Skill design concepts and character build variety are the topics featured in the fifth round of questions from Diii.net's multi-part interview with Diablo III lead designer Jay Wilson.
Diii.net: Do you guys work and plan in advance to plan multiple potential builds for each character? Or do you just throw in as many cool skills as you can and see how players find ways to use them?
Jay Wilson: A little bit of both. We try to anticipate what we think will be good builds. For example, there's lots of things we put into the wizard, to try to make a battle mage more viable. But sometimes we put in skills that we're not 100% sure is an awesome skill, but that we think somebody will find an awesome use for. We try to plan things ahead of time, but we're not foolish enough to believe that the three of us who work on skills can come up with as many possibilities and variations as the millions of players who will take the work we've done and have fun building stuff with it. We mostly try to make sure they have the tools to have a lot of freedom and create a lot of cool stuff.