Diablo® III

How about adding one skill slot ? 7 skill slots !

Posts: 1,301
01/03/2014 04:59 PMPosted by Lylirra
Going to echo a similar response I gave to a thread that asked this same question a few months ago. Apologies for the overlap, but the answer hasn't changed since then. :)

So! 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.)

We know that some players may disagree with that approach (example: the OP). 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)?

Note that players will get a 4th passive slot at level 70.


I know that a good many players have stated they don't need a 7th skill slot, but I feel as though if that's their choice, that's their choice. It shouldn't necessarily be the one I'm left with because of their preferences for skill limitation.

One of the things that comes to mind regarding a 7th skill slot however, is the fact that there do need to be inherent limitations. For example, I shouldn't be running with all of my "Ultimates" slotted in a single build. There are several other skills which act as similar "Nukes" that would need to be disallowed in combination with some other skills in "excess".

Another issue that exists is the very nature of skills in Diablo 3. Some skills are nukes with a timer. This means that the more skill slots you open up, the more of these you allow to be on a build at any given time. This is part of the problem. People bypass their intended place on the power curve through specific allotment of skills that defeat those mechanisms with short, burst-style damage.

We have yet more skills that cause problems, usually found in high utility skills that generate resource. If more skills had a resource cost, but resource was in turn more plentiful or faster generating, this might not necessarily be an issue. As it stands though, it presents additional concerns when tuning content, given that an additional skill slot were in fact added.

The last serious problem I can think of with the currents skills would have to be "Active Passives". There are more skills than I'd like to admit, which do nothing but provide you a passive buff. Those are what we refer to as passives most of the time in games, just not here. In other ARPG's they don't take up a slot on a bar of any kind, they just cost a couple skill points, and are referred to as auras. We don't have skill points proper in D3 like we should, so this requirement to take up a slot or two in a given build (with only 6 slots) in order to have buffs that make your hampered build more viable or survivable, is just unfun.

If we disallow certain "overstacking" of given skill types in a single build, we can make the 7th skill slot a reality, and one that agrees with current gameplay mechanics without eschewing other factors of play. This would provide for a deeper, more interesting, often more tactical experience, with players having more interesting repertoires, all while not breaking anything.

I think one of the best uses for this, if I'm being simple about it, would be to have two different primaries. Primaries are, for a couple of the classes (Barb being the worst in my opinion) nothing short of glorified auto attacks. Given some of the damage changes to other slots, they're definitely not helping your cause much with too many of the classes. They are just a mechanism for delay between using that auto-attack and the next real damage skill, as you need resource to make those happen.

In short though, my gameplay would be better because I enjoy options and it is my opinion that we don't have enough of them currently. If the concern is synergizing, well most builds could actually use a little more synergy, so I say bring it on. If that isn't the concern, then I don't see what one more slot is going to hurt. I'm playing on PC for Pete's sake, number of buttons necessary for inputs is just not an issue. If it is for somebody else then they can run with 6 slots, but that's simply not a problem with a keyboard in front of you.

=P

P.S. Disallowing the selection of more than 2 skills from the same category is probably a pretty safe blanketed implementation of limits for skills. After that, I don't think 7 or even 8 skill slots is a problem. =)
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The main benefit of having a 7th slot would be that we would have a slot that doesn't feel like it needs to matter as much so we would be more likely to use the long cool down skills or situational skills when we would never bother with them at 6 skill slots (aside from Bliz buffing them to OP status).

Consider that you typically choose one defensive buff, one offensive buff, one main attack, one single target attack and one AoE and that leaves one slot to try things with. That means most skills in the game are competing for one actual slot and not 6.
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The current setup was chosen, and will remain, because it overlapped best with the console controllers. Back in beta when the change to the current setup was made lots of people pointed this out and were of course shouted down by people claiming that a console version was not in the works. Funny stuff.
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@Alex: I don't like what you're suggesting because it would defeat the purpose of what the 7th slot would provide. You're pretty much saying to implement the 7th slot but make sure it's restricting at the same time.

"Elective Mode" in the options menu shouldn't be an option. To have to turn that on is just unfathomable. No one wants to be restricted to one skill from each skill category. Hence elective mode. When I first started playing D3 and thought it was that way, I hated it.
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I agree with you op we should get at least one more skill slot, but this goes against the console controllers so PC users get boned in the end unfortunately. =(
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01/03/2014 08:09 PMPosted by Vyleblud
The current setup was chosen, and will remain, because it overlapped best with the console controllers. Back in beta when the change to the current setup was made lots of people pointed this out and were of course shouted down by people claiming that a console version was not in the works. Funny stuff.


Pretty funny. Yet depressing. F%$#ing console.
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Add resistances to all monsters (not immunities though).
Then when we will have very good reasons for using multiple damage types, it will be somewhat more reasonable to add another skill slot too :)
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Maybe just add this is for the expansion (unlocking a skill slot levelling like the 4th passive) and not give an expansion to console.

LOL

Wait.

No console expansion sales?????

Omg. Screw making a better PC game. Let's make MORE money.
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01/03/2014 04:59 PMPosted by Lylirra
We know that some players may disagree with that approach (example: the OP). 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)?

Note that players will get a 4th passive slot at level 70.


I don't want a 7th skill slot where we slap whatever skill we wish for but; a quick item use slot.

Which I use to drink up special effect elixirs(increased mainstat, armor and whatnot), antidotes (with life regen rate increasing effects), thawing potions(increasing movement speed), rejuvenation potions (35% life and source refill longer cooldown), one-shot scrolls and perhaps charged skills that came from staffs, trinkets and legendary items.
Want to create a legendary phase boots? Give us quick item slot and put it as charged skill on the action bar, it sounds more stable that way.

The Mystic can take care of everything I mention. Charging staffs, enchanting scrolls and creating potions by using alchemy. Also when you guys are planning to announce talisman?
Edited by naksiloth#1354 on 1/3/2014 8:54 PM PST
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As I played D3 many times I thought if we had one more skill slot we could rule. This just shows how much it could upset the balance of the game.

In WoW they trimmed back the talent trees, cries of dumbing down the game abounded. The truth was they made the game harder , instead of having 3 grate skills you now have to pick one of the 3 in the talent tree. It actually adds depth to the game.
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Posts: 1,301
01/03/2014 08:11 PMPosted by Snoofo
@Alex: I don't like what you're suggesting because it would defeat the purpose of what the 7th slot would provide. You're pretty much saying to implement the 7th slot but make sure it's restricting at the same time.

It would have to be in order to not throw off the balance of the game. I'm working inside of the confines of the systems we currently have here. If they would change all numbers and mechanics to support using any skill, anywhere, then we'd have a different debate on our hands. Plus, if you read through my entire post, I specifically mention having a blanket policy of 2 skills from the same category allowable for selection. I don't think Blizz had a bad concept in mind with their skill/combat system, I just think that 6 isn't the magic the number they've touted it to be. =)
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TWell taking into account 6 active skills, all the rune combinations, and 3 passives we currently expect each class to have roughly 2,285,814,795,264 different build combinations. That’s not taking into account skill types for ‘ideal’ builds, but that’s always been a big part of the fun of experimenting (and longevity for Diablo II) - finding a build that shouldn’t work, and making it.


You are forgetting something. Supposed hypothetical, If we add a 7th skill slot and a fourth passive. Wouldn't that increase the number of possible builds independent of each other? IE you can't take a passive and put it in active skill and vice versa.

So the better question is WHY passive 4th slot only, in RoS, as opposite to both 7th skill and 4th passive? Suppose if I want two cc skill? Two armor? two buff? two generator? Or even two 2 minute cd skill? Every choice I can think of for a 7th skill slot comes with a potential trade-off somewhere else. It is only when we approach about twelve skill slot that the build diversity take a nose-dive metaphorically. So why not a 7th?

To give an example of what I would look for in my Demon Hunter 7 skill build that is better than what I have on live.

On live I have:

hungering arrow - 70 percent extra damage after piercing: extra damage on critical is yeah.

elemental arrow - lightning ball rune: I use this one as my "finishing move" because it pass through instead of hit the only closest enemy so as a result I use it for both AOE and single target. I only use the generator if I am out of hatred ONLY in no other situation I would use primary with two exception I will mention later on.

caltrop - bonus critical chance: critical, can't you tell I am build around it yet?

vaults - fire on ground after vaulting: mostly my oh shoot! button.

sentry - aid station: minor damage boost and healing my teammates.

rain of vengeance - stampede: mostly my semi-second oh shoot! button due to narrow focus (useful in chokepoint) and the knockback.

my passives are

night stalker - more disciple since I have no other way of generate it.

archery - since my crossbow has two socket for 100 percent extra critical damage and in-built 85 percent extra critical damage. archery is just the icing on top of all that extra damage.

sharpshooter - the longer I goes without a critical strike make it almost all but certain that I would gain a critical blow.

As you can image (actually just go look at my build in profile for details) my build is literally a glass cannon that deal lot of burst damage but little to no survival. I would get either awareness for moar dodge or single out for extra critical damage boost for my 4th passive. I would not want to bet on my survival being better in torment post-change with similar gears.

So a 7th skill slot for extra survival? I would like that. But what? Let me take a look at the PTR build and make a choice. Should I take something that stun single target? Impale? Or the new vengeance in RoS with stun rune? Cluster bomber? Shadow Power? the list goes on and on.

So as a consequence I support the idea for a 7th slot as long you are not allow to use duplicate skill (two shadow power with different rune for example).

Edit:

One of my build's weak point is that I often run out of disciple running away (caltrop + vault). So I have to either wait for disciple to pool up or pause to deal a critical to pray for enough disciple to stay alive. In this situation I almost always use hungering arrow because lightning ball can take a while to travel and cost hatred that I may not have.

The second weak point is that when I have to throw out lot of lightning ball I can deplete my hatred quickly and when I hit zero hatred guess what? They are still coming so I have to use my disciple to buy time for another lighting ball that may not actually hit what I want dead ASAP. (shaman, tree poison nova, demon in act 4 with debuff to healing, etc...) So having a second skill to spent hatred on that is single target may be a major boost or perhaps more survival either way. I would use something that fill a niche my build do not have right now.
Edited by Plaguebone#1428 on 1/3/2014 9:39 PM PST
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[quote]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.


So this is where you want the thoughtful choices in our builds. Here this whole time we wanted to do that with skill trees and stat points. Huh, guess you learn something new everyday.
Edited by wxmyjnsn2#1822 on 1/3/2014 9:46 PM PST
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How is having only six skill lots negatively impacting your gameplay experience right now? If you can cite specific examples, even better!


I'm forced to choose "the best" skills for an average range of conditions rather than having situational abilities available for when they're needed. Because of that, I never equip the situational skills. The need for spamming mass damage output occurs more often than the need to fight in a certain way, so my damage spells win out over the others.


If you go on efficiency you're right, but for fun it's meaningless.


On the flip side, how would having an extra skill slot improve your game experience?


I would be much more likely to make long cooldown skills part of my arsenal. Right now, there is very little reason for me to use an ability that won't be available half the time when I can use something else that is almost as effective but always available.

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)?


As a Hardcore WD, I'd be trying a lot more crowd control skills, skills that I don't use now because the game is so heavily weighted toward doing as much damage as possible as quickly as possible. Having more ability slots allows me to still do high damage when I need to and have abilities that help keep me alive rather than choosing between the two (which isn't a choice given that DPS is king).


Nevertheless these are good ideas. Perhaps having a special activation button for these special 2 mins cool-down skills. For example that would make Berzerk more l33t.
Edited by Sirportalez#1174 on 1/3/2014 10:00 PM PST
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01/03/2014 04:59 PMPosted by Lylirra
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)?Note that players will get a 4th passive slot at level 70.


How has having just six skill slots been a negative thing for me; well, it feels as if. I'm just never afforded the FUN BUTTON in my 'game' time.

So, how would having an extra slot benefit me? Adding 1 extra skill slot, for me, would be ideal. At the moment, I feel that all of my skills are either totally defensive or buffers. But, I don't have that one WOW moment that says, BAM! I just dropped the BOMB!

I'll site an example:

My WD - he uses dogs, and gargantuan ... basically just a barrier between me and monsters, He uses spirit walk (my save), Soul harvest (my buffer - effective but, not exciting) acid cloud & plague of toads are my attacks and they work. with this set up (for my HC character (who is totally self found btw) I'm efficient and I can survive but, I never ever get to drop the bomb. I feel like if I had one more skill slot I could put something OP in it, something fun.
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I think that 6 skill slots is enough however. Many skills that we are forced to use (on higher difficulties) are boring passives to improve damage or survivability. At least some of them are getting active and passive effects so that we will have to pay more attention to them.
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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)?


I want to preface this with a relation to Diablo 2 LOD, you could have all the skills (if you wanted), but reliably you would use 2-3 and have 3-5 timed buff/bonus skills or transport skills to help with your char's playstyle. For example, all the summon types for a necromancer + corpse explosion + 2 types of curses, you'd have the commonly used available and the less commonly used in the F7 or F8 spot.

1) It negatively impacts my gameplay because i often find myself having to choose self empowering skills over combat skills or surviveability skills over self empowering skills.

For example, with my monk, if i wanted to have the option of choosing between mantra of conviction or mantra of dodging with a specific rune, based on the encounter i'm facing, i can't because it would be a waste of a skill spot to have two skills where only one could be used. Which I think having an additional spot would allow more gameplay options. For example, if i'm facing Act 4 hammersmasher dudes, which are a 2-3 hit KO, +15% dodge would be way more helpful than +12% damage because there's a greater chance i could dodge an attack.

For my wizard, I could add another buff to my archon, without crippling my non-archon gameplay.

2) Having an additional slot, could provide a space for click and forget spells, like a mantra for my monk or an armor shield for my wizard or a shout for my barb or a sentry/mark of death for my DH. It would allow every character to have a +1 skill to use - which is just plain way better!! It would allow for more character customization, where we have a build with 5 required slots and 1 optional, we'd have 2 optional, and this could easily result in many more builds.

3) With a 7th spell, i would most likely choose a cast and forget skill because of the benefits it would provide and i could ignore it for the rest of the time - HONEST ANSWER - but this is exactly how I would use that additional skill in D2.

There's a chance i'd add another skill like hydra to my wizard or teleport for quicker traveling, if that's how i felt my gameplay would be enhanced. But there's no way i'd replace any of my current skills for teleport.

Overall, I think adding another skill would allow players the freedom to further diversify or spice up their builds because of the freedom provided from another skill spot. It really is a pity that all the characters have fun skills or strategically powerful skills that aren't used as often because they don't fit within a powerful build.
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Though with the new leg affixes this problem has lessened slightly, I would still like to see a 7th skill slot.

Yes mathematically it might be right that 6 skill slots lead to more different builds, to maximize options (aka the colour example that thesaint quoted), it is mathematically optimal to have about half of the realistic options. But to maximize build diversity, this is wrong.

There are actually 2 tendencies that work towards opposite ends:
1) The pure mathematical availability in combination with the restrictions which leads to an optimal number of combinations until around half of the options. (aka 6 slots)
2) The multiplicative effect of synergies which make every skill chosen on top of another skill more important than the one before. The more skills you have chosen, the more important the next skill you chose becomes (This though in turn is dependent on the availability of synergies and of mandatory skills, but that is another discussion). More skill slots thus leed to tougher decisions. Tougher decisions means more viable (!) builds. I dont know exactly how to mathematically get that point of maximum return (as like how you find the max of f(x) by setting f ' (x)=0) because I would need numbers of mandatory skills vs. synergy skills to even try that, but I hope I could convey the concept.

What I am getting at: Depending on the existence of synergies, it can be better, in this argument, to have 7 or maybe even 8, or in theory (but not in practice, because d3 doesnt imho have enough synergetic skills to make this a matter of tough choice anymore) 9, 10, whatever skill slots.

So 7 slots, in my opinion, sounds like a good start. Yes it will make characters more powerful, which doesnt matter much, because at this point in beta, difficulty is pretty much in flux anyway (and the leg affixes already have mixed that balance up enough, so why not go there as well, since the symptom is already there to deal with).

But one extra slot has the potential to mix skill sets up a lot because of synergies. Sure it will take a lot of balancing, and it will take longer to balance,but heck, I d rather have that, than get bored to easily because of less options. One more skill slot makes decisions, once you have reached a good understanding of your skills and possible synergies, especially with more leg affixes, exponentially more complex for the player.

But I guess because of ressource and time frames, this is probably not going to happen for RoS. Maybe for the next Xpac.

Another possibilty though would be, to keep the 6 slots, and eliminate mandatory skills, which means more slots for synergies.

For this, ressource generators would need a serious overhaul as well, because their only right for existence is, as is their name, ressource generation, and as soon as there is found a way to forego that one, they get kicked out of the skill set completely. Ressource generators need more synergies to make them more attractive. I seriously dont understand, in this context, why the dmg buff runes from frenzy and bash have been nerfed so hard (they had already been bad to begin with), as this further eliminates synergies.
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