One of the things about hardcore that makes it great is the death penalty. It is what keeps the economy going, people striving to see how far they can go, and what makes the game is some way a bit more meaningful and challenging than its softcore counterpart. With paragon 2.0 in the works however some things are changing and blurring the lines between modes.
If you breezed past that tweet let me quote it for you
If this is to go live that means when you die you will lose only the gear you had on that character and the time invested getting them to level 70. Let that sink in for a second.
So what does that mean? One of the big penalties becomes a bit less harsh. Having just hit paragon 100 recently I know how much it would suck to lose him. However what would be harder to replace than any piece of gear was the time I put in to get him to that point. Each level was a labor of love to improve my character (albeit marginally) and to pursue a quest of hitting 100. However in the new system, the Witch Doctor that would replace him would pick up on the same stage as the previous one just with a different mash up of gear. Suddenly the journey becomes a little less meaningful, and in essence that’s the most captivating part of the mode.
To have such a light penalty for death seems odd. While it will still require you to go through the paces of trekking 1-70 everything else is handed back to you once you get there. Currently going 1-60 doesn’t take too long any more even solo, and if your are rushed it can be done in a few short hours. I once complained in my first column about hardcore becoming less so due to a shared stash and lack of pvp, but we managed to get by (and I lost my share of characters). Yet this seems to be a bit more extreme and ground breaking for the mode.
Now I can understand there is an upside to this. It would be great to play any character I had and not feel penalized because I had invested more time in another. It also would be nice not to have to trek to 100 again on each class to feel powerful with that class. It would also be nice to rebound quickly and know the only thing standing in your way was 1-70.
That being said, is death enough of a penalty then? Is simply starting over with no loss on the shared scale enough? Why not eliminate half (at minimum) of the experience gained by that character who died. That way your shared account would still take a hit, while not depleting every gain that was made. Or you could take it to the extreme and eliminate all of that character’s earned experience. Either way would be preferable to the slap on a wrist that it might be. It would also show that death is still meaningful and more than your gold stash will take a hit.
Now this is all speculative. Perhaps with the new system we will be seeing a huge upswing in difficulty that would have us losing characters as quickly as we did in d2 (msle anyone?) and in that case perhaps this change would be welcomed. However, in the game’s current state death is already pretty avoidable, and when it does find you know it’s a journey to get back to where you once were, a challenge to emulate your past success, not something easily replicated with a few hours time and AH scouring.
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m in the minority. Do you think the new death penalty in Hardcore is a good thing or a bad one? Sound off in the comments and let’s generate a discussion!
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!