Diablo 4's nature as a live service game means that players have since launch been trying to work out how it handles recurring events: when and where the world bosses spawn, when helltides are due to occur, and the same for legion events. A rough consensus formed pretty early, but now they've only gone and blown the bloody doors off.
A player called Shalzuth recently posted the fruits of their labours to the Diablo 4 subreddit, claiming to have worked-out (with help) the spawn times for all the above: to the extent they've now got a section of a popular Diablo 4 site with countdown timers and maps for each.
"World Bosses spawn on a repeating pattern, with a repeating time, with some blackout times," said Salzuth. "Many world boss times have been spawned, with much of the data documented (with some missing points). Here is some data, with some missing points due to my own server downtime. The time pattern is alternating 1-2-1-2-2 repeating".
Salzuth goes on to detail the blackout times (if a spawn is scheduled during one of these it'll take place two hours later instead), before explaining the order in which bosses appear.
"The boss pattern is alternating 3a-2b-3c-2a-3b-2c, where each letter is a boss. So for instance, it will be 3 Ashavas in a row, 2 Wandering Deaths, 3 Avarices, 2 Ashavas, 3 Wandering Deaths, 2 Avarices, then loops back to 3 Ashavas".
However, while this seems pretty accurate, I'm not certain it's accurate across all regions. It may be the case that each region's servers have their own offsets and tweaks to the rules, because PCG's eagle-eyed Sean Martin took a break from slaughtering loot goblins to note that earlier today it predicted a boss spawn that didn't happen in the EU region.
I'm just impressed how seriously players take this stuff. And working out Diablo's inner workings is far from over. It's a well-worn gag that EVE Online is the spreadsheet game, but Diablo 4 players simply say "hold my mead" to that, and are currently tracking all world boss spawns, again to the millisecond, in this stupendous document. What chance do hell's denizens have against an excel army?
Elsewhere in Diablo news, Blizzard's promising big changes to the endgame content (which is leaving plenty unsatisfied, though the developer points out most players haven't finished the game yet). What big changes could there be? The director of Diablo 4 had a simple message: "It is time for the buffs".