As a player who’s always trying to optimize my character, I find the equipment screen in Too Human to be extremely addictive. It seems I spend as much time sorting through my gear as I do smiting enemies. Not only is it fun to customize gear, but Silicon Knights has created a very deep yet intuitive interface. In fact, I think it’s the best equipment/inventory screens I’ve seen in a console game. The weapon and armor options are all quite self-explanatory, especially if you’ve played WoW or other RPGs. But runes and charms are somewhat unique and require some explanation to fully understand their power.
Runes: These items are sometimes dropped by enemies or obelisks. There are numerous types of runes, each capable of boosting your character’s stats in some way. But before equipping a rune, you must have an empty rune slot in one of your weapons or armor pieces. Sort through your equipped gear to see if you have one; it will say Empty Rune Slot in the window on the bottom right and show a hollow circle icon next to the square equipment icon. Once you’ve found an empty rune slot, press X to insert a rune. This brings up your rune inventory screen allowing you to fuse any rune to the selected piece of equipment. Runes can provide a variety of bonuses but try to focus on runes that boost either your weapon’s damage or your armor’s Total Armor value. These bonuses are stackable too, so don’t be afraid to apply identical bonuses to the same piece of equipment. For example, if you place one Total Armor +5% rune in all six pieces of armor, your Total Armor value is increased by 30%. But make your choice wisely. Once a rune is fused, it cannot be removed. So before applying powerful runes, make sure you’ll be using the selected piece of equipment for a significant duration. In the full-game, colored runes are available in the shops of Aesir, allowing your to customize the appearance of each piece of equipment. Colored runes can be applied to any piece and don’t take up a rune slot.
Charms: Charms are dropped exclusively in cyberspace. You can find a few by raiding the obelisks in the first cyberspace area in the demo; during Baldur’s flashback when he joins Freya at the World Tree. Although they look like runes, charms are like mini-quests, requiring you to perform a certain task and insert the appropriate runes in exchange for some type of offensive or defensive bonus. These are usually proc-based (random) bonuses, increasing the chance of inflicting certain types of damage or status effects on your victims and/or attackers. You can have up to two charms equipped at a time and one must be equipped before the requirements can be met. Once you’ve completed the requirements, press X while the charm is selected to insert the appropriate runes, matching the runic characters to the ones shown on the charm. Runes inserted into charms cannot be retrieved, thus their bonuses are lost. So avoid inserting runes you may want to use later. A completed charm must remain in one of the two equipment slots if you wish to take advantage of its reward.
So if you’re still hooked on demo, give it another run and make the most of the runes and charms in your inventory. For more info on runes, charms, and all other aspects of Too Human, check out our guide releasing next month.