Diablo® III

Gems, Runes and...

Blizzard was complaining that Runes would take up too much inventory space. This was one of the biggest issues with gems in Diablo 2 and they seem to have taken care of that... So why not make a similar fix with the supposed "rune stone inventory space" problem?

To further explain: There are 4 different gems with multiple levels of quality. Equaling 56 different stones. They fixed this by adding the jeweler who could combine gems and pull them in and out of items, lessening the need to horde them. When Runes where still item drops there were a total of 5 different stones with 7 levels of power for a grand total of 35 possible stones...

56 vs 35...

I think the solution to their inventory problem is simple...

Enter the Mystic!!
The Mystic is a mystical artisan in that she understands the power that flows through individual people. Her abilities allow her insights to how the energies of runestones function and gives her the power to move/alter them without risk of disaster.

- Notes: With this system, placing a runestone in a skill is a permanent fix. A new runestone can be placed in the skill, but it effectively destroys the previous one. Once you unlock the mystic, that all changes. (For flare reasons, think of runestones as perma-items... You find it and absorb its power more or less. Absorbing the power of a different runestone for the same skill effectively ejects that energy out and its gone. The mystic understands the way that power flows and can safely remove it back into a runestone.)

The Mystic can:
-Remove Rune Stones without destroying them.
-Combine low level Runestones to make higher level ones based on her level (max lvl 6).
-Grant a small enhancement to a runestone. (like +2% to crit or +5% damage or something).
--*NOTE*--This bonus would be chosen by the player and would disappear if you un-runed your skill.**
-Change the color of a runestone.

All of this for a price, of course. :)

The Benefits:
-People will be able to try all build combinations sooner than max level.
-Inventory space problem is solved since same level runestones would stack and can be combined for higher level runes. (no need to keep a bunch around).
-There is now a power climb again, gives a feeling of progress when higher level runes are found.
-No more "risk of not finding a certain color rune" since she can change the color of a runestone.
-The highest level runes will only be possessed by the guys working their way through inferno (unless they choose to sell them via auction house- not likely if they are rare enough).
-More customization: even if its in just a small amount, this allows people to focus on their favorite skills and have a certain edge over other runed skills.


The Drawbacks
-No special ding at every level beyond 30...(Is this REALLY a drawback?)

FEEDBACK WELCOME.
Edited by Shahamut on 2/23/2012 12:24 PM PST
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02/23/2012 07:37 AMPosted by Shahamut
-People will be able to try all build combinations sooner than max level.


Where is the reward with leveling? RPG's have ALWAYS been about holding back the good stuff until later. Why didn't people complain that you had to level all the way to 30 to get frozen orb? I'm fine with utilizing whatever skills I have available until I "attain" that next rune I wanted to try out at x level.


02/23/2012 07:37 AMPosted by Shahamut
-No more "risk of not finding a certain color rune" since she can change the color of a runestone.


If it's so simple to find runes in the first place and change them to what you want, just unlock all of the runes when you get the skill without even implementing this system... It's very similar when you think about it...


-The highest level runes will only be possessed by the guys working their way through inferno (unless they choose to sell them via auction house- not likely if they are rare enough).
-More customization: even if its in just a small amount, this allows people to focus on their favorite skills and have a certain edge over other runed skills.


These are both accomplished through gear - what the Diablo treasure hunt is about.


02/23/2012 07:37 AMPosted by Shahamut
-No special ding at every level beyond 30...(Is this REALLY a drawback?)


Yes - in a RPG - even an ARPG, you gain experience when you kill things towards the next level - when you level up, you are rewarded. This is the basis of the genre.
It was actually kind of sad that most builds in D2 were built for level 70-80's and that the only real benefit to getting to "max level" was for the accomplishment in itself. Good game design is when the system rewards you for accomplishments. (If not, why have achievement points become so popular in just about EVERY gaming scene? Evidently the users like them...)

Interesting idea, but I don't agree that the runeskill drop system needs to be salvaged at all. I want to choose my skills as they unlock and hunt for items, not have my skills limited by random drops. Maybe if there were another mechanic on top of the patch 13 rune system that was accomplished via drops, that would be interesting...
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There will still be gear with level requirements and runes of higher level will have higher level requirements as well. So your leveling is still rewarding as your abilities will scale as you level and have access to better stuff...



02/23/2012 08:33 AMPosted by Detective
I want to choose my skills as they unlock and hunt for items, not have my skills limited by random drops


How are you limited? I want to be able to customize my character before inferno. I may not be able to with the current system. Who is really limited here?



02/23/2012 08:33 AMPosted by Detective
These are both accomplished through gear - what the Diablo treasure hunt is about.


The item hunt IS what diablo is all about. Runes as drops is in support of this.

Posted by Shahamut
-No more "risk of not finding a certain color rune" since she can change the color of a runestone.


If it's so simple to find runes in the first place and change them to what you want, just unlock all of the runes when you get the skill without even implementing this system... It's very similar when you think about it...


The difference is pretty simple: scale-able power. And truth be known, I would rather have all the runes unlocked by 35 if I can't find them as drops. Again, I don't want to have to wait till max level and hardest difficulty to actually TRY a build combination. This is VERY limiting.
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02/23/2012 08:44 AMPosted by Shahamut
How are you limited? I want to be able to customize my character before inferno. I may not be able to with the current system. Who is really limited here?


With runes as droppable items, the players are limited by random drop chance. In a level reward scheme, a player is limited by the game designers to which the game is based around.

I don't know if this is 100% correct, but I thought I remember reading that players won't hop directly from hell into inferno. You'll have time to customize your character plenty before then. But if you can, who's to say you'll have a high enough level rune to do the damage you need to do? In any RPG, you always make due with what you have unlocked due to your level restriction. This is no different and it works well.


02/23/2012 08:44 AMPosted by Shahamut
Again, I don't want to have to wait till max level and hardest difficulty to actually TRY a build combination. This is VERY limiting.


Again - RPG's are about limited skills to level restrictions. I could say the same about nightmare difficulty... "I don't want to wait until nightmare to test out frozen orb as the fundamental skill of my build - I want it at level 5 so I have time to practice". It's a similar argument.

Overall of the ideas I've read, this is pretty good - but when it's drilled down to the details it doesn't hold up compared to what they have already implemented.
Edited by Detective on 2/23/2012 9:25 AM PST
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Again, I respectfully disagree, on the basis that the rune effects are not also scaled to level. The rune effects are scaled to be about the same balance in overall power/usefulness to the skill. I don't mind waiting longer for "better" and "more powerful" skills, but since this is not currently the way they are designing things (since they dont want to encourage cookie cutter builds that only consist of the highest level skills). Your argument is only slightly off, because while it would be cool to have blizzard at level 5, its power is scaled slightly differently. And again, you will have blizzard by level 30.

Runes are small boosts/changes to how skills work or function. They are not the equivalent of a "new and more powerful skill" since I can only have one active skill rune per skill. So each rune effect is equally better(?) than just the skill itself. Therefore, saying you must wait longer for 1 rune effect over another is kinda lame and restrictive in a bad way, IMHO.
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And to be sure, I have already pre-ordered the game, so Im getting it... I just think the current implementation is a step in the wrong direction for encouraging build diversity and experimentation.
Edited by Shahamut on 2/23/2012 9:37 AM PST
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02/23/2012 09:23 AMPosted by Detective
With runes as droppable items, the players are limited by random drop chance.


02/23/2012 09:23 AMPosted by Detective
But if you can, who's to say you'll have a high enough level rune to do the damage you need to do?


Keeping up to relative level is also solved by my mystics ability to combine low level rune stones into higher level ones.
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(If not, why have achievement points become so popular in just about EVERY gaming scene? Evidently the users like them...)


Vomit on achievement points.
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One problem I see is that to really make the Mystic useful, you have given her the chance to give small bonuses. Small Bonuses = more runes = right back to the inventory issue, as you'd want to find the right bonus for your build, but have all the others, for other builds. The other inventory component is that while there are only 35 possible runes (sans bonuses), you still have a need for more than 1 of each. and that's cool if they are stacked in your stash, but what about if you need them dispersed in case you need them for something, now they take up more than 35 slots.

I like the idea of bringing the Mystic back and adding the runes back in, because I thought that was an awesome way to make skills work to begin with, but I have to agree with Blizzard on the rationale for removing them as items. Now consumables, where you consume per character, and that character now has the ability to use Rune x lvl 1 on either all or only a limited number of skills might work. You could also bring the mystic back to roll for a chance to have a small bonus added to that now readily available skill.

Alternatively, we could just use the Mystic as a means for upgrading the characters ability to use a particular skill rune of a skill, adding back in the choice (you choose which skill runes to upgrade for each skill) but still make it pretty easy for someone to get the level 1 skill rune and try it out. This adds a bit of permanence, as you could have the mystic "Upgrade" that skill rune to be more effective (like from rank 1 to rank 2) with some level restrictions added, but still allows for players to experiment with each skill rune, if they so desire.
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Sorry, explanation needed: The small bonuses wouldn't stay on the rune if you removed it. I will edit the original to say this.
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To further explain: There are 4 different gems with multiple levels of quality. Equaling 56 different stones. They fixed this by adding the jeweler who could combine gems and pull them in and out of items, lessening the need to horde them. When Runes where still item drops there were a total of 5 different stones with 7 levels of power for a grand total of 35 possible stones...


The way understand it is: there are 5 types of runestones, 7 levels for each type of runestone, 5 character classes, and ~20 skills per class. (mess with the last number accordingly)

5*7*5*20 = 3500

Because once a stone is socketed it permanently gains the trait of that skill.

That is a lot of unique items and most likely people will want to get the highest level runestones for each skill and each class.
Your idea does combat that issue, but it seems a lot like what Blizz has going now, only without the itemization, because you removed the permanence of socketing a runestone into a skill.
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