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Diablo 3 May Eventually Get Gamepad Support

By - Source: PC Gamer | B 51 comments

Blizzard is thinking about a console version of Diablo 3 because gamepad support "feels even better" than the classic mouse/keyboard combo.

Diablo 3 game director Jay Wilson has said in the past that the studio isn't necessarily a PC developer despite its current library of titles. Instead, Blizzard is a games developer -- it just so happens that the titles they do develop work best on the PC platform.

"We don’t believe you can make a Starcraft style RTS and make it Blizzard great on a console," he told PC Gamer. "We do believe you could make an RTS that would be on a console, but we would have (to have) that idea, and that spark and that passion to make it."

Still, that doesn't mean Blizzard doesn't have an experimental flare when it comes to consoles. We've seen one or two of Blizzard's creations venture out beyond the PC realm, but they never met the same reception as the original PC incarnations. Yet Wednesday Wilson admitted that the team has recently experimented with Diablo 3 using an Xbox 360 controller, seemingly verifying previous reports that Blizzard is bringing the upcoming action-RPG title over to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

But don't get too excited/offended just yet: gamepad support is just an experiment. Maybe. "One of the reasons why we’re exploring the idea of a console version of Diablo 3 because we feel that the controls and the style of the game lend itself to a console," he admitted. "With some of our early experiments in putting a direct control scheme into the game via a 360-like analogue controller, I’ve been ‘Oh this feels even better, with direct control…'"

He might be right. After playing the Diablo 3 beta for a couple of nights (more later), the game may play extremely well with an Xbox 360-type controller. Then again, Diablo 3 just wouldn't feel like Diablo without the classic mouse and keyboard combo. But as we've already seen with the closed beta, the finished product won't shed its classic gameplay roots (like Dungeon Siege 3). Still, PC gamers could find that using a controller may be a lot easier in navigating the character than chasing monsters in a massive click-fest using a sword-like cursor.

As it stands now, gamepad support will likely not be available when the game eventually launches... hopefully later this year. "I can pretty much guarantee that if we decide to do a console version that we will look to support a pad on the PC," says Wilson. "But initially with release I don’t think we’ll be ready."

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  • 11 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , September 22, 2011 7:16 PM
    soccerplayer88LAN = Dead (unless your in competitive gaming, in which case it doesn't matter since this is a cooperative game)Internet has improved, why should they spend extra development time to appease a very, very small percentage of people?


    You are dead... LAN is very different from the Internet. You gather with all your friends, everybody has their PCs and the room is filled with adrenaline as you all pwn everything on your way... online gaming is NOTHING compared to it. If you've never played on a LAN party, I feel very, very sorry for you.
Other Comments
  • -9 Hide
    bak0n , September 22, 2011 7:10 PM
    No LAN option = Don't care.
  • -4 Hide
    soccerplayer88 , September 22, 2011 7:14 PM
    LAN = Dead (unless your in competitive gaming, in which case it doesn't matter since this is a cooperative game)

    Internet has improved, why should they spend extra development time to appease a very, very small percentage of people?
  • -4 Hide
    johnners2981 , September 22, 2011 7:15 PM
    not excited about diablo 3 anymore
  • 11 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , September 22, 2011 7:16 PM
    soccerplayer88LAN = Dead (unless your in competitive gaming, in which case it doesn't matter since this is a cooperative game)Internet has improved, why should they spend extra development time to appease a very, very small percentage of people?


    You are dead... LAN is very different from the Internet. You gather with all your friends, everybody has their PCs and the room is filled with adrenaline as you all pwn everything on your way... online gaming is NOTHING compared to it. If you've never played on a LAN party, I feel very, very sorry for you.
  • 1 Hide
    reggieray , September 22, 2011 7:28 PM
    I agree that the kiddie console gamepads work well the third person game types like Diablo but they still suck for FPS games and always will. FPS just happens to my favorite way to play a game with few exceptions like KOTOR. I am on a budget like most people and there are better games around the corner than a button masher like Diablo III. I will spend my cash on games such as SkyRim and possibly RAGE, I hear Deus Ex is good even though there is no quick save.
    Activision/Blizzard, You can also keep you three part game SC2, maybe one year if you ever release a Battlechest I will pick it up in the bargain bin.
  • 0 Hide
    soccerplayer88 , September 22, 2011 7:30 PM
    amk-aka-phantomYou are dead... LAN is very different from the Internet. You gather with all your friends, everybody has their PCs and the room is filled with adrenaline as you all pwn everything on your way... online gaming is NOTHING compared to it. If you've never played on a LAN party, I feel very, very sorry for you.


    Sure have, remember playing old school Warcraft 2, Starcraft, Age of Empires, etc. all the time. That was also nearly 10 years ago, when everyone was still either on slow DSL or dial-up internet almost necessitating LAN play.

    But this is 2011, nearly 2012. Hardly anyone is on dial-up anymore (save for you old folks :p ). So yes, LAN is on the way out. Unless your in the competitive seen, everything can be done through the internet with stable rates. If anything people should be mad about having a constant internet connection to Bnet to verify credentials.

    Let's also include that Blizzard this time is hosting everything server sided. So you can't host your own game (LAN, and for good reason). The reason being so no longer will your enter a server and see duped items, maphacks, etc.

    There is a reason for everything. People just dismiss what they don't want to hear.
  • 7 Hide
    reggieray , September 22, 2011 7:30 PM
    amk-aka-phantomYou are dead... LAN is very different from the Internet. You gather with all your friends, everybody has their PCs and the room is filled with adrenaline as you all pwn everything on your way... online gaming is NOTHING compared to it. If you've never played on a LAN party, I feel very, very sorry for you.

    Agreed, best friends slamming back some cold ones as you play on your rigs is cool.
  • 7 Hide
    clonazepam , September 22, 2011 7:32 PM
    I like to use a controller for some of my pc games. It works really well for the Assassin's Creed games, some Splinter Cell titles, and I think I would prefer a controller if I ever got Diablo III. I have to use a controller for some games b/c of the carpal tunnel and the eventual huge red knot that develops on my mouse-wielding hand's wrist. It'll never be a great option for RTS, FPS, or RPGs though.
  • 1 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , September 22, 2011 7:35 PM
    Quote:
    But this is 2011, nearly 2012. Hardly anyone is on dial-up anymore (save for you old folks :p ). So yes, LAN is on the way out. Unless your in the competitive seen, everything can be done through the internet with stable rates. If anything people should be mad about having a constant internet connection to Bnet to verify credentials.


    First, not all countries have stable Internet (and it is NOT a small percentage...). Second, LAN >>> Internet. As I already said, gaming experience is better, you're independent on your ISP and games can be modded as you and your friends like. I remember playing Jedi Academy with all the bots modded to be 10x as powerful as normal... that was fun.
  • 9 Hide
    Anonymous , September 22, 2011 7:37 PM
    You can still have a lan party. Just your lan has to have an internet connection.
  • -3 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , September 22, 2011 7:39 PM
    Quote:
    I like to use a controller for some of my pc games. It works really well for the Assassin's Creed games, some Splinter Cell titles, and I think I would prefer a controller if I ever got Diablo III. I have to use a controller for some games b/c of the carpal tunnel and the eventual huge red knot that develops on my mouse-wielding hand's wrist. It'll never be a great option for RTS, FPS, or RPGs though.


    I'm telling you, get a cushioned mouse pad... dunno why you keep getting these knots :) 

    I can't play with a controller. I used to have one and play Quake 3 with it... then I realized my targeting will NEVER be as sharp as with a mouse. None of the games I play will be better without a keyboard. The only thing I could imagine myself going for is something like a Razer Nostromo.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , September 22, 2011 7:40 PM
    Why not just get a wireless keyboard and mouse for the console?
  • 0 Hide
    noblerabbit , September 22, 2011 7:43 PM
    in less than 2 years, I will have residential Fibre channel internet at home. Couple that with a $69 16-port Gigabit switch, and a revamped Hydro Electric fusebox (to accomodate all these power supplies in one house) , the new and improved Lan parties will become once again, realised.
  • 3 Hide
    clonazepam , September 22, 2011 7:43 PM
    Quote:
    I'm telling you, get a cushioned mouse pad... dunno why you keep getting these knots :) 

    I can't play with a controller. I used to have one and play Quake 3 with it... then I realized my targeting will NEVER be as sharp as with a mouse. None of the games I play will be better without a keyboard. The only thing I could imagine myself going for is something like a Razer Nostromo.


    I sort of did. It's basically a rectangular bean bag. It works just as well or better than my old socks.
  • 0 Hide
    of the way , September 22, 2011 7:44 PM
    reggierayI agree that the kiddie console gamepads work well the third person game types like Diablo but they still suck for FPS games and always will. FPS just happens to my favorite way to play a game with few exceptions like KOTOR. I am on a budget like most people and there are better games around the corner than a button masher like Diablo III. I will spend my cash on games such as SkyRim and possibly RAGE, I hear Deus Ex is good even though there is no quick save.Activision/Blizzard, You can also keep you three part game SC2, maybe one year if you ever release a Battlechest I will pick it up in the bargain bin.



    I would greatly prefer playing a FPS with a gamepad than a Diablo like game. Dual analog sticks works fairly well for controlling a first person view. (Less accurately than with a keyboard/mouse, sure, but it's a logical process that works.) An RPG like Dragon Age II I'm sure works well with a gamepad, as it's made to be a hack and slash game. Doing things in a general direction would be fine. But not for a Diablo game. You need to be able to target specific enemies. You could make it work with a gamepad, but it wouldn't play the same way.
  • 1 Hide
    soccerplayer88 , September 22, 2011 7:47 PM
    amk-aka-phantomFirst, not all countries have stable Internet (and it is NOT a small percentage...). Second, LAN >>> Internet. As I already said, gaming experience is better, you're independent on your ISP and games can be modded as you and your friends like. I remember playing Jedi Academy with all the bots modded to be 10x as powerful as normal... that was fun.


    That's cool that you like LAN'ing, but it doesn't change the fact that Blizzard is doing this to prevent client side hacking, duping, etc.

    And LAN gaming experience is your opinion. Just like mine that LAN is no longer a variable.
  • 1 Hide
    of the way , September 22, 2011 7:58 PM
    soccerplayer88That's cool that you like LAN'ing, but it doesn't change the fact that Blizzard is doing this to prevent client side hacking, duping, etc.And LAN gaming experience is your opinion. Just like mine that LAN is no longer a variable.


    Being able to play with a group of friends in the same room is better than everyone sitting in their own room. It just is. That's the only point that matters. It doesn't really affect me, because with a family now it doesn't really work to go to LAN parties. But the point stands.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , September 22, 2011 8:05 PM
    Wouldn't be so bad, but these days, you struggle to play on the same game on the same internet connection.

    "ghosting" -_-

    Apparently, diablo is meant to have some clever thingymabob to reduce lag despite latency. If they really need the internet thing, why not have 1 connected person 'Host', creating the lan without the dupes.
  • 1 Hide
    gnesterenko , September 22, 2011 8:11 PM
    amk-aka-phantomYou are dead... LAN is very different from the Internet. You gather with all your friends, everybody has their PCs and the room is filled with adrenaline as you all pwn everything on your way... online gaming is NOTHING compared to it. If you've never played on a LAN party, I feel very, very sorry for you.


    Hmm, I JUST did that like last weekend with League of Legends at my buddy's house - 5 people with desktops and laptops. Except we were all online and no LAN required. I feel sorry that your internet connection cannot support 5 people playing online games at the same time (ie, DSL or slower). Welcome to the second decade of the twenty first century.

    Posting from work, so need this disclaimer:
    "The views expressed here are mine and do not reflect the official opinion of my employer or the organization through which the Internet was accessed."

  • -1 Hide
    wannaturnuptheheat , September 22, 2011 8:46 PM
    "we feel that the controls and the style of the game lend itself to a console"

    Sorry, I'm typically not an elitist, but this statement kind of causes a bit of annoyance. This game can not be true Diablo-style gameplay if a controller is being seriously considered a viable option. Diablo 2 -- and to a lesser extent, Diablo 3 -- needed the ability to quickly navigate through all your skills with a quick spin of the mousewheel and target distinct enemies quickly (IE kill a resurrecting monster without targeting the minions in the way). The only two possibilities that will fit a gamepad are general-direction-based targeting (so now those minions all get in your way), or an imprecise joystick-controlled cursor (which, with the horrible unit stickiness I remember from C&C3 on console, will STILL probably lead to targeting minions). Or... they might have something else entirely in mind.

    Not saying it's going to be bad because of this, but it will not be the point-and-click adventure we all want.
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