After more than a decade since the arrival of it's predecessor, the Diablo III beta is now officially underway.  Like any good little Blizzard fanboy, I've been holding my breath for years.  But now that it's underway, I have two serious problems with this scenario:

  1. I'm not in it and...
  2. There's still no confirmation of a console version

The question of what game you have put the most time into has been raised on every gaming site in the world on multiple occasions.  Usually, you see people struggling with an answer.  "Probably Dragon Age, I've put over 300 hours into it" or "I think I have over a month's playtime in World of Warcraft."  For me, it's simple.

I played Diablo and Diablo II an average of 5 nights a week for 8 years.

I can't really estimate how many hours that equates to, but I know it's in the multiples of thousands.  I played other games during that time, of course.  But it was only for a couple of weeks at a time, or it was early evening or during the day on the weekends.  Whenever I tired of whatever the flavor of the month was, I went back to Hell.

My second home

My obsession with these games knew no bounds.  I built databases to compute statistics between weapons, spells, and monsters.  I wrote applications to determine the best place for loot drops and XP runs.  I even wrote a short story based in the Diablo universe (you have to be a true fan of the original game to get it, but if enough people are interested, I'll post it).

Blizzard is basically a PC only studio, has been for twenty years (not counting the less than impressive Diablo II port on the PS2 Diablo port on the PS1 (thanks to Lyviathan for setting that straight)).  And up until 5 years ago, I was a PC gamer, first and foremost.  But this latest generation of consoles has changed all that.  The gap between PC and console graphics has been narrowed enough that I don't really care anymore.  Mouse and keyboard is still superior to a controller for FPS games, but they've finally figured out how to make it work well without them.  Sure, you can't really handle real-time strategy or MMOs  on consoles, but I lost interest in RTS a long time ago, and World of Warcraft is the last MMO I cared about.  I still play it from time to time, but it's a far cry from requiring Crysis-level specs.

The end result is that many of us have grown complacent on the PC side of things.  I've completely neglected my rig for years, as buying and playing games for my console requires nothing more than the disk it comes on.  Sure, I buy the odd peripheral every now and then.  But they aren't required to make my games work, and I never have to hassle with drivers or graphical settings or any of that crap.  It's a compromise, but one I've been more than willing to make as console games have jumped so far forward in quality this time around.

In dog years, my computer is older than I am

So my dilemma is this: here's the continuation of my favorite game series of all time, still made by my favorite studio of all time, only a stone's throw from release.  My computer is now 6 years old, which as we all know makes it a relic.  And so far, that's the only platform it's been announced for.  Sure, there are rumblings pointing to a console release.  But even if the rumors are true, how long will that be?  Six months?  A year?  Perhaps not at all?

In the meantime, I have friends who will be telling me all about it every time something awesome happens, which knowing Blizzard will be about every twelve and a half seconds.  That's going to be excruciating.

Now in the olden days, I wouldn't have hesitated.  I'd be saving up my money already, preparing to order with plenty of time to spare before the release date.  But back then, almost everything I did was on PC.  Now, I have two kids and hardly even touch my computer.  I'm having a difficult time justifying the expense.  What we're basically talking about here is spending around $1,000 for one game.  Now, if I'm going to put in anywhere near the time on D3 that I did on its ancestors, it's well worth it.  That's still less than a dollar an hour for entertainment.  When you compare that to movie prices it's a bargain.  But it's a hell of a pill to swallow.

And I still have a wife to go through.

If I looked like this, it might make it easier...

There are probably plenty of other reasons to pile on top to validate my need.  But honey, I have to do bills on it too.  What about our daughter's homework?  Sure would be easier on a new machine.  Your online shopping would go smoother.  And porn would download at lightning speeds.

Perhaps I should leave that last one off the list.  Yeah.

I have every confidence that Diablo III is going to blow the doors off the PC gaming world.  I'm sure it will be everything us fans have been hoping for since its announcement in what seems like forever ago.  And that only makes my situation all the more painful.  Please Blizzard, I'm begging you for the second time since my blog to you several months back.  Announce a console version sooner rather than later so I don''t have to make this decision and potentially get divorced.  My kids' welfare is in your hands.

Shadow out.

can you have withdrawals for something you've never partaken of?  we'll find out...