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    After the vigorous debate over unlocking hardcore we got an interesting response from blizzard.

    I’ve played hundreds of hours of Hardcore Diablo II, and hundreds of hours of normal Diablo II.
    Over the last couple of years, I’ve gotten to know several other hardcore Hardcore players, if you know what I mean. Every single one of them plays a ton of normal in support of their Hardcore characters. So do I. I’m sure that it’s not a requirement, but I find it very important to spend 50% or more of my time learning all the tricks of the game in normal mode as a preparation for preserving my Hardcore character(s). Just learning about and knowing what near-death is like, and being very familiar with the bottom of the health globe is something that a serious Hardcore player will only do with normal characters.

    Can we have a foot in both worlds or should we devote our time solely in one?


    As someone who pours their time into hardcore I can’t imagine splitting it with soft core. I subscribe to a scorched earth policy, I plan on rushing through soft core at release and deleting the character immediately after creating my first hardcore one. Then I will pour my time into my Hardcore characters,building and rebuilding for years.

    But what then of dipping a toe in softcore? Testing the waters and making decisions based off of it?

    Why you should

    • If you want to get it right you need to test it out in a stress free environment. I imagine it might be easier to test out new areas and bosses in softcore, or try strange new rune and skill combinations with out the harshest penalties.
    • If you want to have risk free pvp
    • If you want to make some quick cash on the RMAH
    • if you want to support blizzard using the RMAH
    • if you like acronyms like RMAH
    • if you want to see your health bar go low without having a heart attack

    Why you shouldn’t

    Despite the blue quote I know very few people who play both modes. Most that I’ve encountered are stuck in their respected mode. To me it make sense. For me to spend half my time in soft core I will then be behind on enhancing my characters in Hardcore. I would rather excel in one mode than be mediocre in both. Will I die as a result? Sure, but that’s the hardcore game. I’ll learn from my mistakes and move forward.

    The biggest thing I find wrong with the idea put forth by Kalvax in the reasoning behind it. Putting in 50% of my time playing a game so that I can play the game So…I need to play a mode I don’t like to be better at one I do?  Do I really need to experience dying to understand I want to avoid it? It almost reads like a primer for someone who doesn’t get the concept of permanent death.

    I think one of the reasons I was able to stick with Hardcore for so long was in part due to the fact I had no soft core characters. That way starting over after a death was the same in either mode, because at some point I’d be tempted to not want to  start again. However, I’d find myself in Blood moor yet again and the process began anew.

    This whole reasoning by Kalvax seems like a half assed explanation for unlocking Hardcore through softcore. Oh you guys don’t like this idea, well you should be spending half your time in soft core anyway. Are there advantages to testing thing out in the environment that doesn’t penalize death? Of course, but I’d rather learn the hard way.

    What do you think? Will you straddle the great divide? Or will you stick to your own team?

    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 me on Twitter @HCXanth or contact the author directly.

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