Should Reaper of Souls Add a Seventh Skill Slot?

It’s a pretty common question/request; a 7th skill and/or 4th passive skill slot added in Reaper of Souls. A fan brought it up and got one of those “answer a question with more questions” discussion leader type replies from Lylirra.

Will ROS have increased skill limit?
Lylirra: 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.)

Now, we know that some players may disagree with that approach. 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)?
  • How much you need that 7th skill (or 4th passive) varies a lot between the classes. Click through for some examples and share your own in comments, but first, a hypothetical… what if some legendary unlocked a 7th skill or 4th passive? Say legendary chest armor or amulet or something, and aside from enabling another skill slot it did nothing. Maybe it even had negative stats; -100 to all stats… can you imagine using it anyway?

    Some classes have such awesome or build-enabling passives that it might be worth it to give up an entire item purely for that extra skill… but it’s an interesting dilemma.

    So, an extra skill. It depends on the build and class.

    I’ve been playing a lot of WD lately, going with a fairly standard Bears build, and I really only need 5 of my skills. In fact, I could probably survive with 4, since the left click attack is just for when I’m low on Mana, or to mop up a stray now and then when Soul Harvest and Zombie Bears don’t clean them out.

    That said, it’s the sixth skill that’s hard to find use. I want something that works as a big damage attack or buff, with low mana cost, that I’d use almost exclusively against Elites. If there’s any such skill, I haven’t found it, nor had my Paragon 100 WD colleague when I asked him.

    I wasn’t actually sure what skill I had on my toolbar until I just checked and found that I had Fetish Ambush there now. I use it purely for the 250% damage upon summoning, which is pretty good if you’re stacked up with Grim and/or Gruesome, plus Soul Harvest, especially since it’s a pretty large radius of effect upon casting so you can usually nail the Elite and several minions, or all the Champions. I’ve also tried Big Bad Voodoo, Mass Confusion, Grasp of the Dead, and even Hex, and may try them again. Here’s the current build:

    Other classes have much more hunger for additional skill slots. I was just experimenting with some different options for my Monk last night, trying to put a new LS Skorn to use, and I can’t quite make it work… but I could with more skill slots. Passive and/or Active. I’m playing HC so I can’t devote all 3 passives to Spirit Regen, nor can I risk sticking Spirit regen gear on all my gear slots. Which makes it really hard to generate enough Spirit to do even half-time (much less full time) Tempest Rush.

    If I could, I’d love to do 1) Tempest Rush along with 2) Wave of Light, while still retaining a 3) Mantra, 4) Sweeping Wind, 5) Serenity, at least 6) one damage buff, and a 7) Spirit Generator. But that’s 7 skills.

    Even the more basic cookie cutter SW Monk would love 7 skills, to get both damage buffs in there at once, instead of having to choose between Blazing Wrath and Faith in the Light.

    Any builds that leap out as wanting or needing (or not caring) about a 7th skill? And on the whole, which would you rather have, a 7th skill or a 4th passive?


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      • Agreed

        More hot keys is not the way to go. If Blizzard wants to make more skills available at all times then they should go back to the old queue system. Hot key spam doesn’t belong in a Diablo game. Go back to WoW

    1. Well, a 4th Passive would be nice of course, but HELL NO on a 7th skill !
      I’m not sure how many fingers you folks have, but I’m from Earth so I’m gaming with 5 and it is hard enough as it is.

      • And there’s a shift key and potion key too. So many buttons!

        Of course D2 most builds had 8 or 10 hotkeys in nearly constant use, but of course that game had a superior LMB/RMB mapping system that let you cycle through a dozen hotkeys without any trouble… oh wait.

        • I know you were joking but really it’s the fact that you had to queue the skills to use them rather than using the hot key to activate the skill. I can’t explain why this works better but there’s something about keeping mouse1/mouse2 as your attack/cast and the hot keys for selection that helps simplify the system immensely.

          • But it actually needlessly complicates it. Rather than pressing a button and getting the skill occurring, as you’d expect, you press the button THEN press an additional mouse buttons THEN get the skill going off. It sounds like someone took a more complex game then tried to make it work on a control pad with only 2 buttons, and you have to constantly remap what those two buttons do. It’s like Street Fighter on the Mega Drive, a game that needs 6 buttons (plus Start) stuck on the Mega Drive’s 3 (Plus Start). Pressing the Start button toggled each of the 3 buttons between 2 modes, thus allowing all 6 functions in a weird queue system that felt awkward and strangled. The preferred way to play was with the special 6 button version of the controller, but hardly anyone had that. Of course, all PC gamers have a keyboard with loads of buttons on, so it doesn’t really make any sense.

            • Except that aiming a skill is done with the mouse, and the most natural mouse trigger is the mouse button, which makes it make perfect sense and work better than activating directional skills with a hotkey directly. Yes there were some skills in d2 that did not require aiming, but keeping them in the same system didn’t have a negative impact on the action. Simply put it worked well.

        • Not entirely fair. D3 system lets you channel skills and cast others while doing so. This is not possible in d2. You cannot cast 2 things at the same time in d2. Cm wiz casts 4 things simultaneously in d3. Dh can use sentry, prep, smokescreen, and gloom while spamming bola or channeling rapidfire.

          The main thing I miss from d2 is binding nothing to left mouse.

          • It would be funny if you had four or five hotkeys and also D2’s system for assigning skills to the mouse buttons. Especially if you had four or five channeling skills you could keep pressed at all times.

            • Although looking up the skills you mention, it seems you’re just talking about the ability to cast one thing while still channeling another. Sure you’d have to rebalance the initial cost of channeling spells to make them viable if you had to let go of the button to do other things, but I think we could live with it.

        • Don’t forget the TP key. In D2 that was funnelled through your LMB/RMB too. I do like how going from a 2 button system where you basically just used 1 or 2 skills with any frequency up to a system where you use 6 buttons to utilise 6 skills at once is considered “dumbing down”. Of course, potion spamming is a sophisticated mechanic for sophisticated gamers such as myself, and that took up another 4 buttons for no reason whatsoever, so there is that.

          • With thousands of hours of time into d2, I’ve never played a character who used only 1 or 2 skills regularly. The fact is d2 let you use as many different skills as you cared to as fast as you could press the buttons. That’s “action RPG” right there. D3 hurts a player’s creativity by forcing them to only use a subset of skills at a time. This is “dumbed down” because you have less combinations to work with.

          • The God cannot forget the TP key!

            But, you DO have two hands? One for choosing one of up to 16 skills, and other for activating it? Speak not of “potion spamming” in a game that tried to avoid that and ended up in constant several thousand hp/sec regeneration and 20k lifesteal.

            What exactly is the downside of having another skill button? It can break balance to some point, true, but question is ‘what balance’? 4th passive can do the same, but to less extent.

            What both of them WILL do is increase game diversity and number of builds.

    2. A passive that gives you an extra skill slot might be fun.

      This is one of the few things I think you legitimately can blame on the console. There are only so many buttons that can be reserved for skills.

      • Yes its true I have a console and no game have more than 6 buttons

      • Yeah, I remember back on the PC-only Diablo 2 when you had an almighty TWO buttons for skills at any one time. Truly the complexity is lost on these console Neanderthals with their mere 10 buttons plus 8 d-pad directions plus 2 analogue sticks.

    3. Hmm… currently:

      For WW Barbs (generator/WW/RltW/Impunity/ItF/ToC) you could add Killing Spree.

      For DHs, you’d probably just add whatever of the five good discipline skills you weren’t using already (Gloom/Lingering Fog/Preparation/Tumble/Companion). Alternately, Sentry, I guess.

      For Monks, add on whichever of Wave of Light / Blinding Flash / Breath of Heaven / Tempest Rush / Cyclone wasn’t being used.

      For WD, probably a harder call. Mass Confusion? Sacrifice?

      For Archon pew pew pew Wizard, either Diamond Skin or Teleport, whichever isn’t being used.

    4. the fourth passive was spotted in some datamined info, so there’s that. On another note, a seventh skill would complicate things, unless it’s like an ultimate that has 5 minutes cd, and no I’m not talking about perma archon zerker etc.

    5. I’m lazy, so if given a choice I would take the 4th Passive slot. But overall, with anytime re-spec, I think the current 6/3 model is fine. If I had to take -100 to all stats for a 4th passive? I’d probably do that.

      For standard mode:

      Barb – Superstition or one of the +armor passives
      DH – Nightstalker or Vengeance, whichever one I don’t currently have in the build
      Monk – Exalted Soul (I’ve not used WoL)
      WD – Pierce the Veil
      Wiz – Don’t know. Maybe add Unstable Anomaly for efficiency purposes

    6. Even if I had that seventh skill slot, I don’t think I’d actually use that skill, or get much use out of it anyway. In the case of summoning it would be a nice bonus, but for a lot of classes, it’d probably feel like a redundant skill in relation to what the other six already offer you.

    7. 4th passive? With new passives coming with lvl 70 cap, why not?
      7th active skill? No. It should be hard choice. Plus more skill slots means smaller build diversity.
      Example from my experience with D3: I stoped playing as my 2nd (Spectral Blades Wizard) because I couldn’t find nice 6th skill. Nothing was making me happy, so I got frustrated and went back to my Barb.

      Can’t wait ’til I get my hands on Pulsar 🙂

    8. I’d love 7 skills. I feel there’s always a skill I need to leave out that I really want to have in my arsenal. Maybe a 7th skill OR a 4th passive. Leave it to the player to pick either one? Would diversify builds.

      I was also thinking that they really really need to add runewords. Its the biggest thing I miss from D2. Collecting runes to upgrade and trade was a big part of why I loved D2. Runewords added skills like Teleport to be used by any player who was wearing that runeword. Let the 7th skill slot be for skills added by runewords.

      I guess you’d first need to add the runewords… I guess I’ll go play D2

    9. A 7th skill would actually have plenty of uses, simply because now you end up with at least 5 forced skills on any build, so if you wanna play around with a 6th, that doesn’t leave room for anything else.

      4th passive… how about at least four passives worth taking, first?

      • What do you mean with “5 forced skills”? As far as I concerned, you are not forced to take any skill in d3. I suppose you mean that there are roughly 5 skills for every class that are so useful/powerful that everyone uses them. But the solution to that problem would be to add more balance, not introduce more skill slots, right?

        “4th passive… how about at least four passives worth taking, first?”

        So now, when talking about passive skills, the solution is more balance rather than more slots as you suggested for the active skills.

        I believe your design philosophy suffers from schizophrenia. 😀


        I think they should stick to 6 active skills, two skills for the mouse and four for your fingers. That’s enough, to add another slot lets you get everything you’ll need without any sacrifices.

        I don’t mind having one extra passive slot though, as long as they are increasing the number of passive skills to choose from and add more balance to the existing ones. It makes more sense increasing passive slots since they don’t overlap in function nor shares resources (cast time, and mana/fury/etc..) as active skills do.

        • Before I answer that are you being dense or trolling?

          • Dense or trolling? I don’t care. Call it whatever you like.

            I just like to know what you mean with “5 forced skills” and hear your reasoning behind having more active skills but not passive. The reasoning you gave me was hard to follow since it suggest different solutions to the same problem.

            But that is of course a matter of me understanding you correctly.

    10. Hey guys I would like to point out this datamined picture.

      Looks like a 4th passive

    11. I’d rather have a 4th passive as long as skills were reworked to all be equally tempting/worthy of being picked.

    12. 4th passive, 7th skillslot….we don’t need more of the non-working stuff, we need the old stuff reworked

      the whole band-aiding of this game reminds me of the simpsons episode where homer buys bad shrimps from apu, but when he complains that they are bad, he gets 2 buckets and is happy

    13. Are you guys seriously that inept to be able to use keys on the key board?

      This is why D3 has been nerfed to hell, because the player base sucks at video games.

      Want to know what key my 7th skill would go to? ANY. W is looking like a nice one, or E or maybe x. I use A,S,D,F currently.

      Get ready, in D2 these were my keys that I used: A,S,D,F,E,R,H,Z,X,C,V that leaves 5 more that I could of used.

      Barb I would like to have warcry or revenge or hota
      Monk I would like to have a dmg buff or cyclone
      I dont play wiz/wd/dh enough to even know what skills they have now.

      I would love a 7th skill slot, it would be over powered 🙂

      • Derpdy doo. Look everybody! I’ve spotted a PC gamer elitist who touts his superb dexterity with pressing keys on a good ol’ fashioned keyboard. Cool deal bruh. Too bad I can do everything you can do, but better with a controller with less buttons and that fits comfortably in my hand. 😉

        As a console gamer adding a 7th skill wouldn’t work because every button is already assigned to something. I believe they know this and because D3C is the superior iteration of the game (let’s be honest here) I don’t think they will screw things up for console players even on the PC version.

        Now a 4th passive, on the other hand, is a necessity. It would definitely help some lesser-used builds out.

      • Whines about game being nerfed. Yet wants to be over powered.


      • I’d like more skill slots. And I think issues of “too many buttons” are silly. Vast majority of builds in D3 have 2 or 3 buffs or summoning type skills that you only click once in a while anyway. Not constantly during every combat.

    14. D3 has lots of passive skills pretending to be actives, so a 7th slot would be nice.

    15. I don’t think we need a 7th skill slot if they ever get around to these “build changing legendaries” that I keep hearing about.

    16. [quote]How is having only six skill lots negatively impacting your gameplay experience right now? If you can cite specific examples, even better![/quote]
      It leaves no room for fleshing out characters in a role playing way. Just enough for munchkin characters with one or two big strengths and the one or other forced weakness, which items compensate for quite quickly in a constant numbers check. And that’s all the complexity of a “character system” we’re left with.
      [quote]On the flip side, how would having an extra skill slot improve your game experience?[/quote]
      One extra skill slot wouldn’t matter. But let’s take four skills on reserve that can be switched out with the ones lying on 1-4, for example by hitting corresponding F-keys above, and it opens up a whole lot of possibilities. Having the option of a different skill setup that, based on type of area, type of monster and/or difficulty act, might be the stronger choice than your main skills, for example. (Still with ample room for uncovered weaknesses left…) But that would only make sense in a game with an interesting “illusion of choice” of not having the whole skill-set available at once and at full strength. But we don’t have that, Sharagon looks far from it and items are not the answer to anything and everything (… If taking blues and yellows into account on having their own set of skill changing affixes, then Loot 2.0 could become something like an interesting skill system, but I don’t see that that’s the plan. And also…): Too much dependency on random elements kills games.

      So, as we don’t have all this, the only possible answer is: Not really…
      [quote]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)?[/quote]
      The one raising survivability most, changing each patch. After all: Munchkin-style is the only way of playing the game has to offer…

    17. I don’t think we need a 7th skill. They did a lot of testing it and I agreed with their conclusion back then that it makes it feel like we can get all of the skills we need instead of forcing us to make tough decisions so that we can have build variety.
      I think a 4th passive would be ok though

    18. I’d prefer to see some of the weaker skills buffed first.

    19. I seem to remember D3 having a 7th skill slot at one point…

      I wouldn’t mind seeing that finally added into the game, will skill swapping maybe assigned to TAB as a default.

    20. Seven skills is for second d3 expansion. Gotta hold some things back. Also in that expansion:

      More stash
      Ah 2.0

    21. “I want something that works as a big damage attack or buff, with low mana cost, that I’d use almost exclusively against Elites. If there’s any such skill, I haven’t found it” – Sorry but you just described big bad voodoo ( especially with slam dance )

      • Which I’ve used at times, but it’s not my ideal. The limited AoE is an issue, and faster attack with Zombie Bears = faster running out of Mana.

    22. Should drop a slot if any.

      Or perhaps have different slot types.

      “major” “med “minor”
      More powerful -> less powerful.
      More cost -> less cost.
      More cd -> less cd.

    23. Nine skill slots (I’m counting the three passives here) is a step down from the 30+ slots of Diablo 2 because: It restricts the ways in which I can elect to play the game.

      More skill slots would be better because: It offers more ways I can elect to play the game.

      If I had more skill slots I would: Probably kill stuff a lot faster until that gets boring. Then I’d try different things.

      The same way that in The Binding of Isaac you don’t want to abuse the pony glitch every time or have Epic Fetus every time, having the tools to be really overpowered doesn’t mean a player will elect to use them to ruin the game for themselves. (Unless they’re a boring person.) Actually, that’s something to consider in every game making decision you make: How can it be more like The Binding of Isaac?

      Yeah, I know that boring people are Blizzard’s target demographic and everything I just said is directly contrary to your design philosophy, but I still think it needs to be said.

    24. 4th passive yes, with revamped passives to choose from.
      Additional active skill slot not sure.
      4 + potion + RMB and LMB is comfortable enough on the keyboard.
      We should be able to map everything in every slot though, included nothing (à la PoE) on LMB. Basically what many other people already said.
      XCOM: EU is really fun though.

    25. Any of you guys not wanting an extra skill ever tried a DH on hardcore?

      Out of the 6 skills at the DH’s disposal even at lower MP’s usually 4 are specced defensively. As are most passives.

      HELL YEAH I want an extra skill! Ofcourse they could make me just as happy by simply baking the companion into the class.

      Plus what Amake said, the game as it is now simply does not allow for a varied approach to battles. Ever thought about what happens when you start encountering significant resistances with the current skill system where 4 out of 6 on hardcore are defensive???

      • I haven’t looked into it, but I assume like in Diablo 2 and WoW you’ll get to a point where a lesser character build can’t deal enough damage to actually kill things due to monsters regenerating for some reason?

    26. I would love the idea of a 7th skill. My main is a DH. It would provide much need diversity. To be viable in higher MP levels you have to have gloom, hatred generator, escape skill (tumble, smokescreen) single target dps, group dps and a defensive skill. Another skill wont make anything any less balanced but would make things more fun. I like the idea of elemental arrow being a hatred generator with item skills. This would eleminate the need for the extra 7th and allow me to experiment with other skills and still be viable on the higher MP levels.

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