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Diablo 3

Fastest Way to Level Hardcore Characters

Leveling Hardcore characters is no joke, because obviously you need to be careful every step of the way. This guide should help give you some pointers on how to level your hardcore characters quickly!

Here is a basic strategy I have used myself with great results with many hardcore characters so far:

I do the following:
1) Start with some +xp gear with no/low level requirements in stash.
2) Level with this gear straight through Act I normal (end ~level 15) to Act II Maghda, upgrading from stash/AH with better +xp gear and weapons as I can.
3) Once I've killed Magdha, I do the quest to kill her a few times till I'm 22-23.
4) Then, after a few upgrades, I quest until I've killed Kulle (Soulstone Chamber quest).
5) Run Kulle (more info below) from 24-30 (takes about 1-1.5 hours solo, 2 if you're slow and spend some time on the AH in between).
6) Run Act 3 straight through, should get you to 32-34. If things get too hard, repeat some of the easier quests and/or spend some gold at the AH.
7) Run Act 4 straight through. (Should finish at 34, maybe 35)
8) Run Act I NM until Wortham.
9) Repeat Wortham NM until level 40.
10) Run Act I NM from Wortham until Butcher (should get you through 41).
11) Run Act II NM through to Maghda NM (level 42).
12) Repeat Maghda 42 -> 45 (or whenever you're ready for Kulle, HP should be around 12-15k, can be lower if you're awesome).
13) Run to Kulle (45), repeat until 50.
And that's where I am now. I've done this or a subset with every class so far, and haven't lost a character yet.

After Act 2 NM is where things get interesting I hear, but I imagine questing straight through from 50 to Act I Hell Wortham, and then repeating that until 60 or close to it.

Continuous Farm Runs

One thing that I highly recommend doing with hardcore characters is farming the same spots over and over again. The reason why is because you will know what you are up against, and you will know what you will need to do to clear the mobs out, and it is extremely safe to level a hardcore character quickly.

Zoltun Kulle Run:

Killing Kulle as a Demon Hunter on HardcoreFor example, Kulle running IMO is a great farm run for hardcore characters:

What you need:

A friend with a character (preferably a Demon Hunter) that can run Kulle with ease in seconds.

1) Friend makes game on the Kill Zoltun Kulle quest point and enters game.
2) Once in-game your friend takes waypoint to Kulle and enters his room. (Demon Hunter is good because vault with sprint passive makes running fast to portal).
3) Now he whispers you "ok" and only now can you join the game (enter before and you cant skip the 'join boss' popup).
4) Wait in town and hand in the quest to Adria when done.
5) Both leave, repeat as many times as you wish.

It takes between 4-6 runs per level past the first couple, but I timed our runs at only 1min each. I went from 1 to 22 in maybe 65 mins. Definitely faster than questing through.

You also get just over 1k gold per handin so you can make 60k easily as you boost up.

Other good farm/XP runs:

-Wortham is another good run for hardcore characters. Wortham gives 20k as quest reward, and about 10k from the mobs if you're not too over leveled.

The Doom in Wortham

-The "Lieutenant Vachem" under "Road to Arcanus" in Act II. Take waypoint, go in cellar, Talk/Fight Maghda, leave cellar, help Iron Wolves kill hidden guards. Takes about 2 minutes each time and worth a decent amount.

-In Act I, not sure about exact place. I just call him the crazed weaponmaker. Help him out. Get XP, but be careful not to step to next waypoint. He doesn't always spawn either, so just exit and restart if he isn't there.

-In Act II "Unexpected Allies" is relatively safe and good experience.

-The Maghda fight. A bit more XP than Alcarnus but takes longer.

-I find the first two quests in A3 (lighting signal fires and raising catapults) is pretty good too, and since it takes a while you do not get so insanely bored and you usually get a few rares per run.

Learn to safely escape when in trouble

Hardcore in D3 is incredibly more difficult than D2. I'm not even talking about the monster difficulty. Blizzard basically took away the safety net:

- no escape+exit to get out of jam
- no more spamming potions/rejuvs to keep your health up.
- no town portal escapes.

The time delays on all the above makes hardcore mode feel impossible when you get in over your head. Now your only solution appears to be to somehow stop/slow enemies as you try and runaway. Especially as a wizard this is quite difficult. Tell me it's easier when you get Teleport :) I haven't had a chance to try it yet to even see what types of limitations that has. My last wizard died just before reaching this skill.

Here are some safety tips for Diablo 3 if you fear you will get close to dying:

-Always make sure you wait for your escape abilities to complete cooldown before engaging in battles.

Diablo 3 Waypoint-Never run into unexplored areas. Keep an eye on the map and run back in the direction you have already cleared. Run all the way back to the last waypoint if you have to.

-Use defense abilities!  But don't be too defensive. You have to have damage and hitpoints too! Killing quickly is just as important as having a high HP.

Lastly, studying professional hardcore strategy guides for Diablo 3 would greatly help your chance of living. Diablo 3 Gold Secrets By Peng Joon provides these guides and more.

 

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Diablo 3 Sitemap:

General Guides:
Diablo 3 Basic Monster List
How to use a PS3 Controller to Play Diablo 3
Templar, Scoundrel, and Enchantress FAQ
List of Legendary Items in Diablo 3
General Weapon and Item Stats Guide
Elite Monster Attribute Meanings
Next Diablo 3 Expansion Speculations
How to get to the Secret Cow Level
Normal Difficulty Overview
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Need help finding House of Curios?
What Really Makes Diablo 3 a Fun Game?

Bosses
Belial Class Guide

Farming
Easy Diablo 3 Treasure - Farming Secrets
Gold & Gear Gathering Tips for Level 60s

Hardcore
Why Should I Create a Hardcore Character?
Fastest Way to Level Hardcore Characters
Class Guides:
Barbarian
Barbarian Tank Guide for Hell/Inferno
Barbarian Strategy Guide for Inferno
Barbarian Hardcore Guide for Normal Difficulty

Monk
Monk Tanking Tips for Hell Difficulty
Monk Inferno Guide - Life Leech Build
Monk - Inferno Guide

Witch Doctor
Witch Doctor Solo Strategy for Inferno
Hardcore Witch Doctor Tips for High Levels

Demon Hunter
Good Demon Hunter Build for Hell/Inferno

Wizard
1-60 Wizard Leveling Guide
How Weapon Items Affect DPS for a Wizard
 

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