I started work on level capping my hardcore seasonal Crusader last night. I started at level 60, and by the end of the night had made it to 66. Early on I mistakenly went into a Nephalem Rift, which was like pulling teeth — much of my gear was still at pre-Reaper of Souls levels; once some level 60+ items started dropping my DPS shot up exponentially and I was killing things that much quicker. Being my first hardcore character to make it this far, I’ve geared quite conservatively, with lots of diamond gems for +resist all, but I’m thinking now I could ease off on that a bit and start boosting my DPS.
The misguided Rift did serve as a nice reminder about why I’m trying to play more Hardcore characters, though. In short, the final battle with the Rift Guardian was terrifying and thrilling in a way that Softcore never is. I could have died at any one of a half-dozen moments; my health became precariously low a couple of times and it was heart pounding to think I could lose this character at any moment. It taught me uncomfortable truths about my character that a quick respawn would have glossed over: my DPS was too low for this content on this difficulty setting and I lacked a movement skill to capitalise on dropped health globes.
The Guardian had a couple of moves in his repertoire that combined together badly for me. First, he was arcane, so he littered the floor with those revolving purple laser beams that I hate so much. Next, he was able to knock me back, and also to root me in place. In short, he got to dictate far too often where I got to stand. Often, he chose a spot on the confluence of several arcane beams, and I could do nothing but watch my health drop precipitously and pray for my freedom of movement to return, and my defensive cooldowns to hold.
Still, I persevered, I survived, and I picked up some decent upgrades over the course of the night. I should be able to hit level 70 the next time I log in, which will unlock the Season 3 transmogrification rewards for me. After that, I can keep going and earn some Hardcore paragon points, and maybe just start pushing the difficulty higher through the Torment scale until the inevitable death occurs. Hardcore characters are meant to be lost, after all.
- This my eleventh daily post for the 2015 Blaugust Initiative.