Diablo IV’s second season, the “Season of Blood,” is set to go live next week, bringing with it some big changes that Blizzard hopes will improve the action-RPG and bring back players. And while we’ll have to wait to see if Patch 1.2.0 can pull that off, I can at least tell you that, yes, update 1.2 is massive, with the patch notes for it stretching across seven different sections totaling 10,000+ words.
Diablo IV, released in June across PC and consoles, is the latest entry in Blizzard’s popular and long-running demon-killin’ franchise. The game offers more or less the same classic looting and dungeon-crawling action the series is famous for. And like Diablo III, Blizzard’s latest ARPG features seasons that bring new enemies, items, and weapons into the game. However, the game’s first season didn’t go over well with fans due to how long it took to level up and other annoyances, some of which had existed in the game since launch. Blizzard has since corrected some of those problems, but this massive upcoming update seems focused on addressing many of the other lingering issues players have with the ARPG.
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Diablo IV’s season two and 1.2 update land on October 17 across all platforms, and ahead of that, Blizzard published a very long changelog detailing every tweak, change, balance adjustment, addition and fix coming next week. It’s far too long to post entirely here, and covering every change would take a long time.
But here are some highlights that I think all players, even those who’ve barely played the game since launch, will appreciate.
- Items can now be marked as Favorite. Items marked this way cannot be sold or salvaged. Items in the Stash can now be marked as Junk or Favorite, too.
- The Stash can now be searched and filtered to more quickly find items.
- Using the Sell all Junk option will now only sell Junk in the active Inventory tab.
- Streamer mode has been implemented. Players who wish to hide identifying information—such as their character name or Battle.net username—can find these new settings in the Connect Options menu.
- Additional stashes have been added to Capital cities near important Vendors.
- Auto-run has been added. When pressing the bound key/button, the player will continuously move in the direction they or their mouse cursor are facing until another movement action or Skill is initiated.
- Blizzard added an in-game announcement for upcoming World Boss spawns and these big enemies now spawn every three and half hours instead of every six hours.
- The Minimap has been zoomed out to display a wider area.
- Two additional character slots have been added, totaling 12.
- Gems will no longer drop from regular sources, and can instead be crafted at a Jeweler using newly added gem fragments, which will now drop instead of gems. These fragments are stored in your materials tab, so they won’t fill up your inventory anymore.
- And crafted gems can be salvaged back into gem fragments at a jeweler.
- The overall responsiveness of Mounts has been improved and Blizzard says they are now less likely to get stuck on things or slow down unexpectedly. Mounts will also auto-jump over obstacles more consistently.
- The mouse cursor no longer needs to be at the edge of the screen for keyboard and mouse players to achieve full Mount speed.
- Base Mount Movement Speed has been increased by 14%. Your Mount’s top speed remains unchanged.
- The speed boost from Spur has had its duration increased by 50% and when using Spur you can now break through barricades.
- Manual Mount Cooldown has been reduced from 10 seconds to 5 seconds.
- The cooldown appearing after you’ve been forced to dismount from taking damage has been reduced from 30 seconds to 15 seconds.
- The cooldown for the Mount Combat skill has been reduced from 10 to 3 seconds.
According to Blizzard, the following loot adjustments have been implemented per World Tier.
- World Tiers I and II: Unchanged.
- World Tier III: Only Legendary, Unique, Uber Unique, and Sacred Rare items will drop. Players will instead receive additional crafting resources.
- World Tier IV: Only Legendary, Unique, Uber Unique, and Ancestral Rares will drop. Players will instead receive additional crafting resources.
- Gold drop rates have also been increased in World Tiers III and IV to balance out these changes.
Blizzard has also made changes to dungeon visuals and layouts, in an attempt to cut back on backtracking and add more visual diversity to each area. However, the company acknowledges these changes might not be enough and will listen to player feedback.
Some Diablo IV endgame changes include:
- The time between Legion Events has been reduced from 30 minutes to 25 minutes.
- The experience reward for completing a Legion Event has been increased by 75%.
- World Boss health and damage has been increased. Also, the quality of rewards received for defeating a World Boss has been significantly increased.
- The warning that indicates when a World Boss will spawn now broadcasts an hour in advance versus 30 minutes previously. Players are also notified 15 minutes before a World Boss spawns.
The patch notes also explained that the experience bonuses for being in a party and for playing in Higher World Tiers have been made multiplicative to increase effectiveness later in the game. Also, XP gained from killing higher-level creatures has been boosted “significantly.” Side quests will also offer better rewards in season 2, after the patch, and all renown rewards will persist between seasons and new characters. No more grinding a bunch of the same shit every time you start a new game or season.
Blizzard also confirmed that 700 Platinum can now be earned from the Battle Pass. Previously players could only early 666 Platinum.
And that’s…not even half of all the changes and tweaks coming in the next big patch. You can read the full 10,000+ words over on Blizzard’s official website. But the short story is that Diablo IV is hopefully going to become a less annoying, time-consuming, and grindy ARPG after patch 1.2.0.