According to Diablo 3 Twitter there is no more skill trees in D3. Diablo 3 developers are testing a new skill system that is with out skill trees.
Check out Diablo III Twitter log:
■With our tweet Friday about the skill trees being removed/changed, what approach do you think we might be taking?—Nov 23
■My guess is a Dungeon Siege take on things, the more you use a certain weapon/skill, the better you get at.—Nov 23, by topheroly
■That seems to be a popular guess. —Nov 23
■Can you say why you guys decided to drop the skill tree? What deficiencies did it have that you felt another system could do better?—by JeffKamo
■That is hard, so many games rely on skill trees. My guess would have to be… “skill” items that you find or even create for skills.—by CaptainCasey
■Sounds like you’re talking about our skill rune system, which is still very much a part of the game.
Bashiok also confirms about removal of skill trees in Diablo III:
I’m guessing you’re saying this because I quoted one guy on twitter proposing this type of skill system and I said that it was a popular guess.
Well, I think I can pretty safely say that we would never use that type of skill system.
It works for some games, it just wouldn’t work for us. We’re dropping too many items, we’re moving too fast, and we’re opening up too many avenues for customization and re-customization.
From an interview with Jay Wilson by diablofans.com – check it out here, it is also qouted by Jay that skill trees is gone in Diablo 3.
DiabloFans: On the topic of the Monk, can you tell us if the skill trees have been named yet? So far they’re listed as “Unnamed Skill Tree 1 – 3″. Can we expect to see any more of his skills unveiled soon along with his female counterpart? Also, can tell me a little bit more about the new skill system?
Jay Wilson: In regards to the female counterpart, she’ll be released soon. As far as exact dates go, I really can’t talk much about them. A little news about the Skill Tree system should actually go up on our Twitter page pretty soon. About that, we’ve decided to remove the tree-type architecture and we are moving into a purely skill-based system. This new system is still in the development stages and if it does not work, we still have plenty of options to fall back on. Right now, we’re just trying different things and getting a feel for the few ideas in regards to the skill system that we have going on right now. It differs from the World of Warcraft/Diablo II type hierarchical styles and is more of a skill pool/path than a tree per se.