Character Progression Charts

An unknown fan put together some charts showing how many DiabloWikiskills, DiabloWikipassive skills, and DiabloWikirune effects each class gains at each level. They’re low-tech images; no hovering to see the names of the skills that are coming online, but it’s interesting to compare how these goodies are spread out. (Use Bola Shot on Blizzard’s site for that.) Yes, the Wizard still has more skills than anyone else, with that rock-steady 3 rune effects per level, from here to infinity.

We may yet see more juggling of these levels pre-launch, of course, as much as they’ve changed over the last months of the beta. Also note that there’s no logical system or algebraic rate of increase to the numbers; some skills show clumps and gaps in their rune effects and they’ve they have clearly been hand-sorted for maximum freshness and buoyancy.

For example, Bola Shot comes in at 11, and its rune effects are at 14, 24, 37, 51, 57. That’s by no means the most irregular skill; just one I noticed in the beta since the level 14 rune is so desirable, comes so soon after the skill itself (does any other skill have the first rune effect just 3 levels higher?), and yet remained just out of beta reach.

Here’s the Barbarian; click through to see the other four; all are full-sized, so just scroll down; no clicking required.

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32 thoughts on “Character Progression Charts

  1. I saw this a week ago and already then wondered what the point of this was. I mean it looks pretty but what’s the point of it?

    • It provides at a glance overview of the skill/rune distribution. Some people like to quantify things. with charts and graphs and figures and such. Some people don’t.

      It does demonstrate just how under-skilled the Monk still is, if nothing else.

      • It doesn’t show the power of those skills. I wouldn’t say the monk is underpowered, its just the wiz is seriously op going by those graphs. Most of the other classes appear fairly well balanced to me. If they were all identical then I would be seriously worried as it would tend to indicate that the game skill systems are carbon copied from each other which ‘would’ be boring.

        • You contradict yourself in your first two sentences.
          Your first statement is more likely correct, though it’s possible neither are…  The charts don’t show power; they indicate the number of possible builds.  Monks are extremely powerful (insane damage, attack speed, and damage buffs), but there aren’t as many variations for their playstyle.
          It’s always easier to come up with more ideas for ranged class types than melee ones, and we just see how that pans out in the charts.  Nothing at all to do with “power”, especially since you can only use 6 skills and 3 passives for either class.
          Remember that the monk gets a natural 30% damage resistance, compared to the wizard which only gets the option to take a passive for 20% melee resistance, so you could argue that based on that alone, the Monk and Barbarian have the potential to be more powerful (calculated as greater number of simultaneous passive boosts).  That still doesn’t mean they’ll live longer, as Blizzard determined they needed that buff simply to survive their intended playstyle.

        • “Under-skilled” has nothing to do with overall effectiveness at killing monsters; it’s purely a statement about a class’ number of options for doing so.

          The wiz isn’t “op going by those graphs” because those graphs say nothing about “power”, only potential skill variety. 

      • I loved ’em! Kind of makes the point that there will be something every level: something new every level. I loooove the spread on the wizard, I’ve never been so excited to play the hell out of a magic user. And yes, if there is something I like to see, it’s numbers, and I know I’m not alone here:
        Consider this: in D2, how often did you unlock a unique skill? With that rune spread over all the classes, this looks like to me that there will always be something to tinker with after every level up. As intended, a level increase looks to feel like a big deal, from this chart.

  2. Useful information, but it could be displayed better.  Pretty clear these are Excel charts, and they would be much clearer as Area charts.

  3. What it does make clear is that the feel of “lvl up” will still be there in D3.  We wont have the attributes to add each level but there will be something we can click and change with each level.  That was a good change in the way they are implementing runes.

    • It also nicely shows just how many different skills there are (if you count every skill rune variation)

  4. I feel really stupid saying/asking this; I thought all classes had the same number of skills and runes. They don’t? Or are these charts simply showing that at certain levels some classes get more unlocks at those levels than other classes? Some of these comments are making it sound like the wizard actually has more skill combinations than, say, the monk. Or am I misunderstanding and they’re really meaning that at any given lower level, the monk has fewer choices since the wizard has unlocked more stuff at the same level. 

    • There are more runes than skills, each skill gets its own different set of runes to unlock. This is why in the graph you’re seeing so many red bars. Its clear as day that the wiz has more runes going by that pic. Wiz gets 25 skills compared to the witchy’s 22. Those extra three would add up to a lot more rune combo’s.
      Monk: 21
      WD: 22
      Wiz: 25
      DH: 23
      Barb: 22

      • And when you remove lazy skills (mentras, armors), you get even less. ;[

        • The rune variants for the “lazy” skills still have a significant impact on character variety, so I’m not sure why one would “remove” them when assessing the variety of a particular class.


          • I think the point is that realistically you’d only ever take at most 1 of the lazy skills in any one build so the monk becomes 17 skills plus 1 mantra.

          • @steveman0: The same goes for a lot of skill types, like the basic hated/rage/spirit generators. I’m not sure how the “lazy” skills are any different.

    • To answer your question perhaps a bit more directly:

      All classes do not have the same number of skills. The wizard does have more active skills than the other classes, and the monk does have fewer active skills than the other classes. The barbarian has 16 passive skills, the monk has 14, and the rest all have 15. Each skill has 5 rune variants, but some classes do have more skills than others which leads to more rune unlocks for those classes.

      • Thanks, MRR. That’s what I was looking for.

        I knew everything else about the skill/runes, I guess I just never actually counted the number of skills per class to know there was a difference for some of them.

        Not a big deal to me, but it does kinda suck. 

  5. Even at level 60 the skill distribution looks a bit odd.  Every class has six schools of active skills, and the devs clearly expect the average player to use one from each school.  When a school only has three skills, it feels incomplete somehow.  It’s better than throwing in a poorly-designed fourth skill for the sake of it, though.  (Their aim is apparently to only include skills that are endgame-viable, which I find admirable.)  In fact, sometimes the devs have reached the magic ‘4’ by putting skills outside of their ‘natural’ school (e.g. Evasive Fire in ‘Devices’), which also looks a bit clumsy.
    One advantage of the current skill system though is that Blizz can throw in extra skills whenever they like without affecting balance too much (as opposed to one-point wonders in D2 that acted as a buff to the whole class), and players don’t have to redo their chars to try out new high-level skills.  I wouldn’t be surprised if a future expansion hands a few more skills to the existing classes to round them out (maybe putting them beyond level 60 if they decide to raise the level cap).  It’s the kind of thing that’s best done after a lot of community feedback on what the strengths and weaknesses of the classes are in the endgame and in what respects the classes become a bit one-dimensional.

    • I don’t think they really cared about forcing 4 skills into each category (although they all have 3-5) as much as they matched up certain skills to unlock at the level that the category unlocked. Thus you get arbitrary crap like Evasive Fire in Devices and Dashing Strike in Techniques (even though it used to be in secondary skills and made more sense there).

  6. And you have absolutely no power to change when any skill or runes unlock!  100% on rails.  Good job Blizz & Blizz sympathizers.

    • ? That’s a new criticism. What are you actually saying, that we should be able to have end game runes unlock earlier or that having all the skills unlock by 30 isn’t soon enough? We didn’t have the ability to change when skills unlocked in D2 either. I don’t get your criticism.

        • Nice, thanks for that. I really liked his reply at the end to, really sums up the stupidity of the many pointless complaints.

          “In my own personal opinion, it’s Diablo. If you can’t find a workable build without having your own perfect choices being handed to you on a silver platter at the start of the game, good luck in Inferno. Actually, good luck in Nightmare. This game is hard.” – Bashiok
          That’s exactly how I started to feel after reading the stupidity that goes on in those forums. These people think nothing through. 🙄

    • Umm how that any difference from D2 you cant unlock top tier skills like frozen orb & Blizzard at lvl 1 there either.

      • Difference being that there are no “top tier” skills in Diablo III. Magic Missile, as an example, never grows redundant or useless.

  7. There is certainly some weird distribution here… Like why does the witch doctor have 5 things unlocking at 21 but only 1 at 57? Same goes with the demon hunter only having 1 at 43 and the wizard only having 1 at 17 when so many other levels have at least 3… They could easily move some stuff up or down a level to fill in those gaps.

    • I don’t think it’s the amount of skills unlocked per level but more like how a character progresses through those levels and how it compares to the enemies you’d encounter at those levels.
      It’s all about how a character and the game plays.  If they gave you all the skills at level 1, it would play completely differently.

  8. Monk has the best skill in the endgame… mantra of retribution. Mobs do 170k damage and have 370k HP, and mantra of retribution returns 60% dmg. They kill themselves in 2-3 hits. Just team with a WD.   Wizard has useless skills like spectral blade, mirror image, energy armor. at least 3 useless skills.  

    • You know that every time you get hit, you’re taking damage, right?
      None of the skills you listed are “useless”.  You just wouldn’t understand how to use them.

    • That may change per difficulty just like how the skill Static Field skill from D2 wouldn’t let you take an enemy below 50% in Hell but you could in Normal.

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