Hardcore Mode is a Difficulty Mode in Diablo 2. Hardcore Mode can be unlocked by finishing the game on Normal difficulty. Difficulty Modes affect a playthrough's challenge, you can create and join games on the next difficulty level once you have defeated the game on its previous difficulty.
Hardcore Mode Information
Hardcore mode can be unlocked after finishing the game on Normal difficulty.
In order to create a Hardcore Character, you have to check the Hardcore box located on the character creation screen.
After doing this, you can create a Hardcore Character, that in essence is the same as a normal character, with the only difference that if your character dies, the game ends, and that character alongside all his/her equipment is lost forever.
Dying in Hardcore Mode
As mentioned before, when a Hardcore Character dies, it remains dead forever and can't be recovered. A message will appear on the screen, stating "you have died. Press ESC to continue. Your deeds of valor will be remembered."
When you hit ESC, you will be again in Battle.net chat channel, as a ghost. Your dead character will still show up on the ladder, until you decide to delete them. Hardcore Ghosts will be removed from the realms after 90 days if you do not refresh them by logging on during that time.
Hardcore Survival Tips
Hardcore players need to be extra careful, there are many cases in which a bad decision, like not wanting to spend a potion because you feel your health is high enough while fighting, may lead up to the loss of a well-equipped character. These situations are what differentiate the Hardcore players from the softcore or normal ones. They don't fear to waste a resource in order to assure survivability.
It is important to learn about Resistances and Breakpoints, as well as be aware of what Build direction you will decide to take when leveling up your character. Deciding on the fly, is not wise and may lead to stagnation or frustration on higher difficulty levels.
Tip for Saving Equipment in Hardcore Mode
You can save your equipment if your character dies in Hardcore Mode. You have to be in a Multiplayer game, preferably with friends or people you know, then set other players in the party to "loot". This will enable those characters to pick the items off your corpse when you die. Note that this has to be done before you die, and only applies to the items you had currently equipped at the time of death, not to the items in the Stash, Horadric Cube or Inventory.
This is a risky play and may not pay off in some cases, so consider it carefully before proceeding with this plan.
Earning Hardcore Titles
When a Hardcore Character completes the game, they earn a title depending on the difficulty level in which the game was completed.
For Diablo 2 Hardcore character, these are the following titles:
- Normal: Count for male, Countess for female.
- Nightmare: Duke for male, Duchess for female.
- Hell: King for male, Queen for female
For Diablo 2 Expansion hardcore characters, the titles are the following:
- Normal: Destroyer for both genders.
- Nightmare: Conqueror for both genders.
- Hell: Guardian for both genders.