Oh, I'm not going to go on a long rant about how I wont buy the game and how Blizzard suck. I will (already 1 CE preorder and 1 predownload regular) and they don't.
It's just that this system...well, it seems that every time I think of a cool themed build there is one rune effect that I *really* want which only unlocks around 56-59.
There are 6 major problems with this.
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.
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.
3) Hell is for Heroes, and Inferno is not a place I want to still be 'trying out' new skills. In Diablo 2 stuff would unlock at a reasonable rate, and by the end of normal you had your build and were just getting the extras. Under this system, it's entirely possible that you will be waiting until you have finished Hell to unlock the skill effect you want. I don't know about you, but by the time I hit Hell I really want to have my build down and be working on gear and technique.
4) Not everyone is going to get to Inferno. I thought Blizzard said a while back that most players will quit after Normal? So...rather than letting everyone play around with rank 1 runes and at least see the various effects you aren't going to let them see them at all?
5) It feels like a deliberate delay to extend Diablo 3's lifespan for casual gamers (who may not have got to 60 otherwise). It's a lot like those fighting games that lock half the roster until you've finished Arcade mode dozens of times. Basically a cheap trick to keep you playing.
6) Leveling is a huge focus of D3. This isn't WoW. Inferno will be nice, but getting there is going to take a long time and for most characters will be the majority of their lifespan. Not being able to do this as the build I want is rather lame.
However, there are two simple solutions.
1)Allow players, every 10 levels, to unlock a single runeskill of their choice, in addition to the existing system. This means that there is still something to look forward too, those of us with very specific builds in mind can enjoy them pre-Inferno and the newer players/Zarhym's Grandmother won't be affected at all.
2) Like Crafting, once a runeskill has been unlocked it is available at level 6, or when the base skill unlocks on any new characters of that class.
A third really good suggestion, made by InfernoBound is giving some free rune choices as quest rewards. I am a big fan of this idea too.Thoughts?