After posting several columns about this topic I’ve decided to just go ahead and make a guide about what you need to avoid.The past few days has lead to a proliferation of player killing in hardcore with some of the more dastardly streaming their efforts. I saw a Paragon 94 lose their character yesterday and it saddened me since it didn’t need to happen in the first place. The guide after the bumpdeeds

    First and foremost this is a public game only situation, if you’re playing solo I suppose you don’t have to worry. Everyone else however your character is on the line. So what do we do? The majority of PKs are flooding their banners with monsters and luring you in to your demise. With a few steps you can stop this.

    Step one: Inspect

    A lot of times we assume people in a public game are in a rush and clearing monsters and we are missing out, so we rush to that banner to jump into the fray. Instead or hurrying in, take a moment to look at who is in the game. Look for outliers. Are you in mp3 and someone is doing 5k DiabloWikiDPS? That could be a sign. Is their armor higher than their DPS? Are they a Barb? Is their vitality higher then yours? Chances are if you can check off on a few of those you’re dealing with a player killer. While PKs s might use other classes by far the favorite is Barbarians — and Barbarians with low dps, high vitality and high defense are not there to slay monsters.

    Step two:Location

    Look at where people are! Most act 1 runs follow a set path.

  • Festering->Leo->Weeping->Fields of Misery.

    However a popular spot with a huge choke point is the Hunting Grounds. Almost no one I know runs that location; no one outside of PKs. If you see someone in the hunting grounds avoid it! Don’t feel a false sense of security just because two or three other players happen to also be there. Multiple PKs may be working together to make it seem as if the group is actually clearing monsters. I have seen PKs use the Fields of Misery.

    Step three:Banners

    We have a banner right? You have to click on it before you end up next to them so why not look above it? Above their banner icon is notification of what they are fighting. Red is for elites, brown for regular monsters, and gold for a goblin. That icon won’t dissipate until they are out of combat. If you see it constantly spamming their banner it’s a sign they’ve hoarded up quite the pack. If they do manage to leap out and their banner dies down give it five seconds and see if their pack has come back.

    Step four: The chat

    As you’ve taken stock of the other three things watch for what they say. Their whole point in that game is to kill you, and to do that they need you to banner to them. They will say “safe” or promise of a goblin but you can tell by their banner that this is not the case. The longer you take the more they will say to get you to come. You may also see the same thing from other players in the game. Remember they may be working together!

    If at any point you don’t feel safe find another game! Most importantly if you did not heed this advice or were not aware report the players responsible! I’ve encountered 4 PKs during my entire rise from Paragon zero to ninety-seven, which means the vast amount of people I’ve encountered have been quality players. Don’t let PKs ruin the game for you; chances are you may never see one but if you do follow the steps here to get out alive.

    This won’t be going away anytime soon, but if people know how to avoid it, eventually it worth be worth it to try anymore. Anything I missed to help avoid this blight on the Hardcore community?

    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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