Some questions were posed about Diablo 3 runes in a recent post in the Battle.net forums. The ever helpful and attentive Bashiok stopped in to shed some light on the subject. Nothing he said was too specific or telling, but there were enough juicy tidbits to satiate a little curiosity.
Here’s a brief summary of what was discussed…
Blue Note Recap on Diablo 3 Runes
Obtaining high level runes
All levels of runes are currently planned to be implemented as drops. The drop rates will obviously decrease as the power levels of the runes increase, making the highest level runes extremely scarce. This is a slight change from the Diablo 2 system which required players to craft the highest level runes obtainable. I doubt this will have much affect on the availability of premium runes – they’ll still be extremely rare and valuable, but at least it will add some additional excitement to the loot possibilities. The big question is… will in-game gold be a valuable enough commodity to use as currency for these runes, or will players be acquiring them via in-game item trades (most likely) or *cough* ebay *cough*.
High level rune rarity
Obtaining the highest level skill runes will be a very long-term goal for many, and perhaps an unattainable feat for some. It looks as if the allure of scarce and powerful high level runes will be one of the things that will keep gamers playing Diablo 3 for years to come.
Rune levels and power
It sounds as if runes will provide an incremental power gain, as opposed to an exponential one. Given this, Blizz is making it out that players who don’t have all of the highest level runes will still be competitive against players that do. At least that’s what’s been said. For example, it doesn’t necessarily mean that a player with a level 5 rune of one ability will destroy a similar player with a level 4 of the same rune.
Rune types and rarity
It seems that all five different types of runes will be on par with one another in terms of rarity. No one rune type (ie: Crimson, Indigo, Obsidian, Golden, Alabaster) will be more rare than another. Rune rarity will be determined by the rune’s power, not its type.
Rune effects on skill rankings
It sounds as if skills will be further augmented by their runic modifier as the skill levels increase. In other words, if a rune increases the amount of projectiles fired by a particular skill, that skill would see an increase in the amount of projectiles fired or a slight increase in the damage of the projectiles (or a combination of both), as the skill level increases. In short, the rune’s effect will continue to scale with more skill points.
Runes and character level
Rune usage is currently based upon skill level, rather than character level. However, the two go more or less hand in hand, as you can’t level up a skill to the required level unless your character’s level allows for it. The plan for raising skill levels past the unmodified talent tree levels is not completely settled.