How to unlock and select Specializations for Rogues in Diablo 4
In Diablo 4 each class gets a unique class mechanic unlocked via questing. For Rogues that feature is known as Specializations and while not as flashy as those available to other classes, players should take advantage of them in order to improve their skills in the game. To view your Specializations when unlocked you need to open up your Abilities screen; Specializations will have their own tab when available. Specializations have no cost to swap, and can even be changed mid-combat although doing so will reset progress (for example, unused Combo Points will be lost).
Specializations unlock by completing the small quest chain automatically started upon reaching level 15. You’ll need to speak to a fellow Rogue in the Fractured Peaks and take a quick jaunt into a nearby dungeon to complete it. Once unlocked you’ll have access to the first Specialization Combo Points. The subsequent Specializations Inner Sight and Preparation will unlock at levels 20 and 30 respectively provided you completed the initial quest.
Here’s what each Rogue Specialization does:
Combo Points are the first Specialization and as such the easiest to work with. Points are built up by using Basic Skills such as Heartseeker and Blade Shift and can build up to a maximum of three. Spending the Combo Points requires using one of the Core Skills such as Penetrating Shot or Flurry; all stored Combo Points are immediately consumed to increase damage as well provide a bonus based on the number of points used. These bonuses are:
- Barrage and Rapid Fire both get additional arrows fired
- Flurry provides an Attack Speed bonus
- Penetrating Shot has a chance to Knock Down targets
- Twisting Blades increases Movement Speed
While building up to three Combo Points before using a Core Skill will maximize its effectiveness, players not willing to monitor their points will still benefit with increased throughput as the acquisition of points occurs naturally.
Inner Sight is the second Specialization and is unlocked at level 20. With Inner Sight, some opponents will be marked with a glowing eye; damaging and killing them will help fill up your Inner Sight gauge (located next to your Energy gauge). Once Inner Sight is full you’ll be given four seconds of unlimited Energy usage allowing you to burst Core Skills. This is probably the trickiest Specialization to master as you’ll want to time filling your Inner Sight gauge so that you’ll be able to burst against a powerful enemy. Inner Sight is essentially a feast and famine Specialization, but will be most effective the more enemies that you corral and kill at one time. Conversely, it will be useless during fights with bosses that summon no adds to help fill the gauge.
Preparation is the final Specialization that Rogues can learn is unlocked at level 30. Preparation is designed to increase the frequency of your Ultimate skill; each expenditure of Energy via a Core Skill will decrease the cooldown on your Ultimate skill by 4 seconds. This Specialization will benefit those whose playstyle centers around their Ultimate skill, especially those trying to maximize uptime on Shadow Clone. Since Preparation doesn’t require any real change in playstyle — unless you’re using a rotation based on Ultimate skill cooldowns, which is rare in the Diablo franchise — it’s another choice besides Combo Points for those who aren’t as interested in maximizing their usage of Specializations.
While not as impactful on Rogue playstyle as Ultimate skills are, Specializations provide a solid buff to their abilities and thus are an important part of their class toolkit.
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