We had a fair bit of confused debate a couple of days ago, spurred by some @Diablo comments on changes to the interface. As Jay Wilson revealed in the Diablo3.cc interview, the visual component of the Tab key has been removed from the interface, though the function remains. Thus characters will see 1-5 and LMB/RMB for mapping their 7 skills to, even though two skills can be mapped to the RMB, and switched between.
This seemed odd to many of us, not least because the potion button appears to be gone, and its compounded by the issue of using hotkeys to activate targeted skills. Mapping something like Magic Missile to your 3 key, and using that key to fire it, instead of the point/click mouse function most of us are accustomed to from other games, might be confusing. A fan in the B.net forums expressed that concern, and got a reply from Bashiok.
On the UI you’ll see spots for 5 skills, by default bound to 1-5 number keys. You can rebind these if you want. You’ll also have left mouse button and right mouse button skill slots. If you hit the X key it’ll swap the right mouse key to another skill slot. The swap key (X) can also be bound to a different key if you want, Tab, if you like it old school. When you swap to that slot it behaves exactly the same, and is still used by clicking the right mouse button.
It’s essentially a way to get this function out of sight for the people it confused, it frees up some UI real estate, and we offer some better functionality in that the swap key can be customized so you don’t accidentally hit it when you don’t want to.
For me, I like T because it’s a quick travel for my index finger as it rests on 5, for others, you’re free to rebind as you’d like.
Good news there as he confirms that all the hotkeys can be rebound, including the Tab. (I wasn’t a fan of left pinkie-intensive default control system). You should also check out the Interface article in the wiki, since it’s got screenshots of every different version of the UI, tracking the development and changes over time.
There’s still one big question about the new/final version, though. Where do healing potions go now?
They were in the 6 slot in early UI versions, then moved to the 5 in the last two Blizzcon demos. Which was fine with the Tab/RMB display, since that gave you 8 visual spots for skills/potions. Now though, there are only 7 visual slots? Maybe they’ve moved health potions off the belt entirely, and assigned another button to drink them?
Also, we’ve now got the full, exact quote from the Diablo3.cc interview with Jay Wilson, courtesy of
We certainly done some cosmetic changes, mostly to make the UI consistent. We developed a lot of UI over years and years, and what we found in recent review is that there is a lot of inconsistency. Cause…oh…we made that part two years ago, and we made this part two weeks ago, oh, they don’t look the same. We approached it slightly differently, so we need to make them consistent. But, there is no big, functional changes.