Unattuned Rune System Still Evolving


Spurred by a forum post asking about the unattuned rune system as described in our recent article, Bashiok put down his leftover turkey and replied. In typical Blizzard fashion, his reply has no content; just the claim that they’ve evolved the system to something new and better… but of course they can’t share any details with us, yet. Quote:

We actually have moved on from the previously discussed unattuned system. We’ve been trying many different ideas out, but we’re not quite comfortable enough with any of them yet to invite you in and see what you think.

Let me also say that the old system wasn’t broken, per-se, it just had a few issues we thought we could resolve. Runestones are a huge part of Diablo III, and we think it’s worth trying out some alternatives and see if we can’t improve it. But if all of our experiments fail we can easily go back to the original system, and it will still be totally awesome.

Actually, the original system won’t be totally awesome, which is why they’re trying to find improvements. The original system means everyone will have a stash full of level 7 runes of every type after six months.

It will be interesting to see how they’ve resolved this issue, though. Most of the D3 stated development feature problems have been improved, eventually. The only thing that they just did the same as D2, that I can think of right off the top of my head, is DiabloWikiShrines. There was much talk from the D3 devs about how shrines were lame in D2, since they only provided temporary boosts that didn’t change the gameplay. And now shrines in D3 provide… temp boosts that don’t change the gameplay.

This isn’t a terrible thing, since I liked shrines in D2. Plus D3 has the Fortune Shrine, which is a nice addition. Of course that was the #1 suggestion for an added shrine back in D2C, but hey, better 10 years late than never.

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  1. “Prediction: What is in the most current D3 build re: runes is nothing like what is being datamined.” <==things I posted yesterday in the last news thread about this.
     
    “The original system means everyone will have a stash full of level 7 runes of every type after six months.”
     
    I personally don’t see why that’s a problem or what would be a better alternative.

    • Yes, that’s what you posted. Is there anything in Bashiok’s non-tent to verify what you said will be true?
      Seems to me that one slight change to the July ’11 plan would constitute a “change” in the “system”.  They’ve “moved on” from the “previously discussed” system. That means nothing.

      I would like confirmation that runes will drop with identified colors.

      • I would say that “We actually have moved on from the previously discussed unattuned system” is specific enough to make the previous concerns about the unattuned system obsolete. As I expected.

  2. Seems they’re aiming for a 2013 release. Good stuff…… Just because the RMAH is the REAL timesink (getting legal rights in all countries and so on) doesn’t mean you need to revaluate all the systems in the game.

    • I hesitate to reply to this. but here is my 2 cents.
       
      RMAH is not delaying this game.  RMAH from a programming standpoint is the easiest of all the systems to program.  Requires only a GUI and a bunch of logic.  It’s just a DB search utility with a payment system tied in.  (really not hard in the grand scheme of things. The game engine is infinitely more difficult)  It will be extremely simple for them to limit what countries see the RMAH launch button.  Since the main markets are US/Europe and Blizzard is already extremely well established in these markets, this is really a non issue.   They’ve also likely already been working on the legal side of things for well over a year.   Finally, whatever legal issues there might be…they can simply launch the game as is with no RMAH for a given country and enable later once those issues are solved.  Blizzard is a company and a publicly traded one at that.  Yes they are rare in that they have the luxury to really polish games, but they aren’t going to hold back a playable game just because a feature is considered illegal in a handful of countries.   Not when there is money to be made right now.
       
      Let’s pretend for a second that you are right though.  Let’s say I’m Blizzard and I’m a greedy bastard.  Do I delay my game because Korea isn’t allowing RMAH, or do I disable RMAH for Korea and launch the game.   In other words, do I launch and start raking in money from RMAH in US/Europe and Korea will follow later, or do I forgo whatever profits I could make from RMAH now just because of Korea?  I think the answer to that is a freaking no brainer.
       
      IMO, all the delays (of which there really has only been one) are coming from skill, act, item, and difficulty setting iterations. Blizzard loves to iterate until they are happy.  Mostly simple spread sheet stuff and putting in graphic assets.  The slow part is the process of change x to y…test.  Change y to z…test.  This can take quite a bit of time to go thru QA department.

  3. A) What’s wrong w/ people having all of their rank 7 runes? I mean, you need a couple of rank 7 dusts for every single top level enchantment. That’s a lot of dust, especially if you end up re-rolling enchants to try and get the top level (assuming ranges are still in; doesn’t appear they’re still around, though).
     
    B) If everyone getting rank 7’s is such a “problem,” make the last few ranks crafted only, needing runestone cores which are rare salvage materials (meaning you’ll need to crush a lot of runes for the chance at a core). You know, like the gem grind.

  4. I would argue that shrines are greatly improved. They all provide timed buffs, you can see how long the buffs will last, and they affect the entire party (iirc).
    There’s no “poison shrines” or fire shrines that nobody ever used, hitting you with an attack and dropping junk items that were worthless outside of the first area in act 1.

    But the graphics for the shrines in D2 were much better because they were themed after the area they were in. In D3, they look like hippy rave sticks with power crystals on top or something.

    • As several people appear to be misinterpreting my meaning, I’ll restate. I liked shrines in D2 and I like them in D3. Also, they are definitely improved in D3, with more info about what they do and how long they’ll last, and the lame/annoying shrines from D2 have not returned.

      My point in the post was that Bliz said they were going to really change shrines up, and they haven’t. Early in the development, Jay Wilson described the problems with d2 shrines they wanted to avoid. He said they were random, short term buffs that had no connection to the areas they appeared in, and that none of them really changed the play experience.  Which is exactly what they are in D3.

      At least in the beta, I’ve never changed my play behavior due to a shrine, other than maybe hurrying a bit when I have a frenzied or exp shrine. (which is exactly what I did when I had a combat or skill or exp shrine in D2.)

  5. It’s not true that only the experience and the monster shrines were interesting in Diablo 2. Resistance shrines were awesome. Except they weren’t as usual as they should be.

    Basically, they should be doing the shrines not out of ideas but out of an analysis of the gameplay.

    Town portal takes longer = bring back the portal shrine.

    Gems are way harder to improve = bring back the gem shrine (and yes, even if it forces you to go back to town to pick a gem up) and while you’re at it, implement rune shrines too.

    Co-op is more important now = implement a shared health shrine, for example.

    The game has much more quests = implement shrines that open up small side-quests (well, they have those, they just aren’t called shrines, so that’s alright).

    You can respec, so there’s a shrine to respect. That’s a good example of a good shrine. Just maybe they should be random too.

    You can dye your stuff = implement a dying shrine.

    You have 100x more gold sinks and not just gambling anymore = implement a fun idea about a “gold shrine” or something…

     
    I’m just saying.

  6. “The original system means everyone will have a stash full of level 7 runes of every type after six months.”
     
    I really don’t see how that’s so terrible.  If I have a particular build in mind I’d like to play with, it’d be nice to be able to do so, with full-powered skills, without it taking forever and a day just to get to that point.  This isn’t a monthly-subscription game like WoW where the gameplay needs to be stretched out as long as possible.  Even six months . . . there are more than two really sweet-looking games coming out next year. (Edit: sorry if I offend anyone by implying that I might not play D3 for the rest of my life.)

  7. May the ppl who claimed Feb release please stand up?;) lol

  8. LegAl issues wont delay them at this point could always resolve later and patch rmah sumplace after release

  9. “The only thing that they just did the same as D2, that I can think of right off the top of my head, is Shrines. ”

    Not really… the shrines in D3 are all about the temporary stat boosts and it seems to always be two stats at once… there’s no longer all those odd shrines that threw exploding potions out or spawned monsters or whatever and I think it’s better that way… I doubt, however, that they will leave them as they are in the upcoming expansions and patches… in other words, I would look forward to more kinds of shrines along with the talisman and other future features…

    Anyways… the problem with the old rune system wasn’t necessarily that everyone could have all the one’s they needed easily, it’s that there wasn’t reall much randomization to them, and thus, no real reason to keep hunting after you got all the ones you needed… that was the reason for making it harder to get the ones you want and for having random affixes on them… personally I hope that they still work the random affixes in somehow… I actually think the current system would be great if they would just get rid of the blank runes and have it so the 5 colored runes would drop in an unattuned form and then you would socket them and lock them to a skill (knowing what effect you will be getting ahead of time instead of making it random) which would then activate their random affixes… Then you could have them be removable at the Nephalem Altars and give the mystic the ability to revert attuned runes to their unattuned form so they keep their color (so you always know what effect you will get when you socket them) but make it so you can attune it to a different skill and get new random affixes…

  10. i personally would like to see un-attuned ruins.  It would add more longevity to finding the right skills.  Give more of a reason to play at inferno.  But if blizz has issues with it and is moving on then it must be for some good reason.  I do however see the problem with having a stash full of lev 7 ruins.  It would be just like stashing up on soj’s.

  11. “Personally, I like the University. They gave us money and facilities, we didn’t have to produce anything. You’ve never been out of college. You don’t know what it’s like out there. I’ve worked in the private sector. They expect results.”

    how much longer will we keep getting no results lol.. seems like we keep getting the runaround and who knows whats holding up the system……could be financial, could be the Koreans, could be balancing…….only blizzard knows, however i am expecting a release date announcement before the end of they year. If we dont get one by then i will seriously doubt the release of this game any time before summer

  12. The ‘stash full of every lvl 7 rune after 6 months’ argument I don’t really get it, wouldn’t this depend on drop rates?
    I mean I have played D2 for about 6 or so ladder seasons and I have NEVER EVER seen a Zod drop! And that has to do with how the drop rate was balanced was it not?

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