Diablo III: Skill Calculator Update + Class Skills


Blizzard has just posted a new blog updated that includes the new skill calculator as well as a write-up on the class skills that includes new videos. There’s a lot of shiny new things to watch. Those of you in the beta will probably already know a bit of this information, but the videos are still pretty cool to watch.

The footage includes new locals and enemies that you probably haven’t seen a lot of before (mainly Act 2, from what I’ve seen), so if you’re wanting to avoid spoilers, consider this fair warning.

Starting today, we’re going show off some new, some improved, and some previously unseen class skills that you’ll use to slaughter your way through Diablo III’s acts.

The skills we’re spotlighting are drawn from a variety of classes and levels, and most of them aren’t available in the Diablo III beta. We’ve decided to showcase only “base” skills, unaffected by runes, but their rune variants are no less explosive (there are just a few too many of them to display here).
You can find each skill video we’ve posted on the appropriate skill page in the Game Guide, or simply click the links below to watch them in action. Keep your eyes on the environments that these demon-slaying displays take place in, too — you’ll notice a few unfamiliar, exotic locales.

In the future, we’ll release more videos on this blog exhibiting different skills you’ll unlock throughout Diablo III. Remain vigilant.


  • Ancient Spear
  • Earthquake
  • Overpower
  • Furious Charge

Demon Hunter

  • Rain of Vengeance
  • Cluster Arrow
  • Multishot
  • Spike Trap


  • Serenity
  • Mantra of Conviction
  • Mystic Ally

Witch Doctor

  • Acid Cloud
  • Big Bad Voodoo


  • Disintegrate
  • Energy Armor
  • Familiar
  • Hydra
  • Mirror Image
  • Meteor
  • Ray of Frost

Update by Flux: All the videos show just the basic skills without any rune effects, and we’ve already seen most of them via datamined videos during the beta. What’s newer are the areas of the game many of them are set in, some of which are brand new. Click through for some comments on and links to the skill videos that show things you have not seen before.

Here are all the skill videos placed into one single video for ease of viewing.


Some new, tank-type monster can be seen in the Barbarian’s Ancient Spear video.

Furious Charge shows one of the winding Goatman-infested levels (much more of those from beta datamining here) we’ll enter later in Act One.

The basic version of Spike Trap looks pretty bland, but the setting, some new tileset of dry desert surface in Act Two, is nifty.

Check out the snowy surface area (from Act 3) in the Rain of Vengeance video.

Cluster Arrow shows off the Torchlight-esque Spider Caves from late Act One.

All of the Monk videos look odd since the character is using basic attacks rather than combos (since they would distract from the skills being presented), but this demo of Mystic Ally shows off the snow-swept upper reaches of Bastion’s Keep in Act 3.

A couple of videos, including this one of the Witch Doctor’s Acid Cloud show off some of the “it’s always night there” Act Two desert oases. (BTW, cheesiest skill animation in the game? Vomiting Witch Doctor face in the sky?)

This video of Big Bad Voodoo shows two interesting things: the WD using basic attack at a high level (something players will not be able to do with the mandatory skills system), and also a new type of heavily-armored assault demons.

It took me a second view to even notice the shoulder-turret style Familiar skill in effect in this Wizard video, with all my attention on the awesome desert tile set. Love the huge heaps of bones down the cliffs to the side.

Hydra shows more action from the snowy heights of Bastion’s Keep in Act 3, as well as demonstrating that only one Hydra can be active at the same time.

Mirror Image is a flashy decoy, but what’s up with that giant, glowing, reanimated demon corpse thing in the pit in the ground off to the right?

Meteor looks a lot less explosive on impact than I expected, but the night Act 2 oasis, and the packs of Fallen, are pretty cool.

We can now play with Ray of Frost in the beta, but this video shows it being used on Cultists in an awesome Act One tileset that I’d not seen before.

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53 thoughts on “Diablo III: Skill Calculator Update + Class Skills

  1. Is it me, or do the zones other than beta zones seem to be just as tight and small as those in the beta ?

  2. Everything seems to work for me. Another interesting bit is that the chat gem found under the skill calculator is now functional. It will automatically assign skills and runes at random each time it is clicked.

  3. Anyone know the pet/whatever it is that’s following the barb around in the earthquake video? Looks very cool.

  4. I love overpower. Looks way better in the game. There can be only one.

    Edit: nerfed spike trap visuals 🙁
    But the desert scene looks waaaaaay better than from the 2010 videos. Crap there’s so many new areas and monsters shown. If you don’t like spoilers, maybe avoid these.

    In the mirror image video, there’s a ballista, but it looks like the demon gate from the siegebreaker portrait.

    Ray of Frost shows Leoric’s Manor. You pass through there (with an event inside) to get to the areas from the BlizzCon 2011 demo. We’ve seen this area before, actually. There was a monk in the last LM video.

      • No, there’s two different zones in the video, but even the outdoor one from blizzcon looks much improved.
        There’s the bone wastes, and then the zone with the road to alcarnus. 

    • Not that I’ve seen. I assumed it was an error in the emulator that the trap didn’t ever “spring” but just made sounds, with a little aura-like thing on the ground like caltrops. The runes just change the colors of the ground blobs.

  5. Most of the areas look good but overall they are too ‘cartoony’  for my taste and especially the areas in the energy armour, disintegrate, mystic ally and hydra videos don’t look good to me. I really dislike the animation for acid cloud. Overall, red monsters, some red in the terrain and red spell effects are just too bright red imo, would be fine if they were darker red.
    A few of the videos look abit too much like something from cartoon network, I don’t feel that as much watching the A1 beta footage but some of these videos felt very ‘cartoony’.

  6. A skill calculator? Calculator implies forethought and calculation. It has simplified tooltips that you have to hover over to see what the Hell they actually do. Not as a gaming interface, but as a God damn web interface that has no real limits, and the only reason people would use it, because we can’t see that ”It shoots a friebolt”without being ingame. You can’t look at all the runes and compare them anywhere easily enough.
    Dear God I hope it’s easier to compare skills ingame. I’m all for viability and class experimentation but if it means I actually have to use every God Damn skilll to see what they actually do, I’m going to be really frustrated really quickly.

  7. Everything is awesome except the “snowy barbarian fortress” exterior. It feels so much like Torchlight (and has absolutely no detail!!) that I actually recoiled a bit as soon as that visual came up.

    • Blizzard has never been good with snow. One of the downsides in being based in orange county maybe.
      It doesn’t look like snow. It looks like cake frosting.

      Snow flows into dunes, shaped by the wind, just like sand. But they got the sand right. -.- 

    • I agree. When the first screenshots of Bastion was on the web there still was a hope they’d be better in game closer to release. hope failed here.

  8. So I filled out the build I wanted to do ONE rune I can get before 49  the rest are above until the very last one that unlocks at 60.
    I literally can’t play my leveling build…until i’m done leveling.   Give me a toggle for the love of god give me a toggle.

    • My impressions of the skills shown:

      Ancient Spear: I love the ability and the chain, but the sparkly spear looks dumb. Just have a proper spearhead like Scorpion does and get rid of the sparklies.

      Overpower: Looks ace!

      Rain of vengeance: Huh? How about having arrows rain from the sky instead of long red lines? Have to assume they’re not done doing the effects for this skill.

      Multishot has an awesome sound, but the sound seems to have more “oomph” to it than the grahpics. I think the sound should be downplayed a bit or the projectiles should have a more powerful feel.

      Spike trap: I’m not seeing the monsters get hit by any spikes? Perhaps rename it explosive trap since that’s what it does.

      Big Bad Vodoo: It’d be cooler if you yourself did a dance like the shadow hunter does in warcraft 3. If it’s too weak this way with the witch doctor just standing there, make it more powerful to make up for that. Useful in parties and for witch doctors with lots of summons. For being “big and bad” it sure as Hell doesn’t look very impressive at the moment. If you’re going to recylce names from WarCraft 3 you owe it to the ability to make it at least as cool as the original.

      Disintegrate: Ow! Ow! Ow!

      Mirror Image: Really cool homage to the classic D&D spell.

      Meteor: Considering a huge meteor is crashing into the ground, the sound should be more impressive to match the visuals.
      There you go!

    • In D2 quite a few “builds” were not complete until level 50-80. They often looked like “For the first 30 levels, put attribute points ‘here’ and skill points ‘here’. From level 30-45 …” You get my point. The current Diablo 3 Skill and Rune system means you can actually play around with low-level and mid-level builds and have FUN getting to your final build.
      So many D2 builds had spots (especially in the beginning) where the character was weak, choosing prerequisites, and you’re just scraping along trying to GET to the ultimate build. The way D3 is laid out you can just play and have fun on your way to your ultimate build – and THEN take on Inferno.
      Not to mention the fact that in D2 if you wanted to try out a build you committed 76 levels to it then realize it doesn’t fit your style. Welp, back to level 1 for you to try another build! Gah, what a waste of time…

  9. Ray of Frost is the stand out clip for me. The area has the Diablo edge that too many of the other zones are missing. Can’t put my finger on it just yet, but many of them look a bit smooth(?). 

    • Yea, some areas look like they could be from another game. The difference in attention to detail between areas is too obvious; like some parts of the game underwent a cosmetic overhaul while others did not.

  10. Seems like some passives have been removed, or maybe I didn’t pay enough attention in the past. For example I can’t see virtuoso, which was an interesting passive choice for the Wizard…

  11. I’m disappointed with the removal of the basic attack… It had some potential for build diversity for some classes, oh well, more crap we’ll have to live with…

  12. Damn, those not-randomized outdoors gonna suck in terms of replayability. For me it was more important feature than gear farming in D2.

        • I forget who said it, but the best quote ever on these forums:
          “Randomized maps were such an integral portion of Diablo 2, that many players ran a hack to bypass them.”

        • Just because the maps are static doesn’t mean that there isn’t randomization. And the events aren’t lame. One of the best added features imo.

  13. As for the Big Bad Voodoo and normal attack – it’s just a skill on cooldown effect. When you try to attack with a skill on cooldown, you use regular attack instead.

  14. I really like these vids, except the animation for acid cloud. The other video’s make me really excited for the game!

  15. I’m confused by the new ‘rune’ system more and more. Looking at these skills and their ‘variants?’ (or whatever i might to call it, because in fact runes don’t exists anymore) i see no logic they’re in there. You can not pick them or find them. They are just icons next to the skill name without any reason/name/level, so NOBODY will care about them (more likely if every skill has its own unique name). Wtf? I’m trying hard, trust me, but I even see no logical categorization of these ‘icons’ by let’s say strenght/level requirement. They are mixed randomly (or it is a bug on their web page, don’t know for sure). Wow. Lol at you, Blizzard. You’ve just won an absurdity contest.

  16. In the Overpower video for the barbarian, is the skill the thing making the grass look like its swaying in the breeze? Or is swaying grass an actual visual effect for the environment. Whatever it was, it made the painted style of the environments feel more “alive”.

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