I lost my first hardcore character in Diablo 3 today.
Jessica, my hardcore wizard, was created when the Reaper of Souls expansion was released. The original goal was to kill Maltheal, then the goal became get to level 70. I accomplished both without any big scares.
Once her damage reached over 200,000 I decided to kick up the difficulty to hard. Risky, yes, but I knew I could manage. And I did manage for quite some time.
The switch was comfortable at first, so much so that I took a break to play my hardcore demon hunter, Chani, a bit more.
Chani reached 70, she looted quite well, she played around with different builds, and she boosted me up to paragon 30.
With the bonus skills and experience, I turned back to Jessica to buff her up some and take advantage of the two-year anniversary loot buff.
The loot was very slow to begin with, until I gambled with Kadala and got Firebird's Eye on the first item.
I geeked out, to say the least. A set item on a gamble!? My two options were stash it and try to add on to the set, or use it as my main source and change my build. I chose the latter.
Jessica was the second coming of my Diablo 2 orb sorc; or a sorceress built around the Frozen Orb skill. I was using ice attacks like it was nobody's business, so the change to fire attacks was something brand new to me.
I kept most of the same skills, but altered the runes to fire damage, and added Explosive Blast because of the newly added damage boost that my Firebird's Eye gave me. So with that, I changed my passives to do more close-range damage.
All went well at first. I was throwing great balls of fire left and right, managing my mana consumption well, dealing quick damage. My toughness remained close to where it was before, and I never dipped under 50 percent health.
Until I started my third bounty in Act IV.
The champion phasebeasts were on me FAST, and I tried to retreat to a safer distance, until they had me trapped against the wall. I spammed every attack I could, tried to run away, run through them, but I was pinned. My health hit zero and my Unstable Anomaly passive kicked in. Blasts, black holes, scorching. Nothing got me out of there.
Then it was over.
Two of the phasebeasts died shortly after me, leaving the third champion with just a sliver of health left. I almost made it...
Jessica is gone.
It's a strange feeling. I'm not upset, I don't feel like I've lost, nothing was wasted. At the very end I can say I had fun.
In Diablo 2, the only hardcore character I played as was a necromancer, and I only played hardcore with a group. He's waiting in Act III to continue on, but he isn't dead.
I still have Chani and a level 60 witch doctor, characters I will still play more of to challenge me. I will learn from my experience with Jessica (I won't say mistakes), and if I get to a point where I try a new build, I will test it on Normal before advancing to Hard.
Death is inevitable, but I hope it's a much, much longer time before I post my next requiem.