With the recent discussion of hardcore death not taking away account shared paragon experience , I’ve begun to wonder if we might tweek then the very skills that have prolonged our lives for so long. After all, if the time invested was the largest sacrifice and losing a high level character the biggest hurdle, do we need to strive so hard to keep it? Could we live without our cheating death passives?

    My main is a Witch Doctor and before him was a Monk, and before that Monk was a Witch doctor, and before that was a.. You see where I am going. I’ve been drawn to these two classes since beta but one of the sticking points of them( especially in Hardcore) has been the get out of death card. It clearly hasn’t saved me every single time, in fact the almost full hall of heroes is pushed to the brim with my fallen Witch Doctors, but it’s saved me plenty of times that I should have died. In D2 there were no death avoidance skills, you merely beefed up your vit and defense and went along your way. A small error, a lag spike, or an unscrupulous player all could take your character’s life away in an instant. While some of that is true of D3 our survival is now more in our control than ever before. We control our difficulty, our skills change on a whim, and players can’t kill us( without resorting to nefarious ways).

    However, with that shift in what we would lose on death maybe we are harking back to d2 more now. After all, reaching high levels in the expansion wasn’t too difficult, it took some time but could be managed. D3 on the other hand has had a heavy hour requirement to reach those upper paragons making the loss significantly more difficult. If we shift our paradigm and now more focused on the gear lost as opposed to time invested, then should we need skills that help us avoid death?

    As I pointed out in my last column, I’m not opposed to the idea of the DiabloWikisharagonsystem in hardcore, but I hope for a uptick in difficulty to help mitigate the instant power characters will gain upon leveling back up. This might be accomplished by phasing out the cheat death passives and simultaneously opening up builds to a different level of possibilities. These skills have become a crutch and a hindrance in Hardcore. It’s hard to find a monk without DiabloWikiNear death experience, a wizard without DiabloWikiUnstable Anomaly, or a Witch Doctor without DiabloWikiSpirit Vessel. They almost feel like requirements in Hardcore because of what they do. 99% of the time you’ll never see it, but when it does work you’re happy it did. Should that be the case?

    What if the expansion eliminates them completely? We often complain about the Demon hunters lack of it, since the class feels like it needs it, however if our very concept of what we may lose in Hardcore is changing then why not change the option to avoid it? From the very beginning I was hesitant about these skills in hardcore questioning whether or not they took away from the mode. We’ve not gotten to the point that they almost feel mandatory because they are there, and you’d be foolish not to use them.

    It also appears we will be getting ladders in the xpac which then means we’ll be leaving characters behind often and no longer holding onto them for several months(I assume) which then leads into less need to have skills to prolong their life.The xpac provides the perfect ground to eliminate these skills and start fresh. We’re seeing the cheat death stats show up on items that break upon use and that seems like a fitting relegation for them. They are a one off, and still allow for an escape at a cost. They also can be used on all classes, however they would be useless if we still have the passives in play to take away from them.

    Should the xpac eliminate death cheating passives? Or should they stay the same?

    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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