D4 Crafting System to promote general/specialized play.


New member
May 22, 2020
Perhaps the most hotly debated question regarding Diablo 4 is whether or not the items should have horizontal or vertical power progression, Diablo 2 die hards vs Diablo 3 hardly dies.
I’m not adressing this question here, instead I’ll simply write down my layman thoughts on how a crafting system at the core of Diablo 4 might solve loads of problems and bring D2 and D3’s players, (as well as new players), to somewhat common ground. I’ll do this by fist presenting the general rules that the system adheres to, numbered, then write a short explanation on why I think they work.
I’m describing this crafting system as if all the affixes, (bar legendary affixes), are derived from the same pool, as this seems to be what the devs have shown us will be used in D4, at least upon the time of writing this article.
  1. Items
Base (whites). 0-1 affix.
Be it cracked, superior or etherial, whites are used as the crafting base. (The crafted item is this base item + added magic affixes).
Whites can only roll +demonic/ancestral/angelic -power as its potential affix.

Magic (blues) 1-2 affixes.
Provides the affixes that are to be crafted onto the base item.

Rare (yellows) 3-4 affixes.
Crafted items are categorized as rares.
(Legendary items are not covered in my post other than in synergy with rares through crafting).
  1. Affixes
More affixes = Less power per affix. (The more affixes an item has the lower the potential max roll of those affixes become).
Higher item level = More affixes.
  1. Drop rate
The drop rate of magics and rares would have to be more akin to D2 than D3, for this system to work psychologically.
And so we begin:

1 • Rares are crafted by combining 1 base item with 2 to 4 blues, depending on if the base item have a affix or not.
A lower level white with zero affixes would have higher potential max roll on its affixes after being crafted than a higher level white with one affix, provided the player crafts a rare using the minimum ammount of blues.
The newly crafted rare then take on the affixes of the base and magic items. A higher rolled affix on the magic item give a higher roll on the crafted rare, though following the rule that more affixes on an item equal lower potential max rolls of those affixes.
The reason for crafting a rare with a minimum of two blues is that you don’t want to dilute the power of the lower rarity items by allowing a rare to exist with only two affixes (*2). The same reasoning but in reverse is applied to whites when only allowing them to keep +demonic/ancestral/angelic -power as their potential affix. You don’t want neither base items nor rares to compete on the same playing field as the magic items.
If a rare is crafted with magics that have a combined number of affixes higher than the number a rare can carry, one of the affixes are dropped, which one is either by chance (as I would prefer), or by choice.
Rares that are looted have the potential of being better than the best crafted rare because of them rolling without the +demonic/ancestral/angelic affix, while still being high level items.
Having crafted items being categorized as rares help limit the number of different item categories, which is good for the young hell spawn and casual players.

2 • By having more affixes on an item equal less potential max power per affix and vice versa, the experienced Diablo fanatic get access to powerful magic items and versatile crafted rares from the get go, allowing for early min-maxing and exciting low level PvP.
The new player on the other hand get to experience the game in another way, for the crafting system naturally leads him/her towards a more casually enjoyable experience. It does this by allowing the player to become more generalized with every rare and thus the player can take on any threat posed in the fallen world of Sanctuary, all while just focusing on getting the shinier loot.
The new player in question might one day realize that he/she has evolved with the game though, having cravings for a deeper more hard core experience, that player then chooses to use more magic items to further specialize his/her build and take on more difficult scenarios.
Speaking of late game, the crafting system works in tandem with the legendary affix consumable that the dev team already announced and at the same time give the dev team further reson to separate the rules governing the legendary affixes from the magic/rare category, making legedary affixes truly Legendary!
An easy way to distiguish a legedary affix from the rest of the affixes on a rare item is by having the legendary affix be unaffected by the “more affixes = less max roll”-rule that otherwise affect the item.

3 • This system depends on blues being used as a gate to create rares and thus they themself can’t be dropping ten a penny, nor dime a dozen.
After a little while though, you as a new player have been able to make yourself a few rares, which in extension means that items of higher rarity than blues need to be quite rare finds for it to really give you that kick when a yellow actually drops, (remember that dropped rares have higher potential and should, next to this system, be treated as such).
Not finding rares or even blues at every corner might sound to some like a drag, but the crafting system opens up the potential for the casual or starting player to have a smörgåsbord of useful base and magic items to equip, as well as a fast natural progression towards rares and a more general (less specialized, more casually oriented) player power.

Epilogue and questions
Another thing that this system does is that it gives both casual and hard core players a reson to be excited for loot of any rarity that they find.
And last but certainly not least, the crafting system creates personal attatchment to your most awesome crafted items and at best give the item an almost spiritual personal meaning. Imagine the possibilities!

•Would a system as this one help towards more interesting items and builds?
•How would you work Angelic/Demonic/Ancestral power into the system?
•How early should a system like this be implemented and what does the introduction to it look like?
•Should all items (beside legendarys) draw from the same pool of affixes, or should each item rarity use its own unique pool?

In my opinion this crafting system also opens up the opportunity for Uniques to make a comeback as a different, super late game tier of item that profoundly change the class you’re playing. Imagine a Sorceress turning into a wear bear or using heavy armor for example. In this dream of mine, the character could only wear one unique at a time of course.

If you enjoy what I’ve written please leave constructive criticism and if you want to give the article more exposure you can upvote it on the official diablo forum.
The original article on the official blizzard forum.