Big Changes Hit Diablo 4 In Massive Update Ahead Of Season 1’s Start


Diablo IV’s first season, Season of the Malignant, kicks off tomorrow, July 20, and ahead of its start, developer Blizzard has pushed live a new update that features some significant changes for the game. 

This new update, 1.1.0a, brings new items and aspects to Diablo IV alongside bug fixes, buffs and nerfs, and more. Let’s start with perhaps the most exciting addition in this update for players preparing their builds for Season of the Malignant: six new Unique items and seven new Legendary aspects. 

Unique Items

Unique Items are the highest tier of loot you can obtain in Diablo IV – I beat the campaign last night after 28 hours and only just received my first piece of Unique gear. They feature excellent stat boosts and unique bonus effects and are tailor-made for specific builds. There are now six new Unique items to track down while playing in Diablo IV’s most challenging tier, World Tier IV. 

  • Ahavarion Spear of Lycander (staff, General): Gain a random Shrine effect for 10-20 seconds after killing an Elite enemy. This can only occur once every 30 seconds. 
  • Azurewrath (sword, Barbarian): Lucky Hit – your Core Skills have up to a 20% chance to Freeze enemies for 3 seconds and deal .75 to 1.5 Cold damage to them. 
  • Fleshrender (mace, Druid): Debilitating Roar and Blood Howl deal .5 to 1 damage to Nearby Poisoned enemies. 
  • Lidless Wall (shield, Necromancer): Lucky Hit – While you have an active Bone Storm, hitting an enemy outside of a Bone Storm has up to a 5 to 25% chance to spawn an additional Bone Storm at their location. Each of your active Sacrifice bonuses increases the chance by 25% and the total number of additional Bone Storms you can have by +1. 
  • Eaglehorn (bow, Rogue): Penetrating Shot has a 30 to 80% chance to fire an arrow that bounces off walls and scenery. Hitting enemies from behind with Penetrating Shot will make them vulnerable for 3 seconds. 
  • The Oculus (wand, Sorcerer): Gain the effect of the Teleport Enchantment for free. When you Evade using Teleport Enchantment, you are taken to a random location.

Legendary Aspects

  • Audacity (utility, General): When there are at least 5 Close enemies, Stun them for 2 to 4 seconds, but this can only occur once every 20 seconds. 
  • Craven (mobility, General): You gain 20 to 40% increased Movement Speed when moving away from Slowed or Chilled enemies. 
  • Ancestral Charge (offensive, Barbarian): Charge calls forth 4 Ancients who also Charge, dealing 50 to 100% of normal damage. 
  • Subterranean (offensive, Druid): Poison Creeper’s active also casts Landslide in a circle around you, and Earth Skills deal 10 to 20% increased damage to Poisoned Enemies. 
  • Gore Quills (offensive, Necromancer): Blood Lance will consume Blood Orbs to also conjure lances from them, and each additional Blood Lance deals 20 to 50% of normal damage and prioritizes targeting un-lanced enemies. 
  • Pestilent Points (offensive, Rogue): Every third cast of Puncture is Poison imbued with 100 to 150% of normal potency. 
  • Searing Wards (offensive, Sorcerer): After spending 100 to 200 Mana, your next Firewall is free to cast and will destroy incoming Small Missiles. 

Alongside new Unique Items and Legendary Aspects, Blizzard has brought a swath of bug fixes to Diablo IV. While we won’t be breaking those down here – there are a ton – we’ll note these bug fixes cover accessibility, challenges, cooperative play, dungeons, class-specific gameplay, items and aspects, monsters, quests and events, UI and user experience, and more. Head to Blizzard’s blog here for the full rundown of fixes. 

This update brings various gameplay updates to Diablo IV as well. Altar of Lilith unlocks and map discovery is now account-wide, meaning it will progress across Eternal Realm characters and Seasonal characters, and Renown values have been increased in both side quests and dungeons. There’s even more in the patch notes, too. 

On the World Tier side of things, many of the values associated with each have been adjusted. 

World Tier II

  • Bonus Gold: increased from 15 to 20% 
  • Monsters now drop 15% more items

Level Scaling

Blizzard says, “Level scaling inside dungeons and most overworld territories has been adjusted in World Tiers III and IV. Monsters will begin to trail behind the player in Level after a certain point (up to a maximum of 5 levels behind). This change does not affect World Bosses, Legion Events, Fields of Hatred, Helltide, or Nightmare Dungeons.”

Here’s an example from Blizzard, using World Tier III: 

  • If the the player’s Level is below 55, the monster’s Level is 55.
  • If the player’s Level is 56-60, the monster’s Level is 55.
  • If the player’s Level is 61, the monster’s Level is 56.
  • If the player’s Level is 62, the monster’s Level is 57, etc. (from this point the monsters will always be -5 until World Tier III’s max monster Level of 70).

Experience 

Reward experience for competing Whispers in World Tiers III and IV has been significantly increased, and bonus experience rewards for killing monsters at a higher level than you have also been increased. 

Helltide

  • Helltide Monsters are now 3 levels higher than the player instead of 2
  • The Tortuted Gift of Mysteries chest has had its cost increased from 175 Abberant Cinders to 250
  • All interactable objects in Helltide zones now have a small chance of dropping Abberant Cinders.

Blizzard’s patch notes for this new Diablo IV update end with a rather extensive list of balance updates, and every class – Barbarian, Druid, Necromancer, Rogue, and Sorcerer – has received some buffs and nerfs. You can read those in the full patch notes blog here

“As our community continues to battle the Burning Hells, the builds emerging from new players have shocked and delighted us,” Blizzard writes in the patch notes. “We’ve chosen to focus Season of the Malignant balance updates on clear itemization disparities over redesigns of Class features. The Class changes are largely focused on numeric increases to Skill Upgrades and Legendary Aspects that players haven’t yet found compelling.

“Additionally, we’re changing Critical Strike Damage Paragon Glyps to empower all damage – instead of only Core skills – to enable more build strategies. There are also a few Class stat decreases on sources which grant extreme amounts of damage, healing, or Unstoppable. In general, we prefer build-specific changes to be bonuses instead of decreases, but we feel these changes are necessary for the overall health of the game.”

Blizzard ends by stating Diablo IV is meant to evolve through its Seasons, and the adjustments made with each season will evolve alongside them. 

For more about Diablo IV, check out the reveal of Season of the Malignant, and then read Game Informer’s Diablo IV review. If you’re interested in attending this year’s BlizzCon, check out this story for BlizzCon 2023 pricing and more. 


How do you feel about this update? Let us know in the comments below!



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