One year ago I was going to bed early to wake up and play through the night. I couldn’t get out of work that day but I wasn’t going to be hindered by that. A year later I am still logging in, still searching for loot, still having fun. Diablo 3 and Hardcore have changed a lot in a year, lets look back and see how much.
From the start!
For a long time I championed Hardcore from the start. I like to think my whining paid off in some respect. We saw the developers turn on their original idea of normal difficulty completion and shift into the more friendly get a character to level 10 to unlock. This had me unlocking hardcore on the night of release and not feel as if I was somehow behind. It was a happy change and one that I think we can all agree on.
In light of last weeks debacle one thing became abundantly clear, the HC economy is pretty nice. Gold as a currency works really well, and death eliminates items from our system and keeps a need for players to purchase items from all level types. While there is some stagnation it is no where near as prevalent as what we see on the other side of the fence.
Which class to choose
In speculation mode you could only assume what will work and what won’t. I spent a lot of time doing just that, from the start I was anti-Demon Hunter and still am. Both of my favorites remain the same ( WD and Monk) but suprisingly I have yet to invest much time in my Barb. Every death I still have the debate I had on day one which class do I now want to take, as long as it’s not a DH of course.
In order to get my first 60 I ran and re-ran the first quest of act 1 Hell. There were no elites, and it was relativly safe, and relatively boring. My first character didn’t even make it to inferno. Inferno was a place in hardcore that seemeed like it would take awhile to get to, and would be the undoing of most players. However, here we are today with Inferno relegated to Mp0 and farmable by most.
Since launch there have been a plethora of nefarious ways for us to get killed outside of monsters. It all started from the beginning A1 in particular. At launch monsters could be led into town. Now we can look at act 1 and think how could that kill me? Yet at launch with inferno and Hell being much more difficult(or our gear subpar) players could flood the area and when you zoned into the game you could quickly find that your deeds of valor would be remembered.This was later patched out and is now why we have sealed exits in act1 ,and why we can’t have nice things.
In tandem with that some players took it upon themselves to lure monsters outside of town into large piles and bait you into bannering to them. An old trick from the D2 days that regained some steam. With 1.08 you now know if another player has engaged an elite, and if your demise is on the other side of the banner.
Once we finally had a system to duel another we figured out how to manipulate it to killing each other. Players under bleed effects and DOTs who left the brawling arena would have the damage carry over into the real world which would of course kill them.
On top of that we also had the infamous vote kick system. The process involved vote kicking a member of your party in the middle of a pack, this would set up the countdown to leaving the game, which also paralyzed your character for the duration. This way you got to see your character slowly fade away before your eyes, while you were helpless to prevent it. Thankfully this was also rectified and now when you are kicked you have control of your character and can move to safety.
All of this lead to a dissonance for public games, after all everyone was clearly out to kill you. No banners could be clicked, town wasn’t safe, and your partners would paralyze you mid fight. That was a sad fact for a multiplayer game and something that was missing for me from the Diablo experience. Thankfully 1.08 seems to have cured that hesitation towards public games, there’s a reason to join them( bonuses!), people can’t kill you(that we know) and it’s fun.
Over the course of this year I’ve lost a lot of characters( 9 to be exact) and had a lot of fun but what I’ve been most happy about this year has been the HC community.As you look to the forums you can see a passion for this game among them and one that seems to be growing. As long as I see that I’ll keep writing and hope to have a lot more to say next year!
How has your Hardcore year been?
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!