We recently looked at some of the concepts that will be present in Diablo IV and we would recommend you check this article out if you haven't done so already.
As mentioned already in Part I of this article, Itemization is a huge core part of any Action role playing game (RPG). Before we do anything else we want to explain what Itemization is.
Itemization is the process of creating items, applying modifiers to them in an appropriate manner, getting their damage ranges balanced, and so forth.
Blizzard would be the first to agree that adding depth and customization to your character through itemization is vital to Diablo III. In fact it has been the hottest item of feedback since the concept of Diablo IV was announced and has been cited by Blizzard as one of its top priorities.
Another important philosophy from the Diablo IV team is the idea of "Easy to learn, difficult to master." This core philosophy steered Blizzard fans to become the hardcore gamers they are today, the design team are keen to embrace throughout the Diablo IV development process.
Another important take out from Zlizzard's request for comments is the idea that Diablo IV shouldn't just mimic the itemization in Diablo III. Their declared aim is to take the best parts of previous versions and improve on them wbut at the same improving them and making Diablo IV unique. Blizzard says it doesn't want to create a verbatim copy of Diablo II Diablo III. That said, Blizzard does acknowledge differing viewpoints in the feedback it received on itemization in Diablo
Affixes superceded prefixes and suffixes that were previously known as Bonuses and Modifiers. Blizzard a great deal of conflicting feedback on affixes from the community, and clain to have spent hours of discussion on them. Blizzard conluded that first, item affixes should be a meaningful part of character power. Second, affixes must offer engaging options when ot comes to deciding which items to equip. Blizzard earlier objective was was to make each affix tailored towards specific builds, so that the "perfect item" would vary depending on the build you were pursuing.
What the key differences in Diablo IV?
These new stats can appear as affixes, such as +15 Angelic Power. In addition to providing the above-stated benefit, Blizzard wants these new stats to also act as pre-requisites for empowering other established affixes. This will mean that eveb if you do not have enough of a specific power, you can still equip the item, but you may not benefit from an affix linked to that power.
Blizzard cites a couple of work-in-progress examples to explain how affixes might work in Diablo IV but are at pains to point out these could change:
Each of the three Powers will have a list of affixes that are attuned to it, so depending on which stats you care about, you might want to focus on Angelic, Demonic, or Ancestral Power. In the examples above, 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.
Blizzard believes these changes will address those two main takeaways pretty well. Legendary powers should no longer completely dwarf the strength of your affixes, and the affixes themselves provide more interesting choices because their strength depends on how much of the relevant Powers you've accumulated on the rest of your gear. Blizzard feels that you might find an amulet with the perfect stats for your build, but some of its Affixes may require Demonic Power when you've previously focused on Ancestral. Maybe your current amulet is the primary source of your Ancestral Power, so equipping a new amulet would mean potentially making sacrifices elsewhere.
With this system, it will be easy to identify items with good stats, but it will take some thought and planning to decide whether the item is good for your build. The best items for your character will really depend on what you currently have and how you've built that character, making it more difficult to just look up the right answer online.
At the same time, Blizzard feels that this system keeps items approachable, even if you make suboptimal itemization decisions. You may be weaker, but doing so won't completely break your character. We can also introduce this mechanic gradually and naturally as you level, rather than making it a requirement to understand at the beginning.
Based on player feedback, Blizzard have changed Attack to only be found on weapons, Defense to being only on armor, and we've removed both Attack and Defense from jewelry entirely. The goal here is to better embrace the fantasy of each type of item.
Blizzard is hoping the Attack and Defense stats as a way to convey power progression on items. A core part of any ARPG is the quest for more power. Just as we have skill ranks, talent trees, character levels, and so forth, Attack and Defense allows players to reflect your power growth in items as well.
To be clear, Attack/Defense is not the end of the story of an item's power, but it does fulfill the "easy to learn, difficult to master” design philosophy by giving players a broad sense of whether the item is an upgrade. Players who are optimizing their character will still need to take the additional affixes on an item into account, as their benefit to your build can outweigh the raw Attack or Defense of an item. Solely picking your items based on Attack and Defense will almost never be the optimal way to play, but it does provide a good starting point for newer players.
It's important to reiterate here that items are just one part of a character's overall power. Our goal is to spread out power across different sources, including skill ranks, your character's level, talent trees, items, and the endgame character progression system (which, like everything else, is still in development).
In our last post, we mentioned that we were looking at some potential changes to Ancient items based on your feedback. 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.
This means a few things:
Blizzard wants gain to remind fans that none of these previews and concepts are final and they haven't even tried most of these ideas in a working build yet! They's love to get constructive feedback on these approaches, as well as the general direction they're headed for itemization and affixes in Diablo IV. David Kims says that they've never shared this level of detail this early before, but they are looking forward to reading what we have to say.
David Kim, Lead Developer at the Diablo IV design team has been discussing how he has been drawing from the Diablo player community when designing and developing Diablo IV. In a recent post, he discussing how the latest version is progressing.
Lee says he's still going through the feedback he's received on Itemization but he's been busy working out ways to add more depth and complexity to base items, including Rares) and methods to add more variation to item affixes to add a little more spice to these powers and make the choices more meaningful. At the same time the team has been looking at giving players more options on customizing items, so that we can enjoy trying out a wider range of effective Diablo opportunities rather than looking online for the optimal build.
In a Part I article, Lee promises to go into more detail regarding Itemization , but did update on other topics in the meantime.
Many people who saw the BlizzCon demo interface think that Diablo IV will lock skills to specific slots. Like a lot of features in the demo, the UI is not final and Lee promises to support Elective Mode-style skill selection. Lee promises that skill selection and assignment will always be completely open for all players.
Everyone at Blizzard is backing the community view that Ancients as they are now don't fit in with Diablo IV and need more work. Lee thinks that Blizzard could have communicated the new role of Ancient Items in Diablo IV better. He argues that he was only sharing first draft features, but is revisiting Diablo IV designs with player feedback in mind and is confident he will be able to share more details of Ancient Items in the next update.
Blizzard hasn't decided on a choice the option of character leveling and experience system and whether it should be finite or infinite, and are still reaching out for feedback. Lee acknowledged some concerns around "infinite being worse because it will eventually overshadow all the power granted by other sources". At the end of the day though, players can control for themselved how much power each system gives and whether it's infinite or finite.
Lee also points out that power increase doesn't need to be linear throughout the ranks as it can slow down as players reach higher levels. For the Diablo IV design team, the more important question is what experience feels best for players, and the team can test Endgame variatons and etsablish the power curve that makes the most sense.
We have a couple reasons for having a different experience system in addition to a level cap. A level cap gives us the ability to grant players a sense of completion. But for players who want to go deeper into the game, a second experience system allows us to capture the fun of achieving those really difficult endgame goals and ranks. We can also introduce additional depth through this system, because players will be more experienced with the game at this point. Ultimately, our goal is to create a meaningful system that provides clear choices depending on your preferred playstyle in the endgame.
After player feedback on player sources and the design team are reevaluating how much power comes from each source at any given time.
In a strong statement, Leee explained that in Diablo IV, power doesn't come mainly from items. The team wants to have a strong blend of power sources: characters naturally get stronger as they increase their levels, skills have ranks that increase power, talents provide specific playstyle choices and additional character power, and of course items grant power and meaningful choices as well.
Another to bear in mind is that Legendary powers are just one part of an item's power, and that they don't invalidate all other Affixes due to how powerful they are. For example, two to three normal Affixes are currently equivalent in power to a Legendary power on most items.
A key question that came up in player feedback was exactly how the new Keyed Dungeons in Diablo IV are different from Rifts. Keyed Dungeons will introduce greater challenges as their tiers increase through Dungeon Affixes. The majority of dungeons are real places in the world, and players will learn some information about them including what types of monsters, events, and layouts to expect. With this information, as well as the specific Dungeon Affixes being displayed on the key, players will be able to strategize their strategy before going into the dungeon. Blizzard believes this is the biggest change from Diablo III Rifts: the added planning and strategizing that takes place before you decide to run a Keyed Dungeon.
Blizzard have launched a patch update, Patch 2.6.7a. Here are the details.
Note: PLease note that the changes listed here apply to all versions of Diablo III, including PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC unless otherwise indicated.
Here are the the patch notes for the most recent update for Diablo III, Patch 2.6.7. Changes from the PTR have been highlighted in RED.
NB: These updates apply to all versions of Diablo III, including PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC except where indicated. Please note that PTR is only available for PC and Mac users.
Diablo 3 Season 19 is scheduled for release on November 22, simultaneously with the next Diablo III patch 2.6.7. Find out more about the brand-new Season of Eternal Conflict buff, two divinely inspired new class sets, and a number of old and new item reworks coming in Patch 2.6.7!
Season 19 is the Season of Eternal Conflict and with it come an awesome array of killstreak rewards! This Season is inspired by the war waged between the High Heavens and the Burning Hells, you'll earn increasingly powerful effects as you unleash destruction upon your enemies. So keep racking up those kills and clear the battlefields in the name of Sanctuary!
All Diablo players will benefit from the Pandemonium buff during Season 19. For each stack of this buff, you'll receive a small boost to movement speed and bonus damage, ultimately capping out at 50% movement speed and 100% damage at 1000 stacks. In addition, reaching certain killstreak goals will trigger a special effect and cause even more mayhem on the battlefield. Here's a list of the speciall effects you can achieve per number of kills:
|15 Kills:||Exploding Chickens seek and destroy|
|30 Kills:||A wide Frost Nova freezes enemies|
|50 Kills:||Corpses rain from the sky|
|100 Kills:||Five massive Energy Twisters are unleashed|
|150 Kills:||Dark Geysers form beneath enemies|
|200 Kills:||Treasure chests fall from the sky|
|300 Kills:||A ring of fire engulfs everything|
|400 Kills:||Meteors hail from above|
|500 Kills:||Angels descend upon the battlefield to fight for your cause|
In Season 19, we're taking action on the great feedback Blizzard received from the community about Season 18's Triune buff. With the killstreak mechanic, they will make sure the benefit is always traveling with you and something you won't have to constantly reposition for. There's still more room for exploration and innovation in the future, and in the meantime, you will be challenged to push these killstreaks to their limits and discover its ultimate reward! Blizzard are confident you'll find it devilishly delightful.
Beginning with Season 17, Blizzard started to re-introduce previous Seasonal rewards to make them available to players who may have missed them the first time around. For Season 19, this means awards originally available from Season 7 are returning to the Season Journey.
However, Blizzard knows it's nice to have something new to aim for if you've participated in previous Seasons. With this in mind, Blizzard is bringing back End of Journey rewards as introduced in Season 17, with not one, but two new cosmetic rewards for those who complete the entirety of the Season journey. Feast your eyes upon the Valor Portrait Frame and Angelic Treasure Goblin pet!
In addition to the Helm and Shoulders slots of the exclusive Conqueror Set, you'll be able to earn a series of portrait frames that embody the snowy, foreboding aura of the Eternal Woods. If you need a warm little pal to keep you cozy through your cold journeys, the Dream of Piers fiery nature should do the trick—when he's not instilling night terrors in the local fauna.
If you've been diligently slaying demons for the past few Seasons and reached Conqueror in the Season Journey each time, you've surely accrued a few extra stash tabs. You'll earn one additional tab each Season by finishing the Conqueror tier, up to a maximum of five:
Want to prepare your Conquest plan for Season 19? Here are the challenges you'll face!
Returning for Season 19 is Sprinter/Speed Racer, where you're challenged to complete the entire Diablo III campaign from Act I to Act V at level 70 in under 1 hour! Next is Avarice/Avaritia, where all that glitters is gold—that is, if you can complete a 50 million gold streak outside of The Vault or its Inner Sanctum. On a Good Day/I Can't Stop encourages you to upgrade your Legendary Gems; level three Legendary Gems to 65 to complete this challenge! Push your way to Greater Rift level 75 to complete Divinity/Lionhearted. Lastly, a fan-favorite for those who enjoy unconventional builds, The Thrill/Superhuman requires completion of a Greater Rift level 45—solo and without any Set items equipped.
Finally, the Class Sets rewarded for completing certain chapters in the Season Journey courtesy of Haedrig's Gift have rotated once more. We've listed the available Sets below. For those new to Seasons, here's how it works:
Completing Chapters 2, 3, and 4 of the Season Journey will reward you with three of Haedrig's Gifts. Each Gift contains a few pieces from one of your Class Sets. Players can only unlock one Class Set in this manner per Season across Hardcore and Non-Hardcore, so choose wisely!
The set you receive depends on the class of the character you're playing when you open each Haedrig's Gift. To collect a full Class Set, you'll need to open all three on the same character.
Here are the sets granted by Haedrig's Gift in Season 19:
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Q: When does Season 19 start?
A: Season 19 begins Friday, November 22 at 5:00 p.m. PST in North America, 5:00 p.m. CET in Europe, and 5:00 p.m. KST in Asia. For time zone conversions, see this site.
Q: When do Seasons go live for players on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch?
A: Seasons go live for all console players globally Friday, November 22 at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time, regardless of which regional version of the game you may have. Please note that Seasonal Leaderboards for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch are still separate by hardware platform.
Q: When will Season 19 end?
A: Blizzard are no longer providing anticipated end dates for Seasons. However, they say they are committed to keeping Seasons roughly three months in length (give or take a few weeks based on development needs) and will continue to provide a minimum of two weeks advance notice for when the Season will be ending.
Q: When are the non-Seasonal Leaderboards being wiped?
A: Non-Seasonal Leaderboards are tied to what Blizzard calls “Eras,” each of which lasts about 6–12 months. The most recent era began November 12. For more information on Eras, please see this post.
Q: What will happen to older Seasonal and Era records?
A: Starting with Season 10, Blizzard have removed old personal bests from Season 1. When Season 19 arrives, Blizzard will remove old personal bests from Season 10, and so on. They will be doing the same for personal bests from the previous Era when the next one goes live.
Seasonal Leaderboard records are not being cleared and will remain archived both in game and on Blizzard's website.
Themed Seasons are continuing to evolve as Blizzard looks to the future, and they are quite excited to see where this one leads. Are you looking forward to the Season of Eternal Conflict? Are you going to try one of the two new Class Sets? Gear up and get ready for Season 19; the Season of Eternal Conflict!
Note: In the coming weeks, comments on Diablo III blog entries will be disabled. This is part of Blizzard's website migration for GDPR compliance. Blizzard have said that they apologize for the inconvenience; check out the discussion over at Season 19.