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DiabloDec 20, 2019 3:00 pm CT

How I learned to stop worrying and play Diablo 3’s Seasons for fun

I used to try and burn to level 70 every Diablo 3 Season as fast as possible. I’d play for hours and hours a day every day until I was level 70 and then I’d play for hours and hours trying to grind out as many Paragon levels as I could. But here’s the thing — I don’t enjoy doing that. In fact, I hate doing that. It makes me feel like an unpleasant person, constantly trying to hurry every single experience I’m having instead of allowing my natural inclination to take things slow and actually listen to all the voice acting.

No, seriously. It’s been seven years and I still love listening to everyone talk. Hey, Leah! Don’t get too attached to that inn, I’m just saying.

Stop and smell the roses and blow up some corpses

This Season I’ve been playing D3 exclusively with my wife instead of playing it solo at all. That’s not because I don’t enjoy playing it solo, it’s to help me keep my tendency to try and grind to max level in check. Because here’s the thing — Diablo 3 is actually a very well presented game and I felt like I was forgetting that it is a game with my obsessive grinding. Now, if you enjoy grinding or speed-running? If that’s fun for you I encourage it by all means.

But for me, while Diablo 3 is incredibly fun and I love things like running a Greater Rift and just blowing up monsters it’s only fun for like, an hour or two. I am not good at just playing the game for six hours a night. I’m not good at doing anything for huge chunks of time. I don’t know if I have ADHD or if I’m just old and tired, but desperately trying to push levels is not my cup of tea. I’m just not good at it.

There’s no rush, the demons will still be here when you get back

Playing Diablo 3 in a more measured way has actually been surprisingly fun for me. First off, always playing with someone else means that I find myself having experiences I wasn’t expecting — my wife and I tend to go in completely opposite directions on the map and we love to snark at literally everything everyone says. It’s basically Mystery Science Theatre with everything Tyrael says. Seriously, Tyrael, please have Lorath explain how bathrooms work.

So, if you are like me and you want to have a leisurely time exploding demons, here are a few tips on how to play Diablo 3 more sedately.

  1. Limit your play time. Don’t make yourself play when you aren’t feeling it. If you play for six hours and you still feel like you could keep going? That’s fine. If you’re loathing the very sight of the game? Stop playing. The second you find yourself playing the game when you don’t want to in the name of leveling faster is the second you should stop playing.
  2. Play with someone else. For some reason, this is one game I always enjoy more when I play it with someone else. I don’t know why, but it’s absolutely true.
  3. Actually pay attention to the game. There’s something about the rush to level that keeps you from really paying attention to all the weird little moments in Diablo 3. The dialog between the Barbarian and the Enchantress follower, for example, is hilarious to me. The part where he or she just bald faced tells her that the Templar is in love with her will never not be funny to me. And the follower quests in Reaper of Souls actually manage to be engaging and interesting and I’m glad I stopped to do them.
  4. Don’t just skip to Adventure Mode. This sort of goes hand in hand with the previous one. But if you’re skipping to Adventure Mode, you’re basically skipping the whole narrative, and while that’s the most efficient way to level it does mean you miss out on some great moments.

You don’t have to be in a hurry. Diablo 3 is nearing the end of its life cycle — Diablo 4 will be out in a year or two, and we’ll all be playing that, so while we’re in the sunset of Diablo 3 you might as well take your time and enjoy it — or not, I’m not here to tell you how to play. For myself, though, it’s really nice to kick back and enjoy an hour or two of Diablo 3 at the end of a stressful day without making it a source of stress as well.

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