Coming soon, the Respec “System.”

Since Bashiok’s now-infamous statement that all systems would be revealed before the DiabloWikiDiablo III beta test begins, we fans have been wondering what their time frame was for those reveals, what systems were going to be revealed, and what exactly constituted a “system.”

We know that most/all of Diablo III’s systems are going to be revealed at the media event towards the end of this month, and it was widely-hoped/assumed that those would be the last of the systems, and that with them out of the way the beta might begin shortly. As we learned yesterday, that’s apparently not true, and there will still be systems to reveal after August 1st. (On the brighter side, apparently the DiabloWikiDemon Hunter‘s DiabloWikiHatred DiabloWikiresource will also be revealed at the press event later this month.)

Today brings more news about systems, with the surprising (to me) revelation that DiabloWikirespecs are considered a system, and that we’re going to learn about them fairly soon.

What is the potential cost for re-specializing your character’s talents? Also, is there a limit to how often we can respec? Does the cost for increase for each respec?
Bashiok: We’re going to be ready to share a bit more on this real soon.

So what do you guys think we’ll see for respecs in Diablo III? I hadn’t really considered that a “system” since it seems like it’ll be something fairly simple, along the lines of what they added into Diablo II in the recent patch. I assume it’ll be something like: we get one full DiabloWikiskill and two full DiabloWikitrait resets per difficulty level, plus you can buy or earn other respecs with some sort of DiabloWikiquest.

Simple enough, but even if that’s all they do, I guess they’ll still need to explain the particulars. And you know we’re not going to get full details about the quest or special item that enables respecs, since it’ll be some late game thing and SECRET!

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44 thoughts on “Coming soon, the Respec “System.”

  1. I would be happy if they design a respec system that does not involve questing (like it was in D2). I agree that there should be a respec system but I don’t think it should come easy. There must be a cost behind of it or even a difficult of finding some rare “ingredient” (potion of amnesia? :D).

  2. Agreed. I think there SHOULD be a way to respec, but it should be later in the game, and make it something you will have to save up for, or hunt for certain reagents for.

    • in WoW (sorry, had to go there) the respec eventually was the cost of about 50g. It might be different now, but in the beginning that was alot of gold to fork over. When Cata hit, I was specing and respecing daily just to screw around. So yes, I too hope that there is a little labor to the respec and they keep with it so that it means something special.

    • I really liked the way Titan Quest handled respecs. By making it a per point deal and increasing the cost (to a limit) by a factor of two after every skill point refunded it made it possible for new characters to try out lots of skills, while making it costly in long run theoretically. Sadly the cost limit was a little too low IMHO, so it was relatively cheap even for high level characters too. This could be easily changed in D3 though, and I think the system itself is sound.

  3. There has to be a free/cheap respec way, way early in the game, right around the time you get your 7th skill. You don’t want to force people to rush/hoard points if they plan a build that only uses tier 5-7 skills.

    • Well hopefully they still have those scrolls that let you unlearn a skill point, cause those would help people change their character slightly over time.

  4. I think, 1 full respec for completing normal, and one for completing hightmare. Oh, and the ability to redo your last spent trait or skill at any time except for lvl 60.
    Thats it.
    Enough for mistakes and some experimentation, but not overdone so that it removes the need for creating new characters.
    And of course free respecs for major patches like in WOW.
    WOW WOW WOW! wow…..

    • Unless I missed something, I was wondering the same thing. He just said it’ll be revealed soon. Presumably, even when all the “systems” are revealed there’ll still be LOTS of smaller details we won’t know about until we actually play through the game. I hope!!

  5. Who’s calling respecs a “system” other than Flux? All Bashiok said was that we’d get more information on it soon – not that it counted as a “system”.

    • Well anything that’s in the game is a system if you want to split hairs about it.  Take dyes, they are a system of coloring your character.  How about the windows that you open to look at your character’s stats or gear, that is a system as well.

  6. I don’t think it will be a reset like Diablo 2 was if it is being called a “system”.
    It seems like it’s going to be something you can always change, with an increasing cost associated with making that change. A ramp-up system that encourages early respeccing but becomes very disadvantageous later on (a “might as well start a new char” sort of disadvantage) seems likely.
    Not sure how it would actually work though, as you have to take into account how many skill points you’ve spent into a skill, and the 7 skill cap means you can’t just “take a few points from this skill and throw it into that skill” because once you hit 7 skills you’ll have to unlearn one of them and that might ramp the cost up fairly quickly, especially if you’ve put 15 points into it later on. This might encourage point hoarding, though I’m going to assume the system isn’t to redesign your entire character at a whim rather than fix mistakes or make builds more efficient, there’s always single player to test things out.

  7. I think yovargas is talking about this above, but I can’t find where it’s said that they will talk about the DH resource system at the press event (or that it’s called Hatred). Source?
    Incidentally, are the comments and replies messed up right now? Sounds like YV is replying to someone whose post isn’t here, and there’s a noticeable lack of treeing in the comments…
    Definitely messed up – the Forum/Blues tracker tabs at the top right. The white background makes them hard to read.
    PPS – WTF on the “Solvemedia” thing. I’m logged in, and I’m a Site Pal, why do I have to jump this (clumsy advertising) hoop?

  8. I prefer respecs to be something easily obtainable. If not, it could lead to point hoarding and that’s no fun. I think the game would be more fun if respecing was made easy since people would feel free to experiment and try new things, even in the early stage of the game. Instead of planning about how your toon will be once it hits 60, you can try to spec it to be fun to play at say level 10 w/o worrying about it costing you down the road.
    Also, sometimes, a spec may not play as well as you had hoped and you don’t want to be stuck with that build for a long time. If respecing was difficult, I think everyone would gravitate towards cookie cutter builds because they are proven to be viable and rarely anyone would want to take a chance at being different in case they get stuck playing a bad build.
    Look at guild wars, you can just respec once your in town, so your one toon could be very versatile and you can play so many different builds in a short amount of time.
    Respec in WoW is cool because it allows you to be a healer, dps, tank easily. It can get repetitive playing the same thing over and over again or if you’re stuck with a bad build.
    Yes, there should be a cost in respecing but I don’t think it should be something that you have to wait for or something that is overly difficult to obtain.
    It might even make repeat dungeon runs more fun. Try build A , switch to build B and try again,  that in itself would make it feel different.

  9. Oh and I don’t see the need to make it so prohibitive that you’re having to decide whether it’s worth it to respec or just start reroll your profession. Starting from scratch is often tedious. If I wanted to start over, I’d rather choose a new profession entirely.

  10. I may not be reading much into it… but… Where is it called a System per se?

    So perhaps the reveal will be something more along the lines of “Customization System” or something or “Endgame” or whatever which includes certain specifics about respecs… BUT that doesn’t mean that the Respec is a system by itself… Hell, it could even be part of the “Vendors” system or the “Towns”… Or maybe part of the “Skills and Talents” system?

  11. Bashiok famously said all systems would be revealed before the beta. And now he’s saying that how the game handles respecs will be revealed before the beta.  Assuming we can read that much into his “real soon.”

    So no, he didn’t actually say “respec system” but it’s in the same ballpark.  And when you think about it, why not? Respecs is a system, albeit not one as hugely-complicated as some other systems in the game.


    Incidentally, edit on comments and getting back to the threaded display for them is on the “to do” list. These aren’t intentional changes, just tech issues Rush hasn’t been able to straighten out yet.

    • “How is this a surprise of any sort, let alone a revelatory one, when it’s all just your own conjecture? How does your own choice of words surprise you so much?”

      And people say I’m nitpicky about Bashiok’s unclear wording! lulz

    • By that logic, everything they reveal is a “system”, which I doubt was what they intended.

      • Well considering they even made a page talking about the health regeneration system (aka health globes), I would say they consider most features of the game a “system”… so yeah…

        Anyway, I’m personally hoping for something along the lines of what MerLock said… a way of easily respecing so that you don’t feel the need to hoard points early on, but perhaps make it take more effort in nm and hell just so that people aren’t constantly switching out their builds in high level games because then it takes a lot of meaning behind the choices of what traits and skills you choose… So yeah… easy respecs in normal (or perhaps the first 40 levels) and then progressively more difficult respecs for the high levels…

    • But Bashiok’s words could also mean that certain System X will be revealed and its reveal will also allow them to speak more of Respecs…

      Like say, the Followers System was revealed and that allowed them to speak more of the differences of MP and SP, but the system is not MP and SP…

      (meh, I don’t like the fact that replys are no longer under the post one replied and slightly to the right…)

  12. > So no, he didn’t actually say “respec system” but it’s in the same ballpark. 
    > And when you think about it, why not?

    Yes, it could be considered a ‘system’, but that’s not my contention. You write about this as a news item claiming that this is a “surprising revelation.” From the original story:

    > Today brings more news about systems, with the surprising (to me)
    > revelation that respecs are considered a system

    How is this a surprise of any sort, let alone a revelatory one, when it’s all just your own conjecture? How does your own choice of words surprise you so much?

  13. I want dirt simple, cheap and plentiful respecs.  They have stated that they want fast, fun and with no point hoarding; well, for me, that is what it will take.

  14. I think the best solution would be giving players 2 different ways of getting respec. One for a gold cost (always available but each respec would cost more) and the second – involving some item that comes from drops (cheaper solution but harder to get). This way you could always have a choice – to save money and try your luck on finding a respec item or to pay and have your respec right now.

  15. Maybe players should quest to to find pieces of a respec device which can be crafted when all pieces are collected. Just an idea.

  16. i hope that we will get a free respec every difficulty
    just for trying out and learning something about the char
    later on i hope that respec will be somthing special and hard to get 😉
    it cant be like oh now ill respec just to pvpin around  … and respec again to pvmin again
    (i know Oo this would be like in the game no one likes 😉 … but i think a second skill tab would be awesome 😉 )
    but also hard to obtain … if not verry hard to obtain

    • I watched the BlizzCon 2010 open Q&A recently, and there was a question about dual specs (or a second skill tab like you said). Jay wasn’t opposed to the idea, but said that they think it won’t be necessary, since PvM and PvP builds shouldn’t be dramatically different (I assume he was talking about skills only). Both kind of builds would be focused on dealing damage, with a little more counter and/or defensive abilities on the PvP side. Looking at the recently released Whirlwind video this could be partly achieved even with runes (if you think about it, runes are almost a respec system by themselves) if you switch out your Indigo rune to an Obsidian for example, in the case of Whirlwind.

  17. A “game system” doesn’t need to be something fancy. Picking up gold from the ground is a game system. Respecs will be a game system even if it just turns out to be exactly what is present in D2. Bashiok’s posts simply means we will know everything that won’t be a secret and the exact formulae for calculating numbers. They do not mean that respecs will be something amazing and inventive.

  18. I doubt that it’s just the respec system. I am guessing it will be the entire skill system – awarding skill points, unlocking tiers, increasing the skill cap, and respec.

  19. What’s the benefit of making respecs hard to get or expensive, other than as a gold sink? If you’re limited to seven skills at a time it should be very easy to respec to try out what is fun for you without having to pay a fortune, hoard points, find rare drops, or reroll.

    • “What’s the benefit of making respecs hard to get or expensive, other than as a gold sink? If you’re limited to seven skills at a time it should be very easy to respec to try out what is fun for you without having to pay a fortune, hoard points, find rare drops, or reroll.”


      • “to give you a challenge, something to work for”
        There is already plenty to work for in the game. I don’t see hoarding points or making respec so difficult to obtain that a reroll is necessary as something challenging. Just something tedious and perhaps frustrating.
        It’s more fun to just respec and try different things instead of being bored rerolling the same profession or grinding for an item/gold to just respec.
        I think I would enjoy the game a lot more having played 5 different professions instead of playing 1 profession 5 times to gain 5 different specs.

    • To make your choices have meaning instead of just being so easy to switch around that it’s practically like you have all of your class’s skills all the time…

  20. As the person who posed the question, I think we’ll see this information surface within the next ~10 days.  There was no confirmation of specializations being a ‘system’ but we’ll see.  Personally, I am most interested to learn how often we can re-spec our characters.

  21. There should be a respec system, but it shouldn’t be like WoW where you can pay gold and viola.
    The respec system should be hard and limited. The requirements to do so should be difficult because of the payoff. I understand that when we all play the game for the first time, we are still getting the feel of it and learning how things work, so it is inevitable that we will make some mistakes (well not actually mistakes, but things we don’t want in our selected playstyle) and a respec is almost guaranteed to be needed. So I am thinking that the very first respec should be free. Then the next one will be hard to get.

    • Why limit the fun of trying different specs without having to jump through hoops to do it?

      Who wants to get stuck playing a bad build or builds that are not viable at the end game. I want the replayability  factor to be fun, which means playing a new profession or new spec again through a new area. That would be fun since it’s different but rerolling the same profession or doing a  overly long/difficult quest to just get another build is tedious.

      Let me have fun from the start to the finish.

      For those who are looking for a challenge… perhaps limit the number of respecs or make it difficult to obtain in hardcore mode…

      • Personally I am for a system like in Guild Wars – respecing all as soon as you hit a town and as many times free of charge as you like.
        I always hated the inability to check something new (idea/build/equipment) on an instant in D2 and having to build a new character from scratch.
        I guess the people who want hard to obtain respecs have a lot of time on their disposal. Me working and looking after a little one I can rarely find the time to play the game and the last thIng I want to do is to have to grind to get a silly respec.

        The game should be difficult/challenging but not in the respec section. They can find gold sinks elsewhere to still keep the economy balanced. And those who like challenge of a painfull long winded respecs – nobody can stop you from making a new character every time you want to try something new.


  22. @merlock: your scenario only applies for MMO’s. nobody wants to be stuck to a badly built character and pay dollars for it.
    i think D3 is for mature players and it should remain as such. obviously it should cater to the needs of new players as well, but they shouldn’t make the game so idiot-proof that everything else become easy.
    there should be a respec option. BUT make the requirements for it limited or hard. the respec option shouldn’t be of unlimited use as long as you have the gold.
    i want it to be limited because it can be abused, for example, you plan on doing a dungeon with lots of undead. respec so your traits give +dmg to undead. respec again to your desired spec after the run is over. it kinda defeats the purpose of having a build in the first place. skills and traits should the the core of your character. it is what will define you so the path you take is of the utmost importance. you cannot just easily change your build because of a certain build is suddenly “in” or “popular”.
    i think that bad players are worried of the possible scarcity of the respec function because they know they are gonna make bad choices, or they do not know what they are supposed to do so they are just gonna respec later after seeing some popular ones.

    • “i want it to be limited because it can be abused, for example, you plan on doing a dungeon with lots of undead. respec so your traits give +dmg to undead. respec again to your desired spec after the run is over.”
      I don’t know about you, but I get used to having certain hotkeys for certain spells. If I were to change my hotkeys for a particular dungeon, I’d probably be worse off than if I stayed with the “inferior” build I knew rather than the “better” one that required me to think about which spell I am casting or, probably worse, casting the wrong spell because I am used to hitting 4 in certain situations.
      However, even if someone can master their new hotkeys and changes builds to suit particular areas, how does that hurt you or make your gameplay less enjoyable?

    • @hellfurion, I would have to disagree with you. Look at guild wars, respec is easy and it’s not a pay to play mmorpg.  Personally I don’t want to play a toon that works well in the beginning of the game but not so much at the end game. That happened in diablo 2 because hell and nightmare difficulties were a large leap from normal because the game wasn’t well balanced and tested for the end game. Should the player be penalized for not knowing what’s to be expected at the end game? Should players horde their points?

      IMO it’s just boring to reroll a toon or have a major time sink in just respecing a toon. I prefer to experiment and try new things without having to invest insane amount of time into it, even if I’m not paying to play. The game can over other avenues of challenges without having respec being one of them.
      If a certain like yourself, decides on not enjoy a quick respec than perhaps you can limit your own self to respecs or decide that even though it’s easy to respec, that you’ll just reroll a new toon.
      If you ever tried guild wars, respecs are easy and don’t cost anything. I’ve seen several players who op to reroll toons just to have a different build because they are into the “RPG” aspect. That’s totally fine but why not include an easy respec system for those who choose to use it and for those who dislike it, can simply reroll or limit the number of times they can respec?

  23. Titan Quest .. IMO one of the best respec systems … and i didn’t like the D2 way for doing respecs .. it is very limited and annoying in many ways.

    i.e having to reassign every goddamn point every time i repsec even if i just wanted to add/remove 4 or 5 points to/from a single skill (repsecing point by point is WAY better) .. also .. tying it to a quest that’s only available once per difficulty it very limiting as in case you used your respec 30% or 40% through the difficulty playthrough you are stuck with whatever mistakes you do later on for the rest of the game and have ZERO chance to experiament … that’s just boring and pointless IMO.

    IMO either do a respec system right or don’t do it at all … and TQ does it right.

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