If you want to explore the more complex mechanics of this topic in greater detail, please refer to this extremely informative article: https://diablo2.diablowiki.net/Item_Generation_Tutorial
Terms & AbbreviationscLvl: Character Level
iLvl: Item Level
qLvl: Quality Level
mLvl: Monster Level
aLvl: Area Level
ALvl: Affix Level
MLvl: Magic Level
Container = Interactive static objects, such as barrels, chests and weapon/armor racks.
Item LevelA value that is usually equivalent to the level of the monster or container that dropped the item. In order for powerful affixes to have a chance to appear, the item must have a level that meets or exceeds the affix levels of these properties (assuming the item type is allowed to spawn with the desired modifiers). Item level is the most important variable, especially for crafting purposes.
Item level is not relevant for Unique/Set items, as they always spawn with fixed properties.
There are additional caveats when dealing with NPCs:
Vendor Shopping: iLvl = cLvl +5
Gambling: iLvl = cLvl -5 to +4 (varies)
Imbuing: iLvl = cLvl +4
Socket Quest Reward: # of sockets = based on iLvl and item type (e.g. iLvl 41+ Berserker Axe receives 6 sockets, whereas iLvl 1-25 receives 4 sockets)
Quality LevelEvery (applicable) item is assigned a static value that never changes. Item levels, at a minimum*, are equal to the item's quality level. Base items have quality levels separate from their Unique/Set versions.
Example: Chain Mail has a qLvl of 15. The mLvl of a target must be at least 15 to have the possibility of dropping it (not accounting for treasure class). Sparking Mail — the Unique version of Chain Mail — has a qLvl of 23; the same rule applies.
Note: When comparing qLvl and iLvl, the higher number is always used in calculations.
* There is one exception to this rule: if you use the Cube to upgrade a Cracked, Low Quality, Damaged, or Crude item to Normal quality, then its iLvl will be set to 1 regardless of the item's quality level.
Monster LevelFairly self-explanatory. Each monster and container has a level, and for containers this is typically shared with the area in which they reside. However, weapon and armor racks, in particular, have their mLvl subtracted by 1; this means they can't drop anything higher than qLvl 84.
Champions: mLvl + 2; Berserker is mLvl + 3
Uniques and Minions: mLvl + 3
Remember: only act bosses, monsters in normal difficulty, Putrid Defilers (coded as act bosses) and some Super Uniques (e.g., Griswold, Radament, etc.) have predetermined levels. The rest use area level plus any of the applicable bonuses listed above.
Area LevelEach location has a level that varies based on the difficulty setting.
A common misconception is that monsters are always mLvl = aLvl, which can be misleading in some cases. Always refer to the monster's level to determine ideal drop conditions.
aLvl 85 spots, such as Worldstone Keep, The Pit and Ancient Tunnels, are some of the most popular locations for magic finding, as every item is able to drop in them.
Affix LevelThe level of prefixes and suffixes (modifiers) that show up on Magic, Rare and Crafted items. A few things to note:
- Arreat Summit says the cLvl required to be able to equip a modified item is 75% of the highest affix level; however, this is not always the case. As an example, the "Amber" prefix that spawns on small charms has an ALvl of 40 and a cLvl of 32, so 40*0.75 = 30 is incorrect.
- While Magic items can have their prefixes and suffixes easily identified by their name, Rare and Crafted item names, on the other hand, are completely random.
- Staffmods and automods, which appear independently from magical affixes, can stack with similar modifiers on the same item.
Staffmod Example: + 3 to Warmth (Sorceress Only) on Staves
Automod Example: + All Resistances on Paladin Shields
You can use this master list that contains all prefixes/suffixes and their requirements: https://diablo-archive.fandom.com/wiki/ ... Diablo_II)
Magic LevelA simple value that only applies to Staves (1), Orbs (1), non-elite Wands (1), Circlets (3), Coronets (8), Tiaras (13) and Diadems (18). Basically, the MLvl is added to the iLvl, allowing higher level affixes to spawn earlier than normally allowed.
ConclusionNow, let's put all of these variables together into a hypothetical scenario:
You enter the Blood Moor in Hell difficulty and kill a regular Fallen. It drops a Platinum (+ 101 to 120 Attack Rating) Circlet of Quality (+ 7 to 8 Max. Damage).
Blood Moor (Hell): aLvl = 67
Fallen: mLvl = 67
Circlet: qLvl = 24
Circlet: MLvl = 3
Final iLvl = 70
Platinum Prefix: ALvl = 22
Quality Suffix: ALvl = 30
Let's assume that the Quality suffix landed on 8, which is the maximum roll. Unlike the Platinum prefix, Quality (on Circlets) has multiple level ranges that are based on the roll's strength. Since the latter will have a greater level than the former, it will supersede the "weaker" affix in further calculations.
Therefore, the character level required to wear this item is (30 x 0.75) 22.5, truncated to 22.