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Diablo 4 buffing Barbarians and nerfing Necromancers in post-beta update

And dungeons getting considerable reworks.

Artwork of Lilith, the antagonist in Diablo 4, with her huge wings framing her horned head, and the fires of what I presume are Hell burning behind. She's not even sweating!
Image credit: Blizzard / Diablo 4

Blizzard has revealed some of the changes it's making to Diablo 4 following the recent beta playtests, and from what I can see, it's addressing the biggest concerns I believe people had.

One of those was boredom with dungeons, particularly in having to traipse back and forth across them. "One of the most common pieces of feedback we received is that players felt they were doing a lot of backtracking within certain dungeons," the company said in a blog post. "We have optimised multiple dungeons across all zones to minimise the need for backtracking."

In Fractured Peaks alone - the zone in the demo - nine dungeons have had their layouts changed. And wherever a dungeon has an objective, especially one you have to carry around, there are now movement speed buffs as well as other enhancements to keep the pace up.

Diablo 4 has PvP from the get-go, in case you didn't know, and many more endgame ideas.Watch on YouTube

These are:

  • To reduce the need to backtrack, small numbers of straggling monsters will seek out the player to help complete the Kill All Monsters objective.
  • When Animus is gathered, the player and nearby allies will: Gain 10 Resource / Reduce all active Cooldowns by 1 second.
  • Depositing Animus channel time was reduced from 3 to 0 seconds.
  • The time to Rescue was reduced from 3 to 1.5 seconds.
  • All Rescue objectives now drop a Health Potion upon completion.
  • While carrying the Ancient's Statue, Bloodstone, Mechanical Box, or Stone Carving, you will receive a Momentum bonus granting a 25% move speed increase to you and nearby allies.
  • Pedestals have had their channel time reduced from 2 to 0 seconds.
  • Returning a Portable Object to its Pedestal now fully restores Health, Resource, Potions, and resets cooldowns for all nearby players.
  • All doors will now generate a minimap ping when they are opened.
  • All Structure Objectives in dungeons now have additional combat mechanics players must overcome.

Regarding classes: Barbarians have, as expected, been buffed. Specifically, they've been given a flat 10 percent damage reduction so they can stay alive more reliably in melee range. And in relation to that, a number of bosses have been "re-evaluated for melee character difficulty", resulting in changes to their attacks and mechanics.

Also as expected: Sorcerers and Necromancers have been nerfed. Necro minions now die more often and Corpse Explosion isn't as ridiculously powerful, and Sorcerers have had chain lightning dialled down.


  • Effects like Stun and Freeze can be applied to Elite Monsters twice as long before they become Unstoppable.
  • Reviewed class skills to confirm that all classes have access to sufficient skills that remove control impairing effects.
  • Many Legendary Powers have had updates to their effectiveness.


  • A flat 10% passive damage reduction has been added for the Barbarian Class. Some Skill Tree passives had their damage reduction effects reduced to compensate.
  • The Whirlwind Skill now deals more damage and consumes more Fury.
  • The Double Swing Skill Enhancement refunds its full Fury cost when used on Stunned or Knocked Down enemies.


  • Companion Skills will now deal heavily increased damage.
  • All Ultimate Skills have had their cooldowns reduced.
  • Usability improvements have been made to Maul and Pulverize.
  • Using a non-Shapeshifting Skill will transform a Druid back into their human form.


  • Summoned Minions will die more often, requiring players to utilize Corpses more often.
  • Many bonuses in the Book of the Dead have had their stats increased.
  • The damage dealt by the Corpse Explosion skill has been reduced.
  • The brightness of the Skeletal Warriors and Mages has been reduced.


  • Upgrades for Subterfuge Skills have had their bonuses increased.
  • Multiple passive Skills have had their bonuses increased.
  • All Imbuement Skills have had their cooldowns increased.


  • Charged Bolt's damage was increased and the Mana cost to cast has decreased.
  • Decreased the damage of Chain Lightning and reduced its effectiveness against Bosses.
  • Decreased the cooldown for the Incinerate Skill's Enchantment bonus.
  • Firewalls will now spawn underneath enemies more frequently when using its Enchantment bonus.
  • Increased the Lucky Hit chance for the Meteor Skill's Enchantment bonus.

Other notable changes include The Butcher being buffed on World Tiers 3 and 4, which weren't in the demo and I shudder to think what that will be like, and cellar dungeons are being made less boring by having a greater chance to trigger events, and to award you with chests.

Oh and the Reset Dungeon button has been disabled. Apparently some Hardcore players were using it to get out of sticky situations, and in general, Blizzard wants you to move around, not farm one place. "Still," it said, "we know it can be fun to repeat a specific dungeon and the team is looking at a more permanent solution to this."

You can find the full list of changes on the Diablo 4 website.

Diablo 4 launches in a little under two months' time, on 6th June, though if you pre-order it, you can play from midnight on 2nd June in the UK, or 4pm the day before in Pacific-time US. So far, we're big fans of what we've seen, but it'll be interesting to see what the rest of the game holds, particularly the endgame.

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