It’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:
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!
1. Current Monk Issues
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.
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.
This is a more fundamental problem than the other two issues. Mere number tweaks would likely not result in this issue being resolved.
Greater Rifts (GRs, initially known as Tiered Rifts) are a higher level of Nephalem Rift, meant to provide a greater challenge and greater rewards for players geared well enough to take them on. Greater Rifts are timed, and *must* be completed within 15 minutes to earn rewards. All treasure in Greater Rifts, with usually a legendary item or two, comes from the Greater Rift Guardian (GRG) which is an upgraded version of the regular Rift Guardians.
Difficulty: Greater Rifts are numbered as a measure of their difficulty. A level 1 Greater Rift is very easy, equivalent to Normal difficulty (or less.) Greater Rifts scale up quickly though, and will become challenging for any player ability. Level 8 is equivalent to about Torment 1, Level 15 is equivalent to about [Torment 3, and Level 25 is approximately the same as Torment 6. There should be an infinite number or Greater Rift levels since each one merely increases the hit points and damage of the monsters by some percentage.
Shrines: There are virtually no shrines or pylons in Greater Rifts. Pylons are seen occasionally, but their bonuses last only 15 seconds (instead of the usual 30) and Blizzard specifically said that Conduit Pylons would not be found in Greater Rifts since they are so powerful they would skew the entire rift Leaderboard system.
No Respecs: Characters can reallocate their Paragon Points while in a Rift, but can not access their inventory or skill menus (respec) while in a Greater Rift. It is possible to return to town mid-GR, and players can respec and make repairs then, though it’s not recommended since the GR is a timed race. This is a feature designed to limit exploits via equipment or skill changes, so players can’t change gear or skills to be more effective against a single target before they reach the Greater Rift Guardian for instance.
Rewards: Items and gold do not drop in Greater Rifts, and there are no chests or other clickables. All treasure comes from defeating the Greater Rift Guardian, who drops a huge amount of stuff, about double that of a normal Rift Guardian, and has a very high probability of dropping at least one legendary item. (Note that the lack of gold and chests hurts the effectiveness of legendary items such as Goldwrap and Harrington Waistguard that proc up in effectiveness via gold pickups or chest/clickables opening.)
Progress Bar: The progress bar in a Greater Rift increases gradually from killing trash mobs, but jumps up by larger amounts for Elite kills. (Elites drop objects that look a bit like gooey health orbs, which count for big boosts in the progress bar when collected.) This is a feature designed to keep players from simply rushing past Elites to more quickly finish the rift by killing trash mobs, as can be done in normal Nephalem Rifts, and players will fill their progress bar more quickly by killing Elites than by skipping them, except in very rare long Elite battles.
Accessing and Process
- # Get a Greater Rift Keystone level 1 from completing a Nephalem Rift. – Drop rate still being determined.
- Use the GR Keystone to open a portal to a Greater Rift at the regular Nephalem Obelisk next to Orek.
- Kill all the mobs in the Greater Rift before the timer runs out.
- No regular or champion mobs drop loot in Greater Rifts.
- The Rift Guardian will drop loot regardless if the timer has run out or not.
- If the Rift Guardian is killed before the timer runs out he will drop a Greater Rift Keystone.
- The Keystone’s level is determined by how quickly the Greater Rift was cleared. The quicker, the higher the GR key fragment.
Progress Bar and Rift Speed
The progress bar in a Greater Rift looks the same as the bar in a normal Nephalem Rift, with two added slider needles, displayed above and below the bar. The total bar coloured in orange, and the icon above it show your current progress towards completing the rift. The icon below it and any colour in blue shows how fast you need to progress to complete the rift in time.
When players are battling through a Rift that’s just at the limit of their killing power, they will often see their progress dropping behind and the bar showing blue, before they kill a couple of Elites in a row and see the bonus from Elites shoot them back up ahead of schedule.
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Diablo 3 Forum Watch #87: Fan Reactions to v1.0.3Posted 21 Jun 2012 by
The v1.03 patch has been out for a few days now, giving most players enough time to try it out and then write forum posts describing their reactions. I skimmed dozens of examples of that tonight, trying to get some sense of the overall reaction… and I can’t. There’s no absence of data — I read hundreds of player comments — there’s just too much disagreement to draw any conclusions.
Lots of people think Inferno is still too hard, or even harder thanks to the higher repair costs, while others think it’s now too easy, or that Blizzard fixed/tweaked/nerfed the wrong things. Some fans are just about ready to give up on D3, while others say that’s absurd just 6 weeks into the game, after just one small content patch. (You’d need solid rubies for lenses to get glasses so rose-tinted that you judged any game system in D2C, especially items, as well-balanced and crafted just six weeks after release.)
Here are a bunch of links and some quotes from pertinent forum threads. The assignation of the threads goes mostly by the OP, but that might not mean much, since most of them have dozens of replies with agree and disagree spread all throughout. But first, the vote, since the quotes are long enough that we’ll be continuing below the click through.
On the whole, what do you think of the changes made in v1.03?
- 3) Changes were a mixture of good and bad. (45%, 2,227 Votes)
- 1) I approve of the changes. (34%, 1,655 Votes)
- 2) I disapprove of the changes. (15%, 730 Votes)
- 4) Haven't tested / no opinion. (6%, 299 Votes)
Total Voters: 4,910
Chaosmage provided some pleased feedback on a good public game.
I never died for no reason except my own errors, I found so plentiful of rares it was almost ridiculous (I only got 15% mf from my pants) and butcher dropped a 900dps bow with high stat bonuses for me. (I gonna make a DH now, yes playing with self-found is actually possible now)
Everybody in the party was able to do decent damage and take a few hits if necessary. The melees weren’t grinded by Molten and we ranged never instagibbed by Vortex. The DH provided some decent base ranged damage, my WD some spike range and CC, the Monk buffs and immediate melee aoe and the Barb spike meele, CC and tanking.
We cleared every champ and elite and some dungeons and hadn’t to skip a single pack. But it was also hard at times, frozen has become really nasty but still no death zerging. The game is now balanced.
Click through for lots more, pro, con, and in between.
Vishos doesn’t exactly offer positive feedback, since he thinks Inferno is too easy now, but since the negative coverage below is fully-stocked already, I’m quoting this one here. Vishos provides his char stats and some background info, then compares the v1.03 play to how it used to be.
Prior to this morning I was able to grind out a 5 stack Siegebreaker kill, but it took me a solid 45+ minutes. I would also die at least once to most champion packs, and anything with double anti-melee abilities (descrator, molten, fire chains, plagued) was simply not worth even trying to bring down. Specifically soul ripper elite packs I couldn’t even touch. Siegebreaker himself I had to kite until he began his triple strike move, then leap behind him, dps for 5 seconds or so, and charge away before his next strike. Took me a solid 5 minutes to kill him on average.
Post patch, I can now run through all white mobs without stopping, taking minimal (less than 5% damage) on the way through. I didn’t die to a single elite pack, including a desecrator, mortar, nightmarish, fire chains soul ripper pack. I had my 5 stack in about 10 minutes. Siegebreaker I was able to face tank, leap with iron impact on cooldown, charge with 8% healing rune on cooldown and that was it. Just stood there and dps’d. Never dropped below 50% hp.
An approach I didn’t see elsewhere came courtesy of SlowMoe, who says his machine performance is much improved since v1.03.
One of the best v1.03 posts I’ve read is this one, in which BeingMused covers the Good and Bad of v1.03. Unsurprisingly, in this world of staking out strong partisan opinions and then arguing for/against them, his long and balanced post has no replies as of yet, while numerous identical pro/con screeds have dozens. He touches on Inferno changes, Ilvl drop rates, crafting changes, repair costs, and more. Short quote:
- Inferno balance: Mostly good. You are given a lot more leeway defensively, which has made a gigantic difference playing as melee. Prior to the patch I could easily solo Act2 with a few pieces of MF gear, but Act3 was a bit too dicey for my tastes (doable in a party, of course). Post the patch, without any build tweaks, I could immediately jump into Act3 and solo it. I could even shift some of my defensive skills towards offense. I think that is good for build freedom. The only people who I knew who were having a rougher go of things were DH and Wizard friends who had not prepared for the IAS change, and were used to killing off-screen enemies via glass cannony, super high DPS setups. They’ve just got to figure out a more flexible build setup. A DH friend who *had* already shifted away from an IAS build was doing just as well as before, if not better.
The only downsides: it feels like enemy HP is too high compared to their damage. This might speak to my lack of DPS, but it seems like they could have nerfed damage a little bit less and nerfed monster health a little bit instead. That impression might change with more gear/skill changes. Also, while the gaps between the Acts were too high, I still liked the fact that elites in Act4 were overwhelmingly difficult – it gives me a very long term goal of something to work towards in softcore.
The thread with the most replies thus far is Azzure’s, in which he fears that he’s done with the game, at least until future patches improve things. He’s full of complaints, including that Inferno is too hard, that builds are too limited by Inferno’s difficulty forcing so many defensive skills, the boring item system, the broken legendary/set items, those both dooming the RMAH, the “terriblness” of the story/dialogue, the broken crafting system, and more. With over 200 replies, you can bet many/most/all of those points are disputed, redirected, and discussed in great detail.
Summercy thanks Blizzard for ruining the game and thus allowing him to break his addiction. His three points of hate: IAS nerf, destructibles drop nerf, and repair costs increase.
Add I Bring Realm Down to the list of “higher repair costs are terrible since I die a lot)” applicants. An hour of unsuccessful Inferno Belial battles in a big party = now I’m poor. (I do wonder what sort of gains any player expects from a play session composed entirely of dying repeatedly against one of the hardest single bosses in the game?)
RPGLegend does not live up to his name by ranting about many things and saying that Blizzard has lost their touch.
Next to the increased repair costs, the most common complaint was from players whose glass cannon DHs and Wizards are now useless, thanks to the nerfs to Increased Attack Speed. Oddly, perhaps since Blizzard gave warning about this one and explained their reasoning, most of the players sound resigned and maybe depressed, but not angry or raging, the way they were about some of the other complaint issues.
As always on the Internet and in real life, it’s easier to complain than praise, and people are more motivated to make themselves heard for a problem than for a compliment. In that light, it’s not surprising that we’ve got a ton of complaints, most of them focused on the same few issues. Throw in your comment if you like, but be sure you vote, as that should give us a better sense of the overall community consensus than the vocal minority that always fills forums and comment threads.