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    There is a debate brewing, one that affects every Hardcore player and will affect us from start( or at least I hope). Should we be able to start Hardcore from day one or does it need to be earned? While I’ve been watching from afar I jumped into the fray and hoped to start more conversation. The results and reaction after the bump.

    The Diablo forums are a dangerous mix of apathy, trolls and perceived conceptions of importance ( which this may apply). That being said they are also our main form of communication with Blizzard. So with months without hearing anything about Hardcore, and several threads created and ignored I went to spark the conversation anew.

    My goal in starting the conversation stems from the only bit of information we’ve had on the subject.

     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.

    In the spirit of debate I thought I’d outline the arguments presented.

    Hardcore  grants a selective status.

    Out of all the arguments this is the one that makes the most sense( though) I’m not swayed. Originally this was brought to me a long time ago by Dom who emailed me but I never got a chance to include it until now. The concept is that since you have defeated the normal mode you have earned the new difficulty and a part of an exclusive club. One that not anyone can get into, one that shows you’ve been tested and one that will keep the bad players out.

    The problem with the earning of it is that it isn’t like Nightmare, Hell or Inferno. Earning the right to continue onto another difficulty is a game staple and that character you made is rushed into a new situation with new challenges. Hardcore is not that, earning it will not progress that character but allow you to start from scratch with the caveat that you cannot die.

    As for the exclusivity of it, I don’t know why we would want people not to try it, or to give the impression that we are in some way better than our soft core counterparts. We want people to try our mode and to play with us, not everyone will stay but some may be swayed.

     

    Just play through SC like it is Hardcore

    First it impedes your characters from actually entering the hardcore realm and playing with other hardcore gamers. The second is that the Hardcore game is different from that of soft core, simple mistakes can cost people their lives and the lives of those they play with. If I happen to be playing soft core with a Hardcore mindset it doesn’t mean my teammates are. For myself it is merely the time that is attached to the single play through that is my greatest concern. I have no intentions of being the worlds first Hardcore sixty but with the play time I do have I want to spend it playing the option I find the most fun for me.

     

    New players will be confused

    Is it possible, yes. Is it probable, no. With a decent warning and explanation this should trip up no one. I know reading warnings is going the way of the Dodo but to be honest if they are too stupid to read before clicking, and want to complain when they die then they have reaped what they sowed.

     

    D2 had you unlock it so D3 should as well

    When Hardcore was introduced in Diablo 2 it was a new mode for the Diablo series. The creators wanted something to bridge the gap between the light death penalty of the soft core version and created Hardcore. Originally this was an earned mode from completing soft core, however with the rise it’s popularity and expansion pack the requirement to complete it on soft core mode was dropped.

    The newness of the feature was a reason for the ability for a player to earn the mode, and the subsequent warning that followed character creation. There was no previous game to gauge whether or not a mode with such a harsh death penalty would work or not. SInce the Diablo 3 creators know there is a Hardcore following would it be to outrageous to allow it from the start? The audience is in place and no new ground is being broken.

     

    Hardcore should be earned

    Should it be? Nightmare should be earned, Hell and Inferno should be,why? Because your character will not be prepared for what is ahead of them. However Hardcore is a separate entity, with a new character and new rules. Earning it provides nothing, and for those not inclined for hardcore will not affect them.

     

    You won’t know what’s coming and could die

    Yup.

    Ultimately I’m not swayed. I still think that since they are separate modes of play they both should be present from the start. It is not something that needs to be earned, or something that will prepare us for Hardcore simply a hoop to be jumped through. Most importantly this decision doesn’t affect anyone outside of those who would choose the option. Want to play soft core before hardcore? Go right ahead. Want to play only soft core? Fine nobody is stopping you. The only people this will affect are those who want it. This isn’t a debate over color schemes, or not having X type of class but something that can only affect those who are willing to use it.

    Discussion is a good thing, and I’m set in ways but I appreciate seeing reasons for and against it. If we had a definitive statement ( one way or the other) about this maybe the discussion would go away. Since we don’t feel free to keep your opinions coming here and on Blizzards forums.

    Next Week: Going back to D2: Biding time and having fun

    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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