Path of Exile 2 devs learn from Diablo 4’s Season 1 balance criticism

Jake Nichols
Path of Exile 2

Learning from the experiences of its competitors, the developers behind Path of Exile 2 (PoE2) have expressed their empathy for the Diablo 4 team after they recently faced backlash over a controversial balance update.

Grinding Gear Games co-founder Jonathan Rogers recently discussed the challenges of managing game balance in an interview with IGN.

“I mean, ultimately, the learning process for running a live game with Seasons like this is a hard one,” Rogers stated. “We’ve learned our lessons about how to do this stuff. Honestly, when I look at that, all I can think is, ‘Man, it’s tough. It’s a real tough situation to be in.'”

“I feel very bad for the developers because I’m sure that they mean well, but yeah, it’s a hard lesson to learn,” Rogers continued, conveying his empathy towards the Diablo 4 team.

Path of Exile skills
The recent Path of Exile 2 Gameplay Walkthrough teased 1500 Passive Skills

The comments followed Blizzard’s Diablo 4 Season 1 patch controversy, which saw a wave of criticism over drastic reductions in player power and an imbalance among classes.

The update has been deemed as a hard lesson by the Diablo 4 team, who have pledged to revert some of the changes and work on better communication with their player base.

In contrast, Grinding Gear Games appears to be taking a proactive approach to balance in PoE2.

Rogers emphasized the importance of getting the balance right at launch: “I think that you get the balance correct at launch because once you have something a certain way, players are very resistant to changing it, in particular in a downwards direction.”

The Diablo 4 team addressed balance criticisms in a “Campfire Chat”

The PoE2 devs are planning a lengthy beta as a mitigation strategy. Rogers believes this will provide the necessary feedback to fine-tune the game balance before its launch. “That’s going to be a challenge and with a lengthy beta, we should be able to achieve that.”

Moreover, Rogers also mentioned that PoE2 aims to offer a deep and complex gaming experience, catering to players’ craving for in-depth character customization and build experimentation.

These remarks could reflect their desire to offer an alternative to the design choices that stirred controversy in Diablo 4.

Stay tuned for more updates regarding both Diablo and Path of Exile.