Blue Defends Rune System ChangesBlue Defends Rune System Changes



Update #1: Inferno monsters are no longer linear in difficulty. They progressively get more difficult as you go.

A recent post on the official forums discussing the Rune System changes from last month has drawn some blue attention to defend the new changes. The main cause for concern with this new system is that experimentation and build variance are thought to be hindered, but the blue responses are quick to quell this suspicion.

To get a better idea of how skills and runes will be distributed throughout the leveling process, check out our Skill Leveling Overview.

Blizzard Quote

1) “Forced” Experimentation while leveling. Basically, you are forced to play with runeskills you may or may not like until something better unlocks. Under the old system, via the AH and with a bit of luck you could play the build you wanted and refine it. Under the new one you have to play for (potentially) a long time to get the build you want.

I don’t see that as a negative. Previously you were held to either randomness, or left to your own to pick something with little incentive to jump around. Previously most people would determine what they believe is best and do very little experimentation. With the unlock system there is actually some incentive in the absence of complete choice to try something you otherwise may not have.

But anyway, it was really a symptom of solving worse problems with the item-based rune system. Both systems have their benefits, both have their downsides, but we know that this system has more ups than downs compared to the others.

2) The death of customization and specialization. Runes were initially introduced to offset the loss of ‘uniqueness’ in character builds due to the skill system. Runes allowed you to craft a build that was *yours* and finding ranks allowed to you continually refine and improve it. Under the new system, you are a few clicks and a cooldown away from being the same build as the guy next to you.

No they weren’t. Runes were a part of the Diablo III skill design because we thought it’d be bad !@# to be able to customize skills.

Rune ranks were never customization, it was a gradual power increase dictated by drop chance. And don’t be fooled that there is customization with skill trees. I’ve yet to see any skill tree that offers anything but the illusion of customization.

If you mean skill choice permanence, well, we just fundamentally disagree that you need to be locked into something to make your character choices meaningful. There is still plenty to make your character build meaningful that doesn’t require re-rolling, and we believe we’ve achieved that.

You won’t. You’re going to die, a lot, and you’re going to have a horrible character for quite a while. You’re not going to hit 60 and finish the game on Inferno. You’re going to be smashing your face against Act 1 Inferno for weeks. Perfecting your build before then will not matter.

5)EDIT: This is may be a good a time as any to REVEAL TEH SEKRITS! that Inferno monster levels aren’t linear any longer. They get progressively more difficult. This was really a reaction to Inferno playtesting. Our original intent was to have a flat difficulty level where you could go wherever you want, farm for items, and it’d be no more or less difficult than any other area in Inferno. This caused a few inherent issues for us, though:

Now, you may be saying “I thought you wanted us to be able to farm anywhere we wanted. Now we only have half as much area in the game to farm in? What gives?” Our goal is to make the loot mathematically better in the later acts without making the earlier gear completely obsolete. We feel Diablo II actually did a very good job with this and we expect Diablo III to perform similarly.

Specifically, people in D2 did Diablo runs, Mephisto runs, Pindleskin runs, Pit runs, Baal runs, etc. because the loot in Diablo is extremely random. Even though the theoretical best items might come from the later Acts, well-rolled items from earlier acts will still be better. Internally we find sometimes after an intense session of brutally hard Inferno it can be really fun to cruise through Hell Act III or IV and it’s not too uncommon surprise when an upgrade drops. We expect this to carry through to Inferno difficulty where somebody who can theoretically farm Act IV will likely still enjoy romping through Act I simply because the drop potential is still there. It’s all because of the highly random items having lots of overlap in their power distribution curves.


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