Necromancer Minions Were the Talk from the Diablo IV Server Slam
May 18, 2023 Source: GAMEMS
While The Legend of Zelda: Tears from the Kingdom is constantly on the rule headlines across media outlets, Diablo IV fans were built with a celebration that belongs to them too. Last weekend’s Server Slam event was remarkably smooth for any game whose release date is almost a month away. Gone were the frustrating wait times that plagued the game’s beta some time ago. It barely took one minute for me to take on the world of Sanctuary, down from the 45-minute wait I experienced last time. There were almost no bugs, along with a host of balance changes that refined a previously solid experience. But it wasn’t well before players discovered a nerf which had gone too much: Reddit and Twitter were built with a meltdown within the new Necromancer nerfs that turned their overpowered minions into harmless toys.
The Necromancer’s powerful life-steal abilities went well having a horde of skeletons that ironically acted as meat shields. These allies are available in three types: melee warriors, ranged mages, and sturdy golems. Each category also features subtypes made with unique scenarios in your mind, in the icy skeletal Cold Mages towards the tanky Bone Golem. Your minions are created to be disposable, and brand-new ones can be summoned with no second thought.
A Nerf made sense, especially because the Necromancer class coasted through higher difficulties throughout the Diablo IV open beta. The devs wanted the minions to exhaust quickly and become repeatedly summoned during combat. This wasn’t the case throughout the beta, with minions that rarely dropped toward the ground. But using the Diablo IV Server Slam bringing a substantial drop within the skeleton warriors’ health, elite enemies and bosses quickly turned them into bone piles.
They had the reliability of sticks strung along with duct tape. World boss Ashava would sneeze and — poof — poisoned piles of bone. Your minions aren’t the smartest around, so area attacks started to make short work of these. And against large bosses, it had been a chore to locate corpses and resurrect a whole bunch of these to defend yourself. While the Necromancer wasn’t completely useless solo, most minion-dependent builds were now irrelevant. It wasn’t well before Blizzard got word of the problem. Diablo GM Rod Fergusson was quick to reassure fans that the fix was in the works.
In under six hours, a hotfix was deployed to solve this situation. Blizzard handled this around the server side with no new downloads being delivered to players. It’s a refreshing switch to see a developer be this reactive to player feedback. Considering that Blizzard is really a AAA studio that runs using a massive scale, I was genuinely impressed like a player when I saw the alterations kick in. I’m pleased to report that I did far better against the terrors from the Fractured Peaks following the hotfix. The devs have promised to fine-tune things even more before launch.
The Nerf hammer did its work a tad too well this time, a choice not uncommon while balancing game titles. The devs will definitely take a more measured method of perfecting Sanctuary’s many paths of survival. I’m optimistic about Diablo IV’s roadmap, especially because it isn’t likely to be a one-and-done type of launch, because of expansions and events filling the calendar. There are always likely to be met as they require reshaping and bugs that require squashing, so I’m excited to determine how Blizzard’s trigger finger reacts.
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