Diablo 3’s skill system essentially represents what the Mists talent tree is going to be like. I remember the former Diablo skill system was overhauled completely not too long ago. But it feels like they got it right with the current one. You have a limited selection of spells that your character can use. However, you can customize your selected spells in a variety of ways to help you out with a specific purpose. That spell customization with the Runes is what I imagine the Warcraft designers wanted with the glyph system.
Look at the Wizard’s Magic Missile. Want additional multi-target DPS? Rune it up with Split. Want to use it as a charger for your Arcane Power? Grab Attunement. Same basic spell but it now has additional flexibility with it.
Think about the possibilities with WoW. Lightwell recently received a glyph that it into a smart, raid heal for players under 50%. There’s another glyph that gives it some additional charges. How about a glyph that says anyone near it who receives a heal gets an additional 25% healing on top? Or a glyph giving it unlimited charges for 5 seconds?
You can’t really pull off a large number of spell customizations with WoW though since there’s so many classes and so many spells with a huge variety of combinations. It would be cool to modify each spell to have some cool effect, I reckon most of us would be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choices.
A friend of mind made a comment that he felt as if he had zero choices when it came to D3’s systems. I laughed when he elaborated further by saying it was because he didn’t know what to pick for his ability slots and it was more dependent on the bosses and area he was fighting as opposed to something that was “best” for the class.
“Dude, you just nailed it right there.”
I’m hoping Diablo 3’s skill system, now that more people are exposed to it, will help open some eyes and encourage understanding to those who were vehemently opposed to Mists talent system. Even though the earlier talent system in D3 that Mists was based on was scrapped, you can tell that the spirit of what they were trying to do is still there.