Shattered Realms - hardcore vs softcore

I would like to ask the developers and testers to take a closer look at SRs. In softcore, you have no penalty whatsoever. Dying in SR doesn’t even stop you from finishing the shard if your damage is adequate. In HC it’s unforgiving and means the end. The difference is huge. I made a softcore toon identical to my top HC farmer and ran some tests. Was able to reach high 80s and it felt too easy, boring almost. Just a couple close calls and no risk of dying or losing progress. The same toon in HC doesn’t normally go above 60s for obvious reasons. Even at 60 there are still big risks of getting oneshot and losing all your rare items. You just have to play both to see the difference and understand what’s wrong with SC vs HC when it comes to SR.

Suggestion: see down below

Second big issue - Arcane mobs. Seriously! This is a cheesy way to create challenges. Getting your auras and potion effect dispelled is annoying. Some maps have dozens of them. They can be small and hard to spot in the middle of big mob packs. Please understand that some builds are more aura dependent than others. You are hurting them the most. I can take my warlord or commando and completely ignore this debuff. How’s that good for build diversity?

Another annoying issue, not only relevant for SR but the entire game. How can a tiny minion heal a celestial creature? Healers should only be able to restore as much HP as is appropriate for their level. Never 100%. When a trash mob desert dog heals Callagadra to full life = the game is broken in my view.

And lastly… no checkpoints after SR75? Why? It’s very very tedious pushing 80s and 90s in softcore. But you are making it 1000 times more tedious and dangerous in HC. Softcore you just spend time and get bored. Hardcore, going 75-90 your risk of losing your toon is critically high.

Suggested fixes:

  1. Add checkpoints above SR 75. 80,85,90…
  2. Replace the aura dispelling ability of arcane mobs with a different one that doesn’t affect auras or potions.
  3. Healers’ abilities should be fixed.
  4. Either introduce a real penalty for dying in SR in softcore or reduce the penalty for hardcore (I’d rather not, but there should be some kind of reasonable balance). After all, SR and Crucible are the only ways for us to push and compete. Balance it so we can all enjoy this game for longer!

Thank you!

P.S.: To Those of you SC players thinking there’s nothing wrong with SR, imagine if you had to restart your SR journey at the checkpoint after each death. Just this tiny change would make many of you rage about the unfairness of this mode. How many would push 90s then?

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Well there are actually two or even more issues with your Argument.

First of all, i’d argue that in ARPG in general, and the same goes for Grim Dawn (though Zantai point it out / disagree if i’m wrong on this) Hardcore is an additional “Funmode” and was never intended to be as the same Focus / Similiar threatment as SC. Heck the Reason why this Genre even exist is due Blizzard wanted to deliever an more actionpaced Roguelike / Dungeon Crawler, which is more friendly for newcomers and less punishing plus allow an consistent experience.

Secondly: And that’s something which should get some individuals in their head in general… SR after 60+ (that’s why there is also now a notification) is meant as an Unfair RNG Mode / Experience, and the same count’s already for SR, because if you are unable to beat the boss room of an shard, you “lose” all your progress of SR also… so i don’t see where it justify your whining. Everything after 60 is additional challenge which isn’t meant to be balanced and fair, bur rather do it on your own risk and the same goes for both SC and HC.

Also while i’m not against another Checkpoints for higher Shards per se, i’m not really fond of the idea either because than people outcry with their next community goal like 75+ that it should be balanced for 90+ the same way, due you’ve a checkpoint for it… that would kill slowly but in the longterm the mode, and shift the issues anyway… because afterwards people would whine about checkpoint 110, than crate needs to rebalance again, and than we have the same bs over and over again, only because people don’t get the mode in there hand and lacks in comprehension skill to understand that at some point the mode is meant to be unfair.

Who’s whining? I’m offering my suggestions for free. Take it or leave it. I’ve heard arguments like yours before. You are happy with the state of SR and balance as is. Good for you!

The game is not meant to be pushed past 60? Then make SR 60 the last shard, how about that? Cuz god forbid someone might accidentally reach 100 lol

Same? In SC I can die 5 times in every boss room and still finish it and get my loot. In HC I lose my toon, items and all the progress up to this point. You don’t play HC and can’t appreciate its Pros and cons. But the game has to be balanced towards all its modes, or am I on crack??

If you don’t play HC and have zero interest or understanding of its struggles, why post comments at all?

3 simple suggestions:

Add checkpoints every 5 levels after 75.

Add a penalty for SC - death in SR = restart at the last checkpoint. This is still vastly more fair than deleting the toon and all items, right?

Replace arcane debuff with some other less cheesy spell.

See? I will even ignore the broken healing mechanics and let every dog and basilisk heal every boss and celestial creature to full life.

Bad suggestions?

Since you brought up testers I guess I’ll share some details from before the FG release. Because I play exclusively HC I learned about a large gap between SC and HC relatively late into FG testing. Once I did I asked if it’s really ok and said it would be fair if SC players were booted from SR on death to narrow the gap (essentially similar to Crucible), but the response I got from Zantai was that HC players being unable to go as deep as SC players is a natural thing and isn’t fundamentally wrong.

I did manage to narrow the gap between HC and SC with my feedback - initially bosses didn’t heal to full health if you die, so I showed how you could literally throw your corpses to bruteforce your way. Even got flamed by another tester for being the cause for this change.

  1. Completely agree, currently everyone just speedruns 75-76 to measure how good the build is. I think it’s against the spirit of SR.
  2. Ideally that dispell should have had just disabled auras for X seconds, with Disruption protection reducing this time. Temporary buffs still purged.
  3. Yeah, but it’s less relevant for SR than it is for the Crucible. I don’t feel strongly about it.
  4. No comments.

Don’t bother, the typical response is “noone forces you play HC”.


This is what I wanted to see. Thank you.

In the end even if they just add the checkpoints, it will help us a lot. But I really hope to see the rest of the points addressed as well.

P.S.: out of curiosity, how far were you able to reach in HC SR?

A new Deathly Waystone is coming in v1.1.5.0 that allows you to push beyond 75 with loot disabled for those that want to push the limits.

Honestly, the Celestial Waystone that added checkpoints past 60 was a mistake since it gave some people the idea that it’s going to be farmable. Some people’s expectation that 75-76 should be a standard of performance is simply never going to be a thing.


Not talking about farming here. Pushing only. Challenge yourself and your build. Invite your friends to beat your top results. Things like these give us more replayability. We love this game and want more of it.

As for farming, we are already speedfarming 80s anyway :wink: no complaints here.

I know people love to hate the Arcane heroes, and given different tech I would probably make the mechanic a little different such as disabling buffs rather than requiring re-toggling, but overall I think they were a reasonable addition to the game and serve their purpose well.

Healers are working exactly as intended. What you describe is a plus, not a minus. Target priority matters.

The penalty in the Shattered Realm is fine as is. Dying costs you time, which costs you loot chests if you miss the timer.

There is never going to be a balance between SC and HC play because they simply have different priorities. SC players can afford to be more reckless. HC players prioritize stability/predictability. This is not a bad thing, but expecting this predictability from a game mode specifically created to be unpredictable is just not going to happen. At the same time, there is a reason SR achievements stop at Shard 25 and the unique armor stops at 60.


It’s, well, complicated a bit. Results I had when I was testing I couldn’t call fair because I revived my characters for the sake of testing (all of which were deleted after FG was released). Since then I just didn’t push SR.

For simplicity let’s just say I never was at 65 on HC.

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Does this mean that we will be able to start at 80, 85, 90 highest checkpoint?

The thing is, we are having a small competition in HC right now, trying to beat 91. Going 75-91 is many times more difficult and time consuming than 90-91.

The current SR record in SC is around 115 I believe. In HC I want to say the record is mid-80s low-90s. The final SR shard is 200.

But indeed, anything past 60 is “not balanced”, by design.

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Just don’t get hit 4Head

Focus the healer

I wouldn’t mind. Currently the challenge is to reach x shard in one run from 75-x, which also seems fine.

SC will always push higher than HC, because it has less risk, even if you make a dead SC char restart at the last checkpoint instead of current chunk. I think they should make a dying SC char lose the time chest though (reduce timer to 0 when dead), to make dying in SC at least a little more punishing.

I can confirm a shard 90 record in HC.

My personal best was shard 70 so far.

Unless there is video evidence of the whole lifetime of that character, there is no “confirmation” of any HC record since this is not a server based game.

Not to mention whether the transferred gear from stash from previous characters is legit.

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There is/was, Reinan22 streamed it live.

Now imagine that you are attacked by multiple mobs and there are resistance reductions debuffs already put on you. If there’s any incoming damage of the same type and your auras are removed = insta RIP. SC -> annoying loss of a few seconds. HC -> loss of a fully geared toon with all the rarest items that took hundreds of hours to farm.

SR75-76 is far more farmable, that Crucible 151-170. It’s a fact.

Oh, trust me. You don’t wanna be the “fact” guy.

Nah, we already have one of those. :upside_down_face:

Wait, does your character not permanently die if you die in SR in HC?