Diablo 4 lead says "obvious" bad ideas used to "fall through the cracks" because the devs didn't fully realize "doing this 2,000 times is actually terrible"

Diablo 4 Season 4
(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Diablo 4 lead class designer Adam Jackson says some features that were widely maligned simply didn't go through enough testing for Blizzard to realize they were tedious in design.

Talking to streamer Raxxanterax (timestamped here), Jackson explained that the Diablo 4 team's process of internal feature testing today is a little more robust than it used to be. Although it's not clear exactly what's changed, it sounds like the developers simply put more time into making sure new features will be positively received.

"This is where you get things that seem obvious to players that were bad ideas but sounded like good ideas when we're sitting in the room talking about it," Jackson said, pointing to an example from Season 4's new tempering system in which an unskippable animation is played when tempering items. 

"Sometimes things fall through the cracks of, 'hey, doing this 2000 times is actually terrible because you have to wait forever' versus 'well, we want a moment of celebration and for the cool thing to be cool'. Balancing these things is what can be harder to do internally. We've made that mistake enough times that now we're very cognizant of it. We make a new feature or new activity and we're like, 'hey, how does this feel doing this for 200 hours?'"

Of course, it also helps that Diablo 4 Season 4 is the first season to be put through a public test realm before making the jump to full release, giving testers plenty of time to identify pain points and communicate them with the developers. It's for that very reason that the Diablo 4 Season 4 patch notes are an eye-watering 10,000 words of balance adjustments, bug fixes, and quality of life improvements.

Season 4 launches May 14.

Ahead of Diablo 4's season of loot changes, Blizzard teases other system reworks "similar in scope" and says it's "very open to revisiting other parts of the game".

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.