Diablo 3 runestone system overhauled in latest beta patch

Tom Senior at

Runestones are one of the most exciting elements of Diablo 3's skill system. Plugging one into an ability can dramatically transform what it does. Slot the right rune into your plague of toads ability, for example, and your standard spell instead summons a "Toad of Hugeness" that'll hop around eating enemies whole, a different rune will change your plague of toads into a rain of frogs. There are five different runestones for every active skill, opening up a pretty staggering number of possible builds. With the release of beta patch 13, the runestone system will change dramatically.

Runestones are no longer items. Formerly you could find them in the world and combine them to create stronger versions. Each of the five different types of rune would have five ranks which would convey increasingly impressive damage boosts to the skill they're slotted into. That's all gone. Runestones are now "Skill runes." Instead of picking them out of chests, you'll unlock them alongside your combat abilities as you level up.

New Runestone effects revealed for Diablo III

Anthony Valva at

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!