Magic, different classes and balancing issues may be just a few of the hurdles that Diablo 3 has had to overcome in it’s storied development, but it seems that nothing has presented more of a challenge for the team, than a few pieces of square rocks with some fancy inscriptions on them.
However, it seems that all the obstacles that runes have presented for the team have finally been dealt with, as game director Jay Wilson revealed that have undergone a design shift in order to better accommodate their game-changing possibilities.
In a blog post, Wilson spoke about how runes would now be an actual part of the character skill system, instead of being available as collectible items , in order to better address several complicated issues that they brought with them.
“Runes have been by far the biggest design hurdle we’ve had in the game, and as you know we’ve been continually iterating on them,” Wilson said.
Diablo is all about the item drops. But with around 120 base skills, that meant there were around 600 rune variants; on top of that, each variant had five quality levels each, meaning ultimately there would be something like 3,000 different runes in the game… and we knew we were heading toward a problem.
Later in the game, having to juggle all of those various runes was not only un-fun, it was a serious and tedious inventory problem. This final design is intended to resolve those issues.
With a new name, skill runes will now unlock further customisation options as a player level ups. Each rune has only one rank, and one lasting effect now, with new skills and and runes being unlocked all the way until the final level cap of 60 in the final game.
Of course, if you’re in the beta for Diablo 3, the next patch will also have these runehancements available. What’s that, you’re not in the beta? Good thing we’re running a contest in order to give you that opportunity then, isn’t it?
Now called skill runes, the customisation options will unlock alongside skills as players level up. As a result, each rune now has only one rank, so each has a notable effect, rather than being an upgrade system.
The new system means players will be unlocking new skills or skill runes all the way to the level 60 experience cap, and will be introduced in the next beta patch. Hit the link above for more details, as well as information on UI overhauls designed to assist beginner players while enabling veterans.
Last Updated: February 20, 2012