My probably temporary descent into Diablo 3

I don’t get into most big-budget AAA computer games. Last game I really loved was probably Super Crate Box. I got into Braid too. But the last big game I really really liked was Diablo 2.

In Diablo 2, you kill monsters and gain levels and find magical items. When you gain levels you get better at killing bigger monsters and finding fancier items (which in turn make you better at killing monsters). It might be hard to explain to non-gamers why this is so fun. I guess it’s challenges with clear parameters and units of progression as well as unpredictable rewards. I can’t think of a real world example.

from the super weird but wonderful ebbits

Diablo 3 is just like Diablo 2 except that the parts that used to be crummy are now great. Trading used to be one-to-one, currencyless, and inefficient; now there’s an auction house. When you played with friends, you used to have to fight to grab the loot dropped by a monster; now everyone gets his own. You used to have to chug potions, now you can only depend on one every 30 seconds. You used to have to choose all your skills once, now you can change them constantly. I could go on.

This is wonderful; I am glad to see them take this pretty-good game and refine it until it’s super-good. I am glad to see anyone take anything and improve it relentlessly, for a decade or more, until it’s the most user-friendly frictionless thing it can be.

This is also potentially terrible, because it’s like refining a drug. (interesting side note: meth sends your dopamine levels 3-4x higher than cocaine or orgasms. can’t imagine what the heck that feels like. am curious. won’t try it, don’t worry.) So of course I’m kind of addicted. But I know I’ve got about two weeks of down time in Cleveland before I move to Pittsburgh and start life over again, and I’m prepared to quit cold turkey when I move because that’ll be much more exciting.

(also prepared to keep D3 as a sometimes hobby, because it really fires me up to play it. might be nice to have something I can do for an hour here or there to keep me in that active mindset. we’ll see.)

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