My personal opinion on the approach to the whole matter of no limits on skill point allocation and allowing of respec is that there should be a limit on skill points distribution. You shouldn't be allowed to max out everything. But they should allow you to respec but put a cost on it and not a low easy cost obviously. Extremes in life are almost always bad. Both extremes of a given situation come with a lot of problems. Balanced approach is the best. The extremes here are permanence and impermanence.
Allowing you to freely switch between all skills without limitations in D3 and D4 is the impermanence extreme. Your character has no identity in the world. The only difference between my Druid and someone else's druid is nothing. Although, how one plays the game shouldn't bother me. The option to freely respec is an option and not forced upon me. I don't have to do it if i don't want to. But i do understand the people who say that it is too free and character identities don't matter. It also doesn't let one properly experience and appreciate the skills and builds.
Permanence, however, is the other end of the pendulum. Making skill point allocation permanent and limited with no respec option is another extreme. And it's prohibitive. If your goal is to to make character identities matter, then this is not the way as almost nobody truly knows what they want to specialise in by just reading the skills. They have to actually play to understand because items and the types of dungeon and experiences in the game can change your mind very quickly. If your goal is to make people experience and appreciate skills then once again, permanence is not the way to go.
Permanence will achieve the opposite of your above two intended goals. People will be afraid to specialise and will go to forums to ask what is the best build and specialisation and therefore, they will not even touch the other skills, builds, systems etc. and will not experience and appreciate the game and will even be done with your game quickly.
Because very few have the time and patience, or even if they have the time, they don't necessarily have the patience. Decisions, wants and needs change very quickly in a massive game as what D4 is aiming for. Especially since blizzard plans to bring in seasons and expansions. Also, people make mistakes. And having the fear that once you spend a point it will be locked in will increase the chance of making a mistake. I remember this was the case for me in Elder Scrolls Online. Every RPG's approach to builds and skills and what they do and their looks is different. So, on page, i had no idea what i wanted so i wanted to try it out. But i had a fear that if i can't respec, i will have to recreate and replay the base content over and over and over and before i even reach the endgame i would have burned myself out and i would be reluctant to touch anything else after that. Thankfully, i was at ease because there is a respec option in ESO. It's a feeling, just as how character identity matters is also a feeling, but it's an important feeling and one that is more practically backed up than character identity.
Diablo4 does try to shoot for a balance. But it takes the wrong points from permanence and impermanence and ends up with impermanence in the end. D4 takes no limit on skill point allocation from the impermanence extreme and from the permanence extreme it takes the inability to respec no matter what. The final result is still impermanence. What they should have done is to take limited skill point allocation from permanence side and allowance of respec, but a cost from the impermanence side. This would achieve the goals that you want and not alienate the hardcore and casual player base.
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