Diablo 3

D4 – Runes and Runewords

diablo13 - D4 - Runes and Runewords

Runes are one of the most request things that players want to see back in Diablo. Good news is, they are back in D4, just not in a way we were expecting. You still slot them into gear, but they work completely differently than in D2. Now they work as a combo, you need an activator rune and effect rune. Although that concept is interesting in it's own way and can have a big impact on gameplay, it feels a bit lackluster. At the moment it's much more simple than what runes provided in D2. We haven't seen much about runes in D4 but hopefully we'll still be able to craft some sweet gear with runewords (but please no Enigma and such).

In D3, we got a new system that introduced runes as part of skill customzation. Originally, runes were supposed to be items that you find playing the game and socketed into skill, but that was scrapped. Instead, they went with runes unlocking at certain leveles as we see now in D3.

So how about for D4 they revisit some of these old ideas and make something new for D4. Idea I'm having is to combine the way runes were in D2 and make them also enchance skills. Keep the way they work in D4, but add more ways to utilize them. Mystic would have a new option to craft skill runes that you can socket into skills. It would take 3 of the same rune to craft a skill rune. Runeswords would be something more basic and easier to craft like increased damage (EL + EL + EL) or decreased resource cost to something more difficult that has a bigger impact on the skill like changing damage type to fire/ice/poison (3x Ral/ 3x Tal/ 3x Thul) or adding +1 projectile.


What we know right now for skills is that you will be able to level up the skills with points which will also open up some talents for skills (like choose between bigger damage or bigger aoe effect, etc). What I have in mind is every 5 points into a skill also unlocks a rune socket, up to level 15. So at level 15 you have three rune sockets which you can imbue at the Mystic. You can have 3 of the same Skill runes in sockets.

This would let you customize skills in more ways than just leveling up the skill. Also it adds a new progression system and keeps runes as something you want to find in the world.

Runeword examples:

  • +15% damage
  • +7% life steal
  • +15% attack speed
  • +10% resource cost reduction
  • +20% area damage for single target skill (5% for aoe skill)
  • +15% increased aoe range
  • +7% hit effect status chance
  • +1 projectile
  • +1 pierce
  • change dmg type to fire/ice/ligthning/etc.
  • skill can stun enemies

Lets see some skills with this system in place:

  • lvl 11 Frostbolt: 15% att speed + 15% att speed + (locked) – very fast att speed to chill enemies and freeze them
  • lvl 19 Frozen Orb: +1 projectile + dmg to Fire + 10% reduced mana cost
  • lvl 19 Frozen Orb: +1 pierce + 15% dmg + 15% dmg
  • lvl 15 Fireball: 15% aoe range + 15% aoe range + 15% aoe range – huge explosion

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