Rules are as follows: Static... SOLO play with companions.
1. No AH buying.
2. No cheesy vendor farming.
3. No Trading for items whatsoever, not even with friends, mainly due to the fact that things bought/sold on the AH have no tags...therefore you don't know if that amazing sword that someone "found" had been bought reallllly cheap and they are trying to make a profit.
4. Goblin farming is permissable seeing how it does actually require you to play and do a decent amount of damage.
5. Crafting is OK.
6. Rushing isnt a factor considering you are solo.
7. If you die, using things you have found from your previous play through is OK.
Personally I will be playing a barbarian. My goal is to make it to 60 and beat Hell difficulty. I am sure just using stuff I find it will be almost impossible ( time contingent ) to beat inferno. Anyway, hope there are others out there who would like to try this and be HC HC!! GL
GL with your journey I'm also positive that it can not be done or it will be very hard, due to the high amount of resistances requied to play through hell. Atm I'm struggling in the second part of Act I in Hell with my 2nd barbarian who has nearly 40k hp and 4k dps but no resistances at all. And it's very scary, believe me. I had some very close calls, I even considered myself dead 2 times already, but somehow I managed to escape. Playing with only the items I fund would be impossible for me ym character.
OP, I did this up to lvl 54 on my first HC barb. After 54 I wanted to progress and Korn got me a blue weapon from a vendor with higher dps than what I had. Had I just grinded to 60 in act2 hell, I wouldn't really need it.
So I'm confident this can be done up untill Hell Belial. Not so sure after that, but hey, whoever got to Inferno first on the server got there untwinked, since they were above everyone else in gears.
And this challenge isn't a challenge of skill, just persistence. If you grind long enough you can find items from next act with good stats. AH simply removes the need to grind, since you can just find enough gold or sell enough items of your own instead.
I'm currently at Act 1 Nightmare with my first hardcore character (barbarian) and am playing in much the same way as my main softcore character but with a lot less death :P
This means I have been doing absolutely everything mentioned up there. It's pretty much how I want to play my characters anyway, whether soft or hardcore.
The only difference there has been with my main softcore character is with trading with friends. I have traded items with the friend I played through most of normal and nightmare with but only things that have been found whilst we're both in the game session. That's the only difference between how I've played the softcore and hardcore character really.
I really don't want to use the AH, I just want to find all my own stuff!