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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