Introducing Alternate Skills

Diablo II has several utility skills that you cannot build around and modifying the skill to make it viable ruins them as utility skills. We saw this with the Mind Blast rework which required removing the stun because it would be much too powerful to have it perma-stun monsters while dealing a lot of damage. This change did allow for a new type of caster Assassin but came at cost; no more AoE stun. I've also wrestled with this during the War Cry rework. Ultimately I would like every single skill to be useful and sometimes worth leveling up with hard points but how would I make a utility skill worth leveling up? Or how would I rework the skill into a main ability without losing the utility?

Introducing Alternate Skills. When you acquire Mind Blast, you get a damage dealing Mind Blast and a crowd control Mind Blast that deals no damage. Both will appear in your skill selection and you can  bind both separately to your favorite hotkeys. It is effectively like having two skills in one. You can put a single point in Mind Blast and use the Alternate mode to stun or you can max out Mind Blast if you are committing to that build.

Mind Blast is likely going to be the only skill to use this new system in the upcoming patch just to make sure that everything works fine first. If the system works flawlessly and is well received by the community then I will expand it into other skills that would benefit greatly.


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