Something I really noticed playing the Beta briefly is how much you have to click in D3 in order to be efficient. It's one thing to have a high APM using the keyboard, but using a mouse it really does get tiring.
They've made the game a lot more dynamic than D2, which means you'll be moving around much more. Honestly, the amount of clicking you have to do in order to be "good" at D3 is kind of crazy.
One thing I tried was using the keyboard for my main attacks. But it becomes awkward because you're targetting from the mouse but casting with the keyboard and it just doesn't feel good at all. The same goes for moving or attacking with your 3rd/4th/5th mouse button, it doesn't seem much better. *Although to be honest, my mouse wasn't configured properly so I couldn't use the 4th/5th buttons, it might work out just as well.
Anyways, none of this is a problem if you're going to just click slow and aren't worried about doing things efficiently. But when you try to do things fast it becomes more difficult.
My point being... the most comfortable style of play that I found was using Caps Lock to move (basically auto run) while putting Firebats on my 1st mouse button and SH on my 2nd mouse button.
This style of play felt really good because you can just basically move without clicking, by just moving your cursor. And then when you encounter enemies you just walk near them and then quickly hit SH and then hold down the left mouse button and your character stops and channels Firebats until everything dies.
Being able to perpetually move like this makes you faster in terms of picking up gold and moving to the next pack, etc. The only time you're not moving is when you're holding down Firebats. One issue of course is when you have to retreat a bit auto run isn't helpful, but with the right Firebats build, retreating could maybe be avoided. Also, picking up items can be awkward, but you just have to get used to toggling Caps Lock on and off to pick them up when you see something you want.
I thought about holding down Shift to attack without putting my cursor on enemies so I can quickly move (that's w/o using Caps Lock) but you become really inaccurate that way so it's not too useful.
Overall... using Firebats with Caps Lock to autorun seems by far the most comfortable playstyle. And maybe it's being lazy or whatever. But it just feels way more comfortable to just run around like that spamming Firebats and SH. I don't really think there's another ability that works as well with auto run as Firebats does.
Don't see how that helps at all really. It's no different from having Firebats on the LMB. The ability doesn't trigger unless you're targeting an enemy in any instance.
The point is that if you use Caps Lock to move all you have to do is move your cursor, you don't have to click or hold down anything. Because when Caps Lock is toggled, you auto run. Unlike other keys where you have to be holding them down in order to keep moving, you need only press Caps Lock once and you'll automatically run until you press it again.
So when you find a pack of enemies you just Right Click for Soul Harvest, then hold down Left Click for Firebats until everything is dead. And you immediately start moving when you stop casting Firebats.
Obviously you can hold down the attack button with any skill lol... the point is that it's far easier to target enemies with Firebats because it's one of the rare channeled AoE spells in the game and it has a huge range. This makes it superior to single target spells when you're using auto run.
Basically... Firebats will end up being more efficient if you're using auto run because you don't have to individually target each enemy, you just move the cursor in a general area. It's not a huge issue because the hitboxes are so large, but generally it just feels a lot better to use Firebats with auto run compared to single target spells because you don't have to move your cursor as much.
I've barely played the game at all but it's clear that there's no mechanic where your character switches targets automatically as you suggest, that's why the hitboxes are so big. You have to move your cursor over an enemy in order to attack them unless you press Shift. Shift simply allows you to target an area essentially by clicking on the ground.
What I'm trying to say is I think with this control setup you can do well with the least amount of clicking. So using Shift along with auto run kind of goes against that. Not the mention that Shift tends to be pretty inaccurate in most situations, although in some situations it can be really useful. Also... the abilities you listed do not enable the player to do any less clicking. Those are just added forms of passive damage. It would always be more efficient to cast a main attack constantly while simultaneously having those forms of passive damage, so that suggestion isn't useful.
Anyways, my point is just that with auto run + Firebats you can progress through the game faster than people who will end up clicking more, but who are slower. And you can probably progress nearly as fast as people who will be clicking fast and be unable to move their hands after playing for a couple hours lol. For hardcore players, I would imagine that the amount of clicking you have to do might be a concern. Like I said... pressing keys on the keyboard is one thing, but clicking a mouse over and over feels worse.
Sorry, played mostly soso and hammerdin in D2, pretty much 12+hours/day and clicking isn't a prob =)
And believe you me! It was PLENTY of clicking going on! Left hand switching between skills 2+times/second and the right hand clicking to execute the skills even more.... That's why I'm good with women, I know how to use my hands
I've barely played the game at all but it's clear that there's no mechanic where your character switches targets automatically as you suggest, that's why the hitboxes are so big. You have to move your cursor over an enemy in order to attack them unless you press Shift.
You will find that while you do not switch targets automatically, you can switch targets without lifting your finger. This behavior is even more apparent while using Firebats since Firebats is a channeled spell and you would expect it to work that way regardless.
Individual mouse clicks are not necessary if targets are in fairly close proximity and the player is using a spell with no cooldown.
As the character's repertoire of skills grows, and the difficulty increases, players will most likely need the additional control afforded by more complex methods of control.
Lastly, I would like to inquire as to what mouse you are using. You may want to look into something a bit more comfortable if clicking is bothering you or causing you pain or irritation.
I was just trying to say that auto run feels by far the best when playing with a WD using Firebats as opposed to the other classes. And personally I feel like using auto run will make the game more relaxed but you still maintain a high level of efficiency. I really think you'll move faster overall using auto run than clicking, especially when you get a good feel for how long it takes Firebats to kill enemies, you can cancel it early and keep moving very quickly. The game definitely moves a bit faster when you're constantly moving automatically.
People can say that they'll play like several hours straight with a high APM clicking/holding down everything and not be affected at all, but personally I'd rather not have to click or hold down the mouse every time I want to move. And because I'd be trying to do things as fast as possible, I think it would get old after a while. It's not really unique to me either, Diablo messes up your hands more than other games because it's all clicking. It's really the only game where my hands start to hurt after a while because you're clicking the mouse as fast as you physically can essentially. Like I said, if you're trying to play slow it's not going to be a big deal, but if you're trying to move really fast you'll be clicking as fast as you possibly can in a lot of situations. Or just holding it down of course. But that's only marginally better I feel like.
The next step would be to have a toggle type of button on your mouse and just use that for your attack lol.
So for anyone who would rather play a more relaxed style, while still being able to progress quickly in the game, I'd recommend using Caps Lock to auto run. And I think Firebats will be one of, if not the easiest main attack to use in combination with auto run... that is in the form of Vampire Bats / Plague Bats and to a lesser extent, Cloud of Bats. Maybe Hungry Bats too, but I'm still not totally sure how they work.