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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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Diablo 3′s RMAH = The Lesser Evil?

Posted 6 Nov 2012 by

There’s an odd editorial on PC Gamer that takes a critical view of Diablo 3′s end game, mostly as an excuse to offer some generic opinions on the Auction House and other such features publishers are including in games to (attempt to) create a long term revenue stream. Quote:

In the run up to Diablo 3?s launch, Blizzard painstakingly detailed their thinking behind the late alterations they were making to Diablo 3, providing a fascinating insight into the design process. They tore up many of the accepted action RPG elements that Diablo invented. Teleportation scrolls were deemed extraneous, so they went. Unnecessary stats were thrown out, skills were altered or dropped entirely to ensure that every ability had a purpose. NPCs were culled until only the Blacksmith and the Jeweller remained. The end result was finely pruned, impactful and addictive, supported by a levelling system that favoured experimentation over the incremental stat progression and sparse ability options offered by traditional skill tree set-ups.

And yet, this carefully honed and, in many ways, brilliant action RPG finds itself swamped by a bloated final quarter. The climactic rewards of an action RPG – the best loot and the toughest bosses – are hidden behind layers and layers of plodding gold-gathering, Paragon levelling and bargain hunting. The systems designed to fuel ongoing auction house trade and develop a cross-game economy have stretched Diablo 3?s longevity beyond its natural breaking point. Blizzard continue to release major updates that may yet turn things around, but for now it looks as though quest to keep players playing forever has backfired.

We haven’t seen the last of the auction house. I think we’ll see similar ideas popping up in future releases. A full price game supported by ongoing microtransactions will seem increasingly ordinary as time passes and major studios start looking harder at the techniques free to play games have used to make a fortune over the last few years. Guild Wars 2, Mass Effect 3, Assassin’s Creed 3 and Diablo 3 are a few of this year’s big examples. What will be next?

I say it’s odd since the whole piece reads like it was written in June, slightly updated in August to mention some of the DiabloWikiPatch v1.04 changes, and yet it’s got November 5th for a date. Perhaps it was written a couple of months ago for the print magazine, and just posted online now? That’s kind of a fatal flaw, since the major features in last month’s DiabloWikiv1.05 patch, like DiabloWikiMonster Power and the DiabloWikiInfernal Machine, were introduced to fix (or at least alleviate) exactly the problems mentioned in this editorial.

RMAH or Else?

That issue aside… yes, publishers have a desire to continue to earn money from their games after release. Duh. And since WoW seems to be the last profitable monthly-fee MMORPG (at least in the West), they’ve got to find other ways.

Prior to Diablo 3′s release, I was like a lot of fans, and opposed in principle, to the DiabloWikiReal Money Auction House. However, that principle was based in reality, and as Blizzard talked more about the system, it started to grow on me. Not to use myself (I’ve never bought or sold anything in the D3 RMAH) but since it was a fairly painless way to provide ongoing revenue so we’d keep getting patches, Battle.net support, etc. Basically, all the stuff we wanted from D2 and didn’t get.*

So, how do you guys feel about the RMAH now? I still see some players blaming it for all the evils of Diablo 3, though that’s a lot harder argument to make now that v1.05 has largely recreated the economy and difficulty balance we saw in D2 (albeit with still much less common unique drops).

You’re free to scream and shout about the RMAH, but what would you replace it with? What other system could D3 have implemented to provide ongoing revenue to support patches and support? A monthly subscription fee? Cash item shop? Micro-transactions to buy more stash space and resurrect Hardcore characters? Personally, I’d much rather see an RMAH that doesn’t affect my gameplay in any way, and is a useful tool for players who want to use it, than other revenue-generators I can think of, most of which would be far more intrusive into the overall play experience.

D2 Support Footnote

* D2X launched in June 2001 at v1.07, and was quickly patched to v1.08 to fix some big bugs, and went to v1.09 a couple of months later. And that was it for D2X support until late 2003 when v1.10 was released. That patch, which was developed almost single-handedly by Peter Hu before he left Blizzard North for Flagship Studios, brought huge changes as well as making D2X much easier to mod, which enabled his successors to create more big changes in v1.11.

And yes, D2X v1.10 was awesome, but it was like 2.5 years between v1.09 and v1.10. There’s no comparison from the D2 days to the amount of support and big patch changes we’ve seen post D3, with big patches almost monthly, and they haven’t even added the PvP system yet, which will be arguably the biggest change of all.