One Life to live #56: Monster power the great equalizer

We made it through the storm, survived 1.04, and now can choose the challenge we face. However, with our life on the line how much challege do we really want?

I had a great flow going in 1.04. I would login and stroll through act 1 with very little downtime and great efficancy. I knew I could farm A2 but it was still risky. So I stuck to what was working. As I continued to meander onward I grew listless and began logging in less. The pre-patch blues had hit me and I needed revitalizing.

DiabloWikiPatch 1.05 brought not only the DiabloWikiInfernal Machine but DiabloWikiMonster power to shake up our Hardcore ranks. While the Machine is nice addition what really has energized me has been Monster power. After tuning it to level one I found my Witch doctor challenged, and found myself utilizing skills to save my life. I hadn’t used spirit walk to get out a bad situation, or slammed a potion in several months, but it was refreshing to have to fight for my life again, and see that not everything is going to be handed to you.
I found myself checking the AH again and looking for better drops, because I knew not only did I want them, I needed them.

Monster power is not to be underestimated. I can easily see some cocky Hardcore players rushing in on MP2-10 and getting slaughtered. The increase and Health and damage is noticable on MP1 and at the moment I won’t risk going higher. That being said it’s time to get reaquainted with your defensive skills, because once again your life will depend on them. I had been thinking for while of switching DiabloWikiSpirit Vessel off my passives, and when it proc’d yesterday I changed my mind. Havign this difficulty option is great mainly because people need to die, and be faced with it. If no one dies in hardcore our economy grows stagnant, the challenge diminishes, and the thrill that this mode has vanishes. However if each login brings the possibility of it then it’s still exciting and keeps us coming back for more.

With greater challenge comes greater rewards and I can finally say my Witch doctor has found a legendary after a massive drought in 1.04. The change to items under level 58 dropping in inferno is a great relief because now it seems worth the risk to keep going. To often I would login and collect more rares under level 55 than Blues over 60. Doubling the legendary drop rate also helps improve confidence that it’s worth it to keep killing. After all the Paragon system is nice but if the drops aren’t good there’s no reason to keep pushing.

The patch also introduces a much faster and more challenging leveling curve. Setting the difficulty to MP10 and playing from the start grants you 200% more experiance, or 2x the leveling power! As someone who dies too often I want to get back to inferno as quickly as possible. Finding another method to make the grind quicker is something I welcome, and if in the process I have a challenge and a bit of fun even better.

How has your hardcore experiance been in 1.05?

One Life to Live covers the Hardcore play and life style in the Diablo community. It is written by Xanth (a paragon of objectivity) 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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14 thoughts on “One Life to live #56: Monster power the great equalizer

  1. I am returning to D3 Hardcore after a long hiatus. I started a lvl 1 wizard and placed it on MP10 from the beginning. I’m not using any twinks and I’m living off the land (and merchants). It is without a doubt, the most fun I have had playing this game since the first week! The challenge is high, but not overwhelming. I actually have to put some thought into fights again and strategically use skills, positioning, and resource. Hell, I had to use a potion to survive a fight with a wretched mother on the road to Old Tristram because she surrounded herself with zombies and launched balls of nastiness that I never new they had.

    The drops are not that bad with 100% MF so only using drops is so far working really well for me. Anyway I know I’m using time that could be spent farming or raising my paragon level but I’m having so much fun I don’t care xD BTW great articles Xanth! Keep it up πŸ™‚

  2. dont forget the hellfire ring which can be equipped at level 1; the ring itself is frowned upon in the SC scene for being to little reward for the effort – and that it is more likely to roll a rare trifecta ring in the time you take to farm hellfire rings.

    never the less – the hellfire ring provides a heft boost with its 3 set properties alone ; ~170 mainstat 35%exp hellfireproc (which damage should be very considerable even in nightmare). well and of course 4 random props which _CAN_ be outstanding ; (imagine ~ 9 ias , 500 LOH , 75 all res , and another 30-100 vit + mainstat as a dual-attribute affix.

    and would increase the leveling speed from ~1-45 greatly across the board.
    such a ring would even be exceptional for an follower – scoundrel with his multishot would trigger the shot almost whenever the internal cooldown is up.

    never the less i think that MP is more benficial to SC characters as a whole – trial and error is not exactly a feasible procedure in HC … or rather someone has to be consierably more cautious with “cranking the difficulty up”

  3. Twice since 1.05 I’ve had game crashes due to “Unable to validate core data files” errors, both times happened to me in the Defiled Crypts in Inferno, and each time was when a Champ had just appeared on the screen. The first time it happened I chalked it up to a random crash, but when it happened again the very next game, I knew something was wrong.

    Luckily my Barb has enough stats to Facetank 10 secs of disconnect time, and came out alive both times, but theres no way I’m venturing back in on any of my HC chars before I know this is fixed.

    Anyone else been experiencing this? A quick google says deleting your cache folder in your D3 install should fix, but I’ve been unable to test yet.

  4. I wanted to test MP with my DH(4), so I set MP to 4 and went in, forgetting where I had stopped the night before in Act One. The checkpoint right before Leoric’s Manor πŸ™ So popped in and there were 4 greeters hitting me instantly and the stupid gate was closed but I could see it. Finally killed those 4 and barely survived. Decided to bail on MP4 and hit my town portal. Guess one of my Lightning balls attracted some fast, jailer, something, something, elites… they killed me in no time.

    SOOooo, now I’m starting over yet again and having fun with MP10 — Hit level 20 without a lot of twinking at the end of act one. Starting Act two and just put on Cain’s with Gem so we’ll see what happens the rest of normal. Thought the journey back to Inferno would be boring but MP10 is making it fun.

  5. Have you tried Act 2, Xanth? That’s the paradox, that the difficulty leaps up dramatically from MP0 to MP1 on Act One, due to the big mlvl jump. But it’s less of a noticeable difference in Acts 2 or 3, on the lower MP settings.

    Easier to experiment with that when a mistake isn’t lethal, obviously.

  6. “If no one dies in hardcore our economy grows stagnant, the challenge diminishes, and the thrill that this mode has vanishes. However if each login brings the possibility of it then it’s still exciting and keeps us coming back for more.”

    That’s actually what I’m getting worried about. Since MP0 reduce the difficulty of act 3 mobs, there’s no reason to stay safe there instead of moving higher. Previously, ppl can die in act 3 regardless of gear level. Now, death might not be as easy.

  7. I also think that people setting MP level too high resulted and will continue to result in a lot of unexpected hardcore deaths. Like you said it keeps the auction house from looking like the SC version (terrible). Hopefully the effect lasts awhile. People also seem to be getting a lot more d/c related deaths with the patch so be aware. I’d love for them to implement a system that pauses your game for an hour immediately if you are on solo and it detects a d/c. (and no people can’t exploit such a system)

  8. I don’t know, from my experience with hardcore players (and I may be very wrong on this) they play hardcore for the challenge, not just the bragging rights. When I get my wizard up to level 60 I am defenalty going to drop down to MP0, but I don’t plan on being there forever. It’s all about progression, until you die that is. And for those who play just for the bragging rights, no ones going to care if you can beat inferno on MP0, Bahiok’s grandma can do that.

  9. you found yourself checking the AH? You will very quickly kill the challenge of MP that way. Seriously, why do people shoot themselves willingly in the foot with that thing.

  10. I have played my Wizard (hardcore) from normal act 1 to normal act 4 with Monsterpower level 10. At act 4 I stopped with monsterpower and leveled regularly. I ended at level 35 when I reached Diablo. But since level 30-ish becomes harder on getting a decent DPS weapon, I resumed playing at monsterlevel zero. In nightmare now, on my way to act 2 and level 37.

    In short:
    MP10 is FAST untill you get to act 3.
    MP in nightmare will surely kill you imo =)

    Hope this hels.

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