Diablo 4 Itemization: Item Rarity, Types, Affixes, Slots, Sets, Trading, Loot System & More Updates

3/9/2023 7:01:41 PM

In this guide, we're going to discuss how Diablo 4's approach to itemization is in many ways revolutionary but also sticks to the tried and true systems we love from past Diablo games. 

Diablo 4 Itemization Updates - Everything You Should Know About D4 Euipqment System

Now let's break down the Diablo IV Itemization update, covering the item rarity, types, affixes, slots, trading, loot system, and everything you should know!

1 - Items Looks Different Based on the Zone You Find Them

After all Diablo 2 is the game that set the standard for so many games that came after it many proclaiming it had near-perfect itemization and to this day many games still look to Diablo 2's itemization for inspiration. Now when it comes to Diablo 4, one of the most Innovative new features is the appearance of weapons and equipment will be based on the region they are found in. Items will actually look different based on zone, so a chest armor found in Skazglin might have a more druidic look than a chest armor found in Kazistan which has a more arid environment and therefore you might find the chest armor with more of a baggy cloth look to it.

Now, this is something completely new to Arpgs or any game as far as we know, and really helps with immersion since you would think you would find items that look like they're from the zone you're in. Now we are really excited to see if the same exact item dropping in two different zones looks different depending on the zone you found it in right and, that would mean that the artists are designing multiple appearances for the exact same item or on the flip side if it's just certain Zone themed items only drop in their zones and nowhere else. 

2 - Item Tooltips Automatically Adjust Themselves when Calculating Lucky Hit Chance

Either way however they end up doing a very cool immersive design that's different than what we've seen in the past, now we've seen a few item tooltips and they're looking pretty great, but what we haven't seen live yet is that item tooltips are actually going to automatically adjust themselves when calculating lucky hit chance depending on what skill is equipped. Now the reason for this is that different skills have different proc coefficients and so by changing your skills while hovering over an item you can see in real-time how that changes your proc coefficient now. This is a great change, we believe that will really help players better understand their proc chances based on the current skill equipped and really help players optimize their build by letting them switch through their skills and realize oh this is probably the best skill to use with this lucky hit for example.

3 -  Classes Can Equip More Than 10 Items

Now usually all characters in a Diablo game would typically equip a total of around 10 items but in Diablo 4 Barbarians are able to equip a total of 12 because of the Arsenal system which lets Barbarians use different weapons for different skills, and Rogues who can equip a total of 11 items because they can equip an additional ranged weapon, this is a very cool innovation for Diablo 4.  We are actually interested to see how they end up balancing it because an extra item slot in a game like Diablo could really tip the scales, especially a weapon in the Barbarian's case, or both of them have weapons right, this makes Barbarians and Rogues more hungry for loot which means players might find it harder to find exactly what they're looking for because of the changes coming to trade. 

4 - Bind on Pickup Items

Now back in Diablo 2 Trading was a great way to collect all of your best items you might find the best weapon for Necromancer but you're not a Necromancer and so you want to trade it for one of your best items or maybe you'll just make a necromancer later because you found that item that's the way you could do it too. But for the purpose of this example, let's say you want to trade the item right. In Diablo 4, trading is going to be somewhat restricted, certain items will be bound to your character in untradable the moment you pick them up meaning they are bound to your character and cannot be traded, this is called bind on pickup and this is a system in World of Warcraft preventing certain powerful items from being traded. Developers have stated the main source for items should be from killing monsters which we tend to agree with, we are hopeful though that there will be a way to exchange items and equipment of value with other players in some form and we think there will be since the Diablo Community is so creative.

5 - Specific Affixes On Different Gear

Moving on to what items actually do in Diablo 4. Affixes have always been exciting in a core part of Diablo, now one affix in particular from Diablo 2 that was not in Diablo 3 is finally returning to the Diablo universe and that is the plus skill rank affix. Like in Diablo 2, different skills roll on specific item slots, so, for example, some items only appear on certain weapons like in Diablo 2 Wolf's Head Helms had Druid skills, and Staves had sorceress skills. What we are actually interested to see here is if we can get other classes' skills so for example in Diablo 2 Act 3, you could buy a staff of teleport, it just enabled you to get around so much easier right you ran into a dead end well now you can teleport and get right back on your way, but teleport was a sorceress skill and so being able to have that as a class other than sorceress was really cool, so we hope that's something that can happen again in Diablo 4 with these plus skill rank affixes which are coming back.

6 - Diablo 4 Item Rarity (Tier List)

Moving on to item qualities which Diablo 2 established years and years ago and is still used in so many modern games including Diablo 4. Item qualities include Normal, Magic, Rare, Legendary Set, and Unique. Normal items will have no affixes, Magic items will have affixes such as plus 7% resource regeneration, Rare items will have affixes that are usually better than Magic items and can also have Legendary affixes, and Legendary items modify skills like in Diablo 3. But unlike Diablo 3 Blizzard has emphasized that Legendary items are not going to rain from the sky meaning they're going to be much rarer even though there will be hundreds of legendary items in the game now. This is awesome because being able to spend years and years playing Diablo 4 and still not find like certain items is what some players are looking forward to, so we hope they put a ton of items that are rare in the game and it just takes a long time to eventually see them things going to be a really fun way to explore Diablo 4 and make finding legendaries so much more meaningful. 

Now legendaries will fall into a couple of different categories, like Generic which any class can find useful, something like enemies hit by your basic skills increases the damage of your next core skill by 20%, or they'll be skill specific which only a certain class like sorceress could find useful something like each time chain lightning bounces gain six Mana. Set items aren't going to be in the game at launch but will be added post-launch, and will be less powerful or equal in power to legendary items and are really just meant to allow players to live out certain class fantasies or act as an introduction to the class not so much as an end game best in slot item. Like they are in Diablo 3 where every season has you going straight for your class set which sort of destroyed the player's opportunity for any sort of equipment creativity. The last type of item quality is uniques, these are items that you design your build around that have fixed affixes and are heavily tied to class-specific powers and themes very excited to see what some of those are. 

7 - New Inventory with 4 Types of Tab

We are also really excited to see that the item qualities appear to be a mixture of Diablo 2 and Diablo 3. Diablo 3 legendaries were actually a lot of fun too in the way that they could augment your character and sort of inspire you to play in a certain way and we've seen the new inventory. It's organized into four different tabs: Equipment, Consumables, Quest items, and Aspects. This could be helpful to stay organized but it also hints at the possibility that we may be looting a lot of quest items and holding on to a lot of consumables in Diablo 4. After all if we have an entire tab for that which is the same size as the equipment tab, then there should be the same amount of consumables as equipment theoretically and Quest items. 

8 - The Strength of Your Character Build is Not Coming Mostly From Items

One of the biggest surprises to us is that Diablo 4 developers have actually stated that the strength of your character, is not going to come mostly from items and we think this is an important point Blizzard developers have stated their goal is for your power to come from a mixture of sources like skill upgrades and game systems like the Paragon board leveling and then finally items as well. Now this is pretty surprising because items are so central to almost all Blizzard RPGs and most RPGs in general hunting for loot is just a core part of these games, and if items are only a part of that we are wondering what the other parts are that could possibly compete for your attention in the end game because you're constantly always seeking loot. We are interested to see how they end up pulling this off in the end.

9 - Mounts as the New Companion Instead of Merc

Another big part of Diablo 4 is actually going to be your mount finding. New and rare mounts beyond just horses are actually going to be part of the Diablo 4 experience, so we can only imagine whether are we going to be riding demons. And what's interesting about mounts is that mounts themselves can even equip items that grant stats and change their appearance or can make them even move faster. Moving faster is great but it does sound like they're going to be a pretty big part of the game and it could be sort of like your companion in a way since there are not going to be mercenaries or companions like there were in Diablo 3 and 2, so perhaps mounts is sort of taking that place. How mounts are going to affect PVP? Is it going to be sort of whoever gets their dismount attack off first is going to get a big advantage or how soon after taking damage can you mount up again in PvP? Hopefully, Blizzard finds a good way to balance mounts and make it a fun system that works.

10 - Higher Drop Rate for Certain Items

Another big innovation in Diablo 4 is that creature types have an increased chance of dropping certain items, so, for example, bandits, they're going to have an increased chance to drop maces crossbows, and boots, drowned which sort of an undead creature that came out of the ocean is going to have an increased chance to drop pants, other monster families like the skeleton, fallen and others will have their own increased drop chances which haven't been revealed yet. We think this is an interesting change, if you're looking for a specific piece of gear, you're going to go skeletons drop gloves. 

11 - Weapons with Inherent Characteristics

When it comes to weapons what we find interesting coming in Diablo 4 is that each weapon type is going to have inherent characteristics which can't be modified, so for example bows are going to do plus X percent damage to distant enemies, staves are going to do plus X percent damage to crowd controlled enemies. It's going to sound like this really has the potential to control how you play the game. For example, if you're using a bow, you would almost want to be shooting at enemies that aren't even on your screen anymore right like an entire screen away to maximize your damage bonus by using a bow, or if you are wielding a staff you're going to want to choose all crowd controlling skills to ensure you're always getting that plus damage. So it's going to depend on how much plus damage actually it ends up being to determine if players actually completely change their play style depending on what weapon they're using. But it also does feed in sort of the realism the fantasy of the immersion of using your weapon properly right, if you're using a bow you probably shouldn't be in melee range and so this sort of encourages players to use their weapons in a way that is logical.

12 - Specific Items with Slots from Dungeons

Another new feature coming to Diablo is dungeons, you can actually farm specific items - slots of gear so for example gloves. We imagine when you mouse over a dungeon entrance, you might get information on it sort of like a tooltip on what specific item slot is going to drop off the boss or the monsters in the dungeon, so you can decide accordingly if the dungeon you want to do. This is a good idea but we are wondering how it will be implemented, it could be nice to know exactly what item slot drops and then seek it out but, it also kind of takes away from the randomness and the surprise of finding an item you didn't even know about, of course over time everyone sort of learns where to farm certain items so it might not be a bad idea to just show that in the game so that you don't have to sort of look it up online or something like that.

13 - Primary Stat Effects

Another new change coming in Diablo 4 is that Primary Stat main effects will be different depending on the class, so for example strength is going to increase Barbarian skill damage but it's going to have actually no effect on Sorceress. Each stat also has a secondary bonus which is going to actually be the same for all classes, so sticking with the Strength, for example, one strength will increase armor by one regardless of your class. So this system makes sense and it allows for more deliberate choices to be made based on your stats. Diablo 4 is almost trying to be a little bit more realistic like how weapons work and things like that.

14 - Armor will Absorb Elemental Damage Taken

In more recent news, one of the most massive changes coming to Diablo 4 that we just learned about in the Developer live stream at the end of February is that armor will also Absorb Elemental damage taken which was only possible through resistances in past Diablo games. Armor will provide 50% of its reduction to Elemental damage as well as its regular reduction to physical damage, so a max-level character can get about 40% damage reduction to physical damage through armor and therefore a 20% reduction to Elemental damage through armor as well. It helps newer players to not die instantly to cold damage when they have zero resistance to it, but also that was sort of the fun of realizing that you need to go find equipment with cold resist, so this change feels a little bit catered more towards a casual player base, but again we'll have to see how powerful armor is in the end for defending against Elemental damage

15 - Upgrading Item Power in Gear

The amount of defense items will provide is determined by a new system called item power which will be shown on an item's tooltip, so you can kind of figure out how much armor each of your items is giving you, monsters are also going to have armor and that's going to scale with their level giving them that physical and Elemental damage reduction. 

16 - Personal Loot System

A lot of players will be excited to hear that Diablo 4 will use the personal loot system, loot is generated separately per player so there's no stress when a world boss dies to be in melee range and just click as fast as you can to grab whatever dropped, loot that you see drop will be yours every single time.

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