Diablo® III

Swapping skills in town

arguably, swapping could be prevented just in inferno mode. i don't know what farming major bosses in hell would look like, so i couldn't answer when the right time to start preventing skill-swap abuse should be.
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easy to convince. there's no huge balance benefit to skill-swapping pre-hell.

a lvl 60 char with even junk gear can likely lol-stomp normal/nightmare mode, so there's no reason to take away skill swapping from those difficulties. this will allow lower level people a chance to get the hang of the system, and more than that, ENCOURAGE them to swap skills in and out, runes in and out, etc, all in the name of variety and figuring out what you like.

by the time you finish nightmare, you should have an idea on what your favorite skills are, and in hell, you shouldn't be able to swap in an out anymore since that could lead to easily farming high-end gear. ie lvl 60 can farm nightmare np anyways WITHOUT skill-swapping, so don't even try to balance around that. however, skill-swapping COULD provide even poorly equipped 60s with a significant advantage, so it's around the lvl 60 mark that the real balancing of skill-swapping should be looked at.


I'm still somewhat unconvinced. I don't feel a channeling time of 10 seconds + vulnerability discourages swapping so much that low level characters will avoid it. The channeling time can occur as the player is switching his skills. Since 10-15 seconds is probably the time it will take a newbie to do a full skill swap, this mechanic won't slow things down too much, yet will prevent in-combat switching, as well as using macros to spam switches. Of course, players with decent APM might be able to make a complete switch in under 10 seconds.

However, I can see the following system, somewhat similar to yours, being in place:
In addition to the casting time, there is a cooldown between skill swaps. However, the CD starts at 0 pre-level 30, increasing by 10-20 seconds per level to a maximum of 5-10 minutes between swaps at level 60.

In this way, a low-mid level character can switch skills every 10 seconds to experiment, however at higher levels, frequent switching is discouraged by a scaling cooldown.

I also think skill swapping is fine at lvl 60. Encounters should be balanced around a large variety of builds, so that kind of balancing needs to be done regardless of level or difficulty, although Inferno requires extra balancing due to the fact that it is the end game and must remain challenging.
Edited by sparrow on 9/29/2011 3:54 AM PDT
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09/28/2011 06:52 PMPosted by Altruistic
In my opinion, it was fine the way it was before, since I was under the assumtions that runes would make changing skills on the fly useless, especially once the higher level runes were placed in the skills of choice that a player has.


This is what I thought, honestly.

At the absolute worst, I think Blizzard could implement a cast time to alter your skills. For instance, you open your skill pane, change the skills up, and then have a "lock" button where you cast (much like the Stone of Recall) which locks your skills in place.

This would essentially mean that you could not change during combat but you are also not required to go back to town (which I think is unnecessary).

I don't see an issue with it as it stands because if you seriously want to play with your skill pane open constantly, that is your own issue, not Blizzard's. If the system remains as it stands I wouldn't ever play with the skill pane open.


Thumbs up. Cast time is a good idea.
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90 Human Rogue
6500
I agree with cast time but I don't it to be too heavy at low levels when we want to do a lot of experiment with new skills we gain.. Maybe 30sec cooldown for under 20s?
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sparrow, anything along those lines is something i imagine they'd be interested in batting around the dev table. your idea has pluses and minuses when compared to the others... it's up to bliz to come up with a decent alternative (and hopefully, read our suggestions)

i think the STARTING point should be that there shouldn't be a penalty for skill swapping in the early levels so people are encouraged to swap around stuff and experiment, and in the later levels start preventing skill swapping. this lets people get used to the system, their skills, and everything else without bottlenecking them too early or even being aware that such a penalty might exist some day. it's just not something a newbie should even have to think about.

i assure you that some peeps will, without assistance or reading the forums, start swapping stuff like 120s CDs to abuse the system as-is, and before normal mode ends; they'll be disappointed when suddenly they can't do so, but they'll understand why. i think the key will be figuring out a way to allow for some measure of flexibility in the field without allowing for serious temploiting/abusive skill-swapping.
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Agreed. Now it's just up to the devs.
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i have faith they'll come up with a fairly elegant solution.

they sure have enough time to.
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85 Orc Shaman
6395
Make some sort of specialization feature towards the end of nightmare? your told you must choose a set of skills and passives to scale as you level and those that you haven't choosen will no longer scale? unless you decide to respec, keeping skills you dont specialize in at a lvl of like 40, those non specialized skills could still be swapped but maybe make it much more situational and not always done since there not scaleing with level.

all skills stop scaleing at 40 unless they were choosen as your specialized skills

specialization requireing a fee to change. things will revert back to 40 and ur new skills will then be scaled with your level

this is my best solution to constant skill swapping on the fly

do skills scale with lvl or same from lvl 1 to 60? otherwise this failed
Edited by Agnomesdeath on 9/29/2011 6:04 AM PDT
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I thought the solution was with the runes, by removing all of them with the jeweler or mystic or just the higher ranks.
Besides is easy to explain, an experienced warrior can handle low rank runes maybe rank one to four or three or just one. The skill hot swap is solve and the freedom to experience with skills and runes is still there at the early stages of the game.
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09/29/2011 06:34 AMPosted by Larsen
I thought the solution was with the runes, by removing all of them with the jeweler or mystic or just the higher ranks.


Once mobs start getting high resistances to your favorite skills you will want to have alternatives, so having runes for just 6 skills is not going to be enough. Or imagine if you enter a level and the mobs are all insanely fast, you will want to remove a skill in favor of a snare of some kind and still have at least a decent rune for it.
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Seems like the consensus so far is:

  • Normal mode, no restrictions

  • Skills on cooldown cannot be changed out except possibly after death

  • Add a channeling mechanism when changing skills

  • Changes in town would not require any channeling


  • My channeling mechanism would be:
  • Change the current skill selection window to have a skill bar represented so you can prepare to switch skills. Edit this skill bar the same way as before. You can still view all skill descriptions quickly with no penalty. Have an "Accept" button to begin changing your skill bar to the newly selected skills - this starts a channeling process of 5 or more seconds to apply the changes. Interruptions (damage received, debuffs, etc.) to the process cancel any changes.

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    85 Orc Death Knight
    4915
    I completely agree. It won't fix any of the current issues people have with the system, just be a really annoying 10s cast followed by two quick zone loads, seems like an unnecessary waste of time. (And computer resources .. =P )

    This is especially true at lower levels. *Ding Level 5!* awesome got a new skills, guess I'll have to SoJ to town and swap it in now.. five minutes later turns out you don't really like the new skill as much as the one you were using, SoJ back to town again swap and come back.

    Seems pointless and honestly really frustrating. If they want to include the 10s cast timer at least by-pass the going to town part of it. Make it so that when you open your skills window you can swap around any and all of your skills if you choose. Once you are done you click one of two buttons that say something like 'Activate Skill Choices' and 'Cancel'. If you activate then you must cast for 10s (interruptable) and then you've learned your new skill choices.
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    85 Orc Death Knight
    4915
    Seems like the consensus so far is:

  • Normal mode, no restrictions

  • Skills on cooldown cannot be changed out except possibly after death

  • Add a channeling mechanism when changing skills

  • Changes in town would not require any channeling


  • My channeling mechanism would be:
  • Change the current skill selection window to have a skill bar represented so you can prepare to switch skills. Edit this skill bar the same way as before. You can still view all skill descriptions quickly with no penalty. Have an "Accept" button to begin changing your skill bar to the newly selected skills - this starts a channeling process of 5 or more seconds to apply the changes. Interruptions (damage received, debuffs, etc.) to the process cancel any changes.


  • Ok well I made a post that said almost exactly this, but this perfect.

    +1
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    My channeling mechanism would be:
  • Change the current skill selection window to have a skill bar represented so you can prepare to switch skills. Edit this skill bar the same way as before. You can still view all skill descriptions quickly with no penalty. Have an "Accept" button to begin changing your skill bar to the newly selected skills - this starts a channeling process of 5 or more seconds to apply the changes. Interruptions (damage received, debuffs, etc.) to the process cancel any changes.


  • Ok well I made a post that said almost exactly this, but this perfect.

    +1

    Seems fair enough if Blizz doesn't want to go back to the drawing board to add in in/Out of combat states.
    Also, will the left and right mouse button skills be hot-swapable in combat like in D2 and the 1-5 buttons not or is that what Blizz is looking to make it all skills are not hot-swapable in combat?
    Edited by Vinto on 9/29/2011 8:51 AM PDT
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    All they have to do is disallow skills to be swapped while on cooldown and instantly end ongoing affects as soon as the associated skill is swapped. This solves all problems of significance with the current system.

    At this time the ONLY evidence we have that skills can be swapped effectively in combat is that people are doing it in the first 1/3rd of Act 1 Normal. This is no evidence at all that it will be feasible in-combat in Inferno or Hell difficulties. After all, you can beat all the available beta content without using any active or passive skills. You can also beat it naked (using skills). Heck, if at full health many players can take their hands off the keyboard for 5 seconds in most fights and not die against most enemies. So the fact that you can swap skills in combat in normal proves nothing, means nothing, and tells us nothing about Hell and Inferno in-combat skill swapping.

    Then there is the question of whether it makes any real difference if you do so anyway. The underlying, premise of EVERY SINGLE ARGUMENT against anytime skill swapping is that swapping skills in combat will give players a significant combat advantage against enemies. This is both unproven (it doesn't in the beta) and unfounded. There is obviously no evidence that it has any impact, and there is plenty of reason to believe it will not have an impact significant enough to justify farking up the "Keep the player in the action" philosophy.

    Is it possible that in-combat skill swapping can increase efficiency in Inferno? Of course it is. I have no evidence either way at this time, same as everyone else. However, I would put money on a person who develops a good build and learns that builds strengths and weaknesses inside and out, and who only swaps 1 or 2 skills outside combat for very specific and known situations, like when fighting Diablo, (which is what people would do with an in-town only system as well) being at least as efficient as someone who swaps skills constantly. If you swap skills a lot you also have to keep track of what skills are on what buttons, and every time you make a mistake and hit the wrong button all those efficiency gains go out the window, and under some circumstances it can get you killed, making it far far less efficient.... And if I am wrong and constant skill swapping is more efficient I would still bet it isn't more efficient by very much (5% at most) and that it definitely isn't enough of a difference to justify farking up the "Keep the player in the action" philosophy.... And that should be all that matters.
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    Seems like the consensus so far is:

  • Normal mode, no restrictions

  • Skills on cooldown cannot be changed out except possibly after death

  • Add a channeling mechanism when changing skills

  • Changes in town would not require any channeling


  • My channeling mechanism would be:
  • Change the current skill selection window to have a skill bar represented so you can prepare to switch skills. Edit this skill bar the same way as before. You can still view all skill descriptions quickly with no penalty. Have an "Accept" button to begin changing your skill bar to the newly selected skills - this starts a channeling process of 5 or more seconds to apply the changes. Interruptions (damage received, debuffs, etc.) to the process cancel any changes.


  • If they absolutely have to make changes aside from the ones in the first paragraph of my last post then I would find something like this acceptable. I would make a couple minor changes though:

    I would keep the same mechanism in all modes. Changing systems mid-stream is bad game design. It should be all or nothing.
    The system would work exactly the same in town or outside of town. If you are in town you shouldn't take damage anyway, so there is no need to change the system just because you are in town. Just make your changes and carry on with what you are doing. Plus it would remove the need to develop a new system to determine where the player is at any given moment just for this purpose.

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    09/29/2011 12:02 AMPosted by Tramik
    Serious - what's the point of having the Cauldron and Cube? If going back to town makes things more challenging, and since it looks like we'll be going there quite a bit now, why not just get rid of them? I'll be going there often enough, might as well just make me sell all my stuff there too!

    You are supposed to make tough decisions about your build. If you can't even settle on a set of 6 skills that will last until the next time you happen across town (like a new game for example) then you really haven't taken a serious look at your skills. The cauldron and cube keep you in the field because selling in town is boring and a time sink. Skill swapping takes you to town because there should be a time sink (penalty) for swapping out skills often. If there isn't a cost then players don't need to make those tough decisions and develop a proper build for their character and it negates the point of a 6 skill cap.
    Edited by Steveman on 9/29/2011 9:38 AM PDT
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    ipanda, the difference in combat would be waaay higher than 5%.

    how about this build? http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/barbarian#XiQPge!aed!aaYZbb

    now imagine those 6 skills sharing one skill slot. with some preset macros, people could rotate through those skills, doing MASSIVE damage and generating tons of rage, all while healing. that would leave 5 other slots free for doing whatever you want.

    if you think that would equate to a 5% increase in damage to someone who's not skill-swapping, you're nuts.
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    durp durp.. swapping to a new skill makes your character cast for 10s, if hit the cast is interrupted and the swap is undone..
    durp durp
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    Allow the way-point system for swapping skills. You finally fight yourself to a way-point, find that your current skill set up is not ideal with what you're fighting, hitting the way-point allows you to switch out skills until you move off it.

    It would work, and wouldn't need to portal hop(teleporting to town, switch then back in).

    Then it comes down to choice. Do you go back to the previous way-point, teleport to town, or keep going towards the next waypoint?

    I find this an interesting idea. Like he said, this at least gives a way to swap out skills without going back to the town. If I could make it more restrictive, there will be cool down and the more frequently you swap skills, the coold down gets longer accordingly. Also, the skill you just swapped will be disabled for x seconds, which means you wouldn't be able instantly spam the skill, so you'll have to rely on your other skills in the mean time.

    So, my idea would be:

    skill swap allowed in town/waypoints only
    cool down for skill swap (the more often you swap, the longer cool down gets accrodingly)
    swapped skill disabled initially for x seconds

    I know my suggestion is not perfect, but that's just my two cents anyway.
    Edited by Nemesis on 9/29/2011 9:55 AM PDT
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