Blizzard explains Diablo III hotfix and nerf philosophy

By Brenna Hillier, Tuesday, 29 May 2012 01:14 GMT

Waking up one morning and finding your Diablo III monk is less of a powerhouse than yesterday is painful, yes, but Blizzard insists it’s for the good of the overall game.

In a new developer blog post, Blizzard said hotfixes allow the developer to “react quickly to critical design and balance issues, bugs, and other problems that seriously conflict with our design intent”.

“We expect that because the game is new, some other issues will arise that will need to be immediately addressed through hotfixes, but in general, most changes will arrive through patches,” it promised.

While admitting to having “outright nerf”ed some aspects of the game with the most recent hotfixes, Blizzard said these were necessary changes to bring about the kind of “diversity” of build it hopes to find reaching endgame in the higher difficulty settings.

“Inferno is intended to be extremely difficult, but with some specific skills, a few classes were simply able to progress far more easily than intended,” it said.

“This made the [other] classes, which were about where they were supposed to be, seem very underpowered. It also created the perception that the classes doing well were intended to rely on specific runes in all their builds, and the other classes were just broken.

“This is the opposite of what’s true. If any single skill or rune feels absolutely required to progress, it means that skill is working against our goal of encouraging build diversity — and those “required” skills need to be corrected.”

Blizzard apologised for surprising players with the hotfixes and promised to communicate better in the future. To that end, the post also gives some details on upcoming changes to the blacksmith and to Inferno damage spikes, as well as some interesting statistics; just 1.9% of characters have unlocked Inferno difficulty, for example. Hit the link above for more.

Thanks, Blue.

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Diablo 3

Diablo III

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