Tuesday, August 26, 2014

He'll be stone dead in a moment

Two things have conspired to reduce my creative feeling to a minimum. First, and this sounds like a cop out, work has been terrible, leaving me drained of all energy and/or writing juices. I also happen to usually post from work around lunch time and lunch time disappears when there is too much to do. When anything and everything clamors for my attention very little time is left for slacking.

Secondly, and this may be an offshoot of the first thing, I just haven't had much to talk about. Diablo 3 is Diablo 3, somehow better this time but still more of the same. There is little news to speak of, at least not that I have had time to ingest. I continue to play games every day but am almost not thinking about it. I really want to spend some time on why Diablo 3 is so addictive but have not been able to put it down long enough to examine my feelings. Looking forward to playing it got me through the day. No matter what happens, I thought, later tonight I will kill demons for fat loots.

It worked.

Not writing does leave me with a lazy feeling. Suddenly I am nothing more than a consumer, not offering up even the stilted, poorly informed opinion that I can usually muster. A consumer consumes, but if I write I am experiencing something and then sharing that experience. The one thing I miss about gaming retail was being able to talk to people about games and writing is meant to replace that.

So, no more being lazy, I can type whilst I chew, assuming there is time to do that. Diablo 3 deserves examination. It always was crack, but this is refined to almost a weaponized state. This game is aggressively habit forming. I think I know how they did it, and it was as simple as increasing the rate at which a player levels and catering loot drops to the character. The first time I played the game (on normal, as I am not sadist) it felt like a preview. My monk was level 31 when I was done, leaving almost half of his abilities unlocked. This time I hit that at the end of the second act.

The higher difficulties are of course still there. Normal just feels like it is worth the effort. It even killed me, twice, because I was not paying attention to enemy ranged attacks and wandered directly into the line of fire. This little bit of balance has made the game a totally new experience and choosing a new character was the best (or worst, because I am not playing Tales of Xillia 2) thing I could have done. 

Blizzard is truly an evil company. And I mean that as a compliment. Perhaps they had help.

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