Out of the Blizzard games, I’ve only really played World of Warcraft. I got the Warcraft chest half a year ago (maybe?), but haven’t played it in a long time, and I recall being not so great at it anyway. I’d never touched a Diablo game or a Starcraft game before.
Until now, anyway.
As I signed up with the Annual Pass (and appear to be oddly not bored with the game yet), I got a “free” Diablo III game. At the time, I figured it was a thing I could do in the far future when I finally got a computer that could keep up with a game like that. The story grew on me, too, as I heard other bloggers and sites talk about it. It was certainly different from WoW, and it could be a single player game, if I really wanted to. It’s multiplayer, but not MMO, if I got the distinction correct? I’m a soloer by heart, anyway.
I’d also heard things like WoW’s warlock class is a mix of witch doctor & demon hunter, and I’ve realized I want to expand my game-playing beyond WoW but into similar classes as warlock to see if we can improve warlocks. In October 2011, Tyler Caraway wrote a Blood Pact comparing the witch doctor to WoW’s warlock, and playing as one, I’ve seen some similarities and things like “Hey, can we have D3’s Haunt, instead?” I’ve also been pulled by a friend into checking out Guild Wars 2, despite having never played the first one, and now I’m looking forward to trying that game out. I’ll still pick up a necromancer (norn, maybe), but I’ve found myself loving the asura and guardian play.
I have a decent computer! I can try so many new things! So Friday night, after I got my computer all set up, I installed Diablo III on it. Besides, this is “Fel Concentration,” and I figure other evil caster classes in other games count as fel things.
For GW2 I initially brainstormed a thief, and then settled on the guardian after I saw Total Biscuit do a demo of it. When I want to play my WoW warlock, I get on my WoW warlock, and most casters just remind me of her. I decided I wanted to play a melee-based class for a while. But in D3, I looked over a monk, and found myself gravitating back toward the witch doctor.
I guess I just love fel things.
At first, the mechanics of moving and picking things up reminded me of when I used to play Icewind Dale. Clicking all over the screen and running over items, plus dropping is just pulling it out of your backpack and it’s there on the ground instead of the WoW way of actually deleting the item. I haven’t played Icewind Dale in years, so I could be misremembering it, but it felt familiar. The only part I hate is the click to move while also click to attack, when I want to move through or past mobs and there just isn’t enough vertical screen space to get my cursor past the mob. I’ve bound “just move” to W, but I’m still having steering issues with it.
As for keybindings, I’d heard enough of my guildmates log back into WoW to raid and say, “I keep trying to hit I for my bags.” In D3, bags are “inventory” (standard RPG term), so it makes sense that the inventory hotkey is I. But I knew my fingers would want to hit B for bags, so I just rebound lots of things to my WoW keybinds.
I knew the witch doctor used mana, and so thus must like intelligence and vitality as stats over strength and dexterity. So I figured out gems, and left my other crafting to rot, since I’m content with drops. I forgot there even was the AH until I was nearly done with the whole of Normal mode. I also preferred using a main hand weapon like a dagger and a mojo-ish offhand, rather than going with two-handers. There were lots of axes I sold or salvaged.
The follower was a new thing for me. I didn’t like the scoundrel and I didn’t want the enchantress to take all of my intelligent gear, so I stuck it through with the templar. It took me a good twenty levels before I realized I could change out his equipment, too. Whoopsy. But soon enough, he got strength and bonus-giving items, while I stuck with intelligence, vitality, and DPS items. I also thought the templar could take a beating if necessary, since I was a tad squishy whenever I was trying to learn new abilities.
I liked the zombies, and adventured for a long time with the zombie dogs and the gargantuan. I loved this game’s versions of Soul Harvest and Haunt. After a while, I embraced the zombie charger fully and on Diablo himself, I took to the Big Bad Voodoo while sticking with the Poison Dart. Fetish Syncophants was a fun passive to play with, but I built myself to my usual “It might take forever to kill you, but I will outlast you” character soloing strategy.
I realize I may not have the most intelligent witch doctor setup ever, but I’ve never played Diablo I, II, or III before. I hadn’t spied (or searched for) any blogs on it. Thus, I was a total noobcake with it, and I had a ton of fun. I died quite a few times while soloing, usually to things I didn’t expect or know. Examples include unfriendly ground effects and realizing that I found way too many monsters to keep up with.
But…I finished Normal mode solo. Diablo was a bitch and a half for my issues with clicking to move and ending up standing and attacking, but I finally managed to avoid the unhealthy graphical effects long enough to kill him. It was a total blast to play. Now, to find more armor dyes and see what Nightmare mode is about. (Also, picking up witch doctor tips as I go.)