So I've done it. I've reached level 60 on Hardcore with my Monk. It took me a total of 54 hours and I got up to the "Lair of the Witch" (Maghda) quest on Hell difficulty. I ended up grinding the path to Maghda from 58-60 as I felt it was the safest method at that point. I'll share with you my final set of tips and tricks I used to get to level 60 successfully that I hope will help you archive the same outcome.
1. Do not advance past Hell difficulty - When building your first character, I would recommend grinding as soon as you can on Hell difficulty until you hit 60, then start a new character if you'd like to dabble in Inferno difficulty. I've seen to many instant deaths in Inferno and to me, it's not worth the risk progress with your "main" into that difficulty. Build up a new character, use your level 60 to assist that character's development and bring the second character into Inferno if you'd like.
2. Read through ALL patch notes after each update to Diablo 3 - This is something I feel is often overlooked by a lot of players. Most people just read through modifications of their class, buffed this, nerfed that and sure, that is very important, but if you're in Hardcore and grinding a particular section and in the latest patch they've added an ability or buffed a particular creature that you're used to killing easily, this could mean your death. Make sure you're reading ALL of the patch notes and know how that is going to affect your experience in Hardcore.
3. Don't panic! - This is easier said then done, but as you get into Hell, you're going to come across a lot of "Oh crap!" moments. By this I men, you're going to be walled in with arcane orbs all around and a freeze bomb is about to go off and you need to keep a cool head to know the best way to get out of the situation. This is when "Easy game to play, hard game to master" comes into play. Think about your next move then make it, do your best not to use all your skills immediately in a panic. Maybe you use your Diamond Skin to allow the arcane orbs to pass over you, then use Teleport to get out from behind the wall and regroup or maybe the best method is to use your Diamond Skin to charge towards the mobs to avoid the arcane orbs and blast your way out. Whatever decision you make, make sure that it will leave in a position to go to a Plan B if it doesn't work out.
4. Know that you can "jump to" destructible objects - This helped me out a lot on my Monk. As a Monk, you can use Dashing Strike to jump to things like barrels or some other clickable destructible object. By clickable, I mean it is something you could normally perform a range or melee attack on just by clicking on it. You cannot jump to things in the environment that are destructible like pillars or status. Before walking into a fight, know where these things are to that you're able to jump to them if you need to get out of a bad situation. It's a lot faster then running and is almost always an option.
Well that is pretty much it. I hope that these 4 posts have given you some useful tips on your quest to reach level 60 on your Hardcore character. It is quite the achievement that is not something that many players would even be willing to attempt let alone accomplish. Be proud of what you've done and be sure to rub it into the face of your friends who gloat about their level 60 Softcore characters whenever possible.
"Get to level 60 on Hardcore, then we'll talk."
Diablo 3: Hardcore Tips and Tricks (Part 3)
Diablo 3: Hardcore Tips and Tricks (Part 2)
Diablo 3: Hardcore Tips and Tricks (Part 1)