One life to live: Playing well with others-Part two

Pk’s have been a part of Diablo since the first iteration. Each game had a hostility option and a way to fight back. Diablo 3 has denied of that option but don’t be fooled it has yet to go away. First they would kill you in town with trains of monsters, or they would vote kick you in the middle of a fight, now the only option they have left is to gain your trust and trick you into your demise.

Ironically the same people I was complaining about leeching in games last week share the same characteristics with people who are out to kill you: Low dps, high health, and wandering off on their own. Now how does that equal your death? It’s all based on trust. You enter into a public game now trusting that those people can do you no harm. After all we’ve eliminated every single way for a player to adversely affect your experience..except one.

As I’ve been making my trek to para 100 (92 so far) I’ve predominately been in public games. And overall it’s been great my friends list has been filling up with great players I meet. In most public games you tend to follow the same route, and usually the fastest person. You portal to town and hop on the first banner that’s ready to go. Rinse and repeat over and over. That repetition and that trust has now been exposed by some nefarious players as a weakness.

I was with a barb the other day who had 4k dps, 8000 armor and close to 100k health. As it was about to be my last run of the day I figured not to vote kick and just go with it. The group quickly cleared The festering woods, and Cemetery, and then we made it to the Fields of Misery where the barb took a turn for his vile schemes. As I portaled to town from the Cemetery I clicked his banner to move quickly to where the group was in the fields. What I saw next was a plethora of monsters filling most of my screen. Before I had time to really even think about what he did, I was spamming zombie bears and reducing the trap to mere rubble. He quickly played dumb about the whole thing though it was fairly obvious. Had my character not been ready to handle that pack I would have died, Had I lagged on entering I would have died, or if he had brought a few elites in I may have died.

This is obviously an old trick that’s been around for some time. The video above shows a pk doing this strategy in a lower level game with unassuming players. However to see this strategy mitigate into the very experience runs everyone is use to doing makes it much more tragic. You are not seeing level 54 characters die to foolishly going to whimsyshite but high level paragons who are just trying to level.

While I may not have died, my confidence in others may have. After that incident the next day I was grouped with a monk. Her dps was 10k and she had a decent amount of life and armor. She was mainly just vortexing monsters for the group so we could easily whittle them down. However after my barbarian incident I refused to banner to her. I just couldn’t take the risk of any trap she may have set. So I used the waypoints and went out of my way to run to where she might be so as not to get caught up in anything.

Since then I’ve seen a few more people playing in this manner. Truly it is baffling. It is really pointless. There are no more ears to collect as trophies of your victory, just traps to set and perhaps a screenshot? I miss the chance to fight back against this, I miss when players had bounties on their heads (not that many actually collected) and we could as a community fight back instead of run away. Sadly for that to happen the world itself needs to change

The world that you play through normally wasn’t designed for player vs. player combat, so it doesn’t translate well to dueling. There are just too many variables that could wreak havoc during a duel: non-PvP friendly geometry, events, scripted sequences, monsters, level-up effects, portals, etc.

That doesn’t mean it can’t and with an xpac on the way who knows? No matter what Pk’s are here to stay and they will continue to find away to disrupt the gameplay for 99% of the player base. The only thing we can combat them with now is knowledge. For now all we can do is be knowledgable of who we are playing with and of it feels off don’t do it. Stay sharp, and watch those banners!

Have you seen or been killed by a player in D3?

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 him on Twitter @HCXanth or contact the author directly. For all the archived news about Diablo 3 hardcore check our Archives!


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  1. dirty tp is dirty

  2. When you mouseover the banner it will tell you what zone it is in.

    Also, the banner will show if the person is in combat, not in combat, in combat with an elite, or in combat with a treasure goblin.

    Generally speaking, I take all that into consideration before clicking on the banner. If I’m fairly confident that I can handle the trash mobs and/or elites of the zone I’m porting into, then I will go ahead and do so. (Which is 99% of the time, or everywhere but Whimsyshire.) It’s also generally better to port to a ranged character instead of a melee one, if given the choice.

    One day it was rather obvious. In a nightmare difficulty act 1 game, somebody of appropriate level joined, followed by a paragon level 57, who then went to whimsyshire, and I saw about 3-4 notifications that this person had encountered an elite. Then they said ‘treasure goblin on my banner, click, hurry’ and stuff like that, even though there was no notification that they had found a treasure goblin (which I wouldn’t have clicked even if they had. I don’t go in Whimsy on hardcore unless I am with the group when it opens.) After a few minutes they gave up and left. It was so obvious.

  3. No matter how much I try to find a reason behind this kind of behaviour, I can’t. What, revenge on leechinc players, or just for a sadistic fun? Or maybe collecting player kills, because this would be the only reason behind recording it and shareing it on youtube.

  4. i like to try to cyclone monsters onto DH’s, I am a naughty monk.

  5. Another aspect that shows how much messed up this game is. Blizzard has to fix this in some way.

  6. Though I’ve been playing SC since release I didn’t truly start focusing on HC until June. After a couple ill fated attempts, I finally had a wiz at level 59 and I couldn’t wait to finally hit 60. Then something like the above happened. Someone who I should never have trusted, and even had misgivings about, lured me in. I followed him through a WP only to find myself in the middle of a mob the size of the entire screen. If I hadn’t panicked I might have hit diamond skin and tele’d my way out of it to try to run to safety, but I was so caught off guard that I just mashed some buttons, started cursing loudly, and died. I’ve had a hard time regaining the trust I had in HC multiplayer. I’ve played in a lot of multiplayer games and on average, the HC community has been an enjoyable one. It’s baffling to me that someone can find such enjoyment out of ruining someone’s experience with absolutely no gain to themselves.

  7. \I miss the chance to fight back against this, I miss when players had bounties on their heads (not that many actually collected) and we could as a community fight back instead of run away.\

    I agree that PKing is bad, but I would like to follow up on your statement above. I too, miss the thrill it provided. While playing D2, I was attacked by a Barb. I fought back and turned the table, making the other player ran away. Don’t get me wrong, I was pissed, but it was exciting. Danger in every corner, where Diablo itself and its minions were not the main peril, it was encountering a wandering player and hearing that alert that someone just turned aggressive, and the following cold feeling in your stomach that things just not gonna turn out good.

    PKing added such an element of fear in the game because it was an uncontrolled factor. Sure, HC is exciting, but you can opt (most of the times) for the moment of engagement and prepare yourself with buffs, etc. PKing was fear itself because of the element of surprise and total lack of control of where, when and how.

    Ah, the good old days….

    Thanks for bringing me back some memories, Xanth!!!!

    • I agree. If not for the tppk and other cheesy hack type stuff, hostility was a great feature in D2. There was that element of unknown in a harsh world, where people could turn against you or have nefarious intentions. Just the sound effect would give you a rush.

      I remember one such event in D2 HC, where a group of us were running through NM Catacombs. Paladin joins, slightly overleveled for early NM and asks for the Cat2 wp. I’m immediately suspicious, but someone goes ahead and drops a tp, of course, since we were right by it.

      Sure enough, the paly takes the tp, sees where the group is and then takes the wp back to town to hostile. People start running and scattering, tping to town. Little did this guy know my Charge paladin was twinked to the hilt and wielding a Bonesnap. Saw him come through the wp and promptly charged him, catching him offguard. 3-4 charges and he was toast.

      Everyone in town laughed at him. The pker actually complained and asked why i would do that. Hahah, oh good times. So, yeah, miss having opportunities for these moments in D3, or even PKK type builds.

      For D3X, they should enable a free-roam type non-story mode and add a mutual hostility feature. There, classic PvP dueling.

  8. Had this happen to me, Bannered down onto a screen full of monsters, mp3 but my DH was not prepared for that, even trying to use smoke screen and run was impossible because there was no free room on the screen to click plus the monsters have such huge hit boxes 🙁 i don’t join pub games anymore, i either make my own or play with friends.

    It’s a shame because i have made a lot of friends by playing pub games, i guess i will just have to settle for the ones i have made so far.

  9. Great post there, Xanth!

    I knew this was going on reading and hearing about it from friend’s experience, but never felt as disgusted as watching that video you linked to.. people actually being happy over the fact that they have managed destroying someone’s fun, and set them back a few tens of hours.

    If it hadn’t been for that awesome power in numbers buff, I would never enter public games, since we all knew there’s a much bigger chance of dying there than playing solo, despite the notion that a party could and should save your life, if the going got though.

    Live and learn, I guess… I always try to wait until their banners are in longer showing in combat situations, before porting in. Might cause me to miss a few XP points and drops, but I will gladly do that and keep my character’s life, thankyouverymuch!

  10. Great post here.
    I think its great to be aware of this especially as someone like myself who’s played normal for since release and is now looking at moving to hardcore.
    Knowledge is power so they say.

  11. Well I never died to PK or people in D3.
    I only died to silly monsters pack and deco.

    I don’t think fixing that “pk” issue should be a priority.
    Here people dies only by their own foolishness by trusting peoplke they should not trist ; these deaths are ALL available, should on play a littble bir carefully.

  12. Oups, posting again, my previous message was not finished and contains a lot of typo…


    Well I never died to PK or people in D3.
    I only died to silly monsters pack and deco.

    I don’t think that this “pk” story is a real issue.
    Here people dies only by their own foolishness in trusting people they should not trust ; these deaths are ALL avoidable, should one play a little bit more carefully.
    More, the way the PK are acting is 100% legit, they don’t use any hack (which is not the case in D2), they only exploit people gullibility. For me it’s a part of the ecosystem and should remain so 🙂

    If Blizzard have some developpers’ time available, please fix all those deco/lag deaths.

    My 2 cents.

  13. Why they do it ?

    Think of it as a piece of life. Why are there murderers on thi world, thiefs, scammers…? Yes, yes i know its just a game but the answer its the same.

    Its Human Nature, some thrive on others agony. And its Pathetic !

  14. At least we have PvP after all this time to help us vent…

  15. I kinda feel like one of those bad players. I only have about 28k dps but 120k+ life and 800 all res 11k+ armor. I just want almost 0% chance to die. I’d never do what those ho’s are doing though. After all these PK players, I bet people wouldn’t ever want to click my banner!

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