To put it simply: Rares aren't.
Most of PSO2 still considers 7★ rare, including the red boxes and any NPC party members' now comically exaggerated reaction to you receiving anything 7★ or above. This is a consequence of power creep; I know it goes against Phantasy Star Online rarity tradition, but it would have been nice if they had reworked it so rare/red was shifted to being 10★ or above in Episode 3 and 13★ or above in Episode 5.
Fortunately New Genesis is going to start with a lower rarity as the highest available (4-6★?). It'll remain an open question if they plan to do power creep better when higher level caps and rarities are added, but it'll take a while to get to that point.
While we're on the subject I'm pretty much just talking about red boxes and drops being unsatisfying yet the game repeatedly telling you they're good and special. They aren't, and it feels jarring. What I'm not talking about is progress that asks for material grinding. For the most part I'm okay with that progress mechanism; the Klauz grind is a bit much for the time we've had to do it IMO, but that's a consequence of content rush and we shouldn't have such a condensed experience with NGS.
@Matt said in PSO2: NGS Rare Drops:
Personally I think the game just needs worthwhile drops spread across more content than anything else, as PSO2 usually has everything valuable in 1 or 2 content pieces which gets stale quickly.
Agreed. Historically I'd say this is one of the biggest and most consistent mistakes the online Phantasy Star games have made. Sega really could do with learning that it kills variety to add a new rarity and then limit it to only being available in one or two quests or content types. It can't be that much work to update the drop lists in prior content, maybe scaling up their highest difficulty a bit accordingly which would suit the probably increased pace of lower-level levelling that tends to come with that kind of progression increase.
Then again perhaps with the idea of large-scale geography in New Genesis this might not feel so bad? If the harder and more rewarding content is added further away from the main city, it might contribute to a sense of progression instead.