Blizzard has revealed new information about Diablo Immortal, with gear remaining front and center for specializing and progressing your character, but now with a twist on the old formula. Gear rarity types will be familiar for veterans of the series, including normal, magic, rare, and legendary, with the last two types upgradeable via crafting materials.
Just like in Diablo 3, unwanted gear can be salvaged, providing crafting materials. In turn, this will be used to level up your best rare and legendary gear. Unlike Diablo 3, however, your gear will all be self-found, with no exceptions. This breaks from previous games in the series, and you will no longer be able to trade legendary gear between players.
Gear Rank Equals Power Progression
When characters of the same class are stripped of their gear, their stats should be identical. Even when the new system of Paragon levels is filled, providing a range of Permanent Attributes through the four available talent trees, the stats between these characters should remain the same. Power, then, comes completely from the gear your character wields.
When you find a piece of gear that can be ranked up, it will only have a base set of power. Every time a piece of gear gains a new rank, it gains more of the stats needed to rip through hordes of demonic forces. Although this is subject to change during the alpha, each rank upgrade is sure to help with primary attributes, critical hit chance and damage, and more. In addition, the gear will gain a random bonus property at certain ranks.
Like Diablo 3, Legendary Gems can also be ranked up and will be a major source of power for endgame content. These will provide a powerful boost to your character and will slot into legendary gear.
When an item has been fully ranked up, it may contain attributes that fit your playstyle perfectly, or not at all. Like Diablo 3, you will be able to use a special consumable material to Reforge a piece of gear, which can reroll item properties. You can also purchase Specialized Reforge Stones that will allow you to target the specific properties you most want on a piece of gear. It is not clear how easy this will be if you choose to engage with Diablo Immortal in its free-to-play model. Blizzard has said their game is free, but the wording here certainly points towards paying for Specialization gear rerolls as the optimal, most efficient way to make your character the best that they can be.
Not All Slots Get Legendary
Itemization in Diablo Immortal is taking a slightly different direction from all previous games in the series. For example, in Diablo 3 it is possible, and even necessary, to have legendary items in all gear slots to have a competitive endgame build. However, in Diablo Immortal, only Primary Gear slots will have the ability to be legendary, while Secondary appear to be rare quality at best.
This means that Legendary items will only be available for Primary Gear slots, which consist of Head, Legs, Torso, Weapon(s), Shoulder, and Off-hand items. Secondary Gear slots will only reach a rare item quality and will consist of Neck, Waist, Rings, Feet, and Hand items.
Innovated, But Not Unexpected
Although this new system of ranking up gear is interesting, it’s not totally unexpected. In Diablo 3, finding the perfect piece of legendary gear meant hours and hours of grinding to find the best set of rolled stats, and this was further exacerbated by the addition of Ancient and Primal gear. On a mobile platform, you are probably not as likely to grind in the same way for slightly better versions of a piece of legendary gear, so opting instead to have ranks makes more sense, and this should help provide a greater sense of player agency throughout the progression system, as well as cut down on the frustration of RNG.
On the other hand, it is worth repeating that until Blizzard reveals exactly how much it will cost to Reforge gear, we cannot know for certain if we are seeing an improved, player-friendly experience, or simply replacing RNG with the requirement of paying real-world money. For now, we can only wait and see, but this is a key point for you to keep an eye on once Diablo Immortal launches.
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