I have photoshoped for fun a concept of the rune system. Just wanted to share it with other players and maybe to open an interesting discussion. (sorry for my english, its not my native language)
New Runes System Features:
- Powerful affixes which would change the core of the skills. Like cast additional Hydra, Increase movement speed when using Whirlwind, increase time during which you can teleport without pause, cast additional Zombie Dog, chance to cast fire-frost bolt by Hydra and freeze enemy. Basically clever use of all game mechanics that are currently in the game.
- 5 slots for runes. For example - most powerful rune for hydra would be "cast additional hydra" and nothing more or just with some weak affixes (reduce mana cost by 1 or something). So you would have a choice: make 5 weak hydras or 1-2 powerful with some bonuses to the class with such a runes (one rune: +20% Fire Damage, +30 to Intelligence, 10% chance to ignite ground, +100 Life on hit and etc)
- Account bound (no use of Auction House)
- Can be found only by class being played (if not, it would require additional inventory tab for moving runes to the stash and etc. - confusing) It would make classes more consistent-personal.
- Every skill would have its own inventory tab for the runes.
- Runes when dropped by the monster would have cone of light like legendaries with its own color - excitement.
- Drop (thats why skills window is on the left side)
- Sacrifice (to pull out from the rune for example Demonice Essence for crafting - or maybe some special rune essence to craft your own)
- Sell (require some additional GUI buttons, but not a big deal)
- Skills would be an extremely intersting part of the game.
- Main gameplay mechanic which would make your character different from other players.
- More exciting moments when finding the rune rather than waiting for another level (and probably for useless skill).
- There wouldn't be bad skills / classes more diversificated. Runes would work as an organic environment for adjusting skills. Design wouldn't be limited by anything. Right now for example its by "reward for a new level" - it doesnt work, many skills are like there were designed just to fill this reward or make trailers look awesome. Like Call of the Ancients, main melee-tank class can summon the pet for a short time duration - classes are melted together and beacuse of that little flat. WD has its Fetish Army and he is main summoning-class, let it stay that way. Classes would be more interesting. Another example - poison hydra, maybe its cool but anyone is using it? Poison is also domain of WD, there are so many cool things which could be done with hydra instead of taking core gameplay mechanics from other classes.
- Unlimited amount of crazy builds.
- Runes would be a second huge end-game mechanic after items farming. It would be so big (not sellable on AH like items), that it would be treated as something separated (basically I've played D1 and D2 for years and was never interested in farming items as a main game purpose but this is a different subject).
- It would require complete redesing of all skills, like removing useless and not interesting skills and adjusting current. This post is focused around Hydra, so for example I would leave only Fire Hydra and Lightning Hydra as separate skills. Lightning Hydra - Increase cast speed by X (it would be crazy if Hydra would cast lightnings like a machine gun), X% chance for lightning to bounce between targets, X% chance to stun and etc.
By adjusting skills you could even make skills like Arcane Torrent super fun - increase projectile casting speed by X% but make them less accurate simultaneously (taken from Death Blossom rune which right now is super useless). This is a good example, take something from current game mechanic but give it to players in a different fashion. It wouldn't require doing everything from the begining.
That's it. I could go on with runes affixes endlessly for each skill that are now in the game. I have some ideas for items and auction house, but maybe in another post. I'm wondering what other players think about this idea, I'm trying to find a huge flaw of this concept (beside doing this for console) but for now I can't. This is probably how I was imagining rune system before the release.