Diablo 3 Control Improvements

The issue of a “force movement” key came up months ago, as fans noted the difficulty of moving around on crowded screens without accidentally clicking an enemy and stopping to shoot, rather than running to a location. At the time Bashiok said the devs liked the idea enough to implement it, and now he’s confirmed that such a feature is in the game.

Shift” button is priceless in #D3, but r there any plans to add a bind with the opposite effect? to run instead of attacking? –jagga_liar
There is already a ‘force move’ key binding option. Tah dah! –Bashiok

Instead, or in addition to this, I think they need an alternative to putting a skill on the LMB. (Easiest fix would be to add an optional hotkey instead of LMB.) I saw numerous complaints about the current UI in beta first reactions threads, and many fans singled out the way D3 forces you to stick a skill on the left click as a major flaw in the controls. Left click skills are generally fine for melee attackers, but for the WD, Wiz, and DH, who almost always have a ranged skill on their LMB, it’s a terrible control system.

  1. It requires you to use a force movement key to run towards enemies which you might accidentally click on.
  2. It forces you to use the shift key constantly to fire at a space or in a direction, if you aren’t actually targeting an enemy.
  3. It causes you to accidentally run towards the enemy if you’re not holding shift and you miss the click.
  4. Using a ranged spell with limited range will cause your character to stand still and cast indefinitely and ineffectively, instead of moving into range.

In other control news, players have long-noted that clicking repeatedly will give you faster attacks than holding down the mouse button. This has been widely-assumed to be a bug, though it’s been fun to make jokes that a Diablo title should always reward the player for excessive clicking. Bashiok replied to a tweet about it, confirming that it’s a bug on the fix it list.

any update on the clicking vs. non-clicking attackspeed? –JimmyTrowbridge
It’s a bug. We’ll fix it. –Bashiok

Click through to see a short video demonstrating this with a nice side-by-side comparison of holding vs. clicking, plus one more Bashiok forum post arguing against modernized movement and controls in D3.

A fan posted a big list of control improvements needed in D3, some of which I fully agree with.

Movement in this game does not do justice to a Blizzard game. Blizzard, you improved movement in sequels to games like WC2 (WC3) and SC (SC2) a LOT, so why not the sequel to D2 (D3)?

Right now, it feels like something out of the late 90s, which is odd, since the game itself feels quite modern and fluid.

Add the following things for movement (make them optional), and I feel that the game would become much more fun in terms of manoeuvring. I can only imagine how hard it is to kite and do tactical acrobatics as a Demon Hunter right now.

The List:
– Add WASD movement that works with strafing (like in WoW.) To the people who say this would not work: WoW has WASD. You can move in 360 (or 2 pi) degrees. What I want is so holding “D” makes your character rotate right, “A” rotate left, “W” forward, and “S” backwards. Cross this with strafing and you can move in a fluid motion with the help of your mouse (I’m not a keyboard turner in WoW lol.)
– Add a stop key (and allow us to bind it to anything.)
– Allow us to unbind left-click to move.
– Allow us to bind click-to-move to right-click.
– Allow us to bind force move. Nothing is a greater nuisance than trying to move to a crowded area of enemies for an up-front AoE attack (Fiery Bats, for example, for the Witchdoctor), but being stuck in ranged because the game thinks you want to shoot poison darts instead.
– Allow left-click to be bound as a stationary attack without having to use the shift modifier. This would allow people like myself to bind movement to right click and just use left-click as the ranged attack. This would make kiting fun!

Allowing WASD would provide an unfair advantage over click to move in some situations. We could of course make WASD the default control scheme, but we feel click to move is integral to the Diablo legacy and gameplay. We have no plans to add WASD or allow it.

As for your other points we don’t disagree with freeing up the left and right mouse button bindings, and appreciate those and the other suggestions. We’ll likely continue to make additional changes to control options after the game’s release.

Allow us to bind force move
We do! It’s labeled “Move” in the key bindings.

. I only agree with about half of them, but I can’t really say “put in those but not the others” just because I don’t want to use WASD. If it’s optional, why not? It would be a much less useful method than mouse clicking, but if people want to use sub-optimal controls, shouldn’t that be their choice? Besides, it’s essentially how the D3 console version controls will work.

Good news that Bliz is considering the LMB and RMB options though. Obviously the LMB gives me a pet peeve, as demonstrated above.

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46 thoughts on “Diablo 3 Control Improvements

  1. All they need to do is disable movement on left click if you bind the Move key to something else. It’s not that huge of a deal, but I’d prefer using a different key to move instead of holding shift all the time to stand in place when attacking using the left mouse button. But no, you have to hold Shift regardless, even if you bind Move.

    • ORLY? So You can’t click on a target to attack it and on a ground behind it to run through? Do U need NO MOVE? This game not enought casual… cut yo hands off. they r too crooked

    • i just rebind an alternate button to force atk. ATM i have the thumb button on my mouse to stand-and atk so i can click both that button and LMB effectively. As for forced move…. i dont find a need for it yet. If i was trying to go somewhere without engaging, i just click my LMB down, and just keep moving. I cant really imagine an occasion where my DH will be so surrounded that i cant click on an empty space to move out of tbh. Kiting usually means u dont get surrounded. 😛

  2. Personally, I’d kill for a bloody number over the health/resource orb more than any of these. Of all the UI things in the beta, that baffled me most – orbs are nice for peripheral vision sort of thing, but really, few things beat the precision of an actual number.

  3. It’s hard for me to get hung up on this because even if there was a choice, I’d still bind a skill to the left click anyway. However, I think it’s ridiculous they “lock down” those two buttons to the slots instead of letting you customize them. If someone wants to do every skill with a keyboard key, I see no reason they shouldn’t be able to.

    Bash said that WASD was explicitly not given as an option because it actually made some situations easier than they are meant to be and I can see this being the case. I’m totally fine with enforcing cursor movement. 

  4. I suppose I can see Blizzard’s stance on keeping the same click to move, click to attack control scheme they used in their previous Diablo titles.  I mean, we wouldn’t have all those stories about wearing out our mice or spraining our right/left index fingers if they didn’t.  However, based on a lot of their design decisions, especially in the last year, it seems like holding on to this legacy system is more for the sake of nostalgia and the iconic feel than it is for a quality design choice.

    Would it really break the game that much to give the option to have the ability to map your preferred keys to up, down, left, right and leave your hot keys and LMB and RMB for your skills?  I find the reasoning to be less than adequate in this case.

  5. Just got thinking this would be one of the areas where a console version would shine with it’s analog stick movement, that also would be awesome for dynamic movement speeds. Although targeting maybe not so, but I feel it’s solvable.

  6. I seriously do not understand what is so wrong with adding a 5th skill slot mapped to the keyboard number keys, and making left and right click function the same as they did in D2. It would solve all of this control scheme garbage. 

  7. People seem to have wrong impression of WASD movement in Diablo game. WASD shouldn’t be in Diablo title not because it is under-powered, gimping-yourself system, but quite the opposite. WASD is actually overpowered compared to traditional clicking, and that all stems from one simple fact. WASD allows you to run and shoot while clicking doesn’t. Balance implications are obvious, ranged would have tremendous advantage over melee, seeing as they would be able to run, kite and kill monsters while melee, well, wouldn’t. 

    This can be balanced around by either nerfing ranged chars, buffing melees or both, which would work fine if Diablo was a game that supported just WASD movement. However, the proposed inclusion of the system would make it volontary, and it is impossible to balance the game around two movement systems, one of which gives melees (slight and necessary) advantage, that would be point&click, and the other one which would give ranged chars insurmauntable advantage, that would be WASD. Balancing the game around either of them is quite possible, balancing the game around both of them is impossible.

    And that only leaves us with the option Blizzard themselves used, choosing just one of the two systems and sticking to it. And between WASD which was never used in Diablo and point and click, which is THE movement system of Diablo, the choice is obvious.

     As an afterthought, they COULD potentially add WASD while making it so that every time you used a spell, your char would automatically stop, but that would be such ridiculously clunky system that I don’t think anyone would be satisfied with it.

    • You can’t shoot while moving if your character stops to play the animation, which they do.
      The equivalent would be clicking at the far end of the screen to move, and then clicking on a monster while you’re moving. That’s no different from WASD.

      I personally don’t give a damn if people want to play that way (wasd) but it currently isn’t supported like it was in D2. 

      • It was in D2? O.o

        In a move-attack-move-attack-move scenario when you want to be moving in one direction for a fair distance and attacking in another, WASD movement would be a lot easier than click-to-move. With the latter, you’re flipping your mouse to opposite ends of the screen, but with WASD you could leave your mouse on the enemy and only move with your keyboard. Clicking on the far side of the screen then clicking on the monster while you’re moving (as you describe) only works for a relatively short bit of movement.

        I’m not sure it’s a big deal either way, but I suppose “managing your mouse” is part of the skill of the Diablo series, and I don’t have a problem with that. Some people find it cumbersome; those people are just unskilled at Diablo games.

        • You could feasibly map the directional keys (which were also used for movement) to WASD.
          As for which is better, I dunno. I’m accustomed to click-to-move which is how I want to play. 

    • lol @ all the thumbs up. whats wrong with “if you cast a spell you stop moving and stand still”??

    • There are games that will alow you to atk while walking im sure, such as hellgate, but i dont think Diablo 3 has that. If they force u to stand still when you atk (that is, shoot an arrow), then even with WASD you dont get much advantage over melee. for example, you want to kite with DH, and you were moving with W and A towards the north west, while the monsters were coming from the south east. you hold down W and A, and when you click on the monter coming at you, you will need to stand still to shoot. The only advantage is you dont need to move your mouse for half the screen. BUT, with the skills on 1,2,3 and 4, i prefer to have my left hand free to use those skill than WASD. Sure i need to move my mouse more, but i can do carltrops, vault  and a mix of all others easier. Maybe for a professional gamer that has 200 apm this arguement is redundant, but to the rest of the community imo WASD isnt gonna help much.

  8. Exactly this is why I dont find the ranged classes very fun to play, because of the whole movement and holding shift thing. Thankfully I find the barbarian a blast to play.

  9. I have to admit there should be an option to have the left mouse button as move only. There were a few times this weekend when I wanted to move to the center of a group to use Frost nova, but ended up staying put and casting shock instead of moving because I clicked on a monster. It’s annoying.

    • There are two things that can be said about that. The first one is helpful:
      You can bind a key to “move” and force movement and avoid that sort of stuff.
      The second one is also helpful but it’s said out of profound disbelief that people even get problems like the one we’re discussing:
      When you want to move to the middle of a pack and you have a ranged attack on your left mouse button, why don’t you simply click farther away from the monsters so that you still walk towards them but can not accidently attack them?
      I never EVER a problem like this ever in any game ever ever and ever and I understand that some people do have it and I can clearly see why Diablo 3’s forced skill assignment to the LMB would kill the way people “get around” this “problem”, but seriously. That’s like complaining about Mozilla changing the place of the “open in new tab” option on the right mouse button menu. Y U NO USE MIDDLE CLICK?!

      • Yes, 1000 times yes.

        Also: you can just click the ground (literally, anywhere will work) hold it, and quickly move the cursor to where you actually want to go, and it does not take you off “move” mode until you let go. no move-lock button required.

  10. ”Allowing WASD would provide an unfair advantage over click to move in some situations.”

    But this game is not competitive…

    • It would provide that advantage between classes, not between players. It’s okay if one player is slightly more OP then the other due to trillions of pieces of gear you can find, but when it comes to classes, that is definatly not okay.

    • It isn’t? Says who?

      Blizzard have said that the game’s PvP won’t be balanced at a level to make it suitable for e-sports, but have they ever explicitly stated that it’s “not competitive”? Has anyone, for that matter?

      The emphasis in an individual game is on cooperative play, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t competitive aspects to the game as well. 

  11. One thing I found annoying in the open beta is the fact that if you run out of mana (or whatever resource your class uses) while using a skill, your character will perform a normal attack instead. This means running up to melee range if a melee weapon is equiped. Really annoying.

    • Don’t use melee weapons for ranged classes then. Really simple.
      I believe that behaviour is completely intentional from Blizzard. I, at least, choose weapons with that in mind. I’ll never have a wizard weilding an axe because first it’s not proper and second it has the problem you’re describing and third it won’t deal as much damage after the beta because of buffs wands have and all sorts of stuff.

      • It’s “not proper” to have a wizard using an axe? lol
        If you limit your gear to something that is aesthetically “proper” (to you and you alone) then you are going to find yourself fairly gimped when the game comes out. 

      • Umm… This specific issue was actually with a witch doctor. Using a witch doctor specific melee weapon (ceremonial knife). And not using melee weapons because it’s not proper? Did you play Diablo 2?

  12. I am not a proponent of WASD (more options are always nice, but don’t really care), however, how does “Allowing WASD would provide an unfair advantage over click to move in some situations.” make any friggin sense?  What is unfair about giving everyone two options, and having some chose not to use one of them?  What am I failing to see in this argument?

    • you are failing to see

      run, shoot


      run, stop, shoot/attack, run

      and all the issues that would bring with it on it’s own, not to mention when the fact that it is not even the main system of the game. More options is good as long as they are both equal, bit when one option outclasses the other one, while in process creating whole host of balance issues, especially when the outclassed one is the standard way of movement in the series, that creates all sorts of problems. Hence, WASD’s exclusion out of the game. 

      • I was questioning the concept of “fairness”, when everyone was given the option to use a feature that some would choose, of their own free will, not to; I was not questioning the viability of WASD, which, again, I could care less about.  Your answer did a good job of defending an imposed handicap, in a game that, theoretically, had PvP (grin), but, much like the draconian macro policy, I still do not see how this would negatively impact the vast majority of players, given that the option would be open to all (and that most players play SP anyway, based on polling data).
        tl;dr  mechanics is a viable answer; fairness less so

        • i think the fairness is not talking about between players, but between the characters. In this case, the ranged characters will gain alot of advantage over the melee (or so bliz thinks, and i dont fully agree if they can configure the system right). That will cause much more ppl to play ranged characters than melee i guess?

          to conclude, WASD is unfair towards barbs and monks, is what they trying to say.

  13. I really really really miss holding down a modifier key (alt) to force move on left-click.  I was almost always holding down either alt or shift when playing diablo 2.  Binding “move” to a key is a poor substitute.
    The other thing I don’t like about the controls is that I really miss swapping my skills with hotkeys and firing them off with clicks.  Firing off an ability with a key while targeting by hovering the mouse is just not as fluid.  It makes me want to get a mouse with 6 buttons so that I can just bind all the abilities to different clicks.

    • im pretty sure in elective mode you can bind any skills to your clicks if you like them over the atking skills? not sure on that.

  14. Click to move is so antiquated.  They really should have gone to WSAD as an option, and gamepad control.  I’m surprised they would even consider a Console version of the game if they inherently think direct control is an unfair advantage, when Jay has even said the game FEELS better with direct control instead of click to move.
    And not having the functionality of holding down Alt in D2 to force move when there were monsters is almost inexcusable.  You should need auto-hotkey just to rebind your mouse buttons in the game.  The ‘idiot proofing’ in the game is the one thing that really bothers me about the D3 design philosophy. 

  15. I thought all the people saying ‘I couldn’t run into a pack, instead I was just casting X’ were obviously not thinking about it and clicking behind the pack of enemies before I played the open beta. I encountered the problem when I had extremely large groups of enemies at the edges of my screen, with some right infront of me. The targetting system is so inprecise that you can actually try to click on a gap between enemies and it will highlight one, and I literally couldnt click behind a pack because they were at the edge of the screen. Addmittedly this scenario didn’t occur very often but it was frustrating.

  16. Just get a cool mouse like mine where you can macro shift + lmb to your lmb. Problem solved. Im looking forward to macro’ing 1,2,3,4 to my middle mouse button to monk-key about the game like a pro xD

  17. honeslty people, just get over the stupid (wasd) crap, if u want to use those controls play another game!! this is how diablo has been and should stay that way….. but as for the option of LMB and RMB bindings sounds like a good idea!! they said they will look futher into it after the game is release!

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