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+skill items afer all?

Discussion in 'Diablo 3 General Discussion' started by Frostlion, Apr 23, 2012. | Replies: 25 | Views: 1958

  1. Frostlion

    Frostlion IncGamers Member

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    +skill items afer all?

    Before the finalization of the new rune system, Blizzard stated a number of times that they were not planning to add any +skills items to the game. With this new system though, might they not change their mind after all and include some '+1 to specific skill' items after all?

    These are the three main reasons I think this would make sense:

    1. Runed skills have at most the power of their level 4 runes from before the redesign of the skill system. However, the design, animations and balancing had been done up to level 7 runes. That means they have three levels of skill upgrades just ready and waiting to be used. If a +1 skills could only spawn on three item types (amulets, gloves and chest armor for example), it would be impossible to get over +3 to a skill and they wouldn't even need any extra design. What we would get though, is all the coolest skills we saw in earlier builds, like a magic missile with 6 projectiles instead of just 3.
    2. With the boost only improving one specific skill (or even one specific runed version of one specific skill), it would make the item hunt a lot more complex and interesting, because finding items with just the right +skills on top of other modifiers would be a big challenge. Also, specific +skills on unique and set items, could give them a lot more flavor and personality (as well as value). Imagine a Bul Kathos's Wedding Band that would boost life stealing skills, or a Magefist that would boost a number of runed skills that increase your casting speed.
    3. Finally, one of the biggest things people have worried about is build permanence and the ease of swapping out skills. This setup would still give you all the experimentation you could want while leveling and it would still give you a lot more flexibility in end-game than Diablo 2. But it would also give some build permanence for the very top end of the game, with your item setup not just being tailored to your skills, but actually making those specific skills stronger.

    Of course there's a more practical reason for suspecting this too: unique items seem to be the final thing Blizzard is still working on and the thing they were most worried about after their original design was burned at the stakes upon first reveal. So they clearly have some last minute work to do there and they're pretty worried about making the items more interesting and memorable. Wouldn't this be a sensible explanation for the lateness. After all, this would mean they weren't able to finalize things until after the rune redesign was completely done. And it would explain why Blizzard was so happy with this final simplified and item-less rune system: they knew the cool top tier skills would still find their way back into the game through item affixes.

    So, what do you think? Plausible theory or total insanity?
  2. xManiaCCCx

    xManiaCCCx IncGamers Member

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    Re: +skill items afer all?

    + skill affixes are in..but according datamined informations, these are not increasing rune effects.. (like numbers of projectiles or something like that)..but more general stats for skills ...like increasing damage, lowering cooldown, decreasing resource cost, increasing crit chance...etc.. It may change till release of course..but for now..it works like that.
  3. Deckard Cain

    Deckard Cain IncGamers Member

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    Re: +skill items afer all?

    I believe that the devs have HINTED that +skill items will return, but they haven't openly confirmed it yet.

    1. Yes
    2. Absolutely
    3. More yes
  4. RAMailley

    RAMailley IncGamers Member

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    Re: +skill items afer all?

    I'm going to have to burst your bubble a bit.

    Adding something like an extra bounce to Fire Bomb doesn't require any additional work from the animators. Once you know it's going to bonce, setting it up for additional bounces is fairly trivial. So, a lot of skills, unless their graphics change significantly as you level them (which I don't recall happening), don't have much extra animation work behind them on this front. However, Blizzard develops interatively, so there is likely a lot of extra stuff lying around. Still, I don't think this is a reason to change skill systems around.

    The same goes for balancing. The game is still undergoing balance and will be for some time. Using the argument that, 'they've put a lot of work into it so they must use it somewhere!' isn't really going to work. I doubt most of those skills were really that balanced anyway. Some seem nearly impossible to balance properly.

    And again, the same goes for design imo.

    But, all that being said, it looks like we will see modifiers like -0.1s cooldown on [SKILL]. Or -3 spirit cost on [SKILL]. So in that way, we will have some control over what skills we specialize in. And although they will remain functionally the same, if you want to focus on one skill and find all the gear to lower its CD, then by all means...

    I think that's how it will work anyway.
  5. Wildmoon

    Wildmoon IncGamers Member

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    Re: +skill items afer all?

    I think they only said that there won't be affix that will add skill from other classes not +skill modifier.
  6. galzohar

    galzohar IncGamers Member

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    Re: +skill items afer all?

    Initially they said they won't have +specific skills, as skills don't have levels, but I suppose that once they realized they don't really have a lot of affixes, they decided to put them back in. Of course that decision isn't even final, but from random blue posts it seems like it's pretty close to being final. What kind of skill-specific bonuses will there be? God knows...

    In any case, I think this is a very bad idea. Items that boost skills like cleave, hammer of the ancients, electrocute, etc will be much much more desireable than items that boost stuff like regenge, earthquake, mantras, wizard armors, caltrops etc. This will create even more "must have X stat for this item to be any good", which is a real problem when it comes to item balance and variety. They already created this problem with extremely powerful primary stats and extremely useless non-primary stats (for example, items must have str and must not have int/dex for them to be considered as "good for a barb"), and +damage on rings seems like another problematic must-have stat, while health/gold pickup radius seems rather useless (at least so far).

    Having skill-specific affixes will really make you have to have items with those specific stats for you to seriously consider them as a viable end-game item. Of course unless the stats suck, in which case you won't bother.

    Another problem it can cause, is that you might go with a build you don't like just because you happened to come across an item that boosts it, while the item that boosts the build you do like is super-expensive because you're obviously not the only one liking this build. While I like the idea of different builds having slightly different stat preferences, I don't like them having completely different stat preferences. The former makes you think a little about what items to use, and slightly better items with stats that are slightly less useful might still be worthwhile. The latter, on the other hand, makes it pretty obvious which items are awesome and which are useless.
  7. Frostlion

    Frostlion IncGamers Member

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    Re: +skill items afer all?

    Nice to see that discussion on this forum is still high-quality, there's some really good points being made. And I'm very curious how the datamined information will match what we see in the final game - and for unique/set items specifically.


    RAMailley, you mention that some of the rune leveling doesn't take that much work. While I certainly agree for specific examples, I was thinking more about the scope of the thing. It may well be possible for one specific rune level to be done in, say, 20 minutes. That would five you time to copy one extra part of the animation, repeat the sound effect, add in an icon in the skill interface, check for typos etc. However, there are 5 classes, with about 25 skills per class, with 5 runes per skill, with 7 levels per rune, which comes out to 5 x 25 x 5 x7 = 4375 rune effects. Even at just 20 minutes per effect, that's still 1460 hours of work, or close to a FTE.

    That said, I would certainly agree that Blizzard won't keep something in just because it took a lot of time. That's the whole point of their iterative process after all; it's not just adding what works better, but also removing what was not a success. What I am talking about here though, is keeping the part that was a success from the old rune system: skills becoming, looking and feeling more interesting in end-game. I'm not arguing a 6-projectile magic missile takes a lot of time to make, I'm arguing a 6-projectile magic missile is awesome. And Blizzard knows this, from fan reactions to videos, from comments in interviews and from their own play experience. And that is why it would make sense to include it.



    galzohar, you bring up some very good concerns. I have a few points to temper your worries somewhat, but even so, you might be right about '+specific skills' being a bad idea. But as for the tempering:

    Certain +skills may certainly be more popular than others, but the idea of the skill design is that - unlike in Diablo 2 - all skills are viable and can lead to good builds. To look at the first three of your examples:
    - For Revenge, the Vengeance is Mine and Provocation runes, which heal you, could be well worth upgrading for some hardcore builds. The Best Served Cold could be quite valuable boosted for crit-focussed builds.
    - Boosts to Earthquake may be extremely valuable for PvP builds that combine it with slows and snares.
    - Wind through the Reeds increases you movement speed with Mantra of Evasion, a number of farming builds may like to see that boosted. Increased reflection boosts to Mantra of Retribution from Retaliation and Indignation would also be quite powerful in PvP. And so on for other mantras.

    If your point is that not all skills will be equally worth boosting, then you're obviously right. What I am saying though, is that I expect to see a far greater variety of skills used in end-game (even for min-maxing), than we ever saw in Diablo 2. And this would also lead to a greater variety of item affixes being valuable.
    In fact, if I remember correctly, most 'must have X stat' items from Diablo 2 were actually things like +2 to all skills (or maybe +3 to lightning/combat/summoning) on amulets and circlets; 200%+ damage on weapons; sockets on armor, shields and circlets. In short, things that were actually valuable because they were so broadly valuable. While items like Ormus' Robes, that actually gave you +3 to one specific skill, didn't have 'must have X' so much as 'Oh wow, this has X, awesome, I'm in luck!' with weird skills actually giving you an incentive to try other builds.

    As I said though, you might be right about these +skills being a bad idea, and that is for the same balance reasons that RAMailley, mentioned: this will only work if a '+1 to skill X' is not too powerful. If just one of these boosts trumps 2 or 3 other good stats, you will certainly get all problems you describe. If it's a tricky balance though, where +skill, +damage and +attribute (for example), each give you a comparable boost, it will not be as much of a problem. Even more so if you can only get one (or two) of those three on any one item. (as it worked with charms in Diablo 2, where you couldn't have both +1 to skill tree and +15 all res on a grand charm).

    I agree with your worries on these earlier points and think they might be a serious reason to reconsider +skill affixes, but I don't agree on your final point. You're saying that you might be pushed to use skills that are not your favorite because of item drops. In my experience from Diablo 2 though, that's actually a good thing! I believe there is always a balance between how much you want power and how much you want your perfect build. And in fact, as often as not, my drops on character #1 would shape my decision on what kind of character do build next. Surely we all know the feeling of "I just got a Titan's revenge, I should build a javazon around that" or "I just completed Trang-Oul's, let's make a necro and turn into a Vampire!" And I had some of my best times trying these characters that would never have been my first choice except for these items.
    At the end of the day though, you always have a choice of what items to use and what spec to play. With the RMAH, some items may be more expensive, but at least you are guaranteed there is instant supply with fairly stable prices. And if you love a build, saving up and working hard to finally get that item you always wanted can actually make it more rewarding when you finally get there.
  8. cozmiccc

    cozmiccc IncGamers Member

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    Re: +skill items afer all?

    It's not a matter that the extra effect take that much work, because most of these animations are ALREADY done. It is at the last minute (End of 2011) that Blizzard finally decide to pull off the ranked rune and instead give them all the middle-level effect. From various Blizzcon demo we can see Witch Doctor shooting 6 poison dart at once, Wizard splitting his magic missile into 6 bolt, and Barbarian in pvp throwing 6 ancient spear to pull enemy to him.

    So that got me wondering too... What the heck happened to these animation assets? It's already done so what will Blizzard do with it? My only guess is either it's in the game unlocked by special affix in magic item or legendary, or they have the plan to implement it later in an expansion or content patch (possibly together with Mystic or PvP)
  9. RazeBarb

    RazeBarb IncGamers Member

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    Re: +skill items afer all?

    Yeah, they probably won't let these things go to waste. But I guess right now they don't know what to do with it or how to make it feel good. Just like the Mystic.


  10. xManiaCCCx

    xManiaCCCx IncGamers Member

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    Re: +skill items afer all?

    Galzohar, keep in mind nothing is final here... but once again..according some datamining it seems that + skill affixes roll which skills they will boost..so it's not like "this legendary weapon has + 2 to cleave" but it's like "this legendary has 1-2 + (1-2) Barbarian specific skill affixes"
    hopefully it's making sense.
  11. Azzure

    Azzure IncGamers Member

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    Re: +skill items afer all?

    There are confirmed +skills affixes in the game. They appear to have specific bonuses based upon the type of skill it is and what they decided to improve about it.
  12. RazeBarb

    RazeBarb IncGamers Member

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    Re: +skill items afer all?

    How many mods can items have at max?
    Just 4?

    I really like to see items with 6 or 8 mods.
  13. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    Re: +skill items afer all?

    I think an item may have 6 affixes. Keep in mind that some affixes have more than one mod and some items have inherent bonuses.
  14. galzohar

    galzohar IncGamers Member

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    Re: +skill items afer all?

    Seems like max is 6 for rare and crafted. Legendary items and sets may have less random affixes but will also come with additional fixed affixes, for a best possible total that may or may not be more powerful than the best possible rare.
  15. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    Re: +skill items afer all?

    Weren't random affixes removed from Legendaries a while ago?
  16. Raesene

    Raesene IncGamers Member

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    Re: +skill items afer all?

    If they were, that's news to me. It would also be a terrible decision.


  17. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    Re: +skill items afer all?

    Yeah, I agree. I remember reading something like this quite a while ago. Hopefully it's just a figment of my imagination.
  18. Wildmoon

    Wildmoon IncGamers Member

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    Re: +skill items afer all?

    I think I have seen an item with more than 6 affixes on them. The knuckle in Blizzcon video being one of them. From what I saw in datamined info it seems like +skill modifiers are tied to each slot of items such as helm can only spawn a group of +specific skills so you can't really stack same +skill for every slot.
  19. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    Re: +skill items afer all?

    I think the maximum amount of mods on one Rare item is 9. You would need a base item with an inherent bonus and two different double attribute affixes to spawn on it to achieve that. Some Legendaries and Sets may have more bonuses than that.

    As for the original topic, I compiled a list of all skill bonuses. All of them are datamined, so they may be inaccurate. I only included the highest level affixes on the list.

    All of the skill bonuses are suffixes, so only one can spawn on a Magic item. Rare items are a question mark in this regard, because we don't know enough about the item generator. It's possible, that the number of skill affixes is limited to one even on Rare items.

    These affixes start appearing on class-specific items in Nightmare and on generic items in Hell. What's interesting is that some of the highest level affixes can't spawn on the most powerful class-specific items, because their item level isn't high enough, but they can spawn on the generic items with the highest level. For example, you can't get a 3 seconds duration extension for Blizzard on a Demi Lich, but a Sacred Shield may carry that bonus. I hope this will change.

    Barbarian
    Code:
    Item Group 1: Belts, Mighty Belts
    Item Group 2: 2H Axes, 2H Swords, 2H Maces, 2H Mighty Weapons, Polearms, Shields
    
            Skill                        Bonus              May Spawn on Item Group
    
    Bash                        +5-14% Inreased Damage                 1
    Cleave                      +5-14% Inreased Damage                 1
    Frenzy                      +5-14% Inreased Damage                 1
    Hammer of the Ancients      Fury Cost Reduced by 1-5               2
    Overpower                   +2-8% Critical Chance                  2
    Rend                        Fury Cost Reduced by 1-5               1
    Revenge                     +2-8% Critical Chance                  1
    Seismic Slam                +2-8% Critical Chance                  2
    Weapon Throw                Fury Cost Reduced by 1-5               1
    Whirlwind                   +2-8% Critical Chance                  2
    Demon Hunter
    Code:
    Item Group 1: Quivers, Shields
    Item Group 2: Chest Armor, Cloaks
    
         Skill                    Bonus                 May Spawn on Item Group
                                                        
    Bola Shot           +5-14% Inreased Damage                     1
    Chakram             Hatred Cost Reduced by 1-5                 2
    Cluster Arrow       Hatred Cost Reduced by 1-5                 1
    Elemental Arrow     +5-14% Inreased Damage                     1
    Entangling Shot     +5-14% Inreased Damage                     1
    Evasive Fire        +5-14% Inreased Damage                     2
    Grenades            +5-14% Inreased Damage                     2
    Hungering Arrow     +5-14% Inreased Damage                     1
    Impale              Hatred Cost Reduced by 1-5                 2
    Multishot           +2-8% Critical Chance                      1
    Rapid Fire          +2-8% Critical Chance                      1
    Spiek Trap          +5-14% Inreased Damage                     2
    Strafe              +2-8% Critical Chance                      2
    Monk
    Code:
    Item Group 1: Spirit Stones, Helms
    Item Group 2: Staves, Polearms, Daibos
    
             Skill                        Bonus                 May Spawn on Item Group
                                                                
    Crippling Wave              +5-14% Inreased Damage                     1
    Cyclone Strike              Spirit Cost Reduced by 1-5                 1
    Deadly Reach                +5-14% Inreased Damage                     1
    Exploding Palm              +5-14% Inreased Damage                     1
    Fists of Thunder            +5-14% Inreased Damage                     1
    Lashing Tail Kick           Spirit Cost Reduced by 1-5                 2
    Sweeping Wind               +5-14% Inreased Damage                     1
    Tempest Rush                +2-8% Critical Chance                      2
    Wave of Light               +2-8% Critical Chance                      2
    Way of the Hundred Fists    +5-14% Inreased Damage                     1
    Witch Doctor
    Code:
    Item Group 1: Voodoo Masks, Helms
    Item Group 2: Shields, Mojos, Bows, Crossbows
    Item Group 3: Daggers, Spears, Bows, Crossbows, Ceremonial Knives, 2H Axes, 2H Swords, 2H Maces, Polearms
    
          Skill                          Bonus                  May Spawn on Item Group
                                                                
    Acid Cloud              +2-8% Critical Chance                          1
    Corpse Spiders          +5-14% Inreased Damage                         2
    Firebomb                Mana Cost Reduced by 1-9                       3
    Firebats                Mana Cost Reduced by 4-12                      1
    Haunt                   +5-14% Inreased Damage                         3
    Locust Swarm            +5-14% Inreased Damage                         1
    Plague of Toads         +5-14% Inreased Damage                         3
    Poison Dart             +5-14% Inreased Damage                         2
    Spirit Barrage          +5-14% Inreased Damage                         2
    Wall of Zombies         Cooldown reduced by 1-3 seconds                2
    Zombie Charger          Mana Cost Reduced by 4-12                      2
    Summon Zombie Dogs      Cooldown reduced by 1-9 seconds                1
    Wizard
    Code:
    Item Group 1: Sources, Shields
    Item Group 2: Wizard Hats, Helms
    Item Group 3: Swords, Staves, Daggers, Spears, Wands, 2H Axes, 2H Swords, 2H Maces
    
        Skill                        Bonus                  May Spawn on Item Group
                        
    Arcane Orb          +2-8% Critical Chance                          1
    Arcane Torrent      Arcane Power Cost Reduced by 1-5               2
    Blizzard            Duration increased by 1-3 seconds              1
    Disintegrate        Arcane Power Cost Reduced by 1-5               2
    Electrocute         +5-14% Inreased Damage                         2
    Energy Twister      +2-8% Critical Chance                          3
    Explosive Blast     +2-8% Critical Chance                          2
    Hydra               Arcane Power Cost Reduced by 1-10              2
    Magic Missile       +5-14% Inreased Damage                         3
    Meteor              Arcane Power Cost Reduced by 1-5               1
    Ray of Frost        +2-8% Critical Chance                          2
    Shock Pulse         +5-14% Inreased Damage                         1
    Spectral Blade      +5-14% Inreased Damage                         1
  20. syntaxbad

    syntaxbad IncGamers Member

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    Re: +skill items afer all?

    I took a gander at the datamined +skills modifier from the most recent beta client. Keeping in mind that we must take later-game content mined from a beta build with a big grain of salt, let's say for the sake of argument that these are somewhat accurate. There are five types of skill boosts that can spawn:

    Power Cooldown Reduction
    Power Crit Bonus %
    Power Damage Bonus %
    Power Duration Increase
    Power Resource Reduction


    More importantly, each skill mod is linked to a specific kind of bonus. Meaning that, for example, the +Blizzard Mod will only ever increase the duration of the Blizzard skill and the +Disintegrate mod will only ever reduce the resource cost of Disintegrate. Why is this important? Because the most worrisome potential mod from a balance perspective is +damage. If every skill could get +damage, then the game content would need to be leveled and designed with the ASSUMPTION that end game characters were loaded with +skills damage gear. As it is, the skills in the mod list that show as getting +damage tend to be lower damage skills, rather than the powerful ones, while high damage skills are boosted in some other way (duration, cooldown reduction etc).

    Certainly there will be some tweaks once a few weeks of play has shown where the potential abuse lies. Maybe some floor on resource cost will be needed to prevent a "free" Disintegrate, etc. But I suspect that +skills on items, as evidenced in the datamined information will be there in some form come release. It fits with the design philosophy of D3, which has been to push as much character customization into the item system as possible (instead of assigning stat points, we now have stat gems and a wide range of powerful stat mods that can spawn, for example). Another design goal, making as many skills useful as possible, precludes the idea of including mods (on all the skills) that just scale damage. The entire reason for indexing skill damage to weapon damage was to allow even a skill unlocked at level 2 to be useful in inferno (unlike, say, Firebolt in D2).

    In sum, because the skill system has been designed to allow most skills to have a use (especially in combination with other skills), having +skills (with the effects listed above, not strict damage scaling) will be a very good thing for build diversity. Think of that wacky necro build you had in D2, where you were searching for a wand with a specific combo of +skills that no one else wanted. Only now every class and every possible wacky (and mainstream) build out there can potentially find or trade for their dream item.

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