Diablo is about to enter a new era with Season of the Malignant when it launches on July 20. It’s the series’ first stab at a seasonal model and will feature a battle pass and some new challenges, along with story content. Unfortunately, the game’s most recent patch has left many fans feeling like the pre-season tweaks have made the game way more grindy.
Patch 1.1.0a for Diablo IV on both PC and console are setting the stage for the game’s first season, and there are some notable changes. As with any patch, some changes might be more welcome than others. One such is a bonus to Renown, which you’ll earn for completing quests and going about your usual busywork throughout the world, certainly ranks among the nicer updates to the game. Renown stacks to give you extra gold and skill points, among other boons. It’s a pretty valuable way to increase in power, so any bonus to these rewards is much appreciated, especially since this latest patch applies the bonuses retroactively, meaning you’ll get more for stuff you’ve already completed. Despite this, dramatic changes to class abilities and substantial reductions to XP earnings are making the game feel dramatically worse to players.
Details on extra Renown can be found in Blizzard’s patch notes about halfway through. Here are the numbers:
- Side Quest Renown reward values increased from 20 to 30.
- Dungeon Renown reward values increased from 30 to 40.
What does that look like in the real world? Well as Kotaku’s Eric Schulkin found, his Renown in one region went from 60 to 320 overnight. In another, it jumped from 220 to 580. And that’s not the only increase to rewards.
The added Renown is certainly a nice feature, but it’s a minor comfort in a sea of painful changes to the game.
As a Reddit thread with over 20 thousand upvotes indicates, boosts to things like Renown hardly make up for the dramatic changes to the game. In general, the sentiment around the internet is that the game is far less fun to play, and way more grindy. “Helltide drops got nerfed bad” reads one comment, “I ran a Helltide [pre-patch] and got 350+ cinders with about 30 minutes of play time. Ran one [after the patch] with a similar playstyle and barely had 75 with about 20+ minutes of playing.” These decreases to rewards aren’t locked to a specific activity, sadly. Instead, they represent a larger trend.[Tk how this represents a larger trend/anecdotes.]
The changes to XP rewards also sting. The patch notes layout specific cuts, like reductions in rewards for killing higher level monsters:
We are adjusting bonus experience rewards for killing monsters that are a higher Level than the player.
- Pre-Season of the Malignant bonuses:
- 1 Level higher: +15%.2 Levels higher: +20%.3+ Levels higher: +25%.
- Post-Season of the Malignant:
- 1.5% bonus per Level up to 10 Levels. Ex: +1 level: +1.5%.+2 levels: +3%.+10 levels: +15%.
When you add in other changes like an extra two seconds to how long it takes to teleport out of a dungeon, players feel that the game has become far more grindy and way more punishing.
With such sweeping changes to the meta, as well as general nerfs to classes all around, Diablo IV’s having a bit of a tough time with fans heading into its first season. Blizzard has promised to hold a Campfire Chat on July 21 to address these changes.
Correction 7/19/23 1:51 PM EST: This article has been updated to reflect community sentiment and more accurately portray patch changes to Diablo IV.