A hotfix is a change made to the game that includes one or more files that are used to solve certain problems in the game. Generally, hotfixes are made to solve specific issues affecting gameplay.
In most cases, hotfixes are deployed when a change is deemed critical enough that it cannot be held off until a regular content patch. They usually only require a server-side change with no download involved and can be implemented with little or no downtime. Due to time constraints, hotfixes cannot be tested extensively, and as such are riskier than regular patches. Tooltips, graphics or other content stored in the game client cannot be changed with a server-side hotfix, and instead require a downloadable fix.
As mentioned above, hotfixes are generally deployed when an issue is important enough to warrant an immediate fix. These situations include, but are not limited to:
- Urgent balancing.
- Fixing bugs that greatly hinder gameplay.
- Fixing bugs that prevent or exploit the intended use of the game's features.
- Reverting changes made unintentionally in a patch.