One of the newly introduced features coming to the action role playing game Diablo 3 is the extremely customizable runestone system and it has now been further broken down by the game's developer, Blizzard. We got a brief glimpse of the runestone system at Blizzcon 2010, but now Blizzard has given us even more details. At their absolute basic level, runestones in D3 allow players to customize up to seven skills at once. Skills allow your character to perform special attacks like Whirlwind, use offensive and defensive abilities like summoning minions or setting traps, and casting a variety of spells like Ray of Frost. Your spells will stay persistent throughout your character's journey through Sanctuary, but with runestones you'll be able to dramatically change how those skills look and function.
There are five different runestone types and they all affect skills in different ways. They are: Crimson, Indigo, Obsidian, Golden, and Alabaster. According to Blizzard, "Adding a Crimson Runestone to a skill may enhance its damage, while adding an Alabaster Runestone might add a stun effect." The runestones also come in different ranks. As you might have guessed the lower the rank of the runestone the less damage or enhancing it will do, whereas the higher the runestone's rank, the more dramatic the effects will be.
Whirlwind is an iconic Diablo 2 skill, wherein the barbarian spins furiously and damages any enemies in his path.
- Crimson - Shoots bits of rock and gravel in every direction, dealing area effect damage.
- Indigo - Barbarian spawns smaller whirlwinds which deal direct damage.
- Obsidian - Provides the barbarian with immunity to immobilizing effects.
- Golden - Reduced Fury cost.
- Alabaster - Critical strikes confuse enemies, forcing them to attack their allies for a short time.
Monk's Sweeping Wind
Sweeping Wind is a combo skill that lashes out against all enemies surrounding the monk, creating a vortex of damaging wind that increases in damage and radius across three stages.
- Crimson - A flurry of blades increases Sweeping Wind's damage.
- Indigo - Expands the area of effect and strikes enemies with additional fire-based attacks.
- Obsidian - A persistent whirlwind surrounds the monk, dealing damage to any foes that come into contact.
- Golden - Increases Spirit regeneration.
- Alabaster - A powerful sandstorm billows with the monk's attacks, damaging enemies and knocking them back.
Wizard's Ray of Frost
Ray of Frost is a wizard spell that damages and freezes enemies caught in the beam, slowing their movement and attack speed.
- Crimson - Beam increases in damage the longer it remains in use, to a cap.
- Indigo - Wizard is surrounded by a swirling vortex of sleet, damaging any foes that come into contact.
- Obsidian - Decreases beam damage, but increases reduction in target movement and attack speed.
- Golden - Arcane Power cost reduced.
- Alabaster - Enemies slain by Ray of Frost have a chance to leave an area of ice on the ground where they die, damaging other enemies if they move through it.
Demon Hunter's Cluster Arrow
Cluster Arrow is a powerful demon hunter tool, as it fires a cluster bomb which explodes on impact, releasing smaller bombs which explode shortly thereafter.
- Crimson - Increases the damage of the explosion at the point of impact.
- Indigo - Fires enemy-seeking missiles instead of grenades.
- Obsidian - The Cluster Arrow is launched high into the air and rains down grenades.
- Golden - Instead of grenades, the skill spawns shadow creatures that attack nearby enemies and leech life to the demon hunter.
- Alabaster - Adds a stun effect to the grenade explosions.
DETAILS: Diablo 3 Demon Hunter Details - Sexy, Mysterious, and Hates Demons
Witch Doctor's Acid Cloud
Acid Cloud is a witch doctor skill that summons an acid-spewing spirit, raining caustic, skin-dissolving death on the unfortunate enemies below.
- Crimson - Causes immediate damage instead of a damage over time effect.
- Indigo - Increases area-of-effect radius.
- Obsidian - Spawns slimes that attack nearby enemies.
- Golden - Afflicts enemies with a disease effect that deals damage over time.
- Alabaster - The witch doctor belches forth a directional pool of acid.
Runestones are just one way that players will be able to customize their characters in Diablo 3. You'll also to be able to choose between five classes, change their charms, traits, enhancements, gems, armor, weapons, dyes, and their skills. When more details are released on all of these elements we'll be sure to let you in on them. For now, you can check out our guide to the Diablo 3 follower system that was also detailed by Blizzard.
What do you think about the Diablo 3 runestone system? Are you excited about all of the customizable options or would you rather keep things simple?
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