While we expected there would be some form of the patch before the release of Diablo 4 Season 1 in July, we weren’t anticipating this one. Blizzard attends the Borderlands school of class balance, with many boosts and minimal nerfs. Despite the advent of several insanely powerful builds among top classes, there were almost no nerfs in this scenario.
Not to suggest that specific bodies will not be touched in season 1, but the focus of this patch was solely on strengthening underutilized talents across all classes. I believe I saw one, a tiny Nerf for a Sorcerer staff, and Ice Shards, Bone Spear, Twisting Blades, Hammer of the Ancients, and whatever the decent Druid build is are all intact, and many other items have received buffs.
Below is a Tweet about “Diablo 4’s Big All-Buffs, XP-Boosting Patch Is Incredible,” which you may view in detail here-
— Paul Tassi (@PaulTassi) June 28, 2023
It’s too early to tell how the new meta will play out, as many of these buffs are minor, but it’s a good series of changes nonetheless, as too many games come out of the gate swinging with major nerfs (like Diablo 4 did earlier, and was chastised by gamers).
The game has increased XP in Nightmare Dungeons, Helltides, and the Tree of Whispers, which is likely the most significant change in the patch. The Nightmare Dungeon improvements have received the most notice of them.
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The ability to directly teleport to an activated Nightmare Dungeon instead of running all the way there every time is a vast improvement in quality of life. The XP? The XP has gone insane. Depending on the dungeon and level, we are suddenly talking about millions of XP rather than the few hundred thousand you could have imagined previously.
I performed a small dungeon on my Barbarian and gained 2.1 million XP, nearly a whole paragon point when it would have taken two or three dungeons to get the same amount earlier. It’s a great help.
We have a notion as to why Blizzard changed this, and it isn’t just because people were whining about how challenging higher levels were. This is directly related to Blizzard’s efforts to entice players to participate in upcoming seasons where you must create new characters from scratch.
This XP bonus has two functions:
- Players can take Eternal Realm characters to higher levels or max them much faster. If those characters are “finished,” players are more likely to be open to starting a seasonal nature.
- For seasons themselves, it will significantly speed up the leveling process. There already should be some boosts within the season itself to help this, but in Diablo 3, it took a half dozen hours or so to hit the level cap in those games to start farming endgame things during seasons.
- Diablo 4 is way longer, at least before these changes. No, you aren’t going to hit 100 in five hours, but it’s going to make leveling much faster again, encouraging seasonal character play for those who may have been skeptical.
This patch, we believe, comes at an ideal time. Many players had grown tired of stagnant meta builds, and now there are some newly enhanced talents to experiment with.
Many were also tired from the post-50-60 levels and were slowing off; nevertheless, it is now much easier to keep going. We believe this will also benefit seasons, and I’m looking forward to season 1 and any more patches that come with it.