After playing computer games for a large portion of my life I thought I had it down. After all I hadn’t hit too many hiccups in my play, however my foray into the Diablo 3 beta showed me that something was wrong. I was dying too often and my skills seemed well….nooblike. So I set about doing something about it.

    I had to first assess my set up. In a more shocking revelation than when I said I never played a sorceress: a long time ago I switched to a laptop when I was studying abroad, and never went back. What did that do for me? Well if forced me to learn how to play without a mouse, and I didn’t think too much of it. Yes, I could have bought one right away but I didn’t and grew accustomed to playing without. I played D2 with ease, even sauntered into raiding in WoW ( judge me lightly please) with no major problems. Yet something with D3 was making me play poorly.


    Had years of playing WoW regressed my abilities? Did becoming a Dad make me incapable of using technology? Or was my technology itself inferior. WIth Hardcore being a vicious taskmaster I couldn’t be dying all the time, I needed to fix it. So what is a guy to do?

    Not having the money for a completely new rig ( the kids still call computers that right?) and with Diablo 3 being such a click heavy game I began to think my touchpad wasn’t enough to hold up. Diablo 2 was doable with two simple clicks , Wow not much more. So with a heavy heart I decided I must change. However to make change easier I picked up the new steel series diablo mouse, because not all change should be hard. At first the plethora of buttons were daunting and my hand seemed incapable of using the side buttons. Feeling the need to fight change I almost reverted back to the trackpad. However, I was determined to fix my problem and stick with it.

    Eventually I got the hang of it. I was able to finely balance my clicking rotation with my longer cool downs keyed to the side buttons. I was able to dismantle everything in my wake. Even with the new patch increasing the difficulty I wasn’t dying. I tried each class to level 12 so that I had as many skills as I could assign and play with. Each time I was breezing through almost seamlessly, which had me wondering how poorly I’ve been playing all these years. I loved having those “oh shit” spells usable at a finger clicks distance, helping me prevent the brain to keyboard lag I was having before. A mouse with several keys also helped the game feel more like Diablo to me. While I was using my keyboard for my spells it took me out of my remembrances of Diablo and made me think of WoW. I now can continue on in Diablo with it as the click fest I remembered it to be.

    What does this mean for hardcore?

    For me it meant a lot. I was able to address my problem and go about fixing it. Hardcore is a very unforgiving play style and even the tiniest of mistakes can lead to your downfall. People complain about disconnects and lag but those are out of our control. What we can change is our equipment. The last mouse I had owned had two buttons and was running great on a crappy dell. Flash-forward eight years and now the options out there are stunning. While a new mouse may not be the key to your success, something out there might. In hardcore we have to take advantage of every little thing we can do to stay alive. Optimizing our gear, our spells and even our machines. In this case the mouse made a difference but what will it be for you? What are you currently using that will save your life in hardcore?


    Next week: The history of hardcore

    <em>One Live to Live covers the Hardcore play and life style in the Diablo community. It is written by Xanth and published weekly. Post your comments below, Follow me on Twitter @HCXanth or <a href=”mailto:[email protected]”>contact the author</a> directly.</em>

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