Diablo® III

Bring back the Skill Tree please

I'll make it as simple as possible

Q. What is skill tree?
A. The "skill tree" is eventually a concept of ability accumulating system that can be traversed differently by characters and choices, and is not necessarily a tree.

Q. Why skill tree?
A. It is one of the forms of customization a RPG should provide. Without customization, an ARPG is eventually an Action game and is why some felt Diablo 3 lacked something important comparing to its prequels - because it has near to none RPG elements. (If I wanted to play an action game, DMC and GoW are definitely better, you know what I mean, there are too many better choices.)

Q: Why full respec or skill pool is bad?
A: Full respec means you can always choose the best leveling build, ignoring the risks of making bad decisions that fail your characters midway. Did you ever feel the first 3 difficulties are boring and unnecessary? It is because they only serve the purpose of unlocking skills in the pool. A better model is you make decisions to accumulate your power, then test them in well tuned difficulties to see the pros and cons, and fix your build without falling off the final ideal character. If you make enough bad choices to stuck in Nightmare, then it is your own fault. Otherwise, we don't need so many difficulties, one is enough, we unlock everything without choices anyways.

Q: But isn't it stupid to reroll just for trying a new skill?
A: Reroll is not as bad as you think when you can have fun in the process instead of rushing from 0 to 60 mindlessly.

This is not a troll post. Anunnaki#3684 is my profile.
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Q: After some while, all superior builds will be created, players will just copy from the Internet, if the tree and decisions will finally become redundant, why should there be a tree?

A: What you eat will finally become poops, then why do you eat tasty foods? Because even eating for nutrition can be entertaining, not to mention we are playing a game. To be realistic, Diablo 3 is not a subscription based game that is meant to be expanded and played forever. It will go to an end like every other game, what really matters is whether the players quit with smiles on their faces and whether they will pre-order your next title for the good old experiences and respect, like what we had in other Blizzard games.


1. Show me where Blizz auto assigns our active skills/runes and passive skills. Then I would agree with you that we have no choices.

2. Trust me there is customization in this game. When I choose to play with different builds for the barb. Each plays different, sure I do not need different gear. But that is an itemization problem and not one that a skill tree could fix.

3. So then what is the difference between respecs that can fix a build and a reroll. The only difference is time. It takes time to reroll characters. Good luck trying to sell no respecs just to try out another build to this crowd. Players are bored already with listening to the story as it is now.

4. If you think leveling a character to max level is fun then why would you need to be forced to do it. If you love leveling a new character of the same class you can do that now. You can do that and choose to never use the respec system at all. Keep rerolling to try out new builds. If leveling is so much fun then you could even go further and use no equipment that would boost your leveling speed. You would level on MP0 just for the fun of it.

If players loved leveling a character just to try out different builds. Then why in D2 were there so many players that rushed through the leveling process. If I had a dime for every rush game that I counted I would be a billionaire by now.

5. If you really think that having respecs takes away the consequences of making poor choices in your build. Then try this, take a wiz and have all four shields a familiar and a signature spell and try and farm MP10 solo and tell me what happens. Will the existence of respecs give you a handicap where you will not get killed and one shot everything. I highly doubt it

6. I have not seen any skill tree system where you are leveling up the skills. Where it will make all skill viable at endgame. The early tier attack skills are usually crap at endgame. They have to be, simply because if they were balanced around being useful in endgame. Then they would be OP'd in the lower levels. And as you level they would be getting weaker as you go up in the levels. Players would not like that.
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...you guys keep missing the point by focusing on skill tree and D2: where is character customization in D3?
Not only the devs removed the skill tree (that and other things that were certainly not perfect in D2), but they just removed the all character customization concept.
Consequence: no feeling of attachment to the avatar, and leveling has no flavor; the purpose of it from 1 to 60 is to unlock the skills, nothing more than a tutorial. Parangon lvling slowly gives more power but no excitement.

For a pure action games the leveling mechanic might as well be removed. But for a franchise that shares some kind of RPG/ARPG culture, it feels something is missing.


That's where you are wrong. Locked skill trees in D2 destroyed my attachment to any of my chars. Hell, I had to level 4 Paladins to try everything I wanted. In D3, I have "my monk". My single, awesome monk.

Although, some visual customization would be nice.
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pointless, we knew all the viable builds already. Nobody will waste a single skill point to "test out" a skill. DH will just max out all the points on the shadow power + spike trap or hunger arrow + elemental arrow. WD will just max out zombie dog + sacrifice or zombie bear + acid cloud.. etc
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if the ability of changing the color of your panties provides immersion then...
However, all characters are the same, muppets without history, there is no user input to customize them. I find it poor, but that's just my opinion.
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Let's say they implement the skill tree. I guarantee the OP is not going to spend hundreds of hours testing the "too many possible builds".

He's just gonna play for a while, will notice he went the wrong path and will be mad.

Then he'll google the builds and will go with the best one.

So, well done OP
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...you guys keep missing the point by focusing on skill tree and D2: where is character customization in D3?
Not only the devs removed the skill tree (that and other things that were certainly not perfect in D2), but they just removed the all character customization concept.
Consequence: no feeling of attachment to the avatar, and leveling has no flavor; the purpose of it from 1 to 60 is to unlock the skills, nothing more than a tutorial. Parangon lvling slowly gives more power but no excitement.

For a pure action games the leveling mechanic might as well be removed. But for a franchise that shares some kind of RPG/ARPG culture, it feels something is missing.

Exactly what I was trying to say.
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03/27/2013 07:55 AMPosted by Garthandal
A skill tree does not have to hold you to a certain build. How about a few lvl ups for runes that we use or something similar to this. I am not sure of the best way but having gear the ONLY way to customize our characters makes for very little vested insterest in progression.

Like a passive skill tree and active skill runes lol?
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1. Show me where Blizz auto assigns our active skills/runes and passive skills. Then I would agree with you that we have no choices.

2. Trust me there is customization in this game. When I choose to play with different builds for the barb. Each plays different, sure I do not need different gear. But that is an itemization problem and not one that a skill tree could fix.

3. So then what is the difference between respecs that can fix a build and a reroll. The only difference is time. It takes time to reroll characters. Good luck trying to sell no respecs just to try out another build to this crowd. Players are bored already with listening to the story as it is now.

4. If you think leveling a character to max level is fun then why would you need to be forced to do it. If you love leveling a new character of the same class you can do that now. You can do that and choose to never use the respec system at all. Keep rerolling to try out new builds. If leveling is so much fun then you could even go further and use no equipment that would boost your leveling speed. You would level on MP0 just for the fun of it.

If players loved leveling a character just to try out different builds. Then why in D2 were there so many players that rushed through the leveling process. If I had a dime for every rush game that I counted I would be a billionaire by now.

5. If you really think that having respecs takes away the consequences of making poor choices in your build. Then try this, take a wiz and have all four shields a familiar and a signature spell and try and farm MP10 solo and tell me what happens. Will the existence of respecs give you a handicap where you will not get killed and one shot everything. I highly doubt it

6. I have not seen any skill tree system where you are leveling up the skills. Where it will make all skill viable at endgame. The early tier attack skills are usually crap at endgame. They have to be, simply because if they were balanced around being useful in endgame. Then they would be OP'd in the lower levels. And as you level they would be getting weaker as you go up in the levels. Players would not like that.


First of all, you can put it this way that the current features need an overhaul if they decide to create a skill tree in the expansion, if the question is too dependent to current features I'm not going to argue over it. Replying not in order.

When talking about all skills should be viable in the end game but not only past by, I can't agree with you more. One solution maybe separating passives into a tree but actives into skill runes as someone mentioned above so you get to keep all the passives and choose whatever the active skills for the end game, but I'm not trying to be creative here.

Does skill pool of Diablo 3 provide ANY customization? If your scale is only 0/1, then yes it does provide customization, as much as some first-person shooters. But my scale isn't 0/1, so no, it doesn't provide enough customization because I didn't see the skills get stronger over time as something I should've been able to develop.

Time is the only difference between respec and reroll? No, reroll can still be hard, but respec can't, that is the difference. If how you progress do matter and choices are barely reversible, you will think and plan more carefully. In my case, it gives me more pleasure than the emptiness after someone giving me everything. You can call similar ideas the "feedback" and see them in all good musics and movies and games.

But should I choose one skill, let's say Cleave, through one to sixty and paragon 0 to 100 in order to feel this feedback? If I can level my Cleave and expand related passives for the skills of Cleave's kind as I level up, then maybe.

Why are there so many rush games in D2? Because games get old, that means there are times when a game is fresh. Therefore, I've already wrote in a reply that there should be some workarounds to enable massive respec when players no longer dig for new builds and start getting bored. And which, is still better than a mere skill pool.

Question 5 is not even a question, handicap is not the purpose, I wouldn't cut my leg in order to climb a mountain, on the contrary, I train my legs for that purpose.

6. Answered
Edited by Anunnaki#3684 on 3/27/2013 12:25 PM PDT
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The problem with the flexible skill system is that choosing a set of skills and runes is not the same thing at all as building a set of skills and runes. Would you enjoy the game if you could simply choose what stats to use from a menu, with a budget based on number of elites killed? Over the long term a stat menu would work exactly the same way as building a set of items; in either system your stats will keep going up so long as you keep mowing down demons.

But that would be awful even though all you're really doing is cutting out the middleman - items. That's what reducing skills / runes to simple choices did, it cut out the middleman - you.

All you really need to make a much better system is ranks of skills and runes that you collect over time, which would create an opportunity cost to the order in which you put builds together, and simultaneously create a much more tweakable set of abilities. An added boon is you could make them dropped objects like items, adding a whole new dimension to the item hunt. I outlined how a system like that works here:

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/8480588270#13
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Do people who ask for stuff like skill trees and offline mode have some sort of mental defect? There is absolutely ZERO chance devs will implement these things so why keep asking for it?


Uhhh because its part of what we LOVED about Diablo 2 !?!?! And part of what made it one of the
most successful games of that era.

And so many people ask for it because thats what the game needs. A long time ago Blizzard was about making GREAT games, releasing them when they were done, time, and money not being the primary focus. That seems to have changed and died away.

And if there are major overhauls to D3 they should be done, because its the right and correct thing to do not because its easy to implement.
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03/27/2013 03:16 PMPosted by Crimson
what we LOVED


03/27/2013 03:16 PMPosted by Crimson
A long time ago Blizzard was about making GREAT games


03/27/2013 03:16 PMPosted by Crimson
That seems to have changed and died away


All part of the past, again and with all due respect, move on. Life goes on

Why do you need the skill tree back?

Are you really going to play hundreds and hundreds of hours to find the right build? getting upset because you went the wrong path?

Let's be serious, you will google all the builds and when they're all stablished you will go with the most OP of them all
Edited by ZaPLaS#1243 on 3/27/2013 3:33 PM PDT
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03/27/2013 12:18 PMPosted by FrozenSoul
Time is the only difference between respec and reroll? No, reroll can still be hard, but respec can't, that is the difference. If how you progress do matter and choices are barely reversible, you will think and plan more carefully. In my case, it gives me more pleasure than the emptiness after someone giving me everything. You can call similar ideas the "feedback" and see them in all good musics and movies and games.


But with a time factor of rerolling so now you would plan your build better. Where as the majority would just use the optimal build. Why bother with anything else, why bother wasting time experimenting when the best build can do it faster and better.

With respecs players will experiment more and try different builds. And maybe even try different gear setups to see what happens. They might even try taking that build and see if it can clear MP10 or not. With respecs experiments are not a waste of time. Where as without them they are seen as a waste of time by a lot of players.

03/27/2013 12:18 PMPosted by FrozenSoul
Does skill pool of Diablo 3 provide ANY customization? If your scale is only 0/1, then yes it does provide customization, as much as some first-person shooters. But my scale isn't 0/1, so no, it doesn't provide enough customization because I didn't see the skills get stronger over time as something I should've been able to develop.


Does each build you make play differently? If the answer is yes then it does provide customization.

Point five in my post you are replying to is real simple. The existence of respecs does not automatically make all possible builds viable in inferno. There are no doubt billions of builds that just will not work no matter how hard you try to make them work. The only thing respecs do at that point is to allow you to quickly fix your build. As opposed to rerolling which takes more time.

As far as point six, I have finally taken a good look at TL2's skill tree and have to admit it is a lot closer to how I would've designed a skill tree system. Level gating skills and skill points spent in skills is the only way I know of making all skills useful at endgame. But that idea came from Median XL mod anyway.
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03/26/2013 08:50 PMPosted by IllIllllIllI
They won't. They want idiots to be able to play around with random abilities until something clicks; Instead of actually thinking and mapping out where you want to go on a skill tree.
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Being a bit delusional thinking skill trees suddenly fix everything.

You also had very few skills to use in D2. Hell no is re-rolling your character fun, either. That creates cookie-cutter builds to the extreme, and punishes you too severely. Frankly, one screw up then having to start over was a horrible idea. The game grew more repetitive quicker since you were stuck doing the same thing over and over yet without the progress. Speaking of progress, that screw up deleted your progress and basically told you your idea of a build was bad, therefore, you start over and your prior progress is invalidated.
Really, doesn't anyone think of the alternative. D2 was too unforgiving and there is a lack of permanence in D3, it is all about finding the middle ground. Making it plausible to respec, but making it discouraging to do on a regular basis. Repeating the mistakes of the past is not a good idea, plus skill trees are overrated. I've tinkered with plenty but they do in fact create the illusion of choice.

They are fairly rigid and do impose quite a few restrictions. Recall how many abilities were mandatory in D2, one missed point and you should start over or screw yourself later on. You earn the thing in both D2 and D3 methods D2 just allowed you to skip that ability for something else. Frankly, many of the things you could get from the trees were boring some just designated utter crap. WoW did the talent tree things for years and look how horribly they turned out.

I'd rather the team find a way of walking that middle ground instead. Also, Diablo has always been a hack & slash/dungeon crawler first and foremost. The term ARPG doesn't really give you the correct impression. The games have become progressively more RPG focused, but at core they are still hack & slash/dungeon crawlers.
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03/27/2013 04:53 PMPosted by Necrosis
Being a bit delusional thinking skill trees suddenly fix everything.

No one said so, there are still other aspects.

You also had very few skills to use in D2. Hell no is re-rolling your character fun, either. That creates cookie-cutter builds to the extreme, and punishes you too severely. Frankly, one screw up then having to start over was a horrible idea. The game grew more repetitive quicker since you were stuck doing the same thing over and over yet without the progress. Speaking of progress, that screw up deleted your progress and basically told you your idea of a build was bad, therefore, you start over and your prior progress is invalidated.
Really, doesn't anyone think of the alternative. D2 was too unforgiving and there is a lack of permanence in D3, it is all about finding the middle ground. Making it plausible to respec, but making it discouraging to do on a regular basis. Repeating the mistakes of the past is not a good idea, plus skill trees are overrated. I've tinkered with plenty but they do in fact create the illusion of choice.

Too D2 dependent.
Designs can be improved, there can be room for mistakes.


They are fairly rigid and do impose quite a few restrictions. Recall how many abilities were mandatory in D2, one missed point and you should start over or screw yourself later on. You earn the thing in both D2 and D3 methods D2 just allowed you to skip that ability for something else. Frankly, many of the things you could get from the trees were boring some just designated utter crap. WoW did the talent tree things for years and look how horribly they turned out.

As a subscription based game, if WoW didn't try to surprise you with every major patch, no one would keep playing it. The talent tree wasn't a disaster, but outdated, and it was decent in the first few years.

If someone wants to play a Diablo game like a newlywed everyday, we can say he loves the game but is being unreasonable.

The skipping ability for something else problem is again too D2 dependent, it can be eliminated with a better design. The skill tree is not necessarily a D2 skill tree.


I'd rather the team find a way of walking that middle ground instead. Also, Diablo has always been a hack & slash/dungeon crawler first and foremost. The term ARPG doesn't really give you the correct impression. The games have become progressively more RPG focused, but at core they are still hack & slash/dungeon crawlers.

You mean the creators of Diablo were wrong, it didn't succeed as an ARPG? I think the next time they should remove the stats and levels on a character to only focus on dungeon crawlers treasure hunting, and we shall see how fun that will become.
Edited by Anunnaki#3684 on 3/27/2013 11:54 PM PDT
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What does a skill tree do?

Gives players the impression that they have control over how their chosen character progresses through the game. You could add enough content so there's 1,000 possible build choices to players. It doesn't change the fact that there's only 3 or 4 builds that are viable.

That is what is wrong with a skill tree.

So are players actually stupid enough to think a skill tree is a good thing or if they actually thought about what it really means & how it works. Do you think they may actually understand how pointless it is.


What is the point of leveling then when ultimately people just need them to use their skills and petty stats?

Passive is like the root of the skill trees, just that we got the options to change. If you're masochistic, then restrict yourself. I much prefer freedom than limitation.
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I outlined how a system like that works here:

us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/8480588270#13


I like your idea, and will be excited to log in again if they implement it.
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I'm interested in skill points and +skill on gear returning because they actually make a difference and allow better build possibilities. Skill trees are typically a redundancy though, leading to nothing more than an interesting diversion that ultimately proves less intuitive and allows for very few unique choices.

Also, I understand that it is plenty of fun, but in these days of having 20+ excellent AAA as well as indie titles to play every year, a job, children, etc. free-spec'ing systems are just that much better. When I was a teenager and playing Diablo, then later playing Diablo 2, my time had a different amount of intrinsic value to it. Now that has changed and there is no way I'm ever going to spend hundreds of hours on a character just to see his design fail me at end-game or otherwise. Barring even that possibility, it's just no fun being stuck with a particular build when there are so many others, and that is my biggest gripe. All of your wonderful theory-crafting and rush leveling to 99 will be wasted within a month of the game coming out anyway as everyone else will have copied the most potent builds, so why punish everyone for those that still want that? I would wager a majority of working adults feel this way, but can't say that with veritable certainty of course.

As far as customization goes, I'm in total agreement! I just don't think a skill tree is the way to get there by any means. Especially not without the ability to move your points around after the fact. =)
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...you guys keep missing the point by focusing on skill tree and D2: where is character customization in D3?
Not only the devs removed the skill tree (that and other things that were certainly not perfect in D2), but they just removed the all character customization concept.
Consequence: no feeling of attachment to the avatar, and leveling has no flavor; the purpose of it from 1 to 60 is to unlock the skills, nothing more than a tutorial. Parangon lvling slowly gives more power but no excitement.

For a pure action games the leveling mechanic might as well be removed. But for a franchise that shares some kind of RPG/ARPG culture, it feels something is missing.


I seem to remember that in d2 the purpose of leveling was to unlock the next tier of skills. Of course after you have played long enough you unlock the first tier of skills and then don't even look at them again until around level 26.

I find the skill system in D3 Skill, rune, passive much more exciting than Pick a skill max it's synergies of D2. People say the skills in D3 suk. Well sure because they can't faceroll the game like in D2. So I guess a skill suks if you have to actually play to use it.
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