Diablo® III

Swapping skills in town

Posts: 279
this wouldn't be a problem in nightmare, hell, or inferno. MAYBE in nightmare but definitely not inferno. it WOULD be needed for the sake of balance, imo, since there's a LOT of 120s type of abilities that i could exploit the hell out of (rune them for potent and quick dura) just by swapping them out easily.

the obvious solution to me is to implement this in hell. let people use the first two difficulties to swap stuff around, and one of the added difficulties in doing hell/inferno is that you can't swap skills outside of town.

i'd argue that it MIGHT be a good idea to implement some sort of 2-skill-swapout for situational combat... ie a separate bar with two skills of your choice on it you can't use actively, but can switch in and out in combat. THAT could have a timer on it (120s to prevent exploiting would be fine), and prevent people from having access to their whole skill tree. so in town in hell/inferno difficulty, you set your 6 actives, load up 2 more actives for situational combat, and set your 3 passives (locked).
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Posts: 330
I don't see why they would implement either system. They are essentially the same thing. Both require that you take a nominal amount of time leaving combat, just to re-enter combat a few moments later with the ideal build for that challege.

I feel we need an actual system that makes our decisions on choosing skills have worth and meaning, and if you wish to change your mind, there should be a small financial consequence and an inherent inconvience.
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100 Orc Shaman
10670
Posts: 121
didnt read anything but OP but what about only allowing 6 spells at a time to have runes. that could atleast force a player to use a weaker version of a spell.
Poeple would switch main spells to off spells in d2 like metoer to orb when there were immunes. Im sure at hell and inferno those runes will make a big difference.

i really dont know much about the rune system either so this might be a useless idea
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Posts: 279
well the problem is that people will write scripts for d3 that lets them swap stuff in and out on the fly.

you don't need people able to hit f3 in game as their "ohcrap" button, which turns your dps build into a heavily-shielded one that not only swaps in skills almost instantly, but also uses them. imagine a glass-cannon wiz hitting f3 and instantly using frost nova, ice armor, diamond armor, mirror image, and having teleport as right-click skill so right after you f3 you just right click to safety. f4 a few seconds later and you're back to your dps build.

who cares if people do that in lower difficulties but that shouldn't be an option for hell/inferno. otherwise people WILL do it, and it'll make game/encounter balancing FAR more difficult for bliz (to do and to judge... it'll be hard to tell WHY people are doing content so easily)
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100 Orc Shaman
10670
Posts: 121
didnt read anything but OP but what about only allowing 6 spells at a time to have runes. that could atleast force a player to use a weaker version of a spell.
Poeple would switch main spells to off spells in d2 like metoer to orb when there were immunes. Im sure at hell and inferno those runes will make a big difference.

i really dont know much about the rune system either so this might be a useless idea

assuming that runes can be swapped out freely, restrict it to only being done in town at an artisian, Im also assuming in hell and inferno these runes might actually make a considerable difference in ur performance.

might eliminate the need for an out of combat or a return to town restriction on skill swapping while also penalizing the sudden change of heart? that way skill swapping would only be a good idea if ur totally gimped in a fight with ur current setup, d2 example imune to fire, n ice ur stuck with chagre bolt... (merc is useless hes immune to physical also)
Edited by Agnomesdeath on 9/28/2011 9:05 PM PDT
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Posts: 279
keep in mind they changed the insta-log and potion system to make the game more challenging

so they're at a bit of a crossroads with the concepts of "stay in the action" and "challenging but doable". i think hell/inferno option with a few swapout slots is a reasonable solution.

i'd just hate for later content to be trivialized by skill swapping. just like potions and instalog trivialized parts of d2. and skill swapping could be exponentially worse than the d2 problems since it confers extra offense and not just defense to your character.
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85 Human Death Knight
3080
Posts: 112
keep in mind they changed the insta-log and potion system to make the game more challenging

so they're at a bit of a crossroads with the concepts of "stay in the action" and "challenging but doable". i think hell/inferno option with a few swapout slots is a reasonable solution.

i'd just hate for later content to be trivialized by skill swapping. just like potions and instalog trivialized parts of d2. and skill swapping could be exponentially worse than the d2 problems since it confers extra offense and not just defense to your character.


I think we all agree that instant skill swapping in combat is bad bad BAD

But consider this:

A player starting out does not receive Stone of Recall until she completes the 2nd to last step on Leoric's Crown quest. By then a character will be at least level 6, probably level 7 or 8.

So every time that person levels up between level 2 and 7 you expect them to run all the way back to town, or back to a waypoint just to try out their new skill? That's a little ridiculous.

A better solution is something like what Burnzor posted about the Demon Hunter talent Brooding; just alter the mechanic from "As long as you have not taken damage in the last 5 seconds" to "As long as you have not dealt damage in the last 5 seconds" or increase the time to 15 or 20 seconds as needed.
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Posts: 279
well if you read my other posts i suggested locking out skill-swapping in the wilderness to hell & inferno difficulty.

by then you should have preferred skills anyways, and swapping out at that point would be rare enough to not matter for a quick town trip, OR it will be done to trivialize the whole "6 actives" concept.
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Posts: 2,363
I was going to say

cooldown > going back to town

BUT that's not true since people could still quick swap their skills when they're in danger, especially with scripts like someone already mentioned.
Edited by kira on 9/28/2011 9:45 PM PDT
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Posts: 279
ya i think the real issue here is how easy it would be to not only abuse this system, but how easy it would be to pass around programs that do so, with easy-to-follow instructions.

game designers need to worry about the people who will exploit their systems, unfortunately, and i could exploit the hell out of what exists right now. almost effortlessly.
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85 Human Death Knight
3080
Posts: 112
Ahh, cronk I missed where you said to only have it in Hell/Inferno. At least people will have all their skills and have been able to play around with them for a while at that point.
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Posts: 279
seems to be the best of both worlds honestly.

people won't NEED to abuse skills in normal/nightmare mode... not with lvl 60 chars and high-end gear. so it won't unbalance anything really, and still give people a chance to swap stuff in and out and figure out what they enjoy using.

meaning the only reason to swap stuff out in hell/inferno IS to abuse the 6-ability skillset concept. with skill-swapping locked out in hell/inferno, if you come across a certain mob that requires certain skills, it's still easy enough to recall & swap runes/actives/passives as need be. if you can't get off that recall, that's the price you pay for not carrying around better escape/defensive abilities, imo.
Edited by Cronk on 9/28/2011 10:21 PM PDT
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Posts: 279
revised skill-swapping suggestion:

Normal mode: swap out skills anywhere, anytime
Nightmare mode: swap out skills everywhere but during boss battles, and passives can only be set in town. actives and runes can still be swapped out everywhere but boss battles.
Hell/Inferno: Only swap out actives, passives, and runes in town.

optional: 2 slots for situational swap-outs. you can take 2 actives with you that you can swap out at any time, but must fully refresh before you can use them. ie you can roll as an aoe'er and take 2 boss-specific skills with you so you don't have to recall right before a boss fight. swap in a 120s situational and you have to wait the 120s to use it.

before starting a new difficulty level, the changes would be spelled out for you, so you know how it'll soon be harder and already have enough of a grasp on the system to understand what those changes mean. this tiered approach will add another dimension to the difficulty system, instead of mobs just getting harder and having more abilities or whatever.
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Posts: 2,751


It's 30 seconds tops to cast Stone of Recall, pick your new skill and hop back in. That's not particularly disruptive unless you put absolutely no thought into it and wind up changing your skills every few minutes.

Honestly, I don't see what the fuss is about having to go to town. It's essentially a respec, and I don't think asking the player to take 30 seconds to respec if they want is that disruptive to gameplay. Level-ups aren't that frequent anyways, even at the beginning of the game. Not to mention, a lot of the players stop to read what their new skill does too.


It's completely counter-intuitive to their "Keep the player in the action" philosophy.

And regular skill swapping is counter to their "Players need to make tough decisions about their skill build" philosophy. One or the other has to go.
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85 Orc Rogue
5435
Posts: 4,443
09/28/2011 07:51 PMPosted by Bottle
Essentially, what town-only swapping does is prevent someone from being able to have more than 6 active skills in the heat of battle, just because he got really good at on the fly swapping. Nobody will really have the patience to keep on going to town and coming back, just because they want to use more than 6 skills in a certain dungeon. If they do that, then they're not really having fun.


This is basically it. It prevents you from going to town to optimize between every pack of enemies, while still giving you the freedom to change up if need be. While I'm sympathetic at the idea that going to town to swap skills can break up combat, in reality, swaping skills around in the field breaks up combat as well.

I'm not sure this is really the best solution.

Personally, I would like to see it so that unruned skills can be swapped out more freely (but not while on CD), and runed skills can only be swapped out by un-runing them in town. We don't really know how the rune system will work, or how it could work to discourage swapping, but it seems like a fairly good solution to also give the character some "permanence".
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Posts: 25
I would be satisfied with a system similar to using the Stone of Recall. Once your skills tab is opened and you select your first skill to change, your character becomes immobile for a short period of time. This vulnerability could last for maybe 5-15 seconds after the tab is closed. (Other debuffs such as less damage or health could be put in favor of immobility after the tab is closed)

When I imagine my character changing his skill set it doesn't seem unreasonable that this would be one of his more vulnerable moments. If this arbitrary restriction is not "harsh" enough then imposing a damage modifier where your character takes x% more damage while channeling is also an option.

I believe this alternative is a clean bridge between the hassle of returning to town while also limiting skill swapping abuse in combat. My idea is that this forces a player to commit to their spell lineup while in combat but still freely experiment builds in between battles.
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Posts: 279
that's not a bad suggestion at all

only caveat is i'd link it to my proposed system, so it doesn't punish or slow down newbies. peeps in normal could still swap out regularly, and later difficulties can have the vulnerability/channel-timer thing you suggest to prevent exploiting/temploiting.
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60 Gnome Warlock
960
Posts: 837
I personally am not going to be in town as long as I can help it. So if I have a viable build that will work in almost all if not all Situations outside of town, you will not see me nor my friends returning to change skills that is just plain stupid.

Maybe just maybe after awhile of gameplay ill go back just to switch to something new and fun for a little change up is all. However the beta doesn't do justice when it comes to skill modifications. IE in hell/inferno with runed skills I can promise it is going to be 100 times less likely you will even think about having to swap skills.

On top of that everyone will eventually end up with a preferred skill set at some point that they will use most of the time.


But...

I personally am against loose respecs all together, I agree with what they have done and do indeed think it will help a lot and will be show when they patch it into the beta. But I would much much much rather see perma skills again.
Let us respec throughout normal, then give us 1 free respec for nightmare, hell, and inferno to fine tune rune upgrades but then make us stuck with those skills. Thats just how I feel though. This increases re playabilty and makes having multiple characters beneficial.
pitty the noob that doesn't get his spec right after unlimited specs in norm + 3 more unless of course he doesnt care if he gets it right :P
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