Diablo 4’s Spiky Damage Dilemma: Impact on Gameplay

“Diablo 4” is the latest installment in the renowned action role-playing game series, but it has recently come under scrutiny for its spiky damage issue. This article delves into the game’s mechanics, particularly focusing on the spiky damage and how it affects the player’s experience.

The Spiky Damage Issue

Spiky damage refers to the unpredictable and often extreme fluctuations in the amount of damage a player receives from enemies. This issue becomes especially apparent in the game mode “AoZ” (Altar of Something), where players face significant challenges due to this erratic damage output. The inconsistency in damage ranges from minor hits to devastating blows that can eliminate a player in a single strike, even with protective barriers active.

Personal Experiences and Frustrations

Many players, including myself, have encountered frustrating experiences in AoZ due to this spiky damage. For instance, while some monsters barely scratch the player’s health, others can deal over 100% damage in one hit. Such extremes make combat feel unpredictable and often unfairly challenging. This has led to a decrease in enjoyment and an increased avoidance of certain game elements.

Impact on Different Game Aspects

  1. Combat Experience: The erratic damage makes fighting major bosses, like Lilith, an exercise in frustration.
  2. Hardcore Gameplay: This issue is driving players away from hardcore modes due to the high risk of sudden death.
  3. High-Tier Nightmare Dungeons (NDs): The unpredictability of damage makes these dungeons extremely frustrating.
  4. Enemy Avoidance: Players find themselves avoiding certain enemies like spiders, snakes, and crossbows, as well as large groups of monsters, due to the fear of sudden, excessive damage.

Comparing Diablo 3 and Diablo 4

While ‘Diablo 3’ had its issues with damage output, ‘Diablo 4’ exacerbated these problems. The abundance of damage mitigation options in gear, which players can acquire by choosing to buy Diablo 4 items, is a double-edged sword. Monsters are balanced around this plethora of options, forcing players to focus heavily on damage mitigation to progress through the game effectively.

AoZ vs. Greater Rifts in Diablo 3

AoZ in “Diablo 4” presents a much more challenging and less predictable experience compared to GR150 rifts in “Diablo 3”. The linear damage output in “Diablo 3” allowed for more consistent gameplay, whereas “Diablo 4” introduced a higher degree of randomness and extreme damage spikes.

Fundamental Game Design Issues

The core problem lies in the game’s fundamental design. AoZ amplifies these issues, making them more apparent. The damage formula in “Diablo 4” significantly differs from other ARPGs, leading to a lack of control and predictability for the player. This is further compounded by the game’s itemization and the need for balancing item affixes to address these damage issues.

The Role of RNG

Random number generation (RNG) plays a significant role in “Diablo 4,” affecting the type of enemies, shrines, and boss affixes encountered. This adds to the unpredictability and can make gameplay feel like a gamble.


The spiky damage problem in “Diablo 4” significantly impacts the gameplay experience, making it a source of frustration for many players. While the upcoming season 4 promises big itemization changes, it remains to be seen if these will address the core issues of damage variability and game design. The community hopes for a more balanced and enjoyable gameplay experience in future updates.