, chat channels and the likes is that people in hardcore are nicer. Be warned that there are still assholes around.
- Rekindling interest in the game. Have you been farming inferno for a while ? Missing the fun of just leveling characters ? This is one of the reasons that drew me in.

1.03 Why read this guide instead of another ?

I am not the most accomplished hardcore player around, far from it. I have yet to play inferno in hardcore but I can still offer some useful hindsight.

I have a full-time job and can't exactly play as much as I want, but I have managed to get all 5 classes to level 60 in softcore and a hardcore Witch Doctor to 60 in the first try, which clearly means I'm doing something right! At the time of writing, I have also scored 89% of all achievements.

Therefore, my guide will not help you clear inferno, but it should hopefully give anyone reading it a very solid foundation to start in hardcore.

1.04 Disclaimer

Most of the tips and advice I give are based on actual hardcore deaths. Most of them friends and coworkers but some of them mine.
Posted by Member Methrin on 8/1/12 05:52 PM #2
Posts: 163

2.0 Basics

The following section will give you tips about how to play smarter, not harder.

2.01 Vitality

It needs to be said, having a decent amount of vitality goes a long way to preventing an untimely death.
As a rule of thumb, I try to have vitality on most of my items at all times. Rings, amulets & weapons are the items I most often do not have vit on because they're much more expensive in general.

Last but not least, stacking vit is important at lower levels because higher-level gems can give susbstantial stats increases through socketed items.

2.02 Gems

Gems are very important in hardcore, especially at lower levels.

Clearing normal mode and reaching level 32 is almost a joke in hardcore once you know the trick with gems.
The trick is that at level 15, you can buy a socketed weapon & a socketed helm from the Auction House, along with 2 Flawless Square Rubies.
Doing so allows a level 15 to gain a susbstantial boost to exp gained through the ruby on his helm, making leveling much less tedious, while the ruby in the weapon drastically increases the dps of a weapon. For example, a 27 dps weapon becomes a 50 dps weapon.

Of course, most hardcore players know this trick and as such, rubies are a lot more expensive in hardcore than in softcore, but not prohibitively so. If you are starting your first hardcore character, don't upgrade your stash right away, keep that gold for those 2 rubies at 15!

Amethysts are also quite desirable for the extra vitality and as such, even pricier than rubies but truth be told, they are completely unnecessary in normal and nightmare. If you stack enough vit on your other pieces, you can put some dps gems in your sockets instead. This is great news for Monks/Demon Hunters and Wizards/Witch Doctors because emeralds and topazs are almost 10 times cheaper than amethysts.

2.03 The Auction House

The Auction House can have a huge impact on your character's survivability if you remember two simple rules:
- What you're not using, someone might want to use, and use right now. Any magic or rare item you find that anyone could have a reason to equip might sell. When selling low-level equipment, always put a buyout because whoever could want that item you listed wants it now, not tomorrow when he will have vastly outleveled it.
- That gold you will make doing the above should be fuelled in buying regular-ish upgrades for yourself. I say regular-ish because it depends on the budget you give yourself. If you are a scrooge (like me) your upgrades will come when you find good deals. Keep in mind that buying more upgrades also gives you more opportunities to resell them.

2.04 Safety in numbers?

There is a very good argument to play with others in hardcore and it's the fact that a friend can save your ass. This is especially when playing with friends and using Skype, Ventrilo or Teamspeak. If you suddenly get disconnected, your friends can be the difference between life and death.

There is also a very good argument to NOT play with others, especially public games. Some people are idiots, some people are assholes. Idiots will put you in harm's way by pulling too many monsters or running for cover and leaving you to fend for yourself. Assholes will find ways to kill unsuspecting players, such as pulling mobs into town, getting into dangerous fights and telling you "S'okay sweetie, click my standard, it's safe".

Once again, play smarter, not harder.

2.05 2 Things that WILL kill you (if you're not careful)

Number one, being away from the game, in all forms.
Do not alt+tab for extended periods of time. If you must alt+tab at all, do it in town, or pause the game (if soloing). If you need to alt+tab for more than a minute, leave the game.
Do not AFK in town in public games, an asshole can go get a zombie or some such to kill you.
Do NOT rely on pausing solo games for extended periods of time. Why? Because the game client can eventually disconnect you if you do it long enough.

Checkpoints.
Those checkpoints were so nice in softcore. Leave a game and you're still at least halfway done when you start a new one, nice uh?
Not so much in hardcore. All those monsters you killed are back. Sometimes you even get nastier monsters and worst of all, no escape route.
As such, use your brain. Is your checkpoint some place where you can go back to a safe zone? If not, bite the bullet and restart the quest.
An example of a terrible checkpoint if those 2 vaults for Zoltun Kulle in Act 2. You come back, find some nasty rare/champion pack of dervish or animated constructs and need to run back out into the desolate sands where some lacuni and wasps are waiting to tear you apart.
Posted by Member Methrin on 8/1/12 05:53 PM #3
Posts: 163

2.06 Cheating death

I do not consider it such a big deal but 2 classes can "die" without consequences with the proper skill.
I am taking about the Witch Doctor's Spirit Vessel skill (level 30) and the Monk's Near Death Experience skill (level 58).
What do these skills do? They bring your character back to life after a death, with a low-ish amount of life. The downside is that this will cost you a passive skill slot and it can only happen once per 90 seconds. Meaning that if you do die and proc the effect of either skill, the best course of action would be to get back to town and wait 90 seconds.

Don't build your strategy around the abilities, but do consider using them. They can be the difference between leveling all over or taking a 90-second time-off.

2.07 Be there

Don't play tired, don't play drunk, don't play on medication, or at least if you do, do something less dangerous than usual. When I'm sleep-deprived because of my insomnia, I take it cool and grind zones where I feel safe for exp or just farm on my 60 for lower-level equipment to sell or use on alts with my Nephalem Valor.

2.08 Don't be afraid to run

Some fights are just not worth it. You could kill that pack of unburied but are you reasonably sure they won't kill you? When in doubt run away and don't be ashamed to leave a game and create a new one. 30 secs to make a new game vs however many hours you took to get to that level. Your call.

2.09 Have an escape ability

It's a fact, you can get surrounded by monsters, even if you are very careful and it's almost always very bad news in hardcore. Having an ability that allows you to get out will easily save your character more than once, especially on later difficulties.

2.10 Treasure Goblins are bars of soap

The diablo world is a jail, monsters are inmates. Are you really going to run after that goblin/pick up that bar of soap? As soon as it falls out of your reach, it's gone man. It is both painful and humiliating to get killed because you followed that damn goblin and get savagely molested by a pack of warpbeasts called "Bubba".

2.11 A close call is a wake-up call

If you are in a zone and you get almost killed by regular mobs, this is a wake-up to get the hell out. Maybe you’re underleveled, maybe your gear is outdated, maybe your skills are poorly picked. Whatever it is, figure it out and come back when it’s fixed.

Don’t be a moron like me and push your luck. I lost a level 54 monk that way.

2.12 C'est la vie

Hardcore characters die.

Doesn't matter how good you are at the game, how incredible your gear is and how stable your latency is. Somewhere out there is a pack of monsters ready to have their way with your lifeless corpse. Reading and using my guide will help you avoid a lot of deaths but you can still die. It's part of the game and part of the thrill. When it happens, take a breather, crack open a beer and make a new character at your own pace.

2.13 Shrines

Shrines can give you a real edge but you know it already. Why am I mentioning this?

There's a shrine before Rakanoth, it's so close to the waypoint it's practically on top of it. When you reach Izual or Diablo, leave the game before entering their zones and then go get the Pre-Rakanoth Shrine when you make a new game, it's gonna take you 2 secs and it could give you a good boost if you get a Frenzied or protection shrine.

2.14 Help a brother out

I would not recommend anyone to do only *one* hardcore character.

In normal mode, every boss you kill for the first time will drop 2-3 rares. Even if you only want to get one class to 60, why not level another character or two to level 20 or so? It won't take long and the rares that character finds can help your other character and vice-versa.

This is especially when it comes to rings and amulets, a good rare ring or amulet will last you several levels.

2.15 Use the damn stash.

I am guilty of this one.

If you find some nice rare items for your other characters or something that's going to sell for a large profit, make a goddamn town portal and go stash it.

Losing a character always sucks, losing it when it's carrying something awesome adds insult to injury.

2.16 You level matters

The effectiveness of your armor and resistances is directly related to your level VS the monster's level. Meaning monsters with a higher level than you can hit considerably harder than monsters your own level.

If you switch acts and monsters hit you for noticeably more damage, you should probably go back an act or two.
Posted by Member acnrupert on 8/2/12 11:57 AM #4
Posts: 1

I have been looking at beginning a hardcore character and have been trying to decide what would be the best class. After playing all classes to at least Nightmare in normal, and 3 classes to at least A2 of inferno, I was wondering if there is an ideal class for surviving in hardcore. Right now my thoughts are leaning toward a Monk with their abundance of survivability skills, but maybe that is a shortsighted view. Any insights from others that have done well in hardcore?
Posted by Member Methrin on 8/2/12 03:57 PM #5
Posts: 163

I would not recommend a monk as a first character for one simple reason, they have the worst escape skills out of all classes.

Escape skills are not a big deal in normal, not so much in nightmare, but in hell and inferno they are a necessity because sooner or later, a pack of champions will surround you and have their way with your character.

A WD can use Spirit Walk (which is by far the best escape skill in my humble opinion).
A Wizard has teleport.
A barbarian has leap and furious charge.
A Demon Hunter can use Smokescreen or Vault.

A monk can use tempest rush or dashing strike, neither of which is anywhere near as good as any of the above abilities.

If you're very experienced with monk, you could go ahead, but if monk isn't a class you leveled to 60, I wouldn't recommend it as first HC char.
Posted by Admin DHAdmin on 8/2/12 04:08 PM #6
Posts: 938

@Methrin I really think your selling Dashing Strike short, unlike those other skills, Dashing Strike has no cooldown and with the Quicksilver rune a very low spirit cost. The added fact you can dash on environmental objects not just monsters makes getting around even easier.

Overall I do agree with you though and will be using some of your tips ;)
Posted by Member Nubzhang89 on 8/2/12 04:55 PM #7
Posts: 6

Like Anuiran said, dashing strike is solid as a escape skill. Another thing to keep in mind is the cost of gear if you are planning on using the auction house to gear up for inferno. Strength and Vitality gear is exorbitantly expensive due to the popularity of barbs in hardcore, and therefore probably the hardest to gear up for. IMO, a monk would actually be the cheapest to get gear for in inferno due to the benefits of One with Everything as well as the low popularity of demon hunters in hardcore, which would allow you to progress much faster than the other class.
Posted by Member Methrin on 8/2/12 05:54 PM #8
Posts: 163

Posted by DHAdmin at 08/02/2012 04:08 PM

@Methrin I really think your selling Dashing Strike short, unlike those other skills, Dashing Strike has no cooldown and with the Quicksilver rune a very low spirit cost. The added fact you can dash on environmental objects not just monsters makes getting around even easier.

Overall I do agree with you though and will be using some of your tips ;)


See, I started using Dashing strike and came to the same conclusions as you no cooldown and cheap is indeed awesome.

Then a couple of molten fast extra health lacunis cornered me and I realized Dashing strike doesn't always let you move through enemies and it really made me hate it. But hey, it might just be bitterness (and bad luck on my part) from losing a decently geared level 55 monk, but I still prefer all the above because they are much more reliable when it comes to moving through enemies in my humble experience.

As for monk gear, yes and no. Dex gear can be cheaper, but I found Hell very hard to gear for on my first monk because people know about One with everything and good gear for it can get extremely pricey. Hell, the only 2 classes I have heard about soloing hardcore are barbarians and monks (and when they're not soloing, they're clearing inferno together haha)
Posted by Member Methrin on 8/2/12 07:16 PM #9
Posts: 163

2.17 It gets easier

Sometimes, you reach a bad spot. You haven't upgraded your gear in a few levels, you're a level or two or three short of an important skill, etc... No matter the reason, sometimes you might feel hopeless. You'd be amazed how things can evolve.

Starting hell on my monk really sucked, monsters were hitting me for so much and resist gear was way overpriced. It seemed like it took forever to get to level 56. When I did reach it, everything changed, I got a new rune for a skill I used & a new weapon and it made a world of difference, suddenly I was two-shotting monsters and I no longer needed to run away from some packs of champions.

2.18 Life to avoid death

Do try to have a bit of life on hit or life steal on your weapon at all times. With rubies in your weapon, life steal pays offs a lot on normal. On later difficulties, life on hit becomes better.

Do keep in mind that both life on hit and life steal suffer from diminishing returns on latter difficulties.

Life Steal

The effectiveness of the Life Steal affix – which restores your Life by a percentage of the damage you deal – is reduced in advanced difficulties, as shown:

Normal: 100%
Nightmare: 70%
Hell: 40%
Inferno: 20%

From the official game guide.

2.19 Read those tomes

If it’s not out of the way, go click that bag/corpse and click that tome. Yes, you might have heard it a dozen items playing softcore already, but it is free exp. Grabbing one or two doesn’t make a big difference, but consistently grabbing them throughout the game can save you a level or two or three in the long run.

The amount of exp tomes give is flat. You can get a new character from level 1 to level 2 by joining a friend’s game in Act 3 or 4 and grabbing the tomes in town.

2.99 The last rule

None of the above were truly rules, they are loose guidelines to keep in mind and use however you want.
Posted by Member Methrin on 8/2/12 07:25 PM #10
Posts: 163

3.0 Advanced tips

This section will be similar to section 2, with one major difference, the basic tips are tips you can read and apply right away without giving them much thought. The tips in this section can take longer to integrate into your playstyle because they're more about developing good habits & reflexes as well as using logic than just doing X or Y.

3.01 The art of escaping

A basic tip warned about the importance of having an escape skill, having it is good, mastering it is better.

Once you know which escape skill you want to use, don't wait until level 60 to have it hotkeyed, equip it early on and use it. It might sound silly but think about it, do you want to avoid a stupid death because you thought you didn't teleport before level 50? Do you want to die because you just learned at your expense that teleport or leap doesn't work that great in some maps/tiles?

I will give you an example, when I played my softcore barbarian, I could not care less about Leap and as such, I ditched it as soon as I could. When I started using it in hardcore on my HC barbarian, I [filtered]ed around with it, I leapt all over the place in normal. Partly out of boredom but also because I wanted to see how well it works in various environments. Did you know you could leap from the top of the ledge behind Wortham straight down to the Crazed Hermit? I didn't, but it showed me Leap works well in most environments. When I played a wizard and tried teleport, I was [filtered]ed. The pathing for teleport is terrible compared to Leap, often I would try to teleport to places where I could easily leap and found myself teleporting an inch ahead into a wall.

This is why you should equip an escape ability and play it, because when you need it, knowing how it works is the difference between teleporting a screen away and teleporting against the nearby wall and getting violated by a pack of angry unburied.

3.02 Spatial awareness

What is spatial awareness? It is the art of knowing where you are, and where things are next to you.

This is a great ability to develop when playing Diablo 3 and moreso in hardcore but it is also a somewhat abstract ability.

Here is an example, in the Dalghur Oasis, there are some houses and some of them have balconies with ramps. I was running one of them when I saw a pack of teleporting dervish champions, I was going to run and engage them on the balcony when I realized that this would be a terrible idea because the dervish could teleport to surround me and since the balcony was so narrow, I could very easily get shredded into oblivion. The logical solution was to run back down and fight them out in the open.

Another example would be the opposite scenario, running back to a narrow area to protect yourself from monsters (of the non-teleporting variety, preferably). The sand bridges of the unknown depths and storm halls (Zoltun Kulle dungeons) are good examples of such chokepoints you can use to fight one giant at a time.

The earlier were merely examples, there is no hard rule for spatial awareness, just look at where you are fighting & what you are fighting against and try to use the terrain to your advantage.

A third and final example, back to the Storm Halls. Remember those doorframes with walls of sand that you couldn't shoot or cast through? Monsters can't shoot or cast through them either. Those doorframes are awesome when fighting mortar monsters.
Posted by Member Methrin on 8/2/12 07:54 PM #11
Posts: 163

3.03 Running is a sound strategy

To be rewritten

3.04 Treasure goblins are really like bar of soaps

To be rewritten
Posted by Member LSOLive on 8/2/12 09:46 PM #12
Posts: 23

Some great tips! Do you use a follower at all? If so, would you mind explaining skills and such?
Posted by Member Methrin on 8/3/12 04:02 PM #13
Posts: 163

Posted by LSOLive at 08/02/2012 09:46 PM

Some great tips! Do you use a follower at all? If so, would you mind explaining skills and such?


I always use a follower, if only to provide a meatshield.

I will admit I have been very lazy with followers, I pretty much only used the templar in softcore and I've done the same in hardcore for 90% of the time. Not that it's a bad strategy, the templar is the only melee follower and as such is a great distraction for monsters and helps keep them away when I play ranged classes. His heals, his stun and his regen ability are all good too.

The only notable exception I have is my Witch Doctor, at 60 I switched to a Tank Doctor build and because of this I swapped the templar for the enchantress because of the armor bonus.
Posted by Member quivya on 8/3/12 05:20 PM #14
Posts: 1

Very solid guide to playing hardcore. I have done all i can in softcore and am now ready to start the real game "Hardcore", thanks for the tips.
Posted by Member Zoerdi on 8/3/12 06:08 PM #15
Posts: 2

@Methrin thanks for all the information! I have so much trouble in act 3 when the exploding guys come around and my latency is not the best so I have trouble running away..... is there anything you can recommend? Or am I just doomed to never finish act because my internet sucks :(
Posted by Member Methrin on 8/3/12 06:13 PM #16
Posts: 163

Posted by Zoerdi at 08/03/2012 06:08 PM

@Methrin thanks for all the information! I have so much trouble in act 3 when the exploding guys come around and my latency is not the best so I have trouble running away..... is there anything you can recommend? Or am I just doomed to never finish act because my internet sucks :(


Be very careful, play with a friend with a better latency in this zone or just skip it by having a friend invite you one step further.

Hell, I'm online right now, I can make you a game at Ghom if you'd like. I've never actually died facing these guys but I did get some close calls and I can sympathize. Add me if you're interested Methrin#1631, I'll check my game client periodically but keep in mind I'm editing the guide right now.
Posted by Member Zoerdi on 8/3/12 06:22 PM #17
Posts: 2

I am at work :( But I will totally take you up on that offer sometime!
Posted by Member Kalskel on 8/3/12 06:24 PM #18
Posts: 1

What's the economy like on hardcore core @methrin? Softcore is flooded with a ton of really good items for cheap, I have not played hardcore yet but I imagine all the good stuff is super exspensive as people are dying all the time? Also cool guide dude!
Posted by Member Methrin on 8/3/12 06:25 PM #19
Posts: 163

Posted by Zoerdi at 08/03/2012 06:22 PM

I am at work :( But I will totally take you up on that offer sometime!


Can do.

Just a general disclaimer, I added bold to points to make them stand out and I'm in the process of adding tips 2.10 and a couple of others who pop to mind.
Posted by Member Methrin on 8/3/12 06:32 PM #20
Posts: 163

Posted by Kalskel at 08/03/2012 06:24 PM

What's the economy like on hardcore core @methrin? Softcore is flooded with a ton of really good items for cheap, I have not played hardcore yet but I imagine all the good stuff is super exspensive as people are dying all the time? Also cool guide dude!


Depends.
Level 1 to 50 is dirt cheap if you shop more than once a day and don't get fooled by overpriced items (pro-tip: put a max buyout)
Level 50-59 gear increases a bit in price from what I've seen because there are a lot less people finding it and most of all, it's the part where you are the most "at risk" to die.
Level 60 gear can be surprisingly cheap if you just buy basic gear with no resists to help you clear Hell.
It's once you look into inferno gear that prices skyrocket, but then again, I'm too much of a scrooge to try and buy my way to inferno so it is a bit hard for me to judge how overpriced it is.

Keep in mind that making gold in hardcore is easy in 2 ways, lower level gear sells easily and you can just farm softcore gold and trade it for hardcore gold with people who like to play hardcore and like having softcore gold (like me).

When I hit 60 on my witch doctor I spent 200k gold to buy a decent level 60 weapon (600 dps, 11 mana per sec, 172 life on hit, 2.90% life steal) and 3 pieces of armor with int, vit and extra armor. It wasn't much but you know what? I can farm Act 3 Hell and kill everything but the nastiest packs of champions and I'm not scared when I get into fights with 2 packs of champions at once.
Posted by Member Methrin on 8/3/12 06:42 PM #21
Posts: 163

Goddammit. Either I'm stupid or this forum software hates me. I lost points 3.03 & 3.04 in editing.

I will kindly ask you guys to quote me whenever possible from now on, it might help recover some things I lose in editing.
Posted by Member Methrin on 8/3/12 07:04 PM #22
Posts: 163

Don't forget, I am laying down the basic frame of this guide and I will periodically go back and add points to earlier sections!

4.0 Math

This section will feature rough numbers and maybe specific ones for the more mathematically inclined amongst us. I say rough because I don't exactly write down every number.

4.01 Finishing normal mode

Finishing normal should be a walk in the park at level 31 and above with 4k or 5k hp. Dps is irrelevant, just buy a weapon before killing diablo and your dps will be more than high enough.

I have done it with every class, some of 'em more than once, it is absurdly easy.

4.02 Finishing nightmare mode

I have only cleared nightmare three times on hardcore. Once with a Witch Doctor and I had 30k hp and 3k dps at level 53 (I really wanted that healing journey rune for spirit walk). I regretted not doing it earlier. Those stats were waaaaaay overkill. I think I could have disconnected in the middle of diablo's nastiest attacks and still survived. The second time I used a monk with 2k DPS and 25k hp, it was still somewhat easy. A coworker of mine did it as a WD with 15k hp, he said he was really scared of dying at times.
I have done it again as a monk with 22k HP, 2300 DPS, 2750 DPS with Breath of Heaven's damage boost and it was really easy.

4.03 Finishing hell mode

Not sure. Haven't gotten around to it. I like having a living character who can farm with Nephalem Valor. I probably won't bother clearing act 4 until I get my second 60.

4.04 Finishing inferno mode

I have screenshots of the stats of barbarians who killed Diablo in iinferno in hardcore. Here are the rough numbers:
1600+ Strength
1400+ Vitality
16k Dps
1000+ Resist All
0 Crit from gear
0 Crit chance from gear
500 life on hit
One barb had 9k armor, the other 12k
Posted by Member Methrin on 8/4/12 07:51 AM #23
Posts: 163

I saved the guide in a word document to avoid future losses and also added points 2.11, 2.12 & 2.13.
Posted by Member Methrin on 8/4/12 10:37 AM #24
Posts: 163

Introducing the next chapter, cartography!

5.0 Cartography

In this chapter, we'll cover specific information about various areas of the game, namely the areas you'll love and the ones you'll hate. Areas to love include areas that are relatively safe, great to grind for exp and overall unlikely to die in. Areas to hate are areas where dying is a lot more likely, areas you should not be ashamed to try to skip on Hell or inferno.

5.1.0 Act 1

Act 1 is deceptive, it's a breeze on normal and also nightmare but you can get nasty surprises in Hell and Inferno.

5.1.01 Areas you will love

5.1.01.01 Cemetary of the forsaken & crypts

The cemetary of the forsaken and the crypts inside it are great for a number of reasons.

First of all, the monsters are all very tame. Zombies don't chase you very fast, skeletons are braindead and the events in the crypts provide good exp. A very good spot to grind exp if you don't feel like progressing further in act 1 for the meanwhile.

5.1.01.02 The watchtower

This dungeon is located in the northern highlands, you can find by taking the waypoint to northern highlands and just run up. It isn't a guaranteed spawn.

The great thing about this dungeon is that it's fairly short, it's easy because it's mostly populated by skeletons (which we all know aren't a very big threat) and considering the size of it, you can sometimes get absurd amounts of champions/rares, I've heard of people finding 8 packs. Great spot to farm and a must to include in any farming run.

5.1.02 Areas you will hate

Remember what I said about Act 1 being deceptive? Here's why.

5.1.02.01 Caverns of Araneae

This area is terribly inconsistent. It is often an ok area, but once in a blue moon you will find a terrible pack of champion spiderlings. The big problem with the little bastards is that they are very fast, hit very hard and a bad combo of affixes can really kill you fast. This area is not a problem on normal, shouldn't be a problem on nightmare if you are careful but definitely be extra careful on Hell & Inferno.

5.1.02.02 Fields of Misery

The problem with this area is similar to caverns of Araneae. 90% of the time you'll breeze through it, the other 10% you will encounter a horrible pack of Savage Beasts. This is exacerbated by the beasts' charge ability which they can use before you can see them.

5.1.02.03 Wortham

This map is small and has a small clearing and a long corridor. This map is harder with each difficulty because of the dark berserkers. These guys are bad news if you're not careful but on a map like Wortham they can be your worst nightmare if they are, say, arcane enchanted & Waller.
Posted by Member Methrin on 8/5/12 03:16 PM #25
Posts: 163

5.2.0 Act 2

Act 2 is very different from Act 1 in the sense that Act 2 introduces several new monsters, most of which are very annoying or dangerous. As such, going from Act 1 to Act 2 on Hell & Inferno is a big step.

5.2.01 Areas you will love

Act 2’s areas to love can also be dangerous. I personally have somewhat of a love-hate relationship with it because of the deaths I’ve had there and the easy smooth leveling I’ve had on other occasions.

5.2.01.01 Dalghur Oasis

I like the Dalghur Oasis for two main reasons, it’s a big wide open area with various obstacles and even chokepoints and it’s the only wide big wide open area of Act where you won’t find dangerous ranged monsters. As such, if you have a good spatial awareness, the Oasis is a terrific spot to level in. Of course, the Oasis can spawn some very nasty monsters (Dervishes, fallen overlords and those Snake things) but most of those are easier to deal with if you fight them in the wrong spots.

Bonus: If you find an unbeatable/very dangerous pack, you can lead it to a cellar/dungeon, go inside it, make a town portal and go back to the oasis through one of the two waypoints in it.

5.2.01.02 Storm Halls, Unknown Depths & Realm of Shadow aka those three dungeons before Zoltun Kulle

This is probably my favorite spot in the whole game because it looks amazing and it’s a great spot to grind a few levels if you’re at the top of your game.

The Realm of Shadow is great because it’s always the same thing, a bunch of shades (easy exp), some ghosts, a handful of imps and the occasional giants which aren’t too bad thanks to chokepoints.

The Unknown depths & Storm Halls are different, 80% of the time you get an undead spawn (Skeletons & constructs) the other 20% you get fallens. Both are nice and both are deadly if you’re not careful. Whichever spawn you get, you’ll also have imps and giants.

Now, here are some things to know:
- The sand walls block projectiles. Useful to protect yourself against mortar monsters, arrows and magic missiles.
- The sand bridges are semi-solid. You can walk through them but some skills will fall through them (i.e. Witch Doctor Firebomb does not work super well on that surface)
- Imps & giants always rise from the ground. What this means is that if you see a bunch of yellow circles on the floor with no monsters, stay the hell away because it means there is a pack of invincible minions there (big = giants, small = imp). Sometimes you will see green circles which disappear and reappear, those are shielding minions.
- The floor has a very small depth in some areas, which means that if you keep an eye out, you can actually spot some giants from far away (i.e. the floor is maybe 5 feet deep and the giant being 20 feet tall means you see 15 feet of giant dangling from the bottom)
- Fallen maps are hard for one thing, the lunatics. Maybe I have had rotten luck but I swear that everytime I get a fallen map, I end up with either or both a lunatic rare and lunatic champions. I mention this because nothing is a worst surprise than finding out they have vortex and having your escape ability on coodlwon.
- Undead maps are hard because of constructs, specifically the flaming ones. Flaming constructs leave puddles of fire which deal a lot of fire damage. If they hit you for too much, just run away.
- Running out of these maps is always safe. Monsters don’t spawn around Leah!

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