I am playing hardcore mode for the first time and I'm having the strangest play through.
In the beginning I noticed the stalkers seemed to be creeping into my safe shallows. "It's hardcore mode," I thought. "Maybe there's different fauna characteristics or something." Happened a few times early in the play through.
After making my first trip down to the grassy plateaus for the first time I noticed a sand shark happened to appear below my escape pod. And would. Not. Leave. "It's hardcore mode," I thought. "Maybe this is a signal to stop using the escape pod and build a base." I built a small pre-cursor base a few meters away from my escape pod where the sand shark didn't seem to like to hang out. Eventually the mother fu*ker made his way over to my base to annoy me there. (In the PDA for sand sharks it says "will be found anywhere there's sand" and okay, that's the safe shallows. I wrote it off.
Then I start getting the signal to go to the Jellyshroom Cave and investigate. Once I investigate what's there, I noticed the worms in the cave were making noises similar to (the now) hauntingly annoying sound of the sand shark attacking and noticed something familiar in the corner of my eye. That damn sand shark! It followed me all the way to the bottom of the damn cave.
Okay, I hopped in my sea moth and bolted out of there (he managed to get stuck along a cave wall and ceiling. No way he could get me now! I make it back to the safe shallows base and escape pod and there it is. Burrowing under the escape pod. "There's two now!" I thought. "Alright going in."
I equipped my knife and went to hacking. Managed to kill the guy, only to turn around and see another sand shark. The one from the Jellyshroom Cave? Perhaps. No one knows. Started to attack that guy when suddenly a recognizable but different roar comes from my right. It's a stalker! Right there under my escape pod. I hit the two with the knife a few times until I got stressed and had to rage quit. (By the way, it was great.)
I'm telling you, I'm going to be that guy (and on my first hardcore play through no less) that will eventually have a reaper hanging in his shallows. I don't mind, it's making this play through interesting.
© Post "Sand Sharks! Stalkers! Why you actin’ a mess?! (Minor early game spoilers)" for game Subnautica.