It’s been about ten days since Diablo 3 was released. There have been reviews, videos, and world firsts. All well and good, but very few things centered around our little universe of Hardcore. So what is the state of Hardcore? It’s much like a state of the union, let’s see what’s right and needs work in our niche!
We gather today knowing that this generation of heroes has made Sanctuary safer and more respected around the world. (Applause.) For the first time in twelve years, we Have returned back to rid the world of evil. For the first time in two decades, Diablo is not a threat to this country. (Applause.) Most of Diablo’s top lieutenants have been defeated. Hell’s momentum has been broken, and some troops have begun to come home.
Okay the real State of the Union is way too long to do that for the whole column so let’s just jump to..
1. Gameplay. This game is awesome on it’s own but when you combine it with Hardcore it really shines. While I haven’t logged a hundred-plus hours yet I easily will. I don’t see myself stepping away from this game anytime soon, and the adrenaline rush I’m getting from each time I log on is exhilarating.
2.Difficulty: Diablo 2 had it’s moments of difficulty but I rarely doubted if I could handle the next difficulty. Diablo 3 has me still in Act 2 of Nightmare dreading what crazy combination pack I may get dealt next. Now I know there are debates on Inferno and Hardcore but I still think it’s too early to see how we fair. For right now everything seems to be well done and now getting a high level Hardcore character feels like more of an accomplishment than it ever was in D2.
3. The auction house(sometimes): I didn’t think I’d use the AH as often as I have. I expected to check it only for legendaries or the top tier items. Yet each new level I’m scouring to see what I might be able to get for cheap to replace something that is lackluster. I still am using what I can find when it’s an upgrade but at the end of a play session I’ll usually hop on the AH and see what the market is like.
4. The shared stash: After having accounts full of mules this was nice to have in play. I’m playing two characters at the moment and Happen to find things for my lower level one all the time. Now I simply drop it in the stash and he’s good to go when he logs on. No more standing in a game for five minutes, or trying to remember a multitude of passwords.
What needs work
1. Public games: They are still a crapshoot. You can get a good game, or you can get a group going in every direction but where they should. This should get better as you progress but you still can run into a game that could just sully the whole experience for you. For example I entered a public game last night and was told to leave by the players there in. Not because they knew me and hate my column, but because there was already a Witch Doctor in the game. After trying to explain to them that we’d be fine with two I was kicked. Now that was a small thing to me but for someone new or stumbling into public games to give it a try this could be off-putting. Public games are also still very limited. I left a game on a quest because I didn’t care for the group( two people afk in town) and tried to join another game on the same quest. I found myself right back where I left. Rinse and repeat three more times with the same result. In the end don’t let douches spoil it for you. Try our Hardcore forum and find like minded people!
2. Servers and lag: Right now is a rough time to be a hardcore character. Servers are still ironing out the kinks and lag is very random. You might be fine at one moment and trudging through quicksand the next. Watch your meter or the lag monster may get you!
3. Chat: It still needs work. Often games are filled with silence. No communication with eachother, which can be troublesome when communication can be vital to your survival.
4. Addiction: This game is killing my sleep schedule. I can’t help but get in as much as I can, even though I know it’ll be there tomorrow. It as if I’m making up for lost time, but cramming 12 years into ten days is a bad idea.
Overall the State of Hardcore is strong and will continue to get stronger. Each day characters are leveling up, and new ones are joining the ranks. Some heroes will fall and we will mourn their loss, but we will continue on in this fight to not only keep their memory alive but our community as well.
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.