Diablo III updates are incoming

Posted by Shane McGlaun

Blizzard's Diablo III has received quite a lot of attention from the press over its record breaking sales streak - despite a slew of launch-related server issues and alleged hacks.

Yesterday, Blizzard reps posted an official statement describing upcoming patches - and how the company is working to evolve the game over time.

As with any new game, says Blizzard, issues are inevitable and engineers are working on fixes as soon as a specific problem is identified. 

The company also confirmed it was adjusting and eliminating a few class skills - taking some time to explain the rationale behind the changes while offering a quick sneak peek of other potential alterations.

Essentially, non-critical Diablo III issues will be addressed via client patches rather than with hot fixes. A patch due next week is expect to bring the game to version 1.0.2, while optimizing various service issues. In-game changes can be expected to kick in with 1.0.3, although some might arrive sooner via hot fixes if deemed critical enough.

Regarding modified class skills, changes have been made to Lingering Fog, Boon of Protection, and Force Armor. According to Blizzard, these skills were simply more powerful than they should be which negatively affected game class balance.

"Inferno is intended to be extremely difficult, but with some specific skills, a few classes were simply able to progress far more easily than intended. This made the classes, which were about where they were supposed to be, seem very underpowered," Blizzard explaind.

"It also created the perception that the classes doing well were intended to rely on specific runes in all their builds, and the other classes were just broken. This is the opposite of what’s true. If any single skill or rune feels absolutely required to progress, it means that skill is working against our goal of encouraging build diversity - and those 'required' skills need to be corrected."

Blizzard also offered up some interesting statistics about the game. The average player apparently fields three characters, while 80% of the characters in the game are between levels 1 and 30. 1.9% of characters have unlocked inferno difficulty, with 54% of hardcore players choosinge a female character. The majority of hardcore deaths, 35% of them, occur in Act I Normal.