Diablo® III

Simplified Skill Tooltips

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Community Manager
Posts: 3,468
In an upcoming beta update you’re likely to see that we’ve been working to simplify skill tooltips. This has been in the planning for a long time and we’re finally making passes at all skills. We’re doing this now, for one thing, to try to be more consistent with how we’re presenting skill tooltips and their effects, but also to make them easier to understand.

We know that this is going to cause many of you, our hardcore gamer and statistics analysts, to freak out. Please take a few moments to freak out…

Ok, now that it’s out of your system, let’s go into the what we’re planning to do for you, and also potential features for the future.

We need to make sure that the game at its most basic level is easy to understand, quick to pick up and play, and has a strong immediate focus on the gameplay, and not mathy number-crunching and novella-sized skill descriptions. These are the pillars that we believe a game like Diablo firmly rests for the vast majority of players. It is first and foremost an Action RPG, and we put a lot of weight into the first word. For you, the people here every day or week picking apart skill math and statistics, we realize you crave something deeper, and we’re absolutely intent on providing you all of the information you’d ever need.

Take a look at the skill information on the Diablo II Arreat Summit for barbarian combat skills: http://classic.battle.net/diablo2exp/skills/barbarian-combatskills.shtml We think that is a great amount of insight into the mechanics of the skills, and it’s a great example of what we want to make available for you here on the Diablo III website. We all have to agree though that it’s a ridiculous amount of information to try to display in-game, especially through a tooltip. Let's be clear though that our intent isn’t to force anyone to alt-tab to get game information. The tooltip information we’ll be providing, as well as very basic concepts of players getting and equipping more powerful items, will be plenty to get all players through the game, at least on Normal.

Some of you have been discussing tooltip complexity and more than a few times the World of Warcraft solution of having two different sets of tooltips (simplified and normal) has of course not escaped us. It’s a solution we’d like to explore, but if we did it’s extremely likely that our “normal” tooltips would be the toned-down versions we’re working toward now, and the “simplified” would be even more basic, giving game intent advice in place of any numbers. It’s something we’d like to explore but it’s still something we’ve yet to design, and could very well be something we don’t end up getting into the game.

In closing we wanted to give everyone a heads up because we know there are going to be some conclusions about our intents, and we wanted to share some ideas of having something similar to what Diablo II players could find on the Arreat Summit back in the day.
Looking forward to seeing how you guys end up handling them.
Posts: 80
Same here man, can't wait to see the next patch
Posts: 940
I think it could be a neat option if it were to be implemented.

I see it good for beginners that are comfortable enough with their characters at some point, and that turn on advanced tooltips as they know it won't slow down their pace.

Or just for veteran gamers, right from the start.
Posts: 20
Did you just post a wall of text post at 3 am? That is some intense s**t.
Posts: 452
I'm glad that tooltips are something that Blizzard takes into so much consideration.
85 Tauren Druid
4510
Posts: 530
I would love a "book" tab or an expanded skill tab where all details are presented like the Arreat Summit site.

Something like, when you have the skill selection screen, left click to choose or swamp skill, right click opens a really detailed explanation of that skill, something similar to Arreat Summit.
Wow you posted this at 3am? Anyways, I'm looking forward to seeing what you guys come up with. I personally think it's ok to have simple tooltips throughout the game even if you're in nightmare, hell, or inferno. Knowing that we here posters are more fanatical than your typical gamer that will purchase the game, I think it's fine that we go to the website to look at skills in more depth. Heck, us fanatical players will often go to 3rd party Diablo wikis to get this data so I see no problem whatsoever in presenting the more detailed information via the website.

Perhaps a way for the more non-fanatical players to know where to look on the website is that you guys can include a link on the skill panel in-game that will take the player to the skill data website for more detailed information on skills.

Edit: Actually, I think the in-game book idea that is discussed below is a great idea. When choosing the skills, have the tooltips give minimal information. But have a skill book where we can go to get the nitty gritty details.
Edited by Rombusn on 12/8/2011 11:09 AM PST
Posts: 113
I like Cowbino's idea. I would like to be able to open a "book" that gives me advanced stats on my tool tip. Heck, maybe even a book I can earn when I make it to Hell? Better yet, make the book advance with the players level. The book only has simplified info in easy, normal is more complex, and so forth up to inferno. That way the book grows with you.
Posts: 83
I'm happy that we are getting such well written posts regarding the development process from you Bashiok, especially on your "off" hours. Much appreciated.

I'm not so happy that I will yet again have to tab out of the game every single time I want to look up some information about a spell. I agree that having all of this information up front will ruin the flow of the game and clutter up the screen, but the information like what is on arreat summit needs to be accessible through a menu in game. You guys know a lot of us like to theory craft just as much we love playing the game.
Great! I don't care where you put the information so long as you make it available for us to nerd out on. +1

I have a good computer anyways so alt+tabbing isn't really any different from looking at a tooltip in-game (so long as I'm not surrounded by hordes of demons when I do it).
+1 for working
12/08/2011 01:42 AMPosted by Bashiok
novella-sized skill descriptions
in an important update thread.


Also, thank you for continually updating,testing and improving our gaming experience.
Good work team!
Edited by FixtionFXR on 12/8/2011 6:56 AM PST
@Sorreal
Did you see the part where it said don't freak out? As you know, from playing lots of WoW, Blizzard makes great games that are both simple enough for casual gamers to pick up and deep enough for nerds to dive into. This game, above all, is no exception.

I commend Blizzard on making games that are simple enough for me to introduce to people that might be new to the genre.
Edited by Riot on 12/8/2011 6:59 AM PST
Yes! Make an in-game book that tells all. Perhaps you could mix some lore in with the stats.

For those of us that want to read it we can, for those that don't, carry on.
Posts: 450


Take a look at the skill information on the Diablo II Arreat Summit for barbarian combat skills: http://classic.battle.net/diablo2exp/skills/barbarian-combatskills.shtml We think that is a great amount of insight into the mechanics of the skills, and it’s a great example of what we want to make available for you here on the Diablo III website. We all have to agree though that it’s a ridiculous amount of information to try to display in-game, especially through a tooltip. Let's be clear though that our intent isn’t to force anyone to alt-tab to get game information. The tooltip information we’ll be providing, as well as very basic concepts of players getting and equipping more powerful items, will be plenty to get all players through the game, at least on Normal.


But for people who desire the "advanced" skill information you are creating a game in which we have to alt-tab to get past normal? You Bash, of all people should be aware that "hardcore" players will be spending the vast majority of their time outside of normal.

Diablo 3 has been pegged as a game of customization. Getting told that high level customization must be supported by a browser database is surprising, and upsetting.



Some of you have been discussing tooltip complexity and more than a few times the World of Warcraft solution of having two different sets of tooltips (simplified and normal) has of course not escaped us. It’s a solution we’d like to explore, but if we did it’s extremely likely that our “normal” tooltips would be the toned-down versions we’re working toward now, and the “simplified” would be even more basic, giving game intent advice in place of any numbers. It’s something we’d like to explore but it’s still something we’ve yet to design, and could very well be something we don’t end up getting into the game.



What is the logic behind -not- providing an optional advanced tool tip setting? Why not have three settings? "Simple" "Normal" and "Advanced"? The architecture and text is already in the game, it seems like the obvious answer.

This, more than anything, feels like a massive slap in the face. I've been so excited about the amount of in-game support for customization that has been implemented. It seemed to me that one of the tenants of Diablo was to make it fun, and have it not rely on alt-tabbing. Leaving the game to get neccessary information about the game is -not fun-.

Please, please, please re- think adding an "Advanced" option. I can't think of a single reason for you not to.
Since when do you have to be a ‘hardcore gamer’ to understand simple math? I really do not understand how it could be more simplified than it already is.

Is it gonna come down to:

Barb Skill Cleave — Hit stuff with big stick in half-circle wavy fashion?!??!?!
Posts: 250
I'm confused... are you saying you are permanently simplifying the tooltips in game and never giving more advanced versions than the default and instead posting all the real information on the website?

When people were suggesting you make the tooltips more like the dual versions of the WoW tooltips, they meant have these new simplified tooltips as the basic ones and the current versions as the advanced. The more "advanced" tooltips in WoW (which were the only tooltips for a long time and I seriously doubt anyone was complaining that they were confusing) certainly give all the important facts about the abilities right in the tooltips.

You site the information on the old Diablo 2 pages as the sort of thing you want to provide on the Diablo 3 site, but all of the information on there is also provided in the game tooltips in a concise and clear format. There was no need to simplify them and they provided just as much info as the current Diablo 3 ones.

I thought you people had adopted the philosophy of trying to minimize how much players needed to go out of the game to get specific info about features and mechanics, hence the addition of things like the Dungeon Journal to WoW. Why would you now be backtracking on that with Diablo 3 when so many are just fine with having all the numbers laid out for each skill?

I, for one, enjoy being able to understand exactly what's going on with the stuff I'm doing instead of just having a vague undetstanding because of too little information in the tooltips, and I certainly don't want to have to keep looking up stuff on a website to remind me every so often when I should be able to get that information from the game itself... Stop trying to dumb this game down for the general audience without allowing the people that want to get the full picture of how the skills work to easily access that when and where it matters most, in the game itself!


THIS ^

Basically what Im taking away from this update is:

1. Tooltips are being dumbed down.
2. If dual tooltips are created, the dumbed down versions will be "normal" and some new retardo version will be created as "simplified".
3. I have to alt tab every time I get a new skill, or want to check a certain mechanic in an old skill.

I'm all for making the game approachable to new people, but at least give us an "advanced" option if you're going to make the dumbed down version the new "normal". And put the detailed descriptions IN THE GAME -_-
Posts: 138
Sounds good enough for me. As long as the information is somewhere I'm happy. So when is the release?
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