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Blizzard Defends the Legendary Shard of Hate Nerf

Posted 19 Apr 2014 by

The Shard of Hate legendary sword was nerfed via a bug fix in a recent hotfix. That change didn’t sit well with some players, and even a week later we’re still seeing complaints about the change to the item. On Friday Nevalistis offered some additional explanation.

Because there’s definitely a lot of conversation going on for this topic, it’s taken me a while to zone in on the information that’s really missing from this discussion.

Key words, "a chance."

Key words, “a chance.”

In short, Shard of Hate has a chance to proc both on hit AND on skill use. This means that its Legendary affix can occur both when the item hits a target AND when an appropriate elemental skill is used. The chance for Shard of Hate to proc on skill use also runs through the associated skill’s proc scalar. There is no other item in the game (to my knowledge) that works quite like this, so Shard of Hate is unique in that regard. It’s reasonable for there to be some confusion as a result, given there’s no direct comparison to other items.

Its Legendary power does also obey an internal cooldown. This functionality was previously being ignored by players who were dual wielding, but it now works correctly post-hotfix. Bear in mind you might not always see the on-hit and on-skill use proc occur back-to-back because of the item’s internal cooldown.

We feel the item itself is in a pretty good place at the moment, and comparable to other on-hit items, if not a little better by virtue of the fact that it has additional opportunities to proc. Prior to the bug fixes, Shard of Hate was wildly over-performing in ways far above and beyond other gearing options, and as such, was an outlier that merited some adjustment.

The whole reason for the uproar about this (and as per your response I know you didnt glean this) is because the proc coefficients on abilities such as Whirlwind (13% coeff), which also does laughable damage by itself, don’t permit build diversity because you actually get more AoE damage from skills//procs by using Single Target abilities that have nearly 100% proc coefficients.
Nevalistis: We haven’t yet completed a full tuning pass after the launch of Reaper of Souls. While we started with a few changes to some generators and single-target skills with the 2.0.4 patch, that doesn’t mean we’re done with evaluating all the classes and their skills.

While I don’t have exact details to share at this moment, tuning and balancing is something always being discussed amongst our developers. I’m certainly happy to carry back feedback on skills that you (or others) feel need another look, but that would be a separate case entirely from the bug fixes for Shard of Hate. A bugged weapon shouldn’t be a solution to an issue with a skill – if Whirlwind or other skills need to be re-evaluated, then that should be a separate (if related) discussion, and I can certainly pass that on!

You guys think there are legit arguments to be made against the Shard of Hate’s nerf/fix? Or are we just seeing QQ from people who had latched onto one OP buggy item and are speaking with sorrow now that it’s gone?