During a Campfire Chat stream today, the Diablo 4 team explained the changes coming in patch 1.1.1 when it drops on August 8. The massive patch follows the game’s controversial pre-season patch, which made substantial nerfs to player survivability and damage output and left Sorcerers and Barbarians weaker than the other three classes.
Patch 1.1.1 will include changes to all of the action RPG’s classes, but will focus on improving Sorcerers and Barbarians, the two classes that have struggled the most in Season 1 so far.
"We want to kind of improve the effectiveness and fun of the Sorcerer and Barbarian," lead class designer Adam Jackson said just before the group of developers walked through some of the changes coming in patch 1.1.1.
Jackson said the team is looking at reducing the value of Vulnerable and Critical Strike damage to add value to other stats and builds in the future. "Our goal is to find a way—and we’re working on it right now—for all those different ways of dealing damage to have a lot of parity," he said.
Sorcerers will see a variety of changes aimed at increasing their late-game survivability and removing detrimental effects from their skills and items. Greater Chain Lightning, for example, used to only deal increased damage when it bounced off of you, but now it will do that no matter who it bounces off of. Similar changes have been made to a number of their Legendary aspects and Paragon boards.
Similarly, several Barbarian skills will be buffed to give you more Fury to spend on other skills in combat and to deal more damage overall in the early game. Violent Upheaval, which is an upgrade to one of the class’ basic attacks, will now trigger Berserking (a short damage buff) off of bosses as well as regular enemies.
Both classes will see buffs to their late-game Unique items, but Blizzard notes that once the patch drops you’ll need to get the item again to see all of the changes to their bonuses. The changes to Unique item stats, however, will go into effect as soon as the patch drops.
Here are the changes to Diablo 4 coming in patch 1.1.1, which Blizzard notes aren’t completely finalized:
- Improvements to Barbarian Fury generation and late-game Unique item stats and bonuses
- Changes to simplify and improve the consistency of Sorcerer skills as well as improvements to their late-game survivability
- Improvements to Druid Spirit generation and companions
- Improvements to Necromancer damage consistency
- Increased boss health in World Tiers 3 and 4 and improved rewards
- Guaranteed Legendary item drops from bosses after level 35 in any World Tier
- Treasure Goblins at level 15 and on will guarantee a Legendary item drop
- Nightmare Dungeon enemy density greatly increased
- An additional stash tab will be added
- Elixir stack size will be raised to 99
- Respec gold costs will be reduced by about 40%
- Leave dungeon will be reverted back to a 3 second class
- "A whole lot of bug fixes"
- Fixes to VRAM use and general performance of the game
These Diablo 4 changes won’t be in patch 1.1.1, but Blizzard plans to address them in a future patch:
- Improving Necromancer minion builds is "on the team’s radar"
- Changes to enemy density based on player behavior in 1.1.1
- Improving the speed that players progress through the later World Tiers in season 2
- Changes to crowd control TKTK
- Changes to make elemental resistances more useful
- Improvements to the mount maneuverability, especially the boost skill when using a controller
- Changes to other stats, like Vulnerable and Critical Strike, to improve the value of Overpower damage
I’m no Sorcerer or Barbarian expert but it’s clear Blizzard wants to lift both classes up and increase the types of builds you can use. Season 1’s powerful Malignant Heart gems aren’t quite powerful and varied enough to do it on their own, even if it’s possible for Sorcerers to complete the hardest Nightmare Dungeon tier. The changes Blizzard laid out seem like table setting for future changes to continue to expand the number of builds you can use in the game’s toughest activities.
The full patch notes for 1.1.1 will go out on August 2 and the patch itself will go live on August 8.