Diablo 4 (Blizzard Entertainment)

Amidst growing unrest and calls for a change in the development team, Blizzard Entertainment is set to release a new patch for Diablo 4 tonight, potentially marking a crucial juncture for the beleaguered title.

Diablo 4’s Season 3 update faced significant backlash from players with many in the community claiming an extreme disconnect between the developers and players. Criticisms ranged from the game’s inconsistent development quality across different seasons to specific grievances like the unengaging Seneschal Construct and trap-focused dungeons.

However, the tide may be turning. The update 1.3.0a patch notes for Diablo 4, scheduled for release on January 26, 2024, suggest that Blizzard has been listening closely to its community.

Early reactions from the game’s subreddit indicate a cautiously optimistic outlook from players, who see these changes as steps in the right direction, though some still express doubts about whether the updates go far enough.

Diablo 4 (Blizzard)
Could this patch be the answer to widespread player dissatisfaction? (Blizzard)

Diablo 4 update 1.3.0a patch notes

Update 1.3.0a patch notes were published on January 26, 2024, and the update is expected to arrive sometime Friday night ET.

GAME UPDATES

Echo of Malphas

Developer’s Note: We have noticed players tended to use their Pearls of Warding for fighting Echo of Malphas instead of on Zoltun’s Warding. We are adding in Igneous Cores—a new item used solely to summon Malphas instead of Pearls—so players don’t have to choose between extra protection in the Vaults or fighting the boss. Additionally, we have made the fight against Malphas more difficult but also increased the rewards it provides.

  • Echo of Malphas has had their Level raised from 85 to 100.
  • The Health pool of Echo of Malphas has been increased by 30%.
  • A new item—Igneous Cores—now exists for the purpose of accessing the Uber Vault and Echo of Malphas. This item will replace the usage of Pearls of Warding in providing access.
    • Igneous Cores have a chance to drop from Vault Heralds and are guaranteed to drop from Son of Malphas in World Tier IV.
  • Loot Updates
    • The drop rate of Unique Stones from Malphas increased from .25% to .5%.
    • Unique Stones now have a 3% chance of dropping from the chest after the boss.
    • Defeating Echo of Malphas will now reward more Legendary items. Additionally, Item Level 925 items will drop more often.

The Seneschal

Developer’s Note: We’ve received feedback that the Seneschal does not feel powerful. The Seneschal becomes more powerful as it reaches max level, but we have noticed that many players have not had the chance to level up their Seneschal enough to experience this. We are introducing multiple changes to ensure players have more sources to earn Governing and Tuning Stones from so they can level up their Seneschal and unlock their new companion’s full potential.

  • Crafting a Governing or Tuning Stone will now always cost 200 Shattered Stone and 20 Iron Chunks regardless of level.
  • Finding a max level Governing or Tuning Stone will now grant 150 –200 Shattered Stone.
  • Governing and Tuning stones can now be acquired as rewards for completing Whispers.
  • Son of Malphas now always drops 2-3 Governing and Tuning Stones.
  • Stones awarded from Seneschal Stone Caches has been increased from 1 to 2 stones.
  • Experience requirements for Governing and Tuning Stones have been reduced so they can be ranked up more naturally with your leveling experience.

Vaults and Arcane Tremors

We have made multiple quality-of-life changes to the player experience in the Vaults and Arcane Tremors.

  • Consuming a Pearl of Warding at a Statue of Zoltun Kulle now grants 10 stacks of Zoltun’s Warding, instead of 3.
  • The max stacks of Zoltun’s Warding has been increased from 300 to 999.
  • The grace period for losing stacks of Zoltun’s Warding when being hit by multiple traps at once has been increased from 1 second to 1.5 seconds. (Ex: If 3 darts hit you in the span of 1.5 seconds, you’ll only lose 1 stack instead of 3).
  • Heralds of Malphas now guaranteed a Legendary item drop starting at Level 26, with a 15% chance to drop a second Legendary item.
  • Knockback has been removed from all Obelisk Hazards.
  • Chests will now appear after completing a Vault’s ending encounter. These new chests will drop a guaranteed Legendary item starting from level 26+, with a 35% chance to drop another Legendary item.
  • The projectile speed from Elemental Dart hazards has been reduced by 20%.
  • The hitbox for floor-based Elemental Grate and Spike hazards have been reduced by roughly 15%.
  • The spout hitbox for Elemental Pillars has been reduced by roughly 15%.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue where the Gatehall would not display on the map for players on PlayStation.
  • Fixed an issue where the Brazier could not be interacted with in certain circumstances during the Drums of the Vault quest.
  • Fixed an issue where the Beckoning Thunder Horse cosmetic was invisible for Druid players.
  • Fixed an issue where the damage effect and the visual effect were not in sync for floor traps in Vaults.
  • Various stability and performance improvements.
Diablo 4 cinematic (Blizzard Entertainment)

Patch 1.3.0a summary

This new patch addresses several key areas of player concern. Notably, the Echo of Malphas boss fight has been revamped, with an increased level and health pool, alongside the introduction of Igneous Cores for accessing the Uber Vault. Loot updates include improved drop rates for Unique Stones and more frequent Legendary item drops, showing Blizzard’s commitment to enriching the reward experience for players.

The underwhelming Seneschal companion also receives significant attention in the patch, with changes designed to make leveling and enhancing this companion more feasible and satisfying. Additionally, various quality-of-life improvements in Vaults and Arcane Tremors, such as adjustments to the stacks of Zoltun’s Warding and the removal of knockback from Obelisk Hazards, aim to enhance the overall gameplay experience.

While these changes appear promising, only time will tell if they are enough to fully re-engage the player base and steer Diablo 4 back to the glory days reminiscent of its predecessors.

With players expressing cautious approval on the game’s subreddit, there’s hope that this patch could be the beginning of a new, more player-focused era for Diablo 4.

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