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Hardcore League

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Hardcore League is a recurring event introduced in August 2019. For a limited time, you can play on a special perma-death server with some additional rules.

Rules and mechanics[edit]

Basic rule - If you die, you're dead
  • No Raise Dead, no self-raises, no resurrection shrines, no resurrection cakes, no Jibbers, no nothing, thank you for playing, this character is done on the Hardcore League server.
  • Your character is instantly teleported to the Land of Lost Souls and stays there until the end of the season or until you transfer off the server.
  • Dead characters have no way of trading; i.e., all gear on that character and in its bank is unavailable. If you have multiple characters, keep stuff in the shared bank.
  • Deaths from quest-specific mechanics (such as The Shroud part 4 death) and /death command do count.
  • Deaths are announced: World broadcasts are sent to inform people what killed people at which level. At the beginning of the season, all deaths are announced, later the lowest level deaths are ignored.DDO Forums
Starting level
  • All characters start at level 1, even Iconics. Veteran Status will not help you.
  • At level 15, iconic characters get their starting gear, as normal.
  • You cannot enter a dungeon if your level is more than 2 levels higher than the base challenge rating. ("Base" means the challenge rating on Normal difficulty.)
    • In seasons 1–5 and 7, the lockout was 4 levels, not 2. It is not yet completely clear if 2 is a permanent value now or if the special rules for Season 8, which are currently unknown, justify a harsher lockout in the same way Season 6's Hounds did.
    • Hall of the Mark and Return to Delera's Tomb are exempt from the level lockout.
    • Wildernesses are also exempt from the level lockout.
    • Devil Assault (quest) is affected by this rule, meaning it is pretty much impossible to complete on Heroic Hard or Heroic Elite, since the maximum entry level is 8 and Heroic Hard and Elite are levels 12 and 18 respectively. Try running the dungeon on Epic Elite instead.
  • Epic characters (i.e. character level 20 and higher) cannot enter heroic dungeons. The two level 20 heroic dungeons, Dreaming Dark and the ToD raid are exempt from this rule.
  • Challenges also have a lockout. Starting with season 6, challenges are judged based on your chosen quest level and not the base level. So a level 15 can enter a challenge set to levels 13+. Level 12 would be too low. DDO Forums
  • You cannot transfer characters to the hardcore server.
  • You can transfer characters from the hardcore server for free at any time.
    • The standard character transfer restrictions apply. Items in a Shared Bank, Mail, and any/all Guild Ship storage are not transferred. Take them on a Character when that character is transferred, or leave them behind.
    • A character currently leading a guild cannot transfer off the server until they designate a new leader or disband the guild (don't do this until the afterparty.)
  • You can transfer while dead. Some players prefer to wait for the afterparty so that the character can pick up mail and do some banking before transferring.
  • After a season is over, leaderboards are made and the server reopens for a few weeks so that players have time to transfer their remaining characters. See wrap up.
  • Once the afterparty close date arrives, the server will be wiped clean, and any remaining characters will be deleted.
  • Hirelings and the DDO Store are allowed. The goal is to be as close to live servers as possible.
  • Weekend bonuses are not available on Hardcore. As of Season Seven, it appears festivals and events are allowed, as both the Night Revels and the Snowpeaks Festival have run during seasons; prior to this, festivals were also not featured, excepting Season Four's permanent Mimic Hunt as part of its season mechanic.
  • If you have not purchased them on the DDO Store, favor unlocks for Champion status, Warforged and Favored Soul do not persist between seasons. On the other hand, your first time DDO Point rewards for reaching Favor thresholds also reset with every season.
A few basic tips
  • Rule One of Hardcore: Do not run The Shroud. Yes, it will kill you, and no, the devs will not take mercy on you. (Even if you are in a season that grants extra lives, you need to be very confident that your group will solve Phase 3 in time to prevent instant death by Prismatic Wall.)
  • Get your hands on a way to circumvent instant death conditions as quickly as possible. Deathblock and access to Death Ward are critical to protect against instakill spells and negative levels respectively. Also, check Quests with instakill pits for a list of pages with falls that have instant death mechanics. Regular instant death precautions such as those listed above do not prevent this, so be very careful around these areas or, better yet, leave them alone entirely.
  • A special Hardcore channel in the global chat will announce the deaths of players (initially all players; as the season progresses, deaths will not be announced unless the character is above a slowly rising level threshold), along with the effect or monster that caused their death. Pay attention to these, especially during the first days of a new season - they can give you an idea of which fights players are struggling with this season.
  • Make sure to read up on the special conditions that apply to the current season. Depending on which ruleset is in play these may range from the beneficial (extra lives in Saving Grace seasons) to the dangerous (powerful Champions and permanent Mimic Hunt in Might and Madness seasons) to conditions that completely change how you need to approach the game (the Fey Hunt Hounds in A Dangerous Game seasons.)
  • Pets and Mounts will not come with you when you leave. Certificates will. Do not use any Pet or Mount certificates obtained on Hardcore unless you don't mind losing them when the server closes. (Getting a common, easily replaceable mount from The Keep on the Borderlands is a good way around this.)
  • Likewise, Astral Shards will be lost when you transfer. Try to spend them before the afterparty, as during the afterparty, the Daily Dice are closed.


Players can get exclusive cosmetic rewards for participating / meeting certain goals (favor, reaper XP, level). Note that the character that has unlocked a reward must speak to the Hardcore League NPC to unlock that reward. Only once that is done, then it can be claimed on any character on any server on that account once the season is over.

Rewards NPC: At various places in the game world (for example, Hall of Heroes) you can find a new NPC:

This NPC will grant cosmetic rewards to characters that have passed specific benchmarks. These rewards, once unlocked on a character on the Hardcore League Season server will be available for all characters on that account on all servers.

  • When you reach a milestone, you have to talk to the rewards NPC to claim your reward.
  • When you die after reaching the milestone but before talking to the rewards NPC, you're out of luck.[UnverifiedIcon tooltip.png"When you die after reaching the milestone but before talking to the rewards NPC, you're out of luck." has not been verified in-game. Please verify it!] DDO Forums

The rewards are account-wide, available on all servers.


Season Nine — Return to Grace[edit]

Two-month redux of season 3. Begins December 6th starting at 2:00pm Eastern (-5 GMT) and ends at 9:00 AM Eastern (-5 GMT) on Wednesday, February 7th, 2024! After party runs until Wednesday, March 6th.

This season features a +4 level lockout in addition to the ability to earn additional lives at levels 8 and 16! There will be a +20% Reaper XP Boost active on the Hardcore server only for the duration of the season.

The rewards are as follows:

Season Eight — The Dragon's Hoard[edit]

Stolen Fragment of the Dragon's Hoard.png
Dragon's hoard chest.jpg

Starts May 17. Ends July 18. Afterparty til August 15th.

  • Level lockout: Normal + 2.
  • Mobs have extra Magical Resistance Rating and extra Acid, Cold, Electric, Fire and Poison Spell Power. This buff is increased on Kobolds and Dragons!
  • A different set of monster champions.
  • Dragon's Hoard: Selected optional objectives in various quests hide fragments of the dragon's hoard. Collect them all!
Dragon's Hoard
  • The pieces are located in chests connected with particularly difficult bosses or optionals. The hardcore NPC will provide hints to the locations of chests, but only when somebody else on the Hardcore server has found the chest.
  • The hoard chests are present on all difficulties, even Casual. This said, Casual chests are not guaranteed to drop a Hoard Piece.
Quest Maximum Heroic Entry Level Maximum Epic Entry Level Optional Notes Fragment Hint
Sacrifices 3 N/A Arcane Skeleton miniboss Dangerous spellcaster if ran at level. Stolen Fragment of the Dragon's Hoard (Sacrifices).png This treasure is guarded by a skeletal foe, poised and waiting above. Be sure to keep your footing!
Immortality Lessons 8 34 Curious Door chest Door appears at the start of the quest, but disappears very quickly unless used. This chest can be reached without combat. Stolen Fragment of the Dragon's Hoard (Immortality Lessons).png This treasure is hidden someplace curious, that is hidden someplace even curiouser!
The Pit 9 N/A Avatar of Juiblex optional boss Quest is long and dangerous; Avatar is immune to or healed by many types of magical damage. Stolen Fragment of the Dragon's Hoard (The Pit).png Something smells! This treasure is somewhere gross and stinky!
Into the Deep 11 23 Demon of the Frenzied Blood optional This fight is dangerous! Bring Good weaponry and Fire Absorption. (If doing this on Epic, the Epic Chest is here too.) Stolen Fragment of the Dragon's Hoard (Into the Deep).png This treasure is somewhere deep below the sea. Good luck swimming!
An Invitation to Dinner 12 34 Engage Strahd again optional Fight is fairly uncomplicated - a few waves of Spectres - but the quest itself is long and difficult to navigate. Manage your resources carefully. Stolen Fragment of the Dragon's Hoard (An Invitation to Dinner).png This treasure requires an invitation - and a lot of bravery!
The Chamber of Raiyum 14 24 Treasure room Fairly simple to obtain; complete all 3 towers and then head to the center of the map. (If doing this on Epic, the Epic Chest is here too.) Stolen Fragment of the Dragon's Hoard (The Chamber of Raiyum).png This treasure is found where other treasure is found! Kind of obvious when you think about it. Yark!
Mired in Kobolds 15 N/A Sinvala optional boss Dangerous optional dragon at the end of the quest. Note that her breath deals more damage due to the season buffs! Stolen Fragment of the Dragon's Hoard (Mired in Kobolds).png This treasure is guarded by a fierce mother, eager to protect her kin.
Madstone Crater 16 26 Madstone Enchanters optional The quest itself is difficult, but the Enchanters are fairly easy, although you should be careful in the fight involving three at once. Stolen Fragment of the Dragon's Hoard (Madstone Crater).png This treasure is locked away behind a skeletal gate, guarded by three skeletal jailers!
Search and Rescue 17 33 Drow Outpost optional Optional is longer and tougher than the rest of the quest. Any characters in melee range should have high Dexterity / Balance to counteract Knockdown from the many Slaad. Stolen Fragment of the Dragon's Hoard (Search and Rescue).png This treasure is guarded by a Drow Priestess, hidden deep away, under the unsuspecting dragon!
Servants of the Overlord 18 23 Disrupt the drow ritual optional Requires a single character to concentrate on a central objective while dangerous respawning enemies attack. Evasion is advisable for the lever puller. Can be done using stealth. Stolen Fragment of the Dragon's Hoard (Servants of the Overlord).png This treasure is locked behind a ritual - somewhere deep and dangerously hot!
Roll Call 18 34 Soot optional boss Confusing to reach, but the actual fight is fairly simple. Stolen Fragment of the Dragon's Hoard (Roll Call).png This treasure is somewhere in a maze of pipes, guarded by a great furnace!
A Study in Sable N/A 28 "Save all four of the guests" optional Requires some reading, but doing this optional actually makes the quest easier, so it is highly advisable. Do not interact with any of the guests unless you're sure you know what you're doing. Stolen Fragment of the Dragon's Hoard (A Study in Sable).png This treasure is locked away, only to be found by those with the most discerning deduction.
Desecrated Temple of Vol N/A 31 Inevitables of Dolurrh optional Optional is behind a secret door. The Inevitables are fairly easy, but be careful of their stunning attack. Note that the fight is in the plane of Dolurrh - all healing will be severely debuffed. Not found in the Heroic version, despite the same optional being there (it has been confirmed this is intentional.) Stolen Fragment of the Dragon's Hoard (Desecrated Temple of Vol).png This treasure is somewhere lost and far away - somewhere only death remembers!

Season Seven — Trial By Fire[edit]

December 7, 2022 – February 7, 2023

60-day redux of the second season, but with a 20% reaper XP boost.

Special rule: A different set of monster champions.

Goals and rewards (same as season 2, but lower requirements due to shorter season):

Season Six — A Dangerous Game[edit]

July 27th, 2022 – October 23rd, 2022 (10:00 AM Eastern (-4 GMT) on Monday, October 24th)

Special rules this season
  • Stricter level lockout: Normal + 2 instead of normal + 4
  • Hounds hunt you. These are Red-named Monster Champion Fey Hunt Hounds that come in multiple elemental flavors and inflict Vulnerability to their element. The party will hear a howl about 10 seconds before the hound appears. Like Reapers they teleport. These can appear at the start of the quest or after the quest ends and can appear in adventure areas. Other than the Grotto, expect them to be everywhere, including Challenges. Piking, going AFK, or multiboxing is extremely hazardous.

Some rewards previewed

Season Five[edit]

December 1st 2021 – February 1st 2022

Season rules
  • Shorter, only 2 months
  • Same rules as season 1, except not restricted to VIP and dead characters can be transferred (free) to other server immediately.
  • Some of the season 1 rewards return; some are new

Season Four — Might and Madness[edit]

March 31st – June 29th, 2021

This spring brings the first Hardcore League season of 2021 to the game! Our 4th Hardcore Season will feature some new and returning guests in the form of the minions of the Nine Daelkyr Lords. You’ve met the Lord of Eyes and the Lord of Stone, but have you met the rest? DDO Forums

Season rules

Season Three — Saving Grace[edit]

Wednesday, June 24th, 2020 – Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020

  • Available to all players (not only VIP)
  • One extra life at level 8; one extra life at level 16 (Technically, you get the extra life as soon as you reach enough XP to take level 8/16. You don't have to take 8/16.)
    • When you die with an extra life, you stay dead in the quest and your soul stone appears (same behavior as on normal servers).
    • If you reincarnate, the extra life count resets to zero.
Major issue
  • Dying while disconnected may cause double death. Even if you have 2 lives, you'll lose both in one death - be fully dead eventually. Alt+F4 or bad connection will cause this.
  • Exact behavior: You die while disconnected (first death), then log in with -10 HP (second death).


Downtime Notice: Thursday, October 1st 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM Eastern (-4 GMT) Wed, 30 Sep 2020 20:32:11 +0000

The DDO game worlds will be unavailable on Thursday, October 1st from 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM Eastern (-4 GMT) for maintenance. There are no release notes. When the game worlds reopen, World Character Transfers will be available from the Hardcore server through November 3rd. Thank you!

Season Two — Trial By Fire[edit]

Wednesday, February 19th, 2020 – Tuesday, May 12th, 2020

Special Rule:

Goals and rewards:

Hardcore League season 1 icon.png

Season One[edit]

Friday, August 16, 2019 – Friday, November 15, 2019

Goals and rewards:


On the hardcore server, players can create and join guilds as normal. However, running a guild can be a costly endeavor. Once a season is over, all guilds are deleted. Visit the Hardcore League forum to find guilds that recruit - or just ask around in game.


  • Talking to the Mortality NPC also allows you to see top 100 performers in two categories: Total Favor and Reaper XP
  • The top 100 winners of the two ladders will be immortalized in the Hall of Heroes with a plaque featuring the character names.
  • When a character dies, their place on the leader board is lost.
  • If you would like to Reincarnate in a way that would reset your Favor, keep in mind that this reset to 0 Favor will likely push you off of the leaderboard.
  • Any character who reaches at least Level 5 and survives on the server will be recognized in The DDO Chronicle newsletter. (The survivor list was only created for season one; it was dropped for later seasons because it was simply too long. )

Wrap up[edit]

After the event, the server shuts down. Leaderboards are prepared and published. After a few days or weeks downtime, the server reopens for a couple of weeks; everyone revives, can access bank and mail, and all characters can be transferred to normal servers for free. The usual limitations of character transfer apply.

See official Hardcore League Wrap-up FAQ.

Originally Posted by Peter_Principle_ Source

Dead toons can also:

  • (roll daily dice)
  • spend and buy in the DDOP store
  • interact with the bank, merchants, traders and auction house
  • drink potions, eat tavern food
  • mount horsies
  • turn off metas
  • enter quests and wilderness areas
  • summon hirelings
  • equip and unequip items
  • activate teleportation items like Bottles of Mist or Boarding Passes
  • take damage and die in quests and wilderness areas
  • release (if dead) back to Mortality

Dead toons can't:

  • attack, cleave, trip, stun, or do anything like an attack
  • search, sneak, inscribe spells
  • cast spells or any type or SLA
  • inscribe spells
  • summon pets
  • turn on metas
  • transport to Eberron or Forgotten Realms from the start screen

See also[edit]

Official introduction / guide

Announcement at 2019 Gen Con:

Lamannia preview: DDO Forums (available also to non-VIP)

Gallery of Rewards[edit]

Season I[edit]