In the second part of his blog posts detailing system design and itemization in Diablo IV, Lead Systems Designer David Kim discussed some of the changes coming to affixes in the game, and how the team plans to replace ancient legendary items.
Before delving into the details, Kim reminded fans that Diablo IV is still in very early development, so everything is still subject to change. However, the team is listening with great care to player feedback, and agrees with fans that itemization in Diablo IV shouldn’t merely mimic the itemization in previous Diablo games. Saying the team plans to “take the best parts of previous games and improve upon them while introducing new elements to make Diablo IV unique,” Kim went on to acknowledge that there was a lot of mixed feedback and differing opinions from fans, and the team acknowledges that means there is no single approach that everyone in the community will agree on.
In regards to item affixes in D4, Kim’s post stated that after considering player feedback and community discussion, the team was left with two major takeaways. “First,” Kim said, “item affixes should be a meaningful part of character power. Second, they should create interesting choices when deciding which items to equip.” While the original intention was to focus on making each affix geared toward specific builds, they felt this limited player choice, as fans end up chasing a list of best-in-slot items under this type of system.
To alleviate this issue, the team is increasing the total number of affixes on items from what was available in Diablo III. The intention is to raise the overall importance of non-legendary affixes on a character’s overall level of power. In addition, three new stats in D4 can appear as item affixes: Angelic Power, Demonic Power, and Ancestral Power. Angelic Power increases the duration of beneficial effects, Demonic Power increases the duration of player-applied negative effects, and Ancestral Power increases the chance of on-hit effects proccing in combat. Not only will these stats appear as affixes and provide their benefits, but they will also act as pre-requisites for empowering certain other affixes.
As for Ancient Legendary items, Kim stated that the team is removing Ancient Legendaries from the game entirely. “We will be introducing a new type of consumable item,” Kim said. “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.”
In this way, the D4 team hopes to create an “elective mode for items” to introduce new methods of play without adding even more power to endgame items—and while keeping rare items with the best affixes useful.
Interested readers can check out Kim’s post in its entirety here.
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