Diablo® III

Is *Anyone* Happy About Runes on Rails?

you guys can talk all you want about changing this its just not going to happen not this close to launch
imo once you reach level 60 you won't give a crap anymore and this isn't WoW where it takes weeks to max out so you'll be there before you know it. Also imo runes are just as significant as skills, so iow if we should be allowed to pick what runes we get when we level then logically we should also be allowed to pick what skills we get when we level which would reduce some of the incentive/value to level up which is one of the things Blizz explicitly said they wanted to fix by laying the system out this way.
03/29/2012 06:32 PMPosted by Chewtoy
Are we overlooking the ability for sockets and gems on weapons and armor? I'm assuming this is still very much part of the game and a great opportunity for further customization of your character.

Oh yeah... that makes millions of possible combinations, 2 different effects per gem, remove the ruby "bonus xp" effect because that's useless at lvl 60 and I'd even go as to say the topaz "thorn effect" is near useless too, tho that's subject to change. It's not like they removed random jewels either...
03/29/2012 10:43 PMPosted by D3BETA
you guys can talk all you want about changing this its just not going to happen not this close to launch


Probably not. But the three suggestions made in the first post, and a few others in this thread would be really easy to introduce with the release patch, would be simple to make and would make quite a few people a lot happier about this game.
1 Human Rogue
0
I saw the title and thought we were talking about Rails programming.

I don't understand what rails, of any kind, have to do with the rune system.

Anyhow, maybe it isn't so terrible that people need to try different things as they level, or being able to access more powerful runes as they level. It probably helps prevent people from becoming too powerful too early.. or put another way it allows Blizzard to keep awesome runes in the game that they might otherwise want to change or remove due to balancing issues.

I'm not saying the OP is wrong, exactly, just suggesting some possible redeeming factors for rune restrictions.
Community Manager
03/27/2012 04:47 PMPosted by Starbird
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.

03/27/2012 04:47 PMPosted by Starbird
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.

03/27/2012 04:47 PMPosted by Starbird
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.


It's weird how on one hand we're asked for limitations, add more limitations, we really want to be punished and forced to level new characters and just be beaten about the face and neck with punishing game mechanics... and then it almost feels like there's a fear that you won't have a perfect character to take on the challenging areas of the game.

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.

03/27/2012 04:47 PMPosted by Starbird
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?


Totally! Reward for more invested players, and very likely a way to entice players not to just stop at Normal.

To be honest the repetitive difficulty levels in Diablo games is not a very straightforward mechanic. Plenty of games have difficulty levels, but there are only a handful that use them as progression. If we can communicate the intent of the game to people by showing unlocks in future difficulty levels, maybe we can get more people to play beyond Normal.

03/27/2012 04:47 PMPosted by Starbird
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.


I'm not sure why this is a separate point. Maybe this should be 4a. ?

I'd agree with you though if the game wasn't a 1-time price to buy the box. We earn nothing by 'tricking' you into playing more. Is it so crazy that we just want to make a fun game you'll enjoy? Maybe it is these days.

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?


Ok, so here it is, we do not have any problem with some kind of 'rune point' system where you could maybe earn points and then spend them wherever you want. But, and everyone loves this answer I know, it's not going to make or break an already well-functional system and thus is not worth delaying the game to design and build out one where this is possible. Contrary to popular belief "when it's done" is not the same as "let's work on it for 7 more years until we've accomplished absolutely everything we can dream of". Our commitment to quality and polish very much is the intent of our design mantras, though.

I realize some people are going to really want to be able to get that rune and MAN! it doesn't unlock until level 58! And honestly that's something we sympathize with to a degree, but the current system works very well, the current limitations absolutely have their benefits, it's actually fun to be forced to try other effects, and immediately giving you what you want is usually not a fun game mechanic in the long term.

In my own personal opinion, it's Diablo. If you can't find a workable build without having your own perfect choices being handed to you on a silver platter at the start of the game, good luck in Inferno. Actually, good luck in Nightmare. This game is hard.
Edited by Bashiok on 3/30/2012 1:22 AM PDT
85 Worgen Mage
6705
03/30/2012 01:22 AMPosted by Bashiok
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.


03/30/2012 01:22 AMPosted by Bashiok
Actually, good luck in Nightmare. This game is hard.


I better book more annual leave.
1 Night Elf Warrior
0
I think that the Runes on Rails (unlock X run at Y level) is a limited design as Bashiok hinted towards.

Being able to unlock a Rune for a specific skill every X levels (like ti does now) but being able to choose which rune or at least choose from a pool of say 3 runes each time would be a great boon.

So more powerful runes (though I would argue each rune should be equally or close to equal in power as the other) could be restricted somewhat to later unlocks, but overall it gives SOME choice and diversity to each character as they progress.

For example:

Monk
Fists of Thunder
Rune unlock at level 6
Choices:
Bounding Light (More single target)
Thunderclap (changes to AoE)
Lightning Flash (Survivability)

Left out:
Quickening (since criticals are less frequent, it would be a "bad" choice until later)
Static Charge (Strong single target DPS)

Unlock at level 14:
Choices (minus the one you chose at level 6)
Bounding Light (More single target)
Thunderclap (changes to AoE)
Lightning Flash (Survivability)

So level 14 you have 2 choices instead of 3.

Level 30 = 2 choices again, adding in Quickening since the gear is now past normal and should be getting some crit gear.

Level 42 = Add in Static Charge for 2 choices

Level 52 = Must choose final rune.

This would allow some customization at the earlier stages of the game and would create a more diverse playerbase.Then again, could just have all runes unlocked at all levels and allow full customization from levels 6-20 in rune choices for abilities, but that is unlikely to happen.Balancing I see no issue with doing this since everything is % weapon based, nothing should be too overpowered from a DPS point of view.

I can see pitfalls like taking a crit based rune at low levels with low crit %, but that is a choice which is available.

Passives should be restricted as they are now though, as those do have actual varying power associated with them which do scale, but also, some are just plain more powerful than others.
Edited by Epic on 3/30/2012 1:46 AM PDT
03/30/2012 01:22 AMPosted by Bashiok
This game is hard.


That's pretty much all I wanted to hear.

Still... a few more droppable types of items that we can tinker with would be nice. Yes, I know, later expansions etc...
That's the best blue post I have read in a long while. Pretty much sums up why I am loving the new rune system.

Is is May 15th yet?
Act 1 inferno!?!?!?!?!?! Is it possible to solo inferno? Or does inferno require a party.
Yep I agree with Bashiok on this. I'd been skipping threads like this because I think this part of the game is fine tbh... I'm more interested in getting some headway on Bnet/social/chat/game-system/skills-UI :/
03/30/2012 01:22 AMPosted by Bashiok
You're going to be smashing your face against Act 1 Inferno for weeks.


As much as I doubt this will happen (for some of us skilled players) I hope this is very true.
85 Worgen Mage
6705
03/30/2012 01:46 AMPosted by D3BETA
Yep I agree with Bashiok on this. I'd been skipping threads like this because I think this part of the game is fine tbh... I'm more interested in getting some headway on Bnet/social/chat/game-system/skills-UI :/


This.

I'm loving/satisfied with all other aspects of the game for release.
im happy with the changes. they are much better then the old system
It has been said that you will not even have a chance on "Inferno Mode" until you have reached max lvl. Many monsters will be at toughness of a 60+. You will know your character inside and out by then, and have a good idea of skills and runes you like using.
84 Night Elf Mage
935
03/30/2012 01:46 AMPosted by Sanctus
Act 1 inferno!?!?!?!?!?! Is it possible to solo inferno? Or does inferno require a party.


It's been said that you can definitely solo inferno, but it won't be "Hey, I just finished Hell time for Inferno." In previous posts, Bash has said that you will have to farm Hell for a bit to get better gear to be able to survive.

Even in a party, it will be tough as the difficulty level scales with the number of party members. So, no, Inferno does not require a party.
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