Bashiok has been busy in the forums today, and the day, as they say, ain’t over yet.

    His most curious post of the day comes in reply to this thread, with a fan making some slightly confusing remarks about how Whirlwind is overvalued. Bashiok replies not with words, but with a link to an image, which you can see to the right.

    What this has to do with overvaluing Whirlwind is anyone’s guess. None of the icons shown are for Whirlwind, and they’re not even all Barbarian skills. Which just deepens the mystery. Perhaps this is the blueprint for a new shirt the D3 team guys are making for themselves? In any event, it’s fairly clear that Bashiok had this funny image and wanted to share it, and that he picked a thread in which to do so almost at random, purely for his own perverse amusement. (I approve of that approach, BTW.)

    Elsewhere, Bashiok weighs in on some DiabloWikiWitch Doctor discontent, and provides an excellent reference for further Witch Doctor knowledge.

    I think it’s just that his spells seems slow. Wall of Zombies: doesn’t move. Summons: AI is always slower than a human at killing stuff. Fireball: lobs it. That disease spell that jumps from enemy to enemy (can’t remember the name): short range, and it’s a DoT. The horrify or whatever spell: you only use something like that if you can’t kill enemies quickly. That’s all the skills I can think of atm. Yes, we haven’t seen all his skills, but really the other classes seem superior if you want to kill stuff in a hurry.

    Bashiok: You might be right about that. The witch doctor may be a bit slow, or at least it takes him a while to warm up in a fight. He has to do a bunch of things before the damage really starts flowing, but I think that’s just a different style of play and approach. I could see it potentially being an issue though if he’s just lagging behind in damage output. I haven’t heard any recent comparisons but for a while he was edging out the wizard and barb for damage done.

    I don’t think he’s boring or lagging behind the other classes in cool skills though. http://www.diablowiki.net/Witch_Doctor_skills (Fansite reporting on skills, I haven’t verified it’s all 100% accurate but it looks pretty good at a glance)

    But to each their own, I think the witch doctor has a lot of appeal but I think it’s ok if not everyone is super excited about every class.

    Why am I actually posting in this thread?

    How about some more commentary on the “why are there fewer skills now than in April” issue from yesterday:

    The way he says it makes it seem like no skills have been lost, but he says skills have been merged and taken out. Maybe to him passive skills aren’t considered skills? All i know is that the more skills, boring or not, the better.

    Bashiok: It kind of seems like a ton of different options would be good, I know, but more options doesn’t actually mean more customization. Sometimes it can mean less.

    We want to make each skill, passive or active, as sexy as possible. Doing that means making each one useful and desirable in their own way. They don’t overlap, their use and appeal is specific and easily understood. Maybe not to every player all the time, there still need to be specific appeals to what a player wants their character to play like, but a bunch of filler would only create an illusion of options.

    What would happen is there would be a few paths to take that avoided the skills that just aren’t that great, and so essentially all that filler might as well not exist. These are Diablo skill trees, every skill you use comes from spending points, we don’t want to weigh the whole thing down with a bunch of passives.

    There is such a thing as complexity through simplicity and I think that’s something we strive for in all areas of the game.

    and if there isn’t many and you can max them all out, then there goes the idea of having multiple builds.

    Bashiok: Being able to max out every active skill or even coming close would defeat an enormously huge portion of character build customization. That won’t be the case. You could essentially be a jack of all trades of course, a point or two in everything, but High Heavens forbid you meet up against someone who has built themselves to specialize in a few key abilities.

    I wish they would finalize a skill system so i could be at ease lol. I want to know that the skill system is deep, and that respecs wont be overused. Once that day comes, i will be 100 percent sure Diablo III will be amazing.

    Bashiok: Hah, me too, but it keeps getting better so I’m wouldn’t want it to be rushed. Character customization as a whole will be deep, and it’s many systems working in concert. The skill system of course being the backbone. And respecs are intended to be pretty rare/valuable.

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