The New Rune/Skill System

Posted by Daeity On Friday, February 17, 2012

The new rune & skill system is supposed to be announced this weekend.

There's some very strong evidence now that the runes won't be sellable items anymore too. I had touched on this subject before, back in January ("Selling Skills") and then again in early February. I had thought I made a large post all about "monetizing skills" through the rune system, but it must be sitting as a draft somewhere and I just never published it.

So, I figured I would briefly get this out in the open before the big day on Saturday or Sunday. :)

Other than the RMAH and gambling related issues, and a possible B.Net Balance/PayPal integration delay, I believe that there's been an internal "fight" going on regarding the rune system. I think that the D3 development team was told to monetize as many things in the game as possible, especially the rune system because of how valuable skill upgrades were. Because of this restriction, it choked their creativity and they couldn't design the rune system the way they wanted. There was a breaking point of course.. if they couldn't pull it off, then they would have to go back to their basic rune concepts (e.g. a simple skill level up system.)

With the stash size changes, and the recent 10 active item limitation to both Auction Houses, there's a very good probability now that the runes are no longer items, but rather skills that level up as you approach 60.

Previously, there was a dead zone after level 30 which didn't really encourage players to advance. In this new "rune" system, the skill upgrades unlock all the way to level 60 now, so that players will have milestones and rewards to look forwards to. (The old system was not very rewarding and pushed RMAH rune sales instead as the "leveling" mechanism.)

It's something to look forwards to this weekend and it's another big change that I will be very pleased with.

I also have another post planned that discusses why they have a 10 item active limit now. It also relates really well to the old "rare drop" rune system. If you've read earlier comments, though, I might have spoiled it for you already. :)