Having spent the better part of my hardcore days in relative poverty; I spent most of it looking upward. Small gold reserves dwindled on new gear and reviving characters who died far too early. Having over 20 million seemed like a dream away, and even when I was close I’d get knocked down. Then it happened, an amazing drop, a bidding war, and new found riches. I found myself in a new world where everything was at my fingertips and I’m not sure if it made it better.
This isn’t a post to brag about my cash but that of my journey upward. I got lucky. I was running craters leveling paragons and a Witching hour (db) dropped with an amazing roll. It was the first time I had the dilemma of selling something or keeping it, as most of the time I’d equip an upgrade. With 8 million in my gold reserves I thought I’d put it out there for sale. Having just lost a monk recently I figured it’s better to plan for the rainy day when my current one dies and gold can help me get back on my feet. After the bidding started and the dust settled I walked away with 145 million.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t hit the AH right away, but when I got there with my stacks of gold I had no clue where to go with it. Should I buy a new weapon? Armor? Shoulders? Rings? I probabally browsed the AH for an hour and didn’t buy a single thing. Ultimatley I picked up a vile ward (db) and Inna’s Vast Expanse (db) boosting my dps and keeping my stash over 100mil. As my gold hovers at that level I find myself becoming cheaper than when I had so little.
The thing I realized was that with each new upgrade I was sinking more and more of my reserves into something that could quickly disappear. I used to have no problem sinking half of my gold reserves into an upgrade but that logic changes when half becomes more than you ever had before. It also had me thinking that I was doing just fine before I upgraded, clearing the areas I wanted to, gaining levels and slowly farming keys, that each upgrade wasn’t truly necessary. I also found that my new wealth had affected how I went about my runs as well. I wasn’t picking up everything, or watching my gold count anymore. It one sense it’s relieving to know even if I die I’ll have a enough to pave the road ahead of me but it’s also scary to think of the amount of gold my monk is wearing and how much I’d lose if/when he dies. There is something freeing however about not worrying as much about what is dropping and focusing only on the things you absolutely need. No more picking up rare devas to sell at the end of a run, or running back to larger piles of gold you missed.
I also found myself largely ignoring my other characters. With each new investment I was distancing myself further and further from my other characters that it will be a true culture shock to go back down to that level. My poor level 52 barbarian has been waiting for a long time to hit 60 and he’s going to be waiting for a bit more. That investment has also had me distancing myself from public games. Granted until the force kick pk situation is resolved I would be anyway, but now with so much more to lose it’s not worth it.
The other thing I’ve found now being flush with cash is that upgrades are not as easy to come by. I imagined decking my character out in a swath of riches and riding that gear to 100, but on my way out of the poor house I assembled a motley pack of gear that served me well. So well in fact that upgrading one piece at a time has become a huge balancing act. Sure I can find an amazing new chest piece but in order for it to truly work I’ll need to upgrade my bracers, and shield and so on. While I may have some gold I’m still too poor for that. With that in mind I’ve set out to become a Hardcore billionaire and gone back to my old farming ways. Picking up as much gold as I can, selling everything and slowly working my way up. I prefer it that way, until I die of course.
That is the beauty of Hardcore though. All the work, all the effort, all the items, obliterated in one fell swoop. I’ve spent a good portion now, and still have enough for that rainy day, but I’m embracing the new element of risk I’ve added. I’ve played in poverty, and now in wealth and both have their own styles. For now I’ll embrace the world I find myself in, and if disaster strikes I’ll be fine as a pauper again. After all fortune is just a drop away.
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!