The Point of Skill Runes

Update 1: Bashiok has added further, really long replies. I would suggest reading it all if you’re curious about more blue insight on skill runes. Also, I have never seen Bashiok praise an entire thread of responses, so enjoy it while you can.

Skill DiabloWikirunes have been the popular controversial topic in the past weeks since the launch of Diablo III Beta Patch 13. For those unfamiliar with the debate, those against the new system often rally under the claim that the new system demotes customization, effectively homogenizing all level 60 heroes. Those that speak out in defense of the new system claim that rune ranks and customization have been re-allocated to itemized affixes on your gear, effectively maintaining and even diversifying builds at level 60. And of course, there are people everywhere in between the polar ends of the debate continuum.

The controversy has merited many threads and responses both on our forums and on the official boards. Topics include everything from brainstorming new ideas, to support, to doomsday predictions for Diablo 3. In fact, the volume on this topic is rather enormous.

On the official forums, DiabloWikiBashiok added some of his perspective on the matter:

Nobody has said the mistakes have to be permanent. Just that you should have to make an investment of some kind to alter your character. Just that you SHOULD be making some kind of investment in the skills you like as you level up (skill points is the obvious answer). Just that this game, as it stands, asks NOTHING of the player. It is one step away from just playing itself while we watch.

Well, I hope no one could actually believe that last part is true. I mean, in Diablo II you were locked, you had no option to change your attributes or skills, and all you did then was go on an item hunt to perfect that build by getting the most perfect items. How is having no choice at all, save leveling a new character, more compelling of a game than one where you can use your knowledge, and experience, and change and adapt and min-max as you go? It has a definite psychological premise. I made these choices and for better or worse, they’re mine. But our argument is that it’s not actually a better or more enjoyable game, and the psychology of that customization process isn’t actually based on any real needs for the game to be fun or enjoyable. For some games it absolutely might be, because they have a game style, pacing, or other mechanics that work really well with that kind of system. It is not true for Diablo, and it is not true for World of Warcraft, which is going to a hot swappable format in Mists. We all subscribed to the idea that in an RPG you build a character, there’s an investment in those choices, and that makes the game fun. We do not believe that to be true for these two games any longer, it may make total sense for another game, but for ours it does not. (It is worth noting that in World of Warcraft you don’t pick and choose all of your abilities based on talents, which I would argue makes the Diablo III customization that much more compelling.)

Also, as a fun tidbit, respec costs in WoW stuck around for so long because they were one of the few and consistent gold sinks the game had. Not because it encouraged some idea of permanent player choices.

Diablo games have always been about re-playability. Afterall, that is the whole point of the randomized dungeons, loot, monsters, etc.. This game has none and sticks another stake in it with the 10 character limit.

Replayability is not the same as a mandate to re-level characters to try something else out. Replayability is the enjoyment of the experience of playing the game even after you’ve completed the main story, which by the way is completely what playing through the subsequent difficulties is. Most games have replayability because their game is finite, you hit a Game Over screen. Diablo doesn’t really have replayability, what it has is near-infinite content due to the randomized elements.

I personally love leveling characters because the levels and the new stuff you get feels super rewarding. It’s great fun to get new toys and things as you get stronger. I think it’s great if you also enjoy that. That is still totally possible in the game. You can make additional characters in other regions by just jumping over to that server, since you have 10 slots on each, or you can (and I know this may sound shocking) offload everything to your shared stash, delete the character, and enjoy leveling a new one. That process of leveling, if you enjoy purely that process, is still completely possible. I don’t level multiple characters in WoW of the same class because I don’t want to spend some gold to respec, I level new characters because I enjoy leveling new characters. Now, if I was forced to level a new character because I want to try out a new build, that has absolutely nothing to do with the enjoyment of leveling a character. That is a means to an end. They may overlap, you may enjoy leveling a character even though you’re being forced to do so, but they are not the same thing.

Read past the fold for his complete response.

And this sums up the debate in a nut-shell. What you just said here is that Blizzard’s preference is not RPG elements where players have control over building and investing in your choices. I read this as saying that Blizzard wants to create a different gaming experience that focuses on the game-play, not the character creation.

This may be an acceptable approach, but it certainly alienates those players who enjoy the RPG elements.

But the RPG elements are still there. You’re still making builds and attempting to find the right mix of options, and more importantly trying to find the items that can make it successful. That is the same exact thing as Diablo II. How is being locked in to any one of those systems more of a customization system? Because its the way other games have been made? Because you need a math degree and schematic to make sure you dont screw up? That’s great, but it’s not a reason to argue less customization. Is it a reason that you can spend less time on websites and spread sheets theorizing and more time actually experimenting and playing an awesome game? Absolutely.

The itemization argument seems to be the biggest proponent for the new system. Tinfoil hatters will say that this is simply to ensure that optimal builds will require the use of Auction Houses, since it will be so unlikely to find all optimal gear yourself with such a large item pool. This may or may not be the case, though it probably is. We saw in DiabloWikiJay Wilson‘s most recent game update that they were “trying to force” runes into items. That in itself was a road to failure, as creativity is strangled whenever forcing is involved. The fact that they were trying to make this work indicates that they had pressure to focus on rune itemization above any other creative/elegant solution.

There is some credence to what Bashiok is saying, though. Many of the choices that people want are there – and this means that there is just as much customization as before, if not more due to the increased item pool. But while the choices are there, we still lack the permanence that many have grown used to as a staple for the RPG experience. And perhaps that’s true, but the plain fact is that the permanence of choice is no longer Blizzard’s vision. It seems that those against the idea will have to swallow the sour medicine or move on. Everybody has a different perspective on what makes a game fun, and it seems that character permanence, for Blizzard, is a thing of the past.

How do you feel about the new rune system? Do you think it will strangle re-playability, or do you think Blizzard will still provide a great experience that keeps you playing for the long run? For me, it’s rather simple, as I play for the PvP. I have a built-in source of re-playability, but this is often not the case for the majority of players.

Tagged As: | Categories: Blizzard People, Blue Posts, Interface, Skillrunes, Skills


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  1. I don’t get how people argue that this strangles replayability? You get a near infinite amount of different builds, and it will take you forever to try all of them. If you want to level up a new character; go ahead. The 10 character limit is not stopping you.

    • Yeah heh. Especially when they start saying how great D2 was because we got to make multiple characters when it literally took 2-3 hours to get to level 80+  (Depending on which patch you were playing, it could be faster) Not too mention leveling a new char in D2 consisted of boring, repetitive runs, where you sat around and leeched off the high level player killing everything for you..
      But hey, WTF do I know? I only played Diablo 2 for hundreds upon hundreds of hours…

    • but how many people are even going to try all of them ? or most of them ? or even a lot of them ? 
      most people will try a couple of skill variants, discover they don’t like them, and then go back to what they’re familiar with and like the most   
      other people will search the forums for “the best” build or “the fastest build to get through normal” and play those 

      there are 1000s of variant builds for necromancers in D2, but how many did people really play ?
      after awhile I’m thinking it will turn out the same with D3: 1000s of variant builds, but only a couple of popular ones per class 

      • In any case, I think a system where people can actually try different skills and find out for themselves whether or not they like them (rather than feeling compelled to check a website for builds in advance to make sure they’re not permanently screwing up their character) is a better system.

  2. I don’t have much of an issue with the rune system as of patch 13. My gripes are with the new skill UI and how the previous UI was far more fluid and consistent with the rest of the UI. The new hand holding system can easily be retrofitted in the older skill UI and I made a quick mock up by using how the skill calculator system could be used and posted the image to deviant art.

    Copy/paste the link to view the mock up:

  3. The replayability in D2 came from the fact that you never really finished the XP grind.  Even once you’d cleared hell, you were only level 75ish.  You could continue to grind xp and get 80…85…90…  Leaving aside the exploit-tactic of powerleveling characters in uber tristram in a matter of hours, getting to 85+  was a long grind that kept a lot of people busy for a very long time.  

    Won’t be the case in D3.  Once 60 and cleared inferno, no real need to continue to play anything but the character that is fastest at collecting drops for your other characters. I’m sure it is too late now, but perhaps they should have added a \prestige\ system akin to MW3/MW2 or a Merit system akin to Final Fantasy XI (the MMO one), which will keep people playing and caring even once they have hit the max level.  Something where instead of gaining xp for levels, they gain xp for \prestige points\ which can be spent on cosmetic upgrades (titles / banners / armor dyes / etc) or extremely negligible bonuses (+1% mf, +1% gf, slightly improved gambling, slightly improved damage etc)  

    You could even then reintroduce a \ladder\ system showing who had gathered the most prestige points globally, this week, on your friend list, in the chat channel, whatever.  

    It’s surely too late now, but perhaps this is a decent idea for the expansion.  Just hope that the game doesn’t lose its appeal 1-2mo after launch so much so ATVI treats the expansion as an afterthought.

    • That’s not replayability.  That’s grinding.

      There were 2 reasons D2 had replayability:

      1) Build variety.  Wanted to try a new character build?  REROLL.

      2) Mistakes.  You misspent a skill point.  You got a new piece of gear that changed your optimal stat allocation.

      Blizzard is removing the one that sucked and removing the need to reroll for the other one.

      • I totally agree – before the respec option was introduced in D2, placing a single point wrong, for whatever reason, could ruin the build and more than once have I deleted a level 60+ character due to that.

        Some people tend to forget it’s actually possible to self-impose the restrictions from D2 – plan ahead which skills and runes you want to use for your character, and only use that combination… Just because a respec system exists doesn’t mean you have to (ab)use it; I sure don’t.

    • Lots of people seem to assume that clearing Inferno will be a pretty simple thing to do. I’m not convinced that will be the case.

    • ^This, I think the 80-99 grind was a wonderful part of D2. The fact that being 99 didn’t really make you THAT much more powerful than a 80 was really cool in my opinion. It was mostly supportive/utility skills that were added past lvl 90 and simply having something to work towards while grinding/mfing was gratifying and pleasant. Not to mention finally reaching 99 which actually felt like a real accomplishment and badge of persistence. Granted in 1.09 during the hex/ith craze this was little different but that’s another story.

  4. “For me, it’s rather simple, as I play for the PvP. I have a built-in source of re-playability, but this is often not the case for the majority of players.”
    Nope, it’s not the case, because you can actually play a plethora of games where you control a character with your mouse and square off with other players. And a majority of those games are free. And offer proper PvP oriented balancing (at least they attempt to be somewhat balanced). And have way more characters/classes to play. And aren’t gear based. So, i don’t see this being anything but a short term distraction, at least for me.

    So, not taking PvP into account, you have a game where you have no reason to re-roll any characters, end game content is… well, the same content you played through 3 times aleready, and after you get your perfect gearset for every character (assuming you stick to your skill choices and pick gear that supports it), you have nothing to do.
    IMO, if blizzard were to scrap any antiquated concepts of all, it should be the stupid “Ghosts and Goblins” artifical game length, just make a proper long campaign and offer a vast “multiplayer” world for players to explore. Now that would make Hardcore Diablo fans mad 😛


    • You seem to be making a lot of end-game conclusions without knowing anything about Inferno.

      It appears to me that what people fear most is the unknown.

      • I think we can both agree that one can make speculations or form an opinion based on information given by Blizzard, am i right? Otherwise none could praise nor condone Inferno difficulty.
        Besides, a concept of End-game content with a flat difficulty curve (i.e. everything is for level 62-63 or smthng) and new monster abilities isn’t hard to imagine. It is kinda similar to WoW raids in a way. Just more expansive.

        • Naturally, we can. I just have reason to believe that the content having a flat difficulty is only one aspect of what is to come.

          But yes, one could develop opinions on what they do know. I just think it’s incomplete as of right now.

          • Obviously. I just hope there’s more to inferno then “here’s the same ‘campaign’ you aleready completed 3 times (4 times for hc 👿 ), just tuned in a way where you don’t grind one boss, you can grind all of them!”
            Also, i stand by my statement in last paragraph of my OP. That would be really cool. IMO at least.

  5. The replayability of D3 will be me finishing Inferno with the characters that interest me. Compared to D2 it won’t be as much hours played. But it might be more fun bundled in a smaller time frame, I’ll just have to wait and see.

  6. the only problem i got with patch.13 is that i cant have my wizard fire 10 magic missiles with a rune lvl.7.. people said that theres gona be item afixes on weapons for that , if that comes true i will not have problems with anything…but if not… lets just say that blizz will eat cornflakes without milk

  7. People should look at the skill and passive changes in this patch, almost everything overpowered has been nerfed, and almost everything underpowered has been buffed. This is definitely the silver lining for me in this patch; there are going to be sooo many viable builds with how balanced they are making everything, the journey might not be as good, but the destination is going to be a whole lot better in Diablo 3.
    One huge flaw I see with this system is PVP. previously you make a sick PVP build, and your theorizing and hard work pays off; you wreck people. And it takes quite a while before people start copying your build. 
    Now people can just see what you do, and change to do the exact same thing in an instant. I dunno, just seems like this changes ruins the integrity of PVP, or the values involved.

  8. I think the system is fine but they need to let us choose the skills we want to rune when we unlock runes at certain levels when leveling. This will make sure we don’t all just use the same builds from 1-60 just because as soon as one skill unlocks, it’s more powerful than anything else we had before thus if you want to play at max strength you need to switch to this new unlocked skill/rune combo. Else we risk all having the same characters before we reach max level and unlock everything.
    The rest of the changes are fine for me (save for the horrible UI, yes I had to say it again!)

  9. Have they said anything at all about changing the skill window yet? Or about letting us choose runes on level up?  I don’t like to be “that guy” but killing my leveling builds because I can’t use 3/6 or more of my choice runes until upper 40’s and higher is going to kill a TON of replayability for me.

    • How does this kill replayability for you? Bashiok just posted that they don’t hate the idea of letting people choose runes, but it would further drag out the development time, and they don’t think it’s worth it (neither do I).  Because those that consider themselves ‘hardcore gamers’ will level quickly, they don’t see the gated rune system as a problem.  We will hit end game quickly and have access to all of the skills/runes we want.  

    • If you could choose which rune variants you wanted first, you’d have a character finished by level 30-35 and then you’d hit a deadzone until 60.

      I also fail to see how this has anything whatsoever to do with replayability.

  10. I wish I knew what’s up with those three hour level 80s people keep referring to. I didn’t play ladder, so that may be the reason I don’t know about such trickeries?   It usually took me weeks to get to level 80…

  11. Who said the skill you unlock is more powerful than what you’ve been using?  This isn’t the old d2 skill trees where the skills get more powerful as you go.  Instead, the skills just become different.  Some are stronger single target attacks, others debuff, and others are more defensive.  Blizz is designing skills to be useful throughout the game, so you can keep using your first few skills all the way through inferno.  I understand the desire to get to pick the rune you want right away, but Blizz has stated they want some restrictions on the system.  You can’t just have everything you want right away.  Instead, you have to wait/earn the desired rune/skill combo you want.  Plus, you get to experience all of the other runes along the way instead of ignoring them all for the one you want first.  By the time you’re 60, you can use any skill/rune you want anyways.  

    • Theres is no reason I should be limited on rune choice all of a sudden just to cover up the deadzone, if you read my post then hopefully you understand its the build I want to use FROM THE GET GO,  not at 60 when everything finally becomes unlocked for me. 

    • You couldn’t choose any rune/combo all you like since some skills only unlock after a certain level but if I could at least choose the rune I want on the currently unlocked skills, that would be fine for me. Yes eventually we will have all the rune/skill combos unlocked at level 60 which is fine.

  12. What a comedy. If there isn’t any result of your choice in a good or bad way that’s not a choice. 



    -All skills, runes and attributes are here. I am max level. Which skills and runes should i choose? This one..this one. this one…. and that one. OK, i’m good to go…

    -Oh crap. I was nearly dead…. !O! No worries! I can change my skills and runes. Great!

    A few mins later…

    -Damn it. These mobs are fire resistant. I should change my runes.

    A few mins later…

    -Cold resistant mobs. Time to change my runes. 

    A min later…

    – Well, it looks i need another skill and rune change break.  

    Somewhere in Blizzard HQ.

    – They have so many choices now. Look at them. They’re making choices every min. So much customization…We made it! Not only that, also mothers can beat the game even on inferno now. They just have to make choices 🙂

    Meanwhile in the player’s room.

    – This item has +4 to all skills and this item has +5 to attributes. I should take the item with +5 one ofc.

    Tomorrow morning. In the player’s room…

    – This game should have included skill assigner for different monsters. This consumes too much time.

    A few years later…

    – I got D3 Expansion moma! Checking features. 

    * Skill Assigner. 
    – YAY!
    * Equally valued modifier stats.
    – Hmmm… 
    * Mounts and pets.
    – YAY!  This is the perfect game now 🙂

  13. It’s too bad Blizzard is deviating from the established gameplay of the Diablo series with the third game, rather than releasing an entirely new game with those mechanics.  Now, instead they are butchering a franchise all in the name of more money…Activision strikes again.  

    What little respect I had in the Blizzard developers just flew out the window with these few Blizzard posts.  I guess that’s what happens when the ones who actually know how to create a sequel to a well loved game leave…


    • If you want a carbon copy of Diablo II just play Diablo II. Honestly. Apparently you’re only allowed to make a sequel if everything is exactly the same.

      And  there’s that Activision strawman again.

      • No, a sequel should take what was in the previous game(s) and accentuate that and make it better, not throw it all out to simply use the name of an established series for sales.  I don’t want a carbon copy of D2.  I want them to make an improvement to D2.  Right now, I’m not seeing it.  I’m seeing a “different” game that is using the name of Diablo and some of the thematic elements in order to sell.

        • They have random dungeons.
          They have random item drops.
          They have the point-and-click action core of the game.
          They have a class-and-skill based system.
          They have a gothic-fantasy setting.

          What exactly is it that they’re “throwing out” for the sake of money?

          • The randomness of dungeons is reduced.
            There is no random overland.
            There is no player driven choice within the skill system.
            There is no player driven choice within the stat system.
            They are not fixing the basic functionality of the chat channels.
            They are reducing the party size.
            They are removing LAN capabilities
            They are removing offline capabilities.

            They haven’t added anything truly functional to what the core of the first 2 games were, they have only taken away.

  14. While I am happy Bashiok finally responds to one of these topics, he is in PR talk mode tbh. He use the responses that fits his point, and goes back to the usual crap about “Diablo 2 forcing you to reroll, we don’t like that” and the “why does it matter if others copy you”

    Very few people on the Diablo 3 forums are asking for D2 rerolls. And the discussion of people copying each others specs is ridiculous at best, and otherwise just a straw-man created for the occasion.

    They are simply asking for your choices to matter for more than 15 sec, to make the gameplay… interesting, and to increase customization and the importance of choices.

    Bashiok is missing the point, and it certainly seems like he is missing it on purpose, as the thread (and many others) he responds to is full of well argumented posts that exactly explains the problem, and why it really IS a problem, also for people who like to respec.

    • I had thought the same, but I honestly think it’s just a lot of material he hasn’t had time to consider fully yet. He’s almost answered most of my questions, and I thought I had the most difficult ones.

      Yes, I would like an answer specifically to how Blizzard is viewing the endgame with regards to the 15sec respec, but it does seem like their goal is legitimate viable builds complimented with specific skill boosting affixes based on the his and Jay’s most recent posts. I wouldn’t worry too much about it at this point if that’s possible.

      And I will say I was previously very worried about the 15 sec respec resulting in the loss of builds.

  15. Do we really have to have a nod to the tinfoil hatters in all of the main page news posts? Let them make their own tinfoil hats. The idea that because of the RMAH Diablo is suddenly all about the items is laughable. Diablo has always been all about the items!

    • That is very much your opinion. And while its not nice to say so, I would even say your opinion is wrong in this case.
      Diablo 2 was about class, spec, skills. It was about story, exploring, killing frenzy. In HC it was about the thrill of death too. For some people D2 was even about PvP (I know, it is crazy).

      Note: I’m not saying Diablo 3 is all about the items, but Blizzard is saying that.

      • Hmm IMO D2 & D3 are both about the same thing in the end a build and the items to support said build, I don’t see anything that changed.
        Blizzard is saying that late/long term the game is all about the items, this is true (at lest in most cases, I think the only exceptions are stuff like a naked run to see how far you can get, or if your playing an overpowered character etc). Some builds requared you have item X or an equivalent in D2 late game.

  16. In D2, I created +/- 70 characters : 1 of each class (my highest level, most fun characters), then 1 character to wear each set and then some others : a HC Necro, a Convertadin, a Hammerdin, a “Thorns-item” characters, etc. When I play Tal Rasha (lvl. 27), I feel as if I were her (or him…) : I mean, my Tal Rasha character will eventually collect her full set and wear it. Also I select her skills to be optimal with her gear. So my point is that I love to level up characters and I love having a variety of available characters, who each get their share of my playtime. Also, prior to using ATMA, I would use those characters for storage. But I won’t be able to do this in D3, not with the 10 character limit, especially not if they share their stash space… OMG ! In that sense, I much prefered the TQ approach : A shared stash for sharing and a private stash just for your character. And the ability to create as many characters as you like.

    Now, back on to the runes. Dropping runes in D2 was almost my favorite drop. Runes + Jewels (magical & rare) + Gems + socketed items made the item game amazing. I’ve spent countless hours collecting rare Jewels and cubing runes. My point is that in D3, runes are gone ! They’ve taken out the most fun drop. It’s really not the same as transforming it into affixes. I’ve said it before and will repeat it again : The best system I’ve seen is in Median, where desocketing costs almost nothing, and you get the item and the socketable back. So I end up socketing everything with my best socketables. And there are more runes than in LOD so they drop a little more often but the way to the top is higher.     NE way, I prefered runes as socket filters, not as skill modifiers, and I prefered them as item rather than automatic “unlocks”. Unlocking seems to be getting the most popular thing in games these days… Now even HC is locked !   Thanks for reading, Claymore

  17. Regarding the argument that the RPG element has been lost because you aren’t ‘locked’ into a character, isn’t realistically the case. It is still an RPG game. Think about it. RPG means role playing game. That means you can play, or be, the character that you want to be. 

    Just because one persons perspective of what a diablo rpg should be, being that you should be locked into your choices, doesn’t mean that is everyone’s type of character they want to be. There is more customization with this method, definitely, because there is more options.

    Can you still be locked into your decisions? Of course you can!
    If you are truly a diehard diablo 2 style rpg player, who wants to be locked into your decisions, then play the game that way. Role play the character through what choices you make (eg levelling to 60, experimenting with rune choices, and then making your decision concrete; you either stick to it or delete and re-level if you aren’t happy with it…nobody is stopping you from doing this)

    RPG means role-playing, and what blizzard has done is opened up that role-playing experience to reflect the type of character you want it to be. Blizzard hasn’t taken this away from you. You can still do it if you want to. People can just RP the way they want to, it doesn’t have to be the same. 

    • You aren’t an RPG fan are you?

      • What do you mean?  Call of Duty isn’t a Role Playing Game?  Mario isn’t a Role Playing Game?  R-Type isn’t a Role Playing Game?  How can you even think these things!  Of course they are RPG’ “play a role” in each one…At least that’s apparently NuBlizzard’s take on things… 

  18. I am actually, have played quite a lot of RPGS other than diablo 1 and 2 which I both played. What blizzard has done is similar to skyrim for example. You can play the game how you want to.

    Sure there are ways to level up your skills faster if you want to (eg getting farkas as a follower, training heavy armour then taking your gold back), but that doesn’t mean you have to.

    Sure you can level enchanting to make awesome items and not have to find them, but it doesnt mean you have to, you can do dungeons and find them yourself.

    Skyrim is awesome rp because you can rp the way you want to. Want to be wearing any armour you want, like iron or leather, and still be able to survive high level because your rp is wearing that gear? Sure you can do it.

    I know what you are going to say. Once you have locked in perks on your skill tree they are locked. Yeah this is true, but skyrim is such a different game to diablo. There is so much more content that when you are learning the game and re-rolling you can do things you have never done before on multiple play through’s.

    Also its single player and so there is no issue in re-rolling and having to re-level to play with your friends if you want to do so. Single player big rpgs are different to online rpgs in my opinion. I know it was fun to re-level in diablo 2, and I did it because I had the time to. But not everyone will get the time to. Why should they be forced to abide by other peoples perceptions of rpg?

    Like it or not rpg is evolving in some games but realistically it just allows more options for people. You still have the choice to rpg the old school way. You can still be locked into your decisions in diablo 3 if you want, just like how in skyrim you can choose to not buff your gear to be totally op through enchanting and alchemy potions, or you can if you want to so earlier tier items are still viable.

    There is more to RP the way you want to now, not less. If you ‘like’ being forced to be locked in yet don’t have the strength of will to do it yourself and re-roll if you break your rp code, then obviously you wanted that openness to allow you to do it. If you do re-roll because you think a new way is better and feel having the option to change your skills/runes goes against your rp, then bang, delete and re-roll.

    Nobody is stopping you.  

  19. Defenders of the skill rune system changes have often suggested that skill rune rank effects will now appear as item mods. Is there a source for this? It wasn’t in Jay Wilson’s original writeup, but people were suggesting that this was the case almost immediately after it went up.

  20. Anyone here play Guild Wars.  I played that game for a while after DII.
    The graphics were quite good and I enjoyed the missions.  But two things basically caused me to stop playing.

    Level cap at 20.  Hit it before I finished the game.  This was a huge bummer because I felt like continuing to play with that character was somewhat a waste of time.
    Free skill swapping.  It truly is a double-edged sword (IMO).  It is really nice to be able to try all the skills, tailor your skill set for the next big battle, etc.  But it completely removed any interest I would have had in starting a new character of the same type but with a different build.

    So I was left with a character I could not level and improve, and no compelling reason to make a new one since my existing one could switch to any skill.
    I quit playing shortly thereafter.
    Not sure if DIII will suffer from the same issue, but I am a bit worried.

  21. From \instantly\ as opposed to what in the old system, a day or so?  If people want to copy builds for PVP or otherwise they’re going to do it regardless of a grind-hurdle. If anything, team-based PVP will make it harder to determine uber builds because they are team based.  How can I see that awesome barb build when there are meteors also melting my face?

  22. So Bashiok doesn’t really say very much here. Maybe he doesn’t know what’s going on with skillrunes enough to say more? I still doubt that skill affixes will be in the game, although I would like it if they were (and it would help rmah revenues). And if skill affixes aren’t in the game, well we lose out on customizing (before we had rune levels), and hence, on replayability. Also, what Hyliangod says is true, we should be able to pick the order in which skills unlock, or at least the order in which skillrunes unlock. Naturally Blizzard will choose what they think is best for most players, but given that all skillrunes are balanced with each other anyway, there is no good reason for having a set order. I’m not saying this “kills” replayability. I hear what Bashiok is saying, it’s just that so much more replayability could be achieved by giving players the option of picking the order.

    As for the fear that 15s respec will ruin replayability, well Bashiok is silent on this as well. I don’t think it will, but I’m not 100% sure it won’t. If nothing else, it will probably mean I make less characters from scratch, and simply swap builds with level 60 characters to try new builds out. One will probably end up being my favorite, and if I ever want to, I can easily swap back to secondary builds. Sure, items will be geared toward the primary build, but with a large stash, one could easily collect secondary gear. On the other hand, if I want to level a new character, I can still do that. The 15s respec worries me more because of hotswapping (like to avoid resistances/immunities) than because of replayability. However, the level 0-60 having a preset order of skillrunes unlock, that does hurt replayability quite a bit. Leveling in D2 was fun because I could have a different build every time I leveled up, as I was leveling up. This was more fun in many ways than playing my all-powerful high-level character.

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