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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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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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Blue Posts on Shrines, Whimsyshire, and Attention

Posted 8 Nov 2012 by

A fair number of Blue posts today, but mostly just chit chat stuff. Some of that chit chat is worth further debate though, so here are some quotes. First off, a fan asks if anyone still farms DiabloWikiWhimsyshire.

Does anyone still farm whimshire?
Lylirra: Whimsyshire is actually one of my favorite places to farm whenever I’m looking to gear up another character, or help out a friend do something similar. It’s nice change of pace (and scenery) and, hey, I get to punch bears in the face. So there’s that.

As for super serious farming? Nah, not really. It’s definitely not my preferred spot, but it wasn’t really designed to be that. It’s a fun addition to the game, for sure, but not necessarily a core part of it. :)

This reminds me that I have *still* never done the secret level, despite having all the materials for creating it on a mule since like, June. I blame the small stash in D3; if it was larger I’d still have the cow bell and Leoric’s Ankle and all the other crap in the stash and would see it and be reminded. I use the same technique — leaving the letters in the middle of my kitchen counter — to remember to pay the cable bill in real life.


Elsewhere, a fan asks about the DiabloWikishrine buffs in Diablo III.

If you could choose 1 perma-SHRINE buff …
Vaeflare: If I could choose one Shrine buff to have permanantly, it would be Fleeting. Zoom zoom!

The blue answer surprises me, since I instantly thought “Frenzied.” And after a moment of contemplation… I still say that. I’m curious how others will reply though, so let’s vote! But first, a reminder what the six types of shrines (two newly added in v1.0.5) do:

  • DiabloWikiEmpowered Shrine – Increases resource regeneration and reduces cooldowns.
  • DiabloWikiEnlightened Shrine – +25% bonus to Experience gain.
  • DiabloWikiFortune Shrine – +25% bonus to Magic Find and Gold Find.
  • DiabloWikiFrenzied Shrine – Increases attack speed and critical damage bonus by 25%.
  • DiabloWikiFleeting Shrine – Increased movement speed and +20 yards to gold and health orb pickup radius.
  • DiabloWikiProtection Shrine – Reduces all damage taken by 25%.
  • The vote asks for your favorite shrine, rather than your favorite for a permanent effect, since I’m more curious about the overall fan opinion.


    Which is your favorite shrine in Diablo III?

    • Fleeting Shrine (Faster run, +pickup radius) (50%, 1,207 Votes)
    • Frenzied Shrine (Faster Attack/Critical Hit) (21%, 510 Votes)
    • Empowered Shrine (Faster regen / shorter cooldowns) (15%, 366 Votes)
    • Fortune Shrine (+25% MF/GF) (5%, 122 Votes)
    • Enlightened Shrine (+25% Exp gain) (5%, 113 Votes)
    • Protection Shrine (Reduces incoming damage by 25%) (2%, 57 Votes)
    • Not sure/no opinion. (2%, 48 Votes)

    Total Voters: 2,423

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    Click through for one more post about where the CMs actually relay fan suggestions to the devs, etc.

    Voice of the forum Blizzard cares, Why?

    Let’s be honest here. 99% of the stuff posted on every forum everywhere is gibberish. Blizzard doesn’t need our suggestions, nor do they care. (and why would they) we have no creditability. We are just an anonymous hoard who can never agree on anything. The forums are here to create a community among players, and to act as a means of first response to bugs, exploits and on going issues. That is it. If you think bliz is going to change something because some people cried about it. WRONG. They are making the decisions based on metrics (or at least should be). Take note to EVERY Blue post ever.

    There has not been one in the single history of the game that went like so.

    “Dear forum member, your suggestion is really something interesting we never thought of. We are going to task the development team on it and see if it’s something that is viable”

    However EVERY blue post EVER goes like this.

    “Dear forum member, your suggestion coincides with something we noticed* that had already been under development. (*Here is where the metrics come in). So and so is unbalanced and agree it needs changing”

    Just like most of you don’t care what 99% of the other posts have to say neither does anybody including blizzard it’s just white noise.

    So you can complain all you want, RD is BAD, RD is GOOD. It doesn’t matter. There are so many conflicting point of views it would be foolish as a company for blizzard to make any decisions based on the voice of the community because the unlike the metrics they are capable of viewing we simply do not display a singular point of view.

    In the end we are really just here on the forum to share our tales, promote the game, trade items and interact with each other. Enjoy it for what it is and you won’t be pissed off all the time.
    Vaeflare: While indeed the forums (and social media in general) are intended for players to interact and chat with each other about whatever interests them, I whole-heartedly disagree that we don’t care about feedback. We do care, and feedback from the forums has absolutely influenced the direction of Diablo III.

    The thing is, we as community managers don’t make the calls on what should and shouldn’t be implemented or changed in Diablo III. That’s not our job. So it’s true that you’ll never see us saying we’re tasking the development team for anything, because we don’t make those sorts of decisions for them.

    What we DO do, however, is to keep in touch with the development team and relay important discussions and trends that we see in the forums on to them. Similarly, we often work with our developers so that they can relay information to us about what’s going on behind the scenes with Diablo III, and help us to answer your questions. This community is certainly full of ideas and competing points of view, and they are all extremely valuable to us. Your discussions often provide insight into concerns and ideas that may or may not have been prominent on our radar, and our job as a community representatives is make sure the developers are aware of what you think.

    At the end of the day, it’s up for the developers to determine what decisions are made for Diablo III. Those decisions can be influenced by the community at-large, and we genuinely appreciate that so many of you take the time to leave us constructive feedback, regardless of whether or not it is directly incorporated into Diablo III.

    props to vaeflare for relaying all our feedback. you must have the patience of a saint to filter through the countless garbage threads
    Vaeflare: Thanks for the kind words. :) I try to be as candid and unbiased with the feedback I gather and pass along as much as I can. While I sometimes raise an eyebrow at some of the threads and posts that are scattered about the Diablo III forums, I know that for the vast majority of players, the reason they’re posting here is because they’re passionate about the game. When you realize that players are posting because they’re passionate, it’s a lot easier to see eye-to-eye with people and treat them with respect, even if you might politely disagree with their opinions.

    Do you guys have an opinion on this last one? Do you care? I’m pretty cynical about things, especially PR from major corporations (especially from Blizzard Irvine, based on long personal experience) but I think the Bliz CMs do a decent job. (Perhaps better, now that Bashiok and his perpetually-misunderstood sarcasm has been banished from the D3 theater.)

    But I never forget that “CM” stands for “Community Manager.” Their purpose is to make fans feel better. They’re not “community input development coordinators” or whatever job title you might want to invent where their purpose would be to screen fan ideas and send the best ones to the devs to SAVE DIABLO III or whatever. They might pass along that sort of thing from time to time, but if you really want your opinions to matter to Diablo III, befriend/marry one of the devs, or get a job at Blizzard. Otherwise you’re just another dude with an opinion in a forum.

    And you know what’s said about the correlation between opinions and assholes….