Diablo® III

Playing SC, how the other half lives (dies)

Well, really it's more like how the other 99% lives, or, in most cases, simply dies. I was curious about SC having never really played it except to get my first char to level 10. After a rather rough couple days of losing a very brave level 45 monk due to extreme bravery (read: stupidity) and then losing a 43 barbarian the very next day to computer issues, I needed a little break so I got back on my level 10 SC wizard to see the differences. I'm now level 43 with about 15 deaths under my belt, and just wanted to share some experiences/thoughts. No rant, no anything, just some thoughts about the big difference not being able to die makes on gameplay.

The first thing I noticed was that not only do people not care about dying, most randoms make literally zero effort not to, at least here in normal and now nightmare. I am very often the last person standing in fights due to both gear, def. skills I had up, and HC training. On that same note, I got called a noob because I didn't know how to rez people before or after fights (right click them and they pop back up after a short cooldown) . Obviously rezzing people doesn't apply to HC, so yeah, that was kind of funny. I literally didn't realize you could be revived during boss fights, or that champs mobs stay at low health after you wipe on them, so you can just throw corpses at them until they go away.

This really makes the individual fights in SC quite pointless, which in turn makes the entirety of SC seem pointless in a way, at least to me, but then I started thinking about something else.

HC also seems somewhat pointless suddenly in a different way because of certain methods one can use to power level.

With the way that people are now powering after their toon dies in HC, I don't really quite see the philosophical difference between a friend power-levelling a new toon in town after a death, and just simply respawning in SC, except that you don't have to sit in town for 15 hours or whatever, and of course you lose your items (which also leads to the hyper inflation you see in the HC AH versus the SC AH--it is unreal the difference in price/availability of upgrades, and I can't imagine the disparity in the coming months/years).

The main gameplay difference seems to not really be the loss of the toon, but rather the fact that you can't throw corpses at champs/elites/bosses. I'm not sure how this makes me feel. On the one hand, if I don't power-level, why should I care what other people do? But on the other hand, it makes me even more nervous to pug since pretty much anyone can have a level 60 in HC right now without doing much more than sit in town.

The AH in HC is a joke compared to SC. I have more money on my one SC character than I do on my 3 combined HC chars (in the 40s, 2 rip) because upgrades are so cheap and easy to attain. This makes the game more fun in certain ways, but also stupider in certain ways too. I literally don't check my blues anymore because I can find rares in the 40s with good stats for 2-5k. Weapons are even cheaper. Gems are basically free (most people selling weapons gem the items before they put them up). Again, not sure where I fall on this one. The lack of upgrades is in a sense what makes hardcore hardcore, and you really need to get by with what you can OR farm trivial content until you outlevel the next zone through both gear and levels.

Which brings me to my next point. Since there is literally no penalty for dying, I find that my wizard faces FAR more challanging situations since I'm willing to risk FAR more, so in a sense the gameplay is more challanging. I also use more offensive skills, so fights are quicker, and I play very high risk. In hardcore, you are punished so harshly for making a single mistake in relevant content, that you end up doing nm Kulle 30 times just so you know you can take on Belial. I can't imagine doing that in SC.

Well, just some thoughts on the two different modes. I will probably end up staying on my HC toons after I get this guy into Inferno to see what all the hubbub is about. No need to hate, or flame. I'm not criticizing HC, and I do believe it is the more elegant, skillful gameplay, just thought others who haven't might played SC might be interested in how the other 99% lives.
Edited by Exception#1625 on 5/31/2012 3:12 PM PDT
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Blizzard really made the penalty for death way too minimal in SC. Also I think the penalty in HC is way to harsh, leading to gameplay styles like you mention. They really are 2 extremes. I would have loved to have seen a mode where death stings, and takes a good amount of time to recover from (10-30 minutes of game play time). This would lead to risk taking that you don't see in HC, with the importance of defensive stats and strategizing you don't see in SC.
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Posts: 29
they really do need to make it so you can't get experience out of town, like you have to be a certain distance form the kill to get any.

people who are PL though miss the point almost completely. HC, to me, is more about bonding with you're character more than sc.

anyway, HC and SC just present two different ways of playing the games and both are viable.
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to the OP

-you don't have to power level, who cares if others are...they will get bored when they hit a brick wall because they suck at their character

-you are forgetting what makes HC fun/intense...its when you have a crazy intense fight and somehow manage to come out alive...your heart is beating like crazy, hands shaking

If you get a character power leveled to 60, you have no personal investment in that character. What makes trying to stay alive in HC so intense and adrenaline pumping is the fact that you spent hours playing that character and you're fighting for your life the entire time.

People who power level are missing the point entirely.
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In hardcore, you are punished so harshly for making a single mistake in relevant content, that you end up doing nm Kulle 30 times just so you know you can take on Belial. I can't imagine doing that in SC.


I never did nightmare Kulle runs...

I just did Act 2 nightmare, killed Belial, and went on my merry way. :/

I think many HC players are far too fearful. Stuff generally won't kill you if you play at your game level.

How you play HC is up to you, but I don't advocate a boring safety-first playstyle.
Edited by Leliana#1393 on 5/31/2012 4:11 PM PDT
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I have a feeling they will remove the ability to powerlevel while in town. Really surprised it was overlooked.
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There should be a loss of XP in addition to a loss of durability. That would solve the corpse throwing issue on SC. Not that I care really, since I dont play it.
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to the OP

People who power level are missing the point entirely.


Diablo games are about items.

Please... just get it.
Edited by Shix#1824 on 5/31/2012 4:56 PM PDT
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I have mixed feelings about Power-leveling. The simple fix would be to eliminate getting XP while sitting in town as somebody already pointed out. This would really take the game to the next level in terms of risk

I just lost my 45 lvl barb a couple of days ago and I am NOT looking forward to grinding Normal and NM again. I put in 40+ hours into the character, and Normal is just plain BORING. Nightmare is 95% total boredom and 5% heart attack. Yes, you run into a !@#$ed up champion pack every half an hour or so but the rest of it is mostly mindless grind. Of course, some areas are more challenging than others but that was my overall impression. Never been to hell, so can't comment.

Also, gear drops are total %^-* 99% of the time, and i don't really care what drops because you can buy stuff at the AH for SO much cheaper and get better gear.

I might do another HC char, and ONLY go with the monster drops, avoiding AH entirely. I suppose that would make farming for gear much more exciting, and also make survival more challenging too.

Overall the game is just way too easy with way too much grinding
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That's the game of hardcore that you play. Power failures, lightning striking an exchange that drops your connection out (rural Australia here, both common issues for me), the list goes on with risks that you are taking when stepping into the HC realm. I lost my first one at 10 because my cat knocked over my drink onto the keyboard during a fight, felt so lame for only making it to 10 haha.
It brings more emotion and satisfaction to the table where as sc is still fun to be reckless and carefree especially when you want a break from stressing, but the meaningless grind mentality isnt quite as satisfying.

Takes me back to my youth days where I would only get given a dollar each time to play an arcade game, so I had to make it last be because I couldn't just top up and hit 'continue' to keep going.

Many of my friends don't like HC though so I romp around with them in sc, and it's still a barrel of laughs, just not as satisfying.
Edited by Plasmoduck#6383 on 5/31/2012 6:33 PM PDT
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05/31/2012 04:39 PMPosted by Noblepeasant
There should be a loss of XP in addition to a loss of durability. That would solve the corpse throwing issue on SC. Not that I care really, since I dont play it.

I do wonder why that design decision from D2 Softcore was removed from D3.

I absolutely understand people not wanting to play Hardcore. But I don't understand people not wanting death to have any sting whatsoever (I have a Softcore character in the mid-50's - the repair bill after a death is literally a few hundred gold, it's completely meaningless).
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I guess trying to find that happy medium for sc especially with such a larger player base this time round would have been pretty painful for them, having a harsher penalty would just fuel the debate that penalties are what hardcore is for. Another fruitless argument is just what blizzard needs haha.
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You just made a huge post explaining everything I dislike about softcore. Nothing else to add; really, all those reason are why I play hardcore.

People power-leveling to 60 don't bother me. 60 is just a number; they have no idea how to play their toon, and can't do any progression without dying right away (even if they could that hardly affects me anyway; I'm playing for myself first and foremost). I guess they can sit in chat bragging about 60?
Edited by Pzypro#1837 on 5/31/2012 7:10 PM PDT
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I have mixed feelings about Power-leveling. The simple fix would be to eliminate getting XP while sitting in town as somebody already pointed out. This would really take the game to the next level in terms of risk

I just lost my 45 lvl barb a couple of days ago and I am NOT looking forward to grinding Normal and NM again. I put in 40+ hours into the character, and Normal is just plain BORING. Nightmare is 95% total boredom and 5% heart attack. Yes, you run into a !@#$ed up champion pack every half an hour or so but the rest of it is mostly mindless grind. Of course, some areas are more challenging than others but that was my overall impression. Never been to hell, so can't comment.

Also, gear drops are total %^-* 99% of the time, and i don't really care what drops because you can buy stuff at the AH for SO much cheaper and get better gear.

I might do another HC char, and ONLY go with the monster drops, avoiding AH entirely. I suppose that would make farming for gear much more exciting, and also make survival more challenging too.

Overall the game is just way too easy with way too much grinding


If the game is way too easy as you say, why are you dying in nightmare at level 45? That's not even half the game lengthwise and challenge-wise maybe about a third at best.
Edited by Pzypro#1837 on 5/31/2012 7:07 PM PDT
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Yeah, I hope people didn't read that I'm anti-HC. Quite the opposite, I mostly only play HC, and will continue to mostly only play HC, though I am finding SC "interesting" in a way as it relates to my expectation and enjoyment of HC, and there are a few problems with HC that I can't ignore after having played on the other side, the most notable one being the powerlevel thing.

Like, a guy in this thread said that he just died at 43, and he's going to powerlevel back up to 43 because going through normal etc. is boring. Now, I get that, I really do, but then what's the point of playing a hardcore character if essentially you are just respawning, but with a longer time to get back in the action? I don't have an answer for this. I don't think there IS an answer for this.

I think an EXP penalty for death in SC would be an awesome change, because really the endless corpse throwing is a joke. I mean I did 4 person diablo on my wizard and it was like no one in my group even tried to stay alive but me, which is not only stupid for obvious reasons, but also makes it unenjoyable for the person who actually tries to stay alive and carries 3 dummies through a boss.

But it's too late in the game to do it now; can't imagine the QQ if they added something like that post-launch.
Edited by Exception#1625 on 5/31/2012 7:10 PM PDT
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Yeah, I hope people didn't read that I'm anti-HC. Quite the opposite, I mostly only play HC, and will continue to mostly only play HC, though I am finding SC "interesting" in a way as it relates to my expectation and enjoyment of HC, and there are a few problems with HC that I can't ignore after having played on the other side, the most notable one being the powerlevel thing.

Like, a guy in this thread said that he just died at 43, and he's going to powerlevel back up to 43 because going through normal etc. is boring. Now, I get that, I really do, but then what's the point of playing a hardcore character if essentially you are just respawning, but with a longer time to get back in the action? I don't have an answer for this. I don't think there IS an answer for this.

I think an EXP penalty for death in SC would be an awesome change, because really the endless corpse throwing is a joke. I mean I did 4 person diablo on my wizard and it was like no one in my group even tried to stay alive but me, which is not only stupid for obvious reasons, but also makes it unenjoyable for the person who actually tries to stay alive and carries 3 dummies through a boss.

But it's too late in the game to do it now; can't imagine the QQ if they added something like that post-launch.


They don't have exp penalty because it's a lot less meaningful than it was in D2. In d2 reaching 99 was next to impossible; here reaching 60 is just getting started with the real difficulty and where most people will be very soon.

Also softcore and power-leveling have nothing in common. I'm sure the town leveling will be fixed but there will always be the most efficient way to level; it's impossible for it not to exist.

If you want to equate dying and powerleveling as a long respawn then you can make the argument that everything is identical and the only difference is time commitment - which it is. But that's a pretty bland way to look at it, no?
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Yeah power levelling kind of defeats the purpose of HC, in my mind that is. It kind of defeats the purpose of the consequence of dying is to start all over again from the beginning and questions some peoples motives for playing HC in the first place (bragging rights maybe? Maybe they just want to rush to later game to get a head start on the exclusive HC ah). But all in all it doesn't affect my own personal game so I don't really care what people do, if it's what they need to do to be satisfied then so be it, who am I to judge.
Edited by Plasmoduck#6383 on 5/31/2012 8:33 PM PDT
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100 Dwarf Hunter
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Pretty much what plas said there. Want to PL? go for it, doesn't affect me. I also think it kinda defeats the purpose of hardcore. Anyhow. go ahead and do it. Just don't QQ when you die.
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Everyone is correct because it's a game and YOU decide on how quickly you want to waste your time with it.

There is never anything to gain in a game unless you go competitive and go win money in competitions.

Diablo 3 isn't that type of game.
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