Ethereal Drop Rates

After three days of consistent testing, one thing that I would like to point out is that the drop rates MUST increase for ethereals for the season to be effective. An Ethereal will only be good if it 1) compliments your build, and 2) if it is the right weapon choice of the three types… So that means you have 1 in 3 chances of a drop hbeing of the right weapon choice, and with that factored in, that weapon now has a 1 in 15 chance of being for the right build. This is factoring in with the two choices as one is cubed. If Ethereals are even having drops in the Ancient drop rate, one would be lucky to find one good one before the end of season and then it will be lost by the time the season is over. The drop rates need to increase to Legendary drop rates, or maybe a little bit higher, as even then, it will still take some time to find the right weapon to compliment your build. I can see a lot of people being very frustrated when they finally get that Ethereal for their build after two months only to use it for 3-4 weeks before season ends and it being gone.



The PTR with its +2000% legendary drop rate is actually a bad sim for the relevance of Ethereals as a seasonal theme.

Here they drop often enough (and you can buy them) that getting one that fits a build is relatively easy.

But that certainly won’t be the case with the target % drop rate as stated in the PTR notes. As a season theme it will be one that is not felt as a buff most of the time unlike previous themes that buff you all the time, while leveling 1-70 and after.

They do drop before 70 on the PTR. I’ve gotten anywhere between 3 to 10 leveling but once live next season it will be extremely rare to see any while leveling or even before playing at T16.

There will be no seasonal buff of any sort happening until you luck out and one drops for you.

As to the collectible part of it, getting 21 will be ridiculously hard with these drop rates.


Yep it’s either at least double the drop rate or you make Ethereals Primal Ancient (so the only randomness would be the leg power / passive.)

Right now with it’s low drop rate (you can tell this by simply doing GRs which negate most of the 2000% buff in comparison to legs) to get one useable one for the build you’re looking for it would actually be as difficult as getting a Primal you’re looking for considering the loss of crafting / Kadala.

Most players go entire seasons without getting a good primal they’re looking for. Hell a lot don’t even get the ancient with the stats they want till well into the season. Seasonal theme should likely be accessible quite reasonably within the season, at current rate it won’t.


My take:
Bliz has the intent for the Eth’s to be found, not necessarily used in end game.
As stated by several others; if they are intended to be used at a high level, they have failed on the implementation and drop chances both.
Actually there is no value to even having them in game as they are only temporary and make not one bit of difference in the long run.
Some may be lucky, most won’t or will not even try to get the correct ones for specific builds.
That’s just fine with bliz too…

I’d argue impossible actually, it’s that bad. You have to compare GR and take overworld out completely, takes a good 15 or so GR (sample GR100) for one to drop…that’s hundreds of legs. Needs to be <100 for sure.

You have to create a seasonal character, I know the icon buff shows it in NS but it’s not true as it’s a seasonal theme.

No thanks. The drop rates are fine. If you want the items, you need to work for it. That is the essence of a ARRPG. You want the items, then go grind for it.

The problem with people complaining about the drop rates are because the complainers are people that just play on the forums. They don’t even play the game and don’t like being forced to play the game but instead they just play on the forums to complain.

I bet all of the complainers here barely play more than a few days of the season and barely get 1000 paragon in season. You do not deserve weapon xmogs if you barely play the game and you should not get them for free either.

These are going to be end game weapons for the seasons. You have to work and grind to obtain these and you shouldn’t just get these weapons for free.

Fixed that for you and this is the main problem, wouldn’t have an issue at all if these would last seasons, but it’s only for this season so it should be no where near primal and the problem is it actually is closer to that than ancient.

The fact that this is probably going to be the first season where a lot won’t get to enjoy the reward of a seasonal power is what the argument is about. Yes ARRPG should be more about loot over levels for power, that’s why I love this theme, it brings a bit of that back, but you have to be reasonable for that power since it’s temporary just like any other season. I’m all for not having it free, but you have to be sensible with it or you might not get what you’re looking for at all by putting in the time, which would frustrate pretty much everyone.


Yes, all you have to do is play the game. You will get it sooner or later if you play the game. These are end game items for seaoson and they should not drop from the sky like regular legendaries.

The people complaining on forums are the ones that play 3 days of season and expect everything.

1 Like

You realized this is seasonal theme?, not an item that drops while playing the season… what is the use of having an seasonal theme, if everyone who play the season do not get a chance to enjoy it.

1 Like

I feel like some people are doom-and-gloom about the drop rates. Based on previous knowledge, and PTR testing, the relative drop rates seem to be, Per Legendary Dropped:

Ancients:     1/10     10.00% chance
Ethereals:    1/100     1.00% chance
Primals:      1/400     0.25% chance

And I’m left wondering why a few people are concerned about a 1/100 chance at a BiS weapon?

Keep in mind, these Ethereals are all weapons, and very powerful ones at that. So whereas the odds that any given Primal you find is even of the correct set/slot/type, Ethereals are heavily weighted toward being useful in the Weapon slots (even if the first one or two are imperfect stepping stones while you farm for a more optimal one)…meanwhile, Primals are not only significantly more rare, but they’re also significantly more likely to be entirely useless to your build.

So at 1/100 odds at a powerful Ethereal weapon, this is actually far greater odds than getting, say, that Ancient Little Rogue you’ve been searching for. Or that Haunted Vision. And yet people rely on, and successfully find, these items every single day. In fact, it’s generally only a small hiccup or speed bump at the start of the season.

I’m not understanding how it’s possible to feel that these rates are unobtainable or hard. It’s a rate of 3+ ethereals per hour for someone farming at about a GR70 level…which is far more chances than the average person would be seeing for any other BiS weapon.

Alternatively, consider the impact to the game if we suddenly tuned it so that everyone got their BiS weapon on day 1 of the season. Doesn’t that remove a ton of the excitement of the new Ethereal drops? Doesn’t that kill a lot of the drive to keep farming?

I think the drop rate is very appropriately tuned.

I don’t understand what your justification for this belief could be? These weapons will almost certainly be Best-in-Slot for the vast majority of builds in S24. (Norvald’s Crusader builds may still trump the power of Ethereals)

In my experience, the majority of active players exclusively play Seasons. Season buffs/mechanics/themes are, by design, temporary. You could say this same thing about literally all previous season themes…and yet, season after season, it’s still the dominant game mode and people enjoy the new temporary mechanics.

Respectfully, I don’t think you’ve done the math. At roughly 2-4 Ethereals per hour of grinding, completing the Feat of Strength on 7 classes will likely only add about 10 hours or less to a player’s season. Over the course of 3-4 months. This is not even something I would consider “difficult”, let alone “impossible”, even if you’re far more “casual” than average.

If there was a Leaderboard for the FoS to obtain all 21 Ethereals, I would bet real money that it’d be achieved within 24 hours of season start. It truly is not going to be that difficult, but it is introducing a completely optional way to encourage players to play each class and spend more time in game…which I, personally, think is great! It’s very optional, and very achievable. This is a great design.

Most players only play Seasonal, and themes are temporary. This is, as I stated earlier, a fine design. And mathematically, Ethereals are found much much closer to the rate of Ancients than they are to the rate of Primals (let alone Primal weapons).

I promise you every single person who would ever get anywhere near completing the Season Journey, will absolutely have found a usable and fun Ethereal to play with. Not just “an Ethereal”, but “the Ethereal I wanted”. Just because you aren’t guaranteed to find one while leveling, does not mean it is being withheld for the super elite.

It’s true, they won’t rain from the sky like candy. But at 1% drop rate, that’s still multiple ethereals per hour for anyone who actually does T16 and GRs over about 70.

These are rare, but rewarding, items. Something this game has been lacking for years. It’s not only Okay to have rare and/or “hard to obtain” items, it’s desirable.


Okay, for once I agree with you. It’s complement by the way.

Each class has 3 ethereals and what like 15 or thereabout legendary affixes on each? Something in that ball park. Even ignoring the passive affix and specific item roll, for a truly casual player that may be a very bold guarantee.

There’s a case to be made in either direction on drop rates, but I feel that if you’re not getting at least the appropriate power on an ethereal by about the time you’d normally acquire the ancient version of your primary weapon then it’s missed the mark.

We have to all remember that these drop rates ARE the season. With only one class set revamp and no other seasonal effect in place then not getting usable ethereals means you’re not really playing with the seasonal effect. That will be exit stage left for a ton of people.

There’s a good reason we haven’t had that in this game. The Diablo 3 that we currently know just isn’t made for an ethereal type weapon.

The early game, leveling through early torments is made for this sort of random power spike weapon. In that part of the game ethereals feel GREAT. They’re impactful, strong enough to last a while, and most importantly worth pivoting your build towards. In that part of the game you can play anything and in that sort of game getting that teal beacon feels amazing because you know you got something worth opening.

But that’s not the game we all play. Torment 3 only has a monster health of about 2000%. T16, what we currently consider easy mode, has a monster health of about 14 million %. All of those necessary damage multipliers means that this sort of random power drop no longer fits. Diablo 3 is now a game of quickly getting what you need to slowly grind what you want. With so many set and complementary pieces required you can no longer pivot a build towards something awesome, at least not easily. An awesome random weapon in this version of Diablo 3 is automatically trash if it doesn’t have the appropriate affix.

This is something I sorely want to see fixed in Diablo 4. There is a certain joy in acquiring a rare item missed in Diablo 3, but that’s not gonna be fixed in this game.

I believe 14 is the average, but Crusaders have like 19 or so, so it brings it up a bit. 15 seems “fair” to use for comparison sake.

However, the implication that the chance of getting a worthwhile Ethereal is 1/3 * 1/15 = 1/45, is wildly out of touch. For most 1H weapons, there will typically be 3 Legendary Affixes which are viable (1/5 odds), covering your equipped and cube slots. For a few others, using a 2H or what-have-you, that number might be more like 1/7.

Similarly, although each build may have their desired Ethereal, all of the Ethereals seem to be in sufficient power that you’d still want to use one that wasn’t the “optimal” one. For example, even though you may prefer The Oculus as a Wizard, you would absolutely still use the Wizardspike as a powerful stepping stone if that’s what you found first.

The exceptions to this may be the very few 2H weapons, such as the Wizard’s Mang Song’s Lesson. But most classes could use 3/3 of their Ethereals just fine as stepping stones.

So in most cases you would literally have about a 1/5 chance of getting a completely viable Ethereal with each drop. With the current drop rates, this would be about 1.5-2 hours worth of farming for a fairly reliable guarantee you’ve found a useful, and powerful, Ethereal weapon. This is what most people will experience. They will find a usable Ethereal in the first few hours of trying to finish their build and acquire early-season gear (sets, gems, jewelry, etc).

In a worse case…such as a GoD DH who can’t reasonably use Windforce (Archery skills bonus only) and who don’t want the quiver power on their weapon, the odds may be closer to 2/3 * 3/15 = 6/45 = 1/7.5… so maybe 3 hours to get a usable Ethereal.

In the worst case…Shadow DHs literally don’t have access to an Ethereal at all :sob:

Now, if your “Best Possible, Absolutely Perfect” Ethereal happens to be 1/45…well, that’s going to be rare, of course. But you can use one of the other many Ethereals you found along the way to keep on that journey. And it will make the finding of that super rare item even more rewarding (despite the fact that it’s probably a relatively small upgrade…similar to how Primal items are currently. “Nice, but not game changing”).

Sure! But if you’re concerned about the current Ethereal rates…I worry you are either drastically overestimating how hard it will be to find a usable Ethereal…or drastically underestimating how hard it is to get a good Ancient Little Rogue.

Currently tuned, I’d expect that getting a “usable” Ethereal will be relatively easy for most players. About the same as getting their first non-ancient Little Rogue. Getting an “optimal” Ethereal will be harder…but not significantly unlike the current difficulty with getting a good Ancient weapon.

I agree! But I suspect we draw different conclusions from this fact.

You seem to be implying that, because this is the Season theme, we need to make it trivial to obtain the BIS weapon. As though we need to guarantee that everyone will get a perfectly rolled weapon, no matter how casual they are. I do not agree with this.

Ethereals will be plentiful enough that everyone will get some; even the most casual of the casuals. They will be rare enough that there’s still a sense of excitement when they drop, which is a huge factor for a loot treadmill game like this. And getting the “perfect” rolls will be super rare, extending the average quest for perfection significantly. Giving players a goal to keep striving for, while peppering them with hits of excitement as they get the occasional slot machine roll for an upgrade.

The “imperfect stepping stone” design actually accomplishes so much more than just handing everyone a perfect item on the first day of the season. Given that this is the only mechanic, it’s important to make them feel rare and to give people a reason to keep trying to find more. If you make them too plentiful, or too easy to get a “perfect” one, then the drive to find more disappears and player motivation will tank (since there are no other seasonal themes/mechanics at play to keep them engaged).

I don’t love all of the Ethereal items, individually. But the concept, drop rate, and new icons/animations/colors are very well done.

Careful with the implications. I’m not making an argument as much as setting the stage. As I said before, there’s an argument to be made for both very high and very low drop rates but we have to consider what game we are playing and in what situation we are playing it.

I’d also be careful with deeming things “perfect” or “BIS”. With so many stats on these items there exists room for a lot of variance. A truly perfectly rolled item will still be extremely rare.

Ethereals are going to be decent, the droprates are ok some key issues are mostly passives rolling on them that actively sabotage them there is a thread on this already think of Heavenly Strength for a crusader on a onehander nerfing their damage by 20%

Getting your BiS weapon is going through some RNG but not that much more then before primals would often roll bad as well this is similar to a degree as they will drop more often then primals you need to go through 1/3 for weapon type, then legendary power, that power needs to then roll a good%(preferably the raw damage will carry it in most cases) and finally the class passive.

So based on this:

Ancients:     1/10     10.00% chance
Ethereals:    1/100     1.00% chance
Primals:      1/400     0.25% chance

And then the joke that primals tended to roll bad for people expect most of the players to have a set of ethereals within a week a few weeks for a good one and that’s about it.

Don’t forget the season lasts for more then a month and its a marathon not a race.

Complain about a complete lack of balance changes instead brother, necro’s been overtuned since it’s introduction. WD has been dead in the water for ages and DH got to play strafe for a season before getting slapped

Something no one is mentioning, and maybe we just need clarification because this is how I read this, is that the 1/100 drop rate (assuming this ratio is correct) might only apply to weapon drops. Remember, ethereals are only weapons, while primals can be anything. So a primal is 1/400 for any drop, while ethereals are 1/100 for a weapon drop with weapons being 1/13, so the true drop rate for ethereals is 1/1300. If this is the case…

Agreed I would say that in order for ethereals to be a good season theme they should err on the side of letting us actually having them. There are two ways they can do this. One allow them to be gotten by gambling and put in a special cube recipe for the season only that will allow us to get a guaranteed ethereal. Then they could keep the crappy drop rates.

Next would be to greatly increase them to where they would be dropping at a rate of 1 our of every 20 legendaries would be an ethereal. You could tweak the numbers up or down in order to get the right amount so players would have a chance to get the ethereal they are looking for by the end of the season.

Otherwise this will be an extension of season 23.

1 Like

I actually mentioned this right off the bat before PTR even started, but apparently the way GR’s after 90 are seeded this doesn’t matter as much, it’s simply a base 1 in 100 drops regardless in this case or 1% drop rate.

Still think it should be 1/50 but it won’t be as bad as I had stated. For non GR 90’s because they’re just weapons we’re still looking at about 1/200. I still think a lot of the large ranges and randomness should be brought down, like why not just make the legendary power perfectly rolled? It’s already going to be random enough trying to get the one you want and a good passive with good dmg rolled.

Aside from what Caleko and others have mentioned, wudijo also explains this here: