Runeword Itemization Issues

Runewords broke itemization. Rares, uniques, and sets all have fixed affixes can can appear on them and that number has a hardcap of 6 affixes(there are some uniques that go higher due to addition of special modifiers). Even crafting recipes which usually include 3 fixed affixes limit (yes, there are a couple of safety pieces that have 4 fixed affixes) the roll of additional affixes to 4 providing a total of 7 (up to 8 on some safety gear).

Sets and uniques currently don’t take advantage of staffmods (Auto mods) found on gear and Sets can’t roll Ethereal. I speak about these issues in more depth here:

I also discuss how low level sets only roll 2 attributes here:

When it comes to Runewords, they retain the affixes from the runes and get additional properties as well. Let’s take a look at some of the newly added runewords:

Unbending Will
6 socket Sword
Fal + Io + Ith + Eld + El + Hel

  1. 18% Chance to cast Level 18 Taunt on striking
  2. +3 To Combat Skills (Barbarian Only)
  3. +20-30% Increased Attack Speed (varies)
  4. +300-350% Enhanced Damage (varies)
  5. +9 To Maximum Damage (Ith)
  6. +50 To Attack Rating (El)
  7. +75% Damage to Undead (Eld)
  8. +50 Attack Rating Against Undead (Eld)
  9. 8-10% Life Stolen Per Hit (varies)
  10. Prevent Monster Heal
  11. +10 To Strength (Fal)
  12. +10 To Vitality (Io)
  13. Damage Reduced By 8
  14. +1 Light Radius (El)
  15. Requirements -20% (Hel)

This weapon has 15 attributes of which 8 are derived from the runes socketed in it and an additional 7 as a bonus for crafting the runeword.

The +300-350% Enhanced Damage is also surpasses any and all unique Exceptional (The Atlantean and Coldsteel Eye both have +200-250% ED) or Elite (Azurewrath is highest at +230-270% ED) swords. Even the WORST rolled Enhanced Damage is 30 to 50% higher than the BEST rolled unique.

3 socket Claw
Tal + Ort + Thul

  1. +30% Faster Block Rate
  2. +40-80% Enhanced Damage (varies)
  3. 10% Bonus to Attack Rating
  4. Adds 17-62 Fire Damage
  5. Adds 1-50 Lightning Damage (Ort)
  6. Adds 3-14 Cold Damage (Thul)
  7. +75 Poison Damage Over 5 Seconds (Tal)
  8. +6 to Strength
  9. +6 to Dexterity
  10. All Resistances +15

This example also has 3 attributes from the runes used in addition to another 7 attributes added for building the runeword.

Flickering Flame
3 socket Helm
Nef + Pul + Vex

  1. Level 4-8 Resist Fire Aura When Equipped (varies)
  2. +3 To Fire Skills
  3. -10-15% to Enemy Fire Resistance (varies)
  4. +30% Enhanced Defense (Pul)
  5. +30 Defense Vs. Missile (Nef)
  6. +50-75 To Mana (varies)
  7. Half Freeze Duration
  8. +5% To Maximum Fire Resist (Vex)
  9. Poison Length Reduced by 50%

This example also has 3 attributes from the runes used in addition to another 6 attributes added for building the runeword one of which is unique to this runeword only (Resist Fire Aura)

How is any other piece of gear supposed to compete with this? Either the rune bonuses need to be removed from the runewords or the amount of affixes awarded for making a runeword should be fixed to 4 like it is for crafting. There has to be a way to bring Sets, Uniques, and Runewords closer in power to one another.

The 2.4 Set updates by the development team did nothing to address the disparities between gear. Adding or modifying Set Bonuses does virtually nothing to address the issues with gear. The runes for these words above are infinitely easier to farm for than uniques or sets like Azurewrath, Griffon’s Eye, Griswold’s Legacy, etc. but the runewords crafted by these runes are exponentially better than their unique and set counterparts.


I agree 100%, they need to address magic, rare and crafted items and also the base damage of a lot of items. Everybody wants to fix the game with new runewords. That’s the wrong direction…

The only way to improve rune drops is to have more people in the game.

The only way to improve set and unique drops from bosses and champions is to stack MF…

One requires mindless farming of high density packs or chests with BIS gear while the other requires you to consider your gear choices to maximize loot potential.