One of the key innovations in Diablo 2 was the idea of giving every character unique abilities. Each character had 30 skills that no other characters could use, and the only shared abilities were very basic stuff: attack, throw, ID and TP scrolls, and the bonuses granted by various potions. (Which different slightly in effect between the characters.) There were also items with spell charges, but these weren’t a major part of the game until v1.10 came along and added “oskills” bonuses on runewords and uniques, that permanently granted skills so long as that item was equipped.

    Though we’re all used to it now, this wasn’t always the way of things in the Diablo series, as Whiggles reminded us in a comment on page two of this recent news thread/debate. In Diablo I, each character had one unique intrinsic ability, and all other spells were learned by reading books. Every character could learn Fireball, Chain Lightning, Teleport, Healing, etc, and while Sorcerers had an easier time raising their spell levels to the maximum (since they could add more points to magic, the book-reading prereq attribute), the Rogue and Warrior could max out the spells as well, by using +magic gear and finding a lot of Enchanted Shrines. (Though Sorcerers were still far better at using the overpowered spells, thanks to much higher mana and faster casting speed.)

    So here’s the question. Would you like to see a return of shared spells, books, more scrolls, or other such bonuses in Diablo 3?  I can’t imagine full on spellbooks, with every character able to learn teleport, powerful attack spells, etc. Admittedly, that’s kind of what’s happened in D2, thanks to the oskill runewords, but at least those are (supposed to be) very rare; only granted by high level runewords. Not something you get from just reading a book one time.

    If not that, how about lesser bonuses? It looks like we’ll actually see such things, since there are elixirs in D3 that grant short term buffs. Not much is yet known about what type of buffs: +stats were functional in the Blizzcon build, but imagine other shrine-like buffs such as increased foot/attack/casting speed, resistance, life/mana regeneration, etc. Do you like the idea of those? How scarce should such elixirs be?

    In the most general terms, are such shared abilities a good thing? Do you want to see oskill type items in D3, granting permanent use of the skills of other classes? Lots of elixirs and other short term buffs that work the same for every character? Or are such features a negative, watering down the unique nature of each character type?


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