Diablo 4 dev corrects day 1 patch statement, says the launch version will have 'very few' changes from the Server Slam build when it goes live

Diablo 4 concept art of Lilith and Inarius creating humanity
(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Day 1 patches are a very common thing in the videogame industry: You buy a game, preload it, and then before you can start playing it on launch day you have to download an often-massive update filled with all sorts of last-minute fixes and tweaks. Diablo 4 will presumably have its own day 1 patch when it goes into early access launch tomorrow, but we've now learned that not much is changing for the launch.

In response to a question about the day 1 patch, associate game director Joseph Piepiora said yesterday that it will take Diablo 4 to version 1.0, "up from .9" from the Server Slam beta, and that it'll include "balance changes and bug fixes." Earlier today, however, Piepiora corrected himself, saying that he "spoke in error" in that reply.

"The Server Slam build was not .9, but actually a version of our day one build!" Piepiora tweeted. "There will be *very few* changes between this build and the one players will be playing at launch. Deeply sorry for the confusion!"

That's not to say that Blizzard won't be making tweaks and changes shortly after launch: Piepiora added that the developers "will be evaluating the game and are prepared to make adjustments as we go to ensure a smooth gameplay experience."

The Diablo 4 Server Slam was significantly changed from the earlier beta tests, particularly with regard to things like character progression and legendary drop rates, both of which were slowed considerably to more accurately reflect how the full release will play. The Server Slam went very smoothly overall, which has to be comforting for Diablo fans dreading a potential return of the infamous Error 37

But the final playtest also left some of the PC Gamer crew cold: Online editor Fraser Brown expressed "serious regrets about wasting [his] weekend" on it, while senior editor Robin Valentine said the Server Slam left him with "even less confidence that Blizzard has any idea how to make this game fun."

On the other hand, Diablo 4 review scores are extremely high at this point, even though it's not yet fully live: Multiple sites including Windows Central, PCGamesN, TRG, and VideoGamer awarded it a perfect score, and numerous others came close—GameSpot, for instance, scored it 8/10 and declared that Diablo 4 "feels like the new standard-bearer for action role-playing." 

Our associate editor Tyler Colp found quite a lot to like too, saying in his review-in-progress that "when it comes to clicking demons until glowing loot pops out, Diablo 4 is the most Diablo any Diablo has ever been," although he had some misgivings about the sacrifices Blizzard has made in the cause of making the new Diablo a fully live-service game. We'll publish our complete, scored review of Diablo 4 after we have experience with the live version.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.