Diablo 4 fans are quickly discovering the game’s version of a “loot cave,” and the game’s developers are rushing to keep up with the carnage.
For those who don’t know, the term “loot cave” comes from Destiny. Not long after Destiny‘s debut, players discovered a cave that could generate a seemingly infinite amount of enemies. By standing near the cave and defeating the endless waves of squishy enemies, players could quickly acquire a ton of gear. The loot cave was fixed, but it was soon replaced by a similar strategy.
Since then, loot caves have become shorthand for glitches in gear-based games that allow you to quickly and easily farm extra gear. Most of the time, those loot caves are entirely unintended. In fact, the act of players discovering new loot caves and developers rushing to fix them has become a game unto itself.
That’s where Diablo 4‘s loot caves are at the moment. The big difference is that Diablo 4 doesn’t have one loot cave. It actually has several loot caves that can all be attributed to the same basic glitch.
Since Diablo 4 launched last week, the team has issued two hotfixes (that we know about) that are designed to address an unusual number of Elite enemies spawning in certain dungeons. Why? Well, Elite enemies have a significantly higher chance of dropping rarer and more powerful items. If you happen to find a dungeon that lets you fight five or six Elite enemies at once, your odds of getting the best gear go up tremendously.
Despite the Diablo 4 team’s best efforts, though, they haven’t entirely fixed the problem. Actually, as of the time of this writing, the Iron Hold dungeon is still spawning a clearly unintended number of Elite enemies. In one recent run, I faced about 15-20 Elite enemies in five-to-seven minutes it took to beat the dungeon. That’s conservatively about 5x the number of those enemies you should expect to see during that time. I also snagged four Legendary Sacred items during that run, which seemed particularly lucky but somewhat proportional to the number of Elite enemies I faced.
Mind you, the dungeon that allows you to utilize this glitch changes from time to time. It’s Iron Hold today, and it was Maugan’s Works before that. Until the core issue that causes these dungeons to appear is fixed, though, they will keep appearing. It’s just a matter of finding them.
It’s clear that the Diablo 4 team wants to “fix” these dungeons as soon as they appear. It’s equally clear that players think these dungeons should be left alone. Neither viewpoint is particularly surprising. Developers want to prevent you from cheesing the game, and players want to make things a little easier on themselves. It’s a dynamic that isn’t exactly unique to these kinds of games. Tears of the Kingdom was recently the subject of a similar debate.
While I tend to side with the fans on this one, I think the best solution is probably found in the middle ground. See, for as lucrative as these loot cave dungeons are, they’re also quite tough. Facing that many Elite enemies in such cramped quarters at once can easily spell your doom if you’re underleveleld, undergeared, or simply unprepared. Some will easily be able to overcome these unique challenges, but their unintentional nature certainly extends to their difficulty. You’re not supposed to face multiple minibosses that are grouped so close together and often hitting you with multiple negative status effects. Your rewards for clearing those rooms sometimes feel proportional to the effort.
So maybe the solution is to embrace these glitches and incorporate them into the game. Maybe make a particular dungeon a daily challenge that offers a high concentration of enemies but follows modified “Hardcore” rules that only allow you to complete it so long as you don’t die. Alternatively, you could incorporate this glitch into a modified version of the “Butcher” concept and occasionally force players to deal with a controlled version of it without warning.
More likely than not, though, the loot cave dance will go on. Diablo 4‘s developers will try to remove the loot caves, and Diablo 4‘s fans will keep trying to find them. So if you’re trying to farm the best gear in the game, keep an eye out for dungeons that seem “broken.” You’ll want to run them as much as possible before they are fixed.