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We are about three weeks away from the launch of Diablo 4’s second season, Season of Blood , which Blizzard promises will be more robust, both in terms of the content it adds and its narrative, compared to Season of the Malignant.
While I did indeed feel like I “finished” Season of the Malignant in about a week or two, I do not think Diablo 4’s biggest problem is whether or not its seasons have enough “stuff” in them. Rather, I think most everyone can agree that the game’s biggest issue is one thing and one thing only: loot.
Diablo 4 has implemented a new loot philosophy that is supposed to offer more build diversity in theory, which maybe it does, but in practice it also makes farming for loot an extremely poor experience.
When you reach the endgame, there are three types of loot to farm:
Ancestral Rares – Somehow, these are the most important items to farm in the game, and they drop everywhere . You will fill up your entire inventory with them all the time, but you sort of have to check out their stats and rolls because they will be upgraded into your actual legendary gear through the Aspect system. But it’s exhausting to constantly sift through these, and if you don’t, you’re missing out on what could be a “perfect” drop, however unexciting the process is.
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Ancestral Legendaries – This is the problem. Ancestral Legendaries are just Ancestral Rares with an Aspect already attached to them. But dropping at 5% of the rate of rares, you will almost never need the legendary itself. Rather, at best, you are looking for a high roll on the Aspect itself so you can extract that and put it on one of the good rares. And the best way to do this is probably just Obol gambling. It makes legendary drops unexciting and close to pointless.
Unique Items – You will need a handful of these for any one build, but bizarrely, they have no unique in-game model for cool points, and their stat list is fixed so it technically can make them worse in slot than legendaries or rares with nothing able to be re-rolled. And their rarity means you can go from level 1 to 80+ and never seen the one you need for your build, though Blizzard promises more target farming is coming as soon as this season.
Uber Uniques – What is there to even say here? Designing a full set of items that only a few dozen people in the world will get is baffling. These too may now be more accessible as of next season, but still.
The main problem are the first two things there, but it’s not an easy one to solve. The idea that Ancestral Rares are often the most valuable loot you’ll find is the main problem here, and I’m not sure “build diversity” and a lack of things liked dedicated legendaries and item sets is worth what was lost here. It’s created a system where it’s very, very hard to get excited about any piece of loot that drops, and it’s made seeing a legendary drop in the wild close to pointless. And Uniques that should be exciting are often underpowered or they never appear at all.
I know that at least a few farming things are changing as of next season, but it seems very clear that Diablo 4 needs a better loot system. It does feel like that may be a long, long term project, however, and we may not see significant changes until an actual expansion.
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