Scheduled Maintenance, Puzzle Ring - So Many Goblins, Build Diversity & Skill hotswapping. Poll

  Dev Journal: Defensive Bonuses and Monster Damage
For anyone who missed the blog post this morning, Blizzard has posted more information on patch 1.0.5 dealing with defensive skills for all classes and nerfing how much damage monsters do. Make sure to check out the blog post for all the information on this big change.

Scheduled Maintenance - 09/18/2012
Looks like a long maintenance on Tuesday.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

We will be performing scheduled maintenance on Tuesday, September 18th. Maintenance will begin at 3:00 AM PDT and is expected to last for 8 hours. During this time, all servers and many web services will be unavailable.

Thank you for your patience.

Puzzle Ring - So Many Goblins The Puzzle Ring might be just a tad bit too effective when used in odd ways.

Diablo III Inferno Booster Pack Giveaway
Our weekly Inferno booster pack giveaway is currently going until Monday. Make sure to check out the official contest thread for information on the prize on how to enter.
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Build Diversity & Skill hotswapping
Bashiok hits the forums in reply to a post wanting to be able to use more skills. A good topic is brought up, that of the old hotswapping of skills. Now that the game has been out a few months is this something you would like to do without losing your NV stacks or do you like it how it is? Vote Below the blue post!

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Allowing you to have more skills would reduce the amount of choices to make. That's the opposite of build diversity.

they punish you for swapping skills after you kill an elite because developers forbid changes in tactics
NV stacks are removed when you swap skills because in beta a large majority of people hated the idea of an open skill system where you could freely swap skills around. It was felt that the lack of build permanence would ruin the game, and so we listened and added some build permanence by 'encouraging' people not to swap skills mid-run through the loss of NV stacks. At the time it was almost unanimously applauded as brilliant!

Now, after release, that tune seems to have changed and a lot of people would rather be hotswapping skills. It's something we continue to talk about internally. I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on the matter.

Allowing you to have more skills would reduce the amount of choices to make. That's the opposite of build diversity.

To clarify, the median of a set of choices will always yield the most combinations. So having 50 options and only being able to pick 25 gives you the most possible combinations. More than if you could pick 24, or 26, or 27, etc. We broke class skills down to approximately 12 general types of skills (single target damage, aoe, CC, buffs, etc.). Half of 12 is 6, so there you have it.

People want a higher degree of build versatility by having access to more skills. They want permanence but only in so much as if builds are versatile.
The 6 skill limit is in direct competition with the desire to have identity through permanence.
Where in the previous installment, for example, if you were a Barbarian, and you wanted signature abilities like Battle Orders and Leap (Attack), you only needed to invest one point in them. You could also get cool and useful stuff like Shout, Find Potion, Iron Skin, and Natural Resistance. These were often one-point investments (out of a pool of 100+ points) but still made the skills available and provided a great deal of versatility and strength to the character. They could be made stronger still by the availability of skill increasing affixes on gear (+skills).
Now, in D3, this is not the case. The investment associated with picking up such things is huge, as those choices are not 1 point in 100+, but 1 passive out of 3 or 1 active skill out of 6.

Yes! Absolutely, and it's completely understandable everyone wants every ability all of the time, and as game designers (not me, of course) it's our job to decide what's best for the experience. People may want to fly around a open 3D world, death-touching things, outfitting themselves with laser-armor, and building castles out of molten lava (and actually that sounds pretty cool), but are those the freedoms and/or limitations this specific game should have? Those are the fundamental questions of what defines the experience.

That may be overstating it a bit, but hopefully you get what I mean.


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