I haven’t said very much (well, anything at all) about Diablo 3. Mostly because I… haven’t really got very much to say, honestly. I have tried it. I’m playing a demon hunter named Kialesse.
Kia’s Brain: This comes as absolutely no surprise to anyone at all.
Kia: You hush.
Kia’s Brain: You are in a rut. I am honor-bound to try to kick you out of it.
Kia: I WILL PLAY ARROW-SHOOTING KIAs UNTIL I DIE, DAMNIT.
Kia’s Brain: It is going to be a long life.
Kia: You say that like it would be a BAD thing??
So far, this demon hunter Kia is about level 13 (I think?) and I’ve managed to get through most of Act 1 (again, I think?) thanks almost entirely to Achloryn, who is unfailingly encouraging and supportive, even after I’ve died for like the thirty-seventh time. Let’s not beat around the bush here: I am not terribly good at this game. I don’t know how it’s possible for me to be a half-decent raiding Survival hunter and manage a dozen or so keybinds, but be baffled by having two mouse buttons and the 1 and 2 keys on my keyboard, but I’m managing it quite nicely. I derped my way up to the Skeleton King by myself late last week, and tried to take a couple cracks at him. It took me, oh, about five or six hours to get down to his lair.
That dude OWNED MY ASS. Multiple times. And not in a good way. I whined.
So Achloryn, awesome guy that he is, offered to roll up a new guy (he picked a barbarian) and help me with the hard parts. And by “hard parts”, I kinda mean “the game in general.” Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I jumped all over that.
It is AMAZINGLY EASIER to kill things when you can just stand in the back and shoot them and let someone else do most of the work. Also much more fun. Why anyone ever wants to play melee characters has always be beyond me, but even more so now. Seriously, those guys HURT. Why do you want to let them hit you? But Achloryn stares them down, mocking them for their pathetic attempts to kill him, and I shoot them in the face with my Deadly Arrows. Most of the time, I forget that he can rez me, and I release after I die. It works well.
Needless to say, the Skeleton King did not last long under our combined battery.
We stopped just after a whole bunch of spiders and just before a whole bunch of bandits. Achloryn says we’re about 2/3 of the way through Act 1, and since his main is currently in Act 3 (EDIT: I was too slow. He’s on Act 4 now.) on nightmare mode, I’m inclined to believe him.
I haven’t touched Diablo since we stopped playing on Saturday, and I have begun to ponder why.
Kia’s Brain: You’re wrong. You tried a wizard.
Kia: For like half an hour. And I died three times before I got to level 3. Was not thrilled.
Kia’s Brain: Plus, it’s a WIZARD. That’s like, really really close to a dratted mage. Like, REALLY close. You are walking a line here.
Kia: It’s okay, we deleted it. It’s a mage.
So as I sat pondering, I came up with about a half dozen reasons why I might not be totally compelled by the game. Maybe it’s because I never played the first two and have no idea what’s going on? Maybe I just don’t like dungeon crawlers? Is it because my laptop doesn’t handle the game very well, and even with all the video settings on “Low” or “Off”, I’m still getting maybe 8-9 fps? Is it because I’m Doin It Rong(TM)? Do I just prefer playing with people and find it too socially awkward to say, “Play with me?” Should I be playing a different class, or playing the demon hunter a different way? Is it that the game isn’t accessible enough for me?
In short, I like Diablo 3 well enough, but I’m not really playing it. Is it the game’s fault… or is it mine?
To be absolutely honest… I have absolutely no idea what the answer is.
I don’t really think it’s the game’s fault. It’s a linear enough plot. even if I am jumping in two games behind and have no actual connection with any of the lore or the characters, and in my opinion, the tips and menus and panels do a pretty good job of guiding you through actual play. I more or less have a handle on when to click and when to shift-click. I’m a big fan of dropping Caltrops and Vaulting away, even if I still call it “Frost Trap plus Disengage”. I really liked the way you have to open up the blacksmith, even if I do think the training costs a bit outrageous. I’ve learned to only pick up blues lest I run out of bag space and have to hearth (ahem… I meant portal) back to Tristram every seven seconds. I have a yellow bow. The game is fine. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with the game, in my opinion.
So that leaves… me. Me and me feeling very… meh.
Much like an eighth grader who goes to the spring dance with a boy she doesn’t mind but doesn’t really like because it’s at least better than going alone1, I am very awkward around Diablo. And I don’t know why. There is no reason for it. Diablo has been a true gentleman; he bought my ticket, dressed up extremely well, asked my opinion, gave me a corsage, didn’t get all handsy (well, okay… the Skeleton King got handsy), and gets along well with my friends.
So why don’t I want to call him back for a second date? I’m totally friend-zoning Diablo, and it isn’t fair to the poor chap to not at least give him a reason. But I don’t have one to give. I’m just… not that into him.
I’m sorry, Diablo.
1 Please note: This did not actually happen to me. There were no eighth-grade boys interested in asking Young Kia to a dance. I went alone. It is far, far, far from the worst thing that has ever happened to me.