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Diablo 4's huge pre-season update re-balances classes and makes the endgame more deadly

Season 1 launches on July 20th

Diablo 4 screenshot showing a close up of the Sorcerer class.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Blizzard Entertainment

Diablo 4's latest patch is out now and it's a doozy, introducing new unique items, fixing dozens of bugs, and re-balancing every class with stat increases and decreases. These changes come just a couple of days before the launch of the action-RPGs first season and battle pass.

"As our community continues to battle the Burning Hells, the builds emerging from new players have shocked and delighted us," says the full patch notes. "We've chosen to focus Season of the Malignant’s 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."

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Alas, it's not all increases, as the notes also say that there are a "few Class stat ecreases 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."

Several of the balance adjustments relate to Affixes, modifiers which enhance the stats or abilities of items. "We have seen that skillful players are frequently slaughtering monsters many levels above their own," says a developer note on the changes. "We want to support this, but the current situation is beyond what we believe is correct for the long-term health of the game. To chase this goal, we're shifting power to many offensive Affixes from defensive Affixes."

As a consequence, Diablo 4's endgame content will be more deadly.

Update 1.1.0a also makes some general changes. Altar of Lilith unlocks and map discovery are now account wide, for example, while loot quality has been improved for Silent Chests, after the last patch did similar for Helltide chests. Blizzard have also "reduced the tendency for many monsters to move around in combat, so that melee characters don't have to chase down their enemies as much," which sounds pretty good.

Diablo 4's season 1 launches its first battle pass in two days, on July 20th. Check our guide for when it launches in your timezone.

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