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?
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.
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.
I almost hate to mention it, since I’m a big fan of Elective 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.)