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In Diablo II, you could have any number of characters in offline play. On closed, characters could expire if you didn't play them.

How does Diablo III limit the number of characters I can have? Is there a maximum number? How do Hardcore and the different Realms factor in? Can characters expire from inactivity?

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they can be all hardcore if you like, though you would have to delete the character that you first leveled to 10 to unlock hardcore mode – baronmorrath May 18 '12 at 15:31
up vote 15 down vote accepted

You can have 10 characters per server. In addition, they can be any mix of hardcore and non-hardcore characters. I'm assuming 10 was chosen so that you can theoretically have 5 non-hardcore characters and 5 hardcore characters.

Also, characters won't expire.

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It may also have been chosen to allow 5 each male and female characters, which IIRC is required for an achievement. – Steven May 18 '12 at 15:36
No, the achievements you're thinking of just requires you to level two characters of a certain class to level 60, without any specifications about gender: – heishe May 18 '12 at 15:38

Regarding character deletion/expiration:

Characters will not expire.

Source: Community Manager Kaivax

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