Diablo 4 has been live for only 10 days, and after 350 million hours of play the devs are finally looking to replace hotfixes with larger, more substantial updates.
Diablo 4 has had one hell of a launch, over the last 10 days the new action RPG has seen over 350 million hours of play with countless monsters killed and a ton of controller-breaking deaths. While the devs have done a valiant job keeping this new title up and running with various hotfixes, as the dust settles many of them are looking to start making some more substantial changes.
The most recent Diablo 4 Campfire Chat saw devs discuss the action RPG's launch, its short term fixes, and crucially, what the next steps are. While the devs would love to "fix all your problems tomorrow" it turns out that even hotfixes aren't always the best way to handle some more heavy issues.
For the first few days of launch hotfixes were the bread and butter for the Diablo 4 dev team, with the first ones rolling out even before the games launch as one crucial hotfix released during the early access beta. "It was super important that we got these fixes out to our players at the same time so everyone had the same experience", associate production director, Tiffany Wat said.
Hotfixes were the perfect way to ensure this goal without having to bring "the whole game down for a server change, 9/10 times there's no issue with this", franchise general manager, Rod Fergusson said. "However, we haven't worked at this scale before so we've hit a couple of hiccups".
However, while the initial launch period called for these numerous and rapid changes, the devs are settling in for the long haul with some bigger updates on the way. "We already have a big patch coming for performance issues", Fergusson said. "It's so big that we'll have to have a maintenance window and shut servers down temporarily".
What's in store
While it's still early days the next big update is supposed to roll out "before the launch of Season 1". It's currently unconfirmed when fans will be able to access this, however, Blizzard teased that Season 1 for Diablo 4 should begin between mid to late July.
So far, the list of changes are 13 pages long and include loads of remedies to balancing issues and XP farming. The Diablo 4 devs have already addressed a couple of issues in XP farming, "for the good of the game", Fergusson said. "loot mining cannot exist" like it does in Destiny 2. "We need to have lost of good choices for levelling and acquiring loot".
The biggest topic that looks to be changed in the upcoming update are dungeons. Even after four hotfixes in a row the Diablo 4 team are still looking ways to balance out this crucial feature.
"Nightmare dungeons are specifically set up to be very replayable", game director, Joe Shely said. "From the variety available to the changes to the monsters that occur inside of them - we want them to be a great place to farm".
One way to ensure this will be modifying the way players experience and access these dungeons. This means balancing Nightmare dungeons to make sure longer ones give more rewards than shorter ones, while making them more accessible to players. The devs are even currently working on a way to teleport players to these dungeons through creating waypoints.
There's currently a ton of content in Diablo 4, from its detailed transmog system to Crushed Beast Bones, there's always something to dig your teeth into. But thankfully these new updates prove that Diablo 4's life is only just beginning with tons of dedicated devs keeping the machine oiled behind the scenes.
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Elie is a Features Writer for TechRadar Gaming, here to write about anything new or slightly weird. Before writing for TRG, Elie studied for a Masters at Cardiff University JOMEC in International Journalism and Documentaries – spending their free time filming short docs or editing the gaming section for their student publications.
Elie’s first step into gaming was through Pokémon but they've taken the natural next step in the horror genre. Any and every game that would keep you up at night is on their list to play - despite the fact that one of Elie’s biggest fears is being chased.