One life to Live # 14 : Good news, bad news

With a slow trickle of information about the game coming in, there have been some major Hardcore revelations that have come to light. One will change the way we play at release, one will change a known hardcore fail safe and one will actually enhance the hardcore experience. What they are and my analysis after the bump.

No corpse looting

While I’ve expressed my love for the feature in podcasts and in print, I’m not surprised to see it go. The need for someone to grab your gear off your corpse has faded. Now with the shared stash we can keep the things we need most safely tucked away and not on our characters. We also have artisans for quick crafting, and our stash to gear up quickly after our demise. Looting the few things we have equipped now doesn’t seem as necessary, but perhaps we lose something else.

Yes we will still lose our shiny weapons, armor, and anything else on us, but what we really lose is the trust and camaraderie. Trusting someone to loot your corpse was a great bond between players and friends, and emphasized the hardcore communities tight bonds. Now we have to rely on our own judgment and and pack rat like skills to keep items in our stash. With the loss of corpse looting we also lose griefers trying to steal your items, squabbles with people who didn’t return your stuff, and a truly fresh start. While I still like the idea of it I can see how it has a diminished role in Diablo 3.

While I won’t say this will break the strength of the Hardcore community,I do think it is another chink in the armor. From my beta experience games are limited in terms of conversation, with almost no one utilizing the text box. Multiplayer games also bring unneeded danger with overzealous partners causing turmoil all around you. We also lack the ability to name our games, and are dropped willy-nilly into a game with strangers. All of this creates a lack of cohesiveness, and sets the stage for a fractured community.


The Halls of the Dead

We have plans to create a Hall of the Dead where your can view your deceased HC characters, and you will probably also be able to view fun and interesting statistics about them.

Finally! With a few ghosts still sitting on my Diablo 2 account this is great news. Not only to we have a way to honor our dead characters but stats to look at as well. Long ago we wondered what would happen with dead Hardcore characters and this was a suggestion that came up due to the character limit. Now we can still use all our available slots while keeping the memories of our characters fresh. I am still looking forward to seeing how this is presented, and hopefully it’s better than a pile of sticks!

Softcore Dilemma

Lastly is the fact that as of right now:

 Q. Do you have to play through softcore to unlock hardcore?
Jay Wilson: Oooh, good question, yes, you will have to play through to a certain point to unlock hardcore mode, I think it’s through normal difficulty after you kill the end boss. I’m like 90% sure, so we could change our minds.

I’ve been racking my brain to construct the proper argument against this. Instead I revert to a primal scream of “Nooooo” and proceed to smash things around me. After de-hulking I constructed a list.

1.Harcore players will now need to go through content in order to play the content they desire. Some players may enjoy the stress free play through, however some want the challenge to be fresh and unknown from the start. This way there will be no surprises at end bosses, no mystery around each corner

2. Why not simply have a warning before hitting the hardcore selection button? We know we will have one anyway is it that big of a deal to have it right away? Are they assuming people won’t read it and click it by mistake? I know the game is shifting in the early levels to cater to a more casual gamer but should we be assuming they would be dumb enough to complain after clicking through the warning?

3. Is a single play through enough to deem a player competent enough to play hardcore? I doubt it, so why have it if the first place?

Hardcore is a choice, lets keep it at that. Allow the choice from the start. Lets not force players to push through content on characters they won’t use once they enable it. Also as a gamer with limited time it will prevent me from actually playing the game I want to in the time I have. I may not be able to rush through that single play through like some people will.

Next week: The monk’s Lethal decoy: cool skill or cheating hardcore death?

One Live 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 me on Twitter @HCXanth or contact the author directly.

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28 thoughts on “One life to Live # 14 : Good news, bad news

  1. 1.Harcore players will now need to go through content in order to play the content they desire.

    Perhaps my memory is failing me, but wasn’t that how you unlocked hardcore in D2?

    • Konfeta you are correct, but keep in mind Hardcore at the time was new to the game. It had not established a fan base or interest yet. They also did patch it later on to enable hardcore creation from the start as well. Hardcore is no longer new, most returning players know what they are getting into, and in fact desire it!

  2. Couldn’t you just delete your character if it died in softcore to simulate hardcore when you first play through in normal? It might sound silly, but it will keep that ‘dealing with the unknown’ factor that might be enjoyable for HC fans.

    I agree though. I cannot see one reason why HC shouldn’t be available from the start.

    • That was what i was planning, however i just realized that over multiple deaths, we’ll start accumulating a bunch of SC gear, which *disappears* when finally allowed to play hardcore.  Since items don’t carry over between SC and HC.  To me this is a good argument against SC-playthrough. I lose all my items and have wasted my time.

      I might just have to go the usual route then, dead weight L1 rush through the forced quest points and not actually play the game.  My entire goal with D3 is to play HC from the start and see what that feels like.  I refuse to legitimately play through on SC.

  3. “I know the game is shifting in the early levels to cater to a more casual gamer but should we be assuming they would be dumb enough to complain after clicking through the warning?”

    you are seriously underestimating the stupidity of some people on the internet. That said, I do agree, HC should be made available from the start.

    • HAHA!  If they’re noobs enough to click on hardcore and not know what it means, they deserve to learn the hard way.  It probably won’t take that long before they find out anyways!

  4. Xanth,
    Did you ever write that column about the origin of hardcore?  I may have missed it, but still really want to read about it.
    I agree about being able to play hardcore right from the start.  I believe players are smart enough to know what they’re getting into.  A simple message box to confirm what the player wants to do would be more than sufficient.
    The ‘Hall of the Dead’ is a great idea.  It keeps the dead characters separate from the other save files, so I won’t need to scroll through them to find my game.

      • You should also look into the Witch Doctor Passive skill called “Spirit Vessel”. It is a free Spirit Walk when you die plus heals you by 10% of your total life.
        >.>…. I can not figure out how to message you directly.

  5. “Hall of the Dead”? Wtf ;_;

    Why not Valhalla or Valholl? “Hall of the slain” That’s so much more badass!

    Maybe Folkvang or Hel? Oh well..

  6. I feel like they are all positive. Recovering your items doesn’t really sound like hardcore to me, playing softcore Normal difficulty would not be a problem for anyone interested in the lore.

  7. Limited gaming time is the reason I won’t be focusing on HC as the main way of playing D3 – hate losing the work I’ve put into the characters.
    That aside, I do enjoy HC and the rush you get when you’re getting away with something incredibly stupid 😉

    Just a thought – wouldn’t it be an idea if they gave players a command line option to enable HC at will? That way ‘noobs’ wouldn’t unlock it by accident and it’d still be availble to those who only want to play that way.

    • That is a fantastic idea.  Anyone willing to go through the effort of using a command line surely should be allowed to start HC straight off.

    • Good idea, if they select hardcore then just force them to type in “I understand that hardcore death is permanent.”

  8. Well, tbh I think it’s always the better choice to go through normal without hardcore even if you intend to play hardcore and for most players the restriction is probably for the better.
    However, the argument that you want the hardcore feeling *especially* while you don’t know the content yet, is a really valid argument that I honestly hadn’t really considered yet. You will die to unexpected things and will have to restart numerous times, which is probably the reason why they want to spare people the frustration, but I understand what you mean.

    Unless this is already being discussed at large in the official forums, you should definitely go ahead and make your voice heard, I have a feeling that they would agree with that argument as well.

    • Well, tbh I think it’s really idiotic to go through any softcore content since you don’t need the levels and you don’t need the stuff dropping. To HC players SC stuff is just worthless crap. Even if you die in HC you have stashed something away so you don’t start at zero. If you play HC you know you can die and it’s part of the game. People who want to explore the game safely can do so by starting a SC character by choice.

  9. Looting was stupid in D2 and I’m glad it’s not making a return.  It gave WAYY too big of an advantage to people who multiboxed, and that would be even bigger in D3.  There was very little camraderie involved, imo, in having a game running around by yourself with a high level alt sitting in town to loot  (and probably BO) just incase you died.

  10. hey guys, i think this hardcore limitation sucks. How can we complain about it / make our voices heard to the authorities??

    • I suggest posting on the official forums. I’ve done it already but if it’s done in mass i’m sure they could hear our complaint.

  11. mmmm i suggest giving ur account to a fren who is wiling to play SC, let him play thru the game once on SC, and u play hardcore after him. 

  12. So Xanth you said, I’ve been racking my brain to construct the proper argument against this  It looks like you were racking the D3 forums on bnet under my topic Unlocking Hardcore  You should atleast cite that stuff man.. MuShMaN

    • Good point MuShMaN, but as it’s been a few weeks since that and the thread has been pushed down I’m hoping more threads pop up now.

  13. “The monk’s Lethal decoy: cool skill or cheating hardcore death?”
    I.e. Astral Projection (alabaster)?  At 75 spirit for 9 seconds of insurance . . . you’re basically crippling your ability to survive in order to have insurance in case you don’t.
    I’m still going with WD for hardcore.

  14. The crazy thing is that post isn’t even a week old yet and got 16 pages of replies!  Hopefully it stays hot and creates some attention.  All of us hardcore players would like to start as m such.  Hopefully blizzard takesm that into account.

  15. If they don’t think people are smart enough to understand a checkbox to allow off line play, they don’t think people are smart enough to understand a checkbox for hardcore play. Also – remember this is online-only. Are you sure you want to lose your first characters to lag due to inundated servers during the start-up?

  16. Fallout New Vegas made hardcore mode abundantly clear, and you knew exactly what you were getting into.  It was available from the get-go and there was virtually no way to select it by accident.  I definitely agree with you on that issue.

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