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How Diablo 4's Legendary Items Differ From Diablo 3
“Diablo 4” is trying to distance itself from “Diablo 3,” which was unpopular among fans of the series because it lacked the hardcore grind as well as any meaningful player autonomy with regard to builds and character customization. Legendary items and effects in "Diablo 4" are going to redefine how players approach Legendary item drops and gearing options altogether.
In the December 2020 Quarterly Update, the "Diablo 4" developers announced that Legendary items and affixes would no longer be restricted to gear slots or items. Legendary items can be considered "Rare items with [the fifth] affix replaced with a legendary effect," with said effects rolling randomly on any loot drop the same way regular effects do.
Players will be able to extract an effect from a Legendary item, which will destroy the item and award an Essence of that effect that can then be used on any Legendary or Rare item to replace the fifth affix slot with no item slot restrictions. Players will no longer be as restricted by RNG when hunting for the best effects for their build as they can freely swap Legendary effects.