As in his last post on voting mode, the Diablo 4 development team revealed possible changes in the way the series deals with elements. A new blog post by lead system designer David Kim focuses on article affixes, statistics and the removal of the super-powerful Ancient Legendaries.
Blizzard adds 4 new attachments to objects in Diablo. These attachments enhance your existing abilities or increase your damage resistance to a specific item. However, you will need to reach certain thresholds of three new stats to enable these affixes: Ancestral, Angelic, and Demonic Power.
Each of these new stats focuses on a different kind of buff on the game. Ancestral Power increases the chance of hit effects (also known as Proc Chance), Angelic Power increases the duration of useful effects such as buffs or healing, and Demonic Power increases the duration of negative effects such as debuffs or damage over time. Without reaching a specific threshold for each of these statistics, certain article affixes are not activated.
The new Affix system in actionBlizzard Entertainment
For example, Blizzard showed an amulet called “Fiery Charm of Malice.” It has a 15% critical strike chance and three attachments. There is a 10% chance of landing a devastating blow that is only active when the carrier has at least 55 Ancestral Power. The other attachments are not active in the tooltip of the example because the carrier does not have the required 55 or 60 demon force.
The goal of this big change is to give players more freedom in designing their characters. A new item is not just a stat stick that can help you increase your strength. Instead, each new article offers you a choice. If you upgrade for statistics, you may lose some demon power and an addition that really makes your build sing.
This is another important change for the franchise. Attack and Defense statistics now apply only to related items. If you want to increase your attack, you must exchange your weapons. If you want to strengthen your defense, you need to find better armor.
This eliminates Diablo 3’s frustration of finding a great new sword that makes it far too easy to kill your hero. However, the Blizzard paper clearly states that selecting items based on statistics is not the optimal way to play. However, it is still a good choice for players who do not want to mess around with all stats and attachments.
The studio also explains that items are only part of the puzzle for Diablo heroes. If you really want to increase your power, you need to improve your skills, character levels, talent trees, the progress system for the final, and the items you wear. Energy comes from everywhere in Diablo 4, an essential difference to Diablo 3.
Finally, the studio revealed that it removes Ancient Legendaries from the game. Older were very rare, very powerful versions of legendary objects. Instead, there is a new, as yet unnamed consumable, with which you can customize later builds. This new item is removed by destroyed enemies with a random Legendary Power. Players can then attach the legendary power to any non-legendary item.
The goal here is to create more unique builds for players. According to Blizzard, the best rare items in the final game are still useful. It seems that with this new system, players can create even more powerful items than simple legends, but with more choices than the previous Ancient system.
In the post, Blizzard clearly states that all these changes are very early and may not even make it into the final game. The studio is still looking for feedback on these changes and will keep players up to date on other development features in the near future.