Reaper of Souls Hardcore is Doomed, Because Enraged Phantasms


Hardcore and Softcore gear choices are wildly-different these days, thanks to big rewards for playing on Torment+, and virtually no penalties for dying. A new controversy about an “overpowered” monster (that’s of very little danger to any decently-geared HC char) clarifies the issue. Here’s the blue post, with some semi-worried conversation afterwards. I’m not entirely joking when I worry that Reaper of Souls Hardcore is doomed, because Enraged Phantasms.

Enraged Phantasms

Either tone down their damage or tone up the damage of everything else in the area ’cause holy [email protected]#$. Blood guys hit me for 20% of my HP, scarabs for less, enraged phantasm takes me from 100% to 20% in a second from range. Not saying they’re OP, saying the difference in damage for the zone is ridiculous and makes their damage come right out of nowhere. Beware Hardcore players.
Nevalistis: We do plan on making a balance pass on these enemies in the near future, though this change will require a patch. Their damage is a wee bit more bursty than we intended, so some of their abilities (specifically their Soul Siphon) will be tuned down to be more in line with other abilities.

Wolfpaq mentioned that particular monster on the podcast last night as something that had practially one-shotted him (playing softcore), and I read most of this B.net thread as well to get more opinions on it… because I’ve played only Hardcore in live RoS, and have not noticed the Enraged Phantasms as anything special. I’ve played all the acts repeatedly doing Bounties and Rifts, and encountered these monsters many times, but they haven’t seemed out of line in their damage or danger.

enraged-phantomCurious, I read more of the B.net thread, saw players talking about getting one-shotted, and looked at their chars and gear. And wow. One guy mentioned that his Wizard had 150k hps and was playing on Torment 1-3, and I just laughed as understanding dawned upon me. I don’t have a Wizard right now, but my Hardcore lvl 70 Demon Hunter has 450k HPs… and I’ve been playing in Master and below, since I don’t feel my DPS (550k, unbuffed) is high enough to maintain the safety of a fast killing speed in Torment. And that DH is far from well-geared; she’s had terrible luck finding upgrades in Reaper of Souls, is still using numerous lvl 60 items, has several armor pieces with +Dex but no +Vit, has not a single boost to Vit or %life via Gems or Paragon Points, etc. She could easily have 600k or higher in hit points, though I’d probably get more survival benefit from replacing my armor Emeralds with Diamonds, rather than Amethysts.

At any rate, this starkly illustrates the difference between Hardcore and Softcore, and it explains why some players are getting one-shotted by monsters that other players don’t even notice.

Have Hardcore and Softcore moved too far apart?

In D2 and D3 Blizzard has always followed the rule that HC and SC modes are identical in monsters and gear. I agree with that approach and don’t favor special rules for HC (or for SC). But given the complete lack of death penalties in D3, and the ever-increasing rewards of items and EXP for playing on higher difficulty levels… perhaps the devs need to make some changes?

If players in softcore have no risk from death and reap big rewards from playing on Torment+, they’re quite sensibly going to max out DPS and basically ignore defense, rushing into Torment for the bigger item drop potential, to find more DiabloWikiDeath’s Breaths, etc. This is why we’ve got debates about whether a moderately-dangerous enemy like an Enraged Phantasm is OP. Because it is, for players who have all but ignored defensive stats and tactics, and are running around in Torment with 1/2 or 1/3 the hit points they *should* have.

The risk, as I see it, is that Bliz takes this sort of play as normal and tweaks monster hit points and damage output to match. Thus reducing the risk of death to almost nothing, while boosting monster hit points to the point that any character without giant DPS finds combat a boring grind.

I think Bliz could “fix” this by increasing the death penalties, as that would moderate the “all DPS” gear choices that are making characters so flimsy they get one-shotted by enemies that shouldn’t be more than a moderate challenge. Or perhaps a global solution; all enemies in Softcore on Torment and higher get a +100% hps buff and a -50% damage output debuff? (Or if Softcore is the baseline, then flip those numbers to boost monster damage and lower monster hps in Hardcore?)

Do you guys think we’re headed in that direction, where something will have to be done about the game providing such rewards for playing in higher difficulties, while not balancing them with real penalties for death in Softcore? It is going to become impossible for Reaper of Souls to balance for both Hardcore and Softcore, with such diverging gear choices and death consequences?

Tagged As: | Categories: Blizzard People, Blue Posts, Hardcore, News, Torment

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  1. I think death in SC should form quite a sever penalty.

  2. Yea I thought they were doing a lot of damage with my Crusader in Act 5 (story mode, expert, hardcore blind playthrough).

    I think dieing in softcore should just be less part of the play. Could be done in dozens of ways ofcourse, from increasing dura loss to other things if you die to many times in a row/game/day.

    I don’t think to much should be changed or balanced in the sc/hc light though.

  3. Maybe a torment-only death penalty in SC would be appropriate. Or they could just not do anything and eventually players will figure it out?

    • I’m afraid what they’ll do is what the Blue suggests… make a “balance pass” which means turning down all damage from anything remotely dangerous, while perhaps giving all the enemies a HPs buff to offset that.

      Which seems a potential recipe for making Hardcore play boring and grindy, via balancing for softcore.

  4. I killed a very similar pack last night in Torment 1 on my HC Wiz. Nothing to fool around with for sure. Strange as it sound stun and burst is my method of dealing with them. Given that they go through walls it can be brutal to try and LOS them.

    As far as rewards for HC, I could see slightly improved drops for higher difficulties given the risk involved.

    For SC character I think the balance is fine. Honestly, care bear gaming is just that. I have not played my SC toons on the expac yet, but I really have no desire for a 1 minute rez timer or losing 10 mil gold or something…

    • Q: do you always play your hc char in torment 6 ?

      if you’re answer is Yes,
      you are awesome, props to you

      if you’re answer is No
      LOL, Carebear, scrub, noob, L2P

    • “carebear”, why is this antiquated term still used?

      It’s used in a derogatory sense I understand, as in too soft to play hardcore. But it’s not that is it. It’s not because people who play SC are too whimpy to play hardcore. It’s for myriad reasons. For me, there’s a huge CBA factor.

      I wouldn’t begin painting my lounge walls again because I went over a bit of the woodwork 4 hours into the job. As thrilling a challenge as that would be. Because I couldn’t be arsed. I wouldn’t start watching a film from the beginning because 3/4 the way through I missed a scene because I needed to go to the loo. Because I can’t be arsed.

      I could play hardcore if I wanted, anyone could. It’s not difficult. It’s a more considered pace is all. And if you die you simply start again and learn from the experience which, let’s face it, is usually some bleeding obvious thing which you can’t learn from or knew already anyway.

      I think the term hardcore can give some people delusions of being in some way tough, made of sterner stuff than the rest of us but it just means you have more patience and time to keep starting over. I don’t because, as I said, I can’t be arsed.

      • Nah, Elly, there is another reason why people play HC or Ironman or similar things. Because they will get bored by a game without a challenge. Most HC players are those who require additional motivation to keep playing, finding loot isn’t enough for them.

        • Okay, so the motivation (for Hardcore) is to keep playing and not die because if you do all is lost, char, items, time in Hardcore. That’s the definition of HC.

          My point isn’t so much why people play it’s why not playing it doesn’t make a player carebear. For me it’s not because I can’t, it’s because I CBA to have all my hard work and effort and time dedicated thrown away for a moment’s lapse of concentration, (tired/cat jumping on keyboard/tech problem). Using the term makes no sense. It’s quaint, a retro and all but it’s not accurate.

  5. Why do we have to always try to balance stuff around between games types. People that play hardcode should just worry about hardcore and not what is possible/happening in SC. It’s not like you can transfer items/XP/etc between the 2 to give you a boost so if they nerf monsters for HC, then it should apply equally for SC.

    Hardcore is a way of playing (like a way of life just like being a vegetarian to me). You do it for bragging rights/challenge/whatever your reasons. They should balance the game so that HC is right and then that just gets into SC at the same time.

    I play SC because I don’t have 12h a day to play. I do play HC a bit for the achievements but that’s where it stops for me.

    • The reason HC is worried, in case your reading comprehension is really as bad as it seems, is this:

      If they nerf the difficulty of SC, making those monsters do less damage, they nerf the difficulty of HC, making those monsters do less damage.

      And the game is ALREADY easy on HC. Making it so easy there is no challenge whatsoever ruins the fun of playing, period, much less the fun of playing hardcore.

      Honestly, I think they should just do away with softcore mode. The only true penalty for death they’ve ever come up with has been hardcore. If they can’t come up with a better one, they should just go ahead and do that.

      Cause honestly, power leveling is EVEN EASIER than it’s EVER BEEN. If you want to be an impatient player, you can easily be an impatient hardcore player just as well.

      My original goal for RoS was to play one char until it died, then switch classes. After I complete all quests, reset them and start over on the next difficulty. But I’ve already grown bored of my character (a barbarian), and it doesn’t look like she’s EVER going to die. She’s done Normal, Hard, Expert, Master, T1, and is currently on T2 (although only acts 1-4.) In that entire time I’ve used maybe 3 potions from being close enough to death to warrant it. And that’s 100% self found gear. Her DPS is awful, but her ability to tank and heal is pretty high.

      So yeah, going back to the original point…nerfing HC to be even easier…not fun.

      • Do away with SC? I don’t know about you but I live in the US where internet is shit and there aren’t options for other service providers. I’d rather not have to start over every time I get killed due to a lag spike.

        • Seriously? Look at your softcore characters. How often have you ever died from a lag spike?

          And considering that you’d more than likely have skills/passives/gear to resist death a little more than you would with a softcore character…

          Since 2.0.1 my character that I was talking about, that barbarian? She’s survived 3 disconnects on 3 separate occasions. Maybe if I was in a boss fight or a really high dps champion pack I’d be worried, but all 3 times it was just standard white trash and she was alive when I logged back in. -shrug-

          People get so worried about ‘disconnect death’ and yeah while it DOES happen, it really isn’t that often.

          • [quote]Seriously? Look at your softcore characters. How often have you ever died from a lag spike?[/quote]

            Three times, each one a result of Battle.Net’s shoddy networking. Give me a game I can play offline, and I’ll be more receptive to your argument.

            [quote]Since 2.0.1 my character that I was talking about, that barbarian? She’s survived 3 disconnects on 3 separate occasions.[/quote]

            Anecdotes do not constitute a viable pool of data with which to make drastic game changing decisions.

            [quote]People get so worried about ‘disconnect death’ and yeah while it DOES happen, it really isn’t that often.[/quote]

            You just acknowledged it happens. The amount of people it happens to is not important, the fact that it happens is.

            The fact that it happens at all is reason enough not to just dump softcore.
            The fact that not everyone likes hardcore play is reason enough not to just dump softcore.
            The fact that you have a specific preference for a specific type of gameplay is not reason enough to dump softcore.
            No combination of any or all of these is reason enough to dump softcore.

  6. Carebear? I respect that you play hardcore, as do I, but it’s just silly and demeaning to refer to people who don’t as “carebear” players. By that logic, everyone that plays any game in which their character is not permanently dead is a “Carebear.” Mario Kart? Carebear. Mega Man? Carebear. Castlevania? Carebear. Call of Duty? Carebear. God of War? Carebear. Are we really trying to establish a “badass” image for ourself based off of…..*drumroll*..an online action RPG?

  7. QUOTE

    Carebear? I respect that you play hardcore, as do I, but it's just silly and demeaning to refer to people who don't as "carebear" players. By that logic, everyone that plays any game in which their character is not permanently dead is a "Carebear."  Mario Kart? Carebear. Mega Man? Carebear. Castlevania? Carebear. Call of Duty? Carebear. God of War? Carebear. Are we really trying to establish a "badass" image for ourself based off of.....*drumroll*..an online action RPG?

    I play both…
    Care Bear is a WoW term used to describe the difference between PVP and non PvP servers..just use here in different application.

    • It doesn’t matter where the term began, it’s dumb. It was apparently invented by teenagers who want to establish themselves as “superior” somehow based off the gaming modes they choose, which is hilarious. The level of skill of a person at a game, and their respective intellect, competence as a human being, and their masculinity is not determined by whether they do PVP/Hardcore in a video game or not. Most of my gaming buddies don’t do Hardcore because it’s such a huge waste of time and investment to them (to THEM), because they use video games as an escape from their careers, from intense workout sessions, and the kids/family for a bit, not to stress themselves out while they try and have fun.

      • Excellent post Martimus. I’m sure I could make an argument around Softcore that puts that playstyle in the best light. I could say I have gear that most Hardcore players could only see in their wet dreams and I am willing to go in to much more intense and difficult fights that a Hardcore player wouldn’t even dream of attempting. But I won’t go there……

      • the term actually comes from cartoon called carebears 😛

    • carebear in the gaming sense pre-dates wow considerably. I first heard the term in Dark Age of Camelot. It was used in a derogatory sense for players who spent more time on PVE content than they did in RvR (PvP).

      Either way, it has a negative connotation, though people are being way too butthurt about it.

      On topic: The game shouldn’t be balanced for HC or SC… the game should be balanced. You understand those risks when you play HC. I personally play HC very little. Repair costs have gone up substantially (something you wouldn’t know if you hadn’t played SC in RoS) and is its own penalty. Mostly, the lack of efficiency that happens when you die & have to wait to resurrect is a penalty in itself.

      Nothing needs to do less damage. Nothing needs more hit points. As the article said, the phantasms do more “bursty” damage than the devs would like. Change burst to sustained and problem (as they see it, I’m not complaining) solved.

  8. Good to know. Working on my first HC character now that RoS is out.

  9. I think there may have been a large number of under-geared SC players on torment 1, specifically to play for torment specific legendaries when they were not well-geared enough to really be doing it efficiently yet. In that specific scenario, the potential reward outweighed the inconvenience of death (for some).

    It’s not difficult to get gear to do quite well in T1, an i don’t foresee SC players pushing themselves (to the point of inefficiency) into higher levels of torment.

    Personally, I find myself greatly disliking death in SC due to the loss of pools of reflection. At least for me, it has really changed how i play in SC. It’s not on the same level as HC by any means, but with pools in the game, I am much more cautious than i used to be.

    • And that is the answer to several comments. Pools of Reflection are a carrot to encourage SC players to stay alive. Problem solved.

      • Its been pointed out that players choose to follow the ‘biggest’ carrot, phallic jokes aside, torment gear drops are the bigger incentive. A few seconds on the ground while your group continues to kill things for your benefit means nothing.

        Albeit not everyone is ok with dieing alot, as Kappa stated. Kappa you might really enjoy the added depth to game play in HC.

      • I thought Pools might serve that purpose, and I think Blizzard did too, but it doesn’t seem to be working.

        Think about the math. A Pool gives you a +25% exp buff that can be quickly restored after death. Compare that to climbing high into Torment, rolling +500% (or more) additional exp, and greatly boosting drop chances for DBs and uber legendaries. You’d be a fool to worry about not dying because Pools, when that’s your other option.

  10. QUOTE

    Why do we have to always try to balance stuff around between games types. People that play hardcode should just worry about hardcore and not what is possible/happening in SC. It's not like you can transfer items/XP/etc between the 2 to give you a boost so if they nerf monsters for HC, then it should apply equally for SC.
    
    Hardcore is a way of playing (like a way of life just like being a vegetarian to me). You do it for bragging rights/challenge/whatever your reasons. They should balance the game so that HC is right and then that just gets into SC at the same time.
    
    I play SC because I don't have 12h a day to play. I do play HC a bit for the achievements but that's where it stops for me.

    Balance gaming makes it a bit more tolerable for the risk you can take, right? I doubt anything changes, but it is good food for conversation. I like both SC and HC so I hope there is no fixit solution that makes one suffer and the other prosper.

    A part of me, would love to see HC only drops for doing let’s say Tor5-6? I mean that is super intense stuff..and the risk is really high…I dunno. Just a thought…

  11. Sound like Enraged Phantasms is just a special case. I don’t see a need to make different rules from SOFT/HARD beside the 1 life rule.

    I played T1 in softcore before RoS, after lvl 67 I lowered to Master, and now seeing that I have the best clear speed ratio around Expert/Master.

    As you talked about on the last podcast before the RoS launch, that Pools are acting as the penalty in softcore. Just yesterday I was too eager and played on master, and lost 2 pools of boosted XP. I learned and lowered to Expert.

  12. Agreed that Pools are the best balance for death in SC. I’m definitely not a fan of higher penalties for death in SC, as it feels balanced at what we have. Keep in mind here that I am not a high-gold player: I went into RoS with 4 million gold, and have only saved up to about 6 million by now. If I hadn’t gotten lucky and gotten Spaulders of Zakara early (making all items indestructible) then I would be below 4 million gold by now. Part of the appeal of HC is that the game is harder, as you must play more safely or you will die and lose your character. I have fairly bad latency issues due to my connection, and I do not play HC because losing my character to bad latency leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Upping the penalties in SC, and losing more to bad latency there, would feel very bad.

  13. QUOTE

    And that is the answer to several comments. Pools of Reflection are a carrot to encourage SC players to stay alive. Problem solved.

    Is it enough incentive, I wonder?

    • It’s a reward to stay alive. Other rewards include faster playing, saving gold, etc. Why should there be *punishment* for dying?

      • Because death should be something to avoid. Right now it’s part of the game for some SC players and they don’t care. Why the idea that only HC should have death penalty? Don’t you remeber how that was in D2? Someone complained? I did, but that made you care about death and try to avoid it.

        Going back to Pools – I don’t see losing them as big penalty, as Flux mentioned above, one difficulty level higher and you make up for that pools you’ve lost.

  14. Pools help, but paragon bonuses are pretty weak. 25% xp is not much. I actually switched to hc with 2.0. Iwas finding that the weaker penalties to dying in both hc and sc plus loot 2.0 really made sc feel weak.

    I noticed a big drop in player quality in sc since farming torment before you are capable is so highly rewarded. You have to play there for specific items to drop. And you can be dead when they drop. At low paragon, pools expire pretty fast. I think there should be some more mechanics to punish death in sc especially in torment. Gameplay suffers when all that matters is dps.

  15. Those are some good points flux. I’d hope the devs wouldn’t make changes to cater to the SC crowd at the expense of the hardcore community. I think implementing a much stricter death penalty in softcore would go a long way to encourage SC players to make more balanced chars. That’s why I went to HC. As it is now, most players in SC put nothing into survivability because it doesn’t matter. Pools of reflection give a little incentive to stay alive, but a lot of players are more concerned with items, so they disregard it. I think they should bring back the D2 feature where you had to find your body after you die. Sure players could just leave the game and start a new one, but it would definitely cripple the efficiency of players who don’t balance dps with survivability. It would be especially frustrating in a rift, hopefully enough to curve the SC mindset a bit.

  16. How much moar cake do people need? The new game is cake on a silver platter…

    I’m with Flux here, I really hope they don’t nerf things more to satisfy transient gamers.

    To commenters here: I have noticed over time that people misunderstand HC. Its not stressful or unfun. HC gives you the thrill of staying alive and creates more meaningful gear and build choices. Sure, some deaths are not ‘awesome’ per say, but you learn and you move forward. Part of the issue is that SC players are used to dieing and accept it, they don’t realize that is actually quite possible to NOT die. Avoiding death really makes the game more two dimensional rather than one (read as Zerg).

  17. The issue here is that everyone wants/feels entitled to do torment immediately. Most people feel entitled to do some sort of torment higher than 1 as well because “what? I don’t suck. Get out. Of course I can do this.”

    That applies in HC as well I think. Your personal sticking to master aside, I know lots of people hop to torment one for the chance at more drops. I haven’t quite yet, but I will soon. A bit before my kill speed is entirely up to par for it, most likely. Although, yeah, I’ll have amethysts in my hat and defensive skills as needed.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if blizzard nerfed this for SC players. I’d certainly be more surprised if blizzard decided to suddenly add some sort of increased death penalty, because almost no on likes those these days. Plus, after making sharagon levels last forever in HC, it’s not like they haven’t already eviscerated HC to a significant extent. Not total, cause gear loss and stuff. But now that you can keep a year+ of progression when you die, and then relevel to 60 in a day… it’s just not the same.

    People make too much difference out between HC and SC. I feel there shouldn’t be that much. If I played SC, I’d still try not to die. So it sort of surprises me to realize the extent of people who could care less about playing the game “to live”, and simply spam themselves at the highest difficulty they can get DPS for. Oh well.

  18. QUOTE

    How much moar cake do people need?  The new game is cake on a silver platter...
    
    I'm with Flux here, I really hope they don't nerf things more to satisfy transient gamers.
    
    To commenters here:  I have noticed over time that people misunderstand HC.  Its not stressful or unfun.  HC gives you the thrill of staying alive and creates more meaningful gear and build choices.  Sure, some deaths are not 'awesome' per say, but you learn and you move forward.  Part of the issue is that SC players are used to dieing and accept it, they don't realize that is actually quite possible to NOT die.  Avoiding death really makes the game more two dimensional rather than one (read as Zerg).

    Amen to the cake…

  19. Those things one-shot-killed me quite a few times on my SC demon hunter when I was leveling to 70 and hadn’t picked up much new gear. That was back in 220k damage and 38k health. Now at 440k damage and 360k health they don’t one-shot but I have to be super careful around them. They are as bad as a lot of act 5 things, some of which CAN one-shot me at Torment 1.

  20. I say if they choose to go full glass canon then let them. The only death penalty that was actually worth a damn was making you run back to your body naked to get your loot back. After that it is all non sense. There is no death penalty so severe as to make people not build glass canon in SC.

    I enjoy HC the adrenaline thrill of those near death experiences is what keeps me playing. I feel more in tune with the game and enjoy the experience in HC. HC in D2 and HC in d3 and if there is a d4 I will play HC there too.

  21. Those guys do significantly more damage than almost any enemy type. I don’t think they need a nerf though, as they always appear in small numbers or alone. Now, those Scarabs are another matter. Yes they do less damage per hit but always appear in swarms and will melt you in seconds. These things are Spiderlings on crack. Sure you can melt them even faster at ranged, but what about melee?

  22. I’m sitting at 3mil toughness and these guys are still a priority to kill on my wizard playing T1. These guys are my am I ready for the next level thing. I do believe there is SOME kind of penalty in losing the bonus XP from Reflection Pools, makes me super sad to die losing that.

    • As a reference point from the HC perspective, 3m toughness is far too low for Torment.

      • what should it be? Just curious.

        • I play softcore, mostly t1 and t2 if my wiz friend is on. I have 8M+ toughness and 550+k dmg on my monk. And sometimes… i might die if not careful around molten desecrator frozen orbiter

        • For HC people tend towards 8m+ before entering Torment. On top of that they have active and passive slots dedicated to staying alive via escape or backup. Albeit you don’t need those in SC.

          • I disagree the whole reason why I use black hole in my build is the CC it gives and room to escape. I die rarely but then again rarely is too much in HC. I don’t think I’m death zerging though far from it.

  23. Even on SC those phantoms deal a whopping amount of damage in a very short time. I can storm through hordes of elites with little worry, but a group of those ghosts show up and I start sweating. The quick damage that they can do as a group when 5-6 of them all hit you at once can kill even well outfitted characters in a second.

    As for death on SC bringing more penalties, I would actually support that. I don’t play HC just because I sometime pull something stupid and get myself killed, and there have been a couple of times that rather than dropping the difficulty (T1) I have just powered through after dying 5-6 times and whittled down the mob to finally win. If it cost XP as well as durability I think that would make it more real. Don’t other games reduce your XP upon death, not making you lose levels but just making it less attractive to die over and over.

  24. QUOTE

    Q: do you always play your hc char in torment 6 ?
    
    if you're answer is Yes, 
    you are awesome, props to you 
    
    if you're answer is No 
    LOL, Carebear, scrub, noob, L2P

    Oh James…
    On a serious note..I can’t even imagine some mobs on T6

  25. Don’t other games reduce your XP upon death, not making you lose levels but just making it less attractive to die over and over.
    Some do, but I think they’re the minority. Even among games that do, I know a lot have started changing it to reduce the xp penalty (or even remove it entirely) in recent years. The fact is that most people simply don’t like it, and unless you’re trying to make a niche game to cater to the people who do, you’ve got to give the people what they want (at least to some extent).

    There are totally games out there that will give you harsh penalties for dying. But, like I said above, D3 genuinely isn’t that game. Not a knock on D3. It is what it is. That’s just sort of the reality of the situation though.

  26. It’s less than a week in. The players will learn (maybe) but the devs have a lot of balance work to do. Blood Shards are worthless, Rift Frags shouldn’t take up inventory space, Crusaders can barely generate Wrath, Crusaders have awful mobility/escape (Horse has too long of a cooldown compared to Teleport, Vault, Spirit Walk, Dashing Strike, Leap Attack), some of those mobility skills are having rubberband/targeting issues, the Waller bug is back, Blood Golems can’t hurt you, but you can barely hurt them, fleeing enemy AI is a little overdone, especially during Cursed events, where the enemies you need to kill run halfway across the room so you miss them and fail the event. And of course the traditional Diablo screw ups; two handed weapons are still awful, the best “tactics” are to gear out the wazoo and face tank, you should skip a bunch of stuff to go straight after the bounty instead of playing the levels, and then have nothing to do w/ the gear you find.

    But other than that, not bad.

    • Two-handers – I prefer them, as I like to hit hard once.
      Playing the level – Bonus for killing all mobs on one level (similiar to some bounties) would be nice.

  27. Oh, and all you need to do to “fix” SC is one damn thing; get rid of respawn at corpse. Period.

  28. Even at 6-10 mill toughness on Torment 1 I panic when I see those fucking Ghosts.

    White Phantasm at the moment are more dangerous than Champion packs. Their dmg is WAY WAY higher.
    Arcane Sentry ? 10-40k dmg Phantasm ? 200-440k in half a second because they hit you 10 times in that frame.
    Another problem is that the dmg is almost unavoidable and retaliating is often impossible since they disappear so quickly.

    \’ve been playing in Master and below, since I don’t feel my DPS (550k, unbuffed) is high enough to maintain the safety of a fast killing speed in Torment.\

    I laughed at loud at that comment too but that is \hardcore\ for you. You play at such a easy level that even broken things in the game are not noticeable for you anymore.

    Sorry but that’s even worse than balancing the game for people that go to Torment with 140k hp.

    Btw when you are dead you don’t get exp. You feel stupid watching your teammates do the work. You lose Pools. You lose gold. That should be enough.

  29. My lvl 70 HC Demon Hunter died last night, but it was not due to these ghosts. To be honest, I’ve never really noticed them as being special regarding damage output in any way. My toughness was near to 6 million and my dps around 400k. I haven’t tried Torment though, so perhaps they suddenly get a lot more dangerous there?

    I do think SC could use a little death penalty. I think the XP loss of DII was fine.

  30. Lower your legendary drop rate if you die X times in one game in SC.

  31. man I died so many times last night getting one shot practically.

  32. Am I the only person in Softcore who actually gears for defense because I just don’t like dying? I’ve died exactly three times on my character since I started her and every time it felt like I was being insulted or like I had done my build wrong. Dying isn’t fun, why does everybody just assume that Softcore players are all glass cannons and don’t care about dying?

    • I would hazard to guess you are in a small minority. Most people that have this mindset play HC.

    • I hate dying too, so I gear reasonably well defensively compared to my offensive skills. I don’t care to never be able to run T6 (I probably don’t have enough time on my hands to ever RNG out the top level gear to get there).

      As long as there is a challenge and I can do well and have a chance at the best gear (T1+) then I’m happy with my play sessions and enjoy the game.

    • I hate dying in SC too.

      I have two sets of gear for my monk, “DPS”, and “Tanky”. My preferred way to play is to be an excellent tank, and hopefully pair up with a few wizards or DHs to plow through mobs.

      There’s just SO MUCH gear to dream about (I have several sets of set plans already) that the pressure to play torment only, death be damned, and start the long grind to godly gear is hard to ignore.

    • There are few, but some players are lemmings going for dps, not caring about death.

  33. I know it is a direct rip off of other MMOs, but why not make it so gems in our gear gets destroyed every time we die. Some real consequence that doesn’t affect HC players in anyway.

  34. I play mostly t1 on my sc monk. Haven’t noticed anything weird about those mobs (found them a lot). Now, public games can be a real pain on t1 or t2 because of all the leechers there are. Perma-dying and contributing nothing. I’m forced to play almost exclusively private games

  35. I think there is way too much complaining about how other people play going on in this thread.

    The only reason you should care if a lot of people are going in to high difficulty levels undergeared is if they’re joining your games, not pulling their weight, and dragging you down. In which case, I suggest finding a guild or community to play with where that won’t happen. That solves your problem.

    Some people play Diablo to relax and don’t have that hardcore mentality. Others are just impatient. Neither of those are reasons why Blizzard should change the game to punish people who die. If you want there to be consequences for death, play hardcore. And leave others alone.

    Speaking as someone who sometimes dies, losing exp in Diablo II was NOT FUN. Long corpse runs with no gear (sometimes leading to multiple deaths) was NOT FUN. I was fine with respawning at checkpoints WITH my gear, but the new revive at corpse option is really nice when I’m playing with my wife and one of us dies and leaves the other fighting alone.

    And losing gems would not be fun, either. Guess what, SC players dying already doesn’t affect HC players in any way.

    In fact, the more I think about it the less I understand why anyone would complain about SC being too easy.

    • When SC player asks for making the game easier it affects HC too. That’s why HC players should be able to voice their opinion on that topic.

  36. QUOTE

    I think there is way too much complaining about how other people play going on in this thread.
    
    The only reason you should care if a lot of people are going in to high difficulty levels undergeared is if they're joining your games, not pulling their weight, and dragging you down. In which case, I suggest finding a guild or community to play with where that won't happen. That solves your problem.
    
    Some people play Diablo to relax and don't have that hardcore mentality. Others are just impatient. Neither of those are reasons why Blizzard should change the game to punish people who die. If you want there to be consequences for death, play hardcore. And leave others alone.
    
    Speaking as someone who sometimes dies, losing exp  in Diablo II was NOT FUN. Long corpse runs with no gear (sometimes leading to multiple deaths) was NOT FUN. I was fine with respawning at checkpoints WITH my gear, but the new revive at corpse option is really nice when I'm playing with my wife and one of us dies and leaves the other fighting alone.
    
    And losing gems would not be fun, either. Guess what, SC players dying already doesn't affect HC players in any way.
    
    In fact, the more I think about it the less I understand why anyone would complain about SC being too easy.

    SC is different than HC. No biggie. I think the original point was risk/reward, but I could be wrong. I am not for changing things to appease one over the other, but rather would love to see end game rewards for HC. Even a special you beat the boss on T6 achievement one would be pretty cool. I have always been a person that likes incentives rather than punishment as a form of motivation. So leave SC alone, give HC more reasons to try harder content than a very small % Leg drop rate. Just a thought…

  37. I play SC and I haven’t even noticed these guys as standing out from the pack. But then, I hate dying so I play more conservatively than others and lower the difficulty if I notice I’m dying more than once in a blue.

    I think the simplest solution is taking a bigger chunk out of equipment durability on death, so that the repairs make death-zerging prohibitively expensive. I thought Pools of Reflection were/are a great idea and would be motivation enough to avoid death, esp. at higher player levels where you need all the experience you can get, but maybe Blizzard could sweeten the deal a bit and give the pools a slightly juicier bonus.

  38. Just make the Phantasm’s Soul Siphon avoidable – no nerfing necessary!

  39. my lvl 70 crusader with -51% (dr included) melee damge due to stormshield and string of ears and 9m thg died in 4 seconds on freaking expert to some unknown shit.

    normally he would not even lose any hp…

  40. At risk of invoking ‘Admin wrath’ (do you play crusader?), I do not focus at all on the ‘rerolling’ this seems to be largely a SC perspective. Only a handful of people I have played with seem to die with any sort of regularity, and no one I know focuses any attention on it really.

    I understand that ‘carebear’ is rude and I’m not defending it. It is not fair to swing the pendulum over and say HC not is not challenging or more difficult. HC is more difficult and people play it, at least some, for their competition. Competition sometimes has a habit of spawning trash talk.

  41. Not sure if this has ever been brought up for SC death penalty but how about a negative MF duration. If you die no items drop for 2 minutes, still gain exp but no loot. die again within those 2 minutes, add 3 minutes to your remaining duration. Cap it somewhere so you don’t end up with a 3 week zero loot run.

    Or a exp penalty, or maybe random loot or exp. You won’t know until you revive what the next few seconds will lack.

  42. Lols go to the peeps that think dying rarely or not often will cut it in HC. I love you <3

  43. It’s definitely just this one monster.

    “Oh yeah I can handle this difficulty level just fi… HOLY #@!$ WTF!”

    This has happened to me more then once. The best part is, sometimes you can’t even see them when they are attacking from inside a wall.

  44. Pretty valid points, not to mention, the 150k HPs is slightly lacking. Reminds me of when inferno finally came out and people just jumped into inferno and then complained about it being difficult. You have to grind for gear in the lower levels, and feel comfortable, and have decent gear before you move up. Right now, I COULD run tor1+ and die on blue mobs/yellow mobs etc, but that doesn’t provide a benefit in relation to quicker kills in master or expert, and feel safe, granted I’m playing SC atm, but oh well, I still dislike dying. The people complaining about the monsters, as you noted, still using level 60 gear, or low dps/HPS need to grind for some upgrades in lower difficulties instead of just raging on the forums..

  45. They should do what they did in diablo 1 HC had way better drops and magic find easy fix.

  46. Diablo 1 had actual hardcore? I don’t recall this. I seem to recall that it was a set of rules people played under, similar to things like the “naked mage” and the “beyond naked mage.”

    Anyway, softcore death penalty is fine. People who go to a level where they need to death zerg are actually earning a lot less than people who play at an appropriate difficulty level. That’s aside from the already increased near launch repair costs to discourage death zerging in the first place (although, yeah, that Zakara thing can negate it). If someone wants harsher death penalties, that’s why hardcore exists, right?

    As far as the pools being a real loss or not, I think what matters is how people perceive that loss. I don’t like losing pool XP at all, so I try to minimize deaths in SC.

  47. Could you elaborate on that statement? It seems like you’re offering a correction, but I am not sure what it is exactly that I said about pools that would need such a correction.

  48. There’s a substantial difference between the game being ‘easy’ or ‘hard’ at a given difficulty level, and for the game to be a certain level of ‘hardness’ (for lack of a better word), with certain anomalous spikes in damage that catch people entirely off-guard.

    I think a certain amount of spiky damage is important to keep people on their toes and keep the game fun, but when it’s obviously a mistake or takes some serious luck to survive, then it needs to be fixed. My 2c!

  49. QUOTE

    When SC player asks for making the game easier it affects HC too. That's why HC players should be able to voice their opinion on that topic.

    Makes no sense.

    Most changes will impact both sides, so everyone will be affected by them. But death penalties for softcore characters is strictly softcore side, and it seems that such suggestions are primarily from people invested in hardcore play. Not sure why this is something anyone deems as necessary. If I want a death penalty, I’ll play hardcore. One thing you can do in softcore is riskier play, because death won’t end your character’s career. And it’s fine to want to play a riskier difficulty, and to play it, and deal with the fact that this means occasional death.

    • [quote] Most changes will impact both sides, so everyone will be affected by them. But death penalties for softcore characters is strictly softcore side, and it seems that such suggestions are primarily from people invested in hardcore play.[/quote]

      This is where you’re wrong though. Death penalties in SC affects HC heavily, it dictates how the majority of players are playing the game, and in turn, how the developers are balancing it. Due to no risk in dying in SC everyone focus on damage since why not? This forces blizzard to balance the game towards high dps/ low toughness characters and that’s an approach HC characters cant afford. The result from a HC players point of view is very poorly done difficulty levels where you’re forced to play on a certain level in which 99% of the monsters(save from such examples mentioned in the OP) can’t scratch you and raising the difficulty isn’t viable since it will take forever to kill stuff. Gearing in a way where there are a few mobs with the ability to one-shot you isn’t an option for a HC player.

  50. QUOTE

    Could you elaborate on that statement? It seems like you're offering a correction, but I am not sure what it is exactly that I said about pools that would need such a correction.

    The higher difficulties are 200-1,600% xp.

    Adding 25% is neligible yes. Multiplying by 1.25 is not. It’s basically an xp shrine based on xp gained rather than time.

  51. If they tone them down then whats the point in playing hardcore. It is hardcore for a reason.

  52. It’s much easier to survive a d/c when your health drops a lot less. Prior to 2.0 I had a character who regenerated to full in 10 seconds, it was near useless even on MP 1. Here you could have half that and almost never lose life on the higher difficulties.

  53. So much dumb stuff in the OP.

    1. HP doesn’t matter, except as a cheap way to raise EHP to the point where you’re comfortable. What matters is mitigation. If you’re gearing for vit you’re doing it wrong, hardcore or softcore.

    2. People should complain about enraged phantasms, because they’re literally an order of magnitude more dangerous than anything else in the game. The point is not that they’re making the game too hard, the point is that it’s retarded to have a fast, teleporting mob with an almost unavoidable attack that does 10 times the damage of anything around it.

    If the game’s too easy, make it more difficult. But doing so by making 99% of enemy types toothless and one super lethal.

  54. So much dumb stuff in the OP.

    1. HP doesn’t matter, except as a cheap way to raise EHP to the point where you’re comfortable. What matters is mitigation. If you’re gearing for vit you’re doing it wrong, hardcore or softcore.

    2. People should complain about enraged phantasms, because they’re literally an order of magnitude more dangerous than anything else in the game. The point is not that they’re making the game too hard, the point is that it’s retarded to have a fast, teleporting mob with an almost unavoidable attack that does 10 times the damage of anything around it.

    If the game’s too easy, make it more difficult. But doing so by making 99% of enemy types toothless and one super lethal is the dumbest possible way to go about it.

  55. QUOTE

    The higher difficulties are 200-1,600% xp.
    
    Adding 25% is neligible yes. Multiplying by 1.25 is not. It's basically an xp shrine based on xp gained rather than time.

    Yes, I know the multipliers. My point was that I do not like losing the bonus. When I mouse over the XP bar it tells me how much I have.

  56. QUOTE

    This is where you're wrong though. Death penalties in SC affects HC heavily, it dictates how the majority of players are playing the game, and in turn, how the developers are balancing it. Due to no risk in dying in SC everyone focus on damage since why not? This forces blizzard to balance the game towards high dps/ low toughness characters and that's an approach HC characters cant afford. The result from a HC players point of view is very poorly done difficulty levels where you're forced to play on a certain level in which 99% of the monsters(save from such examples mentioned in the OP) can't scratch you and raising the difficulty isn't viable since it will take forever to kill stuff. Gearing in a way where there are a few mobs with the ability to one-shot you isn't an option for a HC player.

    I find this pretty dubious. Yes, the game is overall balanced around SC, and that’s never been any doubt. But asking for SC to be changed to cater to HC needs is ridiculous.

    • How so? They are both core game modes in Diablo games and people are mearly asking devs to strike a balance between the two. Such balance existed in D2 and there is no reason why it can’t be found in D3.

  57. The only reason for me to start playing HC was the lack of death penalty in SC and especially after they introduced resurrect on the spot mechanic.
    I’ve always supported some kind of death penalty for SC, something more than a negligible gold loss.

  58. QUOTE

    How so? They are both core game modes in Diablo games and people are mearly asking devs to strike a balance between the two. Such balance existed in D2 and there is no reason why it can't be found in D3.

    The death penalty in Diablo 2 was not balanced against hardcore, but relevant to a different design philosophy that was more prevalent at the turn of the century. I doubt it had anything to do with balancing it with hardcore, and high damage mobs don’t exist because softcore means death penalties are minor. They exist because someone made a mistake.

    These mobs remind me of the gloams that can spawn on the way to Baal in Diablo 2 since patch 1.10. They can one-shot practically anyone and can see you from far away. They didn’t exist because softcore lacked a death penalty (experience loss and corpse runs). They existed because the developers made a mistake. Again.

    Do you remember Flamespike the Crawler in the Inner Cloister courtyard before Lord of Destruction? At least he was removed.

    The solution isn’t to take a hammer to softcore play. The solution is to make these mobs as dangerous as they should be. The balance problem isn’t softcore death penalties, it’s that a particular mob is out of balance.

  59. Gloams only killed people with bad lightning resist, aka 99% of sc. They’re a learn to play monster.

    Flamespike was removed because it’d kill you while loading. If they just moved it 1 screen from the wp it’d have been fine.

    If these ghosts appeared in larger numbers you’d have a point, but instead it’s like dozens of other enemies + 1 ghost.

  60. As usual, the game would be much better in SC, if it had a substantial death penalty/survival bonus.
    Screw 25% XP bonus.
    How about 200% MF, XP, GF bonus, that builds up over 100 hours (of actual monster killing). Bonus is multiplicative, not additive, to make it useful even at higher torment levels.

  61. QUOTE

    I'm with Flux here, I really hope they don't nerf things more to satisfy transient gamers.

    I’m not a transient gamer. I’ve been playing the diablo series regularly since 1997. I don’t want them nerfed to “satisfy me”. I want them nerf because their damage is disproportionately high for their difficulty. As I hope you’re aware, D3:RoS is all about mob scaling. Difficulty scales from 1-10 (N, H, E, M, T1-6). Difficulty scales to your level. When scaling is off for a monster, it is a design flaw with the game.

    This whole “phantasms need to be nerfed because people don’t gear right” argument is pointless. Blizzard has already confirmed that their scaling is off and is going to be fixed. When nothing in the game, not malthael or any of the act bosses / superuniques, none of the elite affixes, not a single trap, environment effect or anything else I have encountered in 5 days of doing T1+ difficulty runs can 1 shot me, and these ranged wraiths can, SOMETHING IS WRONG.

    Do you really think these random mobs/elites are supposed to be the greatest challenge D3:RoS has to offer?

    Give me a break. Blizzard make a mistake, they are fixing it. People who don’t understand or haven’t experienced the mistake for themselves (how many of you whining about the upcoming nerfs are regularly farming T2 in torment again?) whine about blizzard “catering to the casuals/softcores”. Typical.

  62. HC started farming T1 on day 2 or 3. Just saying, before this HC vs SC nonsense goes any further.

  63. QUOTE

    The reason HC is worried, in case your reading comprehension is really as bad as it seems, is this:
    
    If they nerf the difficulty of SC, making those monsters do less damage, they nerf the difficulty of HC, making those monsters do less damage.
    
    And the game is ALREADY easy on HC.  Making it so easy there is no challenge whatsoever ruins the fun of playing, period, much less the fun of playing hardcore.
    
    Honestly, I think they should just do away with softcore mode.  The only true penalty for death they've ever come up with has been hardcore.  If they can't come up with a better one, they should just go ahead and do that.
    
    Cause honestly, power leveling is EVEN EASIER than it's EVER BEEN.  If you want to be an impatient player, you can easily be an impatient hardcore player just as well.
    
    My original goal for RoS was to play one char until it died, then switch classes.  After I complete all quests, reset them and start over on the next difficulty.  But I've already grown bored of my character (a barbarian), and it doesn't look like she's EVER going to die.  She's done Normal, Hard, Expert, Master, T1, and is currently on T2 (although only acts 1-4.)  In that entire time I've used maybe 3 potions from being close enough to death to warrant it.  And that's 100% self found gear.  Her DPS is awful, but her ability to tank and heal is pretty high.
    
    So yeah, going back to the original point...nerfing HC to be even easier...not fun.

    As much as I don’t like your idea of getting rid of SC, your play goal is very fascinating, I hope you make a post when you get finished with your barb with your experience. I am curious to see how far you can make it. And when you do die, it would be great if it was one of these ghost things, just for the lolz.

    On topic, monster health regenerating to full is a decent deterrent to dying in SC. Maybe lock out the resurrect button when your nearby party members are still in combat, so they either have to revive you or they don’t get your help at all? And then make the monsters AI effective at preventing you from resurrecting your teammates. That is what makes the ubers fights more fun than normal monster slaying.

  64. I think SC should have an xp penalty for death.
    With the possibility of losing paragon levels, but not character levels.

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