In PoE items are very important aspect of the game. Without proper items, characters are unable to survive higher difficulty levels and will die very often due to high physical and elemental damage of the monsters. Some items are foundations for certain builds and without them, those builds would not exist. It is important for new players to understand, what combination of mods are good on items, what are the things that make items expensive. The sooner they are familiar with that, the easier playing the game will be.
There are several item rarity tiers in Path of Exile (grouped in ascending order by rarity) – Normal, Magic, Rare and Unique items. Normal items have no mods on them, only the implicit property the base item has. Magic items can have 1-2 affixes. Rare items can have 3-6 affixes. Unique items have custom modifiers and you cannot add any affixes to them.
Affixes, also called item mods, divide into two groups – prefixes and suffixes. A magic item can have 1 suffx and 1 prefix. In the image you can see normal item and magic item. The magic version has 1 prefix and 1 suffix here, which makes up its name – prefix “Humming” and suffix “of calm”.
Rare items can have 6 affixes in general – 3 prefixes and 3 suffixes. Here you can see a rare item with 6 affixes. Yes, there are 7 lines of mods, but there are few hybrid affixes, in this case 16% physical damage and +3 accuracy rating is one affix.
Every affix needs a certain level to spawn on the item. For example, you cannot roll 150% increased physical damage on level 4 sword. To roll 150% increased physical damage, the sword has to have at least itemLevel 73 or greater. ItemLevel depends on the monster level of the zone you’re playing in. For example, if you are playing in level 60 zone, mosters will drop items with itemLevel 60-62. I should elaborate, magic monsters will always drop items with 1 itemLevel higher than zone itself, in this case, items with itemLevel 61, rare and unique monsters will drop items with 2 levels higher than the zone, in this case, items with itemLevel 62. To determine, what itemLevel the given item has, you can click on item and write /itemlevel in chat while item is selected.
There is great webpage which offers an overview of item affixes and required itemLevels for the affixes – http://poemods.com where you can see all the information you need about this topic. I will also write guide on item pricing in nearest time, so stay updated.