|This server will be closed in 61.87 days on February 7, 2024.|
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- You can transfer during a season or after the season.
- 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.
- Festivals and other events (such as Treasure of Crystal Cove) are typically not available on Hardcore (there have been exceptions – Season Seven included the December 2022 rerun of The Night Revels, and Season Four had Mimic Hunt activated permanently with no way to deactivate mimic spawning.) Weekend bonuses, however, are not available.
- 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.
- 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 are guaranteed to kill you – there is no way to prevent this, so be very careful around these areas.
- 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:
- In seasons one and five, it's Mortality
- In seasons two and seven, it's Arraetrikos
- In season three and nine, it's Vallakarigin
- In season four, it's Xix
- In season six, it's the Master of the Hunt
- In season eight, it's Zazerbaxk, the Not Yet Terrible
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.[ ]
The rewards are account-wide, available on all servers.
Season Nine — Return to Grace
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!
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:
- Reaching Level 20: Death Walker's Sash IX
- Reaching 1250 Favor: Archon Helm
- Reaching 3000 Total Favor: Celestial Mount
- Gaining 10 Reaper Enhancement Points: Death Walker's Cloak IX
- Gaining 20 Reaper Enhancement Points - Lantern Archonling War Veteran Creature Companion Certificate
Season Eight — The Dragon's Hoard
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!
- 1750 Favor: "You See Treasure!" cosmetic feat that grants glittery golden eyes
- Level 20: Death Walker's Sash VIII
- 10 Reaper AP: Death Walker's Cloak VIII
- 20 Reaper AP: Solid Gold Mimic Creature Companion (probably Glittering Golden Mimic)
- Find 7 lost pieces of the Dragon's Hoard: Treasure Follows You! cosmetic feat that grants golden footprints
- Secret reward for finding 13 piece: Golden Treasure Hunter's Cloak
- 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. 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. 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. 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.) 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. 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.) 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! 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.) This treasure is somewhere lost and far away - somewhere only death remembers!
Season Seven — Trial By Fire
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):
- 1,250 favor: Bone Devil Helm (cosmetic)
- 3,000 favor: Bone Devil Armored Mount (cosmetic)
- 10 reaper points: Death Walker's Cloak VII (cosmetic)
- 20 reaper points: Dretchling War Veteran pet (Dretch)
- Level 20: Death Walker's Sash VII (cosmetic)
Season Six — A Dangerous Game
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.
- 1750 Favor: Pup of the Hunt War Veteran Certificate
- 5000 Favor: Fae Hunter's Wings (cosmetic wings, toggled by a feat, in the same channel as Reaper Wings you may own)
- 10 Reaper Points: Death Walker's Cloak VI
- 20 Reaper Points: Mount Certificate: Steed of the Huntmaster
- Level 20: Death Walker's Sash VI
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
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?
- Season rules
- Not restricted to VIP
- The current plan is to not have extra earnable lives for this season ( )
- Mimic Hunt is enabled
- New set of Daelkyr-themed Champions
- Reaching a Total Favor of 1,750 - Overlord Collar
- Reaching a Total Favor of 5,000 - Daelkyr Steed, (Daelkyr Steed, front facing)
- Reaching Level 20 - Death Walker's Sash IV
- Gaining 10 Reaper Enhancement Points - Death Walker's Cloak IV
- Gaining 20 Reaper Enhancement Points - Thaarakpup War Veteran Certificate
Season Three — Saving Grace
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.
- Reaching a Total Favor of 1,750 - Archon Helm
- Reaching a Total Favor of 5,000 - Celestial Mount
- Reaching Level 20: Death Walker's Sash III
- Gaining 10 Reaper Enhancement Points - Death Walker's Cloak III
- Gaining 20 Reaper Enhancement Points - Lantern Archonling War Veteran
- 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
Wednesday, February 19th, 2020 – Tuesday, May 12th, 2020
- Different kinds of Champion enemies appear: Monster Champion/Hardcore
Goals and rewards:
- 1,750 favor: Bone Devil Helm (cosmetic)
- 5,000 favor: Bone Devil Armored Mount (cosmetic)
- 10 reaper points: Death Walker's Cloak II (cosmetic)
- 20 reaper points: Dretchling War Veteran pet (Dretch)
- Level 20: Death Walker's Sash II (cosmetic)
- The top 100 winners of the two ladders will be immortalized in the Hall of Heroes.
Friday, August 16, 2019 – Friday, November 15, 2019
Goals and rewards:
- Memorial list of characters who survived above Level 5: Hardcore League/survivors/season one
- 1,750 favor: Eyes of Darkness - Death Watches You cosmetic feat
- 5,000 favor: Bloody Footprint - Death Follows You cosmetic feat
- 10 reaper points: Death Walker's Cloak (cosmetic)
- 20 reaper points: Blood Reaper pet (Blood Wraith)
- Level 20: Death Walker's Sash (cosmetic)
- ( )
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 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. )
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.
Announcement at 2019 Gen Con:
Lamannia preview:(available also to non-VIP)