In Diablo 3, a lot of item hunting boils down to two things: is the item legendary or a set item? If yes, is it Ancient? If the answer to the second question is no, you probably will bin the item or give it away. Because of this, Blizzard is moving away from the Ancient item and putting more flexibility and power into rare items for Diablo IV.
The removal of Ancient items and adding a new consumable should improve “the usefulness of Rare (Yellow) items as well as [increase] the depth and complexity of player gear choices in the endgame.”
The new consumable is a late endgame item that drops off monsters. It will have a random Legendary affix which can be applied to any non-Legendary item.
Besides this, attack stats will only appear on weapons, and defence stats will only be on armour, meaning jewellery won’t randomly give you a boost to either offence or defence.
Items also have a chance of having one of three new stats. Angelic Power extends the duration of beneficial effects, Demonic Power extends the duration of Negative Effects and Ancestral Power which increases the chance of on-hit effects.
Besides their base effect, some items will have specific powers that only unlock if you have enough of the new stat as a pre-requisite. The item can still be equipped without having the pre-requisite, but that specific power will be dormant.
An example of this is a pair of boots that gives +15 Angelic Power and movement speed. If the player has 50 Demonic Power, the boots also give +1 rank to the Devastation skill. Finally, the boots give +25% cold resistance if the player has 40 Angelic Power or more.
I like the idea of making endgame still have rare items being relevant, without having all the focus on getting legendary items and then finding the same item, but an Ancient version. I just hope the hunt for affix providing consumable items doesn’t become the new chore.
The full blog post is here.