Last-Minute Diablo 4 Season 1 Update Is Already Addressing Fan Complaints

Diablo IV Season 1 starts today, July 20, and developer Blizzard is making significant changes right before the finish line in response to player complaints.

The game’s latest hotfix, patch 1.1.0b, addresses two (out of many) aspects of Diablo IV’s Season 1 patch that some of the game’s dedicated players have taken issue with. First, a level requirement that was introduced for World Tier III and IV–one that wasn’t listed in the official patch notes–has been removed. Though power-leveling is still heavily gutted, lower-level players can still be carried through to higher difficulties by a higher-level friend.

Now Playing: Diablo IV | Season of the Malignant | Gameplay Trailer

Blizzard’s second change is one that deals specifically with the game’s special Season 1 mechanic, Malignant Hearts. These items, which function similarly to gems in that they can be slotted into sockets on pieces of gear, grant powerful effects akin to Legendary Aspects. However, players grew concerned that using the hearts would effectively mean losing out on some of the stat bonuses Diablo IV’s standard gems currently provide. Specifically, slotting skull gems into jewelry grants players a significant amount of extra armor, adding to player survivability. Using Malignant Hearts instead of normal gems grants some potentially powerful powers but at the cost of losing out on some of that survivability other stats provide.

Those concerns about player survivability go hand-in-hand with major changes introduced in Diablo IV’s Season 1 patch that widely nerfed the game’s defensive stats. Players in Season 1 will be easier to kill and generally weaker than they were before (at least before finding and equipping Malignant Hearts), so losing out on the armor provided by slotting skull gems into jewelry would have only made the issue that much worse.

Thankfully, Blizzard seems to agree with those concerns. The latest hotfix has made it so that “Malignant Hearts will now always grant armor that directly maps with their item power,” according to the patch notes. Exactly how much armor the hearts grant remains to be seen until players start to reach higher levels, but the change should make it so that players don’t feel like they have to choose between a Malignant Heart power and more survivability.

Blizzard will be holding a “campfire chat” livestream on July 21 to address fan feedback revolving around Diablo IV’s first season. To participate in Diablo IV Season 1, players will need to create a seasonal character and have completed the game’s campaign at least once. At the end of the three-month season, seasonal characters will be converted into Eternal Realm characters, where they can be played normally without added seasonal mechanics.

Diablo IV has been a huge hit for Blizzard. Activision Blizzard’s latest earnings report revealed that more than 10 million people played latest installment in the ARPG series in June alone, leading to a record $1 billion quarter for Blizzard.

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