Blizzard: Diablo 3 “feels even better” with a gamepad

Friday, 23rd September 2011 09:08 GMT By Alex Donaldson

Blizzard’s console intentions for Diablo 3 are hinted at yet again with the game’s director telling the press how well he feels the game benefits from being played with a controller.

From job listings to little verbal hints from developers a console version of Diablo III has been something that’s been on the cards in a pretty heavy way for a while now. With the game’s beta finally underway, Blizzard are talking to the press and, surprisingly, being very candid about the prospects of a console version.

“One of the reasons why we’re exploring the idea of a console version of Diablo III because we feel that the controls and the style of the game lend itself to a console,” game director Jay Wilson explained to PC Gamer. “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…’”

“We don’t see ourselves as a PC developer – we see ourselves as a game developer,” he also said.

Diablo-like title Torchlight – which was designed by staff who worked on earlier Diablo titles – saw decent success on Xbox Live Arcade. Blizzard may well wish to emulate that success.

Wilson is clear that for now he and his team are focused on the PC version alone, though. “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,” he added. “But initially with release I don’t think we’ll be ready.”

Thanks, PC Gamer.



  1. Gekidami

    Yep, having direct control is better than giving the characters orders with a mouse, as far as i’m aware games like this arent meant to be RTS’. Plenty of other games prove that it works.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. unacomn

    Direct control in melee is great, but a just about every game with ranged combat I’ve tried so far sucks on a gamepad, due to the need to either lock on to an enemy, or fire blindly with no accuracy. Sure, if the game was slow paced and you didn’t run into more than two enemies at a time, but that’s not really Diablo.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. viralshag

    Oh Blizzard, I will love you even more if you give this game full pad support for the PC. I thoroughly enjoy playing this style of game with a pad, such as Dungeon Siege III for example. Click click clicking my way through just isn’t as fun.

    It would be great if it could be ready on launch too. I’m sure that if they do decide to fully support it, it wouldn’t be that long after release. Nice to see a dev openly talking about pad being a potentially better control system, even though it’s only half linked to that due to the console version.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Goffee

    It’d feel really, really good on a PS Vita – just sayin’! Although after about five years of D2 on a PC – it’d be quite the change.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. triggerhappy

    Yup, im primarily a PC gamer and I use pad ALL the time. I don’t play competitive multiplayer so I like to sit back on my nice gamer chair and relax with my wireless 360 controller :D The only recentish PC games that interest me and didn’t have pad support were F.E.A.R 2 and Bioshock 2. No pad support in these games made me very sad :(

    #5 3 years ago
  6. viralshag

    ^ Agreed. I’m sad whenever a PC game (I’m mainly talking about RPGs, FPS and TPS games here) doesn’t have pad support. BFBC2 being the prime example where my enjoyment of the game on the PC is significantly reduced. Something I hope will not be the case for BF3. If it is, I class that as extremely lazy.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. triggerhappy

    ^ I was super surprised when I found out Witcher II had pad support, being (at that time) a PC exclusive. Same with the original Crysis too. Oh yeh and Hard Reset. Just shows you that they ARE listening these days. Fallout 3 and NV were amazing to play with pad, being that theres no accuracy required AT ALL in VATS lol. Deus Ex HR pad suppost is awesome too. 5 years ago pad supported games on PC were very limited i’d say. I think PC compatibility with 360 pads helped boost it in the right direction. But yeh im a dedicated pad user :D

    #7 3 years ago
  8. viralshag

    Yeah, most of those games you mentioned above were PC purchases over consoles purely because they had pad support as default. I think it’s silly when PC players knock it, the fact is this option for me to use my preferred control is winning me over to the PC more and more. And surely more people playing on the PC is a good thing, right?

    Like I said before, if it becomes the norm for PC games to have it I would most likely miss out on the next gen of consoles. Or at least until they drop down hugely in price and there is a good catalog of exclusives to play. But as it looks now, console exclusives may end up being a thing of the past.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. BloodyJoe

    this is definately the game that ps move support would fit perfect!

    #9 3 years ago
  10. silkvg247

    Ranged attacks; spears, arrows, crossbows, etc. And ALL ranged spells are much, much easier to control with a mouse. Also it’s easier to aim your character in a direction using the mouse.

    I agree clicking to move is a chore compared to gamepad, though.

    Best of both worlds would be if you could use your keyboard for character movement and use your mouse for controlling which direction you face. Have seen other games do this with keyboard & mouse, works well.

    Would be even better if a peripheral like the wii nunchuk was launched which was basically just a thumbstick with a button or two for PC gamers. Small, fits into the left hand, can be used instead of WASD (or RDFG in my case). And the buttons could be for things like sprint, autorun, whatever you want to assign I guess.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. viralshag

    I’m not saying that it isn’t true or anything but I really don’t understand this ranged problem, especially in a dungeon crawler style game. Generally ranged attacks work in the direction you’re facing and often the hitbox isn’t so small that you need to be dead accurate.

    In Torchlight and DS3, as I said before, this has never been an issue for me.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. silkvg247

    @11 – PC gamers are used the complete accuracy and don’t want it go away. It feels clumsy to hold a button down and nudge a thumbstick in “generally” the right direction as opposed to point and click with 100% accuracy, and ultra speediness.

    I mean if you could cross the street on a bridge or a pit of sticky tar, which option would you take. Both will get you to the other side.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. viralshag

    @12, And what I’m saying is with a mouse or not, how often have these games required “complete accuracy”? If this was a FPS, I would understand. But in my experience with dungeon crawlers, your target area is large enough that accuracy is rarely an issue.

    Out of all the genres of games available, I have always thought that this is one that benefits from a pad without losing anything. Accuracy included. Then again, that might just come down to how well you use a pad.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. silkvg247

    @14 I’ll run a scenario by you.

    Monsters in front of me (up) and behind me (down)!

    Gamepad playstyle 1 (may waste shots):

    1, Hold magic or ranged attack button (to prevent walking).
    2, Press up on thumbstick, next shot goes towards monsters in front. Hold button ’til they die.
    3, Now press down on the thumbstick, with fire still held.

    Flaw: First shot fired may not be in correct direction, will be whever you were last facing. BAD for slow attacks.

    Flaw: When changing direction to down, if not perfectly timed, a shot will be wasted firing up towards now dead mobs. Again, terrible for slow weps.

    Gamepad playstyle 2 (waste no shots):

    1, Walk or tap thumbstick in the correct direction (up)and hold ranged attack or magic button.
    2, Let go of attack button.
    3, Walk or tap thumbstick in the correct direction (down) and hold attack again.

    Flaw: You had to move your character, even if only a smidge, to aim in the right direction. Not good if you walked into a fireball.

    Flaw: Finicky as hell!


    1, Mouse over top mobs. Hold RMB. Monsters die.
    2, Mouse over bottom mobs. Hold RMB. Monsters die.

    Both gamepad styles have what I’d call flaws, the mouse has none. The mouse is also easier for diagonal/angled shots.

    I like all my shots to connect, I ldon’t ike to waste mana or ammo. Yes I agree with games like diablo it probably won’t matter but I am a perfectionist. I like full control and minimal waste.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. viralshag

    @14, Honestly, I think this is a pointless debate. If someone really has that much difficulty aiming in the correct direction with a pad I’m going to take that as a sign they do not play very often, if at all with a pad.

    Some people might not know this, but when you use a pad often your thumb-on-stick control can be pretty accurate when looking at a screen, especially when it comes to direction.

    As for the flaws, I think I have covered the first one with what I have said above. As for the second one, I don’t understand how you came to this?

    “You had to move your character, even if only a smidge, to aim in the right direction. Not good if you walked into a fireball.”

    You’re saying I moved into a fireball? So it was going to miss me but by moving I have hit it myself? As opposed to that same fireball missing you because you were standing still clicking above and below you?

    #15 3 years ago
  16. silkvg247

    Mobs predict movement, if you keep moving in a direction they aim ahead, so you stop or change direction to avoid it. You knew that right?

    A fireball was an example, could be spikes, a trap, anything. Point being you shouldn’t have to move to aim, period. So both pad options are a bit crappy when with a mouse you literally point and shoot.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. viralshag

    “Mobs predict movement, if you keep moving in a direction they aim ahead, so you stop or change direction to avoid it. You knew that right?”

    I’m going to ignore your fail attempt at patronising me there simply because you sound like you have no actual experience of playing this type of game with a pad.

    And I’m basing that on the fact that you are making it sound so much more difficult than it really is. Which it isn’t. Therefore, if you found it this difficult, it brings me full circle to your lack of experience playing with a pad.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. silkvg247

    Viral, you’re the one getting personal ;)

    Me saying mouse is easier isn’t me saying I suck at the pad, and me elaborating on the fireball was just that.. elaboration.

    Mouse is always point and click irrespective of genre. It’s a control system that’s hard to beat. You keep saying it doesn’t really matter, all I’m saying is, to some of us it does. :)

    #18 3 years ago
  19. viralshag

    I don’t believe I was getting personal and that’s not what I come here to do anyway. I also don’t think I have said it doesn’t matter.

    My whole point was always that I don’t believe playing this type of game is any more or less difficult or accurate with a pad over a mouse. I don’t think anywhere in my comments I have made out that the mouse is inferior and I’m happy for people to use a mouse and keyboard. It’s just getting a little boring hearing people list out “negatives” to using a pad over the M&KB.

    So you’re right, it does matter to some of us what control system we use, myself included. ;)

    #19 3 years ago
  20. OlderGamer

    Gamepad +1

    Esp when it comes to using duel thumb sticks to move and aim/shoot. Classic Robotron/Gauntlet style lends itself very well to Action RPGs, imo. And I am playing more and more PC games today then I ever used to.

    To me a mouse KYB is often very times anti imersive in a game. I feel disconected, and I have put thousands of hours into DII and other Arpgs. But give me the direct control feel over my char and the game feels better.

    But Viral is right, kind of a pointless debate. You like what you like, hard to tell the other guy that what he likes is wrong. Its just one of those preferance thingies.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. viralshag

    Thanks, OG, you just reminded me of something I wanted to say that’s not related directly to the M&KB/Mouse thing.

    I agree that I find a mouse pointer in game somewhat anti-immersive too. Something direct control, either by pad or WASD, would help to alleviate. The option should obviously still be there should people want it.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. triggerhappy

    All aiming issues aside, it’s analog movement that’s the big draw for me. I do a great deal of walking around, exploring the enviroments and stuff. Fair enough most games have a walk key but it’s not the same. I don’t run about the Normandy, I walk. Or when im peeking aroung a corner scoping out whats up ahead, I do it slowly. You just don’t get that with keyboards 1 or 0/ on or off setup.

    #22 3 years ago

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