I have been really open minded so far when it comes to Blizzard's design decisions. Some of them I haven't altogether agreed with, but I've been content to just "see how it plays out". I've yet to make an "outraged" post on anything I've seen announced.
Right, so let me just preface my post with this: I'm more than a little grumpy about this change to Runes.
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.
I haven't played the beta yet, so my understanding is predicated on what I've read and my interpretations. So apologies in advance if I've wildly misinterpreted how runes were
to be implemented. But, how does 3000 different runes compute?
It defies all logic to me. As far as I understood it, the most straightforward implementation of Runes would require the following:
1. Runes be stackable.
2. Runes can only be used once on one skill.
3. Once consumed for a particular skill, that rune can be re-selected at any time for that skill only.
If the above were true, inventory management concerns are totally redundant. If you had all the runes, they would still only take up 5 slots in your inventory. You would still have to engage in the item hunt that we all know and love to flesh out your entire gamut of skill/rune selections. And 10 equal levelled Wizards (even at 60) would all be different at any one time, because they wouldn't have consumed their runes to the same skills, and so they'd have different skill limitations.
That was what sounded to me like an exciting and diverse skill system!
The way it is now, by level 60, every gold rune will be filled out; they are no longer a rare drop and something to really look forward to getting your mitts on. Not only that, but "flavour of the month" mentalities are given completely free reign with this new system. Now, we're going to be seeing cookie cutter builds pop up without any effort on the part of players who all have access to every single skill and rune by merely levelling.
I just don't see how this achieves anything but uniformly dampening player variation...and for no apparent gain, whatsoever?
Surely the best and brightest at Blizzard aren't doing this for the sake of inventory management.