(Picture: Purifying Flame Spell)
It was a long 24 hour race, and to add, it had been a long week at work, so I slept in. It was hard to drag myself out of bed to start with everyone on Saturday my time, so I was about an hour late. Oops!
This is my post to summarize on my 24 hour journey.
I had a total of 3 proper starts, if I didn't count muling the Scion for the onslaught gem, or the 2 failed misstarts because I was being stupid/distracted/impatient at re-starting of Act 1.
Of the 3 real starts, and each one was a gut-wrenching end, below was where they ended. All deaths are automatically migrated to Standard SSF outside the current League. I plan to maintain this list for my Hardcore journey for the rest of Synthesis. It's to see how high I can push myself as I die and learn a little more of the Hardcore strategies. If I can better my performance on the next attempt significantly, I'll post on it. To me, it really is a very different arena to Softcore and I have had various debates with other players about it too. I'd like to treat them as different games.
You will see I went to Level 21, 31 and 38. So there was progression at least!
This Witch finished on Level 21 because she was 1-shotted in a doorway by one of Einhar's red beasts. It was my first shock of the journey that left me floundering with WTH!??! Which brings me to a major gripe, why are there so many bestiary hunts in this league?! I had a hunt in what felt like 1 of 3 zones! And when you play hardcore, it's distracting. The red beasts were brutal and rippy for me! It was impossible to ignore them too. Since some were in my direct path. This is part of the Synthesis league I did not enjoy. I quite often ignore Einhar's hunts in Betrayal, because they don't interest me so much. But I've found they are kinda impossible to ignore in Synthesis if you're playing hardcore. With my first death, I learnt to treat them carefully and to sort them out on my terms.
This Witch finished on Level 31 because she got caught in a fire spray by naked monster chicks with tentacle arms. These ladies look like this:
Do I need to mark this as #nsfw?! I was chatting to another player on voice at the time, he was telling me he'd love to date one of them and that they would be his dream future wife. lol. He liked them because these monster chicks are mean! They fire these red pin-prick projectile and my Witch got caught in a heavy crossfire of them. Her life dropped too quick for me to fix it. I took this death hard. I was exhausted from the amount of concentration I'd invested in not dying. I felt burnt out, on top of the exhaustion from a busy work week. I really wanted to go to bed as the family had decided to do a field trip so mum can be a gamer nerd in peace while they were gone. I'd already told hubby, I will be too immersed for all of Saturday. My husband was a good sport, and when I reported to him that I died in my final attempt about 1 hour or so before the end, he was smug when he said: "Well, get back to your computer. You have another hour!" Haha...gotta love hubby.
As for my final attempt...
As you can see from the name, I had already accepted my fate by now. This Witch finished on Level 38. I got the hardcore high when Dominus finally sunk to the ground. He was a boss I feared greatly. I've never beaten him in my few attempts to practice before the race. I try to be active across across different social platforms for Path of Exile, so I'll just share a Facebook post I did not so long ago now that sums up my experience in defeating Dominus:
I honestly could have shut down my pc at that stage, but it felt lame. I think at the time there was only a few 2-3 hours before the official end. I had it in my mind it started and ended at 7am Melbourne time. I considered grinding the blood aqueduct for levels and waiting for tomorrow to have another proper go when I was stronger, but as this is a proper race, it felt lame too.
So I pushed on.
I was pretty certain I would die, and I did in the end. After what felt like an eternity to find Kaom in his stronghold for the next quest, I was finally overwhelmed by him and his pals in his arena. I was unfamiliar with this map, but the guys I was in the voice later told me this is standard. I must have forgotten it since I never got that far in my practice. With her death, I am done with Hardcore for now and I'll be switching over to Softcore for the next couple of weeks. I'm looking forward to enjoying the content without the fear of dying and starting again. I love the Path of Exile visuals, and really want to check out the new hideouts too! This league, I want to find a rare one finally!
Hardcore Voice Channel not so Hardcore...
Which brings me to the last observation for this post, which kept me entertained for my final attempt. I spoke to the guys who kept me company on the voice channel throughout the night. When I reported to them I died, they mentioned I should have capped my fire resists for Kaom. Sadly, it was not fully capped. I was at about 68% of the required 75%. I had thought it would be enough, but maybe that would have made all the difference.
But what was so funny to me was that I'd deliberately moved to the rarely used "Hardcore" voice channel to hunt down Hardcore players to share the suffering. I've come to know a few names on the server and I'm fond of their personalities. But the amount of shit-talking they do to each other is outrageous. At one point, I paused my game and asked them how they could keep it up for so long. They insisted I was jealous of them flirting with each other. lol It so highlights the difference between the genders and hearing how these guys bond and position themselves in a group situation.
Anyway, a couple of my favourites on the voice channels seem quite popular, so when they see me by myself, they would drop in, except then it starts a chain effect. They in turn attracted people who like them, and before we knew it, we had a large group of Softcore players in the rarely used Hardcore channel. I had myself muted as I played, but I was cracking up listening to them hangout in the Hardcore channel. They were playing their Softcore game and comm-ing each other, but each time a new guy dropped in, he'd say something like:
"Hey, all you guys playing hardcore?"
"Hey, I'm not playing hardcore but do you mind if I hang out here anyway?"
"Who plays hardcore?!"
It was ironic that none of them were playing Hardcore but me!
I blamed my pal for the Softcore invasion though, since I noticed he always attracted an entourage of players. I often avoided a channel with his name listed because I found those groups too large and rowdy. After he contacted me privately, I realized he was actually a sensible person, and that all the rowdiness wasn't his fault. Still, the larger groups on these channels are exhausting. The Hardcore channel being filled with Softcore players gave me a pretty clear idea how few Hardcore players there were around. When I finally stopped playing and looked at the list, I exclaimed to them:
"You guys realize that I am the most inexperienced player here, the noob, and I'm the only person actually playing Hardcore in this Hardcore channel!"
It turned out that one guy from Europe had actually dropped in during the night and was quietly hanging out in the background. He was probably also wondering why the Softcorers were crowding in the Hardcore channel too. Most of these guys were already well into mapping.
All up I enjoyed the challenge of the race! Congrats to everyone whose characters lived through the experience and commiserations to every death. Now I just need to catch up with where @supersoju, @nvisible and @ratticus ended up!! I've been absent a lot the last week because I've just been so tired. Keen to see who won all @mattclarke's steem!!
Thank you again for organising this, Matt. I'll most likely be leaving Steem in the backseat as I immerse my free time in playing the Synthesis League or writing my novel. It's been such a fabulous journey so far, and as I've said previously, thank you to Matt for introducing the game to me, and especially to supersoju for coming along for the journey! Path of Exile is an excellent game, but beware, this game is addictive!