Diablo 3

Idea for Respecing in Diablo IV

diablo14 - Idea for Respecing in Diablo IV

Since the skill tree reveal, I’ve seen thoughts surfacing again about the permanency of skill choices and respec systems. I’ve been thinking about what I’d like to see in D4 and have an idea I wanted to share.

I’ll start by saying that I have always been a fan of skill choices being permanent, I think D2 had it right and would like to see this in D4. BUT, I also appreciate the need for flexibility. Which is where I would implement a new respec system.

I believe the key to respecing is what it should cost. If we look at classic D2, the only way to respec was by creating a new character from scratch and building it differently. What was the cost of this? Time!

So if doing a full respec costs a lot of time, why not make this scaleable so a minor respec only costs small amount of time?

Time in Diablo is spent playing the game. A full respec means playing all the way through from the start, so on a smaller scale a minor respec should involve a smaller chunk of gameplay.

My idea would be to allow players to respec skills by having to complete a dungeon/rift kind of challenge. Once complete, the skill is wiped out and the point(s) freed up to spend elsewhere.

Balancing and/or a diminishing returns system would need to be implemented so that doing a lot of respecing in this way wouldn’t be efficient. This will keep the flexibility for people who only need minor respecs, while still allowing the time investment of a new character build to be a meaningful endeavor.


In terms of design and how it fits from a narrative perspective, I imagine it looking something like this:

Say I’m a Sorc and I want to get back the skill points I spent in Blizzard. I go to the respec NPC, they are a spiritual type character and can help me unlearn this skill by guiding me through some kind of meditative spirit quest. The dream state begins and the dungeon starts.

These dungeons are themed around the skill you are trying to forget, in this case the tile set is on top of a snowy mountain in a snowstorm. Because I’m trying to unlearn this skill I can either no longer use it or it is weakened. This makes respecing a skill that a character relies heavily on more difficult since it’s a more meaningful change.

At the end of these dungeons is a boss which is a reflection of yourself that uses the skill your unlearning as it’s primary attack. The symbolism of this is that you are trying to purge this knowledge from yourself by killing it. If at any point you die, you simply wake up from the dream state.

There is lots more stuff you could add to this system to make it deeper and really cool but this post is long enough as is.

Would you like a system like this? Would you change or add anything? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

tldr: D4 should have a respec system where you complete a dungeon themed on that skill to unlearn it

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