Three directors working on Diablo IV held a campfire chat livestream yesterday saying they will change how they roll out patches, after an incremental verison 1.1.0 patch for the game abruptly nerfed players’ builds (via IGN). And they promise updates like that won’t happen in the future — at least, not the way it went down this week.
In the livestream, associate director Joe Piepiora, game director Joe Shely, and community chief Adam Fletcher acknowledged complaints about the patch, which massively reduced player power for some builds. Fletcher said of the reduction that, “we know it is bad, we know it is not fun,” and added, “we don’t plan on doing a patch like this ever again.”
In the short term, there is at least one quick fix coming to rebalance things after the 1.1.0 patch. Piepiora said the team felt that nightmare dungeons in the game are “dramatically overtuned” and that tier 100 nightmare dungeons are “excruciatingly difficult” for most classes, resulting in players pursuing very specific builds.
This was never the intention, Piepiora said, and the team plans to drop the difficulty of those tier 100 dungeons by about 30 percent “later today via hotfix” to balance things out. It won’t be restoring player power to previous levels, in other words, but making the game world a little easier to deal with.
Shely said that a version 1.1.1 patch will balance things further by, among other changes, adding more monsters to nightmare dungeons and some Helltide events, so that players at higher levels can have fun mowing monsters down as they move through them. In its next Campfire Chat, scheduled for Friday, July 28th, Blizzard will talk more about that patch, which Fletcher says will be out in “a couple of weeks.”
Shely said that the team is changing how it approaches game-balancing updates, especially those related to reducing player power, saying it won’t do it again without offering some “compelling alternatives for players to pursue.” Instead, the team will let those builds stay overpowered until they fit more neatly into overall changes. The team will also introduce those updates predictably, he said, such as at the beginning of a new season.
Ahead of future patches, Fletcher said Blizzard will offer patch notes in the week prior to a release explaining the changes.