Blizzard has addressed backlash over Diablo 4’s controversial nerf patch, promising a new patch that will undo many of the changes made.
In the livestream, Associate Game Director Joe Piepiora, Game Director Joe Shely, and Community Chief Adam Fletcher discussed the thinking behind the 1.1.
“For players, this isn’t the best playing experience,” Fletcher said. “I have no plans to patch like this in the future. I can hear you clearly.”
“We know that reducing a player’s power is never a good experience,” added Joe Piepiola. “Sometimes we don’t quite get it right.”
Patch 1.1.1 will go live within the next two weeks, possibly a few days after another livestream scheduled for Friday, July 28th. This patch focuses on improving the power of both the Sorcerer and Barbarian classes, especially after they have received significant nerfs. Blizzard said players can expect increased survivability, especially in Sorcerer.
This patch also increases the density of monsters in two key Endgame activities: Nightmare Dungeon and Helltide. To address inventory issues, 1.1.1 adds an additional hidden tab where players can store items. Elixir cache sizes can now be up to 99. 1.1.1 will also reduce character respec costs by about 40%, encouraging players to try out new builds.
Importantly, players complained about hitting a brick wall around level 70, so in the next patch we’re adjusting XP gains from level 50 to level 100. “We’re not trying to slow the game down,” Shelley insisted. “We want level 100 to feel accomplished, not a job,” he added Piepiora.
In the short term, a hotfix will be released today, July 21st, to reduce the difficulty of the Nightmare Dungeon. According to Blizzard, Tier 100 Nightmare dungeons are “excruciatingly difficult” for most classes, requiring players to rely on specific builds to have a chance of defeating them. This difficulty change should make the Tier 100 Nightmare Dungeon more similar to the current Tier 70 Nightmare Dungeon.
During the livestream, Blizzard said it created a new process to ensure that patches like 1.1.0 that greatly depower players never happen again. Going forward, Blizzard will allow some builds to go strong until a compelling alternative is offered. “We can’t undermine these powerful builds unless we provide compelling alternatives for players to pursue,” Shelley said.
Additionally, these large meta-change patches always occur at predictable times, such as the start of a new season. Of course, Blizzard is quick to respond to game-breaking damage and crash-causing bugs.
“ARPG games are, after all, about power fantasy, and they kind of interrupt the game to invite players to find fun toys they’ve made and do crazy things with them. And we need to make sure we don’t punish players for doing that,” said Shely.
Fletcher announced a change in communications that means Blizzard will always provide patch notes via stream or blog post “no matter what” at least a week before the actual update goes into effect. Blizzard’s next Campfire Chat is set for Friday, July 28th, and will delve even deeper into the changes planned for patch 1.1.1.
In spite of various problems, Diablo 4 is a big hit Over 10 million people played in June. Diablo 4 was Blizzard’s fastest-selling game of all time, driving the company’s record revenue and profits.Check here if you’re still playing Interactive Diablo 4 Map Click to start tracking your progress as you play.
Wesley is IGN’s UK news editor. Find @wyp100 on Twitter. Wesley can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or confidentially at email@example.com.