Chris Marks returns with another installment of DiConstruction, and for a change he’s taking on some of your words, with a mailbag. Since every website has comments and thus no one sends emails anymore, Chris pulled the sample in this “mailbag” from the comments of his recent and fairly contentious Hardcore column. His intro and the start of the column lies below; click through to read the whole thing.

    Diconstruction #14: From the Mailbag 1: HARDCORE!

    Since I started writing this column I’ve noticed that very few people feel strongly enough about the topics I’m covering to comment on them. I’ve only had three Diconstruction articles with more than 10 comments, and I have only received one actual email from my readership. Since I obviously hit a nerve with Article 11, The Hardcore Article, I thought it would be appropriate to choose one of the more vehement comments and respond to it, point by point. Because that’s how I roll.

    I agree with red_bear_neo?s opinion. The author is clearly holding his nose too high, praising Hardcore as the only Yevon religion. I undestand that when someone calls a large group players “sissies” (for no apparent reason), just because they prefer to play diffrently, has serious self esteem issues. Furthermore, judging and condemning (and that?s what this article DOES) people because they are and do something different is nothing short of racism. Only a fool, like the author in this article, offends people just for the sake of the argument.

    First of all, I don’t say anywhere in the article that Hardcore is better than Softcore. Nor do I judge or condemn anyone for playing Softcore (“Diablo for sissies” right after saying I’m playing Softcore? You took that seriously?). What I say is that Hardcore is for more serious players, because it’s harder, and from that I infer that those who exclusively play Softcore are therefor not as serious about the game as those who play Hardcore. See, there’s this thing called a metaphor, where I say one thing in order to say another. In this case, I said “When the next patch comes out I’m switching back exclusively to Hardcore … where the big boys play.” Given what I’ve already said in this paragraph, I’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader to figure out the metaphor here. I think it has something to do with monkeys.


    Secondly, that’s not racism, and it’s both insulting and offensive to those who have been the victim of racism to belittle the word by applying it to such a situation as this. As someone whose parents grew up in the midst of genuine racism, I have absolutely no patience for such abuse of the word. Besides, haven’t you heard about Obama being President of the United States? Racism in America is dead.

    Speaking of things that are offensive, I appreciate the irony of calling me a fool for the sake of argument, and then in the same sentence condemning those who do that as fools. Nice touch.

    Now, with the above said, lets focus on the meritum. Whether SC is better than HC or the other way around, is ALWAYS a personal view of every player. We can agree on one thing: playing SC is different from HC, both style require builds dedicated to separate goals. Yet, the rest of the article stand to debate at any time. So I?ll have a go with it.

    Since the last two sentences make no sense at all, I’ll focus on what comes before them. Let’s remember that it’s already been established that I never said one mode was better than the other. Personally, I prefer Hardcore for the reasons stated in the article, but I’ve been playing Softcore recently because I’m looking to use the game to relax rather than as something to focus on. There’s a place in the game for both, and when I’m ready to take the game very seriously again (notice the common thread here?) I’ll go back to Hardcore.

    Also, since when are the goals of Softcore and Hardcore different? “Kill everything and don’t die” is what the entire game comes down to, and which flavour of Diablo 2 you’re playing doesn’t change that. The difference is what happens when you die: in Softcore you keep going with a minor penalty, in Hardcore you stay dead. Very dead. So dead that your dead ancestors say “man, I’d hate to be that guy.” My point remains.

    1)“don?t respawn in town (…)uncomfortably strip yourself bare, and really that?s kind of gross anyway (…) peeling your equipment off your own sagging and probably stinky with sweat corpse? I?ll pass, thank you.”

    Excuse me, but are you a no-life or just detatched from reality? First of all Diablo is just a GAME, and it?s primary function is to spend some time having FUN. And since when bothering about virtual sweat is a part of having fun, playing an on-line game? Futhermore, what has that to do with game experience, and Hardcore playing for that matter?

    So there’s this thing called creative license, where I get to describe how it would play out in the real world while talking about the game in order to make things more fun to read. I’ve used it throughout the entire column, I’m surprised you’re only taking issue with it now. I also notice the continued irony of accusing me of being a no-life or detached from reality after already establishing that people who toss out insults for no good reason are fools, but really, it’s starting to wear thin.

    2)“The original Diablo didn?t have anything even remotely resembling Hardcore mode” – as Lanthanide pointed out, in the original Diablo there was something between SC & HC.

    You know what something between a tugboat and a battleship is? A schooner. Now show me one that can bombard a city.

    3)“Getting a high level Softcore character doesn?t mean anything because anyone can do it. Getting a high level Hardcore character takes dedication, devotion, stamina, attention and care,”. Debatable, considering that anyone can also attain lvl 99 Hardcore. The point is, it?s not the side of the force (core) you?re playing that matter, but determination, devotion you put into playing. The only differance between SC & HC is how you play. I see it like this: SC is for the loners (an irony, as MPlayer is supposed to help people play together) and HC supports real team play. Yes, this is BN reality, as Bashiok confirms it, that many people play single in pass protected games, mostly SC. But back to SC & HC – the goal is the same but the means are different. So your screaming “respect me cause I?m 99 HC” is just being loud.

    I’ll tell you what, person to whom I’m responding: if you can go out and get a level 99 Hardcore character on your first try, I’ll mail you a box of cookies. Any type of cookies you like, except raisin because I don’t trust anything that can survive being completely dehydrated. Hardcore is harder because Softcore doesn’t require determination or devotion, just time. Also, right now Hardcore mostly supports the use of hacks and cheats to kill unsuspecting players; it’s much harder to find people worth playing with on Hardcore than it is on Softcore. So if I had been screaming for respect (which I wasn’t), it would have been legitimate.

    Next time Mr Marks, BEFORE you write anything, THINK and don?t let emotions and frustration cloud your judgement.

    I did. You got butthurt. Wait, is caps lock still cruise control for cool? I forget.

    It?s no big deal to write “you suck ?cause you?re SC and I?m the ?man? ?cause I?m HC”, but it?s something to be objective and to respect people, whether they play like you or not. We, the community, respect people who devote their time and achieve all that is to achieve, including mastering the game in HC. We don?t need a loudmouth to preach about what we should and what we should not.

    It’s a good thing this is the end of the comment I’m responding to, because the irony of insulting me has now officially run its course. So good timing, I guess. What you have failed to glean from my article is that I wasn’t insulting anybody, I was challenging you to step up your game and take it more seriously by taking a run at Hardcore. The last heading in the article is “What Are You, Chicken?” Since when is that an insult instead of a challenge or dare? I guess if you’re a rooster or a self-conscious turkey it could count as one. And calling Softcore “Diablo for sissies” immediately after saying it’s how I’m playing the game? I didn’t know self deprecation humour was setting the bar so high.

    I almost went an entire article without a subheading. That would have been awkward.

    Seriously, if you’re going to read a column in the style of this one, you need a bit of a thicker skin. Unless I write something like “anyone who plays Necromancers will die a virgin,” if you’re insulted by what I’m writing then I guarantee it’s just a joke that you’re not getting. Actually even if I did write that, in context it would probably still be a joke you’re not getting. I mean, they do summon fake friends instead of having real ones, and they encase people in small cells in order to use their Bone Spear on them… Necromancers are nasty.

    Opinions expressed in columns and guest articles are those of their authors, and not necessarily those of Diii.net.

    Diconstruction (Diablo Deconstruction) is written by Chris Marks.  It examines differences between the two (soon to be three) Diablo games, as well as comparing them to other games, in a hopefully amusing style.  Diconstruction is published on the first and third Tuesday of every month. Leave your comments below, or contact the author directly.

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