Diablo® III

UI change for better skill swapping.

80 Undead Death Knight
1160
Posts: 38
Having free skill swapping was an interesting ‘side-effect’ of allowing players to experiment freely with new skills on the field. I have made several threads on the subject matter, and members of the D3 community have had an excellent discussion on possible system alternatives.

I now think that it is too late to take relatively easy swapping away from players, and any new restrictions Blizzard implements will simply enforce not allowing swapping in combat and while a spell is on cooldown.

Rather than encouraging ‘builds’, it seems Blizzard will want you to focus instead on what 6 spells you have active at any one time. Builds have now become ‘dynamic’, and ‘situational’, according to personal preference.

In that case, there is a better way to do this then with the current UI.

Currently the player opens up the spell/rune window, selects a slot and then a spell and rune combination. It isn’t a bad UI – if swapping wasn’t allowed it would be a great UI - it's just that there really isn't the need to open that window. The reason I say that is because I think most people will rune a spell the way they like it, and will only swap SPELLS regularly, NOT spells AND runes regularly. That's not to say swapping runes doesn't have its uses, it’s just that it will be MUCH less frequent then spell swapping, and so the UI doesn’t need to be streamlined for that.

What happens to the current 6 slot spell/rune page?
Well, if all spells become accessible, then there is no need for the page to limit it only to 6 slots. It would probably show ALL spells available to a player instead, and allow for all to be runed.

Disclaimer: Of course there is no swapping in PvP. Perhaps if you want to change your spell combination in PvP you have to sacrifice instant resurrection in the Arena (less time for you to gain points) to enable you to make a new combination (with a timer cap of course).



EDIT: I did suggest an alternative but it has been shown to have a fundamental flaw, so there's no need for that bigger wall of text.
Edited by Baldur on 9/22/2011 9:34 AM PDT
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100 Troll Mage
14275
Posts: 943
Needlessly complicated, under your system I could not have two skills from one group at once without changing the groups around, which is going to mean a lot of time doing "skill math" to map out the combinations I won't use and...-

See that? That is where you stop. That is the line. I have to scroll to read your entire post at 1920x1080, and you don't even have any quotes. I actually stopped reading at this line:
You can eventually allocate every one of your spells to small columns of spells across the base slots 1-5.

I can already see that this system is actually worse than what's in the game already, it's just way too complicated. You've taken 6 slots and turned them into 30. No.

You know what you do in the current system to change skills? Press the skill key, click, click. You know what you do with your system to change skills? Press shift, click, click.
You haven't simplified things at all.

Besides, Blizzard already said they're against swapping in combat and are looking for a way to prevent it. So no, it is not "too late to take free swapping away from players."
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80 Undead Death Knight
1160
Posts: 38
09/22/2011 06:35 AMPosted by Dreyfuss
Needlessly complicated, under your system I could not have two skills from one group at once without changing the groups around


I did not say there are spell groups. I only described how I would group MY spells. You're thinking I said that you can't have Frenzy and Bash out at the same time (one in slot 1 and one in slot 2 for example) because they both belong to some imaginary spell group of direct damage.

That is NOT what I said. All it is is a way to have all your spells accessible (outside of combat) without opening a new window to re-organise yourself. You can put whatever spell in whatever slot you like.


Besides, Blizzard already said they're against swapping in combat and are looking for a way to prevent it. So no, it is not "too late to take free swapping away from players."


As I stated in my post, I am aware that swapping in combat is a no-no, and I am aware of Blizzard's stance on this.

However, that does not mean they won't allow players to swap spells and experiment relatively easily. Free swapping does not exclusively mean you can swap in combat, free swapping here simply means that you are not discouraged from swapping spells within the bounds of whatever system they implement.

If however they resort to spell swapping to be allowed in town only, then yes, the UI I suggested is utterly pointless and convoluted. This is only for cases where swapping is made available outside of town.

I hope that clears a few things up.
Edited by Baldur on 9/22/2011 7:58 AM PDT
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100 Troll Mage
14275
Posts: 943
Needlessly complicated, under your system I could not have two skills from one group at once without changing the groups around


I did not say there are spell groups. I only described how I would group MY spells. You're thinking I said that you can't have Frenzy and Bash out at the same time (one in slot 1 and one in slot 2 for example) because they both belong to some imaginary spell group of direct damage.

That is NOT what I said. All it is is a way to have all your spells accessible (outside of combat) without opening a new window to re-organise yourself. You can put whatever spell in whatever slot you like.


Likewise, that is not what I said either. I said nothing about not being able to have two damage skills out, what I said was having two spells from the same group. I know what "for example" means. What you said was we would have groups of spells. It does not matter HOW they are grouped, the problem still remains that your combinations are limited no matter how you divvy up the skills. You either put duplicates in multiple groups so you can have it available in more combinations and block space for other skills, or you take all skills but lose the ability to use two skills you've placed in the same group at once. No matter what it just complicates things. The only skills that avoid this issue are Mantras and Wizard armors, otherwise it's just a lot of unnecessary logistics.

09/22/2011 07:51 AMPosted by Baldur
Besides, Blizzard already said they're against swapping in combat and are looking for a way to prevent it. So no, it is not "too late to take free swapping away from players."


As I stated in my post, I am aware that swapping in combat is a no-no, and I am aware of Blizzard's stance on this.

However, that does not mean they won't allow players to swap spells and experiment relatively easily. Free swapping does not exclusively mean you can swap in combat, free swapping here simply means that you are not discouraged from swapping spells within the bounds of whatever system they implement.

If however they resort to spell swapping to be allowed in town only, then yes, the UI I suggested is utterly pointless and convoluted. This is only for cases where swapping is made available outside of town.

I hope that clears a few things up.


As long as you're not in combat you're not under duress and there's no need to try and quicken the system that is already pretty quick. As I said, key-click-click vs key-click click. All you've changed is the locations of the buttons.
Edited by Dreyfuss on 9/22/2011 8:14 AM PDT
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Posts: 306
I actually have an idea to prevent skill swapping on the fly during combat.

Might sound dumb to be honest... It might even have been suggested before. Not too sure about that... But how about skill swapping can only be done when your character is standing on top of those big sigils on the floor that allows you to go port back to town?

Might even add some dynamism and strategic playstyle in PVP as well... Like a mode of "King of the Mountain" except that this mountain is the sigil in which the controlling team will have the power to swap out their spells to counter their opponents tactically.

Or even placing sigils at the spawn points in arena death matches. Basically a base where you are able to unload and load your spells on the fly, as long as you are within the vicinity of the sigil.
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Edited for spam.
Edited by Jacka on 1/3/2012 1:03 AM PST
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Posts: 1,159
I think only the most obsessive-compulsive players, the ones whose desks and pantries and closets are hyper-organized and compartmentalized, are going to enjoy the process of sorting all their spells into six arbitrary thematic groups before they can even start to use the UI in the way that you intend.

If you really want to add a quick-switch UI element that only displays icons (maybe with some mouseover text) a la Diablo 2, get rid of the six columns and just have one large box with all the icons pop up. The same large box would pop up no matter which of the real skill slots you clicked on. Then you can access all of them for any slot, without having to sort them into arbitrary groups, and it removes the issue Dreyfuss raised about not being able to use two skills from the same column simultaneously.

Ultimately, though, I think I agree with FirePenguin that putting in a way to let people switch faster is counter-productive and would just worsen the situation of people switching skills around before every single encounter. If the present UI slows you down some, that's probably a good thing.
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80 Undead Death Knight
1160
Posts: 38
It does not matter HOW they are grouped, the problem still remains that your combinations are limited no matter how you divvy up the skills. You either put duplicates in multiple groups so you can have it available in more combinations and block space for other skills, or you take all skills but lose the ability to use two skills you've placed in the same group at once.


My apologies. I see what you meant now.

Hmm, that IS a fatal flaw. The only way to counter that would be to have EVERY one of your spells show up for slot placement just like in D2 - a giant spell box as Xanthippus pointed out.

That IS possible, but it would need to be implemented elegantly.

Regardless of the flaw in my suggestion however, it does not change the fact that there IS a better way to swap spells then with the current UI.

Any other suggestions?
Edited by Baldur on 9/22/2011 9:41 AM PDT
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Posts: 1,395
What happens to the current 6 slot spell/rune page?
That page would see the most ‘drastic’ change. It no longer has only 6 slots but rather shows you ALL available spells, and allows you to Rune each and every one of them.

Your system advocates the usage of all the skills a character has, you even suggest that a player (under your system) would be able to rune all of their skills. This is not the design goals of the REAL character system. A player is supposed to select 6 skills (at proper level) to use and rune. The ability to swap skills without restriction is added as a convenience to players. It isn't added so players can meta-game the use of more than 6 skills in an encounter or even a series of encounters. Though there will be people who do so, I see no reason to make it easier.

I now think that it is too late to take relatively easy swapping away from players

This is Blizzard. It is never too late for them. Tomorrow, disappointed with the current development, Blizzard could scrap the whole project and start all over again delaying the game another 6 years like they did in 2005. Nothing is set in stone. They will not release the game until they are happy, and if being happy means making drastic changes, they will do it. That being said, the fact that Blizzard has started public beta tells me they don't plan to scrap the project. Don't let that fool you into thinking that any system, let alone a user interface, is beyond drastic change.
Edited by Zaergate on 9/22/2011 9:48 AM PDT
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