Today, Blizzard finally lifted the lid on Diablo 4’s new Codex of Power feature, and it’s kind of like a spiritual successor to Diablo 3’s Kanai’s Cube and Diablo 2’s Horadric Cube.
Diablo 4 Game Director Joe Shely and Associate Game Director Joseph Piepiora gave a breakdown of the Codex of Power during a recent stream (opens in a new tab). While there are key distinctions between the Codex and the cubes that precede it, its main goal seems to be similar in principle: to make legendary powers more accessible for builds. The new crafting feature rewards you with a unique form of legendary power – called an Aspect – for each dungeon you clear the first time.
Legendary powers can be of any class and you will be able to see where to find them in your codex, so if there is a power you have your eye on, you can go to its dungeon and grab it. From there, you’ll bring the aspect back to the new occult craftsman in town and imbue any rare or legendary item with its particular legendary power, replacing any existing powers. Once you’ve added a skin to your codex, it will be available to all of your characters, making it much easier to create and experiment with new characters.
This essentially removes RNG from the equation when setting up your build in the beginning, but later on the item drops will prove invaluable again. Because Codex of Power Aspects will always roll at the lowest possible level – meaning, for example, a power that increases the critical hit damage of an Earth skill by 20% – 40% will always increase it only 20% in Aspect form – you’ll have to resort to traditional loot if you want to min-max your gear. It’s different from Diablo 3’s Kanai’s Cube, which always maxes out legendary powers.
The cube also doesn’t allow you to target specific legendary powers by completing dungeons; it simply allows you to extract them from items and add them to your character without having to carry an additional item. Similarly, with the Codex of Power, you will also be able to extract Legendary Powers from items and turn them into Aspect Crystals, which you can then add to another item. However, it seems that the Codex does not allow you to affix legendary powers directly to your character, so you will still need to wear an item to benefit from them.
I mentioned earlier that Aspects will always be the least powerful version of a Legendary, but there is another important Codex limitation that ensures RNG will always be king: not all Legendary powers are included in the Codex. . It’s unclear how many are exclusive to item drops, but Diablo 4 game director Joe Shely said there are “many, many more” that you can only find in the right grind at the fashion.
In theory, the Codex will give you the ability to deliberately craft a proficient character to your exact liking earlier in the game, while avoiding making random items obsolete. We’ll see when Diablo 4 launches in June – or sooner if you’re entering the beta – if it accomplishes that rather hefty tax.
Here’s how to hang your Diablo 4 Collector’s Box Pre-Order (remember that the game is sold separately).