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Diablo 4's Most Celebrated Playthrough Ends In Tragedy

About a week before the standard launch of "Diablo 4," Blizzard offered players a challenge: The first 1000 players who reach level 100 on "Diablo 4" Hardcore mode would have their character's name engraved on a statue. Streamer and esports pro Souaib "cArn" Hanaf became the very first Hardcore player to reach max level — but his legendary character didn't last too much longer, thanks to a disconnect and (of all things) a Vampire Bat.  

In "Diablo 4," Hardcore mode force-deletes characters once they die, forcing players to start over and relegating them permanently to the Hall of Fallen Heroes – a gallery of dead Hardcore mode characters. Hardcore mode is a staple of the "Diablo" series and ARPGs as a genre, and in "Diablo 4," more and more players are trying it out for a chance to get their name emblazoned on a Statue of Lilith at Blizzard HQ. Of these brave souls, cArn was only the first.

But again, one of the core principles of Hardcore mode is that death is permanent, and death in "Diablo" can often be caused by server issues and forced patches. This is especially true at higher World Tiers, when a few seconds' lag or server issue can lead to a character's death almost instantly. According to cArn, that's exactly what happened when his character was disconnected after more than 82 hours of play.

The first Level 100 Hardcore character died because of a disconnect

After reaching Level 100, cArn didn't stop playing "Diablo 4." While using a Whirlwind-oriented endgame build that pumped numbers and made him nearly untouchable, cArn went into a cave and encountered a horde of regular enemies. He was doing perfectly fine until the unthinkable happened: The game began to lag. This isn't such a big deal in the Eternal realm, where characters can respawn with a little durability loss. 

Enemy Revenants started to run in place, his character's movements began to act up, and his actions weren't connecting. Then the game froze, but because of the always-online nature of "Diablo 4" his character still persisted in the world. He found himself without any way to use defensive abilities, drink potions, or otherwise defend himself against what would have otherwise been just another group of trash mobs. After a few seconds, the screen went black and cArn re-opened "Diablo 4" to find the character creation screen — which only appears when players have no characters currently available.

It's an absolute tragedy: cArn put more than 82 hours into a single character, won the top spot on the Statue of Lilith, and proved that the Barbarian class in "Diablo 4" can be extremely good – only to have all of that wrested away by a vicious Vampire Bat and a server disconnect.