Or at least I’m not going to play it for a few months.
A little bit about my history with the Diablo franchise: I played the original game for a couple years after launch. Sometimes I would play multiplayer, but more often I would play alone, clicking on skeletons and whatnot for hours at a time. I have fond memories of doing that, but I was also ten years old. Diablo II came out, but I was deep into the Baldur’s Gate series at this time, as well as Dungeons and Dragons, and the action RPG style just felt too shallow for me. I’m not particularly fond of killing things–my RPG play style has always been based on smooth-talking and dialogue depth. Fighting is too stressful. Talking is easy.
So I haven’t been anticipating Diablo III in any real way. I read the teaser posts over the past couple years. I watched promo videos when they permeated my RSS reader because every website on the internet picked them up to make silly speculations. In the end, the game came out, and some people liked it. Other people didn’t like it so much. It wasn’t the kind of reaction that I was expecting toward the new messiah of video gamery.
There are a couple reasons that I’m not going to play the game. I think there are some real issues with Blizzard creating a game that requires a player to connect to the internet in order to play single player. It essentially means that you can play the game all you want as long as Blizzard tells you that it is okay. To me, it would feel like having a boss. I also don’t like the idea that you can only play in groups that are maxed out at four players. I associate Diablo with massive havoc, and four players can’t do that nearly as well as, say, ten.
If I were to get a little deeper, and I should, I don’t want to play Diablo III because I think the design is shallow. It functions in the same way as World of Warcraft: get the loot, get more powerful, get the loot. Eventually the game is over. I don’t like the Pavlovian reward system, and I honestly don’t understand it. Diablo boils it down to something even more specific–the large coordination through guilds in WoW to access end-game content is absent in Diablo, meaning that the player is reduced to a clicking machine. Click on the enemy. Use a special ability. Click on some more stuff. Click on a big-ass demon. You’ve won the game.
I’m sure there are reasons to love the action RPG genre, but I don’t see them. If I am to be reduced to a clicking machine, I would rather click something more fun.