Patch 10 is upon us and on the surface not all is applicable to Hardcore. However,if all things hold this patch has shaped a lot of what we may see at release.
No hardcore from the start
Let’s clear the air with the big one first. As of right now all signs point to Hardcore being unlocked by a normal play through . After weeks of questioning, multiple threads on the forums, and no blizzard response; we got the most definitive answer possible. The screenshot speaks for itself. It’s sad to see it in front of me however I am relieved to have this answered and am ready to move on. Could it still change before release? Of course, but I’m not willing to bet on it now.
No cube, no stone, no altar-more service.
We also lost our insta-slavaging, insta-selling tools and saw those abilities relegated to our friendly blacksmith. I personally liked the cube and the ability to keep a high paced game going without playing Inventory tetris but I can see some upsides to this as well.
1. It will slow the game down: A crazy thing to suggest but in Hardcore a rigorous pace can quickly lead to your demise. Having to stop in town can alleviate the go!go!GO! mentality that pushes you into a death trap. It can allow for each player to step away and compose them self and always be at 100%.
2. It will help you leave alive. In D2 I liked being in town preparing for battle, grabbing potions, repairing armor, and then leaving to vanquish evil. It also allowed for me to think about where I was going and if perhaps I should call it quits while I was still ahead. I lost too many characters from not doing jet that. I assume I will in D3 as well but I know it was a lot harder to pull away from the game when I didn’t have to stop.
We also lost a 10 second cast to get to town and replaced it with a 3 second cast portal. Less time casting means less chance to get swarmed by whatever is lurking around a corner when I’m at 10% life and I’m okay with that.
No more altars!
I hated these things with a passion. Having to come to town to switch out one skill, or even to look at if one was better than what I was using seemed illogical. Now the new system isn’t perfect, and I think the cool downs need some work but being able to switch skills without the trip seems logical to me.
More Orbs + More health points=longer life?
We’ve seen reports of monks and barbarians at level 13 with 2k life, and more health globes than you can shake a dead cat at. Obviously both of these are pivotal to staying alive in Hardcore. I had lamented a few patches back that the globes seemed to be feast or famine and that with the demise of potions Hardcore would be in trouble. It looks like the feast is now on, and we’re going to be throwing out a bit of food.
As for hit points I was one to pump vitality in D2, A large health bar makes me feel safer, but as Flux reported having insane amounts of health so early on is like wearing a life vest. The problem is: this early in the game is not even waist deep water, we shouldn’t have any fear of drowning just yet but we might be too coddled.
Each patch brings some joy and some sorrow. Some good news and some bad. This patch won’t be the final product but it feels like we’re getting close. Granted I feel like I’ve been writing that for months but a guy has to hope right?
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.