Master your Power in Season of Blood
Master your Power in Season of Blood
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Official Post)
It’s been an exciting few months since Diablo IV was released to players around the world. We launched our first Season, a number of updates and of course, slayed copious amounts of Demons. With Season of Blood arriving on October 17, we wanted to spend some time covering some of the changes—big and small—coming to Diablo IV. The changes we explore in this article can all be found in our Diablo IV patch notes, found here.
Elemental Resistances are being overhauled in Season of Blood. Here’s how they currently work, and how they’ll work in both Seasonal and Eternal realms once Season of Blood begins.
In Season of the Malignant:
- Elemental Resistances were inverse multiplicative. This means that you received the same effective Life each time you gained a bonus, but the nominal value of the bonus was less. For example, if you had 20% Poison Resistance and then received 20% more, you would have 36% Poison Resistance in total.
- Elemental Resistances had no hard cap— You could gain them indefinitely.
- Armor provided Physical Damage Reduction as well as Damage Reduction from all elements, which imposed on the role of Elemental Resistances. This made Armor so powerful to the point that it outperformed individual elemental resistance. Rings and Amulets had 2 inherent stats that gave Resistance to two random elements.
In Season of Blood:
- Elemental Resistances are now additive and have a base cap of 70%. This cap can be raised with new effects that increase the cap to a hard cap of 85%. Such as Skills, Paragon Boards, Elixirs, etc. Armor now only reduces physical damage. The more Resistance you have against a particular element the more valuable each percentage is for total effective Life. For example, going from 60 to 65% Fire Resistance is much more valuable than going from 20 to 25%.
- Rings and Amulets will still have 2 inherent stats: Resist to All Elements and a random Elemental Resistance.
In Season of Blood, Elemental Resistances will become a much more important part of your character’s survivability. Our goal here is to present a puzzle to solve of how to reach the maximum base of elemental resistance, while also giving you the tools to solve that puzzle through methods such as itemization, the Skill Tree, Elixirs, and your Paragon Board. We also provide a base amount of Resistance to All Elements in Jewelry to prevent players from falling behind in any individual resistance.
Around Level 80, you should be able to maximize your Elemental Resistances at the 70% base maximum. There’s a journey to solve the resistance puzzle, but it is one that you will eventually solve. Then, you can move on to other stats that you want to prioritize for your characters. It’s not about whether you will reach the maximum, but more about what methods you choose to get there.
We’ve heard the overwhelming community feedback that Unique items aren’t as exciting and impactful as they need to be. In Season of Blood, we’ve done a large design rework on our Unique items and updated nearly all of them in the game. The following is our four-fold strategy to how we’re updating our Unique items currently, and the philosophy we want to adhere to for our Uniques to have special properties in the future. Here are some theoretical examples:
- Adding completely new stats to Unique items.
- Ex: “Bonus Spirit Generation while Tornadoes are active,” is not a normal stat, but could potentially exist on a Unique.
- Allowing existing stats that roll on Unique to roll in increased ranges.
- Ex: Bonus Fire Damage normally rolls between +15–25%, but on a Unique it could roll between +30–45%.
- Adding stats to slots where they typically would not exist.
- Cooldown Reduction can’t normally roll on a weapon, but it can on a Unique weapon.
- Updating Unique powers and effects.
- A Unique power requires shooting enemies from behind to deal bonus damage. Now this power deals bonus damage on much simpler conditions, such as hitting enemies 5 times or dealing more damage all the time.
The following are some examples of our updates that you can look forward to finding.
Larger Existing Stat Ranges
Adding Stats to New Slots
Updated Unique Effects
We sometimes see a Unique with a potentially powerful effect fal l by the wayside due to a lack of specific stats that are too important to ignore. In this vein, you’ll see that our Unique items will have key stats for the builds they fit in far more often, including powerful new or thematic stats that relate to their effect. We’re hoping that this will reduce the opportunity cost of playing with these items, which should entice players to try them out more often.
How damage is calculated in Diablo IV is also receiving an overhaul. Before, damage sources such as Critical Strike Damage, Vulnerable Damage, and Overpower Damage were in different buckets, and when these buckets mixed with each other, the full amount of bonus damage from each bucket was multiplied together.
This meant the most effective way to increase your damage was to get as much bonus Critical Strike Damage and bonus Vulnerable damage and then Critically Strike Vulnerable enemies. Because access to these two buckets was generally more attainable than something like Overpower damage—which has a fixed chance to occur at 3%—most builds that did not take advantage of this multiplicative synergy fell behind.
This is all changing with Season of Blood. There will still be different damage buckets, but now only the base amount of bonus damage that these methods provide will be multiplicative. The rest of the bonus damage to these categories will be additive when they are combined. The base bonus multiplicative damage these categories provide are:
- Vulnerable Damage: x20%
- Critical Strike Damage: x50%
- Overpower Damage: x50%
Additionally, we fixed some issues with how Overpower damage is calculated, so in Season of Blood it will be much more competitive as a damage source compared to before.
Your character profile will also display this bonus damage, though the math is a little complex under the hood. Here’s a breakdown of how it works with the following example:
In this case, we are showing how much bonus Vulnerable damage the player will inflict on an enemy. The player gets the standard x20% bonus damage that Vulnerable Damage provides, and they have an additional +18.0% from gear and no other bonus Vulnerable damage. The calculation to find their total bonus Vulnerable damage would be the following:
(1 + additive bonus) * (1 + 1st multiplicative source) * (1 + 2nd multiplicative source) * (1 + 3rd multiplicative source) – 1
In this example, the equation would be:
= (1 + .18) * (1 + .2) -1
= (1.18) * (1.2) – 1
= 1.416 – 1
= .416, or 41.6%
In the interest of avoiding extremely long tooltips, they will not specify any additional multiplicative sources of damage. These types of damage bonuses are uncommon overall, so it’s less vital to include on a tooltip. If the damage bonus value doesn’t match up based on the additive bonus alone, it is likely from having a multiplicative damage bonus on your character.
So what does this all mean? With these changes we expect the following to happen:
- Player damage numbers will be lower overall due to the lower multiplicative synergy of mixing different damage buckets. However, Monsters and enemies have been rebalanced around the new player power. You can still kill the monsters you were killing before about just as quickly.
- Mixing damage types will still be powerful, but less mandatory for all builds.
- Individual damage sources will be much more equal in value. As an example, Damage-Over-Time and Overpower builds will now be much more competitive than they were previously.
- Monsters and enemies have been rebalanced around the new player power. You should not experience a significant difference in your effectiveness from these changes.
Since we’re lowering the baseline bonus that players get for mixing damage types, this also creates an exciting design space where we can reinsert that multiplicative damage via other methods where the player has the choice to opt into, and build around, that power. Our overall goal with these changes is to reward players for investing into their primary vector of damage—and to be competitive for doing that—while also giving them tools to find other vectors of damage scaling as they customize their character and progress further in the game.
In addition to systemic changes, we’re making a slew of balance updates and general improvements to our Classes to address community feedback. A couple examples of the types of updates you can expect are the following:
For Sorcerers: Incinerate’s ramp-up time for its bonus damage has been reduced from 4 to 2 seconds.
For Druids: the free Skills from Nature’s Fury now count as both Earth and Storm skills.
Another way we are looking to improve the experience of build creation is through adding scaling effects to many mechanics across all Classes. As we mentioned previously in our changes to damage buckets, because we no longer inherently have so much multiplicative baseline damage, we now have the opportunity to give these bonuses to players in other areas. The following are some examples of this in action:
For the Barbarian, Blood Rage now increases all the Barbarian’s damage based on their Damage while Berserking bonus.
For the Rogue, Victimize’s explosion damage increases as the player builds their Vulnerable Damage Bonus stat.
Our goal with these changes are two-fold:
- We’re aware that our damage bucket changes in a vacuum would result in lower player power. However, we’re balancing Monster power to compensate for these changes to keep player power at a similar level. We also want to add some of that that power back in a more interesting way.
- We want our players to have a more nuanced experience with their itemization, particularly as players get into the later portions of the game.
We’re particularly interested in how this combines with our Unique item changes, since stats that normally were competitively inferior now potentially have a chance to shine in specific builds that can take advantage of them.
For more details on all the changes we discussed, you can read our official Patch Notes for the Season of Blood launch at this article.
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about the damage changes coming with Season of Blood. Resistances have shifted, damage has been re-balanced, Unique items should feel more powerful, and Classes have been improved. We look forward to playing alongside you and hearing your feedback on these changes, and we are excited to bring you more updates in the future