It appears that the promised internal Diablo 4 beta test is underway, and several purported leaks have already surfaced online which appear to show off glimpses at the upcoming RPG game. While there are plenty of reasons to be wary about leaks from early internal testing – things are quite likely to change, after all – reports that the fantasy game will feature a smart loot system and prevent trading of high-end gear have sparked several discussions.
The video footage which appeared on Reddit showing the game’s character creation menus was quickly taken down again, presumably as it appeared to show a unique version code which could be easily traced back to the person responsible. However, another source reported that unique, set, and legendary equipment as well as gold cannot be traded, with limited trading available on lower-tier items.
Furthermore, the source says that Diablo 3 style smart loot is set to return. This places a heavy emphasis on gear dropping with the appropriate stats and affixes for the class you are currently playing, rather than pulling equally from the entire pool of options. These leaks line up with past Blizzard interviews, where they suggested that the most powerful items should be ones players should have to earn for themselves, rather than being able to trade for them.
These two topics have sparked up discussions among the community on both the Blizzard forums and the Diablo IV subreddit around the topics. Defenders of smart loot say they appreciate the way it streamlines progression, ensuring that the majority of gear has the potential to be useful to their current character. This is obviously especially noteworthy for players who prefer to stick to just one class. Other players say that they are okay with smart loot as long as it doesn’t affect all their drops – Diablo 3, for example, rolls around 85% of your item drops for your class, with the remaining 15% coming from anywhere.
On the other hand, some players say that an increased opportunity to get items for different classes encourages them to play through the game on multiple different characters and experiment. Encountering a particularly strong drop for one class might tempt you to try a build you might otherwise have overlooked. If you don’t fancy it, the option to trade drives the social element of the game and lets you get your hands on a piece that better suits you in return. As Redditor XAos13 puts it, “Smart loot makes D3 quicker at the cost of being less interesting.”
There are certainly arguments against trading, however. Reddit user SpiritualScumlord claims that “games with a trading economy are dumpster fires because it’s nothing but botters and streamers hoarding all the good gear and inflating the prices.” Others are wary of third-party sites that might look to profit by allowing users to sell their best gear for real money. Notably, Diablo 3 attempted to integrate such an option in game at launch with its auction house – and it was such a spectacular failure that leadership unanimously voted for its removal.
One segment of the Diablo community who have traditionally avoided trading – even in Diablo 2, where it is prevalent – are ‘SSF’ (Solo Self-Found) players. These are people who play alone and only use equipment they find themselves. However, with Diablo frequently being played socially, most players seem to be in agreement that SSF should exist only as a self-imposed playstyle or, perhaps, a designated mode that could be toggled when starting a new character.
The Diablo 4 release date is still a way off, so be wary of more beta spoilers popping up in the interim. We may not be certain about how loot will be implemented in the co-op game, but we do know what the Diablo 4 level cap and campaign length will be. You can also get your hands on early future Diablo 4 beta access with a tattoo if you’re willing to get a series-themed ink job as part of the ongoing Diablo Hell’s Ink tour.