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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

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Diablo III Skill Trees Explained
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Diablo community manager Bashiok has posted a lengthy explanation of the implementation of skill trees in Diablo III, Blizzard Entertainment's upcoming return to the popular action RPG franchise. The discussion includes a description of the skill tree's current incarnation and the reasoning behind prerequisite and skill cap choices.

So, I could spend 2 points in Heightened Senses which is a berserker skill, and 3 points in Bash which is a Juggernaut skill, thus adding up to 5 points and granting me access to the second tier of skills for all of the trees. With this amount of freedom you can see how easy it is then to diversify yourself and your build. You’re no longer gaining abilities through investment, but instead more through choice and personal preference.

It certainly diversifies the types and amounts of builds available to players, that’s obvious. This style of a unified tier approach also helps in a few other areas though. Since all of the trees are open we can clean up the trees a lot more, removing redundant abilities. We don’t have to throw in skills that are important, such as damage mitigation, all over the place. You will always have access to those skills no matter where you’re spending, so they can instead be focused into a few key skills. Another way it helps is by allowing players access to the skills they want, and the skills we want them to have. Every barbarian is probably going to want whirlwind. And why not? What this tree style allows for, and one reason we’re pretty keen on it, is that we aren’t saying “You’re a ‘berserker’ barbarian, you can’t have whirlwind”. Instead, you’re a barbarian!, pick the key skills that define you and your character as you want them to be.

One important addition to this is the skill caps themselves. Currently we’re envisioning the majority of skills to be capped at 5 points, to begin with. As a form of progression we’re planning for players to be able to increase the point caps of skills. More than likely to a maximum of 15. It’s a system that’s still under heavy design, but the fact of choosing and increasing key skills beyond their initial cap is important to this new unified tier system.
To read more check out the Blizzplanet page linked below.

Blizzplanet: Diablo III Skill Tree Information
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