Blizzard Defends Skill Point Removal


A fan referenced the “97 billion possible character builds” quote from Blizzcon 2010, and asked how the math had changed now that the max skills at one time per char is 6, instead of 7. Bashiok had clearly consulted with his superiors on that issue, and had a FAQ-style post, with a bonus confusing mathematical metaphor, all ready to go.

He explains their logic behind the skill point removal, talks about encouraging character variety, and calculates the possible number of char builds under the new six-skill maximum. This is probably the single longest post Bashiok has ever made, so here’s just the start quoted; click through for the whole thing, and another subsequent thread on basically the same issue of character variety in D3.

97 billion builds per class @ Blizzcon. So, whats the new number of the titanic amount of customization?
Bashiok: I realize there’s a lot of information spread around, I’m hoping to bring some of it to a single post and hopefully get our point across and reassure you that the changes we’re making are for the betterment of character customization options, and ultimately your long-term enjoyment of the game.

So, why did we get rid of skill points?
(Note: this is a supplementary min/max explanation. There are lots of other reasons which have been touched on in the past such as how players approach our game, supporting the idea of builds, observing how players behaved in internal testing, etc. This is just further explanation that I think will resonate with some of you.)

In Diablo III, we really want to improve the combat depth. Part of having combat depth involves having skills that are useful in different situations. In Diablo II players often used a single skill to deal with almost all situations: Blessed Hammer, Frozen Orb and Bone Spirit to name a few. Players invest 20 points into a single skill and use it as much as possible. The only reason a player would swap away from their primary spam skill is due to monster resistances/immunities. If a monster was immune to your primary spam skill, you’d either skip the encounter completely or fall back on a second skill. Neither of these answers provides the player with much combat depth.

Bashiok’s post continued….

To support combat depth, skills need to have different roles. Here is a very simple example:

  • Magic Missile deals 15 damage to a single enemy
  • Arcane Orb deals area of effect damage for 10 damage each

With these two skills we’re beginning to develop some combat depth for the player. Use Magic Missile when you’re facing one enemy, use Arcane Orb when you’re facing multiple enemies. But you may also want to use Magic Missile if one enemy is a “high priority target” in a group, and you want it to die quickly. In this simplified example players can still defeat a horde of enemies by casting Magic Missile multiple times, or they could defeat a single large enemy by casting Arcane Orb multiple times, but that wouldn’t be as efficient as a player who uses the right skill for the right situation.

Ok so that basic layout of combat depth out of the way!

With skill point spending your skills get better as you invest points into them. The problem is that this destroys combat depth. If after pumping a bunch of points into Magic Missile it now deals 70 damage to a single enemy, assuming my enemies have any reasonable health, then Magic Missile becomes a better choice than Arcane Orb even in group situations. If after pumping a bunch of points into Arcane Orb it now deals 45 damage, then it deals more damage than Magic Missile to single targets. Now rather than using the right skill for the right situation, I’m using the skill I’ve put all my points into. Skill point spending has eroded away combat depth.

Why did we go from 7 skill choices to 6?
(Note: again, this is a supplementary explanation. We’ve gone over some of the other reasons elsewhere, but this is specifically targeted at those of you here who feel strongly that 7 means there would be more build diversity than 6)

Diablo III emphasizes build customization. We feel that 6 skill choices actually creates more build diversity than 7.

Why? Well for any given set of options, the greatest number of combinations exists when the number of choices you can make is close to half the number of options you have. Some of you may remember a high school math problem like this: There are 12 differently colored marbles in a bag. How many different color combinations can you get by choosing X marbles? Well as it turns out the solution for various values of X are:

  • 1 marble: 12 different color combinations
  • 2 marbles: 66
  • 3 marbles: 220
  • 4 marbles: 495
  • 5 marbles: 792
  • 6 marbles: 924
  • 7 marbles: 792
  • 8 marbles: 495
  • 9 marbles: 220
  • 10 marbles: 66
  • 11 marbles: 12
  • 12 marbles: 1 (there’s only 1 way to choose 12 marbles from the 12 in the bag)

The greatest number of possible combinations happens when you are choosing 6 from a possible 12.

You may be asking what 12 has to do with anything as classes all have over 20 skills available to them…

This is true in theory, but in practice players tend to (and really should) pick up skills to fill different roles so they can be effective. Categories such as single target, area of effect, auto-targeting, debuff, defensive, group buff, escape, crowd control, 2-minute ubers, pet skills, etc. etc. Players generally take at most two (and often one) skill to fill any particular role. For example, the Wizard has Ice Armor, Storm Armor and Energy Armor, but I don’t think anyone is going to take all three (though maybe somebody will take that as a challenge and prove me wrong), most players will choose one Wizard Armor spell (note that this can change dramatically with some rune effects). If we look at each class, depending on how you count, you get anywhere from 8-12 different types of skills. So we err on the high side in our category estimate (12) and that means 6 is a pretty good number to maximize build variety.

It’s important to note that we’re not just talking about you and your friend having Wizards with slightly different skills, we’re talking about you and your friend having 6 skills that are different in functionally significant ways.

Closing remark! When we pull math out like this I’m sure somebody will point out that if our only objective was to maximize build combinations we’d have allowed people to also choose 6, 7 or 8 passives rather than just 3. So I’ll counter by saying maximizing build combinations is not our only objective. We also want our system to have aesthetic flavor, to be simple to understand, and to have the passives in particular feel impactful. We have many different goals that we take into account when making any design decision. In the case of active skills, we felt the increase in variety was one of many good reasons to go from 7 to 6.

So how many skill combinations are there now?

Well taking into account 6 active skills, all the rune combinations, and 3 passives we currently expect each class to have roughly 2,285,814,795,264 different build combinations. That’s not taking into account skill types for ‘ideal’ builds, but that’s always been a big part of the fun of experimenting (and longevity for Diablo II) – finding a build that shouldn’t work, and making it.

Comments

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  1. Can this be dumbed down for me? I’m terrible at math.

    How do they come up with such an absurb build number? How can it possibly be that high?

    How many skills and runes are there? Does that determine the number?

    • So, the number basically represents the number of different skill types. Here Bashiok is saying that it’s roughly 12 or so.
       
      Basically, half of any number allows for the most combinations. IE: because you are more restricted, there is more you’re leaving out. So, in effect, there’s more noticible and significant build diversity.

    • To be clear, I did not do this math, or make this original post:

      1,514,205,000,000 different Skill/Rune combinations per character.
      720 Passive Skill combinations.
      1,090,227,600,000,000 different builds per character.
      5,451,138,000,000,000 different builds in the game.

      Where’s the customization Blizz? You’re ruining the game!!1!ONE!

      These calculations are based on the following:

      24 Skills per character
      6 Skills are actually chosen
      All Skills are runed
      Only 10 Passive Skills per character

      [(24*5)*(23*5)*(22*5)*(21*5)*(20*5)*(19*5)]*(10*9*8)*5

      • You should divide these by (720*6) = 4320.  Since you only care about which skills are picked, not which order (it doesn’t matter which skill is in which slot).  This should get you closer to Blizz’s number, but they might have 15 passives, I think I read somewhere?  Too much new information…

  2. More builds than stars in the Universe!
    Cool

    Wait, there is only one build if WE CAN CHANGE OUR SKILLS FOR FREE, right?

    • Actually there are five builds, because there are five characters.

    • That is if you can farm enough to constantly switch out 7 tier runes.
      Same holds true for any game you can respec?

      From Jay Wilson interview: Jay Wilson imply that your rune with disappear when you respec unless you remove it first by paying the mystic. He also said that Tier one rune is popular therefore in early you can test things out and you need to start to settle on one build in late game unless you farm a lot.

    • Um I dont know if you were being literal or not but there are a hell of a lot more stars in the universe than even those numbers. Try about 10^23 or so as an estimate.

  3. I still don’t really feel that “builds” exist because you can swap skills in and out at-will.

    • They are thinking about making it so that in Nightmare and Hell modes you are unable to change your skills out unless you are in town. So unless someone wants to waste time by going back and forth back and forth they wouldn’t be able to change skills in and out at-will.

  4. You could change your build like that in guildwars.. its still called a build. (yes diablo isnt guildwars I know), The main thing that will stop people from changing builds all the time is that rank 7 runes will be really rare, and for your final build u will want all your skills to have rank 7 runes. So yea u could switch out a skill for another, but until you have 24 rank 7 runes, (and thats implying you don’t care which rune effect you get) you won’t want to switch a skill, because it will be weak.

  5. There is no way it could possibly have more builds than if you could independently select where each skill goes, before each skill had 1-5 possible combinations and now it has 1.  Also his marble example makes no sense, there is not 12 skills to choose from, its just another cop out answer.

  6. With regards to changing skills instantly I don’t see this as an issue as this was pretty much available in D2 anyways with the reroll. Only difference is that it is free. I feel like for a ‘build’ you generally have gear and combinations that are optimal to deal with certain situations – all this does is prevent you from going through boring skill spamming (Blizzard/Hammers) because now you have more USEFUL skills. I mean if your intent was to play the game as it is meant to be played you would simply change skills when you wanted to change the flavour of your character. 

    I like it because this means that instead of having a 3 barbs, I can have 1 WD 1 Barb and 1 DH. Not all of us having 100000s of hours to put towards leveling characters (which we did through pointless rushing/xp runs)

  7. They math is very long if done on paper, but they did not do it that way. Anyone can do if you have a graphing calculator TI-83 or better. I’ll tell you guys its really easy. I learned it in Calculus class last semester. They make it sound like they have smart mathematicians come up with that number. Then post it on a powerpoint to impress everyone at Blizzcon last year. All they did ishave one guy punch it in the calculator and it does all the work for you. If you have graphing calculator and want to see for your self Ill tell you how to do it.  Press the MATH button below the alpha button Arrow key over to PRB Then you should see list, Look at number 2 and 3. 2 says nPr and 3 says nCr The difference between the two is nPr is when order matters and nCr is when order does not matter. n means number of choices and r means number picked. All you do is go back to a blank screen. Push in any number, in this case will enter in 25. I cant remember the total number of skills if its 20 or 25? So if 25 is wrong follow the same steps and just enter in the correct number.   Then push the MATH button. Scroll over to  PRB. Select nCr becasue order does not matter. Hit enter You should see 25 nCr Then just enter 6. Which is the the total number of skills we can have active. It should look like 25 nCr 6. Hit enter and there is your total number of combanations 1,177,100. See how easy that was? Keep in mind though. This is just for the 25 active spells combinations. Not the passive ones. Follow the same steps and you can find that number. Then you take that passive number combinations and active skills combinations number add them together. The add 6 active+3 passive =9. So 9 is your r and the two passive and active combinations added together is your n. Follow the steps and you will have that crazy number he through up. He could have made it up also?  You can check his math by doing these steps if you knew the actual number of skills and passives you have now.  Still dont believe me? Do that marble example he did with the steps 12 nCr 6 = 924  Change the to all the other numbers 1,2,3,4 etc. You will get them same answers. Im horrible at math and I know how many builds you can have Blizzard. Your not as smart as you think you are 🙂  

    • lol… Any student that finish high school should able to do this. This is grade 12 math in Canada. It is just basic combinatorics. It is not even combinatorics with identical object which is a little harder than this.

  8. At first I didn’t like the reduction in skill slots, but after learning that we can change skills freely with no penalty, I’m becoming much more accepting of the changes.
    AH is seeming much more acceptable now, too.  BUT HEALTH GLOBES MUST DIE! :choler:

  9. I think it’s great that they put so much effort into build customization. When the game is no longer Diablo II, everyone panics a little bit. I mean, I smile when I hear the bow sound in the game demos, because it reminds me of both Diablo 1 and 2. But all the speculation, and excitement and explanation a theory seems really, really stupid. Just release the damn game and get on with it. Who the hell writes a 2 page memo on the mathematics involved in character building in a game that hasn’t even been released yet? This is kind of insane.

    • “Who the hell writes a 2 page memo on the mathematics involved in character building in a game that hasn’t even been released yet? This is kind of insane.”
       
      No.
       
      THIS. IS. DIABLO 3!!!!!!

  10. Also he could be counting the Runes changes as well? Whoknows really? Its freaking really high that’s the point they are trying to make.

  11. I just don’t feel like the term \build\ is being used correctly. Technically, D2 could have MORE builds because someone could have 120 points in vit/90 in dex -OR- 119 points in vit/91 in dex. I thought we considered a \build\ like.. hammerdin vs zealot vs FoH. And i was under the impression a build like a zealot existed just because of the skill choice and not because of any choice of weapons/armor (IE, a zealot is still a zealot wearning no armor or using uber gear, or using an axe vs. a sword)

    Since runes affect mainly item properties,  i don’t feel like they should have any place in the equation at all. also, passive skills shouldn’t be counted towards builds either, because 1 point in dodge or 20 points in dodge didn’t matter if the zon used the multi-shot build vs strafe build.

    So really, while they sit there and calculate a huge un-quantifiable number to make our eyes twinkle in awe, they are really just saying \there are 2 trillion different ways you can allocate points in any category\.

    • I like that the example contradicts Bashiok’s point. The marbles randomization thing proves that the most possible combinations comes when you’re picking out half the options. More less than half gets you fewer possible builds.

      There are 22~ skills per class in D3. So the most possible builds would be with 11 skills. 10 gives you less variety. 9 less than that. And they just changed it from 7 to 6. Thus fewer builds than previously.

      Step two…

      Profit!

      • What Bashiok didn’t say, but is probably what he was trying to get at, is that the number of builds isn’t the only important point.  With fewer skill slots, while you might have fewer builds, the minimum difference between them is 1/6 (or 16.7%), rather than 1/7 (or 14.3%).  Also, on average they will be more different (too lazy to calculate now, but it makes a fairly large difference).

        So, yes you’re correct Flux, but it’s the wrong point (at least the way I see it).  Also, I read somewhere (one of the interviews) that they wanted you to make hard choices…and only 6 slots reduces your ability to have skills for all the possibilities (crowd control/priority target/weak groups/mobility/defensive).

  12. I’m too tired to do any math right now but does this math figure in having only one skill, two skills, zero passives, etc.?  Or is it 6 skills and 3 passives. If not, you’d have many more combination, not that it matters at all…

  13. That number doesn’t mean much. That calculation considers a build where you put 10 points in skill A and 9 points in skill B as a different build from one where you put 9 in A and 10 in B. From a gameplay perspective they’re going to be practically identical. Plenty of such redundant combinations.

  14. i dont get why nearly everybody is fine with this 🙁
     
    everybody raged about auto stat and now blizz kills spending skill points too ….and everyone is fine with it Oo
     
    dont get me wrong i still have preorderd D3 but this change totally sucks :O
    y lets play diablo and dont spend points in nothing *puke*
    iam sure gameply mechanics will be fun and dandy but again this cant be real 🙁
     
    hmm i still will play diablo @ day 1 but shorter then expected 🙁 … i really thought it will keep me busi 4 years
    ill just  checkout every char once then 🙁
    i was fine with nearly every change but just running around kill stuff and get nothing than gear is bullshit 🙁
     
     

  15. The Diablo team at Blizzard is not aiming for a finely tuned Diablo 2 game. They are taking big steps forwards with the genre. Some players seem very worried with all this straying from the old scriptures. 

    The new skill system looks very solid by managing to always equip characters with a mix of skills that isn’t extremely weak or completely broken because of a thin or unreasonable skill point distribution. 

    Even more exciting is the freedom of changing your skills (it should probably be restricted for out-of-combat or in-town to avoid abuse though). It brings about a completely different approach to strategy then just equipping some gear with more defensive/offensive stats. It will encourage everyone to find their own build, and not choose a cookie cutter build. 

    I think the skill systems in Diablo 2 and other RPG games have many restrictions for various reasons, and often not with the purpose to give you a better experience. The Diablo team has taken a pretty open-minded approach to the development and is constantly challenging the reasons for how things were done before and not just adopting most of it by default. I’m confident that the end product will be absolutely amazing.

    • I am definately thinking that this will be a good thing as well. As Bashiok has expressed and Jay Wilson mentioned when he explained the reasoning behind the removal of skill points the point was to allow for more complex combat.

      In Diablo II as most people found out it was to your advantage to pump 1-2 skills that you would then spam and spam. The removal of skill points now means that we will have 6 or so comparably powerful skills to use in different situations. This means to get the most out of your character you will have to choose a variety of skills that for one complement each other in usage, two you have enough resource to use all of them at different times, and three have cooldowns that also work together.

      Combat I believe will be greatly enhanced and be more complex because of this. The best players will find builds that bring the most out of each skill as they are used for an intended purpose instead of one size fits all megaskill that its repeated ad infinitum.

  16. Skills + traits should be the main numbers that affect their “build” numbers. If you made a Zealadin with.. azurewrath or zealadin with a poison dagger, it’s still a zealadin. this is true regardless of what type of weapon/weapon properties you are using. a sub-build would be zealdin with max holy shield or zealadin with fanatacism or 2handed sword zealadin, but overall it’s still using ZEAL as its main attack skill.

    Yes, i supposed you could have endless sub builds, but there’s no point in finding such an arbitrary number that quantifies every known combination of skills. If that were true, then a build number for d2 would be much more than 2 trillion, considering items in your stash affect your build as well, what with +skills charms or added poison damage or varying qualities of annis/torches, not to mention socketed gems/runes, and all varying qualities of those.

    If we followed the 2 trillion builds rule, then one build would be zealadin with 10 charms. another would be zealadin with 9 charms. another would be zealadin with 8 charms and 1 a ruby socketed helm. another would be zealadin with a perfect anni and no charms. another would be zealadin with non-perfect anni and 1 charm. This huge number is just silly!

  17. I wonder how pets will work with switching skills in and out of combat- could one create a gargantuan and then swap the skill with zombie does to have both while filling up the rest of the bar with damaging effects?

  18. Baishoks argument is flawed to begin with. The only reason people put all their points into 1-2 skills is because the balance between skill point progression is flawed. It is optimal to pump 1-2 skills.  Jay Wilsons (misguided in hindsight) design goal of each point being meaningful started all this mess,  because skill damage (or utility) increased so much per added point, the utility of the other level 1 skills got left in the dust comparatively. By rescaling much lower the added skill point progression curve you can still have a working system with skill points used to specialize in frequently used skills, with much smaller bonuses, but allow 1 point into each skill to do say 100% damage and each additional point add less and less effect.  In effect it’s close to what the current (new) system is but with customization and choice and identify to characters. The same laziness towards balance caused the auto-stats non-solution.  Instead of reducing the HP gain per vitality point and (gaining a fixed amount of HP per level to counteract lost hp), to make the added utility of each stat closer to each other, they got rid of all customization, making noob cookie cutter characters for the pre-teen audience to not be able to mess up.

    • +1
      I wish the design team was comprised of people who were actually good at D2, as opposed to people who think a Necro with 20 points in Bone Spirit, Que Hegans, Peasant Crown and some other exceptional uniques was an utter godly PvM build.
      That way they could make an actual decent Skill System instead of ez-mode for casuals to swap skills whenever they want.

  19. read the whole page
    http://www.mathsisfun.com/combinatorics/combinations-permutations.html

    especially
    2. Combinations without Repetition
     
     

  20. Even if they were to finely tune the old skill system of Diablo 2, it’s still a mess to fully comprehend for a great deal of players. In Diablo 2 you can pump 20 points into a skill but 10 of those points are wasted because of diminishing returns. So it requires a deep undertanding of the underlying mechanics and for people to be able to calculate their way through them. Most of that data is also not just displayed in-game. It’s worked out by players mining and theorizing data.

    I don’t want a spreadsheet to tell me how many points I need to invest in Multiple Shot. I just want to to kill a mob of creatures with a shit load of arrows.

    The new skill systems unlocks combinations that just weren’t viable in the old system. You can’t combine Frozen Orb with Fireball without settling for less than potential damage in one or both skills. With the new system you could choose your single-target attack to be Fireball and your AOE attack to be Frozen Orb.

    The new system will have way more identity in the way people play because mixing certain skills does not come with penalties. Some mixing might be bad tactical choices, but that is up to the player to experience with (withouth a calculator even).

    • Exactly. Being able to finally mix my attacks the way I want to and not the way I am forced to by lack of surplus skill points/silly synergies investment is much better. I dont understand why you ppl are so attached to all those skill points?
      Are we making a new game here or you want a recooked D2? If you want that play some D2 mods then :).

  21. The math doesn’t look too diffcult. The total amount of combinations is:

    [ Nx(N-1)x(N-2)x(N-3)x(N-4)x(N-5) ] x [ Px(P-1)x(P-2) ] x 5^6

    N = total number of active skills to choose from
    P = total number of passive skills to choose from

    5^6 represents the rune combinations. Assuming you can use the same rune multiple times. But if not using any rune is a possible option, then it should be 6^6

  22. Ok, so for those that are not math inclined (which actually seems to include bashiok) here some info on the math behind how many builds are possible. First some caveats, first, I am assuming in the math that we well be using level 7 runes, as we aren’t going to choose a lower level rune for the sake of more builds, secondly, I assume that each class has a maximum of 24 skills and 10 passives to choose from with 6 skills and 4 passives active at any one time.

    The math for skills : (24*5) * (23*5) * (22*5) * (21*5) * (20*5) * (19*5) / 6 * 5 * 4 * 3 * 2 * 1

    The first part is obvious, the number of skills you can pick * the rune (1 of 5) that you chose for that skill. The second part removes all the various duplicates of a selection of skills, in other words, although there are 720 different orders you can put any six skills, it has no affect on the number of actual builds, just aesthetic taste.

    Obviously the number at the end is still rather large at 2103062500 different skill combinations, and when added to the 120 possibilities for the 10 passives (10 * 9 * 8 / 3 * 2 * 1 = 120) you have a total of 252397500000 different combinations. This is still a large number but it’s still about 2033447475264 combinations short of what bashiok stated.

    Oh, and just as a note, if we still had 7 active skills, we’d have 3244725000000 total combinations, or 2992357500000 more skill combinations, which is more that bashiok was off by.

    Edit: Grammar/Spelling, and spaces between paragraphs = good

  23. ultimately u just have to picture using no skill points in the game to realise its just gonna be plain boring.

    like if you have skill points every level, even if the choice is an illusion, you are able to say ok i’m gonna choose to specialise in this skill, but hang on i need to be careful to not put too many points into it cause i wanna specialise in that other higher level skill later, so u work out a build etc, thats fun to me and exciting (obviously that is without respecting – which the solution would be to just remove respecing or make it so u can only do it once or something)

    the new system is level pick a skill, level later pick a skill, few levels later pick a skill, choose which skill combination to use

    BORING of note
    in fact it just sounds bleh

  24. Considering many of the runes only change the amount or type of damage or reduce the cost of the skill, not fundamentally change a skill, their number of what they call builds is inflated exponentially

  25. i agree. it reminds me of my single player D2 character, hacked to lvl 99 with all skills, which i would play when my internet was down but was just boring because i could use every skill in any situation. It’s like playing a racing game in campaign mode but having every car already. Part of the challenge of D2 was using your specialized skills to adapt to (or run from) certain situations, depending on whether your specialization was appropriate for the situation or not. Oh no, these guys are resistant to my fire, i’d better stay away from them. instead oh fire resistance? hang on. tp, click click change skills, ok back in the action with ice.

  26. Load up on fire skills in the begin of Act 1 until you hit Leoric. Now switch up fire ball for frost nova, electrify his minions and ice bolt Leoric back to hell. Now respec and go all ice skills, it’s fine until you hit the Act Boss (respec to nova wizard for the boss). Now at the beginning of Act 2, make sure to use <skill> on <boss monster> as it’s guaranteed to do the most damage. Here’s a map of best possible respecs in the game for Nightmare/Hell difficulty:

    Act 1/1: Fire ball / frost nova
    Act 1 boss: nova / ice build
    Act 2 1/1: Ice bolt + ice wall
    <…..>

    I wonder how many of these guides will be poppin up…

  27. The idea behind the recent rune ideas that Jay talked about in the interview gave me the idea to solve the problems most of us have with this new skill system. It is ok to swap the skills without any consequences, but the skills could be made like runes.
    If we insert a skill into a slot, it is unmastered, so it can be changed any time, like in the current concept. But every slot would have a mastering option. 30-60 is 30 levels, divided by 5 is 6. So the characters would get one mastering points every 5 level after level 30, which means 6 points total.
    Every slot would have 3 master level, like advanced, expert and master.
    If someone starts to master a skill, that would be locked into the slot. Mastering would give affixes semi-connected to the skill, like increasing critical-chance or resource pool maybe.

    So basically it would keep the skill changing option to experiment any time, but if someone wants to really go deep into customization and maxing out the potential of a character, mastering a skill would be a choice to go as well, and it would make the skill build locked.

    I am sorry for this wall of text, hope that my idea is understandable and I am really interested about your opinion… 🙂

  28. It is six final skills, or nine. How many am I to “have”?
    Because I will not have all 2,285,814,795,264 possible bulids.

  29. The “switch skill at will” type of playing, besides being plainly boring and annoying, will get U only as far. At higher levels (nightmare, hell) runes socketed into skills will play mayor role, and to switch the skill u will have either to remove rune at mystic (and pay some hefty price) or deal with loosing the rune. So no, there’ll be no ‘swap skill A with B before fight with boss X’ recipes across the internet.
     
    The idea of removing skill points is plainly brilliant, once You think about it, and while i dont entirely agree with switching skills at no cost, with added cost of removing the socketed rune it makes a lot of sense.

  30. I do hope gear does play more of a roll into a build.  When looking at gems and some of the skills released I started coming up with an ATD build idea. Hoping that moster life and damage late game will allow this stat to be worthwhile and make a defensive build relying on it.

    • It will probably be huge. Since everyone has easy access to skills, and the rest is automated… it’s kinda all there is.

  31. It’s a loss that, as it stands, two naked level 41 Wizards seem to be identical. In Diablo II, it was really fun to come out with a unique character at the end of the journey.
     

    However, the icing on that disappointment cake is that by removing skill points, they’ve increased the variety of skills that a player will actually use in an “optimal build.” Instead of 1-3 maxed (or 1 point wonder) skills, they’re now six skills that can be used at a time. Which to use will be best decided by the challenge at hand.
     

    I feel as if Diablo II will be forever better for those who like Excel-spreadsheet RPGing. Fans of that will still have new Torchlight games, Nippon-Ichi games, etc…
     

    Diablo III will be more fun for those who like making meaningful tactical decisions in twitch combat.

    I count myself in both groups, so for me this is a win/lose situation.

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