What's the logic behind their prices or values? I can't see much consistence here. A new season would be a good opportunity to have them reviewed.
I gathered all tier 3 runes in a file long ago and noticed some are just not worth using/buying because their are simple not cost efective or because they are simple not worth it in the rune slot.
-Destruction Runes (Armor and Magic Pen):
They have the highest prices possible (820 for normal runes and 2050 for quintessences). If you stack them all, you get ~ 15 Armor Pen and 8.7 Magic Pen.
With the same amount of IP, you can buy 9 marks and 3 quints of both Armor Pen (~25 pen) AND Magic Pen (~14 pen). Combining the runes, you can reach arround ~ 15 Armor Pen and 5.7 Magic Pen. In the end, if you go with separate runes, you lose 3 magic pen, but you gain a LOT of versatility as you can use your rune sets when playing pure AD or pure AP champs. So, why I would buy Destruction Runes?
Why they have the HIGHEST prices possible (above mentioned), if they are ONLY useful in a small minority of champions (only 4 who uses energy) and may not even be the best choice of runes for some of them?
-Endurance Runes (+%HP):
Again highest cost possible. They can be useful, but in order for them to have better benefits than the Vitality Runes (HP/Lvl), which also have cheaper seals, you need to be using a high HP champion AND some HP items, what will only happen mid game or late game. So, in the end, Vitality runes are just a general better choice: they are cheaper and benefits low HP champs way more than the Endurance Runes.
-Vigor (Flat HP Regen):
The price is the highest, but the sustain granted by flat HP regen early game is GREAT and I am a fan of those runes. But only the quintessences are really worth it. Take a look at the numbers:
Quintessences x3: +8.1 HP /5s
Seals x9: +3.87 HP /5s
That's a HUGE gap there. Usually, in some categories, the Quintessences are better but it's on par with the best rune type for the bonus (in the case of HP and physical defenses, Seals). That doesn't seem to happen here. It's just better to use armor seals, as the damage mitigation granted by them will be more useful than the 3 HP5 in most cases. Those seals needs a buff for it's price or to become cheaper.
-Transmutation (Spell Vamp):
Those quintessences costs 2050 each and in total gives 6% Spellvamp. It's the same as the Vampirism Quintessences (Life Steal). It's my personal view, but if we think about it, they give less sustain than the Vampirism Runes. You benefit from full life steal on every single auto attack or skills with on-hit effects, while with spell vamp, you only benefit from it's full utility on single target skills and in many cases, you will also be using resources (mana, energy) to cast spells, to gain a tad bit of HP back. I accept this view may be flawed, because we need to consider that skills have a base damage added to it and late game they may be more useful (if games lasts so long...), but if I am, please, clarify the mistake in my logic.
Aside the examples above, there are some curiosities, like: what justify the cost of runes? What are they based on? Why there are so much difference sometimes, that don't have a clear logic behind it (like Avarice Quints and Seals)? Why some bonuses, even if barely used (or very specific), costs so much than others?
Do you plan on making a general rune review for season 3? That would be great.
Considering runes are a great part of the game, a review of the actual shop and rune system would be great! We also need updates in the combiner and be able to sell Tier 1 and 2 runes.
For the sell option of runes, I would suggest:
-Runes of your Tier (lvls 1~9, 10~19 and 20~30) = 75% of the value.
-Runes of a Tier below yours = 90~100% of the value.
If we think about that, such selling option would make the actual Rune Combiner useless. It IS a bit useless, let's say the truth.
What about using the Rune Combiner as a tool to make players spend their extra IP? Some possibilities are:
You can drop up to 5 runes there and the final rune will have the bonuses of them all combined divided by a factor equal the number of runes used. As examples:
a) If we combine a rune that gives 40 HP with one that gives 60 MP, the final rune would give:
40/2 HP and 60/2 MP = +20 HP and +30 MP.
b) Same as example above, but now we used 2 runes that gives 40 HP and one that gives 60 MP. The final rune would have: (40+40)/3 HP and 60/3 MP = ~ +27 HP and +20 MP.
That would give us full customization and a "infinite" way to spend IP. Also, as we aways use the average bonuses (sum of bonuses / n), the "power range" would aways be inside the existing runes.
Random Reward Combiner: *
You put 2~5 runes and have a chance to get a new rune. The highest the values of the runes used, the higher the chances of getting a high value rune. The more runes of same kind used, higher the chance of getting a rune of that type (Quintessences have a higher weight on that). Ok, it's all random and even tought we have some control over it, why would I use it? Simple, because we could add:
-Unique runes only obtained by using it;
-Tier 3.5 runes only achievable using it;
*: The ideas of unique runes or a superior tier (3.5), even if fun, is more direct related to the balance, because some people would just have more power than others and those who buy IP Boosts would achieve that power with more easy. That is against the Riot's idea of selling power, what would indirectly happen.
The idea I enjoyed a lot more was the fusion of runes. That would allows players to really customize them to their own playstyle.
I think that this could not only boost the RP market (through IP Boosts), but could also be explored with new products, like "you can make X rune combinations for free for Y mount of RP".
Of course, for all that to work well, we would need first to rework all the rune's prices. If we are paying IP to combine them (which IS good, as Riot can sell combinations for free via RP and so get a new source of money to keep such great game) the overall IP costs of runes could drop, as many are so much expensive.
Edit: If you have interest, check the feedback on S3 jungle here.