Diablo 4’s New Patch Is Full Of Painful Changes

Diablo IV’s first season arrives on July 20. As was previously announced, players will make new characters with each fresh battle pass. Though it might seem a little unexpected, making new characters on a regular basis is common in the world of Diablo. Sadly, the latest patch might make those future characters of yours a little weaker. In particular, if you were hoping to make use of a certain Druid build that dealt over 2-billion points of damage…well, you can’t do that anymore.

As an action RPG all about chasing numbers, leveling up a new character in Diablo is a linear path toward more and more epic powers and abilities. And with a thorough and versatile skill tree, players can build all sorts of classes to deal incredible amounts of damage to hordes of foes. But a recent update ahead of the game’s first season has made characters hit a little less hard, with nerfs that affect basically everyone. Some of these fix a few unfair exploits, while others scale back the numbers more generally. In general, it’s made for a very unsatisfying patch for the Diablo community.

OP Druid build gets the ax

For some of you, the saddest news is the Druid’s absurd billion-point damage exploit has now been removed. Previously, a specific Shapeshifter Druid build let you deal remarkable amounts of damage. This shouldn’t be too much of a surprise as Blizzard, in a statement to PC Gamer, said that this specific use of the Druid’s Shred ability was in no way supposed to be functioning like that.

Read More: Diablo IV: Three Go-To Builds That’ll Crush Everything

But it’s not just the druid that got hit. Other classes have been taken down a few notches as well.

It’s hard to pick which nerf stings the most (the answer is probably whichever class you happen to main), but virtually no one got out of this patch unscathed. You can view the nitty gritty details for each class here. Certain nerfs address unintended issues, like the Sorcerer’s Aspect of Control seeing a fix for an incorrect 3x damage bonus.

Other nerfs simply lower numbers for certain classes and abilities: The Rogue’s Siphoning Strikes now require a Lucky Hit chance of 75; the Necromancer’s Splintering Aspect Bone Shard damage was dropped from 50-100 percent to just 30 and 60. The Barbarian’s Hamstring ability only slows enemies with more than 80 percent of their health or above, and its slowing effect has been dropped by 10 percent. These only scratch the surface of the nerfs (though the Rogue was the most untouched), but there are some more general ones that strike at the core of the game’s developing meta.

Latest Diablo patch cuts at the heart of current build strategies

The patch notes indicate that Blizzard is interested in reducing Critical Strike and Vulnerable damage as they don’t want all builds to center around these mechanics. In the notes, Blizzard said:

Developer’s Note: We’re seeing Critical Strike Damage and Vulnerable Damage often viewed as a hard requirement for a build’s success in Diablo IV. We believe this is a step towards allowing more builds to flourish and will continue to make changes in support of this goal.

Those changes look like this:

  • Critical Strike Damage: Reduced by ~17%.
  • Lightning Critical Strike Damage: Reduced by ~17%.
  • Critical Strike Damage with Bone, Earth, Imbued, and Werewolf Skills: Reduced by ~17%.
  • Vulnerable Damage: Reduced by ~40%.

The change to Vulnerable Damage is perhaps the harshest, especially as many builds thus far optimize sending enemies into Vulnerable status to pile on the damage.

Live service games typically have an ebb and flow over the course of their lives. In some ways, the current community sentiment surrounding the frustrations over Diablo IV’s pre-season one patch might just be a bump in the road in what will surely be a long life for the latest action RPG. That said, swift, abrupt changes like these massive class nerfs and core changes to the game won’t do well to inspire fan’s faith in the new live-service structure.

Diablo 4 Fixing Bad Menu Tricking Fans Into Buying Battle Pass

Demons try to sell players more battle passes.

Image: Blizzard

Diablo IV’s first season got off to a rocky start following a disastrous patch that nerfed a bunch of characters and builds, but some other, much smaller issues have drawn fan criticism as well, including a battle pass layout that has tricked some players into accidentally buying the premium version. Blizzard’s now rolling out a fix after one player accused the company of employing a “dark pattern” design to trick players.

“So Blizzard placed the ‘Activate Premium Battle Pass’ button right next to the button you have to constantly press to check your Season Journey,” wrote streamer Rurikhan in a tweet that blew up on July 20. “Guess what happened to me and at least 5 others on my stream. This is straight up Malicious Design.”

A clip accompanying the post showed the content creator accidently redeeming the season 1 paid battle bass using his freebie from the Deluxe version of the game. Players are constantly using the season tab on the menu to check their seasonal progress, and the location of the “Activate Premium Battle Pass” button makes it extremely easy to tap it unintentionally. There’s no pop-up giving players a chance to back out of the redemption either.

“When a UI element is designed to trick you into clicking it, it’s called a ‘dark pattern,’ commented gaming YouTube Rhykker in the thread. “IMO Blizzard needs to add a confirm button or something if they don’t want to be accused of using dark patterns. Simple ‘confirm’ pop-up would fix this.”

Others challenged why Rurikhan was upset. After all, it wasn’t a completely new purchase he had made, but an accidental use of his existing freebie. Blizzard probably assumed most players would be using it on Season of the Malignant. Not Rurikhan, however. “I was saving my battle pass for a future season since I don’t have time to commit to this one,” he tweeted.

But it didn’t take Blizzard long to address the complaint and a fix is now expected to roll out soon. “Just had a powwow with people on this post stream,” tweeted Diablo IV community manager Adam Fletcher. “We have a temp fix in the works that will at least ensure the cursor isn’t defaulted there and will instead be defaulted on Season Journey.” At least one player claims they were still denied a refund request after accidentally activating the premium battle pass.

While not the end of the world, it’s easy to see why players would hone in on any potentially exploitative design element in Diablo IV’s first season. The action-RPG is transforming into a live-service game complete with pricey cosmetics and repeatedly battered by waves of balance patches. Blizzard had previously encouraged players to take a break if they weren’t enjoying themselves, but logging off isn’t exactly the sort of thing Diablo has ever incentivized.



Diablo 4 Streamer Starts Season With Permadeath After 50 Hours

Season 1 of Diablo IV is officially underway with tons of new content like an extensive battle pass, more enemy types, a unique questline, and more. But the threat of server disconnects, which can wipe out your whole character if you’re playing on hardcore mode, looms. And Twitch streamer wudijo was reminded of that danger when a dreaded—but brief—power outage murdered his Season 1 hardcore Rogue. This is part of the reason why players have been begging Activision Blizzard to offer an offline mode.

Read More: First Diablo 4 Fan At Hardcore Level 100 Perma-Killed In Worst Way Possible

You might remember wudijo, a German Twitch streamer and YouTuber, from earlier this year. Months before Diablo IV dropped, he was already making a name for himself in the game’s community for basically soloing a world boss in a March open beta. He made headlines in other ways as well, becoming the first player to reach level 100 all by himself in the game’s hardcore mode and attempting one of Diablo IV’s toughest encounters only to die in the end. Now, he’s back with another bummer of a death as his nearly level 100 Rogue was sent to the Hall of Fallen Heroes when his July 21 livestream abruptly crashed.

An unfortunate way to lose a Diablo IV character

After streaming for nearly 24 hours on World Tier 4, the game’s hardest difficulty called “Torment,” wudijo entered a nightmare dungeon version of Dead Man’s Dredge. As the name suggests, nightmare dungeons are harder dungeon variants that become available in World Tier 3 after completing the main campaign and the first Capstone Dungeon. They provide greater rewards like more experience points, better loot, and heaps of gold, making them excellent farming opportunities if you’re looking for more of a challenge.

So, wudijo was in for a beating off the rip, but his rogue was doing tens of thousands of damage. In the midst of a tense battle with a mosh pit of ghouls and goblins, wudijo’s stream randomly cut to blue, then came back up after a few seconds. Once back, wudijo greeted the chat, logged back into the game, and was met with a message saying that his character was sent to the remembrance hall, a place to honor characters who’ve fallen in battle.

After some initial confusion about what happened and how he died, wudijo confirmed to his chatters (who were spamming “F” in the chat) that he lost power for about two seconds. This is what appears to have caused the unfortunate server disconnect which ultimately killed his character.

Wudijo tweeted on July 22 that he sunk almost 50 hours into his level 93 Rogue. He had fully completed the main campaign and had almost 43 million gold before he his untimely demise, and his on-screen stats suggest his character was killed by a revenant, an armor-clad, sword-wielding monster you’d typically find in dungeons around Sanctuary—though we know otherwise.

This is another example of Diablo IV’s server disconnects racking up a body count, as the predicament killed other hardcore characters this year. Though this disconnect was not Blizzard’s fault, it’s a reminder that without some sort of failsafe to prevent temporary blips from wiping hardcore characters, this can and will keep happening to players sinking dozens of hours into Diablo IV.

Kotaku reached out to Activision Blizzard and wudijo for comment.

Read More: Diablo IV Player Can’t Believe What Just Perma-Killed His 172-Hour Druid

This comes just as Activision Blizzard kicked off the Diablo IV’s first season with some important changes and upcoming fixes, particularly around the bad menu that’s been causing players to accidentally buy the battle pass. Things have been pretty rocky for the loot-grinding RPG as of late, with Activision Blizzard promising to address community concerns around player power.


Diablo 4’s Stingy Battle Pass Barely Gives You Any Platinum

An evil guy looks up at the camera.

Screenshot: Blizzard / Kotaku

Like many battle passes for live-service games, Diablo IV lets you earn some of its premium currency as you grind your way through each of the tiers. And while fans might be ready to take the pass’s sweet 666 platinum to their wallets, they certainly won’t be taking it to the in-game shop, as that’s not enough to afford even the cheapest item up for sale.

Last week, Diablo IV kicked its live-service mode into full gear. It hasn’t gone well. At first, Blizzard rolled out an update that turned out to be a proper disaster. Blizzard had to activate its Damage Control skill, hoping to cool down the community with a “we didn’t mean to upset you, babe” livestream. And while it remains to be seen if and how Blizzard rights this ship, fans are also pointing out how unfair the premium currency situation in Diablo IV is.

As a post on Reddit from a few days ago spells out, the most affordable item in Diablo’s microtransaction shop is 800 platinum. That leaves players who complete the battle pass 134 platinum short. And since battle passes cost 1,000 platinum, that 666 won’t even be enough to get next season’s battle pass, assuming its cost doesn’t decrease. Battle passes in many live-service games, such as Fortnite, Call of Duty, and even Halo Infinite, typically reward you with enough premium currency that if you save your digital goods, you’ll have enough to snag next year’s season.

If Diablo IV continues to reward just 666 platinum and keeps its battle pass cost the same, the situation is only going to suck more, as one Redditor points out. If the math remains the same and you save up your battle pass spoils, you’ll eventually be able to afford season three’s pass with 1332 platinum. Then once you earn the next 666 coins, you’ll be at 998, two shy of 1,000. So you’ll have to possibly wait until season five to afford the next one with your base earnings.

Diablo IV’s first stab at this live-service format is turning out much like the first Rogue I built: full of bad decisions that got me mauled to death by ghouls. Time will tell if Blizz can respec its way out of its own bad build.

Diablo 4 Players Using 27-Year-Old Trick To Kill The Butcher

An image shows a close up of Diablo's big Butcher demon.

Image: Blizzard

While exploring dungeons in Diablo IV, you might encounter The Butcher, a terrifying and hard-to-kill demon boss who’s been a staple of the series since the original game in 1997. But if you get lucky, you might be able to easily kill this legendary baddie if he gets stuck behind a locked door. I’d feel bad for the guy, but he’s been getting trapped like this for nearly three decades now.

Released in June, Diablo IV is the latest entry in Blizzard’s popular and long-running demon-killin’ action-RPG franchise. The game offers mostly the same classic looting and dungeon-crawling action you’d expect from a Diablo game, with some of the same enemies and classes from past titles returning for this latest entry. Also returning is one of Diablo’s most famous bosses: The Butcher.

This big demon first appeared way back in 1997 and also showed up in Diablo III in 2012. He’s a fan of big cleavers, killing adventures and asking for fresh meat. He’s scary and has been wrecking Diablo IV players when he randomly (and rarely) shows up in a dungeon or basement. However, old-school Diablo players might already know his weakness: doors. And it appears not much has changed in 2023.

Gif: Blizzard / Any_Affect_7134 / Kotaku

As first reported by Icy Veins, a few Diablo IV players on Reddit have shared clips of the deadly boss being easily killed after spawning behind a locked door. In this situation The Butcher can’t attack or do damage to the player, but the player can damage the boss through the locked obstacle. Is this cheating? Maybe. But this bastard is tough, so any advantage feels fair.

Read More: Diablo IV’s Butcher Is Leaving Players Shooketh

What makes this funnier is that back in the first Diablo, The Butcher was known to commonly get stuck on random bits of terrain or even, like in 2023, get trapped behind doors. And just like today, back then players would take advantage of the helpless Butcher and beat the demonic shit out of him until he died and spit out some loot.

As far as I can tell, there doesn’t seem to be a reliable way to force the ol’ Butcher to spawn behind a locked door. But if it happens to you, don’t feel bad as you murder him. You’re just taking part in an old, time-honored Diablo tradition.

Diablo IV Freezes Trading After Gold Exploit Crashes The Market

The second-hand market for trading gold and items in Diablo IV is currently on hold as Blizzard investigates the rise of new item duplication glitches and gold exploits. The unusual economic intervention comes as the action-RPG’s market gets flooded with gold, and some players reportedly trade gear that’s not even that great for billions of in-game currency.

“We’ve suspended player trading in Diablo IV until further notice due to a gold and item duplication exploit,” a community manager for the company posted on the Blizzard forums on August 14. “We are working on a fix to amend this issue and will update you once we’ve reinstated the ability to trade. Once that is done, we will continue to monitor this activity to ensure a healthy playing experience for all.”

Diablo III’s controversial auction house was killed just two years into the game’s life, with the pay-to-win social hub souring many players on the random loot drop experience at the heart of the game. Blizzard didn’t want to repeat the same mistakes with Diablo IV, and in addition to not having an official auction house, one-to-one trading between players is pretty limited. The sequels’s most powerful gear, Legendary and unique items, can’t be traded. Neither can Aspects or most in-game currencies.

A screenshot shows community unrest about the state of gold dupping.

Screenshot: Reddit / Kotaku

Gold, gems, and rare items can be, however, and it’s led to some pretty wild results in recent days as apparent duplication glitches and gold-earning exploits load players up with tons of extra mid-level loot. A couple weeks into the current Season of the Malignant, players on the Diablo IV subreddit began reporting eye-popping trade requests in the neighborhood of five to 10 billion.

Some on the game’s official forums called on Blizzard to remove all of the allegedly duped gold in the Diablo IV economy, which seemingly involves up to 10 million players or more at this point. In mid-July, some third-party sites were selling 100 million in-game gold for $4. More recently you could get 1 billion for the same amount.

A screenshot shows the price of gold on a third-party marketplace.

Screenshot: IGGM / Kotaku

“Overall, the situation is a great recipe for a chaotic market,” one Diablo IV trader who goes by WretcH on Discord told Kotaku. “Exploits bringing a ton of gold into the economy, a significant amount of players who lack general knowledge of what makes gear good buying and selling, and a total lack of a unified and cohesive marketplace. It’s the wild west out here.”

It’s not clear at the moment what the precise source of the extra items and gold flooding the market is. There are rumors of dupping glitches being carried over from Diablo III and gold farming bots running amok. And none of this, from third-party trading sites to online gold sellers, is officially sanctioned by Blizzard, so dabbling in any of it always brings the risk of a ban.

“Engaging in exploits such as item/gold duping or real money transactions with third parties can result in account actions,” Blizzard told Kotaku last week when asked about the current market conditions and accusations. “We are currently investigating all reports.”


Diablo 4’s Next Season Looks Pretty Gruesome In New Trailer

A demon gets its head hacked off in Diablo IV's Season of Blood announcement trailer.

Screenshot: Blizzard / Kotaku

During Gamescom’s Opening Night Live presentation, Blizzard took to the stage alongside host Geoff Keighley to announce that Diablo IV’s next update, Season of Blood, will start on October 17—just in time for Halloween.

Much like Diablo IV’s current update, Season of the Malignant, Season 2 will introduce five new and returning endgame bosses, and will also come with changes to renown rewards, gem and stash storage, and resistance and status effects. While the studio didn’t divulge details on what those updates will be just yet, Blizzard came through with a new trailer showing off what to expect come this October.


Read More: There Are Officially Too Many Video Games Launching In October 2023

If you thought that looked kinda gruesome, well, I’m right there with you. With vampire hunter Erys at your side, it’ll be up to the two of you to put an end to a new threat roaming the lands of Sanctuary. Erys is voiced by Gemma Chan, who you might recognize from Captain Marvel (Minn-Erva), Raya and the Last Dragon (Namaari), Crazy Rich Asians (Astrid), and Eternals (Sersi), among other films and TV shows. Revealing that this is her first video game performance, Chan, alongside Diablo general manager Rod Fergusson, briefly talked about the “badass warrior companion” Erys, some “cool vampiric powers” at your disposal, and a “big bad vampire lord” you’ll face at Season of Blood’s end.

Read More: Diablo IV Is About To Make Loot Way Better For New Characters

But that’s not until October 17. For now, Season of the Malignant is still going on, and unfortunately, things haven’t been going well. After a controversial change to player power level, the studio addressed the community by promising to not make classes weaker, which Blizzard is aware leads to a “not fun” experience overall. Here’s hoping things go better with Season of Blood.


Diablo 4 Bonus XP Weekend Overlaps With Starfield Release

Diablo IV's Lilith stands in the shadows against a red background.

Screenshot: Blizzard / Kotaku

Diablo IV will host its first XP and Gold buff event, Mother’s Blessing, from September 1 to September 5, which IGN noticed coincides with “NASApunk” role-playing game Starfield’s release window.

Approximately. Bethesda’s Starfield is out in Early Access beginning August 31 at 8 p.m. Eastern, but only for those who own the Premium or Constellation editions of the game, or for Game Pass members who spend $30 to upgrade their (free) Standard copy to Premium. Then, the RPG is out officially, without any clarifications, on September 6 at 8 p.m. Eastern.

Diablo IV’s Mother’s Blessing Weekend is nested in that period, from 1:00  p.m. Eastern on the 1st to 1:00  p.m. Eastern on the 5th. A news brief from Blizzard says that, in that time, all Diablo IV players—including those playing in the Seasonal Realm (which includes seasonal content), those playing in the Eternal Realm (the “default,” base game), and under any World Tier difficulty—will receive both XP and Gold at a 25 percent increased rate.

Read More: Here’s When You Can Actually Start Playing Starfield

“For those curious where to attribute this newfound boon, look for the new in-game icon beside your potion count that signifies the increased rate of earning Gold and XP,” Blizzard says in its brief. “Stoke the fire, gather round, and rally your most savvy of companions to slay demons with renewed fervor. The Blessed Mother’s cruelty is matched by her generosity, but not for long.”

Every Diablo IV player should take advantage of Mother’s Blessing Weekend while they can, but especially those also planning to play Starfield. That game, with its hundreds of explorable planets, can supposedly be hundreds of hours long, so it’ll no doubt occupy most of your video game time once it’s out. But, no pressure if you don’t have time to play both games. Bethesda keeps touting Starfield’s incredible amount of content, I’m sure there’s a planet dedicated to Diablo IV XP.


Blizzard Plans To Drop New Diablo 4 Expansions Every Year

Blizzard confirmed in a September 5 interview that not only will its loot-chasing action-RPG Diablo IV get long-term support in the form of its quarterly seasons, but the game will also receive a new paid expansion every year.

Read More: Diablo 4‘s Next Season Looks Pretty Gruesome In New Trailer

Rod Fergusson, general manager of the Diablo franchise, said as much to Dexerto, telling the gaming publication that the team’s vision for the game stretches for a while. In fact, Fergusson expressly said Blizzard is focused on Diablo IV for “years and years,” stating that the first season was merely the foundation for its future.

“So, as we look at our quarterly seasons, and we look at our annual expansions, those are the things that we’re really focused on for our live service,” Fergusson said. “We’ve got plans, we have storylines that go well into the future. We’ve got plans. We’re always leapfrogging our seasons, and leapfrogging our expansions, so it’s something we are going to do for a long time. We’re excited. When you look back and realize that there were 11 years between [Diablo III] and [Diablo IV], that feels like we didn’t live up to our players, our community, and what they deserve. That’s something we are rectifying in [Diablo IV] with our seasons and our expansions.”

In this way, Diablo IV’s expansion cadence will mirror Bungie’s Destiny games, particularly Destiny 2, which normally gets new content in the form of free seasonal updates and paid annual expansions. While there are no specifics yet on what new content Diablo IV will see introduced in its expansions, both Diablo II and Diablo III saw new areas, new storylines, and new character classes introduced in the one expansion each game received. Most recently, the mobile spin-off Diablo Immortal got a hot vamp knight, the first new class Blizzard has introduced to the series in nine years. Your move, Diablo IV.

Kotaku reached out to Activision Blizzard for comment.

Read More: Diablo 4‘s Inventory Situation Is Pretty Crummy

Season of the Malignant, Diablo IV’s first content drop that started on July 20, wasn’t exactly well-received by the community, with some fans complaining that the battle pass is quite stingy, and a pre-season patch receiving widespread rebuke for making the game even grindier. So sharp was the criticism that the company not only apologized for the derided changes to the game but also promised to never release such a patch again. With the second content drop, Season of Blood, kicking off on October 17 and coming with a bunch of meaningful tweaks to storage management and status effects—among other things—here’s hoping Blizzard finds its groove.


QVC Deal Will Let You Get Mortal Kombat 1, Diablo IV For $40

Mortal Kombat 1 has only been out for a few days. Diablo IV is barely a few months old. And Pikmin 4 and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom are Nintendo games, so they rarely go on sale. But right now on QVC—yes, that old shopping network—you can get any of these games for $40 thanks to a deal for new customers.

I won’t bore you with my stories of watching QVC—a home shopping channel launched in 1986—whenever I need something in the background while playing mobile games or building Lego sets. But I don’t need to explain that most people reading this site likely don’t think of QVC when they think of “Places to buy video games.” Yet QVC does sell video games! And right now you can get a bunch of new and old games for either $20 or $30 off, depending on the price of the game.

Before we begin, you’ll need to create a QVC account. (And you’ll need to be a new member and this will need to be your first order for this deal to work.) Then pick out a video game and toss it in your cart. Then apply one of these two discount codes:

NEWQVC30: $30 off your first order of $60 or more.

NEWQVC20: $20 off your first order of $40 or more.

You can’t combine these deals, but with the $30 off coupon, you can grab any $60 or $70 game and knock a large chunk off its price. And while QVC doesn’t have a huge selection of games compared to Amazon or Gamestop, the shopping network does offer some new, AAA hits, like Diablo IV, Mortal Kombat 1, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Ride 5, Pikmin 4, Madden NFL 24, Immortals of Aveum, Street Fighter 6, God of War Ragnarok, and Watch Dogs Legion.

Any of these games (or other games) will work with either discount code. In fact, any item on QVC can be purchased with either discount. The key is that your cart needs to have $60 or more in it so you can save $30. Or $40 or more in it to use the $20 promo code. QVC says these codes will only last for a limited time, so don’t wait around if you want to grab any of these games for less than their full price.

Now, before I leave you, let’s check out that time an air mattress failed after the hosts stood on it with heels. Or what about that time a caller got very angry on air when someone interrupted their phone call? Or when a guest got too excited about consumerism and fell off the stage, hurting his “booty” in the process. What a network!


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