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Hardcore & Solo Self-Found Guides are LIVE!

Last Updated: August 7th 2023

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Our two Content Creators Raxxanterax & wudijo have both decided to play Hardcore SSF (Solo Self-Found) this Season. Hardcore (HC) is a game mode just like the regular game with one important twist: a character's death is permanent! When that happens your character and all their equipped items, inventory and followers are gone forever. You need to be ready to lose it all at any moment (even at no fault of your own).

The SSF aspect means that a player is own their own and is unable to group or play with anyone else. This makes character progression much more difficult as you lose the ability to loot share with a group at any time, the benefit of grinding Paragon in a group as well as the ability to complete Bounties quickly.

Here Raxxanterax & wudijo share some of their experiences they've had while playing Hardcore SSF as we introduce two brand new guides on these two topics. Many players have shown interest in these playstyles and we hope these guides will help you find success if you choose to give it a shot!

Raxx and Wudi talk about their Season 25

Hey Raxx and wudi! Glad to have you around. How has Season 25 gone for you so far?

Raxx: After a miserable start (dying with my fully-powered Inna Monk on Day 1 to a disconnect), things have been going very well! I currently have 5 Solo 150s done (Monk, Demon Hunter, Crusader, Barbarian, Witch Doctor) and will be trying to finish the last 2 (Necromancer & Wizard) before the season ends. The balance of the classes is in a much better spot than it has been previously, so it’s fun to switch over to different builds and have them be viable. Overall Blizzard is making Diablo 3 a better game season by season in my eyes.

Wudi: I also had an absolute blast so far. Normally I start out as a group player and then proceed to push solo after week 2 of a season. This time I also went for Hardcore and 100% solo similar to Raxx again after a long time and enjoyed it thoroughly. The Inna Monk's power is a bit over the top but rushing to GR150 solo and farming with it in the first few days was a great experience before I moved on to other classes.

How did you like the Soul Shards season theme? 

Wudi: The Soul Shards have been amazing, it’s definitely one of the most exciting themes so far! While their legendary powers are interesting, it’s especially the free augments that have been the greatest boon for someone like me who plays dozens of different builds in a season. I heard similar comments from many other people, so I expect that the devs will identify the problems the game has without them and we will get permanent improvements in that area starting in S26.

Raxx: To echo Wudi’s comments, I’d say this theme is in the top 2 best they’ve ever had (the other being Ethereals in Season 24). The Soul Shards not only provide a massive power boost, but they can completely alter the way you approach a build. The free augments have been instructive to those not familiar with the recipe, making players feel more powerful and knowledgeable. From my perspective it’s been a great season for everyone in the community and I’m looking forward to what they’ll come up with next.

Why did you decide to play HC SSF and what do you enjoy most about it?

Raxx: The main reason I switched to HC SSF two seasons ago was to relate better with the community. Many people play solo with a limited amount of time, so if I blast Paragon Levels as hard as I can with an efficient group all day, there’s a big disconnect in our gaming experiences. Now that I’m playing Solo and Hardcore, I hope it inspires others that they can achieve great things without dedicating their lives to the XP grind. The Hardcore part makes it interesting because every moment could be my last. Who knows what will happen tomorrow, will we achieve greatly, or fail miserably? The uncertainty of it all has a certain allure and beauty to it.

Wudi: I have been playing Hardcore on and off since Vanilla, starting with it right after my first ever Diablo kill on Inferno difficulty to then do the same in that mode. Similarly, I had seasons focusing both on SC and HC at the same time and trying to achieve top ranks in both modes despite the double grind load. The risk vs. reward ratio is more exciting and the competition is much cleaner because there is generally fewer cheaters around on HC.

What were both your most memorable highs and lows in S25 so far?

Wudi: For me the greatest part was definitely the first 3 days of the season when I decided to go for the world first GR150 solo Hardcore clear. It was a crazy rush to gear up and grind my way all the way to the highest tier and I’m happy with how it has worked out. My lowest low was losing both my 150-capable Zunimassa & Arachyr setups to game lag-related disconnects on the same day before I could get a clear on either of them, so I abandoned the idea of going for all classes 150 after that. I had invested over 50h into gearing the Witch Doctor with no intention of going back for more and running into the same issues again. 

Raxx: My highs and lows are the complete opposite of Wudi’s. My start was ruined by a disconnect where I had to start all over. A lot of people would’ve given up right then and moved onto another game, but I’m stubborn and had to get revenge. So we rebuilt our character and eventually took the first 150 clear in North America. The biggest high though was how things went on my Witch Doctor. It is pretty well known that they are not my favorite class, and I was not optimistic about my ability to clear 150 with it. Still, I built it the best I could, and after only plugging 7 keys I had it down without a Conduit or a Power Pylon. I couldn’t believe it; It made me feel amazing! I would’ve never guessed that my favorite moment from this season would come from that class.

Which was the most fun build for you this season? 

Raxx: Definitely LoD HoTA. I love the Barbarian class and any time I get to charge around and smash stuff, I take it. I really wish there was a more viable way to fit spear into the build, but I simply didn’t have the damage to drop Battle Rage to play it that way. I’m also looking forward to showing the true power of Corpse Explosion when I build my Necromancer. 

Wudi: Unfortunately I didn't get around to trying a lot of Barb, which I will add to my next season's goals instead. I enjoyed both Inna & Marauder very much but I have played a lot of great off-meta builds, too. My favorite ones were probably Helltooth Zombie Bears, Uliana Monk & Tempest Rush. I also had some fun with really terrible meme builds around Spike Traps & Shield Bash :D

Since you guys are on Hardcore, do you have any juicy death stories?

Wudi: My last RIP definitely made things quite difficult. I walked into a GR145 with my Mundunugu Witch Doctor wearing my GG primal CoE and a GG Squirt’s Necklace and had a bugged cheat death that didn’t proc right at the entrance. This cost me valuable items I would have needed on other pushes, which was by far the most upsetting loss of the whole season. Luckily I had finished with all 6 Witch Doctor leaderboards by then so I could move on from that class :D. 

Raxx: I had a death last season that still haunts me to this day. I farmed the ENTIRE season for a specific Ethereal I needed to push for Rank 1. After 2 months of farming it finally dropped, and I was ready to show the world what I was made of. I opened a key to do a test run to see what specific setup I wanted to run, when Voracity farted everywhere, threw his globs at me, and killed me before I even got a chance to push with my new beautiful weapon. If that isn’t heartbreaking, I don’t know what is.

How do you think official SSF support could help the game?

Raxx: People like to feel accomplished in the game, which coincides with either obtaining rewards or leaderboard placements. While SSF may not yield new rewards (although it could!), it would provide a more “fair” leaderboard for people to climb since Diablo 3 gives almost every advantage to group play. I also think it would strengthen, not weaken, the community as many people may want to share their solo experiences with others on forums, Discords, YouTube, Twitch etc. Give us SSF please! 

Wudi: Totally agree with Raxx here. An official SSF mode or at least leaderboard filter option would go a long way in Diablo 3 as we see more and more games in the ARPG-genre moving into that direction. For many it's simply the standard way to play and with how imbalanced group vs. solo is in the game, I believe many would appreciate that option (especially if bounty farming would be improved for solo, too).

What are your goals for the rest of the Season?

Wudi: For me Season 25 has been quite an adventure but I’m pretty much done with it. I have pushed over 30 different builds to rank 1 on their respective leaderboards and with the exception of Wizard and Barb cleared GR150 on all classes (let’s ignore the Witch Doctors for now, I did my part there). I simply have almost nothing left to do aside from maybe a few more days of gearing & pushing these last two classes a bit more, so I will instead focus on blasting and producing guides for the upcoming PoE expansion until the next D3 PTR and S26. 

Raxx: For me at this point it’s simple: I have 5/7 of the classes with 150 down, so I want to finish off the last 2. I am quite confident I can clear it with Necromancer for 6/7, but Wizard will be the ultimate challenge. If I get 7/7 150s this season, it will be the greatest thing I’ve done in this game by a long shot.

Any last comments for our readers?

Raxx: Here are 3 things to remember:

  1. Play the game to have fun. We can make guides and give our opinions all day long, but in the end it’s your valuable spare time you’re spending. 
  2. Try different classes and builds. How will you know what you like if you don’t try it? You may just find your new favorite class/build along the way!
  3. Be kind to others in the community. You’d be surprised how many friends you can make just by being social and friendly.

Wudi: Diablo 3 is in one of the best spots it's ever been in my opinion. Tons of new and returning players are showing up on my Twitch and YouTube every day and the hype of a new season start is felt. What Raxx said are great points - even with all this focus on builds, efficiency, leaderboards etc. it's still all about having fun. I hope we see a lot more great seasons until we will finally get to experience the next installment. We'll be here for you guys ;)

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