How Diablo 4 Changes Itemization, Including The Removal Of Mythics
A blog post from Blizzard details numerous changes to the itemization in the upcoming Diablo 4, including massive changes to what each tier of items means.
Diablo 4 was announced back at BlizzCon 2019, but since then, details have been pretty thin on the ground for the hotly-anticipated sequel. While we're expected to learn more about the game at Blizzconline 2021 via a few in-depth panels, we have to settle for the few tidbits we know about the game so far until then.
Over the past few months, Blizzard has revealed bits and pieces of the game's design, and a blog post from the developer shows off some of the major changes to the game's itemization system, which is arguably the core of the Diablo experience. According to the post, perhaps the biggest change coming to the itemization system is the removal of Mythic tier loot. Instead, they'll be replaced with Uniques, items that always appear with the same "affixes," Diablo's term for the properties and bonuses found on items in the game.
In Diablo 4, Magic (blue) items will be able to have the most powerful regular affixes. Rare (yellow) items will be able to have up to five, while Legendary (orange) items will have four regular affixes and one "legendary" affix that is rolled at random. That legendary affix will be rolled at random, which is a major change for the series.
These changes are meant to ensure you don't always disregard non-Legendary loot, as lead game designer Joe Shely said, "[W]e don't want to end up in a place where the right decision is to ignore every item that doesn't have a glowing orange sky-beam." Mythic gear was removed in order to "[not have] an item quality that invalidates all others."
Other parts of the blog post touch on fan feedback to previous entries, particularly when it comes to the skill tree. Blizzard says that the ability to "respec" your skills is "tough to balance," but that players in Diablo 4 will have the option to respec their skills and passives for a fee. That fee will increase as you level.
Blizzard also says that the game's weapon types will matter quite a bit, with weapon speeds and "inherent characteristics" being introduced. For example, two-handed weapons deal more damage, whereas one-handed weapons can attack more quickly. The inherent characteristics will be consistent across all items of the same type and can't be changed, as they're meant to be physical attributes associated with that type of item. "You can really feel the differences between them," Shely said.
Another area that's touched on is where your character's power comes from. Rather than relying so heavily on items, you'll earn points as you level up to distribute between Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, and Willpower. While your class will likely dictate which of these you favor, you'll still have a degree of freedom to upgrade in the direction you want. And by reaching certain thresholds with these stats, you'll unlock bonus effects in your skill tree. For example, a Sorceress with 140 Willpower will activate an upgrade for the Ice Blades skill that causes it to deal extra damage to frozen enemies. Or for a Barbarian who hits 150 Dexterity, Whirlwind will grant you a movement speed bonus the longer it's used.
There's still no word on a release date for Diablo 4. For more, check out the details Blizzard shared on Diablo 4's revamped skill tree back in September.
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