The monsters in Diablo 4 season 2 drop more items than I can fit into my inventory and it's giving me a headache.
Compared to the woes of Diablo 4 season 1, having far too many items than you know what to do with is a good problem to have. Hats off to Blizzard for making it rain loot like never before. The consequence of this new loot-filled era, however, is an inventory-filled era. I've endured a ridiculous number of loading screens teleporting back to town to clear my inventory and I think it might be season 2's biggest problem at the moment.
One of season 2's most enjoyable new features, Blood Harvest events, suffer the most. As soon as you cross the border into one, monsters start spilling loot like it's a defense mechanism. Some elite enemies even drop two Legendary items each, a reward that would've felt illicit in season 1. Now the ground will be littered with glowing items in as little as 20 minutes.
It's exciting to find lots of loot, don't get me wrong. It's less of a thrill to endure loading screen after loading screen as I teleport back and forth to [some fun description for dumping tons of junk out of your pockets?]. The blacksmith has to be tired of me at this point. I may be rolling in crafting materials from salvaging buckets of loot, but it's starting to feel like I'm playing a resource management game and not an action RPG. There has to be a better way.
Blizzard seemingly predicted this would happen and made lower-tier items in World Tier 3 and 4 drop as crafting materials that don't take up inventory space. It's a smart solution when you've reached a point in the game where uncommon and rare items mean nothing to you. But in the lower World Tiers, those items could be upgrades, and there's no way to determine which ones matter to you before picking them up.
A loot filter is the obvious solution, and Diablo general manager Rod Fergusson says that's part of the team's "backlog." With a loot filter, you'd be able to set which stats you're looking for and only see dropped items that fit that description. Plenty of other action RPGs use a similar system, including Path of Exile and the upcoming Last Epoch. It's not a particularly elegant option, but it'll save you time running quality control in your inventory screen.
Torchlight was onto something with its pets that sold items for you. You'd offload your inventory into theirs and send them off to town. Diablo 4 doesn't seem like a fit for this exact system thematically. There's some whimsy in imagining a pet saunturing up to a merchant and haggling for a good price on a pile of frost wands, and Blizzard is intent on making Sanctuary the most dour place to be. But anything that could remotely handle salvaging or selling items (maybe with a slight penalty for the convenience) would be welcome, especially during dungeons.
Diablo 4 needed a win, and season 2 is certainly it. The game is the smoothest it's been since the betas, finally celebrating the complexity in its skill trees and gear by dumping loot and XP on everyone. Some players say it's balanced for casuals now and want things tuned back down. I disagree—and apparently so does game director Joe Shely, who says there are "no plans to nerf it." Good, because Diablo has always been a series that invites you to reach into its guts to see how it works. Nobody wants to grind for weeks to see an upgrade, and you shouldn't have to wait hours to experiment with a new build idea.
I appreciate that Blizzard tipped the scale to be more generous than stingy in season 2. Now it's time to rein things in at least a bit so that Diablo 4 doesn't become a salvaging simulator, or worse, soften the excitement of new loot—a cardinal sin for action RPGs. All eyes are on the inevitable mid-season patch for season 2 for some kind of solution.