Five months of grinding at my hardcore Diablo 3 character – undone in a moment

Maybe it seems silly but I’d become rather attached to this character… Then again, I did take five months to get her there.

Needle

She was my first hardcore character and around last Monday (or maybe the Sunday – I’m not sure) I finally got her to the point where level 51 greater rifts became easy to complete within the time limit. That allowed me to get legendary gems up to level 54, the highest I’d achieved, and I was in the process of playing until I could augment (again) all her equipment with level 54 legendary gems to get even more powerful.

And just like that, seconds before meeting the rift guardian with five minutes to spare, some arbitrary enemy I didn’t even see as a threat, critically hit me… twice. Goodbye Needle, although your softcore sister Arya, a weaker character somehow even at paragon level 786, lives on.

Fuck.

You might think I’m silly to take this so seriously – it’s only a game after all. But it isn’t. Not for me. The other games are for my son to play on the Xbox. This one is my escape from all my woes, such as my mother’s death last month. This one is my escape from the dreary miserable reality of life, and now I went and fucked it up by being overconfident and playing recklessly.

Anyway, all is not lost… Paragon levels are shared across all characters on the same player account (per core, thus all my softcore characters are level 786, and all hardcore are 762), so my brand new character is already Paragon level 762 in Torment 4, having levelled up once earlier. Actually she’s ready to be promoted to the next difficulty, but I am taking it slow until I have all my preferred items.

It takes about 3 days to play through story mode and begin adventure mode, but the real grind is getting my items. First I must get all the preferred items I use, then I must get not merely legendary, but ancient legendary versions of each, and then I must grind to get legendary gems, three of which I use and the rest I augment with my items, to a high level. And that will take months. (It’s a gradual process. Playing a standard rift gives you a rift key, so you can play a greater rift. Completing greater rifts within the time limit yields legendary gems and allows you to level them up, but only 4 times after completing a rift. Higher rift levels give a better probability of successfully ranking up gems but that probability drops with higher level gems, meaning ever higher level rifts are needed. So this is a gradual process that takes months, but my characters seem to reach a ceiling where they are stuck at around level 50 greater rifts, also known as Torment 11. This character that died was my first that seemed to be about to rise above that level.)

Of course I am again optimising my character for damage per second (and armor), so no passive skill or item can save her from taking mortal damage. Nope… All passive skills must be used to do more damage. I reckon if I can get by like that for five months, I can do it again.

At least I’ll still be busy for a while. I don’t really care to play any other game any time soon.