I don't understand how (or if) skills scale up with character level. I have two low-level characters in Diablo 3.

One of the skills my Demon Hunter character uses is Withering Fire, which I like because of the reduced initial cost. Will this skill (rune) still be useful at higher levels, or will I have to use the higher rune versions later in order to match later monsters? Or will the reduced cost not be relevant later when I have enough Hatred anyway?

More generally though, my question relates to using the higher level runes with skills. Is this the intention? It is expected that by level 30, I would be using skills and runes of, say, between level 25 and 30, rather than still using ones from much lower levels?

2 Answers 2


Your abilities and rune effects will all scale (depending on their actual stats; not all stats scale) when you level up. The level restrictions are only there to keep you from using them immediately at level 1. Once you've unlocked them, they can be used and replaced as you see fit. There's usually no real disadvantage from using a "lower level" rune over any other, unless there's some specific downside attached to it or you're losing some other effect of another rune due to this.

So in short, don't judge runes by the level they're unlocked on, judge them by their actual effects.

But what you said is also partially true: Some runes might be less interesting, once you've unlocked other stuff (e.g. Monks got different ways to increase their willpower regeneration).


The runes are designed to be of approximately equal value. Leveling up does not give you more power from your abilities, it unlocks more customization.

The usefulness of any particular rune will vary by player / build, but the stated goal is to balance the runes against each other, without one obviously "correct" choice.

  • Thanks. So a level 6 rune in a skill should be equivalent to a level 24 rune in a skill, and I should be able to use either at level 24, for example?
    – SabreWolfy
    Jan 20, 2013 at 10:33
  • 1
    Yes, the question is only which effect you'd rather like to use.
    – Mario
    Jan 20, 2013 at 12:06
  • "The stated goal is to balance the runes against each other, without one obviously "correct" choice." This is true, but it is worth noting that Blizzard failed to meet this goal for some skills/runes, in that certain runes are so obviously superior to all others that there is no doubt which is the "correct" choice (for an example, look at the runes for Zombie Charger for Witch Doctors).
    – Beofett
    Jan 24, 2013 at 18:24

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