Quinn wrote on Apr 23, 2012, 09:39:
The thing I like about skilltrees is the fact that if you don't think and examine the tree properly and reflect it with the gameplay, you can make the wrong CHOICES and completely screw up your character. Making the right ones and in effect making your character stronger, gives me a loving sense of ACHIEVEMENT. It's all an illusion though, so the joke's one me, really. Sucks being a gamer.
That is the thing though. You can never really know what works until you've tried it. Diablo 2 with its skill-trees was a horribly imbalanced game at times, and in some strange way, that's part of why it was so much fun. But given how easy it was to completely gimp your character, it's equally easy to see the reasoning behind D3's change in direction. Especially since you rarely notice the gimpage until much later, when you've wasted a significant number of hours on a character that's no longer going to let you play with your group unless they also reroll or take a long break. Some people might find the discard-reroll exercise enjoyable, but I sure don't
For example, there was no way of knowing that the sorc's "Warmth" skill should never receive much more than 1 point, ideally. If you put 10+ points into that early, you'd be gimping your character for later. You really feel like you need it for the greatly increased mana regen early on, but due to how regen worked, and as your total mana pool grew (and with the addition of skill-bonuses from gear) it becomes 100% superfluous after a while. How were you supposed to know this unless you'd played the game before, or read someone's guide?
Then there's the 90% of useless combat skills that just didn't scale well enough to be used after normal difficulty. Again, you couldn't really know.
That's not to say I think their new direction is perfect. In fact I'm worried they have have taken it a bit too far in the opposite direction.. But it's hard to make any sort of judgement based on the meagre ~4 active skills and couple of runes you are able to unlock per class in the open beta..
Disclaimer: The above is written based on D2 v1.09. I had long since stopped playing by the time 1.10 brought the new synergy system.