The grind for loot and rare items is something that gamers are all too familiar with, especially for those who play action RPG games, like Diablo or Path of Exile. The idea of finding that one incredibly rare legendary item that can boost the power of your build to unimagined heights is enough to keep us locked in for hundreds or thousands of hours. Diablo 4 is no exception to this, but I’ve been wondering: are Diablo 4’s chase unique items too rare?
Before Diablo 4 launched, Blizzard had spoiled a couple incredibly rare unique items, uber uniques if you will, that players would be able to find in the game. These unique items granted the wearer unmatched power and were worthy of the title “chase unique.” But, now that the game has launched, very few of these items have actually been found by players. So are these incredible items too rare? I definitely think so.
Supply and Demand
To preface this discussion, I am an ARPG enthusiast. I’ve sunk thousands of hours across titles like Path of Exile, Diablo 3, Diablo 4 and others, and I live almost exclusively in their various endgames. So, I have quite a bit of experience in the chase unique department. I fully expect that these items should be rare, but there’s definitely a balance or lack thereof in Diablo 4’s case.
So how did this whole thing start? Well, as I mentioned earlier, players got wind of some chase unique items that would be in the game before launch, but we didn’t know exactly how rare these items would be. Fast forward to a couple weeks into launch, with something in the neighborhood of maybe 400 million collective hours played across all platforms, only two of these items have been found.
This inspired some of the community questioning just how rare these items are, and whether or not these items actually existed. This prompted Adam Jackson, Lead Class Designer for Diablo 4 to post some information on Twitter about the six current chase uniques in the game.
The six Diablo 4 unique items that we have in the game right now are:
- Doombringer (1H Sword)
- The Grandfather (2H Sword)
- Ring of Starless Skies (Ring)
- Andariel’s Visage (Helm)
- Harlequin Crest (Helm)
- Melted Heart of Selig (Amulet)
These items only drop from monster level 85+ enemies, and when a unique would drop, it has a chance to become one of the six chase uniques. He also states that rather than doing content that’s higher difficulty to increase the odds of getting a drop, it’s best to farm content that gives you the most unique items per hour.
With this limited amount of information, the Reddit community got to work and put together a diagram to show the best way to farm a specific chase unique. Doing a Nightmare Dungeon at tier 31 would give you the 85+ monster level required and, depending on the unique, there’s a list of different dungeons and monster types that have a higher chance of dropping that slot of gear.
But is this the best way? To put this into context, you have to be on World Tier 4 to do a tier 31 Nightmare Dungeon. This would require you to be at least level 85 or higher, with a fairly optimized Diablo 4 build to efficiently clear these dungeons quickly. Considering that a lot of the player base has yet to even finish the campaign, a very small section of the playerbase will even be able to attempt this kind of content in a season.
Problems and Solutions
Clearly, the rarity of these items is a problem. So how do we fix this? Well I have a few solutions, and these solutions can be applied to all “rarer” unique items in the game.
The first thing that I’d suggest is having methods of target farming these items. Something that’s above and beyond the raw random drop from general content. For the chase uniques, these items should be in Uber Lilith’s drop table. Yes they should be very rare drops, and yes Uber Lilith is a level 100 fight, but it gives players a quicker, repeatable method of target farming these items.
For class specific, build-enabling uniques, such as the Tempest Roar for Druid, or the Ghor’s Devastating Grips for Barbarian, there should be a daily rotating dungeon that has a chance to drop the item. Each day would have a different dungeon for a different unique, where you’d cycle through each unique for each class over the course of a week or something. It would be only on World Tier 4, and this promotes getting players in dungeons they may not have gone to in the first place.
Alternate Farming Methods
This idea comes directly from Path of Exile or Torchlight Infinite. Path of Exile has a system called Divination Cards. As you battle your way through the game, a Divination Card will drop. Nearly all chase unique items in Path of Exile have a divination card associated with them, and a location that the card can be farmed at, with varying rarity drop levels. If you collect enough of the same Divination Card, you can redeem at an NPC to get the reward on the Divination Card
Something similar could be done with chase unique items in Diablo 4. Maybe make them shards of the item and make them part of a season-long quest that rewards the chase item once all the shards of the item are found. These shards should also be pretty rare to find, but maybe half the endgame players find a shard or two during a season, with the most dedicated finding all the shards necessary to get a unique.
The final suggestion that I have is simply allowing unique items to be traded to other players. Path of Exile and Torchlight Infinite don’t have these woes, despite having incredibly rare chase items in their games because these games have a player driven economy. If players have access to farm gold and have the ability to buy / trade with another player to get one of these chase uniques in a season, that’d take care of a lot of the accessibility concerns. This is a vast generalization of a very complicated system, but the principle is what matters.
Do I expect that Blizzard will ever implement any of these ideas? Well, not entirely. I have faith that it will hear the complaints of the community around these items and do something about it to meet us halfway. It has proven that it can do so with the changes that are coming to Nightmare Dungeons ahead of season one, so anything is possible.