Diablo 4 gets emergency hotfix as its rarest item drops like candy

Blizzard releases an emergency Diablo 4 hotfix after players find a quick way to easily get the game’s rarest and most powerful helmet, the Harlequin Crest.

Diablo 4 hotfixes helltide chest uniques - Lilith looks on with a knowing glare.

An emergency Diablo 4 hotfix has arrived, preventing players from a simple trick that was handing out the rarest and most powerful gear in the game. With Diablo 4 patch 1.0.4 boosting rewards from Helltide chests, it became quickly apparent that Diablo 4 players had suddenly gained the ability to easily grab the most elusive and sought-after helmet in the RPG game. Unfortunately, if you’re reading this, you’re already too late.

The Diablo 4 Harlequin Crest is pretty much hands-down the best item in the game. Boasting a huge defensive stat buff alongside its trademark bonus giving you four additional ranks to all your skills, the Harlequin Crest – known by many as ‘Shako’ for its Diablo 2 counterpart – is almost a guaranteed best-in-slot item for all the best Diablo 4 builds. There’s just one problem; it’s almost impossible to find, with roughly five confirmed drops across all players in the game’s first month.

That all changed following the release of the newest patch. Now, the Diablo 4 Helltide chests that you open with your Aberrant Cinders can drop uniques. That’s great news for classes such as Druids, which almost rely on certain uniques to get their builds working. But over in the Twitch chat of Diablo 4’s first level 100 player, Rob ‘Rob2628,’ his viewers crafted a theory.

What would happen if a class that has no class-specific unique helmets opens Helltide chests that are set to drop helmets? Neither the Barbarian nor the Sorcerer has one, so Rob’s community got to work farming as quickly as they could. The results were almost immediate, with more players finding Harlequin Crest than had done so in the past month combined. Some also picked up the Diablo 4 Andariel’s Visage, one of the other ultra-rare uniques.

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From its testing, Rob’s community estimates that the drop rate of Diablo 4 unique items from Helltide chests is about 0.5% – certainly far from a guaranteed pull, but if you’re on a class that has no other unique helmets to get in the way, that’s a vastly better drop rate for the Harlequin Crest and Andariel’s Visage than we’ve ever seen before.

Unfortunately, Blizzard quickly realized what it had done, and decided that this target farming, while rather exciting, might demolish the allure of its rarest gear. “We have temporarily disabled uber uniques from dropping in-game while we address an issue with Helltide chest drops,” Diablo community manager Adam ‘PezRadar’ Fletcher reports.

“Players will not be able to obtain the six uber unique items until a hotfix, which we expect to be implemented on Friday afternoon Pacific time.” He adds that “Other unique items will still be available from these chests,” so you should still be in the clear to grab those Tempest Roars, Druid players.

Diablo 4 Helltide chest uniques - Donan, a bearded man with a shaved head, wipes off his mouth.

While it’s certainly a little sad to see this shut down so rapidly, it probably was a little too easy to grab items that were designed to be the hardest to find – Blizzard’s Rod Fergusson previously talked about wanting to avoid the “Destiny loot cave problem” in Diablo 4.

However, players’ response to this change shows that people want to feel like they’re actively working towards these ultra-rare pieces, rather than just hoping for a lucky roll that feels like it’ll probably never arrive.

What will arrive soon, though, is Diablo 4 season 1 – the Season of the Malignant promises plenty of ways to create “new, broken builds,” so perhaps it’ll also include more target farming options for its rarest items. It’ll also mark the beginning of the first Diablo 4 battle pass, so make sure you’re up to speed on just how that works.