Diablo 4 - 6 Skill Disaster

I don’t mind it being like D3.
If you get more skills, you would say “Open World , more buttons = WoW copy”.

Again, i meant like not counting things like from items.
YOu are correct that if you play something like meta, and play enigma, of course its going to add a +1 to the skill count.

I guess i wasnt thinking about meta-builds such as enigma or BO stix and that garbo, like yea its fine it is correct to be like you can hit 7+, i was thinking how i play which is obviously NOT that stuff anymore (yes i had my time, yes i thought it was sweet, like i thought i was so sweet when i played enigma and such, lol, hey make fun of me it is what it is, and yes of course i moved on and grew up out of meta). Yes, i even stooped so low to go hammerdin, i mean cmon who didnt, then its like, omg, this is so youtube i want nothing to do with this. Its the furthest thing from expressive, it was only expressive to the first small group of ppl who exposed it or to a new player who doesnt know what it is.

Like what (i dont know sins) non sin build would be 7+, not from items, and no pre reqs, and fine include the passive one and dones like ice armor it technically is a skill.

But what nonsin build is like 7+ no items, bc if they’re coming from items hypothetically in diablo 4, they would avoid the skill limit barrier there too, so its like a non factor does that make sense Strol thats why i say the item granted ones like teleport from enigma or bo or w/e are not factored in bc they like hop over the barrier bc they come from an item, just like they would in 4, so see my point?

I gotta go bud ill be back on here later on, im typing on this shh…i mean awful ultrabook i got suckered into 2 years ago, yea the keyboards that bad, so sorry for typos / not wanting to put in energy to correct typos on this trash of a keyboard.

Summonmancer should be able to hit 7 skills easily, without counting item skills?

I use ice bolt between frozen orb casts sometimes to kill them faster, sort of how a meteorb sorc uses fireball and orb at the same time. Glacial spike serves the same function as it does for a meteorb, it freezes a group of monsters in place. These skills do not overlap and are both used uniquely or situationally and bound to their own keys, Pindle for one really likes to be frozen by glacials but Meph prefers to eat ice bolts.

Since I only do cold damage and static field, an important part of making more areas of the game manageable for me is to teleport my merc into position and to provide him a bit of crowd control with telekinesis. Just spam it on the monster and they will go into stun recovery.

I think it’s a bit lame to take out a bunch of skills to replace them with only passives, give me a frozen armor that I can pump and get funky with any day.

Agreed. Dim vision, golem, raise skelli, bone armor, revive, amp, decripify and corpse explosions are must haves. Some might also hotkey attract or lower resists or skelli mages. That’s 8-11 skills (and a weapon switch for a teleport staff or you could get wild with a 6os crystal sword and a shield for bosses or mf).

It’s just not reality that most D2 characters use 6 skills so that’s all we need for future Diablo games. A - who cares how many skills were used in D2, D2 let you use as many as you want and B - There were many more than 6 used, I’d say an average might be 7-11.


I feel we have to look at the bigger picture here and ofcourse that we should be open minded to eachother’s ideas and try to find a nice compromise or balanced solution it that’s possible:
Having 6 or less useable skills can actually make the game not simple at all and add more depth to the game overall. You would need to make hard decisions what skills to pick that are viable and strong enough based on your character level, points invested in your skilltree and what gear you have. Having 6 or more skills completly removes the challenging aspect in decision making and in my opinion that is exactly what makes the game too simple. Having said this however, I think most if not all skills should have the potential to be endgame viable, otherwise there will only be meta builds which I am not a fan of and this will eliminate the need for having more skills as well. For endgame gear/items this will also have a big impact, since the hunt for those good items for your build becomes more important and could help players wanting to keep grinding in the endgame. It would be too easy again and removes one of the biggest goals in the game if every item you find is good for your build due to the fact you can use more skills.

I also feel like how the the current combat system in Diablo 4 is and works, that it doesn’t need more than 4 skills. But I wouldn’t mind so much having 5 or a maximum of 6. The reason I say a maximum of 6 is because having more could also potentionally redirect the focus to spamming skills instead of focussing on the actual combat itself. Also, Having more than 6 makes me feel like I am playing a MMO like WoW and Diablo is not that type of game and it should never become such a game in my opinion. All I said right now is a big reason as well I completely agree that the devs want points invested in the skilltree to be limited.

My question to players who want to use more than 6 skills and also agree with my reasonings is: How would you design it, while also keeping the Diablo 4 system intact as much as possible?

We sure need the option to be able to reset our allocated points though, but also limited.

What in the Diablo 4 system goes against 7 skill slots?

Add monster resistances back.
Make enemies different from one another in how they attack you and how you defeat them.
Make sure AoE skills are quite weak for single target and single target skills are quite weak for 5+ enemies.

This would make 7 skills highly useful, while still being very limited, forcing hard choices, which I agree is a good thing.
But too few skill slots is as bad for build diversity as too many.

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I am basing 6 on what I think is needed generally:

  1. AoE
  2. Singletarget
  3. Defensive
  4. Ultimates
  5. Aura’s/buffs/shouts/summons/crowd control
  6. Movement ( I am not that big of a fan of the spacebar dodge)

I definately agree what you stated about the AoE and ST skills and okay… to be honest 7 would be fine as well :wink: ,but that will be for me at least the limit just to add something extra that can be a nice addition or to split up crowd control/summon skills from aura’s and debuffs.

But I am still more than fine with just the first 4 how it currently is though. If Diablo brings monster resistance back and players want debuffs especially for that purpose, then there should not be items that can do that directly. Otherwise the item replaces that skillslot.

There should be no resistance debuffs imo. Nor any items that makes you circumvent resistances.
If you want to circumvent an enemies resistance, then you need an attack with another dmg type.

Giving the player a strong incentive for at least 3 attacks in their builds.

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Skill breakdowns in D4 could look as follows:

Skill 1: Primary resource generating attack. Something that builds up resources to spend elsewhere.

skill 2: Your primary resource spending attack vs single target. probably does more dmg than the generating attack due to the fact that you spend resource on it.

Skill 3: Your alternate resource spending attack that does AOE dmg for trash clearing.

Skill 4: Your primary defensive skill. This would buff your phys defense, resists, increase your dodge, etc. Maybe only one at a time, maybe all at once.

Skill 5: Secondary Defensive ability. This would further buff your defensive capabilities. Maybe buff a different category of defense. IE: If skill 4 buffs armor, then skill 5 buffs dodge chance or block chance.

Skill 6: Debuff. This would be CC for the monsters. Blind, freeze, stuns, slows, etc.

Skill 7: Secondary debuff in case they’re immune to your primary debuff.

Skill 8: QOL buffs. Movement speed, healing, etc. We’re talking your vauls, teleports, health regen auras, attack speed increases, etc.

Skill 9: Ultimates (if they even get included, I’m not a fan of them.) Your end all/be all skills that come with a massive cool down.

There you have it. A legitimate reason for at least 9 skills. If they re-introduce resistances and immunities, then that number could go up to 11 or 12 very easily. (Skill 10 and 11 would be alternate dmg type single targets and AOE, 12 is alternate dmg ultimate)


Only 6 skill slots is concerning.
Since D3 just wasnt the game i had hoped for, ive been playing alot of PoE.
Things like auras (which can be everything from life regen, to accuracy, there are tons of them) are an important part in building your character.

Now in PoE you can only use very few of them at once unless you build your character more around them so you can use more of them or buff their effects etc.
They take up a skill slot each. Just thinking about D4 will have nothing of the sort of a system like auras is a red flag immediately for me at least.

Will D4 even have auras, curses, elemental penetration etc. Will what type of weapon you use even matter (axes, swords, daggers, maces). Will there even be a difference between 2 handers and one handers except for the stats on the weapons. Will there be a meaningful difference between Fire, Lightning, Frost, Poison? Can you make a dot build out of something that is not intended for it? There are just so many intricate things that makes a good ARPG that are still left unanswered in D4.


I feel like the way you breakdown the skills has the potential to make combat too complex, rather slow and makes it look too much like a MMO game. In my opinion ARPG’s should have fast combat and should be balanced good enough that its still a challenge. I feel how combat was in the demo during blizzcon was already In the right direction. In your suggestion I get the idea you want to be able to create a character that has everything at it’s disposal times two. My question is why you would want a combat system so complex and being able to use so many skills? I would love to know whats wrong with a more simpel approach where there is no need to use so many skills. I do agree however that D4 could add more different skills that can be chosen, like aura’s/curses/pets, but not that it automatically means you are able to use them. In my opinion there still needs to be the aspect of hard decision making. I feel that the game with so many usable skills will be a skill spam simulator :stuck_out_tongue: and is that realy needed and what is the benefit for that?

To still follow your input/suggestion with my own I maybe have a middle solution (I don’t know if this is already the case by the way):
Wouldn’t it be an option instead if we would have the freedom to choose whatever skills we like to use in our skillslots, instead of forcing to pick 1 of each category like ‘defensive’ or ‘weapon mastery’? that way you can create a character/build however you want, for example: a glasscanon, tank, support or all-around character. Combined with the limited points players can invest in the skilltree, players would still have to make good decisions and ofcourse: there has to be a limited skill reset option.

So in this middle solution players can have 6,7,8,9,10 etc. skill slots, but players would still have the freedom how many skills they want to use. Not forcing to uttilize all of them.

I think you misunderstood what I said. I said that you could potentially need at least 9 skills, not that you were forced to use all 9 at once or that you were forced to use one from each category. I was just listing all the categories that would be useful/necessary. And obviously you wouldn’t use the AoE and single target and generator all at once. But you would need them mapped for when it is convenient or necessary to use them. And that’s not even counting playing a summoner build where each and every minion skill needs to be mapped too. I’m just advocating that needing more than 6 skills is a real thing.

And if you find the way I broke down the skills to be too complicated, might you be interested in Skylanders or Minecraft: Dungeons?? Diablo seems to be out of your league.

It’s not complicated at all. You leave town, hit your buff skills immediately. Now that you’re ready for combat, go find some baddies. Is it a single large enemy? Cool. Smack it with your high dmg, single target spell/attack. Is it a large conglomerate of smaller imps?? Neat. Toast them with your AoE trash clearing skill. Notice your skills not doing the expected damage? Fire off your CC/Debuff skill and then attack. It’s still a 1-3 button affair once the fighting starts. whether you’re using your primary attacks or your alternate attacks due to elemental resists or physical immunities, it’s still 1-3 buttons at a time. If you can’t count to three, you have more problems than which video game you’re playing.


There is no need for such remarks, I am just trying to join the discussion and bring ideas that might spark some inspiration or change/improve my own viewpoints.

I indeed misunderstood the fact of forcing to use all of them and also didn’t know those buffs and defensive skills you meant would be active constantly when used, my mistake. However, I still think a secondary buff and defensive skill should not be neccessary. The skills and monster stats could be designed in a way that it’s not neccessary to have additional ones on top of them. But if players still want the option to use them as a nice addition, because why not, then fine.

Luckily if I understand that correctly at least :wink: , we agree on the fact that players should be able to choose themselfs how many and what type of skills to use even though there would be 10+ skillslots (as an example).

Yeah. With more skill depthh and diversity, such as single target and AoE being meaningfully different from each other, and different dmg types, you would exactly NOT use all abilities all the time. But rather use them depending on the enemy you are fighting.
As it should be.

Same might go for defensive skills. One defensive skill might reduce physical dmg taken, another might make you absorb frost dmg and heal from it. You dont have to use both, but you sure could decide to do it. However, using them would depend on the combat situation.

Also, imo, no skills should be “use and forget”, as in permanent buffs. All buffs, offensive or defensive, need to be at least partially short-term buffs.
D3 did quite well here tbh. Mantras and auras are well designed, with both a permanent effect and a short-term effect. So it isn’t just something you click and then it is up all the time (of course, the game then failed hard by adding insane amounts of cooldown reduction, allowing you to sometimes keep them up all the time, by spamming them, which ruins the purpose).

I’m fine with 6 skills that aren’t passives (Wizard in D3 is a culprit here), but I’d like for 2 extra buttons for runewords so they aren’t just trigger/effect but as an option for some.

Please don’t drink the Jay Wilson Cool Aid, he was wrong about almost everything - certainly wrong about 6 skills. 6 skills do not do more than more skills and there are not more decisions that are made during D3 combat, the lack of health pots did not make defensive skills some glorious nirvana that didn’t exist in D2.

Jay was wrong, don’t hang onto his broken pillars. Who would have thought someone who didn’t love Diablo 2 wouldn’t know how to make Diablo 3. 6 skills is too simple, I’ll play D2 or PoE 2 instead. Jay talks about all the decisions players have to make in Diablo 3 with his design, where are these decisions?

Jay (and Mr. Pardo who apparently took credit for D3 too) was wrong about everything and you all have 15k players now after you all tried to save the game. Why would you run back 6 skills, that’s Gauntlet Legends not Diablo 2.

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You are absolutely right, and please accept my apologies. You just happened to be the lucky 10,000th customer who made remarks about how having more than 6 skills is too complicated. Every man has a breaking point, I had hit mine on that particular facade.

To summarize:

There are absolutely builds and situations where having more than 6 skills are necessary. The only way that isn’t true is if the base gameplay mechanics are watered down to the point where the reasons for more than 6 skills, as iterated above by multiple people, are no longer relevant. At that point, playing the game is no longer relevant as it will be too watered down to be fun for an intelligent adult.

No, being designed for console is NOT a good excuse to water down our game and limit the number of skills we can use. I broke down earlier in the thread exactly how and why a controller can handle more. As far as making the game appeal to a broader audience, it is rated Mature. Do you really care if a 9 year old can grasp the finer points of gameplay? they shouldn’t even be playing the game to start with.

I agree, and perhaps didn’t sufficiently get my point across on buffs. I think that is something D3 did well. Warcries, mantras, sader buffs, etc were done pretty well. Not a fan of a cool down mechanism, but as long as it’s not a huge cooldown I’m game.

For starters, it’s Kool-Aid. And I completely agree with you. Jay Wilson was almost single handedly at fault for a lot of what we’re complaining about. Some of his early game quotes are absolutely cringe worthy. “We doubled it!”
“F#@$@ that loser”
“You write out what you want your feature to be, and don’t justify the feature. Don’t say, “This is why we’re doing this feature.” If somebody wants to know, they’ll ask.” FYI Jay, we DID ask and got no answers.
“Yes, it did. It came from the design department.” This was in response to the question of the RMAH

That being said, there is one thing Jay did for Diablo that I will be grateful for. Combat seems way smoother than it used to be. I’m not a fan of the cooldown based skills, but the normal resource gathering/resource spending combat system runs like butter.

Here is another one.

To paraphrase at 9:40 in the linked video “As a developer, be wary of game options. These may just be a case of the developer not making a decision for their game”.

The dude is infatuated with simple games, it sounds like his ideal game is tetris. Depth with simplicity is ok, but tetris has depth and Diablo is not that simple either.

Oh, how’d no skill trees turn out? They were just a mathematical equation? Oh wait, you all like them now and are bringing them back for D4? Not everybody likes being the exact same hero? Oh one of your pillars is customization? I sure see a whole lot of that. I took main stat, vit and damage and so did everyone else, same with resist all and defense. Oh, those are the only affixes lol? All the skills are the same with different flashy skins? Diablo 3 - if Diablo 2 were tic-tac-toe - a presentation by Jay Wilson. “You pretty much did x and y with stats so it was a false choice or only led to potentially wrong choices so we removed that”. Gee that was fun, thanks dude.

At least hopefully the developer has learned from this experience, I sure hope we don’t get a Diablo that yearns for simplicity at the cost of a good experience again.

Why not get David Brevik involved with Diablo 4? Since D1 and D2 were his babies and they were so successful. It Lurks Below was good, I’m sure Brevik could help.

To your point about options. I’ve read many comments by devs on this very topic cited the same thing. Often, when players are given tons of options it’s precisely because they can’t be decisive. Of course there are plenty of games out there designed to give players a plethora of options and I’m not talking about those. I’m not claiming D3 couldn’t have benefitted from having some more traditional ARPG decision elements, because it could.

As for getting Brevik on board, the due is notoriously difficult to work with, there is a reason he works by himself ow and is not part of a larger dev team.

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Or is it because Blizz thinks he is a boomer with ideas that are no longer viable for 2020? Actually, I just looked up his age, he’s 52. He is still young enough to be destroying it professionally. The dude also worked on Marvel Heroes and worked with teams at Blizzard. Surely he can be respectful if both sides work together; he’s obviously talented. If somebody were creating a sequel to a game that he imagined in high school I think his input as a consultant would be valuable to do good by the series - I would also imagine that David probably would like to work on Diablo (no idea though).

Pretty sure David had mentioned before in one of his interviews that Blizz didn’t even contact him when they developed Diablo 3. Was the ending of Blizz North so contentious that North and South hate each other 12 years later?