New Runestone effects revealed for Diablo III

Anthony Valva

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Back at Blizzcon, Blizzard announced that players will be able to customize all 20 of their character's skills in Diablo III by applying one of five different-colored Runestones to each ability. They gave a few examples, but today they released five new skills fully customized, with video of all the different versions in action. Read on to see the many different ways you'll be able to change how the Barbarian's Whirlwind and the Monk's Sweeping Wind abilities work!

There are five runestone colors--crimson, indigo, obsidian, golden, and alabaster--which will alter skills uniquely. The different colors will generally follow a singular theme, such as crimson Runestones increasing damage dealt, and golden Runestones reducing the cooldown or cost of the skill. Enough with boring generalities--let's look at two specific examples Blizzard revealed this morning! (Visit their site for 3 more skills broken down, and full videos of all the skills in action.)

Whirlwind (Barbarian)

  • Crimson: You spin so fast you kick up gravel and dirt around you, dealing more AoE damage
  • Indigo: Create a bunch of small whirlwinds that wander in different directions, dealing direct damage
  • Obsidian: Makes you immune to immobilization effects for the duration
  • Golden: Reduces the Fury cost to activate
  • Alabaster: If you critical strike an enemy with Whirlwind, they'll go crazy and attack their allies instead of you

Sweeping Wind (Monk)

  • Crimson: Boosts Sweeping Wind's AoE damage.
  • Indigo: You attack a wider area, and mix in a little fire damage to toast your foes.
  • Obsidian: After completing the attack, a swirling vortex remains around you for a short while, dealing damage to anyone still alive near you.
  • Golden: Increases Spirit regeneration.
  • Alabaster: Your swirling creates a powerful sandstorm that hits enemies and knocks 'em all back.

Of course, runestones also come in different ranks of power, not just different colors--the higher the rank, the more dramatic its effect. So you'll definitely be playing around with different combinations as you level up and find new runestones to try. Figuring out the perfect set of complimentary skills for your own arsenal will be key to conquering the higher-end dungeons.

So what do you think of the new skill effects revealed? Which class are you looking forward to playing most?

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