Diablo 3 Hardcore ROS Beta impressions part deux

After a brief hiatus, I’m happy to be back in Sanctuary fighting for my survival in DiabloWikiHardcore. Since the beta dropped I’ve gone hands on with the one thing we most dread having to do..level a character. In fact in the time since the beta launched I’ve actually leveled three characters.One by choice, One by death, and one by accident and each time I learned something new.

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The choice

I chose to jump into the DiabloWikiCrusader due to my love of the Paladin from d2 and my curiosity for a tanky class in hardcore. The process from 1-59 seemed rather quick. I found the act one DiabloWikibounties to be the quickest to farm and the easiest way to level quickly. Something I would find myself emulating later on. Rifts were/are exciting but I couldn’t beat the quickness and effectiveness of bounties. I found myself settling on hard difficulty as normal was easy and master too difficult, hard was the happy medium. As I continued onward to sixty I didn’t notice the lack of DiabloWikilife steal, as I wasn’t missing it on a new character. I did notice however that I wasn’t steamrolling through content even with some of the hand me down gear I had stashed away. I found myself while leveling quickly marveling at how the pace of the game seems to have changed. As I was pushing on to 60 I hit a nasty pack in tight corners and met my demise sadly too soon, and bubble shy of 60. So close, yet so far from 70.

The death

Determined to make it work again I set back on the trek to 70. Again I went the route of straight bounties not making time to dawdle in rifts or anything else. Having lost my DiabloWikihellfire ring and hand me down weapons I was at a loss to quickly gear from my stash, however the drops in game were quite enough to make up for it. I then ptsd to quickly clear my stash of all the clutter I had been hanging on to since it was quite apparent I wasn’t ever going to use any of the relics from D3V that I had used in previous leveling journeys. The game was just provide ding better gear then I had saved. Which in turn makes starting back up a bit better. I also was able to pick up some legendaries along the way that made leveling not only quicker but more fun as I was continual wondering what I might get next. I managed to play a few games with Neinball and Flux and the leveling did pick up a bit but it still felt like I could be more effective leveling solo as I could quick jump to each bounty and not have to wait for others to join in.

The accident

As my crusader was close to sixty I made a foolish choice to reimport my characters to get my WD back after losing him too quickly on day 1. That import wiped out my crusader and sent me back on my journey yet again. This time I had a good handle on the class and how to play and had my nice leveling hellfire ring to use as well. The crusader’s god beam had also been nerfed so I was free to deviate from that spell and try new things. Once more I set out on bounties, sticking mainly to act one but branching out here and there for some diversity. The levels seemed to stack up quicker this time around, perhaps due to familiarity with the process, and in what seemed like a short amount of time I made it to the top of the mountain to 70 where the real fun begins.

The aftermath

After all the leveling I can say it is a much less tedious process that in D3V. Each time I was trying new builds and skills, getting new gear and not simply burning through content to reach the end. Sure I wanted to hit 70, but I actually enjoyed the trip there as opposed to in D3v where the only thing you wanted was a rush from a friend. The non-linear structure also helped avoid the dead zone and the feeling of dread when stepping into hell with a level 51. Leveling now seems doable and far less tedious than it used to and it’s hard to say that’s not a good thing for hardcore.

Along the way to 70 some things became apparent that seem to shake up our mode. Health globes are still there but seem to be either feast or famine. I’ve found myself saving health globes in certain points in case I need to run back. As health bars have amped up so much( mine’s 600k) having 1000 life on hit just isn’t enough to keep you going in tight corners. The lack of life steal shakes up the way you play and in someways it’s refreshing though it’s hard not to miss the easy button. I also noticed that with the expanded health pools your health isn’t dropping nearly as fast as what it did in D3V so you can maneuver a bit to get out of those bad spots. That’s not to say death is 100& avoidable but you strategize a bit and fight it out as opposed to just succumbing to death. I’ve found myself kiting more packs than I ever did pre-xpac and felt far more victorious wiping them out after a hard fought battle. I’ve had to use all skills on my bar several times just to stay afloat but it was much better than simple spamming one. With packs having a greater punch escape skills and death cheats really feel like a necessity as opposed to over gearing content to avoid using them.

As always I welcome your questions about hardcore in ROS either post them below or find me on twitter at @HCxanth and I’ll get back to you!


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19 thoughts on “Diablo 3 Hardcore ROS Beta impressions part deux

  1. I don’t have questions specifically about HC, but I do have a few about the skills of the Witch Doctor:

    1) How viable are the newly buffed DoT skills? Haunt is abysmal in the current version of the game and skills like Corpses Spiders / Spider Queen or Fire Bomb / Fire Pit isn’t any better either.

    2) Same question about pets. I’m curious about Fetishes primarily, since their damage got buffed the most (20% -> 130% I believe).

    3) I think it was Wyatt Cheng, who mentioned that the WD will get a new passive skill, that will increase the duration of all his/her DoTs to 5 minutes or something like this. Is there any trace of this in the beta?

    • I also have a question regarding the WD new DoT 5 min passive skill. When it says it will make your DoT last 5 minutes. Will the skill do the same XXX% damage over 5 minutes instead of XXX% over 16 sec. Because to me this sounds more like a nerf to the WD DoT. Eg if locust swarm did 1600% weapon damage over 5 minutes (5.3% damage per second for 300 seconds) it is much less than 1600% damage over 16 secs (100% damage per second for 16 seconds).

      Please can you confirm how this works. Give us more cool RoS info on the WD please.

      • Would if I could on the WD, but after reimporting him and beginning the trek back to 70 He died facing Adria, which is quite the tough fight on HC. So as a result my time has mainly been focused on the crusader

      • Passive: “Creeping Death – Your Haunt, Locust Swarm and the damage amplification from Piranhas last almost forever” Flavour: “There are some terrors that cannot be outrun. Bit by bit, second by second, they consume you.”

        And it seems like it lasts forever!

          • I’ve tried Haunt and found it still not worth using. Not enough damage, and doesn’t spread to everything, as Locust Swarm does. Which is much improved, but still not enough damage to really earn a skill slot.

            I tried Locust Swarm with the passive, but didn’t really notice it helping. I used it with the Fire Locusts for extra damage, rather than the 100% chance to split to new targets rune, figuring the added duration would be valuable. Didn’t seem to make much difference and I switched back to the “better spreader” rune after a bit.

            I don’t know what the point in it lasting forever is; either all the enemies in the area die and then the locusts are irrelevant, or in one of the very rare long battles… it’s just saving you from having to recast them occasionally?

  2. Nice write up! I’m glad to hear that the 1-60 (70) leveling process is enjoyable once more. I’ve dabbled a bit in D3V HC, but my instinct in Diablo games is always to go self-found and D3V isn’t very well suited for that, especially when it comes to re-rolling HC characters. Not only the better drops, but also the freedom away from the horribly confining campaign system in D3V really makes me want to go back to HC in RoS.

    • I don’t have the actually numbers on me but I can attest it’s much quicker than 1-60 now. Granted In D3V you can get rushed rather quickly, but just bootstrapping your way back solo is quite doable and not as time consuming as it used to be.

    • It’s hard to estimate the playtime comparison. In D3 you can just fire up MP10 and know exactly how hard the enemies will be in any point in the act, so you know what you can handle. In RoS I guess we’ll learn that with trial and error, but the monsters are always your level no matter where you go. This means you gain more exp per act since you don’t run into dead zones or level above the content.

      And you can get exp from doing bounties, which seem to earn more exp than grinding, plus that exp isn’t boosted by +exp gear (though the monsters you kill on the way are). In theory you could play with really good gear, no +exp stuff, and just do bounties on a higher difficulty level and you’d gain more exp than playing on a lower difficulty and not doing bounties while wearing a HR and other exp stuff.

  3. Hi Xanth, Just one question. Did BoA legendaries affect your fun? Or was it more fun self finding all your gear? ok its a two part question 🙂

    Many people playing RoS are not really talking about how BoA legendaries is affecting the gameplay. Is it more fun or not?

    • I haven’t been too hindered by the Boa concept. It seems to add a sting to death as you know it will be hard to replace that good gear you’ve found. It also was fun to find new things each time on the way back up that changed the game play for myself/
      One frustrating element is wanting to try new builds based off of gear you’ve seen from other users but you’re reliant on rng to drop it for you.

  4. I have a WD in D3V and I love playing the WD. My question is regarding new health mechanics in the game and how it works or doesn’t with the WD channeling spells.

    I use Firebats>Plague Bats on my main and Locust Swarm>Pestilence on my second. Standing still is very important for uninterrupted channeling and effective damage output.

    How does this work (or doesn’t) with the currently implemented “don’t standstill or get punished for it” attitude of new health mechanics?

    • It’s a lot harder to stand and spam, especially on packs that set a huge amount of damage at your feet. I was a zombie bears WD and even that felt tougher as I was running around a lot.

  5. Great read (wish i was going to be able to just re-install my DH after the first time i died. lol
    Flux said in a post that it could get frustrating how slowly you lvlup your paragons after you get to lvl 70. Are you finding it the same?
    You have told me before (D3V) that with the WD on MP2( maybe higher), you are able to survive a 10sec dropout, but still get exp on that diff. Will that still be the case, or will those days be gone. So when it comes to HC it wont matter what class you use from a net dropout point of view?

    • Regen is really boosted in RoS. I haven’t looked through all the WD options for that, but w/o life steal you need a steady flow of hps coming in, since you can’t get it in huge LS spikes. I’ve been playing a DH with Brooding and the Boar Familiar, and I can also add LoH and regen with Vengeance and Gloom. It’s crazy amount of regen; something like 45k per second, + more than 15k LoH. (Not even using Cloud of Shriuken on her yet.)

      That char takes no noticeable damage from anything short of Torment and standing in a couple of elemental boss properties (which all seem to be much nastier in RoS). This might be the way to go in HC, especially for ranged attackers who aren’t usually tanking in the super damaging places.

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