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Blizzard changing its entire Diablo 4 patching process after 1.1 controversy

But don't expect most of the changes in 1.1 to be reverted.

Image credit: Blizzard / VG247

Friday's Diablo 4 stream was a wild moment for the game and its community. The emergency livestream was Blizzard's way of rapidly responding to the overwhelmingly negative feedback the game's latest patch received.

Patch 1.1 demonstrated a heavy-handed approach in balance; nerfing all classes, flattening the XP curve, blocking several power-levelling methods, and significantly reducing the effectiveness of some key stats - all while players were getting ready to jump into Diablo 4's Season of the Malignant.

Needless to say, it didn't go down well. The good news is that Blizzard is quite aware of why players are upset, and the developer plans to address some of their concerns soon - but most of the changes are staying.

The biggest takeaway from the chat is that the way patch 1.1 rolled out, considering the number of massive changes it brought to the game, will not happen again. Going forward, Blizzard plans to share patch notes before the patches are live, to allow everyone to chew on them and offer feedback rather than the way it's been done so far.

Part of why patch 1.1 changes were so sweeping is that it was the start of a new season. Blizzard said you can expect major balance patches to arrive at predictable times, such as the start of seasons. But the reason why players were extra disappointed this time is that the patch nerfed a number of powerful builds without providing alternatives.

In the future, those builds will be allowed to exist - so long as they're not exploiting a bug - until the developer introduces different ways to build characters.

In the livestream, the developers explained that the intent behind the changes was mainly to cut back on ultra-powerful builds that were tearing through content. Said builds relied on key stats like vulnerability and cooldown reduction, which the patch also nerfed. But the fact that players had to rely on these crutch stats to begin with, rather than be offered diverse powerful paths to choose from, is why these problems exist in the first place.

That's another thing that Blizzard will be changing, as the developer reiterated the ultimate goal is to offer players the freedom to craft their own characters.

In the immediate term, Diablo 4 received a new hotfix that targets Nightmare Dungeon difficulty. In short, tier 100 will feel like tier 70, thanks to reductions in monster HP and damage across the entirety of the Nightmare Dungeon tiers.

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