As development continues, Blizzard has finally touched upon Diablo 4's itemization, revealing how it plans to approach this vital part of its upcoming ARPG and what affix changes it is currently considering.
Aside from talking about Diablo 4 itemization, the developer has also confirmed that classic customizable primary stats are making a comeback, letting players have a greater degree of control over how they build their characters. You will also be able to respec as much as you want, although the price of doing so increases as your character gets closer to the endgame.
Like its predecessors, killing monsters in Diablo 4 will shower you with loot, including different weapon types which Blizzard is aiming to clearly differentiate between. Speed is one factor here: wands are faster than quarterstaves while one-handed weapons allow you to reposition quicker than their two-handed counterparts, which compensate through higher damage.
Weapons in Diablo 4 will also have an inherent physical characteristic. Grab a shield from any source of loot and it will come with a certain chance of blocking incoming attacks. The item icons found on tooltips have also received an upgrade, being high-definition renders of the actual gear that your character equips.
Diablo 4 itemization also brings changes to item quality. Lead Game Designer Joe Shely admits that differentiating between items at a glance based on the color of their tier is helpful and saves time, but wants to avoid reaching "a place where the right decision is to ignore every item that doesn't have a glowing orange sky-beam."
To tackle this, affixes on Magic (blue) items will have their potential power increased. Items or Rare quality and higher can roll more affixes, while legendary affixes will now be randomized. The latter change came from the desire to retain the cool elements of Diablo III's Mythic items while avoiding "an item quality that invalidates all others."
To replace them, Uniques are now part of Diablo 4's itemization. These are handcrafted items "with completely fixed affixes, heavily thematic and usually class-specific powers, and distinctive looks."
The inclusion of customizable primary stats is not just a blast from the past that will be sure to please veterans, offering a higher level of control over your character's build. Although each class will have a stat it will greatly benefit from, you'll be able to fine-tune additional offensive and defensive bonuses.
Primary stats also play into Diablo 4's skill system. Investing a skill point in the ability you want to unlock is enough to gain its effects and have a new tool in your arsenal. But if you've also invested enough points in a certain stat, you'll get additional benefits.
You can check out the full quarterly update on Blizzard's website for all the juicy bits and some detailed screenshots. The developer will share more on Diablo 4 during BlizzConline which takes place early next year.
Diablo IV is currently in development for PC and consoles but does not have a release date.
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