For an action RPG with five distinct classes, Diablo 4 makes it difficult to juggle multiple characters, especially when it comes to powerful late-game gear.
Currently, level 100 Diablo 4 characters can only find items with a level 100 requirement, which means they're only useful if you have a stable of max level alts. Starting this week in season 1, however, the level requirements on Sacred and Ancestral items will be capped, allowing you to save them for other classes.
First mentioned in an interview with Gamestar and later clarified by associate game director Joe Piepiora on Twitter, Sacred items will cap out at level 60 and Ancestral items will cap out at level 80. That means that if you find a particularly good item on your level 100 main, you can save it for your other characters without having to grind tons of levels to equip it.
It's not quite clear if the new level caps will persist when you imprint an high-level Legendary aspect on an item though. Right now, if you find a great piece of gear and put a level 100 aspect on it, it raises the item's level requirement to match. If your alt is sub-100, you suddenly won't be able to use it, which is known as "bricking" an item in the community. If it does work, I'd assume the Legendary aspect's bonus will scale down to fit the item's power level or something similar.
Don't get too excited: the new level caps don't mean you'll be able to equip a level 20 character with endgame gear. Sacred and Ancestral items have a minimum requirement of 45 and 60 respectively. Instead, the level caps basically add a new use for high-level items that you don't need, and will incentivize endgame players to trade loot with others.
It's a healthy change that will simplify Diablo 4's extremely convoluted item system. All that extracting, imprinting, and upgrading you can do to items can make it hard to follow what level they'll be by the end. And now, you can reliably use your endgame characters to farm loot for your low level characters—a popular activity in previous Diablo games.
The new item level caps will synergize nicely with season 1's new item, the Scroll of Amnesia. Earned through the Season Journey challenges, Scrolls of Amnesia let you instantly refund all your skill points and Paragon points for free. So if you pick up a fantastic item for your alt and they happen to have one of these new scrolls, you can easily respec and build around it. And once Blizzard finally (hopefully) adds build presets, the most tedious issues in Diablo 4 might finally be gone.
Diablo 4's first season will launch this Thursday, July 20.