Diablo® III

HC: Time or Skill based?

I was having a debate with a friend the other day over HC. The question was essentially if you would consider HC a mode based more on time or skilled. The main reason I ask this is it seems like to play HC effectively you need both but it's more time based than skill based. The easiest way to play HC would seem to involve beating a single Act multiple times to gain the most levels(and better gear) and then safely move on the the next Act. Obviously in normal mode Diablo there is very little reason to replay a world multiple times (except for better gear) since dying is not an issue and you level better (and get better gear) in the next world. On the flip side, since you can die at any moment (in Inferno) skill is required to keep and get the best gear and killing the next set of mobs as quickly as possible (for more gear). So would you consider HC mode a mode based more on time or skill (or some combination of the two)?
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The experience i have with hardcore is realy bad.
In diablo2 hardcore was full of hackers and of course the lag made it impossible to play unless you use mods like ( Chicken , auto-tp and such ... )

For those reason i will stick to softcore and i must say i never realy understood why people play HC.
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The experience i have with hardcore is realy bad.
In diablo2 hardcore was full of hackers and of course the lag made it impossible to play unless you use mods like ( Chicken , auto-tp and such ... )

For those reason i will stick to softcore and i must say i never realy understood why people play HC.


Well in part that's what the conversation stemmed from - my desire to understand why people play HC in a game like Diablo.
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Posts: 3,294
Hardcore mode is a test of patience and discipline more than anything else. You must approach all encounters with caution. You can die in any difficulty if you forsake either patience or discipline. You have to show restraint and know when you should simply logout or even simply skip logging in so you may fight another day.
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Posts: 361
I think it is more time-based than skill-based personally. In Hardcore I take my time doing things, so I don't have a chance to die. If there is a large amount of deadly monsters, I take more time to either avoid them, or whittle them down them down little by little, rather than bursting in and fighting them without a worry.

There are many situations that I still do this, but that is where skill comes into play. Skill doesn't just pertain to ability use and whatnot, but knowing when you can and cannot fight a pack. That knowledge and knowing how your characters plays is very much a skill.

Despite that, I still feel that Hardcore is a more time based mode, than skill, but both are equally high. Normal can yield the same amount of skill, but a lot less time (for me at least), and the skill make develop slower than in HC.
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Community Manager
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Yes -- if you look at the whole game as a difficulty curve, and there are spots where the difficulty suddenly rises, hardcore players will want to play the area just before those spots for as long as possible before taking chances.

But perhaps the curve won't have sudden, steep increases. Perhaps it will be quite smooth.

And if it isn't smooth, per se, it might still be difficult to anticipate where the big steps up in difficulty are. They don't have to be at the pause between difficulty levels. Those sharp rises could be seven pulls in, or seventy pulls in.
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Its more about time. You aren't fighting anything harder than you do in SC, you're just (hopefully) approaching it more carefully. Of course, being more skillful doesn't hurt, but patience is more valued.
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From my point of view, you decide how you play hardcore. It's up to you to set your own pace. Even if the beta is not the best indicator of what's to come, I must say I played my HC Witch Doctor the same way I played my SC characters — I started slowly to learn the skills and get a good feel of my hero, then I began to play a bit more bold until I needed to slow down for whatever reason (like when I encountered packs of special monsters). I rinse and repeat this process as I follow the difficulty curves. I don't deem my approach particularly time-consuming or slow.
Edited by Bouleau on 3/13/2012 5:08 PM PDT
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It's skill based in the sense that you have to plan better than you do in SC, even if the challenges are the same.

An analogy could be made for tightrope walking:

If you're walking a tightrope that is 1 foot off of the ground, you can rush and fall off and generally don't need to worry that much.

If you're walking a tightrope 100 feet off of the ground, you generally can't rush, because falling is very bad.

Even though both acts take the same level of "skill" one is significantly easier to complete than the other.

Generally speaking, it isn't any more "time based" other than the playing slightly less recklessly to be more careful. While gaining some extra levels tends to give you a buffer going into the next difficulty, people playing HC tend to practice the same way as smart people playing SC do, because minimizing deaths is important in SC as well in that dying is slower than successfully completing the content without dying. And even then, spending extra time to get "extra" levels before moving onto the next challenge, at some point becomes inefficient in HC just like it does in SC. And HC players are just as efficiency minded as SC players. Everyone wants the good loot, after all, and you don't get it by trying to milk an extra 5 levels out of normal. Not to mention that the inordinate amount of time spent trying to gain those levels compared to the relative amount of security you gain, which is minimal.

So in short, it's much more skill based than time based. People who want to say it's time based generally do so as a cop out, to convince themselves that because it's not any more skill based they can skill see themselves as skilled in the grand scheme of things, even though they aren't playing HC.
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Posted by Blizark
Its more about time. You aren't fighting anything harder than you do in SC, you're just (hopefully) approaching it more carefully. Of course, being more skillful doesn't hurt, but patience is more valued.

I like to think there's skill involved in deciding to slow down your pace when it's wise to do so. It takes some knowledge of yourself and your limits to realize you're playing with fire when it's not so apparent that your character could die easily if you made a simple mistake. While there's no foe too threatening by its own in the beta, growing over-confident and getting surrounded can mean your end without an escape mechanic or quick reflexes, more so in patch 14. In that sense, knowing when to slow down and to be careful is a sign of skill.
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You're really not challenging yourself at all if you overwhelmingly out level the enemies. Why are you playing hardcore in the first place? If there's no chance of you dying where is the thrill?

People don't realize they should be playing softcore.
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Posts: 143
I think it's going to be more skill based than time based. The hardest part of HC is going to be never dying. That's something you don't have to worry about in SC. In HC you have to be a lot better at assessing situations and escaping when necessary.

Leveling up will certainly be important, but I think it will be no substitute for skill in HC. In SC if you overlevel, you are powerful but you can still die. In HC even if you overlevel, you still need to be extremely wary of spike damage, bad situations, getting frozen, etc

Edit: Oh also, inferno? Can't overlevel for that.
Edited by Smop on 3/13/2012 4:02 PM PDT
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90 Night Elf Priest
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This is kind of what halts me from even messing around in HC at first.

It seems like the smartest way to play HC is to make it as un-challenging for yourself as possible, which is completely opposite from what I associate with something that is supposed to be 'hardcore.'
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Hardcore will make you look at skills differently. Suddenly the silly utility skills you swap out for moar dmg become life savers.
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Posted by Sense
It seems like the smartest way to play HC is to make it as un-challenging for yourself as possible, which is completely opposite from what I associate with something that is supposed to be 'hardcore.'

You don't have to play ''smart''. I'm betting quick reflexes and anticipation alone can get you very far.
Edited by Bouleau on 3/13/2012 4:32 PM PDT
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