Diablo III Is Trashing Skill Points
IGN recently interviewed Diablo III’s Game Director, Jay Wilson, and got their hands on some surprising information. The skill tree I know and love from Diablo II is being thrown out like yesterday’s garbage!
For those gamers who play RPGs/MMOs, this is a shocker. Most of the great games I can think of used the skill tree in some regard. Mr. Wilson did show that he was in tune with what this caused:
“What you probably did,” he says, “was go up on a website and find out what the optimal build was, because there’s just too much math involved for you to really get involved in it.”
Guilty as charged. I am currently playing RIFT, and the forums are littered with players posting their damage meters to root out the optimal build. It is certainly overwhelming for a new player to read about different specs and DPS/HPS outputs. Every MMO player will recognize, whether perceived or real, that there is never truly a balance among character classes. This is why RIFT is trying to make player roles more accessible to each class, so the warrior isn’t always the “Tank” and the rogue isn’t branded as “DPS.”
I see Diablo III as being heavily influenced by RIFT in this regard:
“We really feel that when you combine those skill slot restrictions with runes… the in-game process of making builds will be far more engaging than it was in the previous games.”
It sounds like they are trying to follow the RIFT model and give players more options. RIFT has four character classes, each with 8 souls. Players may equip 3 souls at any given time, depending on their preference or situation. Diablo III looks to have a similar level of customization:
“A new hotkey opens up at level 6, 12, 18 and 24, so that players eventually have access to six skills simultaneously. Each skill can be modified with one of five runestones, and three passive skill slots also open up as players level, letting them choose from a number of additional perks.”
Like it or not, Blizzard has a history of making amazing games. I Hammerdin’d the crap out of Diablo II: LoD, so I don’t see myself being able to resist the pull of Diablo III.