Hardcore won’t be in the beta, I mean why would it? So each day that ticks by to the beta is a mixed bag for myself and I assume for the rest of the hardcore community. Sure we can look at the game and play it (hint Blizzard) but we can’t play the game we desire, and most importantly we are still in the dark about the many questions that remain about Hardcore.
A blessing and a curse in Diablo 2. I would often feel baited by some to let them loot my corpse, feeling like they were already reaching into my pockets. However, in the games where I found myself at death’s door with my friends I was happy to have the option. Even worse were the times I died without letting someone loot, or was by myself. Without that option I would have lost a lot of ground, and not made as many close friends. With the exclusion of hostility (much to my chagrin) we don’t have to worry about our party members plotting our downfall to get our goods, and a corpse looting measure seems to fit the idea of us working together.
It also ties into the realism aspect of Hardcore. If a great warrior loses his life in front of us while wielding the sword of a thousand truths, someone would go and grab it, and use it themselves or give it to his next in line. We also don’t have a real money auction house so we don’t have to fear that our items would be poached and sold to pay off someone’s student loans or mortgage(though killing characters for cash does sound like an interesting meta game now).
Corpse looting also allows for a small sense of security in a game that can turn on you very quickly. We’ve heard of the terror that awaits us in Inferno, wouldn’t we be more likely to jump into that fray if we knew our party would be there if we faltered?
Dead Hardcore characters
What happens when you die? This isn’t a philosophical question, but a space and nostalgia one. I can’t speak for most, but I had a hard time deleting the ghost of my highest-level characters, and with only 10 slots I’m not sure what will happen. In the podcast last week I heard an idea from Flux that piqued my interest. What if we were given our own Hardcore graveyard for our characters? This would eliminate our need to hold on to an empty slot, while allowing us to revisit the memories of our fallen heroes. I would love this, while it would hurt to see my vast cemetery it could have awesome achievements tied to it as well, achievements for your first death, or for having fifty or more headstones. This could possible eclipse the Oregon Trail in terms or awesomeness of gravestones.
If we are stuck with the Diablo 2 model, then the situation gets tricky. While I’m not planning on dying a lot, I can’t make any promises( though I have been contemplating if I would get an achievement for being the first to die in Hardcore) Will the call to make a new character be strong enough to bump the ghost of my highest level?
Do I die in the arena?
Yes we do…wait no we don’t….wait no one knows a damn thing. We’ve heard Jay say:
Jay Wilson: That’s what I want to do. There is a lot of pushback on the team. I announced that at Blizzcon and the community were all for it. We have gotten a bit of mixed results outside of Blizzcon. It’s easy for me to get a crowd worked up so… The PvP strike team that focuses on that area, they are pretty nervous about it. Their basic feeling is that if that is what happens, then hardcore characters just won’t PvP. But then there was hardcore dueling in D2 so we may change that. We may allow hardcore PvP players to play without dying.
That being said, I still want a way for hardcore players to duel even if not at ship. I am going to push for a way. Even if its basically just a place where you can go in the world where you are flagged for PvP. Even if it is that simple, there is a community, even if it’s a small community that I want to support. Those f**kers are crazy. Part of me is like aww you crazy bastards.
And had Bashiok on Twitter say:
And recently we heard…nothing. We are still in the dark on what for some could be their entire experience. Some may not enter in if they have perma-death, and some may not unless they have it, but at the moment all we do have is a lack of confirmation.
Can we go Hardcore right out of the gate?
This is the one to me that matters the most. Hardcore has always been an option, but in D2 originally you had to complete the game in normal to unlock it. If it is an option I already have to choose and agree to a disclaimer ,then why do I have to play through on a character I don’t? Softcore players are not forced to play hardcore, why force hardcore players to play softcore? I understand the concept of allowing players to experience the game with a light penalty, to see what it has to offer, but I for one feel handicapped by it. If this is how the game goes live I will be forced to slough through on a character I will delete (due to space), to earn the right to make one I can keep. Having little time to play I will be much further behind my friends who have more time, and may still be stuck on soft core while they make their way to Nightmare, or worse Inferno. This is a quick way to sour those who have already committed to hardcore,
Next week: Looking at the classes and their hardcore implications, or maybe they’ll announce the beta, I’ll get a key and go rogue.
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.