Diablo 4's latest patch kicks its weakest class while it's down

Diablo 4 Sorceress close-up
(Image credit: Tyler C. / Activision Blizzard)

For no discernible reason, Blizzard has nerfed Sorcerers, the weakest class in Diablo 4, and given them almost no meaningful buffs to compensate.

The new, pre-season 1 patch attempts to flatten the most overpowered builds by taking a hammer to the core stats and skills that they rely on. Every single endgame Sorcerer build uses burning damage to make their enemies prone to critical strikes. Even the builds where you primarily cast cold spells required a single fire skill to compete with how fast every other class can carve through endgame monsters.

That skill, Devouring Blaze, has had its bonus critical strike damage nerfed, and its extra bonus on immobilized enemies more than halved, which was crucial to most Sorcerer builds.

"Devouring Blaze was the talent that made Sorcerers capable of almost not doing the least damage out of all the classes," Reddit user LeagueTweetRepeat explained. "It can kind of be compared to the duct tape over the crack in your wooden shed that keeps some of the cockroaches out."

It was so bad out there for Sorcerers that they had to utilize a bug to put a dent in the game's hardest bosses. The Aspect of Control gave them a considerable boost to damage against immobilized targets, but it incorrectly tripled its bonus against staggered bosses—a trait that streamer Northwar used to nearly one-shot Uber Lilith. That bug, and any dream of Sorcerers potentially feeling powerful at all, has been squashed.

As you climb into Diablo 4's hardest difficulty, World Tier 4 (Torment), enemies start to hit like trucks. Most classes have skills or bonuses to armor that protect them from being crushed. Not Sorcerers. They have to rely on stacking gear with damage reduction stats and bonuses to their barrier skills to survive. So, of course, Blizzard nerfed that too.

"We have seen that skillful players are frequently slaughtering monsters many levels above their own," Blizzard's developer note on the changes to survivability reads. "We want to support this, but the current situation is beyond what we believe is correct for the long-term health of the game."

Northwar's doomer stream overlay tells a story. (Image credit: Northwar)

Almost every single defensive stat that you can find on gear has been reduced. Every class will have to put even more resources than they already are into skills and stats that help them survive the hardest Nightmare Dungeon tiers. But without any significant buffs to their barriers or basic stats, Sorcerers will suffer the most. One Reddit commenter said the nerfs turn every class into glass cannons; except Sorcerers, who are now merely paper cannons.

"They dug up the Sorcerer's corpse so they could kill it again," Chuckycheeseburger wrote of the changes.

Sitting on the top of the Sorcerer's patch note obituary is The Oculus, a new Uber Unique wand ripped straight from Diablo 2. This ultra rare weapon is probably really strong if you are lucky enough to find it, but with all the nerfs, its unique ability feels like a middle finger to the class: When you Evade using Teleport Enchantment, you are taken to a random location.

But, who knows, maybe it'll teleport you to an action RPG that loves you.

The only hope is that season 1's Malignant Hearts will make up this massive loss in power. Keep your fingers crossed, Sorcerers. The Season of the Malignant starts tomorrow. 

Associate Editor

Tyler has covered games, games culture, and hardware for over a decade before joining PC Gamer as Associate Editor. He's done in-depth reporting on communities and games as well as criticism for sites like Polygon, Wired, and Waypoint. He's interested in the weird and the fascinating when it comes to games, spending time probing for stories and talking to the people involved. Tyler loves sinking into games like Final Fantasy 14, Overwatch, and Dark Souls to see what makes them tick and pluck out the parts worth talking about. His goal is to talk about games the way they are: broken, beautiful, and bizarre.