Diablo 4 chief says Blizzard will "embrace," not nerf, Ball Lightning Sorcerers: "Just let 'em have fun, we'll deal with it later"

Diablo 4's early months taught Blizzard devs important lessons. In its first six months, Diablo 4 has gotten mixed reviews. Diablo 4 is much improved from earlier this year. Clearly, the devs learnt a lot about adjusting this big action RPG to fan expectations. 

Diablo general manager Rod Fergusson discussed Diablo 4's first six months with the Electronic Playground Network. He also discussed the hard patches and community backlash and said future updates would be more thoughtful. Fergusson says Blizzard learnt that sometimes things need to "feel" broken to be fun."

[As developers] sometimes you focus on balance, and not fun," stated the Diablo general manager about patching games. "You can say 'everything has to be on the same level' and that you're striving for fairness, but Diablo games have overpowered moments when you feel like you're cheating or fooled the development. 

development team by exploiting an exploit, which can be really fun. So we've tried to embrace it, and in Season 2, the Ball-Lightning Sorc' build is crazy, but we're like "let them have fun, we'll deal with it later."

These comments are surprising and welcome given how quickly Blizzard tweaked and removed popular Diablo 4 oddities in the early months. The Diablo community loves to optimize class best builds by diving deep into the game's mechanics, as Fergusson said.

The loot-focused action RPG subgenre has relied on character tuning since Diablo 2. This delight clashed with Blizzard's quick and widespread patching of D4 in its early months.

The several updates before Diablo 4's first season culminated early. Players' favorite class builds, such the Sorceress, were nerfed along with experience points needed to level up. The modifications were so contentious that Blizzard devs convened an impromptu community broadcast to discuss them and promise to improve future versions.

Diablo 4 has improved since last summer's dark times by 2023. Along with the Season of Blood event, it has been tweaking boss loot rates and making the Diablo end-game grind easier. Community members like both adjustments so far. In addition to Fergusson's recent statements, the devs have maintained a more cohesive goal for Diablo 4 patches.

Diablo community director Adam Fletcher has claimed that D4 will not incorporate pay-to-win options. According to the EPN interview, letting player agency is a fulfilling approach for the community to discover enjoyment and engagement, so it's heartening that Diablo 4's improvements will keep this in mind.

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