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Another Reason Not To Buy Diablo 3...(no skill tree/stat points) - Page 6

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One of the biggest surprises during our recent hands-on with Diablo III was the changes that had been made to the game's skill system. In Diablo II, each character class had several skill trees, and players activated – then strengthened – their abilities by allocating points as they levelled up. No more. Instead, a new active skill is unlocked automatically with almost every level gained until players hit the high 20s. Players are free to try all the skills out, with the restriction being the number they can have hot-keyed at once. At the start of the game only two skills can be used, then a new hotkey opens up at level 6, 12, 18 and 24, so that players eventually have access to six skills simultaneously. Each skill can be modified with one of five runestones, and three passive skill slots also open up as players level, letting them choose from a number of additional perks.

It's a massive overhaul and – as much as we liked the old system - hugely promising. We asked Jay Wilson, Diablo III's Game Director, to give us some insight on when and why the company decided to ditch the skill points system.

"One of the pieces of feedback we got during the internal alpha was that skill points as an element of our skill system didn't really suit the game," he told us. "It created a lot of conflict in terms of what the players would choose to do. So what we had is this system that has these six – it used to be seven, now six – slots, that implies that you should have six skills, but a system with skill points? Well, you really want to dump every single point into one skill.

"We also have a system based on progression, so unlike a game like World of Warcraft, [where] if you get fireball at level one, you're likely using fireball at level 85… Diablo's not like that. You get Magic Missile at level 1, and certainly, we have ways that we've tried to make Magic Missile viable in the end game, but that's not the reaction players have. They get a higher level skill and they replace that [old] skill, so what we were finding was that people were re-speccing massive amounts of points out of early skills into later skills, and that felt really terrible. So we decided to ask ourselves how much we really felt skill points added, and in surveying a lot of the people who played the game most of them didn't feel like they added very much...

"I feel that in a lot of ways the current system has more choice involved in it because that finite limit of how many skills you can take versus the number that you have means that you have to make a very restrictive choice, so we focused a lot more on restricting the number of skills you have and having that be the interesting choice, as opposed to skill points, which are really commitments before you even know what you're committing to."

The Wizard. Not to be confused with the Fred Savage film of the same name.

So exactly how do the skills level up? Did the team consider having the skills level up in line with how much the player used them? "They do level up with you, so as you level up they get more powerful," he told us. "They don't level up just purely through use. Having a system where they level up through use is kind of taking the 'power choice' and changing it from the one choice – one big powerful choice: 'I want this skill,' and turning it into eight million tiny little choices, of 'I want this skill, I want this skill, I want this skill' every time I use it. And really, what we've found from a design standpoint is, the general instinct is that players always want more, but more choices just dilutes the quality of those choices, so we really wanted to focus on - okay, let's get the right number of choices, so that those choices feel really significant and powerful."

The alternative, as he sees it, is more likely to only offer an illusion of choice. "What you probably did," he says, "was go up on a website and find out what the optimal build was, because there's just too much math involved for you to really get involved in it. A small number of players will go in and do the math… but the majority of players will go 'I don't know, I guess I'll just put it in whatever I already have'."

The game design is all about the balance between having an array of options at the same time as "hardcore restrictions," like the six active skill/three passive skill limits. A good example of what that means for the player is in the battle mage build that Wilson ran through during the presentation component of our time at Blizzard.

"When I was building the battle mage," he explained, "I'm not kidding when I say I rejected, like, seven other skills that would have been viable. And not just those seven skills, but all the rune choices for those skills, which is another 35 choices on top of that, and then also the rune choices I rejected for the ones that I took. There's a lot of restrictions within the system, but those restrictions are not a 'I'm going to commit to this and I'm committed forever' [choice] because really, that's just a penalty. To us that was not the way we wanted to go. What we wanted to say is - you can play around as much as you want, but we're going to give you really really dense systems. Yes, they're simple on the surface – that's the point though, they're supposed to be simple on the surface - but when you dig into them there's a lot more depth. We really feel that when you combine those skill slot restrictions with runes… the in-game process of making builds will be far more engaging than it was in the previous games."
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post #52 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Senator View Post
Cool create the group and add me on steam. You'll never see me playing it and I own both D1 and D2. I've no interest at all. Torchlight 2 will fill the gap left by the lack of a D3 title I want. It's awesome that so many people want to continue to buy this. And I can certainly see things from Blizz's PoV. I'm just shocked so many people make asinine blanket statements like yourself.

D3:
  1. Pay2Win
  2. No Mods
  3. 24/7 Internet Requirement even for single player
  4. Death of Single Player as a result
  5. No Eyefinity/Surround

You see I am a member of that disgruntled old fan base. And I'll vote with my wallet of course. But I also certainly enjoy talking to people who are either like minded or intelligent enough to actually debate the points the we are objecting to rather than most of the drivel the fanbois have tossed out in this thread. Thus the posts that myself and other have put up. I certainly think it is great that Blizz is trying to progress forward with D3, I just hate seeing it at the cost of the things I enjoyed in D2. Lack of LAN I can put aside since I could always use WiFi for MP with friends. Lack of single player? Not so much. Lack of mods? No thanks. And the Pay2Win store sealed the deal.

I've seen the arguments people make on here about D2 items and characters being sold all over the internet and it's true. That doesn't make it right. And Blizzard rolled out the red carpet to that cesspool with the argument, "If we can't beat 'em, may as well get our 10%." Pathetic.
pay 2 win as you note is inevitable if there is a market for it people are going to use it, I dont think blizzard setting up a system to allow it more legitimately is all about the 10% I think it has a significant advantage in allowing them to protect their customers (who will in pretty large numbers be buying items legit or not) I think sanctioned and controlled pay 2 win is a big step up from the lawless mess with spam bots, hacking, dupes and stolen CC details etc etc

way i see it if someone wants to buy a couple of items it make no difference to me with the exception of pvp him having a 415% botd instead of my 403% one makes 0 difference to my actual play experience. even in pvp its only a realy big deal if they have invested allot of money, regardless you can come up against similarly geared players who have just played for that long. I dont see how a celebration in unemployment is any more preferable to pay to win. gear!=skill in a game like diablo Gear= time = money. I dont have any issue with that.

as for 24/7 internet I dont like that but it doesn't effect me in a big way, no mods is not that big a deal for me as I was never big on mods in d2 anyway.

Eyefinity and surround in a game like Diablo O.o not a big deal in fps or ots games eyefinity is great for immersion but a top down game like diablo I honestly see no need for it. It would also be a significant unfair advantage in pvp (oh hello pay to win) so i would think you'd be behind that.
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post #53 of 56
between the gold farming support and this, im going to gamestop today to remove my reservation, the upset is unreal
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post #54 of 56
This is just another thing in a long, long line of people freaking out because something changes, and then they realize it isn't so bad once they actually use it.

Blizzard doesn't make bad games, and I guarantee you their best are making this game.

Settle down.
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post #55 of 56
Blizzard knows what they are doing... i have faith that they are going to release a kickass game. It's what they DO!!

honestly... i am a bit concerned about the big change in play, but i have very rarely been truly disappointed with one of their games.
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post #56 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Faded View Post
Blizzard knows what they are doing... i have faith that they are going to release a kickass game. It's what they DO!!

honestly... i am a bit concerned about the big change in play, but i have very rarely been truly disappointed with one of their games.
This is how I feel, sometimes Bilzzard does things that seem like fail before release, but end up being the future and mimicked in all games that follow.
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