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DiabloDec 18, 2020 7:00 pm CT

Itemization in Diablo Immortal will feel familiar, but has more depth than you might expect

We finally have some idea of how Diablo Immortal is going to play and I’m glad to report it’s still recognizably Diablo in its approach to itemization. You’ll see the standard approach of white Normal, blue Magic, yellow Rare, and orange Legendary items available in the upcoming mobile online multiplayer game. As you play, you’ll collect better gear and make yourself more powerful. It’s the standard Diablo experience.

But there are some differences this time around. Diablo Immortal isn’t trying to be Diablo 3 on your phone: the game has made changes to the itemization system to make for a more streamlined experience. And there’s one particularly major break from current Diablo gameplay: there will be no set items. The set bonuses you have really define how you play in Diablo 3, but in Immortal players will choose the Legendaries they want to play around with.

Here’s everything you need to know about how gear works in Diablo Immortal.

All of the stats on Diablo Immortal gear

Gear is divided into Primary Gear Slots and Secondary Gear Slots:

  • Primary Gear slots are the head, legs, torso, shoulders, weapons, and off-hand/secondary weapons
  • Secondary Gear Slots are the neck, waist, hands, feet, and ring

Legendary items will be restricted to the Primary Gear Slots, so the best you can wear is Rares in all your Secondary slots. Limiting the slots you can equip Legendaries somewhat mimics the way sets act in Diablo 3, but we’ll have to see how it plays out in practice to know whether it feels similar. The lack of sets and the pick-and-choose nature of gear may make Immortal less reliant on grinding out the perfect gear.

The stats on each item are broken into three categories:

  • Base Stats, which include Life, Damage, Armor, Armor Penetration, Offense Rating, Defense Rating, Potency, and Resilience. Not all pieces have all Base Stats, so you can specialize on getting really good in one area by stacking a stat or go for a more balanced build with general purpose mixture of them.
  • Attributes, which include Strength, Intelligence, Fortitude, Vitality, and Willpower. The Primary Attribute for Barbarian, Monk, and Demon Hunter is Strength, and the Primary Attribute for Wizard is Intelligence. Improving Primary Attributes increases damage, while other Attributes provide defensive bonuses.
  • Magic Attributes, which include such reliable favorites as Attack Speed or Cooldown Reduction to let you customize your playstyle even more effectively.

This is a longer list of stats than we have in Diablo 3 — and there’s no doubt that there will be many more Magic Attributes available. But none of this is a radical departure from what we’ve seen in other Diablo games. All of the gear you collect will offer some kind of improvement, and you’ll be able to fine-tune your gameplay based on the stats you focus on and the Attributes you add.

You can improve your gear with Ranks, Charms, and Reforging

One interesting new feature is the upgrade system: both Rare and Legendary quality items can be upgraded through crafting. Rare items can go from Rank 0 to Rank 5, while Legendary items can go up to Rank 20. Legendary items can also gain Bonus Attributes at ranks 6, 11, and 16, which are just what they sound like — your Legendary gets more Attributes. These Attributes come from a random pool of six possible options for that item, and if you get a dud you can reforge your item to go for the Attribute you’re looking for.

Like in other Diablo games, items can have sockets for gems, including powerful Legendary gems. But in addition to gems, there are now Charms that you can apply to gear. Charms directly upgrade your class skills, sort of like Skill Runes in Diablo 3, except they’re an item applied to gear. You can only equip one Charm at a time.

There’s a lot of depth to the system, and I’m a little concerned knowing that Reforging and Charms will be items that you can pick up for real money which could end up as a problem for players who can’t afford to buy a bunch of them. The Immortal team has said that the game won’t be pay-to-win, but depending on whether gameplay provides us enough resources to get charms, players may feel they need to resort to microtransactions. Even though we’re told that will be the case, as always, I’d like to see it in action before I made a judgement.

Regardless, I’m definitely interested in popping Diablo Immortal on my tablet as soon as it comes out somewhere I can play it so that I can find out for myself.

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