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    I had a scary moment today during a huge lag spike in the middle of an elite pack of molten wasps set to explode. I frantically hit spirit walk and my potion and began to haphazardly smash the keyboard hoping to have hit the right combo before death could over take me.As I waited I realized I had a whole set of gear in my stash and it would be okay. A wave of calm swept over me as the lag spike receded. I survived the ordeal but it had me wondering when did death become so much less of a penalty?

    While the revive time of softcore is much less , for HC we’ve seen videos of people taking characters from 1-70 in a minute. In a minute! You could spend more time coming up with a catchy name for your new Barbarian(Conan?) than actually leveling it back from it’s unlikely/untimely demise(since barbs don’t die). Even if you don’t do 1-70 in a minute you could easily have it done in under 20 minutes. I lost a WD not too far back and within an hour was back in torment looking for better gear.

    What incentive is there not to take the easiest route back to 70? Sure there is the moral high ground. However it doesn’t have a great amount of loot, and it’s damn lonely.Have you tried to find a public game pre-70? Don’t I’ll spare you the time, there aren’t any. The community has firmly wedged itself in t6 and grifts and that’s where you want to be, no point in looking elsewhere.

    Now power leveling has been present since day one and every time they stop one method another pops up. Each time it was never this quick,nor this efficient. Not that the methods didn’t cheese the process, but they involved some element of work or coordination. The hardest part about getting power leveled now is not chasing after the gold stars on the map. Which in turn cheapens the mode.

    I shouldn’t feel okay with almost dying. I shouldn’t shrug off death this quickly. Death needs to hurt, it needs to be a wake up call, it needs to frighten you a bit. When we can recover as quickly from death as our softcore brethren something is amiss.The whole end game of D3 is off, 1-70 is really a ramp up before the real game begins and the items you find your leveling process are always replaced. With the paragon system there are essentially two leveling processes, and your death only eliminates the very easy path. I’m not opposed to the current power leveling system staying but something needs to take the place of a true death penalty. I’d love to see our account paragon levels take a hit when we die. That sounds sadistic but it would be a true consequence for something that now (aside from gear loss) feels inconsequential. Prior to the sharagon system, when you died your levels went with you, and at level70+ that could really sting. It doesn’t have to be that dire but even a percentage of the accrued levels could be a true consequence. Perhaps I’m just a glutton for punishment, or maybe I haven’t lost enough BiS gear, but something needs to change and I hope it is more complex that seemly nerfing one strategy so another can crop up.

    What are your thoughts on death in HC?

    One Life to Live covers the Hardcore play and life style in the Diablo community. It is written by Xanth and published (semi)weekly. Post your comments below, Follow me on Twitter @HCXanth or contact the author directly.

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