We’ve waited(and waited( and waited)) and we’ve finally got the deadline to end our wait. It’s hard to focus on anything but what two months time will bring us. However something outside the release date was on my mind.
A comment from last week had me thinking. Has the very name of our mode affected the perception of people who play it?
Delete your character when you die. Problem solved. Your so HARDCORE. Delete your character. Your so, strong willed and hardcore, take your death like a man and delete your character
What is in word? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Pehaps it’s time for a new name for our rose.
Prior to Diablo 2 I don’t recall the term Hardcore being tossed around too often( outside of porn, which is a different conversation). So, in selecting Hardcore I realized it was a seperate mode with a stringent death penalty. That was the only Hardcore I knew, and I associated thusly.
However, In the 10+ years since Diablo 2 came out Hardcore has come to mean so much more than that. Hardcore can be applied to almost any game, and any gamer willing to devote their time and energy to it. You can be a Hardcore Frogger player if your time and energy is invested into it. As a result we get the great divide between those labeled “hardcore” and those who are labeled “casual”. There is a stigma branded to both, and controversies on each side. If a game is to easy it’s “casual friendly” If a game is to difficult it’s only accessably for those “hardcore players”. If a game caters to both, then it’s playing it safe. There’s no way to win between those opposing ideas, and just by the name of our mode we find ourselves in one camp.
When then of our soft core counterparts? There will undoubtedly be soft core players on 72hour binges of D3 when the release hits, doesn’t that seem hardcore? Someone in this world is bound to choose to play D3 over sex, isn’t that hardcore? And my fellow writers here at IncGamers will not only be playing the game but creating articles, writing guides, editing movies, and moderating forums all about D3. Isn’t that Hardcore?
The stigma of being Hardcore come perhaps from the mode itself. A lot of people are scared or think it is stupid to invest time into something that will eventually ( hopefully not) die and be gone. We can even see in The Halls of the Dead the amount of time we’ve lost. So that loss of time and commitment perhaps leads some to perceive those who choose this mode to have a higher perception of themselves. For myself and many others it’s not that we think we are better just that we prefer to play within certain confines, and perception of playing int hat realm does the rest.
Hell, I don’t know if I’m a “Hardcore” Hardcore player. Sure ,I write a column focused on it, but at the same time when release( May 15th!) comes I won’t be glued to my computer for weeks (Damn adult responsibilities). Sure I’ll play( a lot!) however, my real life will intercede. So I imagine I’d be classified a “casual”. However I’ll play Hardcore so I’ll be a “Hardcore casual” or an oxymoron.
With the deliniation that the word has taken over the years perhaps it’s time to go back to the basics. Maybe instead of Hardcore we have simple Permadeath mode. It states simply what the lone difference is between the modes and doesn’t insinuate any sort of complex or superiority. Would some egos be bruised by not having that arbitrary marker of awesomeness? Sure but in the end most people reading this, most people who’ve waited for years probably already fall into that Hardcore label, the only real difference is that this mode allots you one life and the other many.
I know this won’t be a change we see, now or ever but a discussion for those who are new to the game. There is a difference between playing Hardcore and being just that. You can be both, you can be neither or some odd combination.
What do you guys think? Are Hardcore players more Hardcore?
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.