Blizzard Unveils Diablo 3 Skill Calculator

Blizzard Unveils Diablo 3 Skill Calculator

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The new calculator lets you craft your Diablo 3 character at every stage of his or her career. Well, sort of.

Building your Diablo 3 is, as they say on the internet, serious business, and definitely not something that you want to leave until the last minute. Thankfully, Blizzard has given eager Diablo fans the chance to plan out their level progression months ahead of the game's release with the Diablo 3 skill calculator.

Using the calculator is easy: You choose a class, and then you chose six active skills and three passive skills. You can also modify your active skills by slotting one of the five runestone types. Players get two active skills at level one, another at level six, and another ever six levels after that until all six are unlocked. Passive skill slots are unlocked at levels 10, 20, and 30.

The skills themselves also unlock at different times, but all the mathematical heavy lifting is done for you as the calculator also works out what level you will need to be to achieve the build you've made. The calculator also notes that the level cap in the beta is 13, so if you're one of the lucky beta testers you can get a head start there as well.

It's not going to be the most accurate version of your character though, as Blizzard notes in an easily missed disclaimer at the bottom of the page that all the numbers are based on what a level 60 character can achieve with rank seven runestones. Still, it's interesting to see all the different abilities that the various classes get and how the runestones modify each one. You can try the calculator out for yourself here.

Source: IGN

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Pretty interesting skill sets. If I do buy it (and at the moment its an if, still on the fence regarding the always online drm and the auction house) I'm rolling a Witch Doctor!

All of the skills and passives are just..so beautiful..and balanced...and interesting. It really is everything one would expect from a blizzard game.

..Now I have to stare at this thing for the months to come until they actually release the game.

Sadness.

So what? What the heck is the point of building a character you can't play and buying talents you can not determine the value of? Besides the obvious anticipation building.

You now:
"I bought plus 30% damage with all lemming based attacks! Alright!"

You later:
"Hmm, turns out lemmings suck compared to marmots."

You now:
"Sweet, a chance to proc hay fever on all crits!"

You later:
"Turns out a chance on a chance is a pretty rare occurance."

You now:
"I've built the most awesome witchalock ever! Look out servers! Here I come!... eventually."

You later:
"What is up with the vorpal rabbit class? They kill faster than I do on my witchalock and all they have to do is spam titanic leap?! On top of that playing a witchalock isn't even fun... NERF VORPAL RABBITS! /forumpost"

Ghengis John:
So what? What the heck is the point of building a character you can't play and buying talents you can not determine the value of? Besides the obvious anticipation building.

You now:
"I bought plus 30% damage with all lemming based attacks! Alright!"

You later:
"Hmm, turns out lemmings suck compared to marmots."

You now:
"Sweet, a chance to proc hay fever on all crits!"

You later:
"Turns out a chance on a chance is a pretty rare occurance."

You now:
"I've built the most awesome witchalock ever! Look out servers! Here I come!... eventually."

You later:
"What is up with the vorpal rabbit class? They kill faster than I do on my witchalock and all they have to do is spam titanic leap?! On top of that playing a withalock isn't even fun... NERF VORPAL RABBITS! /forumpost"

I laughed at that. That's so true.

Ghengis John:
So what? What the heck is the point of building a character you can't play and buying talents you can not determine the value of? Besides the obvious anticipation building.

You now:
"I bought plus 30% damage with all lemming based attacks! Alright!"

You later:
"Hmm, turns out lemmings suck compared to marmots."

You now:
"Sweet, a chance to proc hay fever on all crits!"

You later:
"Turns out a chance on a chance is a pretty rare occurance."

You now:
"I've built the most awesome witchalock ever! Look out servers! Here I come!... eventually."

You later:
"What is up with the vorpal rabbit class? They kill faster than I do on my witchalock and all they have to do is spam titanic leap?! On top of that playing a withalock isn't even fun... NERF VORPAL RABBITS! /forumpost"

Best post I've read all day!

Lets see how many posts it takes before someone mentions always online single player and how he is going to buy Torchlight 2 instead.

To OP: Finally I can check out the spells and start planning my skill build!

Edit: It's nice to see that not every class uses the same old mana, I especially love Demon Hunters discipline/hatred power.

Okay... for World of Warcraft I can understand why you'd have a "calculator", seeing as you actually can spec your character into different things, giving him whatever little variance you can afford.

But really...? A skill calculator for D3? You KNOW you are getting all those skills, you KNOW you'll always will have them, and you never have to spec a certain way to get them, so what's the bloody point? It's just a glorified, interactive skill preview.

edit:
just because I can (dont want the guy above me waiting long) something something online-only single player something something Torchlight 2 instead.

Checked out a few skills, honestly not seeing the point in all of it. All it does is ruin the sense of novelty once one actually gets the game.

Ghengis John:
So what? What the heck is the point of building a character you can't play and buying talents you can not determine the value of? Besides the obvious anticipation building.

You now:
"I bought plus 30% damage with all lemming based attacks! Alright!"

You later:
"Hmm, turns out lemmings suck compared to marmots."

You now:
"Sweet, a chance to proc hay fever on all crits!"

You later:
"Turns out a chance on a chance is a pretty rare occurance."

You now:
"I've built the most awesome witchalock ever! Look out servers! Here I come!... eventually."

You later:
"What is up with the vorpal rabbit class? They kill faster than I do on my witchalock and all they have to do is spam titanic leap?! On top of that playing a witchalock isn't even fun... NERF VORPAL RABBITS! /forumpost"

This post fills me with glee and tears. Much like the coming of Cthulhu. Well played.

cursedseishi:
Okay... for World of Warcraft I can understand why you'd have a "calculator", seeing as you actually can spec your character into different things, giving him whatever little variance you can afford.

But really...? A skill calculator for D3? You KNOW you are getting all those skills, you KNOW you'll always will have them, and you never have to spec a certain way to get them, so what's the bloody point? It's just a glorified, interactive skill preview.

edit:
just because I can (dont want the guy above me waiting long) something something online-only single player something something Torchlight 2 instead.

Because you'll only be able to equip 6 skills at a time, and the runes added to each skill changes the skill a lot more than runes ever did for WoW.

Like looking at the barbarian, for ancient spear, you could rune it for it:

- knocking back your target instead of pulling
- making it pierce in a line dragging anything that happened to be in the line
- making you shoot out a spread of 8 spears that drag back any that get hit
- making it so it heals you on hit
- make it generate more fury on hit

So with that in mind how much a skill can be modified, not only do you gotta figure out which skills you want to use, but which ones you want to do which effect. Maybe you want a stunlock barbarian? Or a knockback barbarian? A draining barbarian? A barbarian that has his ranged attack dmg buffed but his melee skills turned into utility. No specific theme, just whatever skills feels best to have a certain attribute (like having a knockback melee so you can charge or ancient spear them at ranged?) What skill are you willing to use to manage your resources (like the witch doctor has runes that can make his mana regen an active thing rather than passive)

That said, without a game to see the context (i.e. Do I want to use bash or cleave for my fury generation? Does having passive fury generation make a difference if I have jack for fury generating abilities? Is cleave even worth using period?) yeah it's just a glorified preview, but you can't say it makes less sense to have than WoW.

I may have missed it somewhere in all the available D3 info but I really hope they let you have multiple presets of Active/Passive skills that you can change between when not in combat. I'd imagine I'd use a drastically different set up when mowing through the masses of random baddies vs going up against a boss on the more difficult settings.

*shudders at the thought of Immune to Physical, Lightning Enchanted Hell Mobs while playing D2 Barb*

A skill calculator is nice. A release date would be better.

It's neat to look at all the skills, but I'd get a better Idea of what they do if they had videos of them in action rather than just text descriptions.

The big problem I can see with this skill system is that it will just get completely boring after you hit level 30. Everything becomes available, you can just deck yourself out (if you feel so inclined) with all the highest level options, and then you'll have an entire aspect of the progression cutting out by the time you get to Nightmare difficulty.

toomuchnothing:
I may have missed it somewhere in all the available D3 info but I really hope they let you have multiple presets of Active/Passive skills that you can change between when not in combat. I'd imagine I'd use a drastically different set up when mowing through the masses of random baddies vs going up against a boss on the more difficult settings.

*shudders at the thought of Immune to Physical, Lightning Enchanted Hell Mobs while playing D2 Barb*

Why stop there, though? What if a boss includes masses of little fuckers and you didn't think to pick up an AoE skill? No, you definitely need to be able to switch in combat.

Or you build the character intelligently, and live with the pros and cons of your choices. Having features such as what you're suggesting would remove what little weight there is left to your choice in character development.

Oh, and Blizzard has been crystal clear that there aren't going to be any complete immunities.

Shamanic Rhythm:
The big problem I can see with this skill system is that it will just get completely boring after you hit level 30. Everything becomes available, you can just deck yourself out (if you feel so inclined) with all the highest level options, and then you'll have an entire aspect of the progression cutting out by the time you get to Nightmare difficulty.

Nice point. I have a suspicion that runes will keep getting better all throughout the different difficulties, though. Not that a higher level rune would suddenly make levelling a whole lot more fun, but still, it's something.

sorry blizard..you wil NOT get my money MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! how does THAT feel?

(to be fair I wasnt THAT interested to begin with, always online sealed the deal..and their attitude to it)

Does this mean there will be no respec options in-game? That was D2's worst fault in the end.

Signa:
Does this mean there will be no respec options in-game? That was D2's worst fault in the end.

On the contrary. Thus far you can respec even in combat. Makes you wonder, why even limit the amount of skills you have at the beginning... You can switch them in and out all the time, so why not have all 6 slots available from the get go, at least you won't have to fiddle with the menu whenever you screw up the skill choice. Not that i like freespecs. Just my thought on the matter.

Vault101:
sorry blizard..you wil NOT get my money MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! how does THAT feel?

Uh oh. They may now go broke.
Luckily, I'll be their China.

Vault101:
sorry blizard..you wil NOT get my money MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! how does THAT feel?

(to be fair I wasnt THAT interested to begin with, always online sealed the deal..and their attitude to it)

This.

OT: It seems silly releasing this when the game isn't even out yet. The skills seen compared to the actual use of them in game are 2 different thing. Plus item bonuses this is basically a useless toy for now. I always played the games first and made a rough character while learning the items and skills. It's how I would do it if I were going to play this game.

Hammeroj:
Checked out a few skills, honestly not seeing the point in all of it. All it does is ruin the sense of novelty once one actually gets the game.

The point of this is purely psychological.

In fact the game does not need a skill calculator, since you do not have to plan a build. You can change your skills on the fly in any town of the game - removing points, re-adding points - everything can be freely done in the game, so actually your skill window ingame fulfills everything you'd ever need from a calculator.

Since your character can become ANY build within a few mouseclicks, you don't even have to plan a build at all.

Many people love to plan their builds, and love how spending skill points is an important choice that does have a consequence: once you spent a skill point, you have to live with that. Everyone knows that this kind of choice+consequence is a major source of motivation for games, plus it makes your character feel individual.

Now why would they release a skill calculator now?

Because now - since the game is not released yet - you can pre-plan your build, your character, like you would in a released game that has skill points. It feels exactly the same.

This is only done to quell the doubts and fears many people have about removing skill points entirely - by giving them the feeling, that they still can plan builds like they are used to.

It's a very, very clever move of Blizzard, from a psychological point of view.

Signa:
Does this mean there will be no respec options in-game? That was D2's worst fault in the end.

You could respec once every playthrough in D2. I don't remember which quest gave you the option, though.

To those who ask "But why???":

I assume it's to show off the vast variety of options available to each class. Having flipped through it a bit, not only will the skills of each class offer a wealth of choice by themselves, the runes aren't just for show. It looks like there's some real doozies in there and you'll get a boatload of options to fiddle around with.

My god, they're never going to be able to even remotely balance this game...

questionnairebot:
This.

OT: It seems silly releasing this when the game isn't even out yet. The skills seen compared to the actual use of them in game are 2 different thing. Plus item bonuses this is basically a useless toy for now. I always played the games first and made a rough character while learning the items and skills. It's how I would do it if I were going to play this game.

You haven't been to the Hive called the Diablo 3 forums. When Blizz featured a "Radiant Star Gem" they drooled a creek. I expect this skill calculator to cause the Saliva River to overflow its banks and drown many.

Myself, I'll still likely be playing Diablo 2. There is still much fun for me to discover.

Atheist.:

Signa:
Does this mean there will be no respec options in-game? That was D2's worst fault in the end.

You could respec once every playthrough in D2. I don't remember which quest gave you the option, though.

The Den of Evil Quest. The very first quest you're tasked with. Or you could collect Essences in Hell difficulty and transmute them into an item that invokes the respec feature.

Respec could be considered D2's ruin because instead of people restarting their characters all over again, they just respec into a new build. The botter/duellers get bored much more quickly since they can just reallocate their points into their ideal cookie cutter.

Atheist.:

Signa:
Does this mean there will be no respec options in-game? That was D2's worst fault in the end.

You could respec once every playthrough in D2. I don't remember which quest gave you the option, though.

They only added that feature after 1.13 or some ridiculously high version number. It was basically 7-9 years after the game was released, but I don't have an actual date right now. All I know is I got into it for about a year straight 5 years after the original release. The inclusion of that feature was an afterthought because of all the other games that had come out that allowed respecing.

Soods:
Lets see how many posts it takes before someone mentions always online single player and how he is going to buy Torchlight 2 instead.

To OP: Finally I can check out the spells and start planning my skill build!

Edit: It's nice to see that not every class uses the same old mana, I especially love Demon Hunters discipline/hatred power.

First actual one right here. I found Torchlight 1 more fun than Diablo II where if you didn't have Enigma, Breath of the Dying, Mara's, Arachnid Mesh, etc you were garbage.

Plus my internet and my friend's internet are glitchy at the best of times. The always on is only gonna cause problems.

Finally I love the idea of power leveling to get the best gear in D3, just to lose a PvP to some 7-year old kid who has his dad's credit card.

Breywood:

questionnairebot:
This.

OT: It seems silly releasing this when the game isn't even out yet. The skills seen compared to the actual use of them in game are 2 different thing. Plus item bonuses this is basically a useless toy for now. I always played the games first and made a rough character while learning the items and skills. It's how I would do it if I were going to play this game.

You haven't been to the Hive called the Diablo 3 forums. When Blizz featured a "Radiant Star Gem" they drooled a creek. I expect this skill calculator to cause the Saliva River to overflow its banks and drown many.

Myself, I'll still likely be playing Diablo 2. There is still much fun for me to discover.

I almost never go on a publishers site. You always have 2 types there. The rabid Fans and the rabid assholes. No middle grounds.

hooby:

Hammeroj:
Checked out a few skills, honestly not seeing the point in all of it. All it does is ruin the sense of novelty once one actually gets the game.

The point of this is purely psychological.

In fact the game does not need a skill calculator, since you do not have to plan a build. You can change your skills on the fly in any town of the game - removing points, re-adding points - everything can be freely done in the game, so actually your skill window ingame fulfills everything you'd ever need from a calculator.

Since your character can become ANY build within a few mouseclicks, you don't even have to plan a build at all.

Many people love to plan their builds, and love how spending skill points is an important choice that does have a consequence: once you spent a skill point, you have to live with that. Everyone knows that this kind of choice+consequence is a major source of motivation for games, plus it makes your character feel individual.

Now why would they release a skill calculator now?

Because now - since the game is not released yet - you can pre-plan your build, your character, like you would in a released game that has skill points. It feels exactly the same.

This is only done to quell the doubts and fears many people have about removing skill points entirely - by giving them the feeling, that they still can plan builds like they are used to.

It's a very, very clever move of Blizzard, from a psychological point of view.

The first time I played Diablo 2, I made a summon necro. I played around with him, got to level 60, then realized that by putting a few points in summon, a couple in bone, and one or two in poison, I had screwed myself. He was absolutely useless. I felt like shit because I had put so much time and effort into him, thinking he was good, when I realized what I did was just flat out wrong.

Then after that I made an elemental druid. I went to a website and I followed every single instruction layed out for me so I could make the "best possible character"

In the end, I had a level 84 druid that could take on most PvP's, and could pretty much solo baal runs in hell. But it was boring. If I saw another druid in the high level PvP servers, he was almost always exactly the same as me. It was just a race for better gear at that point, since all our stats and skills were the same.

With this system, I feel like it will be more about planning a good build of synergistic skills and runes rather than just dumping points into what produces the most viable unit. Ironically, unlike your post states, the individuality aspect that was nonexistent in terms of skills and stats in Diablo 2, will be infinitely more prominent in Diablo 3.

I personally can't wait for this game. It may not have the same hardcore feel that high level Diablo 2 play had, but in all honesty, getting to that point was more of a drain then it was fun. I'm hoping this will play more like a game and less like a chore. Not to say that Diablo 2 wasn't fun, I'm just saying that when I wanted to try a new class, many times the time and effort required to get to it was so mind numbingly high I never even bothered to try,

I never said that D2's skill system was good. It actually wasn't. Not at all.

D2 sure left A LOT of potential for improvement when it comes to skills. The lower skills were completely worthless, the higher skills weren't all that perfectly balanced. A new game that comes out now surely has to better than this - no question.

Turtleboy1017:
With this system, I feel like it will be more about planning a good build of synergistic skills and runes rather than just dumping points into what produces the most viable unit.

Planning? What planning? Just make that fucked up Summoner - don't even care about whether it's good or not - hit max level, and change your skills then. And if that doesn't work either, go to the website, look what is currently is considered the best skill, and then change your skills to that. Since you don't even have to level your new char, that's just what everyone's going to do.

But why'd you "plan" anything ahead of time? What for? No need for planning. Just try around until something works. And then win a PvP match, watch your opponent go to town, and one minute later he comes back with exactly the same skills you have. Because he found your build was more efficient.

Turtleboy1017:
Ironically, unlike your post states, the individuality aspect that was nonexistent in terms of skills and stats in Diablo 2, will be infinitely more prominent in Diablo 3.

I had 4 different sorcerers in D2, and each was unique. Why would I ever make a second character of the same class in D3? Because I want to try another build?
Once I made one single character of each class, I'm done.

 

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