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Default Diablo 3 - Skill Tree Iteration

May 13th, 2009, 10:01
Diablo III fansite diii.net has posted some forum comments from Blizzard's Bashiok, explaining changes to the skill trees:
So, the system we have now… you’ll have to just picture it without any visual representation, sorry. They’re not radically different visually except that the trees are all viewable at the same time. Taking the barbarian trees for instance (berserker, battlemaster, juggernaut) they’re not tabbed now, but instead all viewable at the same time. Side by side.
This is important due to how they are now a unified tier progression. Instead of spending 5 points in the berserker tree to then begin spending points in the second tier of the berserker tree, the new design allows you to spend wherever you like. As long as your points in the first tier of skills adds up to five, the next tier for all trees is unlocked.
So, I could spend 2 points in Heightened Senses which is a berserker skill, and 3 points in Bash which is a Juggernaut skill, thus adding up to 5 points and granting me access to the second tier of skills for all of the trees. With this amount of freedom you can see how easy it is then to diversify yourself and your build. You’re no longer gaining abilities through investment, but instead more through choice and personal preference.
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May 13th, 2009, 10:02
Wow, they are really setting themselves up for some serious balancing. The only way allowing people to spend their points in any tree they want will actually create MORE diversification instead of LESS is if Blizz manages to create whole tiers of skills that are equally compelling. If they don't manage that feat, it stands to reason that the diversification will lessen, as most builds will have the option to pick the most powerful skills from all trees, and these builds might end up identical to each other except for whatever uberattack skill they focus on. What a game balance challenge this will be.
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May 13th, 2009, 10:05
Fortunately, this is mostly a small-scale MP cooperative game and not an MMO. This means they don't have to obsess endlessy about balance, and perhaps give some leeway for something that's actually powerful.

That's what I'm hoping for, anyway.
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May 13th, 2009, 10:45
This effectively removes the idea of 3 trees, since you can pick as you want.

What that means is that there's no sense in having e.g. a "Berserker" skill set/tree any more, since tree-progression is gone. UNLESS you bring in synergies specific to the 3 different trees, or maybe equipment that not only boosts a specific tree but also e.g. becomes more powerful if certain skills have points in them.

There are some interesting possibilities and overall I like the direction they're going. But if they don't think it through it could actually become a weakness and not a strength. Here's hoping.
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May 13th, 2009, 10:53
Well, if I understand it correctly there's still going to be a theme to each tree - and as such players will, at least, have an idea of what kind of character they're building by virtue of having 3 trees.

That said, this isn't how I would have done it - but then I don't agree with Blizzard's overall design philosphy in the first place.

But I think it sounds like a step up from the rigid direction they had in D2.
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