Don’t diss patch notes – they’re more exciting than we’re willing to admit

June 25, 2024
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I’m currently obsessing over the changes Wizards of the Coast is making to Dungeons & Dragons. If you don’t know, there’s a new edition of the game coming this year, in September, which means the whole thing – all the rules and character classes – are being updated. Over the past couple of weeks, Wizards has been revealing how. In other words, patch notes – it’s been sharing patch notes. The biggest set I’ve ever seen.

This excites me, and it’s made me realise something else: patch notes have always been exciting. I’d even go so far as to say they’re one of the most exciting things about games. And I know how this sounds! I know bullet-point lists aren’t sexy things. And if they are for you, well then, let’s talk. But no – it’s deeper than that. Hear me out.

Patch notes are a widely accepted thing but they’re not that old in console terms. It used to be games would come on a disk or a cartridge, and we’d put them in our machine and that would be it. Full stop. No more development. The game was as it would be forever more. But with internet capabilities came the ability to release updates – small ones at first and then larger ones – and this in turn allowed developers to keep developing games and making changes to them.

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