Your favorite Diablo 3 Skill Visual?

A fan asked what Diablo 3 skill visual people liked best, and got a Blue reply, but the reason it’s worth pointing to is the fan video someone else stuck in, showcasing why the Monk’s Seven Sided Strike is the coolest skill in the game. (In his opinion.)

Grimiku: There are skills that I use a lot and think are visually interesting (like Zombie Bears and Hammer of the Ancients), but one of the cool things about doing public games is seeing skills in use that you normally don’t. Seismic Slam – Rumble, Cluster Grenades, and Living Lightning come to mind as some cool skills that I normally don’t see or use.

Cool fan made videos aside, the question is an interesting one. Which are your favorite skills, graphically? It’s hard to detach the question of visuals/graphics from function, since if a skill or rune effect looks amazing but doesn’t work very well, you’ve probably not seen it very often. But all the same, do you guys want to nominate some of your favorite skill/rune visuals? It would be fun to list some, include videos showing them off, and then run some kind of tournament with voting to determine *the* coolest skill visuals for each class.

Bola Shot: Acid Strike is an emerald delight.
Bola Shot: Acid Strike is an emerald delight.
Looking over that blue thread, I realize how out of practice I am with the Barb and Wiz, and how many skills I almost never see in Inferno games. It’s easy to get used to your build and only vary one or two skills ever, if at all, especially now that I’m only playing Hardcore and there’s a heavy price to pay for careless experimentation.

But, that’s all the more reason for me to read the nominations from you guys and go look at some visuals I haven’t seen in a while. So list your faves and we can see about doing some follow up votes.

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34 thoughts on “Your favorite Diablo 3 Skill Visual?

  1. I’ve been playing hardcore lately and as I level, I equip every new skill as I gain them, and I force myself to use those skills/runes until I level again and replace those skills (not using elective mode). The only thing I manually choose is passives. (I also swap characters every time I level, and have one of each class, so they are all the same level.)

    Barbarian and Monk don’t have it too bad, they just lose some efficiency. Demon Hunter is about the same overall. Witch Doctor just gets weird sometimes and some of the builds along the way are almost useless. Wizard can get really weak and easy to kill (although I haven’t actually died yet).

    I’m going to keep doing this until paragon level 1 at which point I will pick my favorites. I’m at 44/45 right now. Then I’m going to write a review of all the skills in the game and what I feel should be done to fix/balance them, so Blizzard can not read it lol

    • Sorry to go a bit OT, but I just wanted to comment on your experiment.

      While I definitely think it is interesting and worthwhile, and you will definitely come away with better insight than most, please keep in mind that certain skills and passives don’t really work well on their own and only really shine when combined with others (and in some cases only when used with certain items).

      A perfect example would be the Witch Doctor passives Gruesome Feast and Grave Injustice. On their own they are OK at best, but combined with a Thing of the Deep and Bears or Acid Rain they are incredibly good. There are only a handful of these kind of synergistic builds in the game (hopefully we’ll get more with the itemization patch… whenever that happens), but you should definitely take care not to overlook them.

      I’m sure you were probably of this, but I just wanted to let you know just in case.

      OK, sorry to side track. Back to cool visuals…

    • I’ve been doing this in SC ever since playing. I feel obligated to try the new skills at each new level and then make a build around it using what I have available and sticking to it for a level. I found all classes generally have well thought out skills / runes that appear at each level, and was able to make pretty decent builds each level. There were occasions where the build wasn’t that great or I couldn’t wait till the next level, but overall it worked out well.

      That all being said, I wouldn’t do it on mp10 while levelling in HC lol.

  2. Visuals… Who cares about?
    The best Diablo 3 AUDIO experience was with my Poison Dart: Splinters WD in the very first months of D3.

    Never ending “pew pew pew” “pew pew pew” “pew pew pew”… That was great ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Barb: the Ancient Spear rune that throws out three hooks
    DH: the Cluster Arrow rune that drops a line of grenades
    Monk: the Wave of Light rune that shoots little spirit Monks out in all directions
    WD: Rain of Toads or the Firebomb one that bounces 6 times
    Wiz: Wave of Force or Thrown Blade

  4. Wave of Light: Explosive Light, Elemental Arrow- Frost and Nether Tentacles, Chakram- Shuriken Cloud, Crippling Wave- anyskillrune,
    Deadly Reach- Keen Eye, Lashing tail kick- Hand of Ytar

  5. Spike trap PRE release from blizzcon vids. Hell most of the monk skills I saw back then all look worse now imo.

    • Hm, yeah, gotta 2nd the vote for the pre-release Monk skills. Don’t understand why we never got those gloriously bloody explosions. ๐Ÿ™

  6. The most impresionant skill are the WD ofc…but with my love for Barbarians I must admin I get very excited with my first Berserker transformation…(Dragon Ball must helped there). Now with perma Berserker, using it always…my barb looks kind of anorexic with no transformation.

    I must add…
    It’s sad…I defended AH/RMAH…now I hate it…I defended Always Online, now I hate the Servers lags…I defended (a lot less) the new visual style…now replaying Diablo 2 Lord of Destruction…De Fak!…It’s nice but not DIABLO.

    PD: I defended too the expansions…please don’t screw me with that too Activision-Blizzard.

  7. WD definitely has some of the coolest looking skills, it’s just that they’re usually paired with poor mechanics or damage. Giant toad, giant spider (queen?), Pile On, the rune after pile on that’s a zombie nova.

    The Zombie Charger rune with the flaming dog (beastly bomb or explosive beast or something…): I Iove the skill, but as stated, way too poor mechanics and damage to use instead of Bears (which also looks awesome). Radius needs to be much larger and have greater damage lower mana costs.

  8. Am I in the minority for HATING the look of the damn bears? Hmm…

    Some favs off the top of my head:
    WD: Locust Swarm, Gargantuan
    Barb: Seismic Slam, Leap Attack, Furious Charge
    DH: Chakram, Multishot, Rain of Arrows (WITHOUT THE DAMNABLE RUNES!!)
    Wiz: Orb, Diamond Skin
    Monk: Tempest Rush, anything where s/he punches things in the face ๐Ÿ˜›

    • Maybe a minority but definitely not alone. I wish Blizz would put the vanilla zombie charger graphic for zombie bears. I think it looks way cooler. Besides, what the F is a zombie bear. They look like a herd of buffalo stampeding. I always think dances with wolves when i use it. Lame. Sorry.
      I’ll lay off how tired and lame WW looks. Ok, no I won’t. They bring back WW because its what everyone wanted but then a true summoner with skellies is a no-go. Now I will quit as I’m just getting myself angry.

    • Oh, and Forked Lightning. It looks so bad ass, but it’s not strong enough. Buff please! “So be it, Jedi.” ZAP!

  9. For me it’s definitely Disintegrate — Convergence. I couldn’t help but laugh the first time I got to use it in Keep Depths. You just feel so awesome melting everything with that fat beam. Sure, Archon does that too, but Disintegrate looks more like your classic laser, and the sound it makes also kind of reminds me of the Ghostbusters proton packs. ๐Ÿ˜›

  10. I remember when grenades were useful and fun. Then Blizzard decided everyone that was using grenades was playing their Demon Hunter wrong, and thus you don’t see anyone using grenades any more because they are absolutely useless.

    • The fire bomb grenades are cool, its like dodge ball with demons.

      I have a whole build based off them, sitting at about 180hours or more on the build.

      Once you use them for a while you get used to them, kind of like evasive fire.

      Nades pair nicely with numbing traps.

  11. In my eyes the Witch Doctor got dealt the best hand in the visuals department by a wide margin. I absolutely love Bears and Ghost Bomb together. Spirit Walk and Restless Giant look pretty good as well (especially when the Gargantuan goes all Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man when mobbed). I think it helps that there is such a consistent palette and aesthetic throughout with the Witch Doctor. Best of all, those are all very solid skills. Among the lesser used options: Spider Queen and Pile On are both pretty awesome/entertaining. Honestly, the list just goes on and on: Manitou, Acid Cloud, Horrify…

    For the Wizard, I really like Archon. A definite factor in that is that my Wizard is wearing a thrown together patchwork of gear that looks awful on its own, but when she goes Archon she looks like some kind of ethereal cosmic Goddess of Death. Living Lightning isn’t too bad either.

    Demon Hunter is the class I’ve played the most since launch, but I’m just coming back to her after a long break to get everyone else through Inferno (starting back on her today). I’m sure I’m overlooking a ton of skills, but I always really liked the way Shadow Power looks. Those wings are just… sinister. Also, I just found a fairly nice Calamity for her and tried it out for a few minutes last night. Acid Strike spewing out at that speed is gorgeous, to say the least.

    As for the Barbarian and Monk… I’ll leave that up to others. While I appreciate them both a bit more than I did previously, I’m just not a huge fan of the melee classes. I get burnt out so quickly with them that it would take some incredible visual fireworks for me to take notice. I’m sure they’re in there somewhere, I just never really noticed anything while slogging through.

  12. Maybe I am just getting old, when Witch doctors and wizards spam certain skills constantly the screen just turns into one gigantic blob of colorful explosions.

    Some of the skills are seriously out of control for the visuals and make it hard to keep track of monsters and other things at times.

    • I’ll second this (sort of). One of the things that I find annoying about the monk is that if I’m using Sweeping Wind/Cyclone, there are often so many damn tornadoes that I have no idea if I’m standing right on top of molten/plagued/arcane sentry. With some leach or LoH they often don’t matter all that much anyway (except maybe arcane sentry), but it is still annoying.

  13. while not flashy at all, for me the simple barb bash with a 2h hammer or axe with its slow animation and powerfull sound perfectly conveys the pure force and brutality of the barbarian
    And I agree with the above posters: WD skills are just a box of awesome ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Locust Swarm. I just love the idea of it, the look of it, the functionality of it and the bones it leaves behind.

  15. I like the simplicity and visually warped surroundings around the wizards prismatic armor.

  16. I remember the first time I saw a CM wizard, it was in a youtube video. I couldnโ€™t believe how flashy it was. The wizard become this ball of light. Step back for a moment and pretend youโ€™re seeing the constant explosions of light from explosive blast and diamond skin. Brilliant.

  17. Barb: Leap, Cleave/Rupture
    DH: Rapid Fire/Withering
    WD: Locust Swarm. but I agree with some of the previous posters. Overall the WD’s visuals are great and not too obtrusive.
    Wiz: Love the archon movement animation, hate the laz0r beam.
    Monk: 7-sided.

  18. Crap, I forgot to add that although some of these visuals are really cool, the sound department is where -imho- D3 really shines.

    • Without question. I almost always play with the sound either off or vey low, but every once in a while I’ll put on headphones and I never fail to be impressed. Real world circumstances keep me from doing it all that often, but it is definitely a treat when I can.

  19. The Gargantuan, but more the ‘start’ where it comes out of the ground and the ‘end’ where it goes back in when you quit.

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