Saturday, August 24, 2013

The one percent

I have not posted anything in awhile. I am not sure if it has been because I am too busy IRL or if I am slowly tiring of even this meager means of anti-social narcissistic self expression (as opposed to social types such as Facebook). Part of me feels I don't really need to do this, but another part realises that its good to have something random to reflect on many months/years from now.

Nevertheless, I have a backlog of stuff to talk about. The first off the list is, again, Diablo III. Diablo III has copped a lot of flak from fans for many reasons in the past year. In my opinion, some of those reasons are legit (always online DRM, RMAH) and others are just people jumping on the jabberwocky bandwagon of wanting something to rip on. However, some reasons are ones that I will never understand, such as complaints about the game's story and not getting upgrades to your character consistently and immediately. I'm not saying they are not poor systems, I just could not give a hoot about them. Diablo games have always been about the gameplay for me, and Diablo III does not dissapoint on that front. At least in my opinion.

Anyways, enough of me trying to justify playing a game everybody hates. If I do any more of that I will have to start asking myself why I do it. A few months ago I decided to level a hardcore character. I am not sure what inspired me to do so, especially on an Australian connection (lag, disconnects etc). Maybe having leveled all 5 classes to 60 made me realise that there was only one area I had not tried. For anyone unaware, the Hardcore game mode in Diablo III is the same as the Hardcore difficulties in previous Diablo games. You get one life. When you are dead, you are dead.

I of course chose a Barbarian to play, the class I am most comfortable with and had the most experience playing. It is strange just how differently you approach everything in the game when you realise that death is permanent. I found myself gearing very differently than my previous Barbarian, focusing heavily on defensive and sustain gear at an early level and running abilities to buff my damage. Even with my knowledge of the game, I would find myself jumping into horrible situations and nearly dying at least once every 15 minutes. It was a much more interesting and tense play experience. As the hardcore AH is not the same as the softcore one (for example there is no real money option), the economy is completely different too. People understand that dying is very real and paying outrageous sums for gear is nonsensical. However, while stuff is usually cheaper, the supply of it significantly less (i.e. far less people playing hardcore). Taking into account the risk of farming of gold and items, the hardcore AH is much more balanced, but used sparingly due to the incredibly small amounts of gold people have. Upon reaching 60 and Inferno difficulty, amazingly my female Barbarian had over a million EHP and enough damage and sustain to take on the majority of the content.

Needless to say, Diablo was an absolute pushover. I think taking what I have learnt in softcore and my own personal preference for maintaining a balance between damage, sustain and tankiness was the exact criteria needed for finishing hardcore and killing Diablo. I will probably return to hardcore again in the expansion, Reaper of Souls, hopefully coming sooner rather than later.

 Note: The title of this post comes from the fact that less than 1 percent of Diablo III players have killed Diablo in hardcore Inferno. By comparison, only 6% have cleared Inferno in softcore. Amazing...

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