Are builds actually the way to go?

  • #1
    I don't want to make this controversial, but I do have to ask this.

    My brother's in the beta and I've seen some of his gameplay, asked him some questions.

    A lot of the time when playing through the game, he changes out spells and abilities to match not a "optimal build" or a "perfect build" but rather to match the challenges in front of him. For example, if playing a monk against a lot of ranged-type enemies, he'll swap in things like Dashing Strike or Cyclone Strike and maybe a builder like Deadly Reach, whereas against nasty big guys he'd use stuff like Lashing Tail Kick and Fists of Thunder to keep them away from him.

    Especially now that Runes are learned as you level and don't drop, if it's really easy to choose between runes and skills and even Runed skills, wouldn't a player continue to choose what they feel works against the particular challenges they find themselves up against, rather than sticking to a single, static build?


    Couple of thoughts on the other side of the spectrum:

    The beta has a very tight limit of enemy types. Perhaps the full version will have so much variety that a key build will be pretty much necessary?

    Maybe some players won't want to hotswap skills or be able to wrap their heads around what is a good swap to make. Still, the game is very intuitive.
  • #2
    I thought about this awhile back & realized that for you to be viable in inferno, you should probably attempt to compliment your build as much as possible. If you find that you could easily hotswap out one or two skills on the fly that greatly improve your performance: great! Practice it!
    Yet, just having a task bar of skills on shuffle seems really.. Lame.
    I'd rather take a few minutes to make a build so I have mo downtime when running.
    Quote from Vyce223

    Being sarcastic while trying to get a point across is pointless.


    Yeah, & you're really bright.
  • #3
    well i believe some ppl like to have a specific build to have a general idea what they would enjoy and a build which is good in most case - so that will be there main build. however 1 of the advantage of d3 is that u r able to change ur build according to situation, which u pointed out, and that makes for a more tactical gameplay - plus more synergy between players which play together. so i do think there will be builds that r good for most cases and builds which r good for a few situation or some builds which r better for co-op gameplay.

    bottom line is, i think ppl will have a main build which will be flexible according to situation and co-op - as the game progress i believe there will be less and less key builds as the mobs changes plus at later difficult same mobs which u might already know will have a different set of skill - so u will have to adjust ur build to that :).

    Thumbs up for bliz for making it rly interesting in this aspect!

    hopefully i mange to give u a good perspective on things(which is only my opinion and speculation - cuz i never played the game :))
    best regards,

    Arrok
  • #4
    Prior to patch 13, I focused only on abilites that allowed me to do as much damage as possible, while still having fun using them. Since the patch and looking toward the future, I am spending more and more time trying to round out my abilities, through a combination of runes and skills to make a strong character. Not sure if optimal builds will be the key moving forward, but I do enjoy playing around with things as often as my girlfriend will let me play on her beta account. =P
  • #5
    Tell me, how are you going to adapt your build on the fly to challenges in front of you, when you can't see what's ahead, and there's a 15 second cooldown before you can actually even use the ability you've just swapped in to take advantage of?
  • #6
    I just don't see a lot of people switching skills nearly as often as your brother. I think the number one priority of any gamer is to be efficient. Skill swapping and waiting for a 15 second CD to take out a few enemies just isn't all that efficient and most will be discouraged from this behavior when they realize how much it slows their game down. I mean, in the 15 seconds your brother waited to swap skills, he probably could have just killed the enemies with what he had.
  • #7
    I'm guessing the people that are saying 15 seconds is a long time and you don't know what's up ahead are the ones who haven't played the beta yet. There are lots of skills which just naturally have a 15+ second cooldown. Heck, it probably takes 15 seconds from when you click on the Skeleton King until the encounter actually starts. Ignoring fighting through the new skill swapping UI, the cooldown itself is really nothing now.

    I haven't been doing as much swapping as the OP, but I find myself switching things up every time I level now. I also find myself re-evaluating my current skill setup when I get to the Skeleton King and doing some swapping if I think there might be a better setup for him (because why not--its not slowing me down at all to swap skills now). With the full version of the game I can see skill swapping being used even more. In beta you are pretty limited with what skills are available, but when you've unlocked all the base skills and a bunch of the runes you'll have tons of options to pick exactly what you want for any given situation.

    Because of how the quests work in D3, there are plenty of predictable events, rooms, and bosses with random layouts and monsters in between. For the random trash killing I'll probably settle on a "default" skill setup but have some other skills that I swap to for certain quest-related encounters. I definitely see playing as less about picking a "build" and sticking to it and more about knowing how all 100+ skill/rune combos work so you can pull out the right tool when you need it. Optimizing like this might not be required, but I definitely see it being advantageous (and maybe even required for Inferno). Perhaps this will end up being a good mechanism to make the game easy to learn but difficult to master.
  • #8
    I plan on using the skills that I have the most fun with and that work together in awesome ways, thus forming my preferred builds. It seems that skills are remarkably more balanced in D3, so there are TONS of skill combinations that you can leave on all the time and you will probably fare just fine.

    Perhaps the effects of skill swapping are more noticeable at lower levels when skill slots are limited and passives aren't unlocked yet? I can imagine that if you really wanted to make a major change to your skill setup (bigger than say, swapping bash for cleave), you will need to change several (or all) of your skills because of the way they can all feed off of one another. If you're talking about a quick swap in the field, I don't think it will change your style of play too much.
  • #9
    I really hope they change that ability to switch skills on the fly, has to be one of the worst aspects of D3 at the moment.

    It hurts the feeling of identity behind the character. I guess they assume that once you find a build you like there won't be an incentive to change it because most builds will be close to the same effectiveness (if made intelligently)?

    But at the very least you would have a group killing build and a boss killing build, which means you may be able create your primary build without having to worry about how much single target damage it does. And make your boss killing build with no consideration for AoE damage.
  • #10
    Quote from EngageQuadLaser

    Tell me, how are you going to adapt your build on the fly to challenges in front of you, when you can't see what's ahead, and there's a 15 second cooldown before you can actually even use the ability you've just swapped in to take advantage of?


    this^. no one is hot swapping for things in front of them without waiting 15 full seconds and wasting tons of time. 15 seconds in a game like diablo is an eternity and you can get insta swarmed and die in a second. so no one will do this past normal. for sure. otherwise wipe city
    "once the pretty hardcore gamers we had testing inferno found it fairly difficult, we then we doubled it" -trolololol jay wilson
  • #11
    Quote from GladHeHasBeta

    Quote from EngageQuadLaser

    Tell me, how are you going to adapt your build on the fly to challenges in front of you, when you can't see what's ahead, and there's a 15 second cooldown before you can actually even use the ability you've just swapped in to take advantage of?


    this^. no one is hot swapping for things in front of them without waiting 15 full seconds and wasting tons of time. 15 seconds in a game like diablo is an eternity and you can get insta swarmed and die in a second. so no one will do this past normal. for sure. otherwise wipe city


    I'll do. Whenever I see pack of elite mobs and I think I need to swap a spell or two I will start kitting for 15 sec till my elite killer is on :) But they (or UI moders) need to give us some easy way to swap skills.
  • #12
    I think with the progression of the current skill system people will be more open to adapting their builds to fight the types of enemies they are about to encounter. Having some skills only available at high levels means your characters are evolving until you are able to use any skill you wish. I suspect I'll be swapping skills around all the time especially when I notice what I'm using isn't working.
  • #13
    I didn't have to hotswap skills even once to play through the beta on any given character, in fact I never was pressured into using potions on any of the characters. Before I started unlocking skills I did fall to maybe 60% on the barb/monk as they have to tank a few hits, but that was about it. This is little different from Diablo 2, the first part of the first act of the first difficulty is always going to be easy so nobody freak out about that.

    I think the current system works well enough because of the 10 character limit. It was so ridiculously tedious to level up a new character for a few skill points or attribute differences in build back in d2 that nearly everyone resorted to powerleveling, or rushing and bypassing as much of the game as possible. It is because of that, and the success of the respec system in wow which even I admit to loving compared to not having had it, that people can change their characters as they go along.

    Think of this in another light, if you're worried about running out of things once you have one of all the characters don't, everyone would be in the same boat as you and new crap would be added. We have the RMAH to thank for that, and we know even without the RMAH for some annual income we are still promised expansions and patches leading up to/through them. In wow they release new raids to allow further item progression, then expansions for new systems/level progression/skills/items as well. I have a feeling much of this will translate to d3 and as far as I'm concerned it's a good thing... Imagine diablo 2 lod with twice the expansions and many times the updates.
    The strong must rule if we are to survive.
  • #14
    The way I see it, people will have access to their entire skill set. People will start to get more comfortable with all the different areas of each act, and will begin to build themselves kits of skills to use in certain areas.

    If I know that there is tons of melee mobs that shoot lightning when I hit them and ranged poison dealers in this act (a la act 2 in d2) I'll have a kit already thought up and ready for the situation

    especially in later difficulties, especially since the idea is to farm the entire act since boss runs are a thing of the past.

    I forsee people having kits pre planned and swapping based on whats ahead. How will you know whats ahead? You've cleared it before.
  • #15
    To be honest though, I doubt that will really be necessary unless you're extremely outgeared for the situation, which shouldn't happen until inferno in which case it should be hard enough to the point you have to consider mixing it up.

    All you really need in the end is to not die whether that means picking up utility skills and rolling with some streamlined single/aoe attacking skill(s) and some passives, playing some funky utility build with a ton of defensive skills, or just killing on the screen so fast that it doesn't have a chance to hurt you etc . So long as your build accomplishes that, you're good to go.
    The strong must rule if we are to survive.
  • #16
    @op:
    I still have a build in my head I'd like to play, especially in Co-op.
    But due to the recent changes to the rune/skill-system it would take ~10 levs longer to unlock the runes I need for it.
    If the difficulty gets in fact so challenging after leaving normal it will probably be the way to go.... experiment with your talents and runes to get along.
    And if you have a build you are....or were... aiming at you can still keep and try it out when having all the requirements.

    I think limited builds would be more beneficial in Co-op environment.
    You had/have to talk with your mate and try some things out.

    BUT if I think twice about the whole issue, this would be a great benefit of the whole change made.
    Since it is so much more flexible.
    Before I thought: "Will my friend really want to play this build? Even solo?"
    And now it might be possible to simply try things out together without carving things in stone, and probably making an unplayable solo-class, forcing us to play together all the time.
  • #17
    Quote from rozmata

    Quote from GladHeHasBeta

    Quote from EngageQuadLaser

    Tell me, how are you going to adapt your build on the fly to challenges in front of you, when you can't see what's ahead, and there's a 15 second cooldown before you can actually even use the ability you've just swapped in to take advantage of?


    this^. no one is hot swapping for things in front of them without waiting 15 full seconds and wasting tons of time. 15 seconds in a game like diablo is an eternity and you can get insta swarmed and die in a second. so no one will do this past normal. for sure. otherwise wipe city




    I'll do. Whenever I see pack of elite mobs and I think I need to swap a spell or two I will start kitting for 15 sec till my elite killer is on :) But they (or UI moders) need to give us some easy way to swap skills.


    Lmfao.... GL kiting elites in INFERNO for 15 seconds brah. /facepalm
    "once the pretty hardcore gamers we had testing inferno found it fairly difficult, we then we doubled it" -trolololol jay wilson
  • #18
    That's kinda true. With mobs sprinting at you and having more and more elites in the fray... PRETTY DANGER!
    The strong must rule if we are to survive.
  • #19
    Well I keep reading and I don't see it.

    Gear, gear in the beta is literally irrelevant. It just gives you an overall boost. I expect this to be quite different later on in hell and inferno maybe even nightmare. While all you would like to think that you'll build this and that build. The fact is most of you who have that "perfectionist bug" will try to make an optimal build around the gear you have. And if you get something better make a build around that. If you get some crazy afix weapon or armor, you are going to build your build around it trying to make the most use of it.

    So I think there will be no standards build per say, not until max level / max gear. Until then everyone will just build around their gear. Sure you might have in mind, I'll be a frost sorcerer, but then you get some crazy +75% to lighting damage orb. Obviously you're going to switch to lighting for most of your spells.

    At least this is my opinion. Considering rune drops are now gone, items will direct your skill preference and choices. Sure some situations might force a switch here and there for longer range or better evasion but thats expected of a system where you can switch kills every 15 seconds.
  • #20
    If you're familiar with an area or boss ahead I could see switching skills ahead of time for that, but in the middle of adventuring? Possibly in Inferno difficulty if you're struggling, or if you get killed by a random elite that you need a specific build for. In normal you're just wasting your time.
    Maybe later in the game once you've unlocked all your skill slots it could be worth your time to put 1 or 2 of them on CD and use the others while they're swapping, but that just doesn't seem likely to me.
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