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    Hardcore has always been a niche. A small community of players taking on an additional challenge in a game they enjoy. Diablo 3 took that niche and made it smaller. No longer fighting alongside each other, we took to our single player games and our community slowly dissipated. Not to say there aren’t those who braved (and succeeded) the challenge but they are in the minority. With  1.0.4 on the horizon, I think it’s time we started doing what we learned in Kindergarten: playing nice with others.

    1.04 is bringing us a lot of things but let’s look at what may shake up Hardcore.

     

    Monster health won’t scale anymore

    1.0.3 dropped monster damage but still increased the health pools. Which placed players in a situation that still required gear checks of their companions to get through content easily done solo.  Now in a strange idea the game actually becomes easier if you play with other people ( gasp!). I love this, I absolutely love this.  There is now a reason to play with other people, and I know it will be more effective. Will it be the death of playing solo? By no means, and i’ll still play alone when I know I could be interrupted, but how could you turn down interacting with other players and perhaps dare I say having fun?

    The downside? A few epeens shrink a bit. Getting through the later acts of Inferno becomes easier, more people kill Inferno Diablo, people play the game. You can’t please everyone, and people will vocalize how they preferred it the old way, and now inferno is nerfed. If i have to choose between solo and hard, or playing with friends and easy, how could I choose to play by myself? I’ve always found this game best when playing with others and have been dismayed the my reward at the end was farming it alone.

     

    Weapon improvements

    Suddenly those useless level 62 weapons may be good. I’ve filled my inventory a few times over with level 62 vendor trash, everything failing by comparison to equal a level 63. The sudden viability of these weapons makes everyone a little bit better. A good weapon won’t help you clear inferno without having resists and armor to boot but it can help ease into it. It might help those stuck in hell make the jump and give those in inferno more people to play with. Which in my oprion is always a good thing.

    On the topic of weapons I’d be hard pressed not to mention the new legendaries. While not exactly game breaking for Hardcore( at least that i’ve seen so far) the addition of new mods on weapons and increased damage has me imagining people will be clamoring for them. I look forward tot he feeling of finding one and not having to wonder how bad it is. On a side note I imagine everyone and their brother will be crafting legendaries once the patch hits and can only imagine how much brimstone prices will escalate to.

    Monsters buffed and nerfed

    In addition to a health decrease( in multiplayer games) we will a rise in normal monster health and a decrease in champion/elite packs health. At the same time certain affixes will be changed and altered in order to make them easier.  I’m a bit torn on this. I thought decreasing the health in multiplayer games was enough, that decreasing the affixes seems like overkill. We’ll see how it plays out but we might be steamrolling come 1.04.

     

    Class changes

    Things are shaking up for the classes but none that really seem to affect hardcore. Barbs seems to be fine if not more powerful. Demon hunters appear to still be fragile but will pack a hell of a punch to back it up. Wizards lose a bit of power on one build but should still do alright. Monks can keep DiabloWikiOne with Everything and gain some more spirit. Witch Doctors on the other had were dealt a big blow. The least popular class had it’s most popular build dismantled with a DiabloWikivision quest nerf.

    Not a cure all

    1.0.4 is not a cure all for D3’s woes. There is still no end game, no pvp, and itemization still has it’s problems. However it is a step in the right direction. A step forward and not back . While we are all optimistic for this new patch, try to not expect too much and enjoy what you do get. Going into it any other way can only lead to disappointment.

    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. For all the archived news about Diablo 3 hardcore check our Archives!

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