Big Runestone Change Continue?

Richodemus points us to Blizzard’s Runestones page, where something is afoot. The runes are now sorted one per difficulty level, with 1-4 corresponding to Numpty/Nightmare/Hell/Inferno… and then 5-7 are off to the right, as if they exist in some post-Inferno state.

What might this indicate? DiabloWikiRune levels 5-7 are being removed from the game? They’re not findable and can only be obtained by crafting with Inferno reagents? They’re earned in rewards or achievements outside of the normal gameplay? (Imagine that the Runes level up in some way once they’re socketedf? So you’d only be able to trade up to rune level 4, and to get to 5-7 you’d have to socket a rune and do something to upgrade it?)

We still don’t know what’s going on with the whole rune attuning system either, but thankfully, we shouldn’t have to wait too long to find out. In just six days the second Diablo III panel at Blizzcon 2011 covers the, “Skill, Passive, and Runestone system.” All will be revealed! Assuming the developers have actually settled on a final system at this point. (Which I would *not* bet a lot of money on.)

Tagged As: | Categories: BlizzCon 2011, Skillrunes


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  1. Intruiging…
    It does make sense though to have one level per difficulty, more intuitive and less… arbitrary I guess.

  2. “In just six days the second Diablo III panel at Blizzcon 2011 covers the, “Skill, Passive, and Runestone system.””

    Um… no…

    That Skill, Passive, and Runestone Systems “panel” is one of those Blizzchat live forum things, and therefore, not a real panel… the only actual Diablo 3 panel on day one is the “Gameplay & Auction House” one… Now, that one may actually have more info on what they decided to do with skill runes, but who knows…

  3. What did they have settle on since 2008 except the controversial things like art style, auto-stats and world design? 

    Bull headed designers.

    • So much hate, for such a small brain…

    • My IQ is probably 3 times bigger than yours and bigger than 99.5% of human beings’ in the Earth.

      But it’s a well-known fact that stupid people think they are smart like the character Fredo Corleone. Better they don’t go to a memory center and learn their real IQ.

      On the other side, brain size doesn’t have any straight connections to Intelligence. I don’t hope you’ll understand that but analysing your personality from your avatar and your nick tells me, you need other dominant people to hold on to the life and to be consoled that you have your own part in this life.

      But the truth is you’re not even an ant for people with average IQ. As for me, you’re nothing but a way to spend my free time and once again admire the fact that I’m permaximum that walks in the living.

      And those people who recommended your post are etiher bunch of morons, Blizzard’s paid soldiers or have personal problems with me.

      You’re just puppets on the strings.

      • I never understood why you’re still allowed to post here. Now I know. You’re funny.

      • Maybe, your IQ is bigger then his, but your common sense is about nill.

      • Do you mind if I call you egomaximum?

      • “But it’s a well-known fact that stupid people think they are smart like the character Fredo Corleone.”
        Spoiler alert: You are one of them. Not because of your opinions on D3, but because you think you have a higher IQ than over 99% of the population “IN” (lol) Earth.
        Oh and the psychological exam based on an avatar had me laughing. Good one.

        • “ON” or “IN” I don’t care because I’m not English and I never took English lessons nor I studied English. My english is all thanks to American internet users and after I saw they fail on their language I haven’t been giving a damn to English. It was enough for me to explain myself and that’s it.

          Back to the topic. Yes, even more than 99% of the population. You can guess my IQ checking up some IQ charts.

          So, I wonder telling the truths make me egocentric or an honest man? I think it’s the latter.

          • I can tell, because you grammar is horrible. Oh, and it makes you arrogant. Egocentric implies your illusions of grandeur are based on more than fallacy and just being a sad human being.

          • So it wasn’t very wise to laugh at “IN”, right? 😉

            Illusion? Tell me where do you get money and how hard do you work for it? I’m only spending one hour a day in my house and earn enough money to live comfortably. I’m glad that I’m smarter than you or people like you.

            God, I like living 😀

          • I’ve come to the conclusion that you can’t possibly be that ridiculously full of yourself, as few people without clinical problems think so highly of themselves without base.
            Therefore, you are simply a troll with too much time on your hands. However, you did get me and several others to play along and “feed the troll”, so congratulations, sir 10/10 trolling. You got me.

      • This post is outstanding. You’re so retarded that it’s charming.

        • Why do people like you always use “idiot and retarded”? Because you are the ones who try to hide their idiocy. Now get lost.

          You can’t win anything.

          You fuck with me, you fuck with the best.

  4. Didn’t they say the website was tied to the actual game data? Could just be a full blown experiment. If there are gonna be just four runes, that would be fine. If thats the case, I assume the new attuning system would make socketing 7 levels different runes cumbersome throughout the game.
    Sorta off-topic, I just noticed the “gemlets” encircling the runes. At level one, there’s just one, and two, theres two and so on… but level 7 is two four-pointed stars. What the hell? And the ring is no longer golden? They totally broke the flow and suddenly can’t count. How odd.

    • It’s been like that for a while…

      I personally think if they are going to make only 1 rank drop per difficulty then they need to change the art of the borders since they obviously come in pairs indicated by different kinds of metal except for the last rank… the first two are bronze, the second pair silver, the third pair is gold and the rank seven one is platinum I guess…

      • Pairs… Interesting… Maybe its 1-2 for normal, 3-4 for nightmare, 5-6 for hell, and 7 for inferno? And the difficulties listed at the top are placeholders until they get the game data sorted out? Hmm…

        • The way you described it is how it used to be… It just recently changed to have only 1-4 under the headings of the difficulties… it seems now only those will drop and perhaps the top 3 have to be upgraded to…

    • There are likely NOT just 4 runes.  There must be another way to get rune levels 5 through 7.  Also, it’s a design choice to further signify that the level 7 runes are the most powerful.  Thus, they need a little extra visual oomph to make them stand out.  Makes total sense to me.  

      The really interesting thing is why there is a whole class of unattuned runes.  Didn’t see that before.  That means they might be actually going for that concept officially.  But how to implement the design?  They drop with that visual, and then with a skill chosen, they adopt the real rune visual?  It’s nice that they show you what level it is.  Also… a graphic for an unattuned rune might signify that the high level runes drop. OR that you can craft unattuned runes?  Questions abound!

  5. The first two aren’t a pair… They’re different colors.  The golden ones are also different shades, but only slightly.  I see your point though.

    • The background of the second one is a different color, yes, but the actual edge of the borders are the same… Techinically theres a slight difference with each one because they get brighter/less worn the higer you go, just like there’s less bits missing from the borders the higher you go up in ranks… as if they are becoming more complete…

  6. This just in: all runes have been redesigned to taste like Skittles.

  7. Didn’t Blizzard say some time ago that higher runes are obtainable only through Horadric cube-like transmutes? Or was it only for gems?

  8. It sounds like it’ll be a system similar to the gem system. In which the higher levels can only be obtained by combining multiple lower levels.

  9. First some of the maps then the Talisman, and then some of the gems, charms, stat points, skill points, unique looking legendary items… And now the high level runes…. They are all gone! Wake up people, Blizzard is lying and deceiving. They usually tell us at Blizzcons about cool features then they remove them..

    • wtf are you talking about? What maps were removed ever? The talisman wasn’t up to snuff so it was temporarily taken out to be be put back in at some later point… We have no confirmation that any gems were removed and there’s just as many ranks of them as there have always been on display on the site… Unique looking legendary items are still very much in, and the fact that you didn’t know that shows that you aren’t really following game development that well… please just go away now…

      • “We have no confirmation that any gems were removed”

        It’s strongly implied though, since the item database pulls its data from the game and it only lists 4 types of gems now. However, things can still change.

        • Hence why I said no confirmation… It may be that way, but we don’t know for sure and blizzard has never answered when people brought it up… My guess is they restructured the stats on gems a little while back and haven’t finished figuring out what the other types will be yet since they already have the 4 main stats covered and they may add the missing ones in all at once… or at least sapphire and diamonds… I’m doubting the return of skulls as gems…

  10. I bet the rune ranks will be slashed to 4 (down from 7), and they *might* be increased by 1 rank per expansion.

  11. Well.. if you mouseover the runes, the have required levels..

    14, 21, 27, 35, 43, 50, 55. So obviously use isn’t tied to difficulty as req level 35 is under inferno and inferno is 60. So my own guess is that there is an upgrade system, and the 1-4 runes drop in their respective difficulty. Although I doubt it’ll be like gems, but who knows. From the req levels though it does look like being able to equip them doesn’t really matter for difficulty, just level.

  12. Ok, so..let’s just say that for the time being, you will progressively gain access to one rank of each rune per difficulty. Could that mean that they will increase each rank’s power? seemings how you are now reliant on one or the Highest rank available for an entire difficulty? Especially for those people that only want to go as far as Normal? (Which I am not, for the record)

    I mean, we have now gone from being able to use..uh..was it rank 3 or 4 at the end of normal. Can’t remember now. Either way, it is a dramatic drop in potential power with this new restriction.

    • *EDIT* I just remembered the highest rank in Normal was 2. Still though, that would still mean there is power re-balancing needed. Right?

  13. maybe it will be like FF7’s gems, where everytime u use it, the gem gets some kind of exp, and can level up etc. 🙂

    • They were called “materia”.  The fact I still remember that is testament to how unbelievably awesome that game was.  Best game ever.

    • Could be. That’s how gems work in Path of Exile, and D3 needs something similar. Not necessarily leveling up, but something that makes the rune you’ve been using better than a brand new one. Otherwise everyone will have a dozen r7 runes and they’ll lose their value. Hence unattuned runes with affixes, or some kind of level up.

      • I wholeheartedly wish that is true. I would really enjoy that game mechanic.

        • Ditto (although only if runes keep their progress when removed).  For a game based around progression, which these days is any game with the term “RPG” somewhere in the genre name, it’s always fun to be progressing in multiple different ways at once (i.e. I’m gaining XP and therefor leveling, I’m acquiring loot and gold, my artisans are getting upgraded, my runes are leveling up).

  14. I don’t think that the 3 rune levels were removed at all, because the database still lists them, so rebalancing isn’t required. It’s much more likely that only their method of acquisition changed. They probably became craftable and since all player created items have random stats the high runes will likely have them as well.

  15. Let’s keep this short:
    1 rune rank drop per difficulty;
    Ranks 5-6-7 will most likely require the Mystic to upgrade. So we might see something simlar to gems or some other combination like a certain amount of animas + a rune.

  16. Look at the bottom of the skill description pages where the rune effects are listed, too. Previously, the bottom line said:

    “! Note: Information on this page is based on a level 60 character and rank 7 runestones.”

    Now it reads:

    “! Note: Information on this page is based on a level 60 character and rank 4 runestones.”

    The question is: If 7 ranks would still be in the game, why would they change the note from 7 to 4 ranks?

    • Nice find!
      Still, ranks 5-7 might still be in the game. No one said the data on the website needs to be based on the highest possible rank. 4 might just be the most common one becaus 5+ require rare recipes for the Mystic or something like that.
      On a side note, the effect description of the Runestones for each skill has been changed as well. All runestones now show much lesser effects. I.E. the Burning Dogs (crimson’d Zombie Dogs) deal only 40% weapon damage instead of 70%. So there doesn’t seem to be any rebalance done to each rune rank. If 4 is really the new max, all skills now are significantly less effective.
      They might stil be doing some rebalancing as we speak, of course.

    • Oh fuck. This to me is pretty decisive 🙁

  17. Sure. As I said in my previous post, the new system might look like this then:
    – Rune ranks will be slashed to 4 (down from 7) for the base game up to character level 60.
    – The first 4 ranks will drop as 1 rank per difficulty (normal, nightmare, hell & inferno)
    – The last 3 ranks from 5 to 7 (no more in the base game) will be reserved for future expansions.
    – As expansion packs don’t add new game difficulty levels, rank 5, 6 and 7 will be achieved through other means.

  18. The main reason for one rank per difficulty is to prevent the “saving up” mechanism where you refuse to use a rune because you’ll find a more powerful one later on and that would be a waste. At least with the tiering per difficulty setting you don’t risk gimping a casual player on his first time through normal because he used a level 1 alabaster in hungering arrow and then a level 2 alabaster in… hungering arrow again, and still didn’t finish normal difficulty.

    More dedicated player will still plan ahead and spend their easy runes on backup skills, nightmare runes on utility, hell runes on secondary attacks and inferno runes on primaries or something like that.

    • I’m not sure what you are talking about. Why would anyone save up runes? You can take runes out of skills, so you can easily switch out your level 1 rune for a level 2 one as soon as you find it.

      • I’m not sure about that. I thought runes were attuned to the skill, say you have an alabaster level 3 rune and attune it to Hungering Arrow, you can take it out and replace it with a level 4 golden rune, and switch back again, sure, but as far as I know you won’t be able to put that alabaster level 3 in another skill. Or did I miss an episode?

        Anyway what I was talking about is more like if you put all your new runes in the same one skill and assuming you get one rune per difficulty setting, then at the end of nightmare you will have one level 2 rune skill, and that’s all. But if you put your level 1 rune in a secondary skill and save up for the level 2 in the primary, you will have one level 2 rune skill and one level 1 rune skill by the end of nightmare.

        This is of course only valid if I didn’t dream that “attuned” mechanism for runes.

  19. I’m not really familiar with the database people are getting the info from, but if there are quest and crafted items in there (which I’m not sure if there are), wouldn’t the other rank runes be in there too, special upgrade system or not? I was just thinking that, if I were creating a database to keep track of items, I’d probably have all items in the same table with fields reserved for special characteristics (for instance a bool field for crafted, which might be redundant if you had a field like acquire[dropped, crafted, quest reward, cube recipe, etc]). So my assumption is that they just removed them.

    I thought they may have done this because they wanted each upgrade to feel more substantial, but with the bonuses backed down… One rank per difficulty makes adding runes in expansions awkward (unless this is where the upgrade system is introduced) if expansions come in the form of acts as in Diablo II, but maybe that’s not how new content will be introduced…

    • “I’m not really familiar with the database people are getting the info from”

      Clearly, the level 5-7 runes are still in the game.

      • Ah, I wasn’t sure from reading the other posts. I should’ve looked at the page. Can we really conclude that, because of the divider, ranks 5,6, & 7 do not drop in inferno? Which rank is the skill calculator showing now?

        • It’s showing level 4 runes at the moment. I think it’s a pretty safe bet that the last 3 levels will still be available, since the database pulls the items from the game.

      • @Hardrock:

        Yeah but all the spells have been updated to say (at the bottom):

        “Note: Information on this page is based on a level 60 character and rank 4 runestones”

        That to me is pretty decisive that they have either removed 5-7 or are experimenting with the idea.

        • It’s a little confusing, that much is true. Thankfully BlizzCon is on this weekend and I have a feeling we’ll get a pretty good explanation of the recent changes.

  20. i wonder if this isn’t just incomplete css coding.  It looks to me like they simply forgot to remove the right border from the inferno header.    And the fact that it pulls stuff from the game db is irrelevant unless they have completed coding on the site to accurately pull and use ALL the data.  Not to mention the game data is woefully incomplete as they have already admitted. I’m just not ready to jump to conclusions. We shall see….

  21. There are also crafting materials called anima gained from salvaging runestones:
    Maybe these are used to craft runestones and ranks 5-7 can only be crafted and will not be drops.

  22. Skills are also showing with lvl 4 runes

  23. Yeah, you’re definitely going to be using these things called “Animas” to upgrade past Level 4. Probably the Mystic will be doing the crafting for that.
    I’m gonna just leave this here:

    • Well those animas were on the official database from the beginning of the items being made available so they or may not have planned to use them for rune upgrading…

  24. Here’s the direction I think Blizzard is going with this, after reading others’ thoughts/comments about the site updates:
    *All runes, Rank 1-4, will drop in each of the 4 difficulties as clearly shown. The drop rate for unattuned runes will gradually eclipse that of the others as you progress through each difficulty. Perhaps these runes will be the only ones that will have random affixes as far as dropped runes go.

    * Rank 5-7 runes will be crafted using the runestone salvage mats (“anima”) rather than dropped by monsters. It’s possible this mat will be universal, allowing for the salvaging of rank 1 runes to be viable (though with a much smaller yield).

    *Crafted runes can have the random affix(es), though unattuned runes will be cheaper to make and will have affixes of higher values due to their unpredictable nature. Unattuned runes will still “stick” as Blizzard described months ago, (i.e. Alabaster Rune of “Plague of Toads” with +Attack can’t ever be just Alabaster Rune with +Attack once removed) so there will be a lot of recycling/gambling.
    Overall, I think they’re going to make the endgame rune system like  a cross between jewelcrafting and blacksmithing. Either way, they’re definitely likely to move away from the set-and-forget system they had in place earlier this year. It’ll keep runestones as hot items in the AH, so it only makes sense. Again, just whole lotta speculation on a system that’s probably already changed for all we know…

  25. Bashiok just posted on this:

    “It was changed to better match what (we currently plan) will be most readily available to players. We’re still obviously working on runestones to a fair degree. In fact it’s really the only game system that still has a lot of design work surrounding it. Runestones are an extremely crucial system. We’re spending a lot of time on them to get them right.

    Ranks 5, 6 and 7 could still drop, but they would be Inferno-only, and there’s still a potential for some ranks to be crafted-only.

    Jay may be able to speak a bit more about runestones at BlizzCon, but we’re not expecting to have any details finalized this week.”

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