Basic Attack Removal Clarification

Beta testers may have noticed that the basic attack is no longer assignable to a mouse button. This is because it’s not in the skill interface to select. All characters begin with a skill on the left and a basic attack on the right (melee for Barb/Monk/WD, ranged for DH/Wiz) but once you’ve swapped that out for a skill you can’t get it back. You still go to basic if you’ve run out of resource to use a skill. Khalah wanted to determine if this is a permanent feature:

I hope that it did not make it into the patch as an oversight. I like to do unusual things like play melee demon hunters/wizards (sometimes) and also when fighting the skeleton king it would be nice to be able to pop a few guys with my sword while I regenerate mana on my witchdoctor.

Blizzard clarified the situation:

Basic Attack hasn’t been removed from the game, though it is currently unavailable in Beta Patch 13. The development process is all about iteration, and in the beta specifically, the result can sometimes lead to situations where certain mechanics aren’t available or are implemented in a way that’s not totally complete — at least temporarily.

In later builds, we’re looking at having Basic Attack as an option under “Primary” in the skill UI, which will (by default) assign it to the left mouse button. Also, as many players have already noticed, your hero will default to Basic Attack if there aren’t sufficient resources to power a given spell or ability.

Just so that there aren’t any misunderstandings, we are still evaluating Basic Attack and haven’t yet decided on a best course of action. It’s our intent that there is a way to use Basic Attack, but our exact plans may change between now and launch, or even between now and whenever we next patch. This is where we’re at currently, though.


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  1. GOOD! melee wizard woot

    • Just so that there aren’t any misunderstandings, we are still evaluating Basic Attack and haven’t yet decided on a best course of action.

       In other words, we’re using our public representative skills to on the spot make up a reason to not have had auto attack, as a result of player outrage. We actually really wanted to remove it because it’s totally confusing to casuals.

      Truly yours,

      Crass Blizzard PR. 

  2. So you can use basic attack, but at the expense of one of your six skills. 

      • I’ll say what I’ve said previously. There needs to be 7 hotkeys. Just 6 skills is fine, but it sucks to have to put a ranged attack that you’re actually using all the time (rather than just to break barrels) on your left click. You’ve got to hold shift all the time, or else anytime you misclick you run right towards the monsters. 
        This is why players prefer to use the 1234 keys, and/or right click, for such attacks.

        • Can’t agree more Flux… I have to always rebind shift to D (because most of your settings still aren’t saved 😕 ) so I can reach it easily because I’m constantly having to hit it.

        • Is the “hold still” key so bad? It feels totally natural to me after all these years. It’s just “The Rogueazon Key” to me.

          But of course you should rebind it unless you’re going for a carpal-tunnel payout.

          • It’s not the end of the world, but what is the downside to including another hotkey? I can’t think of any; people who want to use it can, people who don’t need it won’t. D2X had 16 hotkeys; most people never used them all, or even half of them, but did anyone ever think, “man this game sucks, it has way too many convenient control options!”

            Bear in mind with the current D3 controls you will be repeatedly mouse clicking on an open space to cast an AoE spell, and then clicking the 1234 keys an instant later. That’s not an issue if you’re using right click, but with 6 skills and 6 hotkeys you MUST use them all. As much as Bliz goes on about casual-friendly and easy controls, it’s weird that they would force players into a non-optimal control system when it could so easily be fixed.

            Unless that, like their removal of the weapon switch hotkey, is meant to be a sort of gimp to increase difficulty by decreasing the precision and variety of player controls.

          • Oh no argument at all. I’m not opposed to more hotkeys, I’ve just always liked the rogue-style hold key.

            I also like having a huge fistful of close-spaced hotkeys (especially for necro curses). Hotkeys are my friend and yours.

            How about macro’ing a key to “shift+left click” as a workaround? It violates the EULA of course, but I doubt there’s a daemon out their banning people for shift-clicking with accurate timing.


    • I think that’s one of the things Blizz is thinking about how to fix.

    • I expect them to make basic attack a consumable with a 30 second cooldown.

  3. It would be cool if they added rune functionality to the basic attack. It could be general (since a wand would perform different than a sword), but one rune could add cold effect, another adds +50% damage, another adds AOE on impact, etc… that way if you’re bothering to suck up an entire space for the basic attack, at least you’re getting an extra perk.

  4. Awesome.

    I was expecting an answer more like: “The basic attack does not have enough fla$hity flash flash for console gamers, so we removed it.”

  5. You can’t use basic attack because of console port. Also the RMAH. Another reason is noobs who don’t understand stat points.

  6. “In later builds, we are looking to remove the rest of the attacks from the game.” – Sincerely, Blizzard
    ^^^what I was half-expecting. Glad to hear it’s still in.

  7. this game is still so months away…:/ 

  8. THANK GOD erm….. DIABLO!!
    Really want my basic attack for a lot of builds, specifically for my WD when resources are low.
    Now if only they would bring back some of those nice basic attack passives I was planning to use…

  9. bunch of troll here…take cover!

  10. So glad they didn’t remove them. Looks lika melee DH could be possible again. Hoping for something to fix the problem with only 6 skill slots. Maybe add rune effects to basic attack. Or just add resource generation on hit, and boost them with passive skills or items.

  11. I see no reason for basic attack anymore except for “oom” situations. No skillslot for it, no runes to alter it, no passives anymore and only 100% wp thus always worse than your level 1 skill (magic missile for example).

    • I could easily see it for a lot of WD builds. A pet build with debuffs on cooldowns, you’d literally not be able to do anything while they’re on cooldown. But if you swing a weapon you may have some leech or snares on it or something.

  12. 10 Years Later – “We’re not sure how we’re going to handle “basic attack”. “

  13. Bashiok needs to learn to post like this. No sarcasm or bad jokes, no pointless defenses of the current state of a system clearly still in flux – just “this is how it is now, it may change, we’ll see how well it works.”

  14. Before they showed off the skill calculators, I didn’t really care much about basic attack, especially when they said how certain skills (monk combos, Bash and Cleave for Barbs) built up resources. But when I saw Fundamentals, Virtuoso and Magic Weapon, I saw potential. Personally, not enough to seriously consider it, but it seemed interesting, unique, and weird. If Hunters could use two-handed swords (katanas, baby), I’d feel a lot differently. In fact, there should be MORE weird passives/buffs that let you get something awesome out of your basic attack, and then give us a damn 7th button for basic attack, none of this “tab switch” garbage. But that would be creative and weird, instead of streamlined and archetype constrained. Can’t have that, can we.

  15. It would have been nice if they had told us this at the time of the patch’s release instead of waiting several days to do so.

    I wonder if they are still planning on putting in the RMB switch hotkey, because if not, then putting basic attack back in is as a skill kind of pointless…

  16. Sounds good, I hope basic attack is in the final build.

  17. I hope it comes back too… I tried a melee wizard with Magic Weapon and Ice Armor at one point in an earlier patch, and it was a pretty underpowered build but made the beta a tad more interesting 🙂

  18. Without passives it will become very marginal anyway.

  19. They should bring SWAP back,like hold down certain key(customized one)+mouse button 1 (Skill Attack) default mouse 1 button basic attack…probelm solved.

  20. What’s this…?! They might be willing to compromise or reevaluate? I bet they planned to leave it out before their forums burst into flames…

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