When Diablo 4 players aren't smashing bosses into the ground in one swing or becoming invulnerable with an amulet, most of their time is spent squinting at loot. Now that items pour out of every chest and monster since season 2, your inventory gets stuffed real quick, and the process of sorting through all that gear has become one of the game's worst activities.
Blizzard is aware of the issue and plans to fix it with a massive rework to item stats in season 4. But in the meantime, when season 3 launches next Tuesday, items will drop at a higher item power more often, which should at least make all that time scanning your inventory more valuable.
In Diablo 4, item power determines how high the stats on gear can roll, whether they're Legendary or Rare. There are breakpoints at different numbers that help you quickly decide if an item is even worth scrutinizing. At level 100, if I see a pair of gloves with an item power of 600, I immediately know they're trash because every stat on it will be lower than something at item power 780 or higher. In Diablo 4's new era of bountiful loot drops, a lot of your time was spent trashing low item power gear.
Activities like Helltide that were once a great way to find upgrades became too unpredictable, so most players were stuck farming bosses over and over to guarantee high item power loot. A tier 100 Nightmare Dungeon, which is supposed to be the ultimate test of your build, only had a chance to drop the highest tier of loot, item power 925.
In season 3, monsters in Nightmare Dungeons at tier 90 or higher will now always drop item power 925 gear. And tier 46 or higher Nightmare Dungeons will drop more loot around that range, too. Blizzard is finally rewarding players who can reliably run the hardest dungeons with a guaranteed way to gear up. We'll still be stuck skimming past useless stats like "movement speed after killing an Elite" until those big Season 4 changes, but Season 3 will shorten the grind to get items worth looking at in the first place.
Sadly, Diablo 4's most powerful tier of items, Uniques, are still tied to bosses. Season 3's endgame upgrade path will continue to involve killing Echo of Duriel hundreds of times for a chance at Uber Uniques and piles of 925 gear. It might all go a little faster with our new spider companion and the seasonal vault dungeons, though. In an interview with PC Gamer last week, systems game designer Sean White said the Seneschal should match previous seasonal powers but said that it's possible players might find a combination of skills for it that exceeds Blizzard's expectations. "We'll see what happens," he said.