Diablo 3 was heavily criticised for its itemisation which was eventually improved with the changes made in the Loot 2.0 update. Players can expect some changes with Diablo 4 items which will be welcomed. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that the item system is likely to change throughout the game’s development and only as we get closer to release will things start to get fully nailed down.
Diablo 4 will introduce instanced loot which means that when loot drops, only you can see your Diablo 4 items. Other players will only see it once you have picked it up and then dropped it.
Blizzard has stated that Smart Loot will be making a return in Diablo 4. This means a higher percentage of drops will be specific to your class.
Diablo players will be familiar with the types of equipable items. A list of the main types we know about can be found below.
As item quality increases, an item’s affixes will improve and will allow players to dip into areas of their talents that they may not have focused on in their talent tree. This will allow players to create more diverse character builds.
- Normal: 1 modifier
- Magic: 1 random modifier
- Rare: 2 extra random modifiers
- Unique: Fixed affixes, class-specific
- Legendary: 2 random modifiers and 1 Legendary modifier.
- Set Item: Unknown
- Ancient Set: Unknown
The top tier items are Mythic Items and only one can be equipped with four Legendary powers per item. Legendaries are being designed to offer customised skills beyond the skill system.
|Two-Handed Maces||Two-handed Swords||Crossbows|
|Chest Armor||Bracers||Leg Armor|
Affixes (also known as Bonuses and Modifiers) are the special magical properties found on items in the Diablo games.
Legendary and Mythic Items
Legendary items are coloured orange as they were in Diablo 3. Most characters will end up wearing legendary and other items as they level up. Once a player hits the endgame in Diablo IV, players will be striving for the new Mythic tier of items which are one step up from Legendary.
In Diablo IV, some Legendary items will also be able to modify skills adding more diversity to character builds.
Set items could also hold equivalent power to Legendary items. How your character diversifies will depend on how you use these latter tiers of items with your character build.
Runes and Runewords
Runewords proved highly popular in Diablo II. Runewords were a way for players to combine runes with items to give an item exceptional attributes. In Diablo II there was a total of 78 different runewords that could be used on basic grey items. Blizzard had planned for runewords in Diablo III but the idea was dropped during development at the time citing that “led to a lack of equipment variety”. Blizzard is now bringing them back to Diablo IV.
Diablo IV features two types of runes, condition runes and effect runes.
- Condition runes when socketed into an item will activate the next rune if a certain condition is met.
- Effect runes provide boosting effects and are activated when combined with a condition rune.
- When runes are combined they create what is known as runewords.
Glyphs are specific to the Paragon Board offering various benefits based upon the number of active tiles within their radius. These items are slotted into the Paragon Board.
Ancient Legendaries Removed
Diablo IV will dispense with Ancient Legendaries as highlighted in the Systems Design update. The changes are described as follows and note that they are being replaced by a “new types of consumable item”.
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:
- We create an “elective mode for items” that is experienced after players have had time to experience Rare and Legendary items normally, as well as familiarized themselves with a variety of affixes
- This adds a way to introduce new methods of play without adding even more power to endgame items
- Rare items with the best affixes on them are always useful and retain value
Mythic Items Removed
In the December 2020 developer update, Blizzard revealed they were removing Mythic items for the following reason: 
We still like the idea of Mythic items, but we don’t want to create an item quality that invalidates all others, so they’re out for now. One of the things we loved most about them was the promise of getting random legendary powers on an item, so we folded that into our baseline legendary design.