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That one death thing really does change your playstyle - everything from your skills & runes to your preferred gear to how you view a pack of monsters.
I the HC monk I played in beta was a whole different feel than the SC monk - and let's face it, there wasn't that much content, gear, or skills to work with. And it was beta! It's not like I was going to get to keep any of it. But it was still different.
Whether that difference appeals to you or doesn't... well, that should probably be the factor that determines whether or not you want to have a HC character. It's not even like it's an either/or choice. You can have both.
I am not a hardcore, Hardcore player. I totally get the SC side of it, and I will run a couple of characters in SC as well to see what they are like past level 30. (Read: I'm old and will die often in HC).
That said, there is a sense of accomplishment that can only be had in HC. As someone stated, I'll be much prouder of my lvl25-30 HC character than any of my SC. In fact, won't be proud at all with SC (well - depending on how far I do get into hell - yes, I'm that bad I'm sure!) but might get lucky to show off good loot.
Another aspect, for me, is role-play. Gaming is a hobby, and to me it's fun to lose yourself for a few hours and play with that RP mindset. Playing in that mindset, to me, is near impossible in SC, at least it is after, say the 5th death. At that point I should just name all my characters "El Gato" and be done with it. :)
I did not play D2 HC much. I was young back then. I also lost a 86 HC Pally to a TPPK griefer, and... let's just say it vexed me.
However, the last 10 worlds or so I did in Minecraft were Hardcore.
It's one hell of a rush. There is a deep, palpable feeling of DREAD you get just walking near lava that you don't get in normal play, especially when you have around 30 hours logged into a world. Instead of going "oh, maybe I'll have to make myself another set of enchanted diamond gear if I die" when going to the Nether or to the End, you go balls-out, and play your very best so that you don't have to START AGAIN. What you feel inside is different.
I completed the game hardcore twice, once normal, once with no diamond allowed (Nether portal made with a mold, lava, and water), and it's a lot more fun than in just Hard difficulty, where death means almost nothing.
I will probably play HC in D3 only after finishing Hell in SC, because dying just because I have no idea what I'm doing and doing so again and again isn't that fun. But, trust me, Hardcore gives you goosebumps in ways that Softcore can't, and never will. And I'm expecting D3 will be much harder to stay alive in than Minecraft or D2, so...
This thread has been done hundreds of times.
I'm surprised nobody has restated for the 500th time, the real reason Hardcore is more fun in an action RPG setting.
It's not more difficult, there's no sense of achievement since it's just a game anyways. But if you're going to play a game you should find the way that can potentially offer the most fun. I mean you paid $64 for a copy.
Action RPG's come down to one major thing: wealth. This can be gold, the best gear on the server, or any kind of resources that make your experience more rewarding. A new player starts with no wealth. The things he is able to do in that game are very limited.
On the other hand, a wealthy experienced player can do any content, on any character, without much grinding (he already has everything ready, farmed up a long time ago). Straight to the fun part because of this wealth. Even if he dies, he can regear and be back in act 3 within a couple of days.
So players strive to become wealthier, which is equivalent to "more powerful" within the parameters of the game. If you look at some of the barbs that have been in HC since day 1, the 10k heroscore guys... regardless of how much gold they have, they are extremely wealthy. They can do things most other HC players aren't able to.
Which if you have not guessed it, brings me to why hardcore is better than softcore. The economy.
There is no wealth in softcore; everything has close to zero value. Monotonically decreasing, infinitely approaching zero. Even gold has little value. There are bots churning out hundreds of millions of gold a week with no fear of dying or ban. A piece of gear regularly costs 700m. Take Zimbabwe for example, printing billions of currency a day. You cannot even buy a cob of corn for 200 billion. That is about the same rate of inflation in softcore. When you play aggressively and die, it is not removed from the economy like it is in HC.
If you want to play the actual game, hardcore is the way to go. If you are a teenager who wants to have an easy way grinding aimlessly, to save up $1000 or some other reasonably small amount to throw a party after prom or some shlt, softcore is the way to go. But IMO you'll have a much more fun and profitable time doing something else instead.
Neither one is better than the other. Softcore is not for everyone, neither is hardcore. It all depends on what you want to get out of this computer program you paid $64 for.
Edited by Bnetplayer#1858 on 10/11/2012 8:24 PM PDT
did you come here to just cry about HC?
I didn't read all the replies; but this is my take.
I like to play for keeps: in other words, what is there to gain if there is nothing to lose?
I have lost chars from lack of experience, being under-geared, lag, disconnect, being drunk, and bad party play. I have learned from every death, have expanded my leveling equipment for str/dex/int, and feel I have learned a little at every turn.
My rush is competing with myself. I have a Cain's Set that I can get serious experience with; but realize that it is not something that is as usefull for progression. Lesson learned before I died. I will be leveling more toons soon, and try to use what I have left in the stash before I sell it forever.
HC is not for everyone: I do not rage, I do take a break every now and then if I lose a toon from my mistakes; but I never look back, other than to learn from the experience.
In Hardcore, it is all about the fun game. There is suspense. Will this be the character that breaks through my personal barrier? Will I finally make it to Hell? Will I make it to 60? Will I be able to survive in Inferno? Etc. Etc. It depends on your skill. Personally, every time I make a character, I expect it to be the one to go all the way. But then I die and bang on the table for 30 seconds. Then I have a laugh, start over and have fun kicking !@# and taking names in the easiest part of the game.
Softcore is about an endless gear grind, boring auction house browsing, real $$ transactions, corpse zerging, dying in convenient places so you can just run by that elite pack to make it to the next zone, and crap being listed for a billion gold on the AH.
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