In a new detailed post
, Lead Systems Designer on Diablo IV
David Kim has outlined the current direction and philosophy behind itemisation in the game. Covering Legendary Items, affixes, and how Rare items will still be powerful. It's a fascinating and exciting insight into the action-RPG's development.
As per the headline, Ancient Legendary Items ala Diablo III have been removed in favour of a more nuanced and in-depth approach to growing in power. In its place a new system where you'll be able to augment non-Legendary Items with affixes.
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.
It sounds very cool, and follows the design philosophy of Diablo IV and Blizzard games as a whole - which is "easy to learn, difficult to master". A sentiment that applies to the new system of Power in the form of Item Stats - Angelic Power, Demonic Power, and Ancestral Power.
Angelic Power, increases the duration of all beneficial effects (like self-buffs or healing).
Demonic Power, increases the duration of all negative effects (like debuffs or damage over time)
Ancestral Power, increases the chance of on-hit effects (aka increased proc chance)
This means all items could roll with a stat like +15 Angelic Power, adding to the usefulness of non-Legendary Items and build potential where your total Angelic Power might be more useful than a single Legendary Item. Also, having three categories adds considerable depth.
Blizzard offers the following example where items can offer bonuses based on these stats - using these item placeholders.
[For example], 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.
This all ties into Diablo IV not being a rehash or extension of any one past-Diablo game, as David Kim points out.
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.
Be sure to check out the full post
for more info. Blizzard notes that this new approach is still very new, and this level of transparency will continue as Diablo IV development progresses. For more on the game be sure to check out our most recent interview
with Game Director Luis Barriga.