I recently got into ARPGs, mainly because I enjoyed a classic ARPG experiences such as Baldurs Gate: Dark Alliance 1&2 on PS2 playing co-op with my brother and wanted to relive it again. I was considering a more story-driven RPG like Dragon Age etc but I don't have the patience or the time to get invested in a world, setting and story, so wanted something more "action-orientated" or more gameplay focused than a typical RPG.
Ive started out playing a few highly reccommended ones, Torchlight 2 and Grim Dawn (stayed away from PoE because I dont care for repeating stages for loot) and while its quickly apparent they are good games on their own, the default mouse to move/mouse to attack is aweful (in my opinion).
Like I understand that it was king for Diablo 2 (which ive never played) but I really expected the controls to have improved in such a long time. Not being able to seperate movement from attacking, as well as not being able to attack freely (somewhat better playing as a ranged class, though id prefer to free aim) just feels….slow and not very action-y I guess? The best comparison (not a very good one) I can make is what it would feel like if in the new Doom game you couldn't freely aim at targets, just select what to shoot at, and you can only move in the direction you are aiming at.
Let me make this very clear, this is my opinion as an experienced gamer, but relative newcomer to a genre whose only recent Action RPG experience it lots of Souls-like games. The games themselves are fine and plenty of people use these controls with no issues. I think my expectations were way off base. Its not that they are bad, they just feel old. I was expecting modern top-down/isometric RPGs to contain fast, reflex-driven action-oriented gameplay. Like for example I was expecting I would at least still be able to roll to dodge attacks, sidestep, parry and use my shield 'as a shield' (it seems in Grim Dawn its just an item that gives a chance to block attack?) or at the very least something as action-y as the original God of War series (not an RPG but the closest ideal to what I had in my head) but with the inclusion of RPG elements such as loot and character creation.
It has been suggested for me to use a controller, which I do now use for Grim Dawn and frankly its a huge improvement for movement, but still has the issues described above where the "highlight an enemy, press attack and walk towards it to engage in melee OR shoot at it when in range with a ranged class".
The reason I made this post is not to say others are wrong for what they like, but to ask this:
Regular ARPG players, what advantages does this control scheme give and what have I overlooked? What makes it a control scheme that people look forward to using in new games? Is it simply because its ingrained in Diablo players? Am I way off base here? Do games like I describe I would like even exist?
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