Diablo® III

Diablo III - The Customizability Story

90 Human Paladin
Being someone that played D2 into the ground over the span of years I can think of this list of changes I am excited about.

    No more rejuv-potion spam. Replaced by a cooldown on a strong potion, and frequent access to health globes.

    No more stat juggling. Requirement on gear forced a specific amount of points into strength or dexterity, the rest in almost every case was put into Vite.

    No more set in stone talents / less cookie cutting with abilities. Instead each class will get access to all their abilities, which the number of which is multiplied by the amount of runes. Also spell swapping on the fly.

    No more fighting over loot when the boss dies, and watching 7 strangers suck up all the items like a vacuum.

It was pretty easy with the way things were in D2 for new players to be bad at the game for a great length of time. Often hitting a brutal wall either in Diablo's sanctuary in normal or part way through Act 1 in nightmare. The chance that a new player would mess up their talents and attributes to the point of no return was extremely high.

Being a vet of Diablo 2 I was extremely happy with the small look I got of the open beta, understanding completely the full effect will not start to be felt until we get into nightmare. A friend of mine that was completely new to Diablo was hooked instantly; things were very straight forward to learn, and messing up was not even close to permanent. I have to agree Elective Mode should be on as default; I only found out about it because I am a customization freak and explored all of the options.
85 Gnome Warrior
04/23/2012 09:47 PMPosted by ALeetPlayer
I am happy to give up the illusion of meaningful stat allocation as I level in favor of a much more robust and flexible gem system. Consider "end-game" D2 gems added +10 to various attributes, where as the top tier D3 gems grant nearly SIX times this amount. When one or two gems easily eclipse what 15-20 levels worth of potential manual allocation you can easily see where the customization factor comes back to the individual. Making the transition from Hell to Inferno and need more life? Switch out those gems to a stat that makes more sense! This time you even get to salvage the old gem to use/continue upgrading along the way.

How is this any different than stat point allocation ? If stats are meaningful and their assignment via gems is meaningful, how does removing the ability to assign them as you level add customization, or complexity, or anything ?

It removes choice, but not the illusion of stat allocation. If assigning stats is meaningful, its meaningful, the mechanic makes no difference.

But they could have allowed BOTH stat level allocation AND Gem Allocation.

Really this is another "lets never let you make a choice that has any long term implications" you call it flexibility, I call it hand holding and dumbing down the game to the lowest common denominator. heaven forbid anyone might actually fail, they might actually do something wrong, there might actually be some consequence to their choices and actions.

I think the point about wanting control over both stat allocation and gem allocation is fair.

When it comes down to it I think meaningful comes down to numbers. Obviously in the big picture of D2, 1 character level and 5 stat points wasn't more than a drop in the bucket. Multiply that over the level cap, however, and now we're talking the most significant part of the stat picture. The argument against this as far as I see it was that at the end of the day going through these stat points was just going through the motions. When certain gear required certain stat numbers as a barrier of entry, there's no more choice - you have to allocate your stats this way to fit it in. The game got to the point where you'd literally build a character with Best in Slot item aspirations that dominated your stat selection, gear selection, and skill selection. It was a system that was completely based on number crunching and there was always a mathematically superior build.

D3 seems to have turned this whole notion of Best in Slot for items on its head with the new emphasis on crafting rares. Adding in a level cap to 60 actually diminishes what that per level stat allocation was adding to the big picture anyways. Fold that in with the fact that now items don't have anything more than a level restriction to use, gems can not only make up for - but easily surpass the stat total you'd get from leveling, and with skill/rune selection combinations off the charts you don't have to mold a build around a specific set of armor.

With all this in mind I would argue the control you have over your character is still very much alive, it's just the way in which you control it has changed.
"Please tell us"

I never looked up anything for that game and I probably made a lot of 'mistakes' in the eyes of all you elite VIDEO GAME PLAYERS. You think I give 2 !@#$s what your opinion of my characters would of been? I played the game for years with friends and enjoyed it thoroughly.


You have now made it quite clear that you are either a troll or have NO idea what this discussion is even about. The ENTIRE point that Blizzard and others have been trying to get across to people like you is that D3 is designed toward just what you described, playing your character the way you want, not how someone else thinks it should be played.

I'm not one of the "elite" video game players by any means. I've never been a top dpser, I've never been in a top raiding guild. However, anyone who has even a clue, knows that the top rated players in WoW use very specific builds with very few points to just put wherever they feel like.

What you describe right here is encouraged by Diablo 3. You can have fun because you can make a viable character the way you like to play them. In Diablo 2, you can have fun despite not being able to make your character anyway you wanted to play them.
jeez, I'm just a simple gamer not looking for guts or glory over the defeat of an online game. I just like the simpld challenge that diablo has given me over the years. anything else is way above my talent level for what I intend to achieve in my life time or intended goal
Community Manager
By whose standards is it "Bad" , Yours? , well guess what, YOUR opinion on how I build my character have exactly 0 impact on my enjoyment of a game, and by taking away my freedom to make a mistake you basically sit us down and tell us "no no no, we don't have faith that you can enjoy this GAME without us holding your hand"

It's wrong, and it is insulting.

Woah, let's step back because that's not what I meant. You have total freedom of choice in Diablo III, and that includes making mistakes. You'll have a great time playing the game how you want to play it, and having the ability to make a bad choice, figure out what the problem is, and work to correct it. You're going to have a blast with it.

My point was directed at those saying skill trees are a superior system, and in the case of both Diablo II and World of Warcraft they've been proven to be very fundamentally flawed in a few significant ways. If you never looked up a guide to see how to build the best character, that's awesome, but many people who really want 'the best' character don't play through trial and error (unless they're the frontline theorycrafters actually doing the math).

I think Diablo III will be the perfect game for you. You'll be able to experiment, you'll have billions of possible skill combinations to try out, and as you make bad decisions it's not going to be automatically clear what the problem is. There's plenty of critical thinking to try to find a viable build, but it doesn't come at the punishment of making you level a new character.
85 Blood Elf Warrior
Seriously guys, now Im really curious. What the hell were you trying to do in D2 if you werent seeing which builds could make it to 99?
Community Manager
04/23/2012 10:31 PMPosted by Sarvswati
Seriously guys, now Im really curious. What the hell were you trying to do in D2 if you werent seeing which builds could make it to 99?

Entertainment. Play a game, have some fun, waste some time. Playing video games isn't serious business for everyone.
Sorry Bash for going off on him, that post deserved to be deleted :( This is why I'll never be a community manager XD
Edited by Arangarx#1148 on 4/23/2012 10:38 PM PDT
Mr bash! What happened to sleep? The bash is too cool for sleep.
90 Draenei Shaman
I was just wondering if they are gonna have any skills customized to weapons in diablo 3 like d2 had. an example of this would be guided arrow for a bowzon or lighting fury for a Javazon. if not right away but in the near future so you can choose a path you would like to go with what weapons you want to use and what special skills go along with it. I feel this would add alot to the game and make a person feel like they customized there character by choosing the path of how they want to play even if there is no skill points which im all for. maybe give us a weapon mastery option?
85 Blood Elf Warrior
04/23/2012 10:33 PMPosted by Bashiok
Seriously guys, now Im really curious. What the hell were you trying to do in D2 if you werent seeing which builds could make it to 99?

Entertainment. Play a game, have some fun, waste some time. Playing video games isn't serious business for everyone.

Oh ok, so basically just grinding with friends. Thats cool, and my biggest reason for playing D3 will prob be so I can talk to my WoW buddies once I get through the story once, but we'll see ^.^ .
I look at diablo iii as a continuation to as a lord of desruction contnuation game. It just goes on and on until diablo iv comes around or another spin off occurs
90 Draenei Shaman
are you ever gonna be able to use 2 handed weapons that are better then 2 1 handers?
90 Blood Elf Hunter
04/23/2012 10:31 PMPosted by Sarvswati
Seriously guys, now Im really curious. What the hell were you trying to do in D2 if you werent seeing which builds could make it to 99?

You spend a rather large amount of time building up to that point. Shouldn't you enjoy the journey there too?

I can't help but feel that Diablo 2 encouraged the trip to be more about "preparation," getting all the pieces to fall in place by rigorous research in advance, rather than the time you're allowed to see if something works.. That it amounted to more trying, failing, and restarting than adapting to the gameplay.

04/23/2012 10:35 PMPosted by Mith
Don't forget to consider that Diablo 3 limits you to a maximum of 6 active skills.

Which is a good thing. I dunno what you did during beta, but I used every skill I assigned. I'm not sure that Diablo 2 encouraged using much more than six anyway, and many of your choices are only there to enable other choices too. But Diablo 3 deals with more skills, and forces you to make harder choices. You're going to not be able to take something you want. Which is something you SHOULD have to think about.
Edited by ZHER0K#1488 on 4/23/2012 10:42 PM PDT
Just playing around with the skill calculator should make it obvious that there are a ton of options. There are so many it astounds me. To say that there are less viable build choices in Diablo III than Diablo II is just completely false. I could make a new build for all five classes every night from now until release and still not know which to choose. To care if someone copies you is conceited. If you are smart enough to figure out the best build, then you should be proud that people copy it. The thing is, if you or anyone else figures out the optimum build, it will be posted on the internet and everyone will copy it, regardless if they have to re-roll a new character or not. If that happens, Blizzard will probably nerf that build because the goal is to make tons of viable builds with no single one being the best.


1.) There is not supposed to be a best build in Diablo III so everyone will play how they like to play.

2.) Even if you discover a best build, that build will become common knowledge and people will copy it regardless of the time commitment (15 seconds or rolling a new character). Then Blizzard will nerf it.
Since when did video games become math homework? Number crunching? It all comes down to numbers? I for one do not enjoy numbers or math. I hate it. Math is the worst. Blizzard is doing a great job, they make Diablo III feel more like a video game and less like work. WoW and even D2 felt like work, where if I made a slight mistake with how I put my points in made every difference and I would have to reroll or whatever. With this, I have the option to use all the abilities given to my character. Why would anybody complain about being able to actually do more while playing the game and killing monsters which is the point of Diablo, not crunching numbers or worrying about builds.
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