Blizzard says it understands the frustration players have about Diablo 4’s most recent patch, and promises it doesn’t “plan on doing a patch like this ever again”.
In a candid fireside chat, key members of the Diablo 4 team said that they “acknowledge everyone’s feedback”, admitting that whilst the goal was to slow down players “blasting through the content”, the nerfs had the opposite effect of what the team had intended, which had been to “make the game more fun for players”.
“We want to acknowledge everyone’s feedback in regard to reducing player power,” said community manager, Adam Fletcher. “We know it is bad. We know it is not fun… We also want to talk about what we were trying to achieve specifically with this patch and with the changes that players ended up seeing.
“And then, separately, we do want to also talk about how we don’t plan on doing a patch like this ever again.”
“Ultimately, what we’re trying to do is make the game more fun for players,” added game director Joe Shely (thanks, PC Gamer). “The players are at the heart of everything we’re doing, and if players can’t believe that, as the game evolves, the game will get more fun, we’re not accomplishing our goals.”
So, first up on the correction docket and expected to be part of a server-side hotfix rolling out now: Nightmare dungeons have been boosted to increase enemy density. A Sorcerer and Barbarian Legendary aspect boost – as well as an additional stash tab – are also on the way, but those won’t be available until patch 1.1.1 rolls out sometime in the next couple of weeks. You should also see your Elixir stack size lifted to 99, and respec gold costs of “about 40 per cent” go live in the patch, too.
The team also committed to ensuring that future hotfixes and patches will be published in advanced from here on in, and future balance updates will be left to allow “some builds to be overpowered” until effective alternates can be implemented. There was also a notably absent commitment to rolling back the current patch, too.
However, the devs did note that big balance shifts are inevitable, and will “occur at predictable times, like at the start of a season” but if they introduce a bug, you can expect a quick fix.
The Diablo 4 subreddit is filled with anger from all players – not just the Sorcerer class – including plenty making suggestions for improvements. One response jokes the patch has “fixed an issue where players were having fun”. Another is offering the developers $1m to stream the game for 20 minutes as a Sorcerer and see how it really feels.
Other players are simply review bombing the game: over on Metacritic, the game has a User Score of just 2.2 at the time of writing.