Diablo® III

Where's Character Customization?

Posts: 175
Hi guys, I just got access to the beta last night and I let a friend of mine try it for a while.

Overall we were really impressed. As I always do when I'm part of a beta, I'll probably write a full review/summary of my thoughts (I just feel I should present my opinion in a clear and concise way as a beta tester), but first I have a question:

How do we customize our characters? I'm glad stats are auto-assigned now, but skills being automatically unlocked really seems to limit character diversity. I know we can use artisans to create interesting weapons/armour, but beyond equipment I don't see any way for one person's Barb to be different from every other barb out there. I know you can socket abilities, but even that seems very minor compared to a full skill tree.

Am I missing a key aspect of the game that will allow us to significantly upgrade our abilities, or are you just going to end up with a different suit in your stash for each major build?

Second, although there's a nice leveling effect and you unlock new abilities/equipment by gaining levels, I still feel like leveling up isn't as exciting as it used to be, without skill selection/upgrades.

[Edit]: Thanks for the responses guys. This thread was especially helpful: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/3811455085

My problem was that I didn't understand how upgrading skills and stats worked now. I still feel like leveling up means less now though. Maybe I'm just old fashioned and like to improve my character directly, instead of his/her armour ;).
Edited by Wingdnosring on 2/3/2012 2:08 PM PST
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Posts: 8,720
But you'll be different because you'll have different items, you'll pick different skills, and you'll slot them with different runes. That's where the customization is supposed to come from, primarily. Skill and rune selection. Their goal is that you will be able to have as many builds as there are shades in the rainbow, so that no two characters have to play exactly alike.
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Posts: 175
But if I have a barb and an enemy has a barb of the same level, what's stopping him from just switching his armour and selecting the same active skills as me? We'd both have the same skills available and the auction house makes getting new equipment a snap. Since you don't level up abilities, even an ability he's never used before will be as effective as the ones I use all the time.

Anybody could suddenly copy my build in very little time, since every character has the same capabilities.

And as I said, once everybody knows what the best builds are, a lot of players will get their hands on the best armour sets and store them all, which would allow them to entirely switch their build in a visit to town.
Edited by Wingdnosring on 2/3/2012 1:57 PM PST
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Anyone could copy anyone's build regardless of the system being used.
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I'll take this over "oh crap I put the wrong points into my level 39 necro and now I can't get through the first Nightmare difficulty boss without dying time to reroll!"
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I have to agree with Wingdnosring when assessing the leveling up. I don't know exactly that I feel that it has much depth either. It's almost confusing.
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Posts: 8,720
But if I have a barb and an enemy has a barb of the same level, what's stopping him from just switching his armour and just selecting the same active skills as me? We'd both have the same skills available and the auction house makes getting new equipment a snap. Since you don't level up abilities, even an ability he's never used before will be as effective as the ones I use all the time.

It just seems like anybody could suddenly copy my build in very little time, since every character has the same capabilities.
Nothing. But what was stopping someone from doing the same in D2? Having an identical barb was just a visit to akara and your stash away.

The difference is, you're not likely to have identical barbs when you meet, in D3. In D2, there were only a handful of viable builds, and every knew exactly what the best items were. You were the right build with the right items, or you were terrible. And there may have been two or five 'right' builds per class, but the result was that you would frequently run in to characters that operated exactly as you did, and were wearing, or attempting to acquire, the exact same gear you were wearing or were attempting to acqure.

In Diablo 3, with each class having ~100 unique runed abilities, each of them viable, it's unlikely that any barb you run in to will play quite like yours. The goal is that skill and rune choice won't be about what the right choice is, but rather, what your choice is. Will it work out? Maybe, maybe not. Some people think that we're destined for cookie cutters no matter what. But I think it has a great deal more potential for build variety than d2 ever did.
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search feature is your friend, there have been many threads about this that would show you how D3 is much more customizable than d2.
here's an oldie but a goodie to get your started:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/3811455085
Edited by Merlin on 2/3/2012 1:59 PM PST
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Posts: 175
But if you wanted to copy somebody's build in Diablo 2, it takes a significant time investment. You feel more attached to your character when you've put alot of time into tailoring it to a certain style of fighting.

In D3 your character isn't you own. You could copy somebody else in a matter of minutes.

Maybe I just enjoy leveling my character instead of leveling my armour :(. Call me old fashioned.
Edited by Wingdnosring on 2/3/2012 2:01 PM PST
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Sure they could copy your characters skills but they cant copy 'your' skills.

Its like in MW3. Someone can copy my model 1887 class which I do very well with but they are not automatically going to do well with it unless they are a good player or know what they are doing
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I believe characters will be very customize-able.

You have six skill slots. Of which can be filled in with roughly 20 - 25 skills.

Those six skills you pick can then be socketed with one of five difference runestones that often have huge changes to the skill.

On top of that you still have three passive skill slots that can be filled in from a pool of 15-ish passive skills.

That alone sets up a huge amount of different builds people can use.

Also I'd much rather have a pool of skills to swap in and out, then to have to port back to town every time I want to change specs.
Edited by D3BETA on 2/3/2012 2:02 PM PST
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Posts: 395
02/03/2012 01:44 PMPosted by Wingdnosring
but skills being automatically unlocked really seems to limit character diversity


If everyone has access to every skill, and they can pick whatever they want, how does that limit diversity? it promotes it.
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Posts: 175
How do you get the runestones though? If you buy them, then people could max out all of their skills by whipping out a credit card as soon as they unlock an ability.
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Posts: 8,720
But if you wanted to copy somebody's build in Diablo 2, it takes a significant time investment. You feel more attached to your character when you've put alot of time into tailoring it to a certain style of fighting.

In D3 your character isn't you own. You could copy somebody else in a matter of minutes.

Maybe I just enjoy leveling my character instead of leveling my armour :(. Call me old fashioned.
What time investment? You can respec at akara.

Don't get me wrong, I do miss the loss of having a reason to level a character more than once. The idea that I'll level a wizard once and never again pains me. I've enjoyed releveling each beta reset. I enjoyed releveling each D2 ladder reset. I will miss these experiences tremendously. But I don't think that has a lot of barring on the leveling of customization available in each game.
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You have to take into account that not everyone will have the same rune setup. One character with a skill setup may match what another character has on paper, but the odds of both characters having access to the same runes at the same time is probably slim, especially early in the game when the top level runes are rare.

Once the game is a few months old and the rune economy is established, there will be more access for people to have matching setups, but this will still be limited by wealth and time spent playing.

I am fully confident that there will be plenty of variation. Even in my time with the Beta I have yet to find a Witch Doctor or Barbarian that uses the same skills or looks the exact same as my own.
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Posts: 8,720
Isn't that cute. BUT ITS WRONG!!!!!

People won't have different items or runes because there will be bis lookup specs. So the only thing that makes you different will be the dyes. Even that is limiting.
That's a mighty fancy crystal ball you have there.

You may have missed my second post that preempts this.

Nothing. But what was stopping someone from doing the same in D2? Having an identical barb was just a visit to akara and your stash away.

The difference is, you're not likely to have identical barbs when you meet, in D3. In D2, there were only a handful of viable builds, and every knew exactly what the best items were. You were the right build with the right items, or you were terrible. And there may have been two or five 'right' builds per class, but the result was that you would frequently run in to characters that operated exactly as you did, and were wearing, or attempting to acquire, the exact same gear you were wearing or were attempting to acqure.

In Diablo 3, with each class having ~100 unique runed abilities, each of them viable, it's unlikely that any barb you run in to will play quite like yours. The goal is that skill and rune choice won't be about what the right choice is, but rather, what your choice is. Will it work out? Maybe, maybe not. Some people think that we're destined for cookie cutters no matter what. But I think it has a great deal more potential for build variety than d2 ever did.
Edited by Static on 2/3/2012 2:10 PM PST
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RUNESTONES
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02/03/2012 01:50 PMPosted by Static
But you'll be different because you'll have different items, you'll pick different skills, and you'll slot them with different runes. That's where the customization is supposed to come from, primarily. Skill and rune selection. Their goal is that you will be able to have as many builds as there are shades in the rainbow, so that no two characters have to play exactly alike.

I want to have a different Barbarian because I use a bow or a throwing knife. I do not want my Barbarian to be different because my whirlwind is purple instead of yellow, and my rare mace has +red instead of +green.
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