With Diablo IV Season 2 just around the corner, Blizzard’s developers have once again gotten together for a campfire chat to detail some of the major planned changes coming to Season of Blood. They are part of what Blizzard is calling its “five-point strategy” to “focus on addressing player feedback and making systemic improvements.” You can find the full patch notes here.
Designers Adam Jackson and Charles Dunn joined community lead Adam Fletcher to discuss the changes coming to Patch 1.2.0, including updates to the elemental resistances, damage buckets, and elemental resistances. Blizzard also says it will also seek to address feedback around unique items, which have been controversial since Diablo IV released earlier this year.
In particular, Blizzard hopes to make unique items “more exciting and impactful” with completely new stats, updated unique effects, and other improvements. The changes are intended to address what Blizzard considers to be an issue with the items generally not being exciting enough, which is at odds with their extreme rarity.
“Can’t wait to see this whole new crop of uniques. Some classes really needed it,” one user responded on Reddit.
Resistance and damage mechanics are also getting reworked
In addition to uniques, Blizzard is planning major updates to elemental resistances, which the developers will “become a much more important part of a character’s survivability.” The current system uses an “inverse multiplicative” model that will allow players to stack resistances infinitiely but with diminishing returns, meaning you can never get 100 percent resistance to any one element.
The new model will be additive, Blizzard says, but with a base cap of 70 percent. Additionally, armor will now only resist physical damage.
“By utilizing methods such as itemization, the Skill Tree, Elixirs, and the Paragon Board, the more resistance you have against a particular element and the more valuable each percentage is for total effective life,” Blizzard explained in a follow-up release. “For example, going from 60-65 percent Fire Resistance is much more valuable than going from 20-25 percent.”
Fans seem pretty happy with the change, with several comparing it to a similar system in Diablo II.
“I am EXTREMELY happy that they’re making the resistances additive with a cap,” one player wrote. “That was one of the more enjoyable aspects of D2, trying to solve the resistance puzzle with your gear. Looking forward to this!”
Aside from resistances, Blizzard hopes to better balance classes so certain playstyles don’t dramatically outperform others, including capping bonuses for vulnerable, critical, and overpower damage. Other planned updated include a “slew” of class improvements, including increasing the damage of the Barbarian’s Blood Rage skill and increasing the ramp-up speed to the Sorcerer’s Incinerate skill. Blizzard also says it will make it easier to respec characters while offering training dummies to test out damage.
Blizzard has sought to placate Diablo IV’s community since the release of Season 1, which featured heavy class imbalances and other issues. The release sparked a major backlash that sent Blizzard scrambling to address the community’s feedback as quickly as possible. This time around, fans seem a bit happier with the changes.
“Overall, I think this patch is a huge step in the right direction based on player feedback. They get a lot of flack because of how the game launch, but I got my time out of it. I figured the development process had a lot of issues/staff changeup, crunch time, Activison “WE NEED TO MAKE MORE MONEY!!” design and marketing and I have been sticking it out with the team knowing they are listening and knowing it is going to take time to make the game better,” one user wrote. “This patch is a bigger stride in the right direction than I was expecting, so I am very excited to come back on the 17th. I’ve had my fun with D3 Season 29 for the past couple weeks. I’m glad I get time to farm these uniques and stuff.”
Diablo 4 Season 2 is currently slated to release on October 17. Season of Blood will pit players against a vampire lord as part of a new questline, and will also feature a new vampire hunter companion among other changes.
We wrote in our original review, “Diablo IV takes the strategy of refining things the series already did so well rather than giving it a more substantial overhaul, and that careful and reverent path has shaped this massive sequel into one of the most polished ARPGs ever created, which makes slicing through the legions of the damned a hell of a good time.”
You can find our complete guide to Diablo IV right here.
Kat Bailey is IGN’s News Director as well as co-host of Nintendo Voice Chat. Have a tip? Send her a DM at @the_katbot.