Since 1.08 came out I’ve spent the better part of it in public games. As my character has progressed I’ve moved into higher Monster Power levels and new challenges. I’ve found them to be a great way to cruise through levels and meet new people. However, there is still a risk in the people that you meet. Not that they’re out to kill you but leech off of your expertise.
I was in a game last night on Mp4, when I noticed things were going slower than ideal. After looking over two of the other players gear I saw their dps was in the abysmal range. One Witch Doctor was pulling 8k dps, the other (a wizard) was doing 40k. Now I don’t find myself to be an elitist. I am happy to play with everyone, but the advantage to a multiplayer game is that you can kill faster than solo. The detriment for myself is not their leeching but that if I were to need help they wouldn’t be able to provide it. Effectively dooming me to die. Take for example if I’m in a precarious situation: I’m flailing away at a pack of monsters when we snag two champion packs. We’re walled in with arcane beams shooting around and every bit of dps is going to be needed to get them down before someone dies. That 8k dps is 90k short of what could make that easy for the group. Now each person is risking more so someone can do less. That’s not to say there aren’t great support characters who can tank or freeze up monsters with low dps, however those players are few and far between, and by and large those with such low dps are merely there to leech.
With the way our economy is going is there any reason to have such low dps to begin with? In particular is there any reason to have such low dps in the higher difficulties? It’s easy to pick up a few things off the Auction House under a million or to craft your own gear to get you up to snuff. Maybe that comes off as snobbish and elitist but I don’t see why you would venture into anything in Hardcore that you are not prepared for. If I could not clear a run by myself solo I would not do it with a group. Sadly I don’t think everyone holds to that ideology.
Now at the release of 1.08 this wasn’t as much of an issue since most people were not yet entering into the fray of Hardcore. Many people were scared of the death playing with strangers could bring. Now that most have discovered that there is safety in numbers they have been pushing themselves higher than what they should go. This is leading to some players carrying others.
The biggest problem is not with their leeching it is how hard it is to avoid. With public games as they are now if you choose to leave a game you will quickly find yourself back in it. The pool of players is still relatively small in hardcore public games and you frequently run into the same people. This is great for meeting like-minded players but can be frustrating when you see that you will need to carry two others.
Take for instance the other night. I encountered that same WD from the screen shot above several times that day. Each time I would leave and try to find a new game. After several frustrating attempts we wound up in a party again. The group was doing well enough but the WD mainly hung back, having had enough I decided to mention her dps in chat to initiate a vote kick. She attempted to explain her dps was low because she was using mass hypnosis. After that she ported to the Fields of Misery as the rest of the group was in town. In a matter of seconds she was dead due to a large pack nearby while typing to us to “GO”. I felt bad that she died and lost her character but in the end she came unprepared and when there wasn’t anyone there to kill things for her she couldn’t and died.
Now where do we go from here? I don’t want to advocate a rigorous gear check system like WoW has, but I also don’t want to inspect each player as they come into the game either. Sure there could be a benchmark and we could say x dps for mp1 and y dps for mp5 but the easiest benchmark is to see if you can do it alone. Chances are if you can you’re fine and if you can’t it’s time to go down a notch.
How has leeching affected you? Is it a prevalent problem or minor nuisance?
One Life to Live covers the Hardcore play and life style in the Diablo community. It is written by Xanth and published weekly. Post your comments below, Follow me on Twitter @HCXanth or contact the author directly. For all the archived news about Diablo 3 hardcore check our Archives!