Hey, remember the Ruins of Eridu? The Diablo 4 dungeon that provided an excellent venue for power levelling thanks to its surfeit of elite enemies? Well purge it from your mind, because Blizzard's ninth hotfix for Diablo 4 is nerfing its most easily exploitable dungeons, sending elite spawn rates plummeting and ensuring you have to really work for those extra paragon points after level 50.
Hotfix 9 was released last Monday, June 12, and makes changes aimed at "standardizing the density of elite monsters that spawn in dungeons," in order to make sure that "no particular dungeon is clearly more efficient to run through than others". In short, places like Eridu will no longer be home to noticeably more XP-and-loot-filled elites than any other of Diablo's dank holes in the wall. Fans, as you might expect, aren't thrilled.
The Diablo 4 subreddit is already awash with players in mutiny, with multiple threads dedicated to complaints about the patch attracting thousands of upvotes and various luminous Reddit awards. One of the most popular is a thread from AudioRejectz, titled "Devs, we run dungeons to level because the XP everywhere else sucks!" The post—which has garnered over 4,000 upvotes and seven awards at time of writing—criticises Blizzard for nerfing Diablo's current power levelling venues instead of buffing alternative sources of XP.
AudioRejectz says the reason Diablo players—especially solo ones—keep returning to XP farms like Eridu is "because XP everywhere else is bad, it's that simple". The thread goes on to say that "World bosses, hell tide, [Nightmare Dungeons] all need their XP buffing" and that "It's so frustrating having [Blizzard] make it increasingly more difficult to level, especially for solo players".
As the sheer number of upvotes might tell you, that sentiment is widespread in the Diablo community right now. The top-voted comment on AudioRejectz' thread, from user Recovery_Water, notes that "D3 went through the same thing, players demanded more density, they eventually gave it in the form of rifts, and it proved hugely popular". A follow-up comment from Entreric agrees: "This game has learned nothing from D3. We're going through the same cycle".
The anger isn't localised to one thread, either. Elsewhere, a thread titled "Stop nerfing specific dungeon mob density! Buff other dungeon densities!" from a user named devious1 has attracted around 2,400 upvotes and a long roll of comments. StoiaN40's "Can Blizzard stop Nerfing any fun / good dungeon in the game?" thread has 1,600 upvotes, and a thread named "Stop nerfing, start buffing" from Janus408 has 1,100 upvotes. The hotfix's actual announcement thread is likewise a roiling sea of disquiet. You get the picture.
I'm far too teetotal a Diablo player to really be up in arms about the change, but I can understand the community's frustration. It can be aggravating to feel like each of the game's patches is taking things away from you rather than adding them, and creates a sensation that players' understanding of the game and its mechanics is being punished. I suspect the game's XP farms probably did need adjusting somewhat, but it'd be nice if Blizzard provided some kind of carrot to accompany the stick. Maybe in hotfix 10?