Blue on Traits and Respecs

Bashiok answered a few questions about DiabloWikiTraits on panel coverage I posted:

So how do we get points for traits? Do we get one regular skill point and one trait point every level? Or is there some other way we gain trait points?
I can double check tomorrow, but I’m pretty sure Kevin simply misspoke.

Currently you get a skill point every level, and a trait point every other level. Also if you take a gander in the “A Here Emerges” panel coverage I posted there are some known issues with traits right now. One if which is that there are probably too many of them. But I don’t think the intent is to cut them way back as they’re a very cool piece of the character build ‘puzzle’, and having a lot of good choice there is a goal.

What’s the rationale for the “Lucky” trait? Trading a permanent buff for extra gold seems bad enough, but since you can trade that extra gold for a permanent buff it seems like there’s no reason not to take it.
It seems cool?

You could trade that extra gold for a permanent buff. Of a very specific type. Certainly nothing as diverse as a trait point would give, and even then you’re still dependent on drops to create that permanent buff. Not just a little extra gold.

Not to mention that once you hit some point of critical mass you’d grab something more worthwhile. It may be that yeah, it’s a great trait to take while leveling and gearing, and then almost certainly one you’d drop during the late game.

I wouldn’t be personally surprised if it went away. I think I see it needing to be so devalued that it may as well not exist, but I don’t think us trying things out is crazy.

So you can respec trait points?

We don’t have any character customization you can’t change. It may take you some time to do so, and potentially leveling a new character could indeed be faster (and cost effective), but given the time to amass the gold and items, you can change any of your build components. Skills, gems, runes, traits, enchants, dyes, etc.

Since perhaps the biggest aspect of the panel discussion on Traits was Jay Wilson’s constant admissions that they were a work in progress and likely to be changed a lot still, it’s slightly pointless to spend too much time speculating on them. But all the same… let’s speculate!

One thing that really makes them stand apart from skills is that (at least as of Blizzcon, subject to change, etc) lots of them have much higher Clvl reqs. Traits were clustered in bunches and became usable every four levels, almost all the way to the end of the game. The highest level Traits were available at level 47, 51, and 55. With a max level of 60, you’ll be waiting a long time to start using whatever passive bonuses come at level 55, and will hardly have time to put points into the biggest ones before your character is maxed out. Though that doesn’t mean much since Clvl 60 is when the item hunting game is just getting started, or so Bashiok is always telling us.

I was surprised to find that the highest level Active Skills would be around level 30 when I asked Jay Wilson about it last October, and now that we know the top level skills will actually come online at Clvl 26, Traits being staggered into the 40s and 50s seems even more unusual. The fact that everything will be respecable makes this less of a big deal, though. Imagine if you really wanted 3 traits at level 55 without the cushion of respecs? Would you save up 6 or 7 Traits points for then, so you could whack all 3 of them with points ASAP, at 55? Would putting off adding any passive skills bonuses all through your 30s and 40s be worth it?

More generally, do you think you’ll miss the whole planning for a build and saving up points aspect of play, in respec-happy D3? Or did delaying your skill spending never sit right with you in D2 and you’re glad to see that sort of delayed gratification gone in the sequel?


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