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.
Patch 1.05 brought not only the Infernal Machine but Monster 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 Spirit 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!