No Plans for a Seventh Active Skill Slot in Reaper of Souls


The Blizzard Blues are coming back to life after a long holiday break (which is more than I can say for myself) and some new posts appeared on Friday and over the weekend. One worth kicking around is an old and yet forever-new topic… how about a 7th active skill?

Since there is always one primary skill needed… I feel kind of frustrated to waste a skill slot for it.
Lylirra: Going to echo a similar response I gave to a thread that asked this same question a few months ago. Apologies for the overlap, but the answer hasn’t changed since then. 🙂

So! No current plans to increase the 6-skill limit. We still feel that 6 is a good number, enough to give you flexibility in your build choices, but not too much to where you don’t have to make thoughtful decisions about what you put on your bar. (We actually had 7 skills available for a pretty substantial period of time before Diablo III shipped; however, after lots of testing and feedback rounds, we reduced the number to 6. So, this is definitely something we’ve not only considered, but also evaluated heavily in the actual game environment.)

We know that some players may disagree with that approach (example: the OP). Totally cool, but let me turn the question back on you and then add a few more, because learning why you prefer one gameplay feature over another is super meaningful. Also, sometimes it can be pretty fun, too.

  • How is having only six skill lots negatively impacting your gameplay experience right now? If you can cite specific examples, even better!
  • On the flip side, how would having an extra skill slot improve your game experience?
  • If you had a 7th skill slot, what additional spells or abilities would you add to your bar (on top of the builds you use currently)?
  • Note that players will get a 4th passive slot at level 70.

    As Lylirra said, she addressed the same issue back in October (this new reply is mostly cut and pasted from the old). Our news item on it spurred a lot of debate, with numerous players arguing both sides of the issue. Some of the main arguments:

    1) No to another hotkey because not enough fingers. (I find this a very weak argument; keyboards have dozens of keys and it’s not all that hard to manipulate more than 4 of them at one time. Besides, lots of skills in D3 are buffs or debuffs that you only cast every 10 or 20 or 60 seconds anyway.)

    2) Yes to a 7th skill slot for more build variety. (I doubt this would happen. 1) Every cookie cutter build would just expand from 6 to 7 all-but-mandatory skills. 2) Most players would just add another buff or debuff instead of another offensive option that would actually change gameplay.)

    Those were the main arguments for/against back in October, but that was before we had confirmed 1 new skill for the original 5 classes, knew the extent of changes to many current skills, knew many new legendary items worked with just one skill, that lots of affixes were coming with boosts to individual skills, etc. Does that new info shift the debate a bit? Do you think RoS should add a 7th skill, either for gameplay reasons or just because expansions = moar? Let’s vote, then comment.


    Would you like to see a 7th active skill added in Reaper of Souls?

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    The 7 skill hotbar good old days, pre-beta.

    The 7 skill hotbar good old days, pre-beta.

    I almost hate to mention it, since I’m a big fan of DiabloWikiElective Mode and a big critic of the “no player UI mods” type attitude that prevents us from mapping the controls however we want (such as putting all skills on the keyboard and just having basic move/attack on the mouse buttons, if desired)… but I think a 7th skill would work really well if we didn’t have Elective Mode.

    True, the game would feel like a straitjacket if we had to pick just one skill each from category, but if that had been the case all along, imagine how awesome it would be to add a 7th skill slot, that you could select from any category? That would open up a huge variety of new builds and play styles, in a way that just adding a 7th skill slot now would not.

    That said, acting on that principle, what if the 7th skill was limited in some way? You could only use it if you had an item equipped that enabled it, or directly boosted it, such as many of the new legendaries do? Or what if you could only pick an offensive attack skill, not just another buff or debuff or CC, the way most of us probably would? (Min/Maxers would always opt for greater overall character efficiency, rather than adding the fun of another attack option.)

    Comments

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    1. I believe the reason why Diablo 3 didn’t have single element immunities was because the game designers didn’t allow for a 7th button, not to say that was good or bad.

    2. The simple truth is that they’ve balanced everything around having six active skills, so adding another is not a trivial change. That’s the good reason for it, and it’s what Lylirra should say rather than asking the community stupidly obvious questions yet again.

      I could make a significantly more powerful Witch Doctor build with 7 or 8 skills, for example. Hex, Fetish Army, Big Bad Voodoo, or even Locust Swarm are all nice skills that usually get left out because there’s just not enough room.

    3. The line quoted from the OP asks more the UI change that many of us want: allow to move the skill from LMB to a the keyboard not to suffer the restriction on skills… I still do not understand why they are not implementing it. We had a feedback from a CM who told us that the idea was passed to the devs but it was not followed.

      • I pitched it directly to Wyatt in an interview last year, and he said he liked the idea and wanted it himself but that he couldn’t give me any further reply.

        http://diablo.incgamers.com/blog/comments/the-diablo-3-podcast-100-josh-mosqueira-and-wyatt-cheng-interview

        “Wyatt Cheng: I put my Fists of Thunder on the 4 key since I could hold that down, and I put Lashing Tail Kick on the left click. Someone asked me why, and I said since it’s the one that annoys me the least if I click it by accident. So I definitely feel your pain, but um… we are… I don’t have an answer for you right now.”

        My impression was that others on the team are very set on “here’s how the controls are and we’re never changing it” and Wyatt didn’t want to play up internal team disagreements.

    4. The God suggests Bashiok 2.0 to go and make another cup of coffee. Better that acts rhetorical, and defend undefendable.

    5. “1) No to another hotkey because not enough fingers. (I find this a very weak argument; keyboards have dozens of keys”

      If I remember correctly, the seventh skill slot was cut not too long after plans for a console version of the game were (more or less) confirmed by Blizzard. I haven’t really changed my opinion about the reason behind this being related more to console controllers than their magniloquent design philosophies since then.

      “[if elective mode was non-existant] imagine how awesome it would be to add a 7th skill slot, that you could select from any category?”

      Yeah, but that awesomeness could be be provided by anything roughly resembling a complex, playful, slightly challenging concept for the skill system in D3. The current incarnation feels a lot like “duh, we created 37 generic hijillion variations of skill graphics but the original concept attached to them seemed like too much work, so we dropped it – let’s just throw what we managed so far into the game and somehow make it free-for-all accessible”. Pretty much everything you could do to the current ‘system’ would be an improvement, I’m afraid … =(

      Beyond this, ask yourself, doesn’t D3 already struggle enough with providing 6 vastly different skill-purposes(/categories) for each class?

      • No, what D3 struggles with is how to make those interesting skills effective as well, so that people will actually notice them.

    6. Bashiok promised us the 7th slot back in the beta days :/ – Sad it’s gone.
      I liked to have auto attack button as left click a lot. Helped me a lot moving around monsters and elemental stuff.

    7. Bashiok also promised the tab to switch between two skills on the RMB in the beta so we would be able to easily switch between AOE and single target attacks during different situations, but that seems to be long gone now too. I still hate having half my skills on the keyboard and one locked in as left click.

    8. There aren’t enough controller buttons.

    9. The God will speak in the language of the trolls, so he, in his endless wisdom, could be understood by Blizzard.

      “Just implement it, and if you find that you don’t like it or need it – don’t use it.”

      Semper Fidelis Tyrannosaurus!

      • They implemented it, it did not work well, they scrapped it, long live.

        • Yep, before release the game had 7 skill slots, one which eventually became dedicated to potions. The devs said that they liked this change because it resulted in harder decisions for the player when choosing skills for their build, since they had to make interesting compromises. It’s hard to argue with this, but of course one’s personal preference may differ.

    10. This would be a more interesting discussion if so many of the “skills” weren’t just long, passive buffs. See Magic Weapon, Companion, Auras, ect.

      • Actually, Companion was reworked completely. Now every pet has an always-on passive effect and an active one with a cooldown when you use the skill. Wolves for example provide a 30% damage boost for 10 seconds in a 60(?) yard area when you “activate” them.

        Magic weapon is also more interesting, although it’s still a completely passive buff. There’s a rune for it that enables it to stack fire DoT on enemies and one that provides you with a weak, but stacking damage shield every time you cast a signature skill.

        • No, Magic Weapon is still boring. Companion and Mystic Ally are exactly how every “fake passive” should be. Even Doctor pets should work similar to this. There is zero excuse for Magic Weapon, Battle Rage, or any of the other fake passives to still behave like fake passives. Fire Ally is freaking awesome, why can’t Wizards get their stuff together and learn interesting armor spells?

    11. If a book on Diablo3 s development – with honest internal views – is ever released, I would surely like to read it.

    12. QUOTE

      This would be a more interesting discussion if so many of the "skills" weren't just long, passive buffs. See Magic Weapon, Companion, Auras, ect.

      I, Clavdivs, The God, agree completely with yovargas. A number of skills are fake/semi passives, and on example of Wizard – magic missile, familiar (sparkflint), some kind of shield. That is three slots. An escape/protection mechanism – four. Left with two. Great fun! Interesting build!

      Of course, if magic missile and familiar were diverse, balanced and great fun to have with different runes, it might be different. But they are not, tedious, one-trick ponies – both of them are 1 rune skills – which is the fault of uninspired developers and their complete lack of imagination.

      Similar can be said for shields, except important difference – ‘there can be only one’. There is *some* difference in shields, but The God declares that amount of effort put in ‘thinking’ out all 18 shield runes might be reduced to one good skill with 6 runes. .

      Again, similar applies to escape mechanisms – they are all seriously flawed, to be really efficient one should reserve two slots – which is, again, fine – but in a game which has more than 6 skill slots.

      Regarding 7th potion slot – well, we have it. And potions are good example of Blizzard “Pride and Incompetence” (The God doesn’t know about beta, but game went like this)
      1. We will eliminate HP potions, cause they are evil – by introducing insane cooldown
      2. We will eliminate life-steal, cause it is evil
      3. We won’t eliminate LS entirely
      4. Due to lack of healing, regeneration will go to insane amount, serving as ‘perma potion’ (wasn’t it the very reason to put cooldown on REAL potion?)
      5. Due to the wrong ratio of dps/HP, LS is too powerful even in numbers we introduced, and even 1.5% matters (easy to calculate, for those who know how)
      6. We will kill LS, but introduce other stupidities – well, LoH and LoK aren’t *that* stupid, but in numbers Blizzard uses…
      7. We will reintroduce potions, but instead ‘mea culpa’ – we will call them ‘legendaries’ (sic!)

      Full circle. Real potions named differently + perma-potions (up to 30k/sec, The God saw). LS back, in real numbers instead %. The God is disgusted.

      I, Tiberius Claudius Augustus Caesar Germanicus, The God, declare that everything lasting 10 minutes, without coding and unspendable, is a passive in disguise. As such, it takes away useful slot, decreasing game diversity by severing the build numbers, as in all likelihood, mentioned skill will be active forever. It differs from passive because it actually eats up a slot, not necessarily being noticeably more powerful than a passive (Blur, for example, or Glass Cannon)

      Regarding ‘hard choices’ – well, maybe for Bashiok 2.0 they are hard indeed. For divine being, in all its heavenly wisdom – not at all. Most needed will be used, the rest can’t. The God imagines Bashiok 2.0 meets ‘hard choices’ every 5 minutes – milk or sugar? Or *both*?

      In the spirit of Blizzards semi-solutions, The God proposes that up to two skills matching conditions above (being permanent) go into two new slots, which are autocast and always active. Player can change the rune (if there is a point at all), or click and recast, if there is short-termed bonus.

      Divine being is, of course, appauled by yet another band-aid, but virtually everything is better than New Blizzards ‘meant to be played like this, and no other way at all’ approach.

    13. I think a 7th active skill slot would be a nice luxury, but wouldn’t greatly change gameplay too much. (Possible future uber-quest reward?)

      One thing that annoys me is that only a few skills can be mapped to the LMB. I like to run my Monk with the spirit generator on RMB and I have to choose a spirit spender to put on LMB, instead of Blinding Flash for example.

    14. Will wait to see how the existing skills are tweaked… I don’t have a problem with 6, and I like elective mode. In D3C, the problem for us wizard types was that there weren’t enough viable skills.

    15. I realise that it isn’t the same, but after more than a year playing D3 going back to D2 and having 16 available skill slots has been bliss!

    16. QUOTE

      I, Clavdivs, The God, agree completely with yovargas. A number of skills are fake/semi passives, and on example of Wizard - magic missile, familiar (sparkflint), some kind of shield. That is three slots. An escape/protection mechanism - four. Left with two. Great fun! Interesting build!
      
      Of course, if magic missile and familiar were diverse, balanced and great fun to have with different runes, it might be different. But they are not, tedious, one-trick ponies - both of them are 1 rune skills - which is the fault of uninspired developers and their complete lack of imagination. 
      
      Similar can be said for shields, except important difference - 'there can be only one'. There is *some* difference in shields, but The God declares that amount of effort put in 'thinking' out all 18 shield runes might be reduced to one good skill with 6 runes. 

      .

      Again, similar applies to escape mechanisms – they are all seriously flawed, to be really efficient one should reserve two slots – which is, again, fine – but in a game which has more than 6 skill slots.

      Regarding 7th potion slot – well, we have it. And potions are good example of Blizzard “Pride and Incompetence” (The God doesn’t know about beta, but game went like this)
      1. We will eliminate HP potions, cause they are evil – by introducing insane cooldown
      2. We will eliminate life-steal, cause it is evil
      3. We won’t eliminate LS entirely
      4. Due to lack of healing, regeneration will go to insane amount, serving as ‘perma potion’ (wasn’t it the very reason to put cooldown on REAL potion?)
      5. Due to the wrong ratio of dps/HP, LS is too powerful even in numbers we introduced, and even 1.5% matters (easy to calculate, for those who know how)
      6. We will kill LS, but introduce other stupidities – well, LoH and LoK aren’t *that* stupid, but in numbers Blizzard uses…
      7. We will reintroduce potions, but instead ‘mea culpa’ – we will call them ‘legendaries’ (sic!)

      Full circle. Real potions named differently + perma-potions (up to 30k/sec, The God saw). LS back, in real numbers instead %. The God is disgusted.

      Regarding ‘hard choices’ – well, maybe for Bashiok 2.0 they are hard indeed. For divine being, in all its heavenly wisdom – not at all. Most needed will be used, the rest can’t. The God imagines Bashiok 2.0 meets ‘hard choices’ every 5 minutes – milk or sugar? Or *both*?

      In the spirit of Blizzards semi-solutions, The God proposes that up to two skills matching conditions above (being permanent) go into two new slots, which are autocast and always active. Player can change the rune (if there is a point at all), or click and recast, if there is short-termed bonus.

      Divine being is, of course, appauled by yet another band-aid, but virtually everything is better than New Blizzards ‘meant to be played like this, and no other way at all’ approach.

      I’m not really sure what your post is going on about, as you seem to make some leaps that don’t really have anything to do with a 7th skill slot. First, a rather minor point, but you seem to be completely mistaken about Magic Missile; nothing about the skill is a semi-passive, and all of the runes are now different and useful. Not sure if you meant a different skill or not, but you’re definitely wrong about MM. Familiar is also not necessarily correct, as the skill’s base damage has been tremendously buffed, making several different runes on it worthwhile. For example, Icicle has a 35% chance to freeze for one second, which is not insignificant, and usually provides pretty decent passive CC against packs, especially with the reduction to pack density. Cannonneer is now worthwhile, as it does 240% damage and has quite a fast attack speed, making it useful as AoE damage if you want to roll with more of a single-target focus. Finally, while the other runes are more passive-like, there are uses for them now, such as Arcanot: now that Resource Cost Reduction exists, it’s possible to use passives and Arcanot to get 12 AP-per-second and then get RCR until your main spell is free, making Arcanot a viable build choice. Shields are certainly the worst offenders here. Not really sure why you brought up escape/protection mechanic; they’re ‘get-out-of-trouble’ skills, not ‘fake-passive’ skills. You’ve got the right idea here, but your examples are not completely right.

      Also not really sure why you go off on the ‘7th potion slot’ tangent; there’s only one potion slot. It would have made sense if you were talking about how the old ‘7th slot’ turned into a potion slot, but you’re not; you’re talking about healing mechanics, which seems enormously off-topic for this thread. I’m also not really sure what you’re talking about here: as far as I’ve heard, life regeneration can get pretty powerful in RoS if you build towards it, but I’ve heard that LoH and LoK aren’t that useful even if you get a lot of each. Also, while there are legendary potions, they still have a 30 second cooldown, they just don’t have a limit like regular potions do. Your argument seems really flawed here; a bit more explanation would be useful.

      By and large, though, your point remains correct. There are too many skills that don’t do anything when you use them and act as passives that take up skill slots; they should be changed. However, as far as I’ve heard, most of the ones that exist like that now have an active ability that works when you click the skill, and a passive ability that works as long as the skill is on your bar (examples: Mystic Ally, Laws, Mantras, Companion, etc.). As long as Blizzard keeps passive skills like this, I don’t have much of a problem with them. The biggest offenders I can see are Wizard’s Magic Weapon (maybe what you meant when you said Magic Missile?) and Shields. Fix those and they’re good.

    17. Magic Weapon. A typo. It is semi-passive.

      As for usefulness of Magic Weapon and Familiar, The God declares that both skill are very similar, and even combined they barely have 6 interesting and viable runes – it is one skill essentially, without need to be expanded to two – and worse, to two slots.

      Divine being made digression, regarding (death) spiral which Blizzard keeps maintaining, yes, it is positioned wrongly in text flow, but true nonetheless, and in connection with potion slot – they shouldn’t exist initially, then they were reintroduced but basically non-functional and now they are making comeback. Potion imitations thrived in the meantime.

      Since consoles do have dodge (active) mechanics – something PC version would find a use, too, yet it is lacking with no intention to be implemented, PC version could have more active skills slots – even disgusting ‘passive only’ slots – there the connection with actual 7th slot. On that topic, how do console players use potions, anyway?

      Apart from that, The God see no reason for PC version to be restricted by console limitations – versions are different already, and PC one is being inferior (no offline mode, no active dodge, no multiplayer on one copy, once no AH also)

    18. I can see what you mean. That said, I’m going to have to disagree with you about the usefulness of Magic Weapon and Familiar runes now; there are still a few worthless ones, but most of them seem fine now. In terms of Magic Weapon, two of the runes are useless; the others have their uses. Electrify gives your attacks a chance to shoot out chain lightning; Ignite makes your attacks burn enemies for extra fire damage, and Deflection gives you a small, stacking shield whenever you attack. Because elemental damage is so much more useful and important to Wizards now, these can be important because they add elements to your attacks: fire and lightning respectively. In this case, Ignite is probably much more useful, as it always adds fire damage, while Electrify has a chance (no numbers unfortunately). For Electrify, it gives you more chances to proc the lightning passive, which has gotten a buff in effectiveness. For Ignite, it makes the Conflagration passive a guaranteed extra 6% crit, since you’ll be doing fire damage to enemies no matter what skills you use. This is without considering that ‘increased fire/lightning damage’ is a mod now, which can be found on a multitude of gear choices: for sure on Amulets and Bracers, and probably on Gloves and Rings. In addition, there are Wizard skills that buff fire/lightning damage by 15% for 4 seconds after use, and neither has a cooldown, so putting all that together, Electrify and Ignite can stack up quite a bit of extra firepower.

      Deflection, meanwhile, provides shield, which is a fantastic mechanic because it provides defense while maintaining offense, something that the Wizard desperately needed, as before, you needed a protection skill like Diamond Skin to save yourself unless you played on the easiest difficulty and 1-shotted everything. Deflection doesn’t provide a lot of shield, but it stacks up very well with high AS; since you get a stack whenever you perform an attack, the higher your AS, the more attacks you get within 3 seconds, so the higher your potential shield goes. If you want to think about it like this, Deflection basically gives you about 1300 Life on Hit, except that it isn’t wasted if you hit full life, since Shield doesn’t seem to have an upper limit. In addition, there is a Spectral Blades rune that does the same thing as Deflection, and the two abilities stack, so a high-AS Wizard could likely be very successful as a true Melee Wizard, stacking up extra cold damage, Ice Beam sleet storm rune for melee damage, and using Spectral Blades to top yourself off when you start losing life.

      Meanwhile, with Familiar, the only rune that seems absolutely useless is Ancient Guardian, since most damage now comes in the form of ‘small hits all the time,’ rather than ‘big hits now and then.’ Ancient Guardian is great for stopping big hits, but it’s useless for small, fast ones. The other versions are all strong though. Sparkflint is boring, but effective as a passive DPS boost. Icicle has a 35% chance to freeze for 1 second, which I notice proccing all the time: versus mobs it’s not very good, but versus packs it usually means I can count one of them out, since it will be frozen for most of the fight. Arcanot, as I explained before, is useful is you’re trying to get to infinite AP, since you need less RCR for your build. Finally, Cannonneer now does good damage (240% damage), and even though the range of 6 yards is small, it shoots very fast and does AoE damage. Basically, it’s the opposite of Icicle: Icicle’s bad against trash mobs and good against packs, while Cannonneer is less useful against packs (though not worthless, given the high DPS) but great against mobs. Familiar’s attack speed is your attack speed, so it is exponentially beneficial for a high-AS build; the AS is also based on the AS for certain attacks, so fast attacks like Electrocute will make Familiar shoot much faster than normal.

      Basically, your point is still correct: Magic Weapon and Familiar are fake passives, and should have more interesting runes than they have. However, there’s a difference between interesting and viable (considering OP spin-to-win Barb, this should be surprising to nobody), and while Magic Weapon and Familiar are certainly fairly uninteresting, their runes seem to be fairly viable now. I haven’t tested them all, since I haven’t played a lightning build yet, but from the testing I’ve done, all the runes seem pretty viable, with only one exception per skill (Magic Weapon’s Conduit gives too little AP per shot, and Familiar’s Ancient Guardian is useless for the damage setup that we currently have).

      As for the dodge mechanic, I’m really disappointed that the PC isn’t going to get that. The dodge mechanic looked really good for the console version, and it would really help for PC. It probably wouldn’t be all that hard to code either. Not having a dodge mechanic is certainly a big fail in my books, especially since it would have been so easy to do, and it got so much press with the release on D3 console.

      Finally, in terms of PC vs. Console version, the reasons you mentioned remain true, but (and this is a big but) with the exception of the dodge part, they are only limitations if you live near your friends and can play together with them. As far as I can tell, the console version doesn’t have an online mode; it is only offline. If I’m wrong, please tell me. In this case, the console version is much better if you live near your friends and can play with them, or you just want D3 as a single-player experience. For my purposes, however, I have a lot more fun when I’m playing with friends, and at the moment, I live in China, while all of my other friends live in North America (either US or Canada). Because of this, the console version would be much worse for my purposes, as I couldn’t play with my friends at all. While I can appreciate your argument, and while I don’t necessarily disagree in spirit, for my purposes the console version is vastly inferior, as I don’t need an offline version, and I couldn’t play with my friends on it.

      To sum up my whole point, you aren’t necessarily wrong, but you are being a little too judgmental for my tastes, especially since you are claiming not only that the design is boring and lazy (which is fairly hard to argue) but also that the design is not viable for play (in my opinion, a point much harder to justify).

    19. Divine being is never wrong!

      Yet, it appreciates argumented discussion greatly! Friends of heavenly being indeed live in the same town, which, combined with relatively low hardware requirements, made The God buy 4 copies of D3 – which was, in retrospect, a great mistake – game didn’t turn as we hoped to, endless weekends spent in LAN-parties with D2 and WC3 that we enjoyed for years, turned to the several weekends of boredom – admittingly, we expected more specialization of characters, as RPG should have (tank, support, dps and suchforth), and received omnipotent Barbarian and melee Wizard (sic!) – virtually every character is self sufficient and furthermore, most efficient in self-sustaining-build. The God will say nothing about no DeathMatch, which was an important motivation for us, too. From the perspective of living close-by, console is much better and needs only one copy of the game – similar as did SC1 for LAN, but also WH40k and some other games. But, The God agrees that online mode should be an option on the console, just as the offline mode should be option for PC – weak argument of ‘hacking’ items in offline mode is… weak – as seen, it didn’t stop abuses in tiniest bit.

      General point of Familiar and Magic Weapon is that they are too similar in nature (and active all the time, without any restrictions or bonus when cast), and take two valuable slots – all your point stand (perhaps viability of certain runes is overrated, The God still thinks that one skill could cover all viable ones, perhaps in conjunction with one or two passives with boost or slight change of function – speaking of which, The God finds new passives ugly and disgraceful – standing still, really!).

      Alternatively, having more slots would be enough to justify having them as separate skills, but current ‘hard choice’ (as formulated by Bashiok 2.0) is rather ‘poor choice’ (as formulated by Clavdivs, The God), for only 2-3 damage skills are available for different synergistic effects Blizzard was eager (desperate?) to re-introduce. Both Blizzard ‘we doubled it’ and ‘less is more’ are terrible principles – balanced games don’t need doubling anything, only small tweaks – and ‘less is more’ applied to a number of skills is simply not true, few skills more would certainly contribute to build diversity greatly. If something needs to be ‘less’, it is insane numbers on main+vitality, accompanied with equally insane monster stats – it affects Blizzard, cause such a numbers are virtually impossible to balance right, and consequently players, since we play a terribly balanced game.

      With more skill slots, some ‘burning issues’ simply disappear, as with monster density – they need to be as dense in distribution as required to have good action pace, and experience can be adjusted per map.

      Yes, The God admits being rather judgmental, but with good reason – false advertisement and later negligence (still in progress), numerous highly controversial decisions (most of which could be optional, and stir the spirits less) and final (well, not yet final) blow – a 40eur ‘payed patch’, introducing much less than 2/3rds of price would suggest. The God won’t go into details, but the list is not really *that* impressive. Neither it solves important issues – 2-handers, sword+board, even one-handers (‘me likes, me makes damage with it!’ – and that’s about it, since *only* difference is AS) – ‘we doubled it’ should have addressed weapons also.

    20. QUOTE

      admittingly, we expected more specialization of characters, as RPG should have (tank, support, dps and suchforth), and received omnipotent Barbarian and melee Wizard (sic!) - virtually every character is self sufficient and furthermore, most efficient in self-sustaining-build.

      How could you expect that from an A-RPG, especially when you played D2?
      If tanks, support, healers and what not had existed in D3 I would have been disappointed, or even pissed. All the characters should be self-sufficient.
      Allowing characters to try some specialization toward support is fine if course, and even D3 does support that. But in the end everyone has to be able to carry their own weight for the game to be soloable.

    21. The God is puzzled!

      Spending over 20k hours in D2 and finding out that Sorceress or Necro could be front-line characters? Without investing heavily in strength and dexterity to some extent, instead just enough for gear, rest in vitality? Of course, all classes were self-sustaining (much thanking to mercenary), but not as a melee Wizard, which was (arguably) best Wizard build (before Archon modification, probably best in multiplayer also – The God should clarify)?

      Sorceress could never risk so much in D2, yes, there was a freak-build, but mainly for fun of people with extreme gear. And yet it was way weaker than any reasonably developed real melee class – the necessary skills were simply missing and HP was always lower than that of melee. Opposed to this, Barbarian naturally tanked from the start, even without gear. In D3, tanking Barbarian is fully off-build…

      The God is puzzled indeed…

    22. If your point is that the ranged chars shouldnt be melee chars then I surely agree. A general D3 issue brought by lifesteal and other dumb design choices.
      I vastly prefer Wizard-style characters in most RPGs but is completely turned off by the wizard in D3 precisely because that the ranged classes aren’t very ranged in vanilla anymore.

      Though ranged classes becoming silly melee tanks only happened after a while into D3 tbh. Early on only ranged had much of a chance of survival, except… a very tanky barb.

    23. Of course, we could just ignore what “the best” build is and just have fun with whatever we like including the wide arrange of fun ranged attacks even if they aren’t the super leetest. But I guess that’s crazy talk.

      PS – the best Paladin was a ranged character.

    24. Well, Hammerdin was much criticized – both to be OP and boring, sitting in varying distance, using just one OP skill and having one aura (also being too well protected by natural and distributed points and armour allowed) is not quite most interesting for long time gaming. Cries for nerf were justified, but Paladin as a class had several viable builds more suiting. It was exception rather than rule.

      One expect that class with inherent bonuses to survivability, as well as distributed points supporting heavily armoured item build, and majority of skill used at melee distance – to be a tank. One OP skill made Paladin an exception – divine being characterizes this as a balancing flaw, and thinks it should have been nerfed a bit – not into oblivion, but enough to remain viable build, but not dominant one.

      In D3, however, lack of available skill slots favours (and even enforces) few skills build, which furthermore causes problems – one-target vs. AoE debate shouldn’t even exist, and it wouldn’t, if there were more skills available at a time.

    25. And the CM Wiz is clearly a balancing flaw as well. Not sure what you’re point there is.

    26. The God ponders again…

      It is D3, not RoS. There are difficulty levels, and very bad concept of MPx. Using highest possible dps gives the best chances to play highest possible MPx, which in turn gives large +exp, +gf and +mf rates. This is reality, not some RoS-futuristic vision.

      In the current situation, CM Wizard is most viable for MP10, which in turn gives quite OP bonuses and makes leveling to Paragon (another flawed concept) easy, compared to other builds Wizard builds. Since endgame is badly conceived (supposed item hunt – well, it does not function), having Paragon 100 is often a goal for a player.

      This again proves that virtually no one plays the game anymore, but rather discusses future ‘payed patch’.

      From that point, CM Wizard is still a balance flaw, which was discovered very early, and is still not fixed, more than 1.5 years from release. Hammerdins have no connection whatsoever – at most, they are one more lesson Blizzard failed to learn. In no way they are excuse for keeping even bigger flaw in new and actual game.

      I, Clavdivs, The God, state that your point of view is very hard to understand.

    27. My point is simple – if you want to play a ranged Wizard, play a ranged Wizard. The option is there and the existence of CM doesn’t remove the option.

    28. Also, Archon is more effective than CM/WW for pretty much everything in the game that might be considered a goal (item finding, paragon experience) except Ubers, so… what?

      Whatever Archon loses in survivability is irrelevant because you can just turn down the MP a bit but clear much faster, since there’s no need to herd enemies. Just right click to win, like in the D2 days.

    29. The divine point is quite simple: whomever wants to have a game Bashiok 2.0 proposes – ‘hard choices’, induced by 6 skill slots, is free to do so – and will have Blizzard blessings, apparently. No divine blessing on this point over this point, unfortunately. If 6 skills make builds plentiful and diverse and hard, what do the 5 skills do? Make it even harder to choose from, or even more diverse? What if there is only 4? Even harder, yet more diverse? Builds aplenty?

      The God claims more slots induce more viable builds regardless of balancing, even, and divine being itself support decisions of this kind.

      But, since Bashiok 2.0 herself decided that 6 is optimal, then it has to be right, considering all her knowledge and experience… As heavenly being is in politics for more than two millennia, with great confidence it declares public statements of this kind being wrong – even if there is no will to introduce more, it should never be publicly said so plainly. Besides, the statement is disgraceful if a sudden change of heart (not uncommon) happens in D2X2 for the poor soul who said it…

    30. But you could make the same argument the other way – if 7 is better than 6, why not go 8? Or 9? or 20+?

      The flaws of going to either extreme – all skills or 1 skill – with D3’s skills system are obvious. Somewhere in between those extremes is going to be the sweet spot. As of right now, I see no reason to think 6 was somehow the “wrong” choice.

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