Diablo® III

2 major design questions from beta

These seem to be the top two questions that, as far as I know, have not been answered by Blizzard. They are design issues that appear in the current F&F beta build and I was hoping some light could be shed on what the ultimate intent is for them.

#1 - Nonskill bar spots
Potions, scrolls?, and regular attack take up space on the ever-coveted action bar/mouse. Now, it's known that the game is meant to be played with 6 active skills and overall we are supplied with 7 spots to place things (5 being on the bar, and 2 for the mouse). That only leaves 1 spot that is unused by active skills by has competition from the multiple actions described above.

What's the deal? Are we going to have to make a choice between auto attack (which the demon hunter and wizard seem to be encouraged to use in their passives) and a healing potion? Obviously the healing potion is a valuable asset to have available in dire situations. And does that just leave scrolls out in the dust? Are there any behind-the-scenes plans to address this issue?

#2 - Respeccing skills on the fly
The current system of being allowed to change your active (and passive?) skills at absolutely any time without any restrictions or limitations is generally deemed by the community as not the greatest of ideas. If we are free to respec whatever, whenever, then in theory we are granted access to all skills and the 6 cap just becomes an illusion. It also severely encourages the use of 3rd party macros for fast-swapping on the run.

Is this problem already apparent to Blizzard? Have limitations been discussed internally that you may or may not be ready to share at this point in time?


Thank you for any input you may have.
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I've read some where (I think on this site?) that there is an option to swap between two difrerent button layouts. So you can have one set that has 6 skills and autoattack, mapped one way. Then switch by holding down a button to another layout, with potions.

I can't remrember where I saw it, some one else have a link.
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90 Troll Druid
15845
#1 - Nonskill bar spots
Potions, scrolls?, and regular attack take up space on the ever-coveted action bar/mouse. Now, it's known that the game is meant to be played with 6 active skills and overall we are supplied with 7 spots to place things (5 being on the bar, and 2 for the mouse). That only leaves 1 spot that is unused by active skills by has competition from the multiple actions described above.

What's the deal? Are we going to have to make a choice between auto attack (which the demon hunter and wizard seem to be encouraged to use in their passives) and a healing potion? Obviously the healing potion is a valuable asset to have available in dire situations. And does that just leave scrolls out in the dust? Are there any behind-the-scenes plans to address this issue?
With the exception of the Wand Wizard that a few people have been tossing around, no one goes out of their way to basic attack after level... anything. Even then I don't think it's going to be viable. It seems to me that the intent of those passives and runes is that they help keep you going/fill you back up when you hit bottom and run out of resources (most attacks, if you try to use them but don't have the resources, you basic attack instead).

Scrolls - no real reason to have these on your bar. Same with Elixirs. I mean, yeah, sure, using them from your inventory is marginally slower, but these aren't something you'll be using in the heat of battle.
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I think at lower levels, you have so few skills that everyone has just been filling up the empty slots with potions.


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With the exception of the Wand Wizard that a few people have been tossing around, no one goes out of their way to basic attack after level... anything. Even then I don't think it's going to be viable. It seems to me that the intent of those passives and runes is that they help keep you going/fill you back up when you hit bottom and run out of resources (most attacks, if you try to use them but don't have the resources, you basic attack instead).

Scrolls - no real reason to have these on your bar. Same with Elixirs. I mean, yeah, sure, using them from your inventory is marginally slower, but these aren't something you'll be using in the heat of battle.



One shouldn't have to make such excuses to justify the interface. The interface is supposed to facilitate the playing of the game by giving us access to the tools they have given to us.

We have 6 active skills, a basic attack, Stone of Recall, and a number of potions, scrolls and elixers that is dependant upon player preference.

6 skills and a basic attack should be facilitated for everyone, guaranteed. That's 7 slots. That's how many slots we currently have.

The only other work around is if we can map scrolls, elixers, potions and the SoR to the alternate set of mouse key bindings. Then we would press the x key to switch the bindings on the mouse, press the mouse button for what we wanted to use and then press x again to switch back. That makes 3 actions to use one item.

That means that if you want to use any other item, you need to either open your inventory and pick it out, unmap an ability or your basic attack to make room for said item or make using it take three button presses.

All three options are clunky and rediculous.

It's an easy fix. Add three measly spots to the hot bar. Problem solved. 5 of your six actives will go there, your 6th active and basic attack on the mouse, and you have 3 spots to assign to whatever other items you like.

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I agree that the action bar should be adjusted to add at least one slot, just so you can have skills, basic attack, and a potion, but I doubt I'll ever actually use the basic attack. Very few builds will be tailored towards using basic attacks, and most classes have some form of free skills with no cooldown, and won't run out of their form of energy if properly managed anyway.
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The limit to 1-5 actually is suited quite well to a single hand and not needing to stretch across the keyboard. If you need more than 7 slots you can use the provided hotkey to swap your bindings to include other things include basic attack scrolls and so forth:
IMPROVED CONTROLS
Diablo III adds new control options to the classic Diablo II hotbar, like mapping skills to mouse buttons and switching between groups of ability mappings by holding down a button, to make using your skills during combat quicker than it's ever been.

This means you can access effectively 14 slots and do so without having to stretch or move your left hand. I think it sounds awesome.
Edited by Steveman on 9/16/2011 11:52 AM PDT
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Hopefully, potions will be irrelevant at end game, as our skills and passives and item bonuses will give us all the health we need to survive. Not too mention the random Health Globes.


HOPEFULLY...


I too am concerned though - not a big fan of this Health Globe stuff. Would have rather stuck to the old Potion-Slots-In-Belts system.

But, we'll see.
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That improved controls bit is what I was refering to in my first post, thanks for the link!
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90 Troll Druid
15845
09/16/2011 11:29 AMPosted by Magnus
One shouldn't have to make such excuses to justify the interface. The interface is supposed to facilitate the playing of the game by giving us access to the tools they have given to us.
Oh, you. You're back for more abuse?

That's some of the !@#$tiest language I've heard recently used to try and paint a non-issue as a looming problem. It's not an excuse, it's a rationale. How about you come up with an actual compelling reason to have more slots, because, you see, there's always some other s**t that we can try and shoehorn into this. "Why can't I slot advanced video settings into my hotbar? It's such a hassle to open two menus to get to it, and you shouldn't have to make an excuse like 'well, they're advanced settings and you really only open them a few times ever' to justify them being inside another menu."

How about this (or is this too much of an "excuse"?): the average human hand needs to lift and push forward in order to hit the '6' key, meaning that most players need to stop, look down, and then move their hand in order to use the key from a natural hand position.

Basic attack isn't meant to be used and is pretty much included in the game purely as a formality, one of those things that adds nothing but would be odd if it were missing, even if the basic attack itself triggered in all the same situations otherwise (out of resources/ability on cooldown).

Here's something else to consider: maybe the entire UI has been carefully designed with constraint in mind in order to focus the player's attention, and slotting, towards the actual plane of interface: monster killing. Thus the game in its neutral setting, all panels closed, is clean and serves only to function for slaying monsters - a tool belt, rather than a garage - because what is excluded from your field of vision is as important as what is included, and that neutral setting speaks to the user about the function of the device.
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09/16/2011 10:59 AMPosted by Soulzek
If we are free to respec whatever, whenever, then in theory we are granted access to all skills and the 6 cap just becomes an illusion. It also severely encourages the use of 3rd party macros for fast-swapping on the run.


The 6 slot limit is just a mechanic to make the game more interesting. Sure you could macro the heck out of it - you can also buy all of your gear with real cash - either way you're removing some of the challenge (which IMHO = fun). That's your call.

Now if you could macro skill changes during a pvp match, that would be a different matter (and big problem).

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Community Manager
#1 - Nonskill bar spots
Potions, scrolls?, and regular attack take up space on the ever-coveted action bar/mouse. Now, it's known that the game is meant to be played with 6 active skills and overall we are supplied with 7 spots to place things (5 being on the bar, and 2 for the mouse). That only leaves 1 spot that is unused by active skills by has competition from the multiple actions described above.

What's the deal? Are we going to have to make a choice between auto attack (which the demon hunter and wizard seem to be encouraged to use in their passives) and a healing potion? Obviously the healing potion is a valuable asset to have available in dire situations. And does that just leave scrolls out in the dust? Are there any behind-the-scenes plans to address this issue?


What you place into your various skill slots will vary from player to player and build to build. Depending on your skills you can have both left and right mouse button bound to skills (and pressing 'x' will swap your right-mouse with yet another skill button for a total of 3 mouse binds) and if you don’t have the resources to use the skill, then you’ll normal attack instead until you have the necessary resources to use the skill again. There should be space for, at least, a potion. Diablo III isn't designed with potion spamming in mind anyway, so really, you should have plenty of space on your bars for the elements that will be important to your hero's success.

#2 - Respeccing skills on the fly
The current system of being allowed to change your active (and passive?) skills at absolutely any time without any restrictions or limitations is generally deemed by the community as not the greatest of ideas. If we are free to respec whatever, whenever, then in theory we are granted access to all skills and the 6 cap just becomes an illusion. It also severely encourages the use of 3rd party macros for fast-swapping on the run.


We're currently testing a few different solutions, but I don't have anything specific to report on that front just yet. We're okay with players changing their builds while they're out adventuring, but we're not comfortable with players running around with their skill pane open swapping skills during combat. We'd also rather not have a system which forces players to return to town. We’ve tried it, and it feels really bad. Of course, worse comes to worse and if our attempts to curb use in combat fail, it could very well be what we have to resort to.
Edited by Daxxarri on 9/16/2011 4:30 PM PDT
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09/16/2011 04:33 PMPosted by FCGINightoR
it s bad solution


Yours was much better.

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I realize that the beta probably helps draw attention to these issues, but it is hard to believe that there is a beta going on and Blizzard is talking about systems revisions such as the Demon Hunter rework and now the way that skills are handled. Better now than at retail though I suppose.
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09/16/2011 04:35 PMPosted by Paulywally
it could very well be what we have to resort to.



I agree.
I agree with this agreement.
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09/16/2011 04:29 PMPosted by Daxxarri
we're not comfortable with players running around with their skill pane open swapping skills during combat.


Make the skill screen take up the whole screen, cant fight blind
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09/16/2011 04:29 PMPosted by Daxxarri
We're currently testing a few different solutions, but I don't have anything specific to report on that front just yet. We're okay with players changing their builds while they're out adventuring, but we're not comfortable with players running around with their skill pane open swapping skills during combat. We'd also rather not have a system which forces players to return to town. We’ve tried it, and it feels really bad. Of course, worse comes to worse and if our attempts to curb use in combat fail, it could very well be what we have to resort to.

My suggestion would be to allow the player to swap skills if they have not taken damage for x amount of seconds. Judging from the DH passive ability Brooding, this type of mechanic is possible.
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