In an extensive Diablo 4 "Campfire Chat" on Twitch and YouTube, Blizzard discussed, among other things, the community concerns around server disconnects, and their plans for the first "real patch" due before the launch of the game's first season.
It's not been uncommon for players to get disconnected from Diablo 4's servers in the few short weeks since they began exploring Sanctuary, and while only a minor inconvenience to most, it's been a real problem for the game's most hardcore players who play on the aptly named "Hardcore" mode. In this mode, a single character death results in that character's permanent deletion, and Hardcore players have reported losing those characters due to disconnects from the server resulting in their character standing idle until killed.
The panel, which included Franchise General Manager Rod Fergusson and Game Director Joe Shely, talked about the issue and their plans to fix it.
"These can be some of the must frustrating situations for a Hardcore player, because in many cases it's completely outside of your control," Skely explained. "We have already a mechanism in the game that allows players to escape from boss fights that has very strict controls on it, called the Scroll of Escape. Because it has these controls in terms of being consumable and being a rare drop, this is the place where we want to add disconnect protection."
"Basically the way this will work is: if you get disconnected, for any reason, if you have one of these Scrolls of Escape it will trigger even though you weren't there to trigger it, and it will teleport you to town," Shely added.
"We already have a big 'real patch' coming."
Skely specified that the team wants this mechanic to be limited, so it can't be abused by those who might want to pull the plug on their computer every time they find themselves in a bind, to be consumed only in the rare, emergency situation.
Since Diablo 4 launched, a number of hotfixes (11 to be exact) have been deployed to address balance changes, improve game stability, and more, but Blizzard is already preparing for their first "real patch," which may require server downtime to perform maintenance.
"We already have a big 'real patch' coming," Fergusson announced. "That's something that's gone through certification. It's out there. It's going to address a lot of things, including performance issues."
That patch, according to Blizzard, contains a whopping 13 pages of fixes and improvements that Blizzard didn't delve into on-stream, but said would get a full set of patch notes once deployed. No specific date for the patch was given, but Blizzard shared it plans to deploy it before season one is launched and it may require server downtime.