Devastating glitches end Diablo 4 race to level 100 Hardcore runs early

Diablo 4 Sorceress close-up
(Image credit: Tyler C. / Activision Blizzard)
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(Image credit: Tyler C. / Activision Blizzard)

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Diablo 4's glitches have proven to be more threatening than its demons for two players who saw their perma-death Hardcore runs end early, sinking their chances of winning the race to level 100.

Max "Maximum" Smith, co-owner of esports org Team Liquid, was 18 hours into his Hardcore Sorceress playthrough last night when he was frozen in place and incapable of doing anything about it. Due to a glitch, he couldn't move or activate any life-saving skills except for healing potions.

"I think I need to alt F4," he said as he used the last of his potions. When he loaded back into Diablo 4, it presented him with the character creation page, confirming that his Sorceress had permanently died and was deleted as part of Diablo 4's Hardcore rules. Because of the online nature of Diablo 4, exiting the game doesn't immediately take them out of the world. Smith's level 52 Sorceress died while he was reloading the game.

While Smith was reviewing the footage of his death, he saw that both of his unstoppable skills were disabled when they shouldn't be. Unstoppable skills make you immune to all sources of damage and you should be able to activate them at any time. Smith suspects that when he used his ultimate skill, the animation for it froze his character and prevented him from using other abilities.

"Dying to a bug after 18 hours of play is brutal," he wrote afterward on Twitter. "Pretty sure I can re-level and still get top 1,000, but don't really wanna put the time in just for something like this to happen again."

Path of Exile speedrunner and WoW pro player Imexile ran into a different run-ending glitch a few hours before Smith. While the two players were grouped up in a dungeon, Imexile's Sorceress was hit with a powerful poison DoT that wouldn't go away. Imexile's Flame Shield, which is supposed to make him immune, didn't cleanse the rapidly ticking damage. He was forced to exit the game and, after logging back in, saw the character creation screen of death.

"I'm very confused at what just happened," he said. "I don't even know how to- what I was supposed to out-play."

At the time of this writing, both players are back playing hardcore mode with new Sorceresses. Smith is currently at level 17 and Imexile is level 21.

Meanwhile, Rogue player Wudijo is leading the Hardcore race at level 62. If he can make it to level 100 glitch- and death-free he will be one of the first 1,000 players to complete the challenge and will be rewarded by Blizzard with his username on a statue

Associate Editor

Tyler has covered games, games culture, and hardware for over a decade before joining PC Gamer as Associate Editor. He's done in-depth reporting on communities and games as well as criticism for sites like Polygon, Wired, and Waypoint. He's interested in the weird and the fascinating when it comes to games, spending time probing for stories and talking to the people involved. Tyler loves sinking into games like Final Fantasy 14, Overwatch, and Dark Souls to see what makes them tick and pluck out the parts worth talking about. His goal is to talk about games the way they are: broken, beautiful, and bizarre.