Diablo 4 Season 1 patch eviscerates key damage types to allow “more builds to flourish”

Ethan Dean
Diablo 4 Sorcerer

Folk wisdom of the Diablo 4 community is that you should load up on as much Vulnerable and Critical damage as your class will allow. Blizzard has noticed the adage and applied considerable debuffs in patch 1.0.1.

Diablo 4’s Season 1 patch went live less than a day ago and developers are already facing harsh criticisms from the community. Changes to skills, leveling, and certain bug fixes are whipping fans of the game into a frenzy.

One of the biggest changes, and the most contentious, is the massive nerfs to two core damage types that players rely on for endgame efficiency. A wide range of Critical Strike damage Affixes have been nerfed by between 17-50%, and all Vulnerable damage has been reduced by between 40-65%.

Developer comments present in Blizzard’s own patch notes explain that the intention is to remove these damage types as mandatory inclusions and encourage build diversity. These stats, in particular, were instrumental in the creation of viral billion damage builds.

diablo 4 druid
No more 1.8 billion damage Stormclaw Shreds

“We’re seeing Critical Strike Damage and Vulnerable Damage often viewed as a hard requirement for a build’s success in Diablo 4,” Blizzard explained in developer notes. “We believe this is a step towards allowing more builds to flourish and will continue to make changes in support of this goal.”

One of the biggest changes is to built-in Critical Strike and Vulnerable damage on Swords and Crossbows, respectively. Swords have lost 50% of their innate Critical Strike damage and Crossbows 60% of their Vulnerable.

“Disparities in inherent affixes can rule some Weapons out before the rest of their stats are even rolled,” Blizzard said. “These are receiving harsher reductions than their normal affix counterparts to increase Weapon flexibility.”

Damage nerfs across the board have been applied in an effort to reduce the effectiveness of skilled players who Blizzard has noted are taking down enemies “many levels above their own.” “We want to support this, but the current situation is beyond what we believe is correct for the long-term health of the game,” a note said.

Since the patch went live, players across social media have been threatening a mass exodus from the game. Community Manager Adam Fletcher has announced a scheduled Campfire Chat to address the concerns.

Diablo 4’s Season of the Malignant begins in earnest on July 20, but it remains to be seen whether players will be logging in.

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