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A Guide to Diablo: IncGamers site changes – Here’s what we’ve done

Regular readers will have noticed quite a few changes on Diablo: IncGamers since the launch of Reaper of Souls which was the motivation for us to make some of the changes we had been thinking about for a while.

When RoS launched we pushed the first stage of front page layout changes live. We know everyone likes to read their content in different ways so the site was changed to a similar layout to the main IncGamers site. Of course not every one will love that format so in the past week we set to work on the second phase which was giving you the option to read the content in the old format if you so desired.

In case you hadn’t spotted it, there are a couple of buttons above the news that allow you to switch to your preferred format.

change view

Probably the toughest job we had to undertake was the forums. We have used the same forum system for around a decade and there were millions of posts to port over. It was important to us to make sure that threads from the old forum were not lost, we’d have hell to pay from you guys if they went missing :) Remember the great forum crash of 2003? That was not pretty.

So why the change? There were numerous reasons, the next version of the same forum was bloated with features that were useless to the community here. Spammers were also a consideration and the previous software was starting to struggle with the rise in spammers over the last couple of years. We needed a system that could pro- actively catch them and then make life easier for IncGamers moderators to deal with anything that managed to slip through.

The end results once we switched were good. The forums are now easier to use, faster and more robust. It’s taken some time to iron out issues with posts moved over from the old system but I would say we are 95% there with most things now. The forum is now easier to use and has more features to track new content additions.

One of the main issues we had during the change was with your logins. We have a custom login system that ties your forum account to the main site. When we moved forums that obviously broke down and had to be recreated. One of the issues we came up against was the inability for guests to post in the news and members who were logged in seeing a captcha. This was not acceptable so it took a few days for me to sort out but thankfully it now all works.

Regarding commenting on news, originally we had the news post into the community forum but as things move quite quickly here as far as content is concerned, we thought it best to create a separate forum for the news discussions. This reorganisation prevents any community forum discussion being lost in a pile of news. Your discussions are important after all.

hardrock

Trophies

Regarding accounts. Some of you have been registered here for over a decade and we have been helping members who have had login issues since the switch because they no longer have access to the email they originally registered with. If there are any of you still caught in that trap then we can sort it for you. Send an email here and we will deal with it.

With the new forums came new features, and something we’ve wanted to do for some time is highlight pro-active members and also award trophies for actions by the community. Elly sat down over a few days to come up with the points and reward system. You may have spotted the icons on threads but so you know how it works I have posted all of the trophies below for reference.

There are still a few things to do but the core updates are now in place. Your feedback on anything we do is much appreciated and a special thanks to the PALS who have helped make all the changes possible with their contributions.

Threads

Thread StarterThread Starter -Points: 15 -You have started 5 Threads
Topic RaiserTopic Raiser – Points: 45 -You have started 20 Threads
Town CryerTown Cryer – Points: 90 -You have started 50 Threads
ConfabulatorConfabulator – Points: 91 -You have started 80 Threads

Setting the Agenda Setting the Agenda – Points: 120 -You have started 120 Threads

Likes

Primary Source Primary Source – Points: 1 – Somebody out there liked one of your posts.

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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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Blizzard Defends Enchanting Legacy Items Changes

Posted 5 Feb 2014 by

The Blues have responded to the predictable fan complaints over the news that legacy items would no longer be enchantable in Reaper of Souls. Blue quotes below, but I found it funny that some fan quoted the initial Mystic info that all items would be enchantable. If we’re going back that far, look at what else the NPC was set to do at that point! Quote from the original August 2010 DiabloWikiArtisan FAQ, which is archived in DiabloWiki.net.

The mystic creates scrolls, potions, magical weapons, spell runes, and charms, and can also enchant items.

The Mystic didn’t even appear in Diablo 3, nor did scrolls, spell runes, charms, or enchanting! Things change during development, and you can either ask for zero info and updates during the process, or accept that what you hear 2 or 3 years in advance might not be quite like that in the final game. That’s basically the point the Blues made today, so let’s hear them say it with their purty mouths.

Nevalistis: The blog in question is a First Look blog, as DeadRu has mentioned. This means it was intended to provide an inside look at the current development state and functionality of the Mystic, at the time it was written.

We’ve always said that details can and likely will change over the course of development. This happens to be one of those times.

I want to point attention back to the larger issue. Most players and devs are in agreement that the basic item affix system in D3 is a mess. DPS is by far the most important stat which makes Crit Chance the most important affix for damage and proc-triggering, high damage makes Life Steal way OP, attributes are a mess since each char’s mainstat is hugely important while the offstats are irrelevant, the mainstats are very unequal in their secondary benefits (armor from STR and ResAll from INT are much better than Dodge from Dex), etc.

The details about itemization and affixes are open to debate, but no one says the D3 system is perfect, or anything near perfect. Thus leading up to Reaper of Souls, many players (myself included) hoped the devs would rethink and rework the whole itemization system. Other players went farther, arguing for a total tabula rasa, with nothing from D3 carried over into RoS and a clean start at lvl 1 for everyone. (Which we may yet get on an opt-in basis via ladders.)

Obviously the devs didn’t do that, opting to tinker with the itemization and make major changes to the combat engine. Those systems are much improved in RoS, but still handicapped by a lot of sub-optimal remnants from D3, which I think was retained mostly since the devs (correctly?) thought fans would revolt if their D3 chars and gear was just erased in the expansion.

But… now we’re pretty much at that point anyway, aren’t we? Without enchanting all your D3 gear will be replaced by 70 or shortly afterwards, all the new end game gear is DiabloWikiBoA, gold and mats are all BoA, there’s no Auction House, etc. Obviously the devs can’t just wipe away all the current itemization and start a fresh approach to it now, with the game due in less than 2 months, but given the current start of affairs, do you guys wish they’d planned that all along?


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Click through for much more Blue explanation and apology for the new enchanting nerf news, plus a vote to survey what you guys think of this change.

Originally, we did want to give players this opportunity. We didn’t want to invalidate or take away player options. However, it became increasingly evident through testing that artifacts of the old itemization system could become overpowered through enchanting, especially so with certain items. This is why testing is so important, and it was a decision that took some time to make.

I’d also like to throw out there that some players seem to think this means you can’t enchant level 1-60 items at all, when that isn’t true. Items gained prior to the 2.0.1 patch hitting the live servers will be unable to be enchanted. Anything you gain after the patch launches and before the expansion, however, are eligible to be enchanted.

Ah, so it’s a case of “True at the time, untrue now”!

Don’t you guys think that maybe, just maybe, this policy of yours to dish out information that can be retracted at any point is a little problematic?
Lylirra: As Nevalistis noted, the goal of each of the “first look” blogs we’ve published (there’s been a few: the Mystic, Westmarch, Adventure Mode, and the Crusader) has been to provide players a first look at the development of certain features in Reaper of Souls. They’re not wholesale previews; rather, they’re a snapshot of what’s being worked on. It’s a way for us to include our community in the development process and feel involved — or, at the very least, informed. Same can be said for all the posts we’ve made about the expansion, too.

For the Mystic “first look” blog specifically, it never actually says that Legacy items can be enchanted. However, in the posts where we did state that Legacy items could be enchanted, we very likely prefaced the information with the caveat that the functionality is as of current design and/or was subject to change based on testing and additional development. We actually say this about most everything in Reaper of Souls — to the point where some have lovingly mocked us for it — as until something is shipped, it’s subject to change. And even then, it’s possible that we’ll make adjustments to a feature that’s gone live, if we feel it’ll make the in-game experience better.

Getting back to your main point, though, the alternative would be not to communicate any information until development is 100% complete and those changes are already out the door. That’s not a scenario we’re super keen on, so it’s highly unlikely that we’ll shift our approach and not talk about future content. We want to share information with players during development cycles, and we want you to know what’s coming. Not only does this give players the opportunity to provide feedback and be a part of the development process directly, but it also enables you to make informed decisions about the product itself. That last part is also very important to us.

I definitely understand where you’re coming from, and why you’re suggesting that we just never talk about upcoming content until is 100% certain. There are upside and downsides to everything, though. In this case, the downside of our approach is that when something is still in development, that thing is likely to go through multiple changes — changes that may not always be favorable to you personally. The upside of our approach is you know we’ll communicate those multiple changes to you, too. Our current approach allows for much more transparency, and (ideally) empowers you guys more than if we just didn’t talk about anything at all.

PS – I think it’s important to call out that, when it comes to content that’s in development and not yet final, we don’t always know that a change is needed until it’s needed. Or that we’re going to change something until we know that we’re going to change something. By this I mean, when we share information with our players about something that’s still in development (like how a feature works, for example), the information we share is always true when we communicate it. It’s not like we’re sharing stuff we already know is going to change before it ships. We just always provide that “subject to change” caveat, because we realize, with testing and feedback, changes may be required that we can’t always anticipate.

Lylirra can’t say it, but I’d love to see her just say, “Let’s cut the shit. Do any of you people *really* think that certain imported D3 gear should be the best gear in RoS simply because there are affixes or affix ranges in D3 that don’t appear in RoS? Or are you just digging up Mystic info from 3 years ago to have something to bitch about?”

It’s a reasonable question, and one I wonder myself. I don’t want certain legacy items to be the best forever since the itemization rules have changed in RoS. And I don’t want the itemization rules in RoS to have to be tweaked in a few certain ways just to make RoS gear better than some few legacy items. And I don’t want special different rules and exemptions on legacy enchanting. So while I think it’s kind of lame, especially to announce so late in the dev cycle, I grudgingly agree that removing enchanting from all legacy stuff is a better option than the other even more half-assed alternatives.


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