In a new blog post, Blizzard detailed changes coming to Diablo 4 after the March 17 and March 24 beta weekends. The studio provided some numbers for the beta period including over 61.5 million hours played, over 29 billion monsters slain, and 2.6 million Beta Wolf Packs earned.
Onto the juicy stuff, Blizzard is focusing on including first and foremost, dungeons! Blizzard is tweaking dungeon layouts in Diablo 4 in the best way — by removing backtracking, which according to feedback, was the most common complaint received during the beta.
Diablo 4 Dungeon Layouts
- One of the most common pieces of feedback Blizzard received is that players felt they were doing a lot of backtracking within certain dungeons. The team has optimized multiple dungeons across all zones to minimize the need for backtracking. Here is a list of dungeons specifically in the Fractured Peaks zone which received layout updates:
- Caldera Gate
- Defiled Catacombs
- Derelict Lodge
- Forbidden City
- Hoarfrost Demise
- Immortal Emanation
- Kor Dragan Barracks
- Rimescar Caverns
Developer’s Note: Our primary goal with the Layout changes was to reduce certain kinds of backtracking which detract from a player’s experience. An example of this change is that players previously needed to enter side rooms to interact with Structure Objectives, causing them to retread the same path. Now, many of our Structure Objectives have been repositioned along main dungeon pathways, making them easier for players to reach and allowing them to readily explore the dungeon after defeating the Structure.
- The chance for an Event to spawn inside of a dungeon has increased from 10% to 60%.
- To reduce the need to backtrack, small numbers of straggling monsters will seek out the player to help complete the Kill All Monsters objective.
When Animus is gathered, the player and nearby allies will:
- Gain 10 Resource.
- Reduce all active Cooldowns by 1 second.
- Depositing Animus channel time was reduced from 3 to 0 seconds.
- The time to Rescue was reduced from 3 to 1.5 seconds.
- All Rescue objectives now drop a Health Potion upon completion.
- While carrying the Ancient’s Statue, Bloodstone, Mechanical Box, or Stone Carving, you will receive a Momentum bonus granting a 25% move speed increase to you and nearby allies.
- Pedestals have had their channel time reduced from 2 to 0 seconds.
- Returning a Portable Object to its Pedestal now fully restores Health, Resource, Potions, and resets cooldowns for all nearby players.
- All doors will now generate a minimap ping when they are opened.
- All Structure Objectives in dungeons now have additional combat mechanics players must overcome.
Developer’s Note: While our dungeons offer a variety of Objectives to complete, player feedback stated that the action of completing each Objective felt tedious. We hope that providing bonuses, such as the increase in mobility while carrying certain Objective items, will streamline and vary the experience of completing Objectives. This adjustment is merely a starting point, and we intend to extend this philosophy to keys in a future update.
Classes are also receiving some tweaks due to the beta feedback. The Barbarian will receive a 10 percent passive damage reduction, Whirlwind deals more damage but consumes more Fury, and Double Swing refills Fury cost when used on Stunned or Knocked Down enemies.
Next, the Druid’s Companion skills will deal heavier increased damage and all Ultimate skills have had their cooldown period reduced, both Maul and Pulverize have had usability improvements made to them, and non-Shapeshifting skills transform the Druid back to human.
The Necromancer will be nerfed for launch it seems as minions will die faster, so expect to use more corpses often. The bonuses in the Book of the Dead have had their stats increased, the damage dealt by Corpse Explosion has been reduced, and the brightness of Skeletal Warriors and Mages has been reduced.
The Rogue’s Subterfuge skill has had its bonus increased with multiple passive skills, and all Imbuement skills had had cooldowns increased.
Finally, the Sorcerer Charged Bolt’s damage was increased and the Mana cost to cast decreased, damage decreased on Chain Lightning damage and reduced its effectiveness against Bosses, decreased the cooldown for the Incinerate Skill’s Enchantment bonus, Firewalls will now spawn underneath enemies more frequently when using its Enchantment bonus, increased the Lucky Hit chance for the Meteor Skill’s Enchantment bonus.
- Effects like Stun and Freeze can be applied to Elite Monsters twice as long before they become Unstoppable.
- Reviewed class skills to confirm that all classes have access to sufficient skills that remove control impairing effects.
- Many Legendary Powers have had updates to their effectiveness.
Developer’s Note: Whenever we introduce changes to our Classes, it is with the goal of making both them and their Skills feel impactful and powerful—your feedback has helped us uphold this ideal. Some players have adeptly noticed that certain Skills were too powerful. One of our goals for Skills is to have them be interesting to wield and interactive in terms of itemization and combat feel. We’ve made some changes to help in this regard, with one example being the Necromancer’s Minions. We’ve made a change that makes them more vulnerable in combat, which will make raising the dead a more active component of the Necromancer’s gameplay. Launch is just the first step of our Class balance journey, and you can expect further updates that iterate on this pillar of Diablo 4.
- Fixed an issue where the built-in Screen Reader was not reading key prompts, game options details, and other UI text.
- Fixed an issue where actions could not be bound to the mouse wheel.
- Fixed an issue where Evade couldn’t be bound to the right Analog Stick on controller.
- Chat will now display on the left side of the screen when using the centered action bar configuration.
- A character’s stats will be displayed by default when players click the Materials & Stats button within their Inventory.
- The Move and Interact inputs can now be mapped to one button while the Primary Attack input is mapped to a secondary button.
- The sans serif font used in-game has been replaced with a new serif font.
- Fixed multiple issues that allowed bosses, like the Butcher, to become unresponsive.
- The Butcher has been re-evaluated for difficulty and will present a greater challenge in World Tiers III and IV.
- Bosses such as T’chort, Malnok, Vhenard, and others were reevaluated for melee character difficulty, resulting in changes to attacks and fight mechanics.
- Fixed an issue where Vampire Brutes using the Shadow Enchant affix would chain-cast Impale.
- Increased the chance for a dungeon Event to occur in Cellars.
- Cellars will now consistently reward a chest upon completion.
- Fixed an issue where Cellars would prematurely be marked as complete.
- Fixed an issue where the guaranteed elite monster would be absent from a Cellar.
General quality of life
- Fixed an issue where players could increase attack speed by move-cancelling attacks early.
- Fixed an issue where characters weren’t immune and untargetable after loading into an area.
- The Reset Dungeon button has been disabled.
- Fixed an issue that caused Gale Valley and Serac Rapture to have less monsters than intended until the campaign quests in those territories were completed.
On April 20 at 2 PM ET, game director Joe Shely, associate game director Joseph Piepiora, and associate director of community Adam Fletcher will return for the next Diablo 4 Developer Update Livestream.