After a sudden rise in player farming, Blizzard quickly corrects its course in response to the sudden influx of Uber Unique items in Diablo 4.
The Harlequin Crest helmet appears to have dropped much more frequently from Helltide Chests since Diablo 4’s most recent update, 1.0.4, to the extent that Blizzard had to intervene again to completely stop the drop. The new Diablo game emphasizes its living economy and uncommon loot drops as a live-service hack ‘n’ slash, and obtaining extremely valuable loot easily could result in major issues down the road.
With the start of Season 1 of Diablo 4 scheduled for July 20, the game is about to shed its rosy launch-window goggles and formally enter its live-service phase, which may make or break it for many players. It’s a pretty big deal when one of its rarest items suddenly appears, especially when it’s something as sought-after as the infamous Shako helmet.
Players quickly realized they could and easily farm the Shako by looking for Helltide Chests after Diablo 4’s update 1.0.4 went live. The update made a few adjustments to these specific loot sources, which unintentionally greatly increased the rate at which the Harlequin Crest helm dropped. Those who were aware of this unintended behavior naturally seized the chance to finally obtain the Shako. An item that was otherwise quite rare to drop due to its status as an Ultra-Rare Unique item, the rarest quality available in the game. Quick to respond, Blizzard temporarily stopped allowing Uber Unique items to drop in-game.
Since Blizzard disabled the egregious farming technique after many players had already received their Harlequin Crest drops, getting the Shako in Diablo 4 is now once more difficult. The developer may decide to remove these items from the server rather than allowing the players to keep them. The Harlequin Crest is a fairly potent item, so Blizzard might decide to make it less potent for the rest of the pre-season progression, so it doesn’t have a significant impact on the game’s economy.
It is important to note that Diablo 4’s economy is already quite harsh, and Blizzard appears to be taking special care to prevent players from becoming excessively wealthy too soon. One of the issues with live-service games is that minor errors can have significant repercussions in the future, particularly when it comes to how player resources are handled, so Blizzard is obviously taking precautions for now.
Before the release of Season of the Malignant, Diablo 4 is still lacking significant features, and it’s currently unknown whether Blizzard even has some of them on the production schedule. Regardless, July 20 is quickly approaching, and if the most recent Shako farming event is any indication, some players will undoubtedly be expecting a new Diablo 4 loot cave to appear alongside the seasonal update.