Fine-tuning the dungeon diving
The Diablo IV open beta weekends came and went in back in March, giving players a little bit of time with the upcoming dungeon crawler. Blizzard also used the occasion to test out its new game a bit, and has detailed some of the changes its making based on feedback from the early Diablo IV play periods, ahead of the full launch in June.
In a blog titled “Diablo IV Open Beta Retrospective, Transforming Feedback Into Change,” Blizzard outlines some lessons learned from the March 17 and 24 weekends. These Early Access and Open Beta periods saw a fair few folks pop on and level up their characters. During that time, Blizzard solicited feedback on the official forums, as well as through forums like Reddit and Discord.
A common piece of feedback Blizzard received was that players felt they did a lot of backtracking in certain dungeons. So, several areas had their dungeons optimized to minimize backtracking: Caldera Gate, Defiled Catacombs, Derelict Lodge, Forbidden City, Hoarfrost Demise, Immortal Emanation, Kor Dragan Barracks, Maulwood, and Rimescar Caverns.
Dungeon event spawn chances have increased as well, and objectives have been updated in order to make completing them less tedious.
Several classes saw changes from the early feedback. Stun and Freeze can be applied to Elite Monsters twice as long before becoming unstoppable, and Legendary Powers have had updates to their effectiveness.
Barbarians get a little more barbaric with a flat 10% passive damage reduction, and the Whirlwind spin deals more damage, while also consuming more Fury.
Druids’ Companion Skills deal “heavily” increased damage, and using a non-Shapeshifting Skill will transform a Druid back into their human form.
For Necromancers, summoned minions will die more often, encouraging players to use corpses more often. Rogues saw a lot of buffs to their bonuses from skills, though imbuement skills have had their cooldowns increased.
And for Sorcerers, Chain Lightning gets a little bit of a nerf in damage and effectiveness, while other spells like Charged Bolt get buffed.
Quality of life
More fine-tuning was done for the user interface, including a new serif font to replace the previously sans serif font in-game. The Butcher is going to be burlier, providing more of a challenge on World Tiers III and IV, and a case where players could increase their attack speed by move-cancelling attacks early has been fixed.
It’s a pretty large change log that seems to hit a lot of early feedback of Diablo IV heading into launch. Considering this is a live game that will be updated with more content to explore as time goes on, chances are that Blizzard will keep tuning up to and past launch. However, it’s wild to think that we’re not too far out at this point.
Diablo IV opens the gates to Hell on June 6.