D3 Exploit: Cancel Skill Animation

The hot topic in the forums today is discussion about a video and hot-to guide on a skill use exploit found in the Diablo III Beta, first posted by Phunkopotamus on the TeamLiquid forums.

The trick is that the final portion of many skill animations can be “canceled” by clicking another skill, midway through the first one. This drops the recovery portion of the animation, and basically chains a second skill right on top of the first, allowing for two hits much more quickly than is otherwise possible.

For instance, say that your Barbarian’s Cleave skill and Bash skill both take 1 second per use. If you were alternating them, it would take you 10 seconds to use each of them five times. By using the animation cancel trick though, the first skill would only take .5 seconds, and then be interrupted by a 1 second Bash. (Or vice versa, if you switched the hotkeys around.) This would allow you to use 5 Cleaves and 5 Bashes in 7.5 seconds, instead of 10. (In this hypothetical example.)

Note that you can not do this with two skills on the LMB and RMB, or with two skills on the keyboard, or with a mouse button skill canceling a keyboard skill. It only works when skill #1 is on the mouse, and #2, the interrupter, is on the keyboard. Thus it only works once, you can’t cancel the 2nd skill with a 3rd one, and you’ll always have the full animation for the 2nd skill.

Is it meant to be, though? No one can say for sure, and there are arguments on both sides of the bug/feature debate. Some players are taking the various limitations on how it works as proof that it’s intentional; that the devs put it in to reward faster fingers and skilful play; the same way you can chain multiple attacks in fighter games by skillful timing of the joystick/buttons. Others players are sure it’s a bug, and that there’s some kind of coding irregularity between how Diablo III processes mouse clicks and keyboard clicks.

Click through to see the cancellation exploit demonstrated in a video, and some more comments on which characters this benefits, and which it doesn’t do much for.

Some characters have better applications than others. I hope that runes change up the animations of certain moves to offer better possibilities. Right now the Barbarian and Monk can make the most use out of the trick.

Cleave cancelled into Frenzy with Dual Wield: If you have fast weapons, your Frenzy comes out and finishes VERY fast, so you can essentially enjoy Frenzy stacks for free.
Any Rage Generator cancelled into Hammer of the Ancients or Weapon Throw: Classic 2for1 application.

Demon Hunter
Autoattack Cancelled into a Rage Spender: With the “Fundamentals” Passive, your hatred can regenerate as you use your abilities.
Vault into Anything: You can cancel vault mid-animation. Sometimes it screws up and teleports you to the final destination. Sometimes it cuts it short. Useful for a quick PVP dodge probably.
Grenades into Anything. Grenades have a long Recovery Phase. Skip it.

All Spirit Generators into other spirit generators. Best application is Crippling Wave on a Mouse Button since it has the slowest Recovery phase and benefits the most from being cancelled.
Exploding Palm is a great canceller because of its speed.
Dashing Strike into Autoattack or Exploding Palm to cancel the recovery after teleport.
Lashing Tail Kick – Cancel the recovery.

Witch Doctor
He doesn’t have many uses since most of his attacks don’t come out quick enough to really justify spamming weaveable attacks. I’ve only found 2 good applications.
Zombie Charger cancelled into Poison Frogs or vice versa.
Haunt cancelled into anything- This is actually pretty good. Haunt emits almost immediately as the Startup phase is very short. Most of Haunt’s casting time is on the Recovery Phase. Best I’ve found is Haunt into Firebomb or Haunt into Poison Frogs. Lets you weave your 3 Active haunts into the battlefield as you kill with other moves.

Most of her’s cancellables suck. The spellcasters can’t really make great use of this.
She can cancel Arcane Orb and Twister, but the recovery gains aren’t that great.
The best gain is on Spectral Blades, as shown in the video. This attack has almost no Startup phase, and is entirely Recovery based. So, you can cancel this into whatever. Melee-Sorc FTW.
If I was going to cancel Orb or Twister, I’d cancel into Magic Missile since it wont’ cost anything at higher levels. A basic 2for1.

Also note that this has been reported in the B.net Beta forum, so Blizzard will be aware of it. No blue has yet commented about it.

Related to this article
You're not logged in. Register or login to post a comment.

26 thoughts on “D3 Exploit: Cancel Skill Animation

  1. This is pure speculation, but I’m tempted to say Blizzard did this on purpose because of several fighting games that have this too, like Super Smash Brothers Melee.

    Then again, I don’t really know why. This could put a damper on pvp by forcing people to use these cancellable moves into eachother just to keep up.

    • also i think every MOBA (dota-like) game has it too, and we all know Blizzard are fans of dota

        • Also known in dota as orb-walking. If you watch pro streams you’ll often see them attack and move at the same time. This is done by waiting until right at the moment damage is dealt, then moving to cancel the backswing animation, repeat.

          It’s not as prevalent in LoL as in dota because backswing animations are much shorter in LoL so it’s often not as necessary, especially with high attack speeds/

    • *Sigh* It’s sad that I also thought about that whole Wavedashing crap from Melee. Honestly, I hope this is in fact an exploit and removed. But that’s partially because I want to play D3 to relax. I don’t want to feel like I have to play it as intensely as something like Smash Bros in order to ‘do well’ at it.

  2. great post, I’d just like to add that the battle.net report thread was originally posted in the Bug Report forum but was later moved by a blizzard CM to Beta Feedback, suggesting that at least someone there believes it’s not a bug. I mean why else would they move it out? Perhaps the post was not understood correctly?

  3. these types of ‘bugs’ often make the game more interesting, adding an additional element of skill
    here’s hoping they do not fix it (assuming this was not intentional)

  4. If it can only be done with clicking followed by a keyboard press and no other way, then I’m thinking it’s a bug. But sometimes these bugs stay in the game, so it’ll be interesting to see.

  5. It’s worth nothing that it’s really easy to do. You just hold down the mouse button and tap the keyboard.

  6. I’m doubtful that it’s intentional but I guess we will find out depending on if it makes it to release…

  7. It’s just a bug. People who don’t think this is a bug are either Blizzard fanboys or bunch of idiots. 

    Other monster hit-delay issue is not a bug and Blizzard fanboys call it a bug.

    Do you know why they are wrong? Because they are trying to cover Blizzard’s fucking ass on every fucking matter. On this one they have to say it’s not a bug. On the other one they have to say it’s just a simple bug. Kids and morons.

    The first idiot who replies me should know that I won’t give any shit.

    • Wow, someone is really butthurt XD

      And just to let you know .. it is a bug .. and i want the to endorse it officially as a feature … go cry in the corner XD

    • “It’s just a bug. People who don’t think this is a bug are either Blizzard fanboys or bunch of idiots…”

      … or maybe they are just ordinary human beings like yourself, and they don’t want this bug to be fixed, because they like how it affects gameplay. These humans tend to have differing opinions. Silly creatures, I know.

      Oh and don’t worry, I don’t care if you give a **** or not. Although I’m slightly curious why do you think you’re punishing us by not giving any. You must be really proud of your expertise in that area.

    • If you don’t give a shit why are you on here like some kind of teen acting out to get attention? Grow the fuck up dude, you’ve been squealing like a butthurt ex for months now. And don’t hate on it just because your sausage fingers will have issues keeping up.  😆

  8. That’s indeed one bug/exploit i don’t mind having .. and yes .. it is reminiscent of the cancel moves from fighting games .. these add some nice depth and technical feeling to combat … i want Blizz to officially endorse it and refine it so that it is actually a feature … but please couple that with limiting skill switch to town .. otherwise with this cancel technique there will be even more exploitation than skil switch normally allows.

  9. It has to be a bug. Just watch the wizards last animation. After \canceling\ the wizard was unable to move as electrocute just kept pouring out, without the player actually clicking that spot.  If that happens at the wrong time, your dead.

  10. i dont care wether its a feature or a bug  – i approve of it and my future monks do aswell.

  11. doesnt look intentional , gotta be a flaw in how the game handles things, i bet it will be patched.

    • well- i think its meant to be in the game – mostly for escape abilties. maybe dmg skills is an unintentional sideeffect – however i approve of it – because its fun to me
      i can understand  people dont want to be enganged all the time on those micro timings. but i quite frankly dont care about them: because you will with all certainty be able to finish the game regardless – if you are not able to finish inferno because of this – well thats bad luck for you .
      i just dont approve of spoonfeeding all content available. like they do with WoW.

      edit: maybe some skills need adjustments. but i think they should keep it in the game , and tune skills accordingly

  12. While animation canceling is nothing new, if they want quick-twitch reflexes and precise skill timing to give players more edge than they naturally would (which isn’t a bad thing at all), they should do it in a way that’s A, an intuitive an elucidated part of the gameplay and not a quirk of the engine, B, not reliant on something super arbitrary and meta like how your keys and buttons are bound, and C, subject to balancing based on gameplay concerns and not just what the animation department thought looked the best. \Certain barbarian skills dramatically better for players who want to do funny glitchy keyboard dance, certain skills not affected at all\ isn’t a good gameplay or balancing decision at all. Don’t get me wrong; I wouldn’t be opposed to adding mechanical elements that reward the skillset required to animation cancel, I just that that if they’re doing that, it should be applied methodically, and not just randomly splattered around where the animation department happened to frontload the skill’s shot release or damage. When you’re balancing, say, toads against firebats, do you balance for the guy who’s spraying out toads 30% faster because he knows the trick, or do you balance for the vast majority of people – those who won’t get that invested?

  13. The fact that this only works on mouse/hotkey interactions shows this is a bug. Blue said that they already know about this and are trying out something in their current build, this has already been addressed.

    The issue is that things like these make the game feel responsive, but at the same time skew it heavily towards slower weapons (much easier to weave in one heavy hit than 2 fast ones), so it breaks game design. In Blizz we trust i guess.

  14. http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/3341754892#11
    “It’s an intentional mechanic, not an exploit or bug. Our intent is simply to make combat feel good and responsive, but the implementation to hit that goal in the closed beta build is actually quite old. It’s likely you’ll see changes within some future beta push that reflect more what we’re testing now internally, but of course it’s possible that won’t be the final implementation either.”

    • I cannot believe that the developers have been so obvious in taking away many of the old Diablo methods of more complicated character planning and long term skill choices, justifying the removals by claiming the methods are too difficult to negotiate for unskilled users, and then they blast us all with a hidden game-changing mechanic that isn’t at all obvious and sounds like a tricky exploit, which also has the potential to unbalance a ton of skills. I know this is only the beta, and hopefully it will turn into just a simply expressed, unabuseable and not at all buggy method of using skills in a way that feels more fluid. Blizzard should claim this “feature” in the same way as it has claimed runestones, respecs and the auction house: take away all the mystery of the finalised mechanic so that it can be used on an even field.

      PS: I don’t like this change personally, I’ve always considered the joy of Diablo in the setup of the character and the tactical use of skills, but if micromanaging skills is what Blizzard wants in this game, then so be it. Diablo 3 just may not feel the same. Click click click click click click click click click click click… I don’t want to think about how to click better, I just want my clicking to be as effective as possible. That’s the magic of this game. 🙁

Comments are closed.