Diablo 4 Runes and runewords are key to the game’s itemisation system. Runewords proved highly popular in Diablo II. Runewords were a way for players to combine runes with items to give an item exceptional attributes. In Diablo II there was a total of 78 different runewords that could be used on basic grey items only. Blizzard had planned for runewords in Diablo III but the idea was dropped during development at the time citing that “led to a lack of equipment variety”. Blizzard is now bringing them back in Diablo IV.
Diablo IV features two types of runes, condition runes and effect runes.
- Condition runes when socketed into an item will activate the next rune if a certain condition is met.
- Effect runes provide boosting effects and are activated when combined with a condition rune.
- When runes are combined they create what is known as runewords.
Not much more than that has been revealed so far apart from this nugget of info from Joe Shelly the Lead Game Designer at Blizzcon on 3 November 2019.
So that could be by upgrading runes already in an item or crafting unset runes in a device with reagents or multiples of the same rune combining to ‘upgrade’ the rune.
Blizzard also appears to be using the same names and some of the visual representations of the rune symbols as seen in Diablo 2. It’s unclear if all the 33 different runes from Diablo 2 will be added to Diablo IV.
Some of the runes have been confirmed already but note, the socketed properties in Diablo IV are different from the properties in Diablo 2. Below is a list of all the expected runes based on Diablo 2. The list shows confirmed runes for Diablo IV and their new properties.