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    In a little over a month ROS will be live, and open to all (who purchase it of course) and while it brings a breath of fresh air to the game, there are still things in our mode that haven’t changed. The main issues and a rant on pools of reflection after the bump.

    pool-of-reflection1

    Disconnect issues

    Let’s hit the big one first. A large issue with hardcore is the gap between a disconnect and time your character is left in the game. It should be only 10 seconds(the standard time in game to logout) however, if the server doesn’t receive the signal that you’ve dropped connection immediately then you could be standing there for much longer, and you might be logging back into your ghost.

    I can not really attest to any disconnection issues. I’ve only had a handful in the time that I’ve played since the launch of Vanilla, and have had no disconnects during the beta. However my experience seems incongruous with what others may say. As a result ROS will not be bringing some sort of change on the front for disconnect issues. If you’ve stayed away from HC for that fact you may want to remain so. What I can say is that the larger health pools has eliminated the fear of a quick 1 shot death but I’m not sure how many characters could survive 30 seconds to a minute of being wailed on by fearsome foes.

    Player killing/griefing

    With the lack of pvp and the hostile button people have found nefarious way to grief their fellow players. The largest one hangs on the ability to lure monsters while stacking heavy defense, and creating a horde that will levy your prey. This has been going on for months, and once one person abandons their attack, another picks up the mantle.

    Will ROS change this?

    As far as I can tell it will not, well not directly anyway. The Beta has not been a breeding ground for this activity but it still could be accomplished. People could still set up traps at various bounty points and then open their game to the public. The larger health pools we’ll have at 70 could help alleviate some of the sting from the trap,but if you’re at a high enough difficulty, or there are enough monsters swarming you any amount of health won’t help.

    So what can ROS do currently to stop it?

    It lies in a few things gear and social features. Some gear can help you get out of a precarious situation. Barter town pads come to mind. With them you can use your portal while taking half damage and not interrupting your cast. Now is it ideal to always equip these? Of course not but it’s an option. It would be awesome if this was an inherent capability upon taking a banner or portal and being attacked.

    In tandem with gear there is the new social features of clans and communities. These can serve as a sounding board to warn other players of the inherent dangers other players present. Presently PK’s can work somewhat anonymously as you cannot call someone out on the official forums, and they key in on players who are relatively oblivious to the information on them anyway. Now with clans and guilds you can post out information, or even keep a list of people who are griefing and warn your comrades about their abilities.

    The other thing that could decline griefing is the fact that those who grief rely on specific builds and gear that is quite plentiful on the auction house, but may not be as fruitful in a post-AH game. So with the right combination of warnings and gear dissipating with death the concept of griefing could fade. However, the inclusion of the mystic could allow players to compensate for this loss by catering their found gear to meet their devious needs.

    Will this be enough to sway people not to do it? Of course not but it might make it a bit harder until Blizzard does something to actively discourage this ability.

    Pools of reflection rant

    I’ve found plenty of pools of reflection and have yet to lose my buff since they were implemented. I see them all the time, and in hardcore it really feels like a static buff to experience gain. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to have the buff but it largely feels pointless. The goal is to reward lack of death in SC but as our mode is based purely around avoiding death a bonus for doing just that doesn’t seem needed. I wish there was something different in hardcore for these pools, something that made them more meaningful for our mode. However, I’m stuck on ideas at the moment, so I turn it to you.

    How could pools of reflection be tuned to our mode that rewards the hardcore mindset? And are any of those other issues pressing for you in ROS?

    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 him on Twitter @HCXanth or contact the author directly. For all the archived news about Diablo 3 hardcore check our Archives!

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