Diablo 3

On Runewords and the Horadric Cube in game

diablo4 - On Runewords and the Horadric Cube in game
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D2 is one of my fav games, definitely stoked for resurrected.

Something that occurred to me in reminiscing about the game was how confused about runes I felt in my first ever play through of LoD. We all know the great runewords are now, but does anyone remember how it felt trying to find them before the Arreat Summit had them all listed? It was this pretty weird discovery moment you could have in the game, there was a brief time in my gameplay experience where runewords and the horadric cube felt like this forbidden arcane knowledge that I thought the game would reveal to me the more I played. But it didn’t really happen that way, which brought to mind a question, “does the game do enough to teach you about runewords and the horadric cube?” This could be a relevant question seeing as there will be an influx of new players who know nothing about runewords or cube recipes.

Maybe I’m remembering wrong, so please correct me if I’m mistaken, but in my recollection there is no actual way to learn about runewords in-game other than simple trial and error, which is obviously extremely costly with rare runes, especially before you could unsocket. Like imagine finding a Ber rune, not knowing anything about how amazing it actually is, or what it could be used for? How are you meant to learn about what to do with it other than by leaving the game and reading the wiki about the various amazing runewords?

I think that’s actually quite a significant issue. I love that some the games mechanics and features can be learned about only through experience and sharing knowledge with other players, it’s one of the games strengths for sure, but in this case it’s kind a bit much when it’s a significant endgame system! Presumably the devs figured that by the time high level runewords are relevant to the players experience, they will have discovered the Arreat Summit, but my question is why did they think it was a good idea to pull players out of the game this way?

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I just wonder if having something like an in-game NPC that could more or less function like the Arreat Summit would be a good addition to the game without changing it too much, and keep you in game. With more development maybe there could even be more nuance to the character, that would give you clues instead of the direct recipes, or send you on rune quests or something like that. Maybe some kind of runeword/horadric cube/crafting progression system could help make it feel a bit less about trial and error and more about deduction and reasoning. It would be cool to gradually learn more about these awesome systems as you play, expanding you recipe/runeword knowledge as you play. I think there are some cube recipes that a lot of players deduced, like gem progression, but there are so many others that are just random combinations. It just seems like there is a missed opportunity in terms of gameplay experience of players really discovering these things on their own. I remember the feeling of that happening one time with the horadric cube and feeling elated, but it was totally by chance, which I suppose makes some kind of sense given the “dice rolling,” nature of the game, but that is completely undone by the very existence of Wikipedia. Anyway just a random thought I had. Cant wait for Resurrected!

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