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Diablo IV Players Keep Bricking Their Most Powerful Gear

Loot Reborn's blacksmith tempering is a huge gamble

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A barbarian holds up his bricked hammer in disgust.
Image: Blizzard

Diablo IV’s latest seasonal update substantially reworked a bunch of things to make the loot action-RPG more fun and rewarding. However, one change has engineered some especially cruel moments for the most devoted players.

A big part of Loot Reborn is tempering, a system for upgrading gear at the blacksmith. You collect tempering recipes while exploring Sanctuary and completing dungeons and can then use those to add various bonuses to your best weapons and armor. Even though players select which recipe to temper their gear with, it’s completely random which bonus from the pool of possibilities in the recipe will actually get applied. What’s more, tempering can only be re-rolled five times and no more. If players never get the stat that synergizes with the rest of their build, the item in question is considered “bricked.”


“Bricked 5 weapons on tempering and rage quit only to hop back on 10 mins later and brick 5 more,” wrote user Friendly-Gain-620 on the Diablo 4 subreddit. “I hate this game but I can’t stop playing it.”


Some players called bullshit, accusing the author of exaggerating their misfortune, but the sentiment perfectly encapsulates the push and pull many Diablo 4 players are feeling these days. The subreddit and Blizzard forums are littered with people sharing their most unlucky moments and debating whether Tempering needs to be revised or if terrible RNG is just part of the thrill. “Been bricking rings all week,” another player wrote. “If you aren’t bricking, you aren’t playing.”

While bricking any old piece of gear is a pain, it’s especially tragic for rare loot with two or three greater affixes on it. These are the items with especially strong stats that players spend hours farming Helltides and the new Pit of the Artificer for.


“Managed to get 2 3GA items with all the affixes I need,” wrote Stunning_Rub_6624. “I thought to myself ‘wow, I’m having a really good day today’ but little did I know, Blizzard had other plans for me. I went to temper my items, and was very nervous but thought ‘if I can get at least the first temper I need, I’ll take it as a W.’ Nope. Bricked both items with tempers that have 0 effect on my build.”

They’re hardly alone. “Farmed ~20 hours and bricked two 2GA and two 1GA upgrades, I need some hugs man,” wrote _Duality_. “I just need commiseration. I rage-salvaged them already. I need to sleep. Rough day. Will be back at it tomorrow though lmao.” A third player bricked a bunch of items, spent a ton of gold to enchant them, and then accidentally salvaged them by mistake anyway.


Naturally, there’s been a bunch of debate about whether this is a problem that needs solving or if players need to chill out. One argument is that perfectly synergized rolls should be incredibly rare and hard to come by. No one has to engage with the tempering system if they don’t want to, and the fact that tempering is a gamble is part of what has players obsessed with it. The counter-argument is that gear with multiple greater affixes are once-in-a-season events, and there should be some bad-luck protection or a way to reset the tempering process to make it less risky.


As with a lot of things in Diablo 4, the tension is between creating a gear chase for people who want to spend a hundred hours playing each new season versus those who want to be able to casually dip in and experience the thrill of the entire loot arc in a much more abbreviated time frame. It’s a challenge every live game faces, and the goal posts are always moving.

My personal favorite response to the great Diablo 4 bricking debate is those calling for the phrase itself to be retired in favor of something more technically accurate. As “Diablo dad” SorbetImportant2440 pointed out on the subreddit, bricking used to be reserved for when a computer or smartphone stopped turning on and turned into an expensive paper weight. “Bricked” gear is still just as strong and useful as it was before, it’s just not as strong as it could be. For many Diablo players though, it might as well be garbage at that point.