Blizzard snuck in surprise quality of life changes into Diablo 4's massive list of season 4 patch notes

A sorceress from Diablo 4 in red robes
(Image credit: Tyler C. / Blizzard)

In addition to changing almost everything about Diablo 4's loot, Blizzard also snuck some excellent quality of life changes into this month's gargantuan update.

On May 14, Diablo 4 season 4 will drop with the biggest list of changes the game has had since its release. The rework to its loot is fundamental and will shape how you play the game going forward, but there are a few extra surprises that Blizzard didn't mention until today's stream.

Most of the update focuses on boosting the power of Diablo 4's Legendary items, giving them fewer and stronger stats, and letting you add bonus stats onto them through crafting. But with player power skyrocketing, Blizzard wants to avoid making people juggle stats just to survive in the game's hardest dungeons.

More from PC Gamer's Diablo 4 season 4 interview

Diablo 4 — Inarius, the rogue Archangel, hovers in midair with tendril wings of light outstretched.

(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

Class balance: Blizzard's solution to the 'barbarian problem'
Season 3 feedback: Will vault dungeons return?
Solo boss farming: Blizzard's answer to the group advantage

Enter one previously undocumented change that I'm excited for: Armor from your gear will now have a hard limit for how much it'll protect you from physical damage, which simplifies one of Diablo 4's most unintuitive systems and prevents surprise deaths. Before, you had to guess or find someone's Excel sheet to figure out how much armor would keep you alive against monsters above your level. Now, you'll just need a few extra armor stats—via crafting or Legendary powers—on your gear to hit the cap and then you can never think about it again. Blizzard says the tooltip will even tell you the exact number you need in a patch soon after the launch of season 4.

Murmuring Obols, a currency for gambling items that was effectively useless before, will now be one of the easiest ways to gear your character up. Obol vendors are guaranteed to give you Legendary items at the maximum item power once you're level 100. Tons of dungeons and events reward you with these already (you can now carry 2,500), so now you can take them and hope you get something perfect for your build.

Blizzard noted a few other quality of life changes coming in season 4, including:

  • You can spur your horse in towns to go faster (huge)
  • Jewelry items, like rings, will have more elemental resistances on them by default
  • Completing Season Journey tiers will reward you with gear made for a specific build
  • Legendary items will always break down into the same amount of Veiled Crystals as Rare items
  • Helltide events will reward more Abberant Cinders for opening loot chests
  • The new Helltide boss will drop ladder boss materials for farming Uber Uniques
  • You can change your character's hairstyle in the wardrobe now 

If there's a theme to most of these changes, it's that Blizzard wants you to spend time making your gear stronger and not fussing with arbitrary requirements like the armor and resistance caps. The goal is to become a god in your own way, especially in the absence of a unique seasonal power.

The full patch notes, including class changes, are now available on Blizzard's post. Compared to the season 4 public test realm last month, little has changed outside of what I've highlighted here. Barbarians won't fill the screen with tornadoes, for example, but the reduction is mostly visual: they'll still hit almost as hard. And necromancer minions will remain just as good as they were before—with a few extra buffs on top.

Diablo 4 season 4, which will largely include permanent changes to the game, launches on May 14.

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.