I've played both Diablo 1, 2 and 3, and I have also played Torchlight. The problem with all the games is that they have different difficulties, instead of just one difficulty all the way through. This is not so much a problem in Torchlight, since you can actually choose which difficulty to play on. However, the Diablo games are fundamentally flawed, since you basically have to play through Normal to get to Nightmare, and likewise you had to play through Nightmare to get to hell. It's simply to much grinding.
Hardcore mode added extra fun to the gameplay in the way that, if you died, you would have to start all over from scratch. It was good on paper, but utterly broken in practice. The problem is that both Diablo and Torchlight is plagued by bugs and poor design, which will often prevent players from enjoying the games without interruptions.
Basically, I would not recommend anyone play on Hardcore, because if the game crashes, which is almost guaranteed to happen at some point, YOU WILL DIE. The Diablo games are fairly stable, they even were back in the day. But Torchlight is just a piece of junk. And, in Torchlight, you can also get stuck in places in the game, preventing your character from progressing.
Bugs in Torchlight
When playing Torchlight on Hardcore, you really start to notice all the bugs and design flaws in the game. I can not count how many hours I have WASTED thanks to this poor piece of shit game. I really prefer playing Hardcore on single player, because otherwise it just gets way to easy, and death has negligible consequences.
Getting stuck in the environment is possible, but rare. I have had it happen. Sometimes I have been able to get free, after much clicking, and fooling around with abilities. I assume Torchlight uses similar broken mechanisms as Diablo to sync the location of your character when using certain abilities. Sometimes your character can get out of sync when performing certain actions, even when just playing single player. Luckily, it seem to rarely happen in Torchlight. I remember it as a huge problem when playing Barbarian in Diablo 2, as it would almost happen every time you used whirlwind.
Dungeon maps in Torchlight should likely be avoided on Hardcore, unless you are sure that you can make it through without running out of potions. The problem is that the game designers for some reason decided that you can not open Town Portals inside dungeons, making it impossible to get out in some circumstances. There also seems to be a bug causing monsters to re-spawn if you enter level 2, and then try to escape by going back to level 1. This effectively renders your character stuck, and if you are unlucky, you will spawn in the middle of a flock of monsters too. Really retarded.
I have also had the game crash, and when logging back in, it would spawn my character in the middle of a flock of monsters, at the entrance of a dungeon.
Diablo 2 Hardcore mode Online
In Diablo 2, Hardcore also had a lot of potential to be fun. However, while Diablo 2 is fairly stable, playing it online on Hardcore is just not very realistic. Like in Torchlight, Hardcore mode is utterly broken, and suffers from many of the same issues.
In addition, when playing online, there is no security mechanism to prevent your character from dying if you loose the connection, which happened a lot on battle.net when I was playing. Ideally, a character should be instantaneously logged out. However, it for some reason stays in the game, and sometimes this gives monsters enough time to kill it off, and there is nothing we can do to prevent it.
If you do plan on playing either of these games, beware that they are incomplete, poorly designed and NOT balanced around Hardcore mode. It is really a shame, because a lot of hours has gone down the drain for me. And in the end I simply decided to stay away from Hardcore, because it is utterly broken, and designed by idiots.
I hope this post will earn me some money on ads, to compensate me for my wasted hours, and save readers from wasting their time. Hopefully some game designers will also read it, and then decide to put more effort into fixing these persistent bugs.
It's not like any of these issues are new. They have been around since the Diablo 2 days. It is really ridiculous that later games include the same issues.