D3 The Promise of Runes

We usually point to several interesting threads in a Diablo 3 Forum Watch, but this time I’m just highlighting one, with multiple quotes from it. The thread is The Promise of Runes, and in the OP and the 50+ replies a bunch of theory-crafting fans debate the lack of varied popularity in the skill runes in most skills in Diablo 3.

Here are some abbreviated quotes from the OP and some of the best points made in follow up. There are 52 replies to the thread now, so I’m not even scratching the surface here, so check out the thread if you’re interested in a lot more theory and criticism on this issue.

I agree with a lot of the observations made in the thread, but just to do my usual contrarian thing and re-examine the entire premise… do we want skills to be balanced? Obviously we want multiple options for DiabloWikibuilds and play styles, but for some things to be good, other things have to be bad less good. That’s almost the central logic behind items, and maybe it applies to skills as well?

It’s impossible for every skill in a game to be perfectly balanced (at least no game with complexity great than that of Rock-Paper-Scissors has done it yet), but is it more fun if a game has some meh skills, a lot of okay skills, some good skills, and a few great ones? Doesn’t that make it more fun when you reach the level req to start using one of the great skills? Or are skills somehow fundamentally different than items, and with skills you want balance that yields variety, rather than the peaks and valleys of quality that make items fun? 

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