While Diablo IV is no doubt a great game, recent updates by Activision Blizzard Developers have brought the longevity of the game into question. Diablo IV is an Action Role-Playing Game (ARPG) and a common trait shared among ARPGs is seasonal content. Every three-ish months an ARPGs encourages players to start a character and new content through the seasonal system. The season content generally includes class balancing, new items or areas within the game, and other general updates like new microtransactions, battle passes, etc. Often, there are small things within these updates that players will dislike but will still play because the updates are overall fine. It is a much different scenario for Diablo IV – the majority of the changes in any given update since late July have been disliked by the community, only small things within each are good.

Let’s talk about what defines a letdown in Diablo IV and what changes have made this happen.

What defines a letdown in Diablo IV?

It takes a lot for a game development team of any sort to come out and openly admit that their update is bad, especially from a prestigious gaming company like Activision Blizzard. However, admitting that their updates from late July and early August is exactly what the Diablo IV devs have done, promising to never make another update like the ones recently.

It does not stop there though. Diablo IV devs have a biweekly “Fireside Chat” that they livestream and use to discuss the latest and upcoming changes to the game. In it, they will often feature live gameplay by one of the devs to show off what they are talking about. Multiple devs that have performed this gameplay did not know how to play, had difficulty navigating the easiest content, and showed a general lack of understanding of the game that they helped develop. It perfectly illustrates the disconnect between the players and the developers, which indicates why recent updates to Diablo IV have been so bad. This is what defines the letdown that many Diablo IV players have felt when there were such high hopes for Diablo IV.

What changes led to this letdown?

There are many changes over a few update cycles that have led to this letdown. Only the main ones will be mentioned here.

  1. Class balancing – There is always class balancing every season in every ARPG, and Diablo IV is no different, but the way it was dealt with was. Most ARPGs have a couple strong classes, specs, or abilities per season which change as seasonal updates are made. Diablo IV is the same. However, instead of dealing small nerfs to the strong or buffs to the weak, Diablo IV devs made major nerfs to everything. This made everything weak and in turn, the game felt less fun to play. While Diablo IV devs have promised to reverse this mistake, it has yet to happen fully.
  2. Teleporting changes – Waypoints around the Diablo IV map make it easier for all players to get where they want to be faster. Diablo IV devs changed the time it takes to teleport from 5 to 7 seconds. This does not seem like a lot, but in a single play session, players will teleport dozens of times, so it really adds up over the course of a season as to how much time this change wastes for literally no reason.
  3. Item Changes – A huge draw in to ARPGs like Diablo IV are the items. They increase power level and damage, which is basically the whole reason players play the game. Whenever an item is nerfed in Diablo IV, it is retroactively applied to every instance of that item in the game. However, when an item is buffed, it is NOT retroactively applied to all instances of that item. Players must get it to drop again to get the buffed version of it. This seems harmless but could cause players to spend many additional hours (depending on luck) to get that item to drop, especially if they need it for their class or build.

All this being said, Diablo IV is still a great game that still has great potential longevity to it if these changes are reverse/fixed. Diablo III had similar issues at its release and still successfully recovered from it so hundreds of thousands of players could enjoy it for over a decade. This is very much a possibility for Diablo IV and many players are holding out hope for that to happen.