Runes no longer items but part of skill system, says game director
Diablo III game director Jay Wilson has written a blog detailing the changes to the game’s skill and rune system.
He says, “We’re confident that these changes will make Diablo III a better game. Our high-level goal with this system has always been to give players a great degree of power to customize their characters.”
Wilson is confident that notion was achieved in the original betas, when players experienced the exclusion of the familiar skill-set tree in favor of giving the player more choice. However, the worry was that the freedom would give the player little direction, thus leaving the battle system depth-less. To thwart this, Diablo III developers hope to make the classes deeper, and giving them many of their own, class-specific, abilities.
The rune system has seen the most change, with the team coming up with a way to stop bogging down players with potentially more than 3000 different kind of runes.
Wilson says, “They’re now called skill runes, and they’re called skill runes because they’re no longer a physical item, but built directly into the skill system.”
This came about after the realization of how juggling so many runes later in the game is more tedious than enjoyable. Instead, skill runes will now be unlocked as you progress levels.
To those who are disappointed that runes will no longer be itemized, Wilson points out that the system allows the game to be a smoother, enjoyable experience, and that Diablo III should have enough extra armors and weapons to make up for it.