Diablo 4 Will Strike Down Boring Builds Via Itemization

Diablo 4 will be tossing Ancient gear to the wind for additional affixes, new stats, and a new Legendary affix-granting consumable.

We've already heard quite a bit about the ways-off Diablo 4, though Blizzard keeps feeding information about the upcoming ARPG title.This time the information drop is on the series' official blog, and it lays out some exciting features for longtime Diablo fans.

Written by Blizzard's David Kim, the post highlights that they are hoping to take the best parts from Diablo 2 and Diablo 3, without directly copying either game, and implement them in Diablo 4.

Though the details are not concrete and are currently being tested, Kim outlines a few particular changes to Diablo 4 from its predecessors.

New and More Equipment Affixes

The first is that equipment will have more affixes across the board, starting from Magic (Blue) equipment, to give players more power and flexibility throughout a playthrough.

If you're an APRG player, you know how important affixes are to both gameplay variety as well as how powerful a character feels. Affixes adding additional effects to skills or providing entirely new ones are a well-known and critical portion to any game within the genre.

New Stats

Second are three stats brand new to the series. These stats will surely have noticeable impact on any playthrough. Presently, they are known as Angelic Power, Demonic Power, and Ancestral Power.

Angelic Power will affect the duration of your buffs and heals, Demonic Power will affect the duration of debuffs and damage over time on enemies, and Ancestral Power will increase the proc chance of on-hit effects.

The hope is to add additional flexibility using these stats as they can easily affect most builds. As it's laid out, Blizzard seems to be working them to be just as, if not more, impactful than standard stats. From Kim's post:

Each of the three Powers will have a list of affixes that are attuned to it, so depending on which stats you care about, you might want to focus on Angelic, Demonic, or Ancestral Power. In the examples above, you would need 50 Demonic Power to get an additional rank in the Devastation skill, 55 Demonic Power for 25% Fire Resistance, or 60 Demonic power for an additional 2 ranks in the Char to Ash skill.

If you wanted to build around Crushing Blow, you’d need to stack at least 55 Ancestral Power instead, while 40 Angelic Power would be required to gain 25% Cold Resistance.

We think these changes will address those two main takeaways pretty well. Legendary powers should no longer completely dwarf the strength of your affixes, and the affixes themselves provide more interesting choices because their strength depends on how much of the relevant Powers you’ve accumulated on the rest of your gear.

You might find an amulet with the perfect stats for your build, but some of its Affixes may require Demonic Power when you’ve previously focused on Ancestral. Maybe your current amulet is the primary source of your Ancestral Power, so equipping a new amulet would mean potentially making sacrifices elsewhere.

Removing Attack from Non-weapons

Further pushing the importance of the new affixes, Blizzard will be refraining from putting Attack on items that aren't weapons. In turn, armor will no longer have Attack on it; and accessories will be free of both stats.

Though some may take this as simplification, this is probably the best route if they're adding a new realm of softer stats to the title.

Kim stresses the benefits of the additional affixes should outweigh the previous benefit of attack and defense across most gear in that the new affixes have such an impact, that the additional Attack and Defense isn't necessary.

Replacing Ancient Legendary Equipment

To aid in endgame equipment flexibility, Blizzard will be removing Ancient Legendaries from Diablo 4 and instead replacing them with consumable items that allow you to place one Legendary affix on an non-Legendary item.

This is being done to remove the necessity of using Ancient Legendaries in endgame, which had admittedly gotten quite stale in Diablo 3. This allows players to actually make use of more equipment at endgame overall, rather than defaulting to wearing all maximum rarity gear because it's just that good.

These changes all sound like interesting shifts from the two previous titles in the series, and even from the rest of the genre. A lack of reliance on Legendary (or even above) equipment sounds too good to be true, and we've got a long time to see how it's going to turn out.

Diablo 4's release date is still unknown but it's been confirmed to not even be "Blizzard soon", which indicates it's likely at least two years away.

How do you feel about these changes proposed in David Kim's blog post? Let us know in the comments below, and keep an eye on GameSkinny for further Diablo 4 news.

Associate Editor

Ashley spends all her time playing games, cooking, and studying languages. It's a miracle she's not burned out on the whole thing after being a game addict since '89 (I'm old, deal with it). Classic annoying Sega kid, still hasn't let go of Sonic and prefers arcade-style games. Final Fantasy and SaGa rock whatever it is you like, chump.

Published Dec. 4th 2019

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