If you die in PvP while playing Diablo 4 hardcore, you're dead bucko

Diablo 4 — the rogue archangel Inarius spreads his spooky tendril wings, blinding nearby demons.
(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

Dying in PvP in hardcore mode in Diablo 4 will mean permadeath for that character, Blizzard has confirmed. Before you say "well duh" this is actually a change in hardcore policy, with Blizzard indicating several years ago in interviews that hardcore characters would be exempted from permadeath in PvP.

The news comes from Blizzard's global community development director for Diablo 4, Adam Fletcher, who took to social media to answer the question "if you die in [hardcore] PvP, is it permadeath, or..?"

Fletcher goes on to spell it out in the replies: "[Death in] Hardcore means you will have to make a new character." Hardcore players will be able to opt-out of PvP however. "You can avoid fields of hatred," notes Fletcher, the game's dedicated PvP zones.

I mean, personally speaking, I'll be choosing to "opt out" of hardcore mode altogether. But it arguably makes sense that, for those who want the real thrill of consequences and that one-shot experience, death should mean death regardless of the scenario. I'll never go near a Diablo 4 hardcore PvP zone myself, but I can only imagine these kinds of stakes will result in some amazing (and tragic) stories over the years.

We got some more Diablo 4 details over the weekend, including Blizzard's insistence that this game is "not intended to be played forever." The next step on Diablo 4's road to release is what Blizzard insists on calling a "server slam" in May, which features the same location as the previous beta but re-worked according to feedback, and doles out some goodies to players who hit the level 20 cap.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."