The 9th Season of the Hardcore League begins at 2:00 PM Eastern (-5 GMT) on Wednesday, December 6th!

The Hardcore League is an experience that tests the skill of players with the ultimate penalty for failure - permadeath!
During the Hardcore League, goals are set for players, and progress is based on two factors, each with their own ladder: One tests the player’s ability to conquer as many quests as possible, and the other tests the player’s ability to survive in the hardest mode ever brought to the game.
The top 100 winners of the two ladders will be immortalized in the Hall of Heroes. 
Once you reach a goal, speak to the Hardcore League NPC to collect your reward! The reward will be unlocked for your account, and can be accessed by any of your characters on any of the servers.
All players can access the Hardcore League server regardless of their account type! Standard account restrictions apply based on whether you are a VIP. 
During each Season Transfers FROM the Hardcore server are available for FREE to other game worlds, and there will be a period of time to transfer your characters from the server for FREE when the season ends. It is not possible to transfer a character from another world to the Hardcore League.

The 9th Season:

The 9th Season of the Hardcore League: Return to Grace, begins December 6th starting at 2:00pm Eastern (-5 GMT) and ends when we bring the game worlds down for maintenance at 9:00 AM Eastern (-5 GMT) on Wednesday, February 7th, 2024! 

The 9th Season brings a return of the third season of the Hardcore League called Saving Grace. This season features a +4 level lockout in addition to the ability to earn additional lives at levels 8 and 16! 

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 


  • There will be a +20% Reaper XP Boost active on the Hardcore server only for the duration of the season.
  • If you die with an extra life you will stay dead inside of the quest, and your soul stone will appear just as on the non-Hardcore worlds. 
  • These lives earned will persist through all forms of Reincarnation except True. True Reincarnation will reset your lives to 1 but also resets your ability to earn them again as you level back up.
  • Make sure to save your Creature Companion Certificate to bring it back with you to your home game world! Any Creature Companion Certificates consumed on the Hardcore server will not provide the companion to your stable on a different game world.  
  • The top 100 Total Favor earners and top 100 Reaper XP earners will be memorialized in the Hall of Heroes once the season ends, and we'll have the list on as well. 

Hardcore League FAQ

Do I need a separate game client to play in the Hardcore League?

No, you can use your regular DDO game client and simply select the "Hardcore" server from the list.

What happens when you die in the Hardcore League?

You are immediately sent to the Land of Lost Souls, and can no longer play that character on the Hardcore server.
There is no exception made for the cause of death, whether it be in combat, falling, an Internet outage, playing the last section of The Shroud, or for any other reason. There is no way to interrupt this process by being raised from the dead and certain abilities that promise to save you from death will not function (such as Death Pact). When you die, you will lose your spot on the leaderboards for that character, but you will not lose access to any Milestones that you may have earned with that particular character. You will be able to chat, move around, emote, and manage your guild, but beware...there is no escape from death ...
When the Hardcore League completes, you will be able to transfer your character(s) off the Hardcore League server onto one of the existing normal DDO servers and resume playing them.

What is different about the game while playing in the Hardcore League?

There is a level lockout to prevent characters from running quests too far over level. (Base level +2 normally for Hardcore, +4 this season.)
All Iconic characters start at level 1 instead of level 15, though they must still start the game with their iconic class level. Iconics will still receive their equipment upon reaching level 15.
Veteran status is disabled - all veteran status account characters on the Hardcore League server will start at level 1 and go through Korthos like any other level 1 character. 
The /death feature will not function on the Hardcore League server.
There are two Leaderboards for bragging rights that will list the top performing characters in the following areas:
Top 100 Characters in: Total Favor
Top 100 Characters in: Reaper XP 

What happens to the items in your Shared Bank when a character dies?

Items that are in your Shared Bank will remain in your Shared Bank, even if the character who stored them is lost. Items on your character will remain on that character even in death. There is no Shared Bank in the Land of Lost Souls, so plan accordingly.

How many characters on one account may participate?

You may make as many or as few characters as you would like, limited by your available character slots for your account. Note that dead characters are not automatically deleted when they die. Because the Leaderboards are character specific, it is even possible for one account to place with characters on more than one Leaderboard, or to achieve more than one rank on a given Leaderboard!

What happens to my characters at the end of the Hardcore League?

At the end of the Hardcore League, we will be offering free Character Transfers to all characters - living or dead. Dead characters will be able to find their way back to the land of the living once they set foot on a non-Hardcore server. Characters will also bring their personal inventory with them, as with a regular character transfer. Note that normal character transfer restrictions apply - shared bank items, guild airships, TR caches, mount certificates and Astral Shard balances will not transfer off the server.
NOTE: Make sure to spend down your Astral Shard balance BEFORE the start of the After Party at the end of the Hardcore season. Astral Shard balances do NOT transfer with you to your destination world, and Daily Dice is not available during the After Party.

Can you use Hirelings, and if so, what happens if they die?

Hirelings will function as they do on non-Hardcore League servers, and will not be banished from the playable space when they die.

Can you create or join a Guild in the Hardcore League?

Yes, creating and managing a guild functions just as it does on non-Hardcore servers. However, note that Guild Airships and Guild deposits stay on the Hardcore League server and cannot be transferred off.

What happens when a Guild Leader dies?

They will still be able to manage their guild from beyond death. Bureaucracy, it seems, transcends even the mortal coil.

The Shroud kills you, does that count?

Yes, dead is dead. We do not recommend doing this quest.

How can I find out who is currently placing on the Leaderboards?

Speak with the NPC and select "Show me who is in the running against the reapers" from the available dialogue options. The NPC can be found in several locations including:
  • The beach near Jeets when you first create a Hardcore League character
  • Just outside "The Grotto" tutorial quest on Korthos Island
  • Inside the Eberron Hall of Heroes
  • Inside the Forgotten Realms Hall of Heroes

I was in the top 100 list, then I died, and now my name is gone. I thought the leaderboard was for most favor / most reaper XP?

Remember, the leaderboards are for the top *living* characters. If you die, you fall off the list.

How can I receive my cosmetic rewards?

Speak with the NPC and select the milestone that you reached. If you have not yet reached the milestone, the NPC will tell you. 
Specific claim details about the cosmetic rewards:
Cosmetic Cloaks Milestones:
The Cosmetic Cloaks will be automatically placed in the inventory of all your characters on your account, and all new characters you make, after you speak with the NPC and claim either of the Cloak milestones.
Creature Companion Milestones:
Speak with the NPC and claim the milestone to get the Creature Companion Certificate. You may additionally speak with the NPC on each server that you'd like to receive a Certificate for that server's Creature Companion stable. Note that the Creature Companion certificate is not able to be traded. 

Will festivals or DDO bonus day events be active on the Hardcore League server?

Seasonal events may become active, although standard weekly world bonuses will not.

Will Customer Service help me get out of a stuck quest?

Customer service will not be helping people get out of quests they are not able to complete due to a bug or other issue. We don't want CS being asked to complete dungeons for people, for example, regardless of the cause. We realize that might be a bit harsh depending on what happened, but the best solution if you get stuck in a quest is to either run a different quest or recall out, reset the dungeon, and try again. This isn't a wider policy decision, just one for the Hardcore League only.

What about any Mount Certificates I've earned?

Mounts in your stable that come from certificates do NOT come with you to your destination world, so if you earn any mount certificates during your season, make sure to save the certificates so you can earn the mount on your destination world. You can, if you wish, add them to your mount stable on the Hardcore server, but that stable will be deleted prior to the start of the next season.

Should I spend my Astral Shards prior to the start of the After Party (before the end of the season?)

Yes. Any Astral Shard balances acquired during the season should be spent in their entirety prior to the end of the season. While it may be possible to spend Shards on some items during the After Party, Daily Dice will not be available during the After Party.