Diablo IV developers respond to 1.1.0 patch controversy

diablo iv patch

“We know that reducing player power is never a good experience,” Diablo IV's makers say, responding to the game’s controversial 1.1.0 patch.


In the space of one patch update, Diablo IV went from one of the year’s biggest releases to one of the most complained-about. Not long after the game’s 1.1.0 patch rolled out on 20 July, Reddit filled up with angry posts, while a bout of precision review bombing sent its Metacritic user score tumbling to 2.2.

The reason: the patch reduced the strength of players’ characters, which in turn slowed down progression and made enemies tougher to kill.

“It is not like this game was lightning fast to begin with, but now it is a proper slog,” read one of the most popular verdicts on Reddit (via IGN).

As the controversy unfolded, Diablo IV's developers switched on their digital cameras and arranged what they cosily termed a “Campfire Chat” – actually an hour-long mea culpa featuring community manager Adam Fletcher, director Joe Shely, and associate game director Joe Piepiora.

Admitting that the team had received a lot of “feedback”, Fletcher acknowledged, in the 21 July live stream, that reducing the player power is “bad”.

“We ourselves know it’s not the greatest play experience for players out there,” Fletcher continued, before adding a bit later, “We do want to talk about how we don’t plan on doing a patch like this ever again. We most definitely heard the feedback from players on that front.”

“We know that reducing player power is never a good experience,” Piepora said, as Shely quietly gazed at the studio floor.

The Blizzard team has since launched some hotfixes designed to reduce difficulty and address other player feedback, while more wide-ranging improvements should emerge with patch 1.1.1, due in a week or so.

In the meantime, you can watch Blizzard’s Diablo IV campfire chat below – the talking starts at around the 30 minute mark. It’s so spectacularly awkward and gloomy that we just want to give them all a hug.


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