Major changes are on the way to Diablo 4‘s loot and crafting systems, and players will have a chance to try them out in the public test realm prior to them going live in Season 4. The changes are foundational and expansive enough that the developers have pushed the start date of the next season back several weeks, and it will now begin May 14.

During a Campfire Chat livestream, several of Diablo 4‘s principal developers talked about the systems-level changes they plan on rolling out in the RPG game when the new season begins. These include huge changes to the amount and quality of loot players find, the number and type of affixes gear can have, and new ways to improve gear that will be replacing some of the existing upgrade systems.

The changes discussed will be available for players to try out in the PTR, which will be available from April 2-9. You’ll have to download a new Diablo client and will be starting with a fresh character if you want to join in, but you’ll have the option to instantly boost PTR characters to level 100, with 100 million gold, 1,000 obols, the campaign marked as complete, a complete set of rare gear, and more. The idea here is that many of the proposed changes have to do with Diablo 4’s endgame, and they want as much feedback on that side of the experience as possible.

For items, the developers say the new focus is on quality over quantity. At a basic level, they’ve reworked the pool of potential affixes to make them more relevant and potent so each piece of gear works with a variety of builds, rather than the hyper-specific and conditional affixes you tend to find in the current build of Diablo 4.

They are also taking steps to make sure the gear you find is more likely to be relevant to your character. You’ll only get Sacred-tier items in world tier three, and only ancestral items will drop in world tier four, for example. Legendary items dropped by monsters at level 95 and above will always be at the max item power of 925.

There are new upgrade systems as well. Tempering will allow players to attach new affixes to their gear, although each item can only be tempered a number of times limited by its rarity tier. Once you’ve found the perfect set of affixes for an item, you’ll be able to begin the masterworking process, which (generally) will allow an item to be upgraded through 12 steps that each increase the value of all the item’s affixes.

Another nice touch: The gold cost for rerolling items is being capped. It can still get pretty expensive, the developers say, but it won’t be a number that just continues getting higher infinitely.

The Codex of Power will work differently too when the update arrives. You’ll be able to imprint the most powerful version of an aspect into your codex whenever you find a new piece of gear with the better version of the aspect by salvaging that gear, and from then on, you’ll be able to use that more powerful version whenever you use the aspect.

Big changes are coming to classes, too – the developers say they hope to make classes more open and adaptable, as well as address some major pain points. The sorcerer’s Frozen Orb core skill, for example, will no longer have a set range but will instead detonate wherever the player places their cursor.

YouTube Thumbnail

Hardcore players, heads up: Elixir of Death Evasion is going away, and the Flame Shield enchantment is getting changed so that it’s a less reliable way of avoiding fatal damage – now it’ll activate when you’ve cumulatively lost 100% of your maximum life, and can only trigger once every 30 seconds.

Another major new feature is The Pit, which is a bit like the Greater Rifts you may remember from Diablo 3. It’s an end-game mode in which you’ll teleport to a randomly generated layout full of monsters that start at level 100, and then fight your way through to try to defeat the Pit Guardian before time runs out. Players who can manage it will earn unique mastery rewards and materials, but you’ll still be able to keep playing (for reduced rewards) even if the timer runs out.

There’s tons more coming in the update, and Blizzard says it’s taking some extra time this season to collect as much feedback as it can before making these changes to the live servers. That means Season 3 will now be running until May 14, which is when the new season will begin and we’ll see these extensive updates arrive in the main branch. Blizzard says it’ll have the blog post for this latest Campfire Chat stream available at some point next week.

Check out our ranked list of the best Diablo 4 classes, or for something a bit different, try our list of the best games like Diablo.

You can also follow us on Google News for daily PC games news, reviews, and guides, or grab our PCGN deals tracker to net yourself some bargains.

Source link