Temporary buffs Can player annoyance be considered as a method of balancing a skill? Diablo 2 makes use of a lot of long term 'temporary' buffs. Battle Orders, Fade, Enchant, Shout, Battle Command, Energy Shield, Bone Armor, Cyclone Armor, Holy Shield... the list goes on. The Amazon seems to be the only class not afflicted with temporary self-buffs (Inner Sight and Slow Missiles are enemy debuffs and don't count). All of these skills have durations longer than a single battle and at high levels last several minutes to a good portion of an hour (Energy Shield). The question is: Why do these skills expire? I can see two reasons why the skills would expire. The first reason is for thematic reasons. The obvious counter point is that we are dealing with magic and the only limits to what can or can't happen are our imaginations. We can simply choose to have buffs not be temporary and there are no fundamental contradictions. The second reason why these skills are temporary is as a way to try and balance skills that would otherwise be too powerful. This second point deserves some more detailed analysis. When a buff has a duration smaller than the length of one battle it becomes situational and allows for strategic usage. If there is no cool-down for the skill, though, players will chain castings together so that the buff is active continuously and the constant casting merely provides aggravation for the player. For buffs that are longer than one battle up to longer than hundreds of battles the player comes to expect that the buff is always present. In the fast paced game of an action-RPG anything longer than the length of a few fights is functionally infinite. When the buff eventually wears off the player has the annoyance of recasting in order to re-assume what has become his 'regular' power level. In Diablo 2 there are also temporary buffs such as stamina potions, thawing potions, etc. These are consumable and thus aren't automatically reusable when they expire so it makes sense for them to be temporary. Skills on the other hand are fundamentally reusable making their resulting buff effectively continuous. Now, the question becomes: When a skill buff lasts for a period of more than a minute (enough time for a couple of battles) does having the buff eventually expire lower the power level of the skill by any appreciable amount? If that answer is no, does the player annoyance of having to periodically recast temporary buffs outweigh any potential boosts to game balance? Diablo 3 has, as of what I remember although I don't want to try and find a quote, introduced a visual timer for buffs that will let you know when they are about to expire. Do you think that this will eliminate some or all of the annoyance surrounding keeping your character at full power? My opinion is that temporary buffs that aren't situational have player annoyance as their only downside. That makes for a game play mechanic that both isn't fun and has no benefit. I think that for Diablo 3 buffs should either be permanent or situational with nothing in between. What do you think when you ask yourself these same questions?