February 21, 2024

All the biggest changes and fixes in Diablo 4’s first big patch

The moment Diablo 4 players have been waiting for has arrived. This isn’t quite the Malignant Season launch, mind you, but it’s about as big. We are talking about the pre-season patch, of course, which dropped earlier on all platforms.

Diablo 4 patch 1.1.0a comes in at around 8.84GB, and is the game’s biggest so far in terms of the number of changes, but also in how basic many of them are. The list of patch notes is long, especially when you factor in class-specific and item-specific balance changes.

So instead of listing the full changelog (which you can read for yourself on the Blizzard blog), we’re going to highlight the changes that have the most impact on most players.

First, in terms new material1.1.0a adds six Rare items, and seven Legendary Items.

All of those are in the game right now, available to all players. If you play after the patch is released, you will be able to find them, and they can drop for you if you are within their range. Here they are:

Season 1 unique items

  1. Ahavarion Spear of Lycander (Unique Uber Team – World Series 4): Receive a random shrine effect for 10-20 seconds after killing an elite enemy. Can only happen once every 30 seconds.
  2. Azurewrath (Unique Sword, Barbarian): Lucky Hit – Your Core Skills have an up to 20% chance to Freeze enemies for 3 seconds and deal 0.75-1.5 cold damage to them.
  3. Fleshrender (Unique One-Handed Mace, Druid): Debilitating Roar and Blood Howl deals 0.5-1.0 damage to nearby poisoned enemies.
  4. Lidless Wall (Unique Shield, Necromancer): Lucky Hit – While you have Bone Storm active, hitting an enemy outside of Bone Storm has up to a 5-25% chance to spawn an additional Bone Storm at their location. Each of your active Sacrifice bonuses increases the chance by 25% and the total number of additional Bone Storms you can have is +1.
  5. Eaglehorn (Unique Bow, Rogue): Penetrating Shot has a 30-80% chance to fire an arrow that bounces off walls and scenery. Hitting enemies from behind with Penetrating Shot will make them Vulnerable for 3 seconds.
  6. The Oculus (Unique Wand, Sorcerer): Get the Teleport Magic effect for free. When you evade using Teleport Enchantment, you are taken to a random location.

Legendary season 1 features free,

  1. Audacity (Utility Feature): When there are at least 5 Close enemies, Stun them for 2-4 seconds. This can only happen once every 20 seconds.
  2. Craven (Mobility Feature): You gain 20-40% increased Movement Speed ​​when you move away from Slowed or Cooled enemies.
  3. Ancestral Charge (Offensive, Barbarian): The Charge summons 4 Ancients to Charge as well, dealing 50-100% of normal damage.
  4. Subterranean (Offensive Aspect, Druid): The Poison Creeper caster also casts Landslide in a circle around you. Earth Skills deal 10-20% increased damage to poisoned enemies.
  5. Gore Quills (Wonderful Feature, Necromancer): Blood Lance will also consume Blood Orbs to make blades from them. Each additional Blood Lance deals 20-50% of normal damage and prioritizes targeting unlanced enemies.
  6. Pest Punctures (Offensive, Rogue): Every third layer of Puncture is poison imbued with 100-150% of normal power.
  7. Searing Wards (Offensive Element, Sorcerer): After spending 200-100 Mana your next Firewall is free to cast and will destroy incoming small missiles.

You won’t find any Malignant Hearts yet. | Image credit: Blizzard

Patch 1.1.0a also has some patches major gameplay changes, some of which Blizzard has previously discussed. Altars of Lilith unlocks are now account-wide, meaning you only need to find them once. The same goes for finding maps and clearing the fog of war. This applies to all future characters, including seasonal characters, which is why getting as many of the things done before the start of the season as possible is up for a strong start.

Silent Funds have seen a significant improvement in their loot quality, which until now served as a sad source of low drops. Whisperers should no longer reward Sigil Dust, which is good news for people who expect more substantial rewards from them.

Melee players will be happy to know that monsters won’t be moving around as often in combat, so you shouldn’t be chasing so much. What’s not quite clear is why Blizzard increased the cast time on the Leave Dungeon ability from three to five seconds – but that’s a change that’s been made. PC gamers looking for a reason to throw in an expensive controller get one, thanks to DualSense Edge controller support.

If you’ve just made it to World Level 2, there’s good news. Bonus gold increased from 15% to 20%, and monsters in that world tier now drop 15% more items. While there are no changes to World Series 3 and 4, Blizzard has adjusted enemy scaling in those two higher tiers.

Enemies will start dropping behind the player’s level at a certain point, up to a maximum of five levels behind. For WT3, that starts after level 56, and level 76 for WT4. “We want to give players a better understanding of their progression of power and mastery around the world while still challenging themselves with structured Endgame activities,” Blizzard explained.

Another change for World Series 3 and 4 is that players gain XP from completing Whispers significantly. Now the changes are bound to make some players angry.

A character that you will get to know very well during the season. | Image credit: Blizzard

Earlier today, we covered a detailed chart of the best ways to level up quickly, which depended on the XP bonuses of high-level enemies, as well as the dungeons and strongholds that hold the most enemies and being completed quickly.

While that information is still valuable, patch 1.1.0a changed that how the XP bonus is calculated in many different ways. Before the patch, players received 15% more XP when killing the enemy one level higher, 20% when two levels higher, and 25% at three or higher.

Now, the game will only give a 1.5% bonus per level, which caps 10 levels above the player’s own level. For example, an enemy that is one level higher will now give 1.5%, but one that is a full ten levels higher will only give 15%.

There is more, too. XP rewards from monster level offsets in World Tier 3 and 4 are being reduced. World Series 3 now goes up to +6 (instead of +10), and World Series 4 is now +10 (instead of +100). This is meant to make group farming much less efficient.

A common tactic for high-level players was to invite low-level friends to areas where they can’t really progress. The low-level players would stay outside a dungeon, for example, while the high-level pros would tear through dungeon mobs, giving them huge idle XP payouts for doing nothing. That should be much less viable now.

Helltide is also getting more challenging. Helltide monsters are now three levels above the player’s level, instead of two. The Secret Gift of Torture chest will now cost 250 Aberrant cinders, instead of 175. To compensate, any interacting object in the Helltide zone has a small chance of dropping Aberrant Cinders.

The full changelog at the link at the top of the page is well worth reading, especially if you’re worried about a certain nerf for your class. Season of the Malignant begins on Friday, July 20.

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