Blizzard is making a lot of changes to Diablo 4 based on feedback from players who participated in the two betas.
The combination of this feedback and actual gameplay data allowed Blizzard to review and make changes to Diablo 4 in time for its official launch on June 6th.
The first thing to change is the dungeon layouts, with Blizzard saying that one of the most common pieces of feedback she received was about backtracking inside certain dungeons. Multiple dungeons have since been improved to reduce this, including Caldera Gate, Defilied Catacombs, Derelict Lodge, Forbidden City, Hoarfrost Demise, Immortal Emanation, Kor Dragan Battacks, Maulwood, and Rimescar Caverns.
“Our primary goal with the layout changes was to reduce certain types of rollback that detract from the player experience,” said Blizzard. The structure targets that were previously in the lower side tracks are now relocated to the main area, for example.
Dungeons events will also happen more frequently in the final version, as Blizzard has increased the chance of an event appearing in dungeons from 10% to 60%. Quality of life improvements have also been made, such as removing the waiting time when depositing an Animus, increasing movement speed when carrying ancient statues and similar items, and adding a small map ping for newly opened doors.
“While our dungeons offer a wide variety of objectives to complete, player feedback stated that the procedure for completing each objective was tedious,” said Blizzard. “We hope that introducing rewards, such as increased mobility while carrying certain thematic items, will simplify and change the experience of completing objectives. This mod is just a starting point, and we intend to extend this philosophy to keys in a future update.”
The cellars have seen similar changes, with Blizzard increasing the chance of a dungeon event occurring in the cellars. They also now continually reward players with a chest upon completion. Also fixed issues where Vaults would be prematurely marked as complete and the Guaranteed Elite monster would be absent from the Vault.
Seasons change too
Changes have been made to the classrooms as well. Barbarian received a negative 10% damage reduction, the whirlwind skill now deals more damage and costs more rage, and the double swing improvement restores Firy’s full cost when used on stunned or smashed enemies.
A Druid’s companion skills will now deal greatly increased damage, the cooldown times of all ultimate skills have been reduced, the usability of Maul and Pulverize has been improved, and using an unchanging skill will now transform a druid into his human form.
Summoned necromancer minions will die more often, which means players will need to use corpses more often. In the meantime, many Book of the Dead stat bonuses were increased, the damage of the Corpse Explosion skill was reduced, and the brightness of skeletal warriors and mages was reduced.
Rogue’s stunt skill has increased bonuses along with many passive skills, while cooldowns have been increased across all possession skills.
Finally, the Charged Bolt mage’s damage has been increased and mana cost lowered, Chain Lightning’s damage has been reduced, and the magic bonus cooldown of the Incinerate skill has been reduced. Firewalls will now also spawn under enemies more frequently when using their Enchantment bonus and the Lucky Hit chance to bonus Meteor skill enchantment has been increased.
“Whenever we make changes to our classes, it is with the goal of making them and their skills feel impactful and powerful,” said Blizzard. Your feedback has helped us stick to this ideal.
“Some players have subtly noticed that some skills were quite powerful. One of our goals for skills is to make them interesting for you to use and interact in terms of detail and combat feel. We’ve made some changes to help in that regard, with one example being the Necromancer Minions. We made a change that makes them more vulnerable in combat, which will make raising the dead an even more active element of a necromancer game. The launch is just the first step in our class balancing journey, and you can expect many more updates iterating on this pillar of Diablo 4.”
Better quality of life.
Blizzard is making more quality of life changes along with fixing a lot of known issues in Diablo 4 like the butcher head becoming unresponsive. A lot of these changes come down to the game’s user interface, as Blizzard is changing things to allow for a better experience.
This starts with the chat box now displayed on the left side of the screen when using the central action bar configuration. Character stats will also now be displayed by default when players click the Material and Stats button within their inventory, while teleport and interaction inputs can now be mapped to a single button while primary attack inputs are mapped to a secondary button. Finally, the text is changed to the new serif font.
Blizzard will discuss these changes and more in a developer update live stream taking place on April 20 at 11am PT / 2pm ET / 7pm in the UK. Game Director Joe Shelley, Associate Game Director Joseph Bibora, and Associate Director of Community Adam Fletcher will also share details about the final game.
The betas, which were a struggle even for some people to join for both KFC and issues with waiting time, saw the Sorcerer and Necromancer classes play more, despite logging a total of 46,924,644 deaths in over 60 million hours of play.
Despite all the launch talk, Blizzard recently shared that Diablo 4’s Battle Pass will take about 80 hours to complete.
Ryan Dinsdale is a freelance journalist for IGN and UK news editor. He’ll be talking about The Witcher all day.
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