Diablo III is Terrible
I think you can guess where this post is going. Maybe some Diablo II diehards actually think the game is terrible, but even they have played the game dozens of hours already. The problem is not that I wasted $60 on a game that I hate, but that I spent $60 to play one game at the exclusion of just about everything else. Neither Diablo nor Diablo II did this to me. This probably hurts my gamer cred, but I never even beat Diablo II, which blows my mind in retrospect. I feel like I played it endlessly when I had a broken left thumb one summer, but I stopped after beating Act III. Why would I stop so close to the end? (For the uninformed, there are four Acts.) Well, despite the parallels to stopping my childhood Jiu-Jitsu classes at brown belt level, I think I had a legitimate reason to ragequit this game of Diablo II: I accidentally left all my gear — the gear that I had built my necromancer character around — on the ground as I saved and exited the game. It took me a few seconds to realize what had happened and by the time I tried to turn off my computer to avoid such the catastrophe of losing my entire loadout, the damage had been done. I’m not sure I ever touched the game again.
If such a unfortunate mistake ever befell me in Diablo III, though, I could just go on the auction house and buy some new gear. I could literally pay to be awesome at the game. You practically need to buy gear in the auction house if you want to progress through the four difficulties at a comfortable rate. Such an issue is illustrated beautifully in this blog post. Yet I still can’t stop playing. I know there’s a 0.001% chance I will actually use a weapon or piece of armor that drops, but it doesn’t stop me from killing thousands of monsters over and over again. I actually had two Legendary items drop pretty quickly for me, but I haven’t even used either of them yet, which is indicative of another issue. No matter, I still can’t stop playing. At least what I feel is excessive video game playing isn’t in line with the standards of some people on my Battle.net friends list, some of whom have played two to four times as many hours.
All this time spent on an eminently dumb game. It’s so fucking mindless and addictive and zombiefying. Not able to kill some particularly tough groups of champion enemies?– better get some new gear with your stashed gold or your Paypal account. Click, click, 1, click, 3, click, click. Sure, you learn to utilize your spells more effectively and try out different spell configuration as you unlock new ones, but there’s not so much a difficulty curve as a timesink curve. To beat Inferno is going to take the average person hundreds of hours. Maybe that’s the point. Maybe I’ve never been a dedicated gamer outside of arguably the Day of Defeat beta 10 years ago and Counter-Strike: Source for a few months after its release. Those were games that revolved around human competition and teamwork, not AI hordes of the same baddies repeatedly endlessly until you farm enough gold or get enough cool drops (hahahaha, unlikely) to beat the game on Inferno.
A big part of me hopes writing out these thoughts will convince me to put down the crack pipe. I already played through LIMBO the past couple of days instead of playing a few hours of Diablo III; I think that qualifies as a glimmer of hope. Such an original and thoughtful puzzle game was a nice break from the exhausting routine of killing skeletons and demons. Eating through my backlog of indie games on Steam sounds like a better idea than making my way through Hell difficulty with my Monk character. Super Meat Boy, Cave Story, Jamestown, Bastion, Psychonauts, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, and Lone Survivor; or, the same set of Diablo III levels I’ve played through three times between my Monk and Wizard characters. There’s little rationale behind choosing the second option, yet I’m convinced my Monk will hit Level 60 (the highest) by the end of the week. Fuck you, Blizzard.