Diablo III is fun, but a bit too much work

I have been mostly enjoying Diablo III lately, though I have been spending a fair bit of time playing LOTRO, too. LOTRO is still my comfortable, go-to game that is almost always fun and entertaining. I still keep playing the occasional A-List title, and my current one is Diablo III.

I never finished Diablo I and Diablo II, but I enjoyed my time with both of them. Diablo III has great atmosphere and voice acting, decent, though limited graphics, and mostly fun gameplay. In Diablo III, you can choose to play one of several classes, including Barbarian, Demon Hunter, and more. I am playing a Wizard. Unlike previous Diablo games, where the two prominent status balls on the display showed your health and mana, for a wizard, they show health and arcane power. Arcane power is the stuff that powers Wizard attacks and spells, but it regenerates fairly quickly. Early in the game, I ran out often and had to run around a bit for it to regenerate so I could continue freezing, zapping, or otherwise nuking the enemies. Now, I rarely run out, because most of my battles end very quickly. I have the ability to wear a storm shield that zaps any enemies damaging me, so I often hear the cries of dying enemies even before they are onscreen. My primary and secondary attacks are also powerful ranged attacks that make sure most enemies never get close to me. If they do get close, I can freeze, then shatter them. So the combat is pretty awesome. I do occasionally die on some of the toughest bosses, but once I figure out how to avoid their attacks, they die pretty quickly. The mini-bosses tend not to last long under my withering attacks.

So what do I mean about Diablo III being too much work? The two biggest problems I have with it are that it is way too click-oriented, so my poor hand can’t handle playing for too long, and the online login system that is required to play the game.

In Diablo III, almost everything involves clicking the mouse. Movement? Yep, clicking, no WASD keys here. Attacks? Right and left mouse buttons. Changing camera view? Silly gamer, you can’t change the camera view, this is Diablo! Spells? They use number keys (1-4), but some of them require that you target with your mouse. Healing? The “Q” key. So, you end up clicking a lot, which is bad for your mouse hand. It isn’t quite as awful and stupid as Mass Effect 2’s planet scanning mechanic, but it isn’t too far behind. So take Diablo III in moderation and don’t overdo it.

The online login system through Battle.Net is a serious pain in the butt. It is required to play the game, so you must create a Battle.Net account. Unfortunately, these Battle.Net accounts are under constant attack by hackers that want to break in and use your account for gold farmer advertising or more nefarious reasons (yes, WOW accounts seem to be linked to Battle.Net, so that attracts a lot of attention right there). Unfortunately, some scumbag gold farmer in China seems to have locked up the TallguyCalif account, even though I reported it to Blizzard months ago when I got the email that the account was created, so I had to use an alternate email address. I installed the game and played one evening, then the account was locked the next day, presumably because some hacker was trying to get in. So I connected the authenticator app on my iPad to the account and can now keep the hackers out, but it seems to require me to authenticate every couple of days, and if I don’t have my iPad next to me, I just switch to another game.

So unlike most of the other good games I play, I can’t recommend you get Diablo III. It’s fun, but the hassles of Battle.Net and the carpal tunnel damage mean it is not worth spending much money for.


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