They changed a lot with the loot when they introduced Brunt. A lot of it is a slight of hands move on FS’s part.
Acquiring blessings moved from the shop to the Emperor’s gift/Melk and crafting.
Shop items are now potential items instead of “ready” items. This is the most visible change in how the system works. “Ready” items come from Emperor and Melk now. It is harder to just pick something up from the shop and use it. You have to craft. I’d argue shop is now better, for crafting high-end gear from the blues/greens/grays, but if it’s better, in general, is based on personal preference.
High-rated gear (360+) is super common now, but 380 gear is vanishingly rare. 1-5 point of attribute doesn’t really matter unless you are hunting for “the perfect one”, but the potential is lower than before.
Items before the change had “maxed” attributes much more frequently. K12 with max damage/stopping power and good stability was common enough even in the sub-340 category. Now it’s rarer. Currently, stats are usually in an “average” range of 70-79 even on 370+ items.
Melk’s selection of blessings and even base items became overall better, but 380 items that appeared from time to time vanished (I’ve seen 1 since the change on 3 characters).
Emperor’s gift is extremely nice running HiD, and superb on HiD+2Grim after the changes. It’s pretty RNG, but at least it’s good at getting random t4 blessings with a probable chance to get something wildly good “pre-crafted”. Even LiD is good for getting t3s and sometimes items that are pretty good. Worst case scenario it’s a lot of extra currency each run.
My conclusions: Brunt helps with target farming items now that was clearly missing from the game. Crafting became a must. Loot changes made good attribute-heavy items (TH, Plasma…) easier to acquire, but made “damage optimized” (auto guns, las guns…) 3 attribute weapon acquisition harder. Maxed items are rare, 380 weapons, and max health/toughness curios too.