Former Dota 2 and StarCraft pro Souaïb ‘cArn’ Hanaf became Diablo IV’s first player to hit level 100 while playing on Hardcore mode (where death is permanent), immortalizing his name within the new hit action-RPG. But his overpowered Barbarian later died in the worst way possible, the grim fantasy world of Sanctuary’s first champion erased for good before most players had even finished the game.
“No…” Hanaf said during a recent livestream, his voice filled with dread as the game became frozen on his screen. “Hello…are you kidding me?” As previously spotted by PCGamesN, the always-online game had disconnected from Blizzard’s servers, killing the level 100 Barbarian in the process. That’s because Diablo IV’s hardcore mode treats disconnects like death in order to discourage players from trying to pull the plug in a losing battle to avoid losing a character.
It was a brutal and unworthy death for the character who Hanaf had poured 86 hours into over the course of Diablo IV’s first week. Most hardcore mode characters die eventually, but usually in boss fights, nightmare dungeons, or other challenging late-game activities. Instead of going out in a blaze of glory, Hanaf’s Barbarian essentially died by slipping on the live service multiplayer equivalent of a banana peel.
Blizzard’s hardcore mode race saw some of the biggest Diablo fans compete to grind the new game as quickly and as safely as possible. While some players did so entirely on their own, others banded together in co-op mode where XP could be farmed more efficiently thanks to things like bonuses for playing as part of a group.
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Hanaf in particular leaned on a small exploit for rapidly completing dungeons. Normally, it takes a few minutes for them to “cool down” before players can reset them and begin again. During Diablo IV’s Early Access period, however, players realized the party leader could abandon the group and restart a dungeon immediately while the rest rejoined, saving precious time. It was an arguably controversial advantage in a series most fans associate with single-player dungeon crawling.
Even though the Barbarian who cemented Hanaf’s victory is now dead, his name will be immortalized along with 999 others as they’re carved into a real life statue of Diablo IV’s main antagonist, Lilith. It’s a good thing too since the statues will probably last a long time, while the always-online game itself will eventually shut down, disconnected just like the first hardcore mode character who reached level 100 in it.