+skill items afer all? Before the finalization of the new rune system, Blizzard stated a number of times that they were not planning to add any +skills items to the game. With this new system though, might they not change their mind after all and include some '+1 to specific skill' items after all? These are the three main reasons I think this would make sense: Runed skills have at most the power of their level 4 runes from before the redesign of the skill system. However, the design, animations and balancing had been done up to level 7 runes. That means they have three levels of skill upgrades just ready and waiting to be used. If a +1 skills could only spawn on three item types (amulets, gloves and chest armor for example), it would be impossible to get over +3 to a skill and they wouldn't even need any extra design. What we would get though, is all the coolest skills we saw in earlier builds, like a magic missile with 6 projectiles instead of just 3. With the boost only improving one specific skill (or even one specific runed version of one specific skill), it would make the item hunt a lot more complex and interesting, because finding items with just the right +skills on top of other modifiers would be a big challenge. Also, specific +skills on unique and set items, could give them a lot more flavor and personality (as well as value). Imagine a Bul Kathos's Wedding Band that would boost life stealing skills, or a Magefist that would boost a number of runed skills that increase your casting speed. Finally, one of the biggest things people have worried about is build permanence and the ease of swapping out skills. This setup would still give you all the experimentation you could want while leveling and it would still give you a lot more flexibility in end-game than Diablo 2. But it would also give some build permanence for the very top end of the game, with your item setup not just being tailored to your skills, but actually making those specific skills stronger. Of course there's a more practical reason for suspecting this too: unique items seem to be the final thing Blizzard is still working on and the thing they were most worried about after their original design was burned at the stakes upon first reveal. So they clearly have some last minute work to do there and they're pretty worried about making the items more interesting and memorable. Wouldn't this be a sensible explanation for the lateness. After all, this would mean they weren't able to finalize things until after the rune redesign was completely done. And it would explain why Blizzard was so happy with this final simplified and item-less rune system: they knew the cool top tier skills would still find their way back into the game through item affixes. So, what do you think? Plausible theory or total insanity?