One of the (few?) players who hasn’t yet made the switch to DiabloWikiHardcore asked some questions about what it’s like to change your mindset to accept the risk of loss and live with the Diablo 3 Hardcore Mentality. If you guys are regular readers you’ve gotten insight into this from Xanth’s columns (and occasional dirge), but if you want to hear some Blue thoughts on the issue, here’s your chance:

    Sometimes I get interested in trying out HC but I always shy away because I know I would be too frustrated if my toon, which I invested maybe dozens if not more hours in it would die.

    Paragon 100 Hardcore death.

    Paragon 100 Hardcore death.

    What’s your mindset about it? I really would like to hear your mental strategies becaus I cannot imagine anybody could just shrug it off (for a toon that has dozens of hours and at least decent gear).

    Grimiku: I don’t think most Hardcore players “just shrug it off” if their character dies, but I can only attest to the attitude I see from my circle of friends. Most of us feel at least some level of bitterness when a hero is lost, but we also feel the added value is well worth the genuine risk. Personally, I feel like the best way to tackle Hardcore is by placing a higher value on the immediate experience rather than long term character progression. In short, have fun killing demons right here, right now. When I look at Diablo III like that, Hardcore is a lot of fun.

    Don’t get me wrong, I play both modes, and I think that’s the best choice. Sometimes you want to play without a steep penalty for making a mistake, or just be where your friends are.

    Vaeflare: I think that for me, part of the enjoyment comes from the excitement that death can be right around the next corner at any time, and that sense of anticipation keeps me on my toes.

    When I was growing up, a lot of the games I enjoyed the most had that sense of finality to them, where if you died (or ran out of a limited number of lives), you simply had to start over. Because of that very real risk, I found that how I approached fights fundamentally changed when I was aware that my last fight could be my last. It’s for that reason that I tend to change it up and play both regular mode and Hardcore in Diablo III.

    Dying is never fun, but I don’t find that the sting of losing a hero lasts too long. (My most recent Hardcore hero actually met her demise due to the fact that a renegade cat hair had unceremoniously lodged itself under a section of my mouse. Bah!) My recommendation would be to just try it out, particularly if you have a friend or two that is willing to accompany you in Sanctuary and watch your back.

    Just remember that while your hero may not live forever, their deeds will indeed be remembered.

    I lost my first high level D3 Hardcore, a Paragon 61 Monk, a month or so ago. And it sucked, especially since it was such a weird and sudden death. Click through to read about that, and some general thoughts about the Hardcore mindset.

    My Monk died to a RD Elite with Horde that I encountered through a doorway in Leoric’s Torture levels. Couldn’t see what I was hitting, and my hps went from full to zero so quickly I didn’t even notice if NDE clicked. Literally less than .5 sec from start to dead.

    Happily, I’d built up over 200m and left behind a fair amount of gear I’d outgrown along the way, so it’s been a lot easier building my second Monk, who is now back to P57. Same build but a lot of different gear, and I’m making this one, quite intentionally, a bit lower on the DiabloWikiDPS and a lot higher on the DiabloWikiEHP slider.

    Xanth's tragic fate.

    Xanth’s tragic fate.

    I wish the first Monk hadn’t died, but as HC players always say, it’s the risk of death that makes life enjoyable. Players like the OP in the blue post seem to put all their value on the ultimate goal. If all you care about is having a P100 char, then HC isn’t for you. You might get there — I know several people who have (or had) hardcore P100s (and it’s funny since they mostly play other chars/classes, now) — but that’s not the main or only goal, and once you’re there you aren’t safe forever. The journey matters, not just the destination. Every new level up is a bit more power and every item find is a bit more for the bankroll. Knowing you might not (probably won’t) make it to P100, and that if you do it’ll be due to skill and patience and concentration, not just hours spent, is what makes the process enjoyable.

    And no, we HC players don’t spend every instant on our virtual toes, with full concentration required to stay a millimeter ahead of death. Most of the time we’re grinding on a safe(ish) MP, but even then there’s attention required in case of some freak DiabloWikiWaller, DiabloWikiArcane Enchanted, DiabloWikiMolten, DiabloWikiFrozen. Also, the multiplayer experience is much better, people are more helpful and cooperative, and I find the gear game much more enjoyable and multifaceted since you have to min/max a lot more, and really push for EHP *and* DPS, which tweaks item value quite a bit from softcore, with stats like Vit, %Life, Res, blocking, and LoH carrying much higher value.

    If you’re interested in trying out Hardcore, check out our Diablo 3 Hardcore strategy forum for a lot of great advice and camaraderie. You can find advice for surviving with a Monk, Witch Doctor, Wizard, and Barbarian, and shoulders to cry on if you insist upon playing a Demon Hunter. There’s even a place to bury your dead.

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