Blizzard have launched a huge Diablo 3 item database detailing the base stats of hundreds of weapons and armour pieces, as well as a few crafting recipes. It looks as though Diablo 3 items will start out with a base build, like the Glorious Chopsword , which will gain two random properties like elemental damage or life steal when crafted, hopefully turning it into a "Glorious Chopsword of Fiery Electrocution," or something.
The item database is great if you want to plan ahead with your Diablo 3 build, figuring out what you can craft when to have the best weapon. Alternatively, just skip to the highest level stuff to wonder at immense legendary items like the Moon Slayer , or find cheeky X-Men references like Logan's Claw for the Monk (which regenerates health, of course).
It was in the middle of a search for these items that Tom F went "hmmm!" from across the office. When Tom goes "hmmm!" it normally means he's found something interesting. In this case, it's the four tiers of Runestone listed in the item database.
Once you completed Diablo and Diablo 2, you could run through again, levelling up and gaining more powerful items. The three difficulty levels were Normal, Nightmare and Hell. Blizzard have been quiet about whether or not a similar system would return for Diablo 3, but the Runestone section of the Diablo 3 item database lists Normal, Nightmare, Hell and INFERNO tiers. HMMM!
Runestones can be applied to any skill to warp their effects in fantastic ways . You can find out more about their effects on the skills database . The item list also reveals "unattuned" runestones. It seems likely that the player will be able to choose their alignment to define the power mutations they want.
The Diablo 3 beta has been running for a week or so now. We've been relentlessly splatting things and levelling up in it. Check out our Diablo 3 first impressions post for a few of our first impressions. The Diablo 3 release date is set for "early 2012. "