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Diablo 4 GamesRadar Hands On - Death Kits, Difficulty and More

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We have another hands on with Diablo 4 as GamesRadar not only tinkers with the demo, but also chats with the devs. The main focus of the article is the new engine, with the usual ground already covered about weather and day and night effects, but we do get to hear about the advanced systems of monster death animations, or "death kits", as they call them:

Quote

"What people did like about Diablo 3 , we've still got in here," senior producer Tiffany Wat says of the carnage. "There's hacking and slashing and blood flying everywhere – we've updated our engine so we've got layered animations and death kits which means that, depending on how you kill monsters, that's how their body falls apart." Delightful – for die-hard Diablo fans, at least. 

...

"If you decapitate enemies, heads fall off. If you're a Sorceress using a flame spell, you just roast all the meat off their bones. Or you can freeze them and see them shatter into a million pieces," Wat enthuses. 

Just how complex these death animations will be remains to be seen, as the above examples are pretty plain and pretty much already present in D3. Then it's on to the combat, and as we've seen from all the videos out there ourselves, it does indeed feel good, makes you feel powerful while also not being immortal and constantly in danger. The classes (Druid especially) and skills also get a mention, but there's nothing really new there. And finally, there's some bold statements about the open world:

Quote

"The implications of this big, social, connected open world... that's something you're going to understand more as you play," teases Adhan. "The tech that allows us to run a massive open seamless world, and what that allows us to achieve, is an order of magnitude greater than anything we've ever done in Diablo before."

The article doesn't really bring that much new to bear overall, but you should probably give it a read regardless, as it's always worth reading more about Diablo 4, since we have to pass the time until it releases somehow...
 

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    • By Starym
      We have a couple of videos showcasing the differences between what we've been shown from Diablo 4 so far with previous entries in the series, and while they're perhaps not quote top notch clips considering the resolution used etc, you get the idea from them well anyway. First off we have 4 vs. 3 vs. 2:
      This next one is a little better, as it compares actual gameplay, but it uses footage from the Diablo 3 beta, presumably since D4 is in a similar state, progress-wise.
       
       

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    • By Starym
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       Table of contents
      Itemization Skills Talents The Endgame World and Campaign Dungeons Classes Leveling PvP Mechanics Social Monsters Monetization Post-launch Content Platforms Progress Update Misc It's also very important to note that a lot of the things listed below are just the way things are now and the developers want as much feedback on them as possible so they can adjust them to better fit the community. But before we start, we can't waste an opportunity to re-post the impressive opening cinematic.

       Itemization
      Affixes (full list from the demo, including legendary ones) (Updated) There will be more affixes on each individual item, including magic items and rares (source) (Updated) 3 new affixes (source? Angelic Power, which increases the duration of all beneficial effects (like self-buffs or healing) Demonic Power, which increases the duration of all negative effects (like debuffs or damage over time) Ancestral Power, which increases the chance of on-hit effects (aka increased proc chance) The three Affixes above are also prerequisites for certain affixes, ie you'll need x Angelic/Demonic/Ancestral power for a specific affix on an item to "turn on":
      Each affix is linked to a set of other affixes so you'll be able to choose which type you want to unlock by focusing on either Angelic/Demonic/Ancestral power
        Only 2 base stats: Attack and Defense (instead of Str, Dex, Int Vit etc.) (Updated) Attack will only be on weapons, Defense on armor and neither will be on jewelry (source) + to skill and talent affixes will be very important Many returning and new ones Gold/item find and similar utility affixes won't compete with combat-affecting ones We might be able to customize affixes, they're not really sure how yet, presumably through crafting
        Legendaries (Updated) Ancient items have been removed (source) (Updated) There will be a special new item, similar to Ramaladni's Gift from D3 that will be able to imbue a rare quality item with a legendary power (source) This will make rares much more important in the endgame, as any of them can be turned into a legendary They are the focal point of gearing More legendaries than ever before (hundreds) Not going the huge 300-40,000% buff route 5 types of legendaries so far- skill specific, skill category specific, +x to multiple skills or talents, talent specific, non-class specific, You can stack several legendary powers that affect 1 skill They won't drop as much as in D3 Drop rates will not be modified as you get farther into endgame (possibly one drop rate while leveling and another at max, but that's it)
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        Mythic items are the best in the game You can only equip 1 They have 4 legendary affixes Unclear whether they have existing legendary powers or unique mythic only ones
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       Skills
      (Updated) We will get 1 OR MORE skill points per level Cannot be respecced Skill tomes will drop/"be acquired in the world" Skills have 15 ranks There are skill rank thresholds that will add new functionality or buff the skill in some way (adding unstoppable (immune to crowd control) to it, increasing shout radius etc.) There are 25-26 individual skills for each character Skills are split into 6 categories for each class Generally they are: Generators, Spenders, Defensive, class specific (Wrath for druid, Conjuration for sorc, Brawling for Barb), Mastery (which is Companion for druid) and Ultimate "Elective Mode" from D3 is on by default, aka you can bind any skill to any hotkey Back to top

       Talents
      A talent tree with either 2 or 3 branches Can be respecced for free or a low cost Each class has something special about it (sorc has 3 branches, druid can hop from one branch to another) Relatively small % buffs per point Can only pick one of two talents at the bottom of each tree Buffs to talent points from items will add to your progress in a particular branch and can go beyond the maximum ranks listed
      Back to top
       
       The Endgame
      Key dungeons are the primary endgame activity You will get random keys dropped in various activities The keys will be to a specific dungeon in the world Keys will upgrade the dungeon to a much harder endgame one, which will scale up even in the endgame Keys also have specific affixes that change how the dungeon works Affixes can affect the player, enemies or environment A giant indestructible stone pillar spawns, shooting lightning all around it, following the player throughout the dungeon All enemies are invisible unless they're in combat Double bosses in the dungeon They offer a better chance of setup than Greater Rifts, as you'll probably know what type of enemies are in the dungeon you got your key for, as well as the affixes on the key and how the dungeon will change Many keys will drop, you can dismantle them as well for crafting mats Back to top


       World and Campaign
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       Dungeons
      Hundreds of unique dungeons Always private for you and your party Randomized interior and exterior environments Seamless exploration - no loading screens between floors Actions in one part of the dungeon can affect another part Dungeon objectives Progressing the objective increases difficulty and rewards Enemy responds to your progress Back to top
       
       Classes (All 3 class skills and talents from the demo)
      There will be 5 classes at launch (Updated) Some credible leaks that had correctly predicted BlizzCon announcements also predict that the final 2 classes will be Amazon and Paladin, making it a full D2 cast (source) There will be a lot of character customization Gender, tattoos, hair color etc. Barbarian The Arsenal system allows them to wield 4 weapons Two 1 handers and two separate 2 handers You switch between them based on the skill you're using Druid Caster (human), werebear and werewolf forms Shapeshifting is seamless - you can transform mid-abilitiy Similar to barbarian arsenal system, you shapeshift when you use an ability from that form Specific mechanics tied to the moment you transform (damage reduction when you change to werebear etc.) Can pick talents from either of two branches as he moves down them Sorceress The main caster class 3 branches in talent tree based on elements All classes have a default dodge ability At the moment it has no cooldown and is spammble Back to top
       
       Leveling
      (Updated) The Paragon-like system might be infinite or finite, they haven't decided yet (source) Maximum level is 40 There will be level scaling They still want you to feel that you're getting more powerful as you level In a party, the game will scale to the party leader's level There will be something that fills the paragon level role, but they haven't decided on what exactly Back to top


       PvP
      Dedicated PvP zones, similar to the World Boss zones You have to opt in to PvP in those zones The game and classes were designed with PvP in mind from the ground up There won't be separate PvP balance for items and skills But they expect the builds to be very different from PvE Specific PvP modes are being explored, as well as PvPvE modes Back to top
       
       Mechanics
      No crowd control diminishing returns Makes the "unstoppable" buff very important, as it ignores CC Death penalty You have to corpse run and you drop a pile of gold you have to reclaim The stagger system for bosses Crowd control effects don't affect bosses directly but deal damage to their stagger bar. When it's depleted the boss goes into a unique state for each of them - the world boss Ashava has one of her blade arms destroyed and is less dangerous after that, and can lose both. Back to top
       
       Social
      Leaderboards Will go more in the direction of activity-specific ones, similar to the current Diablo 3 seasonal conquest leaderboards Will also focus more on leaderboards between friends and not more broad ones Group play vs. solo play should be completely balanced in terms of rewards If they can't quite achieve that balance, they will choose group play to be more rewarding Couch co-op on consoles (2 players only) Back to top
       
       Monsters
      New Enhancing affix Improves a skill a specific monster type has (skeletal ballista now fires 3 shots instead of one, Fallen shaman resurrects multiple allies etc.) Monster families have synergies They work together to provide a bigger challenge The Fallen The Drowned - undead from the oceans, created by maritime curses and similar Skeletons Back to top


       Monetization
      (Updated) There will be microtransactions (source) Base game + expansions There was a mention of cosmetics only in an interview but was not mentioned again when the question was asked elsewhere You will not be able to buy power Back to top
       
       Post-launch content
      Seasons Seasons might not require you to roll a new character They will shake up the meta and perhaps focus some less used builds or items New legendaries Back to top
       
       Platforms
      (Updated) Cross-play between platforms is one of the big goals for the game (source) PC, PS4, Xbox One and probably next gen consoles as well They're looking into cross-play Back to top
       
       Progress updates
      We will be getting quarterly progress updates starting in 2020 Back to top
       
       Misc
      There's an auto-walk toggle, so you just have to move your mouse and not click it for movement Contextual interaction with the world (you can climb or drop by clicking on a prompt in the environment) Animation-cancelling (you can instantly back out of a skill you're in the middle of) Controller support for PC The game is full 3d for the first time in the franchise (D3 had some 2.5d trees and other assets) Hardcore mode will return No offline mode
        Back to top
       Release date
      Not even "Blizzard soon"
        Back to top
      That's about every significant piece of info we gathered from all sources we could find. The story details and constant mentions of "darkness", "gothic" and "gritty" we decided to skip and focused on the game part. If you've run across anything we missed, do let us know in the comments!
       
       
       

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    • By Starym
      Update: The article has new additions from more recent posts noted as (Updated) and the entries with the updates have been moved to the top of their categories.

      With so many articles, panels, interviews and streams coming out of BlizzCon this year, a lot of people may have missed a lot of important details announced about Diablo 4, so we thought we'd gather it all up in one spot, before going into detail and analyzing each segment separately. We won't go into the smaller details and less useful info here, so we have a better overall overview, so if you really want to know every single detail, check out the list of articles at the bottom of the page.
       Table of contents
      Itemization Skills Talents The Endgame World and Campaign Dungeons Classes Leveling PvP Mechanics Social Monsters Monetization Post-launch Content Platforms Progress Update Misc It's also very important to note that a lot of the things listed below are just the way things are now and the developers want as much feedback on them as possible so they can adjust them to better fit the community. But before we start, we can't waste an opportunity to re-post the impressive opening cinematic.

       Itemization
      Affixes (full list from the demo, including legendary ones) (Updated) There will be more affixes on each individual item, including magic items and rares (source) (Updated) 3 new affixes (source😞 Angelic Power, which increases the duration of all beneficial effects (like self-buffs or healing) Demonic Power, which increases the duration of all negative effects (like debuffs or damage over time) Ancestral Power, which increases the chance of on-hit effects (aka increased proc chance) The three Affixes above are also prerequisites for certain affixes, ie you'll need x Angelic/Demonic/Ancestral power for a specific affix on an item to "turn on":
      Each affix is linked to a set of other affixes so you'll be able to choose which type you want to unlock by focusing on either Angelic/Demonic/Ancestral power
        Only 2 base stats: Attack and Defense (instead of Str, Dex, Int Vit etc.) (Updated) Attack will only be on weapons, Defense on armor and neither will be on jewelry (source) + to skill and talent affixes will be very important Many returning and new ones Gold/item find and similar utility affixes won't compete with combat-affecting ones We might be able to customize affixes, they're not really sure how yet, presumably through crafting
        Legendaries (Updated) Ancient items have been removed (source) (Updated) There will be a special new item, similar to Ramaladni's Gift from D3 that will be able to imbue a rare quality item with a legendary power (source) This will make rares much more important in the endgame, as any of them can be turned into a legendary They are the focal point of gearing More legendaries than ever before (hundreds) Not going the huge 300-40,000% buff route 5 types of legendaries so far- skill specific, skill category specific, +x to multiple skills or talents, talent specific, non-class specific, You can stack several legendary powers that affect 1 skill They won't drop as much as in D3 Drop rates will not be modified as you get farther into endgame (possibly one drop rate while leveling and another at max, but that's it)
        Sets Won't be as powerful as in D3 They will be more introductory items They will be more easily acquirable than a full suite of legendaries (perhaps given through a series of quests?) Heavily class themed, to get you a better feel for the class before you move on to specific builds through legendaries Can be ancient, as in D3
        Mythic items are the best in the game You can only equip 1 They have 4 legendary affixes Unclear whether they have existing legendary powers or unique mythic only ones
      Runewords Only 2 word combinations Condition and effect runes Conditions we saw: drinking a potion, stunning an enemy, critting, freezing an enemy, when a pet dies, if you stand still for 3 seconds, when you are stunned or frozen Effects we saw: 50% extra crit damage for 7 seconds, 15% reduced cooldown to random skill, random shrine effect for 7 seconds, next thorns hit deals 30% more damage, gain a 500 damage barrier Might have a progression system, probably similar to the one D3 had before release (you can see all the numbers in the rune UI are highlighted yellow, indicating they might change if the rune is leveled or upgraded or similar, just like it was in D3) Gems Only have utility stats (gold/item find and similar) Trading No Auction House The primary source of items should be killing monsters 3 types of items Tradable all the time (consumables, crafting mats), tradable once and then bound, and non tradable. The most powerful items will not be tradable If an item drops for you only you will see it If you drop an item only those in your party will see it Crafting Will mostly focus around item modification and enhancement A lot of the endgame will be item modification You can get more powerful versions of all items even when you're in the endgame (not quite sure what this means, possibly alluding to the ancient legendary system coming back - hopefully it isn't an item level type system) Gambling for gold is back You can get some of the most powerful items in the game through it Shoulder slot item is gone for now All the best items will be available to everyone, regardless if playing solo or group Transmogrification will probably return Back to top

       Skills
      (Updated) We will get 1 OR MORE skill points per level Cannot be respecced Skill tomes will drop/"be acquired in the world" Skills have 15 ranks There are skill rank thresholds that will add new functionality or buff the skill in some way (adding unstoppable (immune to crowd control) to it, increasing shout radius etc.) There are 25-26 individual skills for each character Skills are split into 6 categories for each class Generally they are: Generators, Spenders, Defensive, class specific (Wrath for druid, Conjuration for sorc, Brawling for Barb), Mastery (which is Companion for druid) and Ultimate "Elective Mode" from D3 is on by default, aka you can bind any skill to any hotkey Back to top

       Talents
      A talent tree with either 2 or 3 branches Can be respecced for free or a low cost Each class has something special about it (sorc has 3 branches, druid can hop from one branch to another) Relatively small % buffs per point Can only pick one of two talents at the bottom of each tree Buffs to talent points from items will add to your progress in a particular branch and can go beyond the maximum ranks listed
      Back to top
       
       The Endgame
      Key dungeons are the primary endgame activity You will get random keys dropped in various activities The keys will be to a specific dungeon in the world Keys will upgrade the dungeon to a much harder endgame one, which will scale up even in the endgame Keys also have specific affixes that change how the dungeon works Affixes can affect the player, enemies or environment A giant indestructible stone pillar spawns, shooting lightning all around it, following the player throughout the dungeon All enemies are invisible unless they're in combat Double bosses in the dungeon They offer a better chance of setup than Greater Rifts, as you'll probably know what type of enemies are in the dungeon you got your key for, as well as the affixes on the key and how the dungeon will change Many keys will drop, you can dismantle them as well for crafting mats Back to top


       World and Campaign
      Campaign (Updated) The story of Diablo 4 is just like "the first chapter in a book, meaning there are very big plans for the larger narrative after the game's story ends (source) (Updated) Rathma is in fact, the bald summoner of Lillith from the intro cinematic (source) Non-linear Each part of the world will become shared with other players after you finish a specific part of the campaign. So presumably when you finish act 1 which takes you beyond the Scosglen area, that's when Scosglen will become a shared world Open shared world The world is preset, will not be randomized You'll only run into a few players here and there in the overworld Most of the time you will be alone Towns will be trading hubs, you'll see more players there World boss areas will be where you'll see the most players 5 contiguous connected zones Scosglen (savage untamed foggy forests) Dry Steppes (war ravaged terrain, grasslands, canyons, salt flats) Fractured peaks (snowy mountainous region, dark ruins, ancient cathedrals, Victorian gothic horror themes) Hawezar (poisonous swamplands, disease, despair, swamp witches who worship massive snakes) Kehjistan (last bastion of Zakarum faith, a lot of buried history from the Sin War, Lilith's agents are among the people) Over 100 settlements of various sizes Mounts There will be mount equipment that grants stats as well as cosmetics Special dismount abilities for each class (Sorceress dismounts by turning into an ice ball and rolling off) Back to top


       Dungeons
      Hundreds of unique dungeons Always private for you and your party Randomized interior and exterior environments Seamless exploration - no loading screens between floors Actions in one part of the dungeon can affect another part Dungeon objectives Progressing the objective increases difficulty and rewards Enemy responds to your progress Back to top
       
       Classes (All 3 class skills and talents from the demo)
      There will be 5 classes at launch (Updated) Some credible leaks that had correctly predicted BlizzCon announcements also predict that the final 2 classes will be Amazon and Paladin, making it a full D2 cast (source) There will be a lot of character customization Gender, tattoos, hair color etc. Barbarian The Arsenal system allows them to wield 4 weapons Two 1 handers and two separate 2 handers You switch between them based on the skill you're using Druid Caster (human), werebear and werewolf forms Shapeshifting is seamless - you can transform mid-abilitiy Similar to barbarian arsenal system, you shapeshift when you use an ability from that form Specific mechanics tied to the moment you transform (damage reduction when you change to werebear etc.) Can pick talents from either of two branches as he moves down them Sorceress The main caster class 3 branches in talent tree based on elements All classes have a default dodge ability At the moment it has no cooldown and is spammble Back to top
       
       Leveling
      (Updated) The Paragon-like system might be infinite or finite, they haven't decided yet (source) Maximum level is 40 There will be level scaling They still want you to feel that you're getting more powerful as you level In a party, the game will scale to the party leader's level There will be something that fills the paragon level role, but they haven't decided on what exactly Back to top


       PvP
      Dedicated PvP zones, similar to the World Boss zones You have to opt in to PvP in those zones The game and classes were designed with PvP in mind from the ground up There won't be separate PvP balance for items and skills But they expect the builds to be very different from PvE Specific PvP modes are being explored, as well as PvPvE modes Back to top
       
       Mechanics
      No crowd control diminishing returns Makes the "unstoppable" buff very important, as it ignores CC Death penalty You have to corpse run and you drop a pile of gold you have to reclaim The stagger system for bosses Crowd control effects don't affect bosses directly but deal damage to their stagger bar. When it's depleted the boss goes into a unique state for each of them - the world boss Ashava has one of her blade arms destroyed and is less dangerous after that, and can lose both. Back to top
       
       Social
      Leaderboards Will go more in the direction of activity-specific ones, similar to the current Diablo 3 seasonal conquest leaderboards Will also focus more on leaderboards between friends and not more broad ones Group play vs. solo play should be completely balanced in terms of rewards If they can't quite achieve that balance, they will choose group play to be more rewarding Couch co-op on consoles (2 players only) Back to top
       
       Monsters
      New Enhancing affix Improves a skill a specific monster type has (skeletal ballista now fires 3 shots instead of one, Fallen shaman resurrects multiple allies etc.) Monster families have synergies They work together to provide a bigger challenge The Fallen The Drowned - undead from the oceans, created by maritime curses and similar Skeletons Back to top


       Monetization
      (Updated) There will be microtransactions (source) Base game + expansions There was a mention of cosmetics only in an interview but was not mentioned again when the question was asked elsewhere You will not be able to buy power Back to top
       
       Post-launch content
      Seasons Seasons might not require you to roll a new character They will shake up the meta and perhaps focus some less used builds or items New legendaries Back to top
       
       Platforms
      (Updated) Cross-play between platforms is one of the big goals for the game (source) PC, PS4, Xbox One and probably next gen consoles as well They're looking into cross-play Back to top
       
       Progress updates
      We will be getting quarterly progress updates starting in 2020 Back to top
       
       Misc
      There's an auto-walk toggle, so you just have to move your mouse and not click it for movement Contextual interaction with the world (you can climb or drop by clicking on a prompt in the environment) Animation-cancelling (you can instantly back out of a skill you're in the middle of) Controller support for PC The game is full 3d for the first time in the franchise (D3 had some 2.5d trees and other assets) Hardcore mode will return No offline mode
        Back to top
       Release date
      Not even "Blizzard soon"
        Back to top
      That's about every significant piece of info we gathered from all sources we could find. The story details and constant mentions of "darkness", "gothic" and "gritty" we decided to skip and focused on the game part. If you've run across anything we missed, do let us know in the comments!
       
       
       

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      Lilith's Summoner Is Rathma Confirmed
      Diablo 4 Will Be "Like the First Chapter of a Book", Diablo May Not Even Show Up
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      We've gathered up all the info from the panels, interviews and streams in one place.
    • By Starym
      Today's blog by David Kim, Lead Systems Designer, is focusing on itemization, probably the single most important aspect of an ARPG. First off, there's been a lot of mixed feedback on what players want, as you'd expect, and they're going to be doing something new, not just copying what came before in either D2 or D3.
      Then we're on to affixes and we found out that they're adding more slots to all items and introducing three new ones, that increase durations on buffs and debuffs, as well as on-hit proc chances. But the big news on affixes if that certain ones will have requirements, so you'll need 50 of the new Angelic Power stat to enable a +1 to a certain skill affix, which is pretty interesting.
      The controversial attack and defense affixes have also been changed, so attack is only on weapons and defense only on armor, with neither on jewelry. 
      And the big one, Ancients will be removed from the game entirely and we'll be getting a Ramaladni's gift style item that can add a legendary power to a rare item!
      System Design (source)
      In Part I, we addressed many of the open questions from the community about the Diablo IV game designs we revealed at BlizzCon. I recommend checking that out if you haven’t already.
      Itemization is a huge core part of any Action RPG. We’re focusing specifically on itemization in this blog because it’s a complex and nuanced topic. Let’s start with two key principles that guide us as the Diablo IV development team.
      First, we agree that adding depth and customization to your character through itemization is incredibly valuable and important to the game. This has been the most-discussed topic since we revealed Diablo IV. To be clear—we believe Diablo IV itemization should be deep and rewarding and that’s one of our highest priorities. Another important philosophy across the whole game for our team is the concept “Easy to learn, difficult to master.” This core philosophy helped many of us become the hardcore gamers we are today, and one we want to embrace throughout the Diablo IV development process.
      Second, we agree with the feedback that Diablo IV shouldn’t just mimic the itemization in our previous Diablo games. Our plan is to take the best parts of previous games and improve upon them while introducing new elements to make Diablo IV unique. We don’t want to create an exact copy of Diablo II or Diablo III. It’s worth calling out that, on this subject, there was a lot of mixed feedback and differing opinions, and we acknowledge that means there’s no single approach that everyone in the community will agree on.
      That said, thanks to your feedback, we have some potential changes we’re actively discussing internally regarding itemization that we’d like to share with you today. Again, we feel it’s important to stress that this is very early design, and we’re sharing this with the community far sooner than we ever have before. There will be problems with these ideas we’ll have to iterate through, and what’s presented below is almost certainly not final. The reason we’re sharing this so early is because we want to involve the community in our process and learn as much as we can from your feedback, as soon as possible.
      Let’s get to it!
      Affixes in Diablo IV
      We went through so much great community discussion, including a fair amount of conflicting feedback, and we’ve had dozens of hours of discussion on this topic. We were left with two major takeaways. First, item affixes should be a meaningful part of character power. Second, they should create interesting choices when deciding which items to equip. Our previous focus was on making each affix geared toward specific builds, so that the “perfect item” would vary depending on the build you were pursuing. We still like this overall direction, but we understand it can also feel like your choices are limited because you end up chasing a list of “best-in-slot” items.
      Here are the changes we’re considering:
      We’re increasing the total number of affixes on items, including Magic (Blue), Rare (Yellow), and Legendary (Orange). This should raise the overall importance of non-Legendary affixes on your character’s overall level of power. We are also introducing three new stats: Angelic Power, which increases the duration of all beneficial effects (like self-buffs or healing) Demonic Power, which increases the duration of all negative effects (like debuffs or damage over time) Ancestral Power, which increases the chance of on-hit effects (aka increased proc chance) These new stats can appear as affixes, such as +15 Angelic Power. In addition to providing the above-stated benefit, we want these new stats to also act as pre-requisites for empowering certain other affixes. If you don’t have enough of a specific power, you can still equip the item, but you may not benefit from an affix linked to that power.
      Here are a couple of work-in-progress examples to better illustrate what these affixes do (again, none of this is final and could change considerably):


      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.
      With this system, it will be easy to identify items with good stats, but it will take some thought and planning to decide whether the item is good for your build. The best items for your character will really depend on what you currently have and how you’ve built that character, making it more difficult to just look up the right answer online.
      At the same time, we think this system keeps items approachable, even if you make suboptimal itemization decisions. You may be weaker, but doing so won’t completely break your character. We can also introduce this mechanic gradually and naturally as you level, rather than making it a requirement to understand at the beginning.
      Attack/Defense Changes
      Based on your feedback, we’ve changed Attack to only be found on weapons, Defense to being only on armor, and we’ve removed both Attack and Defense from jewelry entirely. The goal here is to better embrace the fantasy of each type of item.
      We like the Attack and Defense stats as a way to convey power progression on items. A core part of any ARPG is the quest for more power. Just as we have skill ranks, talent trees, character levels, and so forth, Attack and Defense allows us to reflect your power growth in items as well.
      To be clear, Attack/Defense is not the end of the story of an item’s power, but it does fulfill the “easy to learn, difficult to master” design philosophy by giving players a broad sense of whether the item is an upgrade. Players who are optimizing their character will still need to take the additional affixes on an item into account, as their benefit to your build can outweigh the raw Attack or Defense of an item. Solely picking your items based on Attack and Defense will almost never be the optimal way to play, but it does provide a good starting point for newer players.
      It’s important to reiterate here that items are just one part of a character’s overall power. Our goal is to spread out power across different sources, including skill ranks, your character’s level, talent trees, items, and the endgame character progression system (which, like everything else, is still in development).
      Ancient Legendary Replacement
      In our last post, we mentioned that we were looking at some potential changes to Ancient items based on your feedback. We are going to remove Ancient Legendaries from the game in their current form entirely.
      Our newest proposal hits a couple different feedback points: addressing the usefulness of Rare (Yellow) items as well as increasing the depth and complexity of player gear choices in the endgame.
      We will be introducing a new type of consumable item (which we haven’t yet named). This item would be earned by killing monsters, just like other items. It would have one random Legendary affix on it, drops only in the late endgame, and can be used to apply that affix to any non-Legendary item.
      This means a few things:
      We create an “elective mode for items” that is experienced after players have had time to experience Rare and Legendary items normally, as well as familiarized themselves with a variety of affixes This adds a way to introduce new methods of play without adding even more power to endgame items Rare items with the best affixes on them are always useful and retain value  
      More Feedback
      We want to remind you one last time for good measure that none of this is final—we haven’t even tried most of this in a working build yet! We’d love to get some constructive feedback on these approaches, as well as the general direction we’re headed for itemization. We’ve never shared this level of detail this early before, but we look forward to reading what you have to say.
      Thanks,
      David Kim
      Lead Systems Designer
      David Kim talks itemization - affixes, ancients and an item that imbued rares with legenday powers.
       
       

      Related Diablo 4 Articles:
      Lilith's Summoner Is Rathma Confirmed
      Diablo 4 Will Be "Like the First Chapter of a Book", Diablo May Not Even Show Up
      Inside the Open World of Diablo 4 with the Devs
      System Design in Diablo 4, Part 1 (Official)
      A Letter from the Diablo 4 Game Director
      Leaks Before the Diablo 4 Announcement: Amazon, Paladin and Release Date?
      New Gameplay Videos Without Commentary
      Diablo 4 Will Feature Cosmetic Microtransactions
      Cross-Play Is a Goal for Diablo 4, Blizzard "Very Excited" About It
      Everything We Know About Diablo 4 So Far
      Visible Open World Players, Skill Cap at 15 and More from Venture Beat Diablo 4 Interview
      All the Item Affixes from the Diablo 4 BlizzCon Demo
      All Barbarian, Sorceress and Druid Skills and Talents
      All 4 BlizzCon Day 1 Major Stream VoDs
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