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Diablo 4: Fortify Mechanic, Explained – TheFantasyTimes

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By Nikita Gambhir

Diablo 4: Fortify Mechanic, Explained



Diablo 4 offers a range of mechanics that veteran players will recognize, such as the ability to upgrade and socket gems into their gear. However, the game also includes new mechanics that are not well explained in-game. One of these is the Fortify mechanic, a powerful defensive statistic that many players ignore due to a lack of understanding about what it does.

This guide aims to provide players with everything they need to know about Fortify, including how it works, how to generate it, how it stacks up against other statistics in the game, and how to make the best use of it.

What is Fortify in Diablo 4?

Fortify is a statistic that builds up as you fight enemies in Diablo 4. It appears as a red outline on your health bar. When your character is Fortified, they take reduced damage (with a base value of 10%) and your health bar will have an iron spiked ring around it. You will remain Fortified as long as your current HP is less than or equal to the amount of Fortify your character has. You can predict when you will become Fortified by comparing the red line on your health bar to your current HP level.

What generates Fortify in Diablo 4?

Fortify is built up using certain character abilities, although the base generation rate is relatively low. However, some Aspects, such as the Barbarian’s Numbing Wrath, can greatly increase the amount of Fortify gained. Here are some of the abilities that generate Fortify for each class:

– Barbarian: Bash, Iron Skin, Rallying Cry, War Cry, Thick Skin.
– Druid: Earth Spike, Earthen Bulwark, Maul, Debilitating Roar, Trample, Grizzly Rage, Natural Fortitude, Thick Hide, Defensive Posture, Nature’s Resolve, Safeguard.
– Necromancer: Hemorrhage, Blood Surge, Bone Prison, Drain Vitality, Necrotic Carapace.

What depletes Fortify in Diablo 4?

Fortify naturally falls off once your character exits combat for five seconds. This is not usually an issue while traversing dungeons or the Overworld, except for towns and long hallways before boss fights. Additionally, you will lose Fortify at the same rate as you lose health while Fortified. However, you will not regain Fortify when you heal, meaning that you may lose the Fortify status when you drink a potion.

Who can become Fortified in Diablo 4?

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Currently, most classes in Diablo 4 can become Fortified. The two exceptions are Sorcerers and Rogues, which is why they tend to feel squishier while playing. These classes must usually rely on Barrier instead.

What is the difference between Fortify and Barrier in Diablo 4?

While Fortify and Barrier are both defensive mechanics in Diablo 4, they are best thought of as opposites. Barrier works as a shield that always takes damage before you lose health when it is available. Because you only lose Barrier, and not health, it is almost like a second health bar. Fortify, on the other hand, reduces incoming damage once your health bar has been reduced to a certain threshold. During this time, you will still lose HP, and it does not act separately from your health bar.

Why is Fortify important in Diablo 4?

Fortify is very important for some builds, including several popular Barbarian builds. Typically, a character focuses on either Barrier generation or Fortify generation, as it is very difficult to survive the late game without either. Even though Barrier may seem better due to its ability to prevent you from losing HP, Fortify also impacts the effectiveness of Overpower damage, meaning that it can help more tanky builds dish out bursts to keep up with glass cannon builds like the Poison Flurry Rogue.

How does Fortify compare to other defensive statistics in Diablo 4?

While Barrier and Fortify are fairly equal in terms of effectiveness, Fortify generation and buffing are much more powerful than other defensive statistics such as Resistance and Armor, as these have diminishing returns.

How can you best use Fortify in Diablo 4?

To make the best use of Fortify, you should look for items that provide the following statistics: Damage Reduction while Fortified, Damage when Fortified, Attack Speed when Fortified, and Fortify Generation. The best place to find these statistics is on Legendary items, and by socketing Sapphires into your gear. Some builds that focus on Fortify can reach 40% damage reduction while Fortified this way.

There are many mechanics in Diablo 4 that are familiar to veteran players, such as upgrading and socketing gems into their gear. However, the game also has many new mechanics that are not explained well in-game.



Related: Diablo 4: Injured Enemy Status Explained

One of these, the Fortify mechanic, is a powerful defensive statistic that is ignored by many players due to not being sure what it does. Use this guide to learn everything you need to know about what Fortify does, how to generate it, how it stacks up to other statistics in the game, and how to make the best use of it.




What Does Fortify Do In Diablo 4?

A close up displaying fortify's red glow on a character health bar in Diablo 4

Fortify is a statistic built up while you fight enemies in Diablo 4. It is viewable on your health bar as a red outline. When your character is actively Fortified, they take reduced damage (base value 10%) and the health bar will have an iron spiked ring around it.

You will be Fortified as long as your current HP is < or = the amount of Fortify your character has. This means you can predict when you will become fortified by comparing the red line on your health bar to your current HP level.

What Gives Fortify

Fortify is built up using some character abilities, although the base generation is pretty low. However, some Aspects such as the Barbarian’s Numbing Wrath greatly increase the amount of Fortify gained.

Barbarian

Bash, Iron Skin, Rallying Cry, War Cry, Thick Skin.

Druid

Earth Spike, Earthen Bulwark, Maul, Debilitating Roar, Trample, Grizzly Rage, Natural Fortitude, Thick Hide, Defensive Posture, Nature’s Resolve, Safeguard.

Necromancer

Hemorrhage, Blood Surge, Bone Prison, Drain Vitality, Necrotic Carapace.

What Depletes Fortify?

Fortify naturally falls off once your character has exited combat for five seconds. This is not usually a problem while traversing dungeons or the Overworld, except for towns and long hallways before boss fights. Additionally, you will lose Fortify at the same rate you lose health while Fortified. However, you don’t regain Fortify when you heal, meaning that you may end up losing the Fortify status when you drink a potion.

Who Can Become Fortified?

Currently, most classes in Diablo 4 can become Fortified. The two exceptions are Sorcerers and Rogues, which is why they tend to feel squishier while playing. These classes must usually rely on Barrier instead.

Related: Diablo 4: How To Upgrade Gems

The Difference Between Fortify & Barrier

two screenshots of a player health bar from Diablo 4, one with Fortify and one with Barrier

While Fortify and Barrier are both defensive mechanics in Diablo, it is best to think of them as opposites. Barrier works as a shield that always takes damage before you lose health when it is available. Because you only lose barrier, and not health, it is almost like a second health bar.

Fortify, however, reduces incoming damage once your health bar has been reduced to a certain threshold – during this time you will still lose HP, and it does not act separately from your health bar.

The Importance Of Fortify

Diablo 4 Necromancer gear

Fortify is very important for some builds, including several popular Barbarian builds. Typically, a character focuses on either Barrier generation or Fortify generation, as it is very difficult to survive the late game without either.

Even though barrier may seem better due to its ability to prevent you from losing HP, Fortify also impacts the effectiveness of Overpower damage, meaning that it can help more tanky builds dish out bursts to keep up with glass cannon builds like the Poison Flurry Rogue.

Comparing Fortify To Other Defensive Statistics

While Barrier and Fortify are fairly equal in terms of effectiveness, Fortify generation and buffing are much more powerful than other defensive statistics such as Resistance and Armor, as these have diminishing returns.

Related: Diablo 4: How To Enchant Items

How To Best Use Fortify

A sapphire alongside a legendary item that increases damage resistance while fortified

To make the best use of Fortify, you’ll want to use items that provide the following statistics:

  • Damage Reduction while Fortified
  • Damage when Fortified
  • Attack Speed when Fortified
  • Fortify Generation

The best place to find these statistics is on Legendary items, and by socketing Sapphires into your gear. Some builds that focus on Fortify can reach 40% damage reduction while Fortified this way.

Next: Diablo 4: How To Add Sockets To Gear

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