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Only 7 skills: good or bad?

Discussion in 'Diablo 3 General Discussion' started by Flux, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. Flux

    Flux Administrator

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    Only 7 skills: good or bad?

    Slightly lost amidst yesterday's big Clvl 60 announcement was Bashiok saying that it would only be possible to put points into 7 active skills at a time.

    This makes sense, in their "only let players do stuff that's helpful" interface system. After all, there are only 7 skill hotkeys, and if they don't think people can figure out where their sword went if they include a weapon switch hotkey, they're sure not going to trust players to put points into more skills than can fit into the visual hotkey display.

    The controls-on-training-wheels aspect of things aside, I don't see any real problems with this. After all, you're not required (I hope?) to put points into 7 skills. You can just use 4 or 5 and load them up, or save some for later skill investment when you pick a 6th and 7th skill, or respec one or 2 of your 7 as needed, etc.

    Some things can't be figured out yet, since we know nothing about where passive skills have gone, max skill caps, non-level up skill points, and the long term utility of low level skills. If skills max at 10, and we get no skill point quest rewards, then that's a very different situation than maxing at 20 with 5 +skill points from quests on each difficulty.

    But in theory I'm not opposed to the 7 skills limit.

    I hope some people who don't like it post, though, since I want to enlarge my thinking about the pros and cons of this change.
     
  2. Hyliangod

    Hyliangod IncGamers Member

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    Re: Only 7 skills: good or bad?

    Well im rolling the witch doctor first and i think for him i don't really like it personally, i'm sure hes going to have a ton of different skills going over 7 by a bit
    Locust swarm,skull of flame,mongrel,harvest soul,pet explode,horrify,confuse, firebats
    thats just the 8 i can think of atm.. theres still the other possible pets, though i'll reserve my opinion of hating it until i try it out ingame.
     
  3. Sass

    Sass IncGamers Member

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    Re: Only 7 skills: good or bad?

    No, what he said were that 7 are used at a time. That doesn't have any bearing on how many we can put points into.

    We can still have passives; in fact, they were exempt from his comments entirely.
     
  4. Sylvanite

    Sylvanite IncGamers Member

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    Re: Only 7 skills: good or bad?

    We know passives aren't in the skill trees with the actives anymore...that was said right? If that's the case I think they will see a new system devoted to them, so we'll get a point per level for active points most likely.

    7 Skills is fine with me. I played a character in D2 that used more, but mostly that was due to poor skill design. For instance, the whole curse tree and corpse explosion basically being 1 point wonders that were all useful in endgame. If we have to keep pace with skills in order to really play the game effectively in D3, it is going to decrease the number of active skills. That and the lack of plus skills items will be HUGE in reining in the number of skills that are viable. Should lead to many more possible builds since there will be 30 skills to choose from, though most builds will only use 7 at most (even though we may be able to put points in more and switch the hot keys in and out).

    I am really curious to see how the balance lower level skills with skills only available at higher levels. I know they want all skills to be useful in all parts of the game, but it will be interesting to see how they attempt to implement that. (I wish a Teeth necro had been viable!)
     
  5. Nekora

    Nekora IncGamers Member

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    Re: Only 7 skills: good or bad?

    Actually, from the way he phrased it, Sass, it sounds like there's only 7 you can put points into at a time. He was kinda ambiguous though.

    Regardless, passives seem to be exempt from this, and it also seems like buffs are getting folded into passives.

    Honestly, 7 active skills seems like plenty. If you get too much more than this, they're going to start overlapping in function, and you'll use only one of them anyway.


     
  6. konfeta

    konfeta IncGamers Member

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    Re: Only 7 skills: good or bad?

    Well, let's look at the basics of the change:

    1. One point wonder skill dips are out with a huge foot print on their arses. No more freebie Teleport, Battle Orders, Corpse Explosion, Salvation, Holy Shield, Decripify, Natural Resist, Bone Prison, etc (Funnily enough, Necromancer would be easily the most hurt by this, so not only he was too perfect for his scrawny butt to be included in this game, the UI design naturally prohibits the secret to his incredible versatility). Electing to use a powerful support, utility, or mobility skill is now a direct reduction in your offensive options. We will not have a situation where every Barbarian worth his salt will have Charge and Leap for unparalleled mobility, instead a Barbarian with those two skills is making a clear trade off that distinguishes him from someone who just uses one of those skills or neither of them.

    I feel this aspect of the change is largely neutral, a simple gameplay shift rather than being inherently positive or negative. While on one hand the build variety seems to go down (as some people noted, with 25-30 skills, it means that in 3-4 character rerolls you can experience every skill), it also increases build variety (obviously assuming balanced skills) because we will no longer have almost every character abusing the most skillpoint efficient and frontloaded abilities in the game regardless of its build. While we lose the obvious, "focused" variety in terms of characters focusing on a few skills and nothing else (difference between a Wizard focusing on Disintegrate or Arcane Orb or Blizzard or whatnot) and there will be very obvious overlap between let's say 8 Wizard builds in terms of skill used; the flip side of the coin is that there will be more subtle variety because of a larger number of permutations among the builds - a Wizard can share 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 skills with another build and still end up with a different playstyle and visual feel.

    So, gains and trades in build variety. It will be a different "shape" if you can see what I mean of build variety.


    2. The next point of order is unfortunately deeply rooted in maximum points available vs. points can finally expend in a skill. In other words, will two characters that share the same skill choice will end up with those shared skills maxed out, or will there be a difference in them in terms of commitment. For example:

    Situation A: 10 skill points to max out a skill, through questing and leveling we have access to 70 skillpoints. So 2 people who share the same skill build are now absolutely identical unless they choose different skill runes. While the munchkin in me loves this implementation, I also see it hurting build variety and choice.

    Situation B: 15 skill points to max out a skill, through questing and leveling we we have access to 70 skillpoints. So now we have total 70 skills available against 105 total points it is possible to spend. This now results in a potential for difference between two people with same skill choice. However, this might bring us back to the "1 point wonder" skills situation, where people just decide that you don't need 7 pumped skills, you just need 4, and the rest of the points get put into the aforementioned high impact for low skillpoint cost skills like Leap.

    Still, with careful tuning, I think Situation B: is more preferable. It has potential to end up with same practical build variety as Situation A, but it also has potential to end up with real choice between investment in offensive, defensive, support, blah blah blah you get the picture. We have to wait until what the mighty Blizzard overlords decide we get.


    Items with +skills that does NOT go over the natural skill cap obviously somewhat muddy this comparison.

    An interesting (and I think some posters here would like this) side effect of situation B is the possibility to over focus on just a few skills as opposed to being forced to the evened out 7 primary skills gamestyle. But I think this also largely depends on the passive implementation, so not much use discussing it.


    3. Now for the more subtle question - an enforcement of 7 skills means every character now needs to choose a careful balance of offensive, defensive, utility, and perhaps mobility skills.


    This means we will NOT being seeing Barbarians who pack on Cleave, Whirlwind, Slam at the same time. No Wizards that that just stock up on Arcane Orb, Meteor Storm, and Blizzard. Those builds would be hilariously inefficient with tons of useless redundancy.

    Assuming the skills are well balanced and that there are no Firebolts and Icebolts in this game, this can lead to a lot of subtlety in character building just from the prospect of skill choice alone.

    7 Skills. And now look at the types we (might still or will) have:
    - Spammable Single Target Damage Dealer
    - Spammable Multiple Targets Damage Dealer
    - Timered Single Target Damage Dealer (admittedly I think only Hammer of the Ancients is this one, hesitant to really included this)
    - Timered Multiple Targets Damage Dealer
    *- Mobility Option
    *- Short Term Buffs
    *- Short Term Debuffs
    *- Disables
    *- Summons
    - Hybrids of all of the above.

    (though * marked can just be probably piled under utility as we are unlikely to see them equally distributed along all 5 classes)

    Holy **** or holy ****? While we will obviously see patterns (every character will want something bitter for the bosses, something sweet for the crowds, cookie cuttery, high level optimization) but just contemplate on the staggering variety possible created entirely out of introducing a simple restriction - 7 skills max. Even if every character will elect to have an 2 damage abilities, 1 crowd control, 1 mobility, and some defensive buff, that's still 2 more skills to paint your character into a style you want. You can elect to abandon one or more type of skill to further your gains in another area. You can try to blur and distribute clear-cut roles in skills amongst each other by using skill rune morphs to add a crowd control element to a pure damage skill or a damage element to a utility skill.

    As long as this monstrous construct doesn't creak under its own weight and is properly balanced (no clearlcut superior and inferior skills), this could have unreal implications in terms of build variety from skills alone. Obviously this is describing a best case scenario with awesome skill design. But one can hope, no?

    And we are not even getting to whatever they have planned for passive skills. I am super excite to see if this works out.


    @Sass

    Nope. It actually has a lot of bearing through implication on game design. Blizzard is being very heavy handed to avoid allowing players to make unbelievably stupid mistakes - diluting points among more skills than you use at one time is either supreme munchkinism (remember 1 skill point wonder stuff?) or an epic noob mistake. They took out weapon swap and attributes that reasoning alone. So while it's an assumption, it is a very safe assumption that his words meant "7 skills learned at one time."
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2010
  7. Nekora

    Nekora IncGamers Member

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    Re: Only 7 skills: good or bad?

    konfeta: Points for the very well-thought out post. I especially like number 1! I hadn't thought about this, but it is a great thing to point out!

    I had pondered in another thread about what sort of builds we might see as far as general kinds of active skills to take, but this is a bit more in depths.

    One interesting point is that any skill may be able to function as one of many of these roles in a build, with the way runes work! Maybe you might have a rune that turns the Barbarian's cleave into a Crowd Control ability, for instance, turning it into a hamstring type ability that significantly impairs an enemy's movement temporarily. Or another rune turns it into a focused AoE damage in front of the barbarian. And so on and so on. I think this will turn out VERY interesting.
     
  8. Sylvanite

    Sylvanite IncGamers Member

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    Re: Only 7 skills: good or bad?

    Awesome post, Konfeta. Just well thought out and complete.
     
  9. Sass

    Sass IncGamers Member

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    Re: Only 7 skills: good or bad?

    No, because that means you cannot put points into passives, which is false.


    7 "active" (key, very important word) are the effective cap, but no hard coded cap. It isn't recommended (since you can't swap to it anyway), but it is still possible.


    It applies to 7 active skills. That is consistent with the number of buttons available.

    Passives are not included in this 7 limit comment, so points are free to go there. This suggests that it was the hotkeys, not a coded skill number cap, that was being referred to.

    I do understand how that can be read that way, but it isn't what he was saying.
     
  10. Nekora

    Nekora IncGamers Member

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    Re: Only 7 skills: good or bad?

    Sass, exactly what Bashiok said was "You can only have seven skills at any one time.", and then made it clear he was referring to actives only. This leads me to believe it may be a hard-coded cap, but not sure. Regardless, it's a functional cap.
     
  11. Sass

    Sass IncGamers Member

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    Re: Only 7 skills: good or bad?

    Functional cap, but not a point cap, which was the point in the OP.
     
  12. konfeta

    konfeta IncGamers Member

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    Re: Only 7 skills: good or bad?

    Completely irrelevant. My point was different, let me elaborate -

    Assume the game is balanced for 7 skills characters. There will be an inherent range within the expected point distribution (maybe each skill filled halfway to some skills filled max) in these skills around which they design the monster difficulty. The result is that a character that focuses its points will have a few skills more effective at doing their function, but other skills less effective - but they should still be viable and not waste of time to use.

    In simple example terms - a character that maxes out a sexay nuke will enjoy a definite advantage in damage output at some cost in some other skill. A character that distributes the points more evenly will enjoy weaker skills that must still be within the useful range of numbers to be effective at monsters.

    Allowing players to add points to more than 7 skills bends this relationship by either allowing the player to either munchkin their power up through 1-few point wonder skills such as Teleport (great gains at minimal sacrifice) or be the noobs that spread out their points too thin and will be lacking too much in every skill category.

    Blizzard has demonstrated to be inherently against such events occurring in game, which is why I propose that 7 skills is the hard cap. And passives are NOT part of the skill trees, so unless they randomly end up sharing points with the skill tree pool (which completely kills the point of separating the two things in the first place), they don't even enter this point of contention.



    Ooooh. I see. You missed this one, didn't you?


    http://diablo.incgamers.com/blog/comments/diablo-3-has-no-passive-skills/

    Slipping, Sass, slippiiiing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2010
  13. In the name of Zod

    In the name of Zod IncGamers Member

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    Re: Only 7 skills: good or bad?

    Sounds like skills are getting spread out more. You'll probably find that latter on they will narrow them down to be more damaging but to start with they are giving you max spread.
     
  14. Flux

    Flux Administrator

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    Re: Only 7 skills: good or bad?

    I thought bashiok was fairly unambiguous in his comments on the # of skills.
    http://diablo.incgamers.com/blog/comments/diablo-iiis-maximum-level-announced-60/

    Bashiok: You can only have seven skills at any one time.

    I’m not sure that’s been laid out that specifically before, but it is important in fully understanding how skill point pacing works with the new level cap.

    Question: Does that mean there will not be prerequisite skills need to obtain other skills?
    Bashiok: Correct.

    Question: 7 total-does that include passive skills or just active. assuming there will be passives..
    Bashiok: Active only.


    You can only have points in (at most) 7 skills at once. You don't put skill points into passive skills since they're no longer in the skill trees (which aren't really trees anymore). And there are no prereqs, so all 7 should be ones you want to use for their own utility.

    The biggest remaining questions involve skill caps and the total number of skill points we'll have to distribute, and perhaps we'll learn more about that come Blizzcon.

    Well, actually the biggest remaining question is how balanced the skills will be. If some are inherently less powerful than others, if 4 points in one is equal to 1 point in another, etc.

    Bashiok previously said 5/10/15 were skill caps, increasing with each diff level, but he retracted that and said it was old info. Nevertheless, if we take that concept, Bliz is looking to increase the cap over time. That makes sense, for balancing. They could also use that for long term utility of skills.

    Assuming that all 25ish skills aren't available right at the start, and that some will be stronger with 1 point than others, they're not going to be equivalent with 5 points in them. They can't be, or else a lvl 6 char could have a skill strong enough to clear act 4 with. However, if you can only put say, 5 points into any skill in normal, then the 6th point in a starter skill could leap it up hugely in damage, making it viable with other skills with 6 points in them. And greatly increasing your skill choice options for mid/late-game.
     
  15. Sass

    Sass IncGamers Member

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    Re: Only 7 skills: good or bad?

    None of this points to an inability to stat 8+ skills...

    We don't know passives yet, and likely won't until Blizzcon. The same thing mentioning them mentions trees, so take it with a grain of salt.
     
  16. Thecla

    Thecla IncGamers Member

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    Re: Only 7 skills: good or bad?

    I thought so too --- sounds like you get to pick 7 active skills per character (though you can always respec into some other set at whatever cost).

    I don't know (this is speculation now) but it almost sounds like they're removing the chance of going "wrong" with skill allocations, like they did with stat allocations. If there was, just for the sake of argument, a cap of 10 skill points per skill and a total of 70 skill points to allocate, you'd be able to max every one of your chosen skills. In that case, customization would come from runes, not how you split your skill points between your chosen skills.

    Or maybe how unbalanced the skills will be. ;)


     
  17. Rash

    Rash IncGamers Member

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    Re: Only 7 skills: good or bad?

    Yeah it sounds like you can have 7 different skills to put points in but not more. Seems like a security thing so that new players dont put 1 point in each and then are too weak. (I wouldn't be surprised if this is the intention - everything is in form with "casuals" nowadays - not that this is always a bad thing..but meh)
    Could work out, how many different skills do you need anyaway? On the other hand, its a bit restrictive of course. Have to wait and see.
     
  18. permaximum

    permaximum Banned

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    Re: Only 7 skills: good or bad?

    It is good.
     
  19. Mad Mantis

    Mad Mantis D2/3 Necromancer & Witch Doctor Moderator

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    Re: Only 7 skills: good or bad?

    This is my concern with this system. They are heavily dependent on making sure that each and every skill is balanced with and without each and every skill rune. If they don't the potential for people running around with the same damn cookie-cutter builds and no variety is even bigger than in current D2. This system stands and falls with their ability to balance everything. Something that never happened in D2.

    Ironically this system will also insure that I am going to spend more time spamming 1 skill instead of being creative with all my skills. Most Necros have a huge amount of curses, some crowd control and active damage skills. With 7 skills max, and skill selection to cover all situations, I'm going to spam the same high DPS or AoE skill a lot.



     
  20. jamesL

    jamesL IncGamers Member

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    Re: Only 7 skills: good or bad?

    as a fishymancer I never used more than 7 active skills anyway

    1) raise skeleton
    2) clay golem
    3) amplify damage
    4) decrepify
    5) dim vision
    6) corpse explosion
    7) revive

    I don't see why having only 7 skills would be a problem, especially since all 7 can be modified in various way with skill runes

    and since they are going to have passives in some form, that will lead to even more customization

    http://diablo.incgamers.com/blog/comments/diablo-3-has-no-passive-skills/
    "I’m not sure I can explain too much without announcing things I shouldn’t be. wink You’ll find out soon enough.—Diablo"
     

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