Diablo 2: Lord of Desctruction is definitely in my top five games of all time and very well could be number one.  I’ve been drawn back to D2 so many times I can’t count.  I’ve made all the builds and then some, my personal favorite being the mind blade Assassin.   Naturally, Diablo 3 was big on my radar.  I got my Monk up through Inferno and into the lower paragon levels, but for some reason D3 just didn’t hook me like I wanted it to.  Maybe it’s been too long, maybe I can’t put in the time I used to (or set up the Pindlebot to do it for me).

With Diablo 3 recently being released on consoles, the flurry of posts on the Diablo subreddit has given me the itch to play again.  In all my time in Diablo, I’ve never made a hardcore character.  Hardcore in Diablo means one thing – permanent death.  One misstep, one wrong click, one unfortunate lag spike and the hours/days/weeks you’ve put into your character are lost forever.  I’ve heard the challenge can really forge a bond between you and the character you’re playing with.  Sure, I could make another softcore character, die 250 times on my way to max level, but why not crank it up?

So with this in mind, I’m making my first ever hardcore character — Pranteri, the female wizard.  I’m going to try something a bit different and do a live blog of my travels.  Since the game came out over a year ago, I’m not going to warn about spoilers.  There will be some.  Hopefully this is more than just a one-part series.

Slight spoiler as I forgot to take a screenshot to start, but here she is!
Slight spoiler as I forgot to take a screenshot to start, but here she is!

10:30pm — Here we go!  Zombies attacking the gates, yadda yadda yadda.  Nothing to really worry about.

10:35pm — Turns out your stash, gold, and blacksmith/jewelcrafter levels are all reset in hardcore.  I only had about 7M gold to my name, so it’s not really a loss.  Woulda been nice, though.

10:38pm — BURN THE WITCHES!  The first quest is a breeze.

10:44pm — Aaaand the first scare.  Fighting the big fatties that explode and leave snakes on the ground, I realize they have a small aura that shows the explosion radius.  Got down to about half health, but we forge on.

10:58pm — Cain, you old bastard, how do you always get in such sticky situations?  The named mob gave me no trouble, as I had Frost Nova to keep him at bay.

I’ve heard this man say, “Stay a while and listen” so many times, I use it as a notification tone.

11:13pm — Trudging through the cathedral en route to the Town Portal gem/tool/thing, I encounter enemies that both raise allies and cast spells a la Fallen Shaman.  I got jumped by two of them, but Pranteri lives to fight another day.

11:25pm — Time to head back to the Leoric’s Passage and find … well, King Leoric.  Insert nostalgia to playing D2 as a summoning Necromancer, using the arm of the aforementioned King.

11:32pm — A room of three summoners.  Almost bit it, but had a potion handy.  Whew!

11:42pm — Say what you want about the gameplay and the loot system, but the physics in this game really are incredible.  Pieces of barrels and walls are always flying around and monsters get blasted across the screen when hit with enough force.

11:55pm — YES!  The first follower — Kormac, the Templar.  Whoever voiced this guy gave it 110% all day, every day.  If only his colleague had been so strong.

You were a templar, Jondar!
You were a templar, Jondar!

12:13am — Kormac is talking shit right to King Leoric’s face.  I love this guy.

12:16am — Found Leoric’s first journal.  He sounds exactly like Prince Humperdinck from The Princess Bride.  Unfortunately, it’s not the same actor.

12:24am — First big challenge down in King Leoric.  I might have been a little overzealous with the levelling as he wasn’t the challenge I remember him being on my other characters.

End of chapter 1 - still alive!
End of chapter 1 – still alive!

I’ll end it here for the night.  Pranteri lives on with Cain rescued, Kormac at her side, and the mysterious totally-not-Tyrael stranger in the mix.  Here’s to a long, illustrious journey!

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