Diablo IV’s Server Slam weekend, which ran from May 12 through May 14, gave players one final chance to scour Hell for loot and kill Ashava the Pestilent before the action-RPG drops on June 6. This open beta came with a handful of changes, particularly some nerfs to the Necromancer that developer Blizzard eventually rescinded because of player feedback.
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The upcoming loot-grinding RPG has had a few betas since it was announced in 2019. Each one functioned the same: Create one of five available classes and embark on the first chapter of Diablo IV’s campaign. Unfortunately, the progress made never carried over to any of the subsequent betas, but it was a good glimpse at what to expect when the game officially launches next month. I’ve had a blast with every opportunity, especially since my partner is stoked to play with me and the Necromancer was an absolutely broken character thanks to its ability to raise multiple dead warriors to fight alongside me. It ruled hard, letting me jump unsuspecting bosses and weak trash mobs with my skellie gang.
Unfortunately, Blizzard didn’t totally agree with just how OP the Necromancer was. So, in mid-April, the studio dropped an update for the game that nerfed the class’ minions, reducing the overall survivability of skeleton warriors. This hurt, as it meant your undead troupe would die more often, forcing you to scout corpse piles to resurrect more fighters. The community felt it, too, so much so that during the final moments of the Server Slam weekend, Blizzard decided to return the Necromancer and its skellie gang to its former glory.
Diablo IV’s Necromancer skeletons have muscles again
General manager Rod Fergusson tweeted on May 14, the last day of the Server Slam, that a server-side hotfix had rolled out to fix the Necro nerfs.
“PSA—We’re in the process of rolling out a server side hotfix buff to Necro skellies,” Fergusson said. “It will take a while to propagate worldwide so we appreciate your patience while it’s happening.”
On the Blizzard forums, global community development director and manager Adam Fletcher extrapolated on Fergusson’s hotfix update, explaining that the buffs the Necromancer had received were based on “some of the feedback we’ve seen regarding Necromancer pets and their survivability.” While neither Fletcher nor Fergusson detailed exactly what these changes were, I can tell you that in the final few hours of Diablo IV’s last open beta, my skellie gang of seven lasted about as long as they did pre-nerf. Sure, they still died, but I wasn’t spamming the resuscitate ability towards the beta’s end nearly as much as I was in the Server Slam’s beginning hours. The Necromancer is so very back.
Other players agree, with one redditor saying that the Necromancer was “a lot better than the open beta weekend.” Another said the class “seems a bit better” following the server-side hotfix update, while a separate redditor agreed that the Necromancer feels good now. Folks admitted that it wasn’t perfect, but the consensus was that the Necromancer is goated again.
Kotaku reached out to Blizzard for comment.
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It’s unclear if the Necromancer and its skellie gang will stay this buff when Diablo IV comes out in June. Still, it’s nice knowing the developers are paying attention to and implementing player feedback in such a fastidious manner. I’m sure we can expect even more changes and tweaks as Blizzard works on a Destiny 2-like post-launch rollout for the game.
Correction, 5/16/23, 3:00 p.m. ET: The previous headline for this story failed to accurately reflect the facts of the story itself. The headline has been updated. We regret the error.