Diablo® III

[CO-OP] HC Self-Found League

When I first started the idea of doing some kind of HC Self-Found endeavour, this was originally going to be more of a personal choice decision. I posted about my idea and was basically told that I'm nuts for trying to do this (i.e. gimping myself in terms of items and gears) and suggestions that I relax the AH requirement. Upon reading this, I came to acknowledge the difficulty I may be setting myself up for by choosing this way, and I decided to take another tact and instead of introducing AH (which I am loathe to do at this point), I decided to try to find other like-minded people and seeing if this can become a joint venture... essentially taking the idea of a strength-in-numbers approach.

As it turns out, there are more people who want to play the game in this way than I originally thought, and people started talking about forming a "league" of HCSF players. I thought about it and decided to call it a co-operative (co-op for short) because I felt that this would be more indicative of what I'm hoping to achieve.

So what started as a more personal thing seems to be turning into something bigger than I had envisioned and there are more people joining this small movement than I actually imagined. Personally, I'm having a lot more fun with that than I ever had with the whole AH thing. I'm still committed to playing AH-free, even if it magnifies how difficult this can be because I believe that this game can still be played (and beaten) without the use of AH. It might be slower, but the achievements would be more meaningful to me. So with that, here are some of the ideas that inform the HCSF Co-operative movement as I see it.

Reasons for an HCSF Co-operative (or league)
(1) Playing self-found can be difficult & slow to progress if you play solo all the way through
(2) Playing self-found can be very isolating -- you will typically have gimped DPS/EHP playing this way in comparison to others and may not be welcomed in public games even if you wanted to join a group as you may be seen as leeching off of that group
(3) Kinship -- playing self-found as a group (or group-found) allows for a deeper kinship to build over time as you share more items that you craft, purchase via vendor, inherit from other HCSFers, or looted with other team-mates. As much as you receive from others, you will also be contributing to other people's gearing which helps build greater camaraderie
(4) At any given time, there are new HCSFers leveling up -- gives you an opportunity level up a new HC toon yourself with them AND/OR to help them up along the way

Principles of HC Self-Found Co-op (as far as I see it):
(1) No Auction House use of any kind (direct or indirect) -- this would include any items inherited from friends that have passed through AH (hard to enforce, but try to stick to this). Ideally, I don't want any item being used to be tainted by going through the AH.
(2) Crafting, purchasing from vendors, looting, and inherited from fellow HCSFers are all fair-game. Use to your heart's content!
(3) Share, share, share! The idea here is that value of any loot is salvaging materials or utility for other people. AH pricing has no bearing in here (as we are effectively pretending that it does not exist), and so neither does trading/bartering (no matter how amazing the item you have found). There is no place for greed in here!
(4) I fully acknowledge that there is no way to govern or keep people accountable to these ideals. I am not going to be a stickler about this, but I am hoping that this will draw out like-minded people who are committed to this style of play.

With all of that said, one thing of note. From my impressions in discussing this with those who are already on that list, many of them are willing to offer items (via chat channel) prior to salvaging, but have made a philosophical stance to only accept items offered that have been found in the games that they are participating. Further, there are others in this list who wish to play 100% self-found, which means that they will not accept items offered under any circumstances but still willing to share what they have found that they do not need. It is up to you how you do this, but the bottom line is that AH use of any form is not welcomed.

My monk profile: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/profile/Nameless-1537/hero/34523822
Mu WD profile: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/profile/Nameless-1537/hero/34687999
Edited by Nameless#1537 on 7/25/2013 6:37 AM PDT
HC Self-Found Co-operative (or League)
Below is a list of people who are part of the community. If you want to be added or removed from this list, let me know and I will adjust accordingly. This list is also sorted in an approximate order of activity. I hope this list keeps going, as I think this can be helluva lot of fun!

One other note: There tends to be some kind of a dedicated HCSF chat that you can join. Just PM one of the members on your list to find out whether it is operational or not. It has been used as a means to trade gear, general tips or advice about progression or just general chat about this process. The community in here is actually quite awesome, and it really does add an extra dimension to this game.

Current Members:
Nameless#1537
Chronotriggr#1770
Wannabee808#1418
Middy#1937
Gid#1242
Yukine#1551
Antiguy#1356
Zynestria#1168
Iamjacks#1471
CyLaNt#1337
Demiwraith#1534
Millhouse9#1885
Zeitgeist#1863
seansky#1859
Heisenberg#1528
Vrkhyz#1472
TexaStranger#1793
Toaddg#1498
Rosezz#1795
PanicMan#1702
MrEktid#1638
SgtSqueak#1516
Fightinfears#1961
Chumpatizer#1718
Orcmaniac#1107
Gungnir#1425
TML23#1761
Hambone07si#1580
Blademaster#1559
TheStranger#1352
Spencer21#1596
Chobo#1925
Proletariat#1585
Ghosti#1987
Merihim#1711
Logan#1335
ManUnited#3106
Boomtank#1967
BrolyTNK#1978
Tobes#1649
Tannex#1256
Robot#1177
thebeast#1606
Nippa#2488
rgm1357#1219
Alucardheany#1115
pirate#1321
Slaidius#1483
Paradox#1449
Jaggwagers#1929
darkfuries#1548
inthemistr#1959
xaero#1317
badmojo#1401
Shunsin#1743
liorlevy17#2661
Zealix#1860
Danggo#1412
Nekrosis#1716
Cloudkill#6290
LouisDragon #1413
SonicTitan#1552
RafaFacchini#1455
flarbear#1608
XxDeadSexyxX#1131
Kelos#1265
BLAZINGJAG#1724
Zyrz#1573
ajcrowner#1465
CrimsonKing#2770
MercAngel#1310
NessusMips#1201
Culture#1757
MrQuackers#1590
Scheviant#1127
liorlevy17#2661 (EU)
Tsifu#1217
Cayn#1713
TetraHydroC#1347
Holywarz#1177
Rook#1351
Atrayu#1663
liorlevy17#2661
Omen#1690
Anetheroc#1687
akgoose#1685
Sarf#1156
Edited by Nameless#1537 on 9/11/2013 9:24 PM PDT
How to tell you are ready for a boss fight
Somewhere along the way, people started talking to me about indicators of progress for HC. Now, with SC, the most typical way to tell whether you are ready for a level is frequency of death. Obviously, that is not going to be all that helpful in HC. So it means we have to get a bit more creative in trying to figure out whether you are ready for a boss.

So the ones that I have been told about so far (and I'll keep adding to this as people tell me) are:
(1) Health Check - If you are picking up more health potions than you are using, it means that you are generally in good shape HP wise
(2) DPS Check - If you are able to kill a goblin without any issue, it would mean that you have enough DPS to get through

I think there is a third one (for mitigation perhaps?), but I can't quite recall what that is. If anyone can give me more, please let me know. Thanks!

General Tips for Playing HCSF Co-op Style
(1) Don't play tired -- bad decision making to be made all-round. Don't lose your HC char to poor decision-making!
(2) Salvage - whatever you find that is not useful, salvage. There is nothing you should really be selling at the vendor...
(3) Vendors - if you are going to use vendors, it's to do a little shopping for items and seeing what RNG gods have placed with vendors... sometimes, you might find some very interesting things here
(4) Craft - this will likely be one of your main sources of upgrades. Start using it often with the crafting mats you get from salvaging, and doing it in groups can be lots of fun as you pass around crafts you are making together...
(5) Share! Whether it be loot you find or things you craft, don't be shy about sharing it with other people that you are grouping with or have grouped with in the past. Don't let a decent drop or craft go to waste! And this is one of the most fun parts of playing this co-operatively, as your efforts in crafting is now more team-centric rather than individual-based (as you would with AH). Being more aware of what other people need adds another dimension to this game that isn't otherwise there if you only play with AH.
(6) Be very careful about porting in - if you are going to teleport on someone, make sure they are safe first. Unlike SC, dying to lag is a big deal and is largely preventable if you don't end up porting into a crazy situation. I've almost died on several occasions doing this and I've learned to ask before doing so.
(7) Accept that death is going to happen -- it's a reality and it will happen. It doesn't mean you don't do your best to prevent it from happening, but there are some occasions that you will die to things beyond your control. The sooner you can make peace with this, the more fun this will be.
(8) Keep your crafting mats from lower levels. They will be useful for when you are leveling up an alt or a new HC char for when your HC main dies. Or if you decide to level up a new character with a new HCSF player. Having those mats (and even gems) ready to use with new characters will be a good idea
(9) Keep a large stash -- buy slots and tabs as they become available and you can afford. Since you aren't using AH, you have little use for gold outside of crafting and storage. The idea of having an all-in-one item as we'd have easy access to in SCAH is much more scarce when you play this way. Accept that you may have to swap items in and out depending on situation
(10) Situational awareness is going to be important - know what battles you are going to be engaged in. As difficulty levels go up, going in blind into battle may not be a good option any more (as we often do in SC). The more preparation you can have for a battle, the better.
(11) Don't be afraid to try new skills. What's most efficient in SCAH is most certainly different from what is most effective for your gear in HCSF.
(12) Tank yourself out. EHP > DPS for the most part, as survivability is key. The old adage that you have 0 DPS when your dead doesn't really apply here. When your dead, your game is over and you have lost all of the progression you have made over time. Having 0 DPS is nothing compared to the overall picture of losing your character.

I'll be adding more tips as I go along. If you have any other tips you want to add, feel free to post and I will add to this list.
Edited by Nameless#1537 on 7/11/2013 10:12 AM PDT
HC Self-Found Benchmark Thread: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/9499690013

Tracking my progress:

(1) Cleared Normal in MP0 with the following stats:
Level 31 Monk: ~300 DPS / ~3700 HP / ~1176 Armor

(2) Cleared Nightmare in MP0 with the following stats:
Level 51 S&B Monk: ~1.8K DPS / 25K HP / 2.2K Armor

(3) Cleared Hell in MP0 with the following stats:
Level 60 S&B Monk: 9.5K DPS / 43K HP / 3.1K Armor / 2.6% LS
Edited by Nameless#1537 on 7/23/2013 8:03 PM PDT
Advice I've come across re: self-found mode:

From Laurelynd:

Don't try to keep up with the requirements for this or that established build. Builds are what works best and most efficiently when you can choose your gear, but in self-found mode GG pieces are rarely available. Try all skills as they become available, pick few core ones and mix and match around them, depending on your current gear or the area you're farming.

Don't be afraid to experiment with new gear, as it becomes available. You may want to do a DW build, but if a nice shield or 2H weapon drops - try to work with it. You can always switch back, but you won't know what you'd be missing if you don't try something different.

Clear up a whole tab in your stash. Self-geared is quite the pack-rat's affair, you will need to store a lot of gear. Keep every outstanding item you find/ craft, even if it doesn't quite suit your needs at the moment. It may fill a gap in the puzzle sometime down the road.

OwE is being looked down at by the Monk pros, but you will want to stick with it for quite a while. AR is great, but you cannot hope to have each awesome piece that drops or you craft roll with it. Having some elemental resist as a back-up is essentially doubling your chances that any good piece you come across is going to have a resist stat that's actually useful for you.

Pick up every single Tome of Secrets and Emerald gem you find. You are going to be permanently starved for those. The Tomes' drop rates, in particular, are very unbalanced in self-geared mode. You will never have enough of those to upgrade all of your gems and keep up with the crafting, at the same time - you'll have to make some choices there.

From overg:

1. Figure out your "goal." Are you playing for progression? To max out your stats/dps? Aiming for Paragon 100? You're going to go about things differently if your goal is to push yourself to the highest MP level possible compared to if your goal is to have a self found paragon 100.

2. Don't be bound by cookie cutters. Laurelynd's post hits on this, but just to expand a bit, there are two big reasons for not marrying yourself to cookie cutter ideas about gear or spec.

First, monk theorycrafters are awesome, and those who developed and refined the cookie cutters definitely know their stuff. But they're usually (not always, but usually), theorycrafting around really good gear. You're not going to have that. So while something like knockback might be a detriment to a cookie cutter build, you might find it a huge bonus when you're undergeared.

Second, since you're already playing the game inefficiently, why not try out some skills and ruins that just look like fun? They may not work as well as the cookie cutters, but hey, your gear doesn't work as well as an AH'er. Furthermore, because your gear will be relatively bad, the difference between an optimal and non-optimal spec may be a lot less for you than it would be for someone with top of the line gear.

3. Ubers = regular MP level - 2. You may have already figured this out through your other characters, but just in case, if you're in the mood for an uber run with your self found monk, I'd recommend dropping two MP levels lower than you typically play.

4. Revisit your stash. Every so often, I'll browse through my stash just to see what's there. And it's not uncommon I discover I have a piece of gear which improves my character at the moment for one reason or another. Sometimes it's plugging in a piece with extra life on hit (I've yet to find a decent LS weapon), sometimes it's adding or dropping some resists, sometimes it's exchanging some life for dps, or vice versa. Your needs will sometimes change subtly, and a dropped item which gives you a tiny upgrade in one area might lead to you being able to switch out four or five other pieces. So, as Laurelynd advised, I'd definitely hang on to *everything* which looks like it might be useful somewhere down the road. Find an item with awesome life steal or LoH, but which decreases your dps? Hang on to it, even if you can't use it at the moment. See something with an awesome AR and arcane roll? Keep it, even if you're not playing with OWE, or are currently a cold resist monk.

You'll have have to clear out your stash from time to time and get rid of the worst of your stuff, but it's not a bad idea to keep the entire thing full with various pieces. Since you'll never really be able to plan your next upgrade, it's a great idea to keep a bunch of stuff around.

5. Track your accomplishments. I think things are changing, especially since "self found" is all the rage these days, but you'll discover that a lot of players *vastly* overestimate the gear needed to accomplish any particular task. So if you post about your various milestones, and the gear/stats/builds you used to reach them, you'll be doing a service to those who might really enjoy self found but have misconceptions about how difficult it will be.

6. Patience. I have never been brick walled for more than a few weeks. You might get stuck on an Act, and you might go a while without an upgrade. At some point, your luck will change, you'll find a nice upgrade (or 3 or 4 within a couple of days), and boom, off you'll go again. RNG is RNG, and you're truly at its mercy playing self found. But the Devs have done a pretty good job with the drop rates (I think they could be a tad better, but they're not terribly far off as far as I'm concerned), and the new crafting recipes should provide some pretty serious upgrade potential for a very long time.

7. Don't be a jerk about playing self found. Since you've used the AH before this probably won't be a problem for you, but no one likes a smug self found player. Besides, HC players are the true nuts out there, and can always smack you down if you get too big on yourself.
Edited by Nameless#1537 on 6/28/2013 1:37 PM PDT
GF and I just started this too to keep things interesting, I went with monk again because I don't remember dying until hell act4 in SC.
Sweet! A new adventure for Nameless!
Special Request: Can you write *your* monk's adventure / progression in a story format?
Edited by QHTran#1403 on 6/28/2013 1:45 PM PDT
NAMELESS

I thought you wanted to do this together. WTF.

Good luck anyway man. I'm gonna start my HC self found when I'm done with my 2nd monk.
NAMELESS

I thought you wanted to do this together. WTF.

Good luck anyway man. I'm gonna start my HC self found when I'm done with my 2nd monk.

Hey, we will!!! No need to get upset, bro! I just wanted to get a head start because the urge to start the HC character was really getting a bit much! It's gonna be a long, slow journey!

Besides, I think the journey will contain a lot of stops and starts because I will still get the urge to do SC with people on my friends list.

I'll add you to my list of peeps who are doing this with me. :)

@QHTran
Ummm... probably not. I am long winded as I am already. I deal with too many stories in my RL job, can't document this in the same way. Sorry! :)
Edited by Nameless#1537 on 6/28/2013 1:49 PM PDT
Awesome, go Nameless! Please do keep us updated on your progress, and make frequent updates with respect to what stats and specs you're using to take down the various content. Three months from now someone new to the game will undoubtedly pop in and ask "at what level should I enter Hell?" or "how much dps do I need to take down Belial on normal?" Being able to point them to one of your posts saying "I did it with ____ gear", "____ spec" and "___ dps" will be incredibly helpful.

On that note, have a starting MP level in mind?

Edit: Oh, and since you're playing hard core and self found, rule 7 from my list does not apply. Feel free to refer to yourself with the royal "we", and banish anyone from your threads on a whim.
Edited by overg#1771 on 6/28/2013 1:56 PM PDT
06/28/2013 01:53 PMPosted by overg
On that note, have a starting MP level in mind?

I'm just doing MP0 right now until I get a sense of what's going on around me. I have a feeling I'd do MP0 all they way into inferno, but I'm not sure. I suppose if I can destroy content without coming close to dying, then I can turn it up a level or something and giving it another shot. I know that I will be doing this with extra caution, so I will likely be overgeared for content (if that is possible in HCSF mode).
Nameless, I know you're quite the expert on this game and most certainly have the balls to pull off this stunt, but for the love of the High Heeavens... please use the AH, at least until you finish Inferno on MP 0, especially if you have no prior experience with another HC character.

Two reasons: 1) The hardwired habit you have developed through your SC to sometimes carelessly rush into danger, without assessing the situation and 2) The tanking requirements for HC susrvivability, which are going to be infinitely harder to achieve in self-geared mode.

If you want to give your character a chance to actually succeed with this mad endeavor, you should give her the benefit of getting gradually immersed into the harsh reality of HC. Invest some gold into her, until you get accustomed with the peculiarities of this challenging play mode and meanwhile use the opportunity to collect and craft some gear. Once you feel more stable on your HC feet, start replacing her AH gear with your own one, until she is fully decked in self-found items.

I do not doubt your courage and persistence, but I really feel your chance of succeeding without a bit of cheating for a kick-start are abysmally low.
Edit: Oh, and since you're playing hard core and self found, rule 7 from my list does not apply. Feel free to refer to yourself with the royal "we", and banish anyone from your threads on a whim.


You're going to watch out for the MP-10 only HCSF players. They've got moral superiority on you.

I was planning on the next Wizard I kill being self-found if I survive my Monk's MP-6 full clear run. I'm tired of spending cash on Wizards. Could be a while until I get there, though. If I happen to be playing a Wizard around your level at any time, feel free to hit me up with an invite. I could use someone to stand between me and the demons.

Also, you're going to have to decide whether you're going to be playing with non-HCSFers. I'd probably say to avoid it. If they're not self-found, then they're probably effectively carrying you. At least until Inferno. After that, people play on whatever MP they can handle, and stepping into pubs can be fun for the shear randomness you get sometimes.

Good luck to you. And stay on MP-0 the whole way. Even if you think you're crushing the content, there's no rush. My wizard #4 died doing high MP COTA runs with a level reduced inferno weapon when I pressed the wrong button and teleported into the middle of the pack.
??? What happened to after P 100? LOL ah well you still have to catch up to me. Think I'm at 33 right now all from MP0.
The issue with HC is if you die, it's over :(
It's quite emotional when you lose and HC char.

In my case, Strawberries was totally geared by jco. He also hooked me up with a stipend for crafting, AH, etc. I GREATLY appreciate all his help and assistance with my HC Monk. His generosity knows no bounds, at least I have not found it :)

I think I'm going to make a second HC monk with my own gear so when I die I won't feel bad.
You should join us self found KJ!
I don't get the whole Hardcore mode , let alone going self found. The whole reason I play this game is to use the AH and sell stuff I find...... What's the point of playing if you can't do that?
Hey Nameless,

I'm also a hardcore noob. I started a barb a while back in HC and I vowed to not touch AH, in HC, just to see how long it would take. I just finished normal, but I rarely play him anymore. If you want to run together at all (although that runs a bigger risk of lag or D/C) hit me up. I ended up getting really lucky and found some legendary boots very quickly, which made life a lot easier. Anywho, add me in-game if you wanna play with another HC/SF player.

Spencer21#1596
06/28/2013 05:37 PMPosted by jxfuller
I don't get the whole Hardcore mode , let alone going self found. The whole reason I play this game is to use the AH and sell stuff I find...... What's the point of playing if you can't do that?


Nobody's forcing you to get the point of this. Everyone has different interests.

And people who are interested in this are the ones who have already gone through that part quite extensively already.
Hit p100 and against my better judgement started a HC monk. Was going to do self found and was really looking forward to it. Got to lvl 12 and lost internet connection and died. So much for that part of D3 for me.
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