Exactly! I can still remember my first necromancer. I wanted to go pure summoner, LOTS of skeletons. I tore through the first act of the game and then I get to Act 2 and Duriel and my character went from a God to completely impotent. None of my summons lasted more than seconds and I couldn't do enough damage to Duriel to make any difference.
Did I make the "right" choices? Obviously not, but to someone fresh in to the game there was absolutely no reason to believe that my build would go from hero to zero in a matter of moments. Afterwards I found out that a summoner necro is worthless without x, y, and z.
That's not compelling game-play, I didn't learn a valuable lesson--well, I did, I just learned that you can't really customize your character to play the way you like to play.
Diablo 2 Barbarian skill progression
Ignores all passive skills
Diablo 3 Barbarian skill progression
Ignores passive skills and runes
2 Hammer of the Ancients
4 Ground Stomp
9 Ancient Spear
12 Seismic Slam
14 Weapon Throw
17 Threatening Shout
21 Furious Charge
22 Battle Rage
22 Ignore Pain
25 Call of the Ancients
28 War Cry
30 Wrath of the Berserker
If we are to take the estimate that a Normal difficulty playthrough will take you to level 20, then by the end of Normal difficulty a Diablo 3 Barbarian will have about 15 different skills to choose from, plus passives and runes
In comparison, Diablo 2 Barbarian, who would have hit level 30 by the time he slays Diablo (and definitely by the time he slays Baal) and finishes Normal mode would have about 20 different skills to choose from, 18 if we disregard Find Potion and Find Item as being non-combat. 6 of these 18 are the various shouts, although they're not as directly dismissable since there's some overlap between being buffs and crowd control effects.
However, by the time Diablo 3's Barbarian gets to level 30, which will probably be somewhere in Nightmare, he will by then have 22 skills to choose from, plus passives and runes. He will also continue to unlock more runes and passives up until the final level of 60.
Pacing is also something to consider here, as Diablo 2 has gaps 6 levels apart where you won't unlock anything new until then, whereas the largest active skill gap in Diablo 3 is just 3 levels apart, from 5 to 8 and again from 22 to 25.
Well it's late. I've read a lot of the discussion but I'm not sure I have much more to add at this point (or the steam to add it). I do want to thank everyone, regardless of how you feel, for investing the time to discussing the game. I understand none of us would be here if we didn't care, and for that I appreciate the energy you're putting in to wanting Diablo III to be the best game it can be.
Have a good night. Stay civil.
I agree. The beauty of the new system is that theoretically every skill is viable for an endgame build. And with automatic stat allocation its hard to mess your character up. Why are people complaining about this? As Bashiok said ~150 skills per class, sounds like a lot of customization to me!
Then why didn't they go to other games ? Why is D2 one of the most enduring and popular games of all time ??? Again it was in the top 20 selling games in 2008, like a decade after release ... Sorry, but your assertion and the facts just don't add up.
Many people did go to other games.
What made D2 enduring and popular was that it was fun DESPITE its flawed customization system, not because of it.
I'm REALLY tired of telling people over and over about Elective Mode. I've never come across a person who DOESN'T like it an enable it immediately after hearing about it. Can I get some help here Blizz?
Well it's late. I've read a lot of the discussion but I'm not sure I have much more to add at this point (or the steam to add it). I do want to thank everyone, regardless of how you feel, for investing the time to discussing the game. I understand none of us would be here if we didn't care, and for that I appreciate the energy you're putting in to wanting Diablo III to be the best game it can be.Sleep tight, Bashiok. I'll be keeping the midnight oil burning.
Sorry but you guys are wrong, and hypocritical. There is always going to be the "best" build for w/e game in any RPG ever made, d3 is not excluded from this, and if people choose to play the "Best" (because according to bashiok , if you dont aim to be the best then you are just terrible and building a bad character) then guess whats going to happen. Less than a year from now you will have 6 different classes, all of which everyone will have the exact same gear , the exact same build, using the exact same 'rune's. Thanks to no stat allocation, even that, will be the exact same.
Of course there will be optimum builds. However, due to the amount of runes/skills, there are going to be MUCH more VIABLE builds that, although may not be the best, will still be usable even in later difficulties.
I honestly wasn't trying to make it look like Diablo 3 was worse off.
If anything, I kept mentioning that Diablo 3's Barbarian has just as many skills as the Diablo 2 Barbarian before runes ever come into play, AND the rate of acquisition is much better spread out AND the lack of commitment encourages experimentation.
The D3 system working:
For my barb, I felt like I needed a balance between single target and aoe damage. I accomplished this in a multitude of ways: (1)bash/hammer of the ancients (2)frenzy/hammer of the ancients (3) Cleave/Rend...etc. All options felt right and it felt like the difference between them was a matter of preference.
Good job blizzard, the beta was fun and my hopes are actually up after playing the beta.
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