Hardcore is a WHOLE different game

Since resurrected has come out, two of my friends and I have been playing hardcore and hardcore only. We wanted to experience the game as a challenge. Force us to take the game slower and overall enjoy the game more. After all, we're adults now and we felt that softcore did not provide the same sense of accomplishment since you could just die, keep your gear, and keep going. Throughout the years, we've been playing other ARPGs to scratch that itch (mostly PoE). So, we've learned quite a bit in our adult years about theorycrafting and learning game mechanics to our benefit. And, we're kind of group-self founding (sp?) D2:R right now.

So far, each of us have lost a character (at different stages of gear and level). My buddy lost a Hammerdin in his 40's. He has now since moved onto a lightning sorc and currently sitting at low 80's. My other friend has lost his Hammerdin recently in his 70's to Hell Council in Travincal (F). (side note: he recently releveled another one and in his 60's he lost his character. not to dying but logging in to Blizzard shit servers and finding his character missing from the menu). I have lost two alts in early 20's amidst rushing levels and subsequently losing all my leveling gear in the process. I still have my main, a level 78 lightning Javazon and another lvl 70 Firewall Sorc.

The game is a beast. I will say with confidence that playing hardcore is so much more difficult (and EXHILARATING). There's a rush of adrenaline every time you get swarmed by a mob of minions and rares. The game definitely does not hold your hand into Hell and you end up forcing yourself to farm as much as possible to gear yourself to move forward. But the play style is different. You look at the game different. You can't just glass canon everything. Builds are different to favor survivability. One example is telekinesis.

Prior to playing hardcore, I would never have thought to max out Telekinesis, but it has its benefits. For those of you that don't know, Energy Shield receives a synnergy from Telekinesis. However, the game doesn't explicitly say what that synnergy is like most skills. The hidden benefit is Mana lost per point of damage is 0.0625 less per level. This means that at Telekinesis level 16 1 point of damage consumes 1 point of Mana, down from 2, and level 20 brings this down to 0.75 from 2. This is huge. this helps sorceresses get out of so many situations. If you have 7 levels in ES (mostly from +skills if you have two spirits, a lore runeword, and another + skills modifier which is my current setup with my sorc), you have 50% absorption of damage. Meaning of 100 dmg 50 is absorbed by mana, 50 is taken from life subject to resistances. if you then take the Telekinesis calculations at max level, that 50 points of mana loss becomes 37.5. That's an additional 12.5 mana remaining per 100 dmg (or 12.5 points of mitigated damage). that's the equivalent mana needed to cast a lvl 13 teleport. The difference being if you put 1 point (remember that + to skills does not effect synnergies) into Telekinesis and receive the same damage with a lvl 7 ES, you're looking at losing almost 2 points of mana per 1 point of absorbed damage. That 100 dmg dealt is now 100 mana lost and 50 health. At level 70 you only have 173 mana prior to gear. That's more than half your mana gone after receiving 100 damage. In Hell a single zombie can do upwards to 114 dmg.

altogether, I'm loving Diablo 2 AGAIN. and its playing the game in hardcore that's keeping me interested in the game even further. I'm looking at the game in a whole new light and i'm appreciating it. Leveling different builds for different areas to farm, and relying on my knowledge and each other to progress further. We haven't beat Hell yet, but we will!

p.s. I'm so desperate to beat hell so my javazon can zoom-zoom cows, but i'm going to have to wait… (anyone wanna… ahem help? JK. it would take away from my own feelings of accomplishment to do that)


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