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The State of the Monk: Additional follower or future OP class?

state of the monk in diablo 3It’s no surprise that the Monk class has been in need of some love pre 2.1. However with the second iteration of the patch on the PTR that need has not yet been abided. People are still clamoring for more sweeping changes(pun intended).

I was a heavy Monk user pre ROS and took a break with the xpac to delve into my first love(WD) and my new fling(crusader). I returned to the Monk only a few weeks ago and what I found was a shell of what I had left. After suffering for a long time as a WD it was nice when they finally rose to prominence. After a while on the top I wanted a new challenge and set my sights back on my monk, however even this challenge seems to daunting then all that time as a struggling WD. Diablo Forum MVP Druin put together an eloquent look at the myriad issues facing the class:


Hello everyone!

I am back from vacation and I am looking to write up a concise review of where we stand in 2.1.

My plan is to give a quick overview of our major issues then discuss the 2.1 changes and how they affect the various facets of our class.

I will be using this thread to fine-tune what we want to communicate to the devs and then I will make a major “state of monks in 2.1″ thread on the PTR forums to attempt to get some help for our lovely class! :D

1. Current Monk Issues

Damage

This is really at the forefront of the monk issues.

Since the release of RoS, monks have been having a tough time with DPS. We have a very limited range of options mostly centering around the skill Exploding Palm. (Un)fortunately EP is being changed as it breaks greater rifts (along with Rimeheart and Furnace) so our only source of widely competitive damage is going away. This leaves monks in a pretty bad spot.

Our spenders do very little damage (I mean VERY little) relative to their cost and our generators are used more as proc-vehicles for Odyn Son, Thunderfury, Shard of Hate and Rime/Furnace more than as sources of damage themselves. This leaves us with our 6pc Raiment of 1000 Storms which makes DS proc a 3000% weapon damage attack on cast. 3000% damage is a lot and it scales with lightning damage gear but DS has a flat-immutable 6 second cooldown. This can be mitigated to some extent by using Jawbreaker to give “free” dashing strike charges but that interaction is quite clunky.

Basically, monks will be forced into a clunky, hard-to-use situationally terrible Storm-breaker set in order to compete with other classes in damage. If they don’t want to use this mechanic, they will do very poor damage.

Durability

Next on the list is our ability to survive. This is a more controversial topic with some finding survival to be quite easy and many others finding it to be quite hard. In 2.1 with the change from dex giving dodge to dex giving armor and the change from OWE to Harmony, many monks who had minor synergy with OWE will see a minor tankiness boost. (my Raiment set for example)
On the other hand, monk who are deeply invested into OWE will see a major tankiness loss. (my Shatter-palm set). In either case, both types of monks probably have a lot of trouble living in T6 without 2x Unity or the constant dashing from Storm-breaker. Why is this? Because monks have to face-tank so much stuff.

Our primary source of resource generation comes from skills that require you to be up-close and personal with mobs which means a lot of damage can’t be avoided. To compensate for this, end-game monks are forced to take defensive passives (Harmony) defensive skills (Epiphany-shroud / Serenity / Inner Sanc / Blinding Flash) and CDR in basically every single spec. This is extremely limiting to the monk playstyle though arguably less of a problem than the DPS as the defensive skill/CDR solution does exist.

Additionally, sustain is nearly non-existent. LoH requires primary affixes which takes away from our already terrible DPS, LPS is the same, LPSS both takes primary affixes AND is extremely poor and Globes took a pretty big hit in 2.1. Monks actually have access to healing skills but, for some reason, they are tuned to be SO weak that they are essentially non-existent.

Resource Management

This is a more fundamental problem than the other two issues. Mere number tweaks would likely not result in this issue being resolved.

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Diablo 3 Strategy: Gearing Up for the New and Poor

One day soon, you will be penniless.

One day soon, you will be penniless.

A forum question from VeeSe spurred an interesting forum discussion; what’s the best way to gear up for a new player in Reaper of Souls? It’s largely a hypothetical question for most of us now, but that’ll change when Patch 2.1 goes live and and Ladder Seasons begin. If you create a seasonal character you start with nothing; no gold, no materials, no gems, no gear, paragon points, no leveled up artisans… you’ll even be scrounging for gold to buy your stash tabs!

Here’s the question from VeSee in our Diablo 3 community forum. Diablo 3 Strategy: Gearing Up for the New and Poor?

I was just wondering what the best way to build wealth was for someone who was new and didn’t have great items yet. I read a lot of these threads and guides and the recommended items are just so far out of reach, like I don’t have any of them pretty much. I have one character up to 70 but he’s not strong enough to really do anything besides Normal bounties and rifts.

Is the best way of building wealth just to keep grinding bounties and the occasional rifting in Normal? I’m at the point now where if I try to enchant a legendary I have, I better get it in 2-3 tries because I don’t have the materials to keep going after that and I have to grind for awhile to get enough to try again a couple times, and that doesn’t seem too productive. I’m still expecting the answer to be just to keep grinding bounties since they are the most rewards per time spent and at some point it will exponentially get better once I am able to get to do Torment rifts or something.

So what’s the best way to go about it? Where are the fastest places to level, what are the best ways to find gear, and where can you earn the most gold?

RoS =/= D3v

Considering the question made me to realize how much different the answer is in the current version of the game, whether Reaper of Souls or D3v2. Back in D3v the best way to gear up was via the Auction House (though that would have been different if we’d had seasons then). I spent my first couple months of D3 playing softcore, and when I switched over to Hardcore the best way to gear up was… to grind Act One Inferno on MP0 and collect gems and Tomes of Secret, which sold for very large amounts of gold in the Auction House. I could play a dozen hours like that and find 1 or 2 good items, while earning enough gold to buy good items for all my other inventory slots. (Which is why going DiabloWikiIronborn in D3v was such a bold commitment.)

That economic model is entirely gone in the game today. Not only is the Auction House gone, but everything you find that might be worth selling is BoA. Hell, even the gold itself is BoA. On the other hand, you find good gear about 50x as often as we did in D3v, which was the whole point in Blizzard making those changes. Because it’s more fun to farm your own gear and use only what you find yourself, than it is (was) to find gear and sell it for the gear you really wanted. (At least that’s the theory.)

Reaper of Souls Gear-Up Tips

So for the OP’s question… there’s no simple, obvious answer, but it’s interesting to consider. The overall key to gearing up in RoS is difficulty level. In D3v players needed a lot of DiabloWikiMagic Find to start finding a decent amount of legendary items, and characters could boost their MF by raising the difficulty level, and/or via Paragon Levels + gear. In the current game, MF is pretty much irrelevant, and almost all increased gear benefits come from higher difficulty level. Thus the question, “how do I gear up past level 70?” is really asking, “how do I survive on higher difficulty levels past level 70?”

Some question suggestions:

Stick to one Character
Smart Loot means that most of the gear you find will be themed for your class. That means regular upgrades, and also more Souls, since you’ll be salvaging redundant gear, rather than spreading legendaries around to multiple different characters. Plus with all the game rewards tied to difficulty level, you can get one character up in Torment and build wealth quickly… then your alts can gear up very quickly with plenty of Souls and Shards at their disposal.

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Blizzard Bans Diablo III Bots + Massive Duping on Asian Realm

Posted 19 Dec 2012 by

In an early Christmas miracle, Blizzard has announced the bans of several thousand Diablo 3 bots, who must take their mechanized cheating and gold farming away, never to return. (On that account, anyway.)

We’ve recently issued account bans to several thousand Diablo III players who were found to be using botting programs while playing. In addition to undermining the spirit of fair play, botting, hacking, and other forms of cheating can also cause technical problems with the game as well as contribute to performance issues with the Battle.net service. To learn more about our exploitation policy for Diablo III and how it may affect your gameplay, please visit our official support site.

As always, maintaining a stable, safe, and enjoyable online environment for legitimate players is very important to us, and we’ll be continuing to keep watch on Battle.net and take action as needed. In the meantime, if you wish to report the possible use of botting programs to Blizzard, please see this thread for more information. (We will also be adding the ability for players to report this kind of behavior directly through the game client in a future patch.)

For questions regarding account actions, please refer to Account Administration.

Good news in my opinion, after we’ve had months of occasional actions against botters (though obviously we can only speculate on just how extensive the problem is and how Blizzard reacts to it.


Update: In depressing related news, DrazzlibKun sends word from China that Blizzard has changed their account recovery/item restoration policy for the Asian realm after it was being exploited to dupe items. So the new policy is that all items are DiabloWikiBoA after an account is restored. Here’s a quote from the Google translation the original English text, which was translated into Chinese for the post on Taiwanese Battle.net. Thanks to Lylirra for sending it over:

We know that having your account compromised = zero fun. That’s why we provide an account-rollback service that helps get players back into the game as quickly as possible. However, we’ve found that a number of compromised account claims are actually fraudulent attempts to get extra items and based on this, we’ve decided to tweak our rollback policy in the Asia region to allow us to continue assisting players while also protecting the game economy. This change is in addition to our zero-tolerance policy against filing fraudulent claims.

[Updated Policy]

As of 12/18/2012 at 11:00 am (local time), all character equipment, such as weapons and armor, restored via the Diablo III rollback service will be bound to the restored account. While this means that these items cannot be traded with other players or posted on the auction house, they can still be shared with other characters on the account and sold to merchant NPCs. Note that gold and commodities restored via the rollback service won’t be bound to the player’s account. As always we are committed to continuing to monitor the health and economy of the game and may make additional tweaks if necessary.

Considering that the rollback service is intended to help players whose accounts have been compromised, we obviously wish that no one ever needed to use it. The best way to help protect yourself from account compromise is to secure your PC and Battle.net account, for example by adding a Battle.net Authenticator. While no security measure is completely foolproof, we’ve often found that many accounts are compromised a second time simply because players do not take any action to protect themselves after being compromised the first time.

To learn more about the Battle.net Authenticator and some best practices for securing your PC against viruses and malware, check out the links below.

  • Learn more about the Battle.net Authenticator and suggested antivirus/malware programs.
  • Get a Battle.net Authenticator now!
  • Guide for running antivirus/anti-malware programs.
  • The game economy is important to the quality of the player experience. Anyone who attempts to gain extra items through false claims is potentially causing harm to the game, the economy, and the experience of other players. By strengthening our policies against dishonest claims, we hope to provide further stability to the economy and an even better gaming experience for all players.

    Things were reportedly so out of hand that in recent days Radiant Star Emeralds were being sold for 500k gold in the AH. That’s a DiabloWikigem that costs 15,400,000 gold to create, just in DiabloWikiJeweler upgrade costs; not even including the 729 Flawless Squares and 1631 Tomes of Secret. Hacking level Asian unlocked. Be glad most of us are on the Americas or Europe server, where we’ve only got lazy gold botters to worry about?


    A few follow up posts by Lylirra from the original Battle.net thread.

    I think we are 9 months to late on that.
    This isn’t our first rodeo. We have been actively monitoring for exploitative behavior since the game launched and taking action as needed. We simply haven’t been as vocal about that process (though we have made a few announcements for larger ban waves in the past), but that’s something we’ll be working to change.

    How does one justify if he/she is botting? I mean, I could play for 12 hours for weeks not saying that would be a good thing but its possible so I am just guessing I would eventually get a ban hammer dropped on my head?
    While I’m not about to reveal how we identify exploitative behavior in Diablo III (and understandably so), “playing a lot” is not criteria enough to merit an account action for botting.

    If you have received an account action and have any questions about it, be sure to check out and follow the instructions provided here: https://us.battle.net/support/en/article/diablo-iii-account-administration

    The steps included the article are your best course of action.


    Tagged As: | Categories: Blue Posts, Diablo 3 Hacks, Lylirra