Runic Revision?

  • #1

    During the Q&A session with lead game designer Jay Wilson at Blizzard HQ Thursday, we were treated to a fairly lengthy discussion about the DiabloWiki.com - Skill Runes Skill Runes system. Evidently, runes will not come into play during the Beta test, which led a participant to ask when we’ll see them. Jay responded that Runes will first start dropping in Act II Normal and mentioned that Skill Runes were the only major game system that still had significant revision coming its way. This statement opened the floodgates on a new Rune system that they're hoping they can get into the game. Before I get into the specifics, Jay wanted us to mention:


    Official Blizzard Quote:



    By the way, this is all theory; we haven’t put this in yet, so this is the way we think we’re going to go, but it’s not solidified. So keep that in mind when you report on it, make sure you say “this is theory,” but I feel like it’s theory worth sharing, especially with the fan community… We haven’t tried it out yet. So it might suck. I’m gonna put that caveat out there, but that’s the one thing we still want to try with that system, and if it works, we’ll keep it. If it doesn’t, then the system works pretty well as it is.

    Overall, this theory of Blizzard’s isn’t particularly earth-shattering. Runes will still be placed in skills to alter their functionality in the same way we’re used to. They’ll still be item drops off of monsters, but the team didn’t think that Runes felt like items in the classic Diablo sense. There was no variation, no randomization. A given Rune-Skill combination always produced the same result, so long as the level of the Rune was constant. In addition to this, when moused over, the UI for Runes simply displayed the effect it had on each of your active skills. During the internal alpha testing, they found that this became a nightmare point of comparison and, after a while, just got to be frustrating for the players.

    To rectify these issues, they came up with the idea of having Runes drop “unattuned.” This basically means that when a Rune drops, it’s just plain and grey and doesn’t have any specific effect on your skills. Once you socket the rune into your skill, however, it becomes attuned to that skill, providing it a bonus based on the Rune type that it randomly rolls. In addition, they are considering adding an additional random stat bonus – much like the charm system of the now-scrapped DiabloWiki.com - Talisman Talisman – to attuned Runes. Bashiok had this to say about the new system:


    Official Blizzard Quote:



    Personally, I love it, and hope it finds a way in.

    I'm not so sure about rolling to see which rune effect you get (it could still work), but I *love* the idea of random affixes. That you could have a end-rank rune for the skill you want, with the effect you want, but you still don't have ideal stats on it. That just makes the min/max item hunt that much cooler, and makes runes more important than... "Oh, I found another Crimson rune. Great. /salvage"

    These features combine to add an air of randomness, familiar with most Diablo loot, to Skill Runes as well. Skill Runes of equal level can vary significantly from one to another, and high-stat or “Perfect” Runes will likely become incredibly valuable. On the other hand, if you socket a Rune into a skill and don’t get what you want out of it, they hope that it feels much more like any other piece of loot that drops that you don’t want and not like a let-down or a waste of a Rune (especially considering that Rune might be valuable to another player with a different build or playstyle).

    Another difference from the current system is that when Runes are removed from skills, they will remain attuned to that skill. In the old system, if you removed a Rune from a skill, you could easily place that same Rune into a different skill to reap its benefits there. Not so with the new system. So, for example, if you put an unattuned Rune into your Magic Missiles and it rolls an Indigo effect (which adds additional missiles per rank), if you later decide to take that Rune out, it will forever remain a Magic Missile splitting Rune, unusable in any other skill. Even this isn't completely set in stone though, as they've hinted that they might add a functionality to the DiabloWiki.com - Mystic Mystic to wipe effects off Runes.

    This proposed system would also play into the new skill system. Since skills are now freely swappable, they felt they needed a soft mechanism to encourage the player to focus on their favorite skills rather than swapping them out for whichever skill was preferable for a given situation. The fact that Runes are permanently attuned to a specific skill as soon as they are socketed in that skill accomplishes this. Although Jay described Rank 1 Runes as “candy that you can throw out and experiment with all you want,” higher rank Runes will be much more precious. Socketing high-rank Runes into a skill will represent an investment in that skill, hopefully discouraging the player from swapping it out for another on a whim.

    While the core mechanic of Runes would remain unchanged in this new system, Runes - especially high-level ones - will become a much more valuable commodity. Since each Rune is permanently attuned to a single skill, they will be much more build-specific and, with random stats, highly sought after Runes will be far more difficult to obtain. What do you think? Do you like the sound of this proposed new system or are you happy with Skill Runes the way they are?
  • #2
    I didn't think that in a Diablo game, there might be something like too much customization. It the case with runes, this gets a little bit over the top. It will be a pain a real pain to find the rune with the right modifier, and with the right amount... In my opinion it will just get too overwhelming.
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  • #3
    Quote from Doomscream

    I didn't think that in a Diablo game, there might be something like too much customization. It the case with runes, this gets a little bit over the top. It will be a pain a real pain to find the rune with the right modifier, and with the right amount... In my opinion it will just get too overwhelming.

    I disagree, how is this any more tedious than looking for that exact right piece of armor or weapon? I think the added stats should be looked at like more of just an added bonus "oh cool my rune gave me x stats" and not base runes solely on what stats they do give. Thats how the majority of people will play, there will be the few however that will be very particular and go looking for the exact right rune stats for their build.
  • #4
    I like this new system...might make it hard to get the exact rune you want in the exact skill...but well, thats the funny part of the game. If getting the right rune was so easy and fast it wouldnt be too fun...
  • #5
    Binding runes to specific skills goes a very long way toward offsetting the removal of skill points. It brings back the concept of a major investment into a specific skill you like.

    Over time, without some kind of reset event, the game's economy will be saturated with top-tier runes, but this should work for a while.

    -Kardax
  • #6
    Quote from Shades_X

    I think the added stats should be looked at like more of just an added bonus "oh cool my rune gave me x stats" and not base runes solely on what stats they do give. Thats how the majority of people will play, there will be the few however that will be very particular and go looking for the exact right rune stats for their build.


    Well, min/maxers definitely won't be settling for just any additional stats, but I definitely think that it's a cool system. I don't think it's actually confirmed yet if the stat bonuses will just be general bonuses or if they'll only apply to the skill the rune is in. I think if it only applied to one skill, it would allow the player to tweak their individual skills more (maybe you want +Attack on your AoE skills so they do more damage, but you want Precision for more crit or increased crit damage on your single-target skills) and not getting the exact stats you want wouldn't be as game-breaking, since it only affects one of your 6 skills. How that would play into buff/CC/utility skills is another question...
  • #7
    Quote from Doomscream

    I didn't think that in a Diablo game, there might be something like too much customization. It the case with runes, this gets a little bit over the top. It will be a pain a real pain to find the rune with the right modifier, and with the right amount... In my opinion it will just get too overwhelming.

    I see where you're coming from, but I do think they need to add a little bit more complexity to the rune system. As it stands now (or before.. whatever), all you have to do is get a certain level rune to drop and you're good until the next level. Without any sort of random element, the rune system is "Oh, yeah, I have a Level 7 Crimson rune and I never have to upgrade again", which is something I think they want to avoid. Runes won't amount to anything if there is nothing special about them.
    "All generalizations are false, including this one." -Mark Twain
  • #8
    Quote from Kickin_It

    Quote from Shades_X

    I think the added stats should be looked at like more of just an added bonus "oh cool my rune gave me x stats" and not base runes solely on what stats they do give. Thats how the majority of people will play, there will be the few however that will be very particular and go looking for the exact right rune stats for their build.


    Well, min/maxers definitely won't be settling for just any additional stats, but I definitely think that it's a cool system. I don't think it's actually confirmed yet if the stat bonuses will just be general bonuses or if they'll only apply to the skill the rune is in. I think if it only applied to one skill, it would allow the player to tweak their individual skills more (maybe you want +Attack on your AoE skills so they do more damage, but you want Precision for more crit or increased crit damage on your single-target skills) and not getting the exact stats you want wouldn't be as game-breaking, since it only affects one of your 6 skills. How that would play into buff/CC/utility skills is another question...


    Thank you kickin_it for showing me diablo 3's new attribute system!
    I'm wondering what kind of random stats will pop up after using a rune for the first time?

    I'm thinking of 3 different types that would affect your character.

    1.There could be percentage modifiers for that actual skill, like faster cast rate, damage increase, decrease cooldown.

    2.Then give you extra base attributes(attack, precision etc.)

    3.General random cool things(can include rare powerful bonuses too): extra lightning damage on weapon strikes, or anything extra fun that they can think up

    In terms of balance I think my 1. category would give pretty decent bonuses since it will only be affecting that 1 skill. When it comes to 2. and boosting attributes they end up giving a more general bonus that can effect more than 1 skill so maybe not as much stats when it comes to this. For the 3. category there could be more rigged bonuses but with a smaller chance of it actually happening.(could give more reason for having a Mystic wipe bonuses allowing you to socket it once again and try for something new, min/maxers would wipe the runes constantly to try to get that rare bonus and could give some value to gold if thats what was used for the Mystic to wipe the rune, maybe you would need to throw some craft materials in too)

    The last thing to mention is that if the actual type of rune is not known yet and "grayed" out, then go ahead and take all the different combinations there will already be and multiply it by 5. That might just get a little too out of hand. Having random bonuses sounds really fun, having the type of rune random seems a bit much.

    Who knows for sure what they are planning though.
  • #9
    Quote from Esaubartel

    It would be easy to balance 1. because it would be a skill-specific bonus, however when it came to 2. they would probably want to make the stat bonuses or benefits class-specific. For instance say you just socket a rune into a wizard's magic missile and you got +4 strength, you would probably get pissed. (unless of course they give good reason for a wizard to have some extra strength.) Or as a wizard you got that extra lightning damage on your weapon strikes which is the opposite of what you wanted when you're blasting enemies with spells most of the time.


    It's important to remember that they've revised the attribute system so that all attributes will be desirable (or at least beneficial) to all classes. I'd recommend checking out DiabloWiki.com - Attributes Attributes for more information.
  • #10
    I trust Blizzard. They will make the right choice. I like both ideas even if I lean more towards the "newer" unfinished system.

    Swedish Official Fansite www.Diablo3pvp.se

  • #11
    Personally I like the way that Bash proposed where the five rune categories remain but each rune gets random attributes. I don't like the grey un-attuned rune idea personally.
    If that made sense to you, Bravo! I think I even confused myself...
  • #12
    Quote from enkeria

    I trust Blizzard.

    I certainly don't.

    The idea is sound. There were topics about this already. However it sounds like it can also be a bit annoying.
  • #13
    Quote from Kickin_It

    Quote from Shades_X

    I think the added stats should be looked at like more of just an added bonus "oh cool my rune gave me x stats" and not base runes solely on what stats they do give. Thats how the majority of people will play, there will be the few however that will be very particular and go looking for the exact right rune stats for their build.

    I don't think it's actually confirmed yet if the stat bonuses will just be general bonuses or if they'll only apply to the skill the rune is in. I think if it only applied to one skill, it would allow the player to tweak their individual skills more (maybe you want +Attack on your AoE skills so they do more damage, but you want Precision for more crit or increased crit damage on your single-target skills) and not getting the exact stats you want wouldn't be as game-breaking, since it only affects one of your 6 skills. How that would play into buff/CC/utility skills is another question...

    Thats a good point and interesting to think about because than these runes are essentially "skill points" you can have up to 7 for each skill, with each ranking making your skill better. Also, its going to make you want to rune up particular skills for your build rather than just any skill that you would potentially swap in and out. Which brings up another question, If you go ahead and rune a skill and than decide to swap that skill for something else does the rune stay with that skill or will you have to take the rune out and keep it for later or potentially trade it?
  • #14
    Quote from Shades_X

    Which brings up another question, If you go ahead and rune a skill and than decide to swap that skill for something else does the rune stay with that skill or will you have to take the rune out and keep it for later or potentially trade it?


    Hmm, good question. I'd assume that it would just stay in the skill, but if not, we've got a much bigger stash in this game. ;)
  • #15
    This entire thing is getting out of hand. Needless difference for the sake of simplicity in a game with systems that are already incredibly easy to understand.

    Cool, we start off with runes being flavor to skills, and then we'd still put points in to the skills.

    Now, I don't even understand what anything is. There aren't skill points, but there are skills. There are runes but the explanation of what they want to do with them doesn't make any sense.

    The game is steering incredibly far from D1 and D2. I mean, even in D1 we had leveled spells via books. Now we simply pick the skills and they automatically level up for us?

    ETA: In the search for simplicity they've made something completely foreign and alien.
  • #16
    I don't really like this system, the current rune system allows you to personalize your spells as you want, you want that lazor to burn things? Add a crimson rune. With the planned system you'll find a rune and bind it to a spell and you may dislike the effect, you may find that this doesn't suit your playstyle.

    I think some kind of mix between the two systems would be better:

    You may find grey runes, that when placed in a skill a random effect will appear (+2 damage/-5 mana cost/etc...) and in rare occasions a crimson/gold/etc rune with it's predefined effect that improves the skill in both visual and playability, like this, a random feel is still present while allowing a little bit more of control over the bonuses.
  • #17
    Quote from Kickin_It

    So, for example, if you put an unattuned Rune into your Magic Missiles and it rolls an Indigo effect (which adds additional missiles per rank), if you later decide to take that Rune out, it will forever remain a Magic Missile splitting Rune, unusable in any other skill. Even this isn't completely set in stone though, as they've hinted that they might add a functionality to the DiabloWiki.com - Mystic Mystic to wipe effects off Runes.



    Wont we be able to wipe effects over and over again until we get the perfect effects?
  • #18
    Quote from Yinmaren

    There aren't skill points, but there are skills. Now we simply pick the skills and they automatically level up for us?


    Basically, your character has access to all his/her class skills. However, you can only actively use 6 of those skills at a time. Choosing those 6 skills from your pool of skills (I believe each class has 24) is the essence of building your character. Your skills will then scale either with level (which is really no different from D2, except that in D2 when you leveled up, you got a skill point to increase your skills. Now it's just automatic. Think of it as the game spending your skill point for you, except that it can put a point in all of your skills instead of just one.) or based on weapon damage. Your attributes will further increase the effectiveness of your skills.


    Quote from Yinmaren

    There are runes but the explanation of what they want to do with them doesn't make any sense.


    What is it that you're confused about?
  • #19
    You should probably link to Force's video of the interview (somewhere near the beginning of the article?).
    The final test of the Serpent's Form takes place in "The Pit of 12 Vipers." The initiates are not told about the 13th.
  • #20
    Quote from DeBeNoPrMA

    I don't really like this system, the current rune system allows you to personalize your spells as you want, you want that lazor to burn things? Add a crimson rune. With the planned system you'll find a rune and bind it to a spell and you may dislike the effect, you may find that this doesn't suit your playstyle.


    But the rune isn't permanently locked into your skill. You can still take it out and try again with the next rune you find.


    Quote from spaceninja123

    Quote from Kickin_It

    So, for example, if you put an unattuned Rune into your Magic Missiles and it rolls an Indigo effect (which adds additional missiles per rank), if you later decide to take that Rune out, it will forever remain a Magic Missile splitting Rune, unusable in any other skill. Even this isn't completely set in stone though, as they've hinted that they might add a functionality to the DiabloWiki.com - Mystic Mystic to wipe effects off Runes.



    Wont we be able to wipe effects over and over again until we get the perfect effects?


    Concievably, yes. But, the mechanic doesn't change just because you wipe the effect off. Let's say, for example, you have a Rune in your skill that provides the effect you want and you get a stat bonus of +5 when you know the possible range is +1-10. If you wipe that Rune to try to get a better stat bonus, when you resocket it again, you might not even get the same effect, let alone the possibility that the stat bonus changes or, if it stays the same, rolls a lower number than what you had. So it's possible, but it's definitely a risk. And obviously, there will be costs associated with it, though we don't really know the specifics.
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