- Skills -
Skills are at the core of the Diablo franchise and a major part of what makes your character unique. We have all known that they got rid of the original tree-like mechanic but we were left in the dark to what new system they are using now. First off, it should be re-iterated that each player can now only have seven skills at their disposal. While there will be a lot more skills to choose from than seven, you will only get seven skill slots to use and put your selected skills into. Since leaving the tree system, the development team went to a tab system, like in Diablo II, to help break up the clutter. Unfortunately, this made it too hard to see all of your choices. Next, they went to a simple list system that worked really well but it looked unappealing. The combined this list idea with a better looking UI and came up with the current version,
The new UI reflects this change to seven skills. On the left will be your seven skill slots which will unlock as you level. To the right is a window with all the skill choices possible, broken up by when you can access them. This will help you to see directly what you have as well as what you can get and plan for future levels. All skills start off with a possible increase of five ranks but there will be a chance to increase this amount through other means. Leveling up a skill will be as simple as clicking o the skill in the UI.
- Demon Hunter - You can read about the newly announced Demon Hunter skills here.
- Barbarian - A new skill added to the Barbarian is Ancient Spear. Keeping in touch with his melee roots, Ancient Spear is a ranged attack that will actually pull the monster within melee range of the Barbarian.
- Wizard- For the Wizard, they are bringing back the ever popular Meteor skill with a revamped graphic and feel. They have promised that runes will have a wide array of effects for this skill.
- Witch Doctor- The movement skill for the Witch Doctor, Spirit Walk, has finally been shown. Going into the spirit world, the Witch Doctor becomes corporal and can move through enemies.
- Monk - In-tune with the Monk's melee and Holy attributes, Wave of Light drops down a symbolic holy bell that the Monk hits and sends flying towards monsters.
Traits is a new system that will be replacing passive skills. This mechanic was added to allow players to customize their character without having to waste skill points to do so. As you level, you currently gain one trait point every other level. Traits will vary and help distinguish your particular play style. Each Trait will have ranks that will range from one to five that you can upgrade. Helping define you character as a tank, berserker, or battle master for the Barbarian, each trait also includes some flavor text to help explain and immerse your character into the world. There will be about ninety possible choices, including upgrading, but your character will only get about thirty points to distribute. Jay mentioned that right now there are actually too many possibilities and that some will probably be cut out. This will still leave plenty of room for variety and personal choice. Because passives can also become simple mathematical stat boosters, they are making sure that the stat increases are enough to wow you. Some where like a 50% increase as oppose to using +.1 damage.
- Inner Rage - increases strength and attack damage to your Barbarian
- Prismatic Cloak - adds more damage to defense skills and attacks enemies that attacks you.
- Legendary Might - increases attack speed
- Iron Skin - improves defense
The Talisman feature has finally been revealed. It will be a system that will work in conjunction with charms to help customize your character. A UI included in the character screen, the Talisman will house the charms you use so you no longer have to waste inventory store holding them. Starting off with just one charm, the Talisman will increase in size as you level finishing with thirteen available slots.
Charms will act very similar to the charms in Diablo II. They will be random drops that you can collect to enhance and customize your character. However, in Diablo II, charms would have almost any random stat possible in the game. In Diablo III, charms will focus more on key attributes like increasing strength or health points. This will help alleviate the monotony of the auto-stat distribution.
Skill Runes have finally made their way back into Diablo III. They have been reworked and are fully implemented into the game. There have been some changes to the skill runes since we last heard. Still random drops, the skill runes are added to your skills to augment their effects. There are officially five runes; Crimson, Indigo, Obsidian, Golden, and Alabaster. The original names of multi-strike and power were changed to allow a wide range of effects the runes can have on skills. With the amount of skills, skill runes, and choices, each class will now have 96,886,969,344 combinations of active skills. That is over 484 Billion builds including each class; obviously lending itself to character customization. Most of these skill changes will not only have a gameplay change but a visual change as well so you feel like you have actually changed your skill. Each rune will also have seven different grades ranging from stone which will cover levels one through and be found in Normal, silver which will be levels four and five and will be in Nightmare, and finishing with gold which will be levels six and seven and found in Hell setting. The rank will increase the effect the rune has on the skill. The example given was the Wizard's Magic Missile with the Indigo rune. It normally shoots one missile but increases to two with a level one rune. With the level seven rune, it jumps up to eight missiles.
Which Doctor's Blow Dart skill:
- Regular - Blows out a dart
- Crimson - Adds fire damage
- Golden - Steals mana
- Obsidian - Slows target
- Indigo - Adds multiple darts
- Alabaster- Blows out a snake that stuns the target
Barbarian's Throw Weapon skill:
- Regular - throws a weapon for basic damage\
- Crimson - Adds damage
- Obsidian - Turns into a stunning hammer
- Indigo - Adds ricochet
- Alabaster - Confuses target
- Golden - Throw a corpse instead of a weapon
- Regular - Summons a fire spitting hydra
- Crimson - Changes to short range frost
- Indigo - Creates a never missing lightning hydra
- Alabaster - Changes to a AoE arcane type
- Obsidian - Adds acid element
- Golden - Giant hydra that creates fire walls
- Regular - Summons out poison toads
- Crimson - Changes them to fire damage
- Golden - Reduces mana
- Alabaster - Blinds target
- Indigo - Causes the toads to rain down
- Obsidian - Giant toad that eats monsters