I've been playing a lot of Path of Exile for the past few days since the new update. It's pretty great, but that's not what this post is about. Instead, it's about how I noticed the similarities between playing Path of Exile hardcore league and old school D&D.
The 'Hardcore' league, for those who are unaware, is essentially a league where characters only get one life. If they die, they are moved from the hardcore league to the 'standard' league, where death only applies an experience penalty. Your stash for each league is seperate, so only items and currency gathered in hardcore is available for you to use for trade and crafting in hardcore.
Similar to oldschool tabletop, your characters can all share items. Since there is no gold in Path of Exile, instead they share currency 'orbs' which are essentially magical orbs that can be used for crafting and buying specific things from the in game merchants. Since every character can share items, you can get higher level items and gear and hand it down to lower level characters by using your shared stash.
This is very similar to henchmen becoming new PCs and inheritance rules in various retroclones.
|My humble Act 2 Stash|
Unlike in later editions of D&D, “metagame” knowledge is not as much as a concern as it is the earlier editions where player skill is supposed to trump character skill. In many ways, this is true in Path of Exile. If you die in Hardcore against a hard boss, you'll know what to look out for, what resistance rings to equip, its tell for when it does its strongest attacks, and if you need to grind to a higher level before entering that dangerous area.