In Diablo III there are no attribute or skills points to improve your character. Instead when you gain levels you automatically unlock new skills and your class’ core attributes will increase. Spells automatically improve in strength with levels but most of the customization to them comes from applying Runestones.
Each class in Diablo 3 has over 20 different skills but can select only six on the maximum level. They are unlocked automatically and you gain a new one on nearly every level. By opening the skills window as displayed on the picture on the right you can see your skills and place runestones into them. In addition to active skills you will also have three different passive spells that offer additional benefits.
The active skills can be bound on your mouse or keyboard much like in an MMO game, and any of them can be swapped for other skills which opens up many new gameplay opportunities. At start you can only hotkey two skills, up to the maximum of six on the level cap.
If you get bored with using one set of skills, you can just replace them with others, and since all of them can be further improved with the use of runestones the amount of customization is really impressive, if not a bit overwhelming: one additional reason to get a leveling guide and learning the best skill/runestone combos for every class.
So to recap:
- There’s a total of 20 active skills for each class
- You start with 2 skills and later on end up with 6
- Skills are automatically learned with levels
- You can swap skills anytime
- There are no skill trees or specs like in Diablo II
- Skills are improved and customized with different effects via runestones
- You also have three passive skills