Diablo 4 was well-received by fans and critics, but any goodwill Blizzard may have recovered may be unraveled by the version 1.1 patch.
At one point, Blizzard was one of the most beloved studios in all of video games. That has been undermined by years of scandals, legal troubles, and undelivered promises for upcoming games. Diablo 4 represented the biggest win for the company in years as it dropped to solid critical reviews and garnered praise from fans. Things might be trending back downward, though.
Diablo 4 dropped its first significant update with version 1.1 patch. The update was met with an overwhelmingly negative response from fans who criticized Blizzard for changes that they claim will make it significantly harder to level up and remove powerful builds.
What changed in today’s Diablo 4 patch 1.1?
Diablo 4 version 1.1 added new unique items and Legendary Aspects, fixed a number of bugs, and significantly reduced rewards experience rewards for defeating monsters.
Much of the 1.1 update is standard fare for a recently released game. Unintended interactions being removed, controller support was improved, and performance was enhanced across all platforms. While players didn’t express any issue with the technical facets of the patch, the gameplay and balance updates received almost universal criticism.
The issue stems from sweeping nerfs to almost every facet of building up a character. Almost every player will boot up the game and find their current character to be weaker, monsters to be significantly stronger, and a much greater challenge when building a new character.
Stat bonuses from weapons, critical hit damage, damage bonuses, and cooldown reduction affixes are just some of the things that were nerfed across the board in this update. These nerfs were not small, either. Core Stat bonuses on weapons were halved, inherent weapon affixes were reduced by 50 to 65% in some cases, and basically everything else was reduced from 15 to 33%.
Blizzard explained the reason for these brutal nerfs:
“In general, we prefer build-specific changes to be bonuses instead of decreases, but we feel these changes are necessary for the overall health of the game. Diablo IV is a game that is continually evolving through its seasons, thus the adjustments we make will evolve with them,” Blizzard said in the patch notes.
Two areas did see actual improvements for players. Many types of damage saw increases from 25 to 40%. The diversity of affixes was also increased when it comes to both classes and equipment types. Barrier Generation is available for all classes, Resistance to All Elements is now available on shields, Control Impaired Duration Reduction is available on leg armor, and so on.
Building a character in Diablo 4 Season 1 is going to be much harder after this patch
The Diablo 4 Season 1 patch is going to make it much harder to actually build up characters. This is seen with enormous reductions to experience yields while power leveling.
Experience rewards were slashed in multiple ways, with level-based experience bonuses being reduced by up to 90% and the actual yields from monsters being significantly reduced for the player that is being power leveled. Blizzard gave this example for the new experience formula:
- You are Level 1. Your friends bring you to World Tier IV and leave you at the entrance of a dungeon. They start killing Level 100 monsters.
- Prior to Season of the Malignant, you get: (Level 100 Monster XP) * (1 + 25%)
- After Season of the Malignant, you get: (Level 11 Monster XP) * (1 + 15%)
On top of that significant reduction to experience yields, monsters are also set to be much harder in some cases. The HP boosts monsters receive based on the size of the players’ party are set to be increased from +85% to +100%.
The full patch notes can be found on Blizzard’s official website. The changes have players frustrated to the point where they are debating on which dark fantasy game to turn to with Diablo 4 uninstalled. Smash-hit indie title Vampire Survivors is a great option on both PC and Xbox.