Diablo 4 devs make big promises after Season 1 fallout: faster leveling, fewer player nerfs, a better endgame, and more

Diablo 4 Unique items
(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Diablo 4 developers are going all in on damage control following the rapidly intensifying backlash over the launch of season 1, which kicked off with a devastating round of nerfs for some of the most popular builds.

Community manager Adam Fletcher began the developer livestream by addressing the feedback from Diablo 4 Patch 1.1.0 in surprisingly candid terms: he straight-up admitted the patch made the game less fun. From there, game director Joe Shely and associate game director Joe Piepiora detailed the myriad ways they plan on addressing player feedback and ultimately making Diablo 4 more enjoyable for players at all levels.

"We don't plan on doing patches like this ever again," said Fletcher. "We're not going to be, essentially, removing the fun and the player power from players drastically like this. And if we ever do that for any type of class or build or whatnot, we'll make sure that there's some really good alternatives for players to actually try out a different build that will also be boosted way back up to help out and give other options for players to jump into."

Specifically, critical and vulnerable damage were heavily nerfed with reductions of 17% and 40% respectively, but Blizzard stopped short of offering up specifics around exactly what alternatives will be offered for builds that focus on those damage types. However, Blizzard did make a point to say it would "let some builds be overpowered until we have provided compelling alternatives," which sounds like fewer player nerfs.

"We ourselves will do a better job at communicating back to the community," added Fletcher, promising a timelier release of patch notes, whether through livestreams or blogs, to give players a heads up about big changes before they're implemented.

Here are some specific changes Blizzard mentioned as coming in future updates.

  • Sorcerer and Barbarian buffs coming in "the next few weeks"
  • XP adjustment will make leveling from 50-100 quicker
  • "Substantially" increased monster density in Nightmare dungeons
  • Increased monster density in Helltides
  • An additional stash tab in the next patch
  • Difficulty reduction in Nightmare dungeon in a hotfix today
  • Respec gold costs to be reduced by "about 40%" in next patch
  • Elixir stack size increased to 99 in next patch
  • Uber Unique drop rate will be "a little" more common in the future
  • A "reworked" damage reduction system in Season 2
  • More gear customization options in the future
  • Loot goblins will drop more Legendary gear in the future
  • Loadouts for builds being considered but not part of roadmap yet

Beyond today's Nightmare Dungeon hotfix, some of these changes will begin rolling out in Patch 1.1.1, which Blizzard said in today's livestream will release "in the next couple weeks or so." We'll learn a lot more about what's coming in that patch, hopefully including a release date, in a new livestream on July 28.

Head to our Diablo 4 Battle Pass guide for a detailed look at seasonal progression.

Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.