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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 Total Guide to Greater Rifts

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 DiabloWikiGreater Rift Guardian (GRG) which is an upgraded version of the regular DiabloWikiRift Guardians.

Greater Rift CompletionDifficulty: 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 DiabloWikishrines or DiabloWikipylons in Greater Rifts. Pylons are seen occasionally, but their bonuses last only 15 seconds (instead of the usual 30) and Blizzard specifically said that DiabloWikiConduit Pylons would not be found in Greater Rifts since they are so powerful they would skew the entire rift DiabloWikiLeaderboard system.

Dying in Greater Rifts

Revive at Corpse. No.

No Respecs: Characters can reallocate their Paragon Points while in a Rift, but can not access their inventory or skill menus (DiabloWikirespec) 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 DiabloWikiGoldwrap and DiabloWikiHarrington 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

  1. # Get a Greater Rift Keystone level 1 from completing a Nephalem Rift. – Drop rate still being determined.
  2. Use the GR Keystone to open a portal to a Greater Rift at the regular Nephalem Obelisk next to DiabloWikiOrek.
  3. Kill all the mobs in the Greater Rift before the timer runs out.
  4. No regular or champion mobs drop loot in Greater Rifts.
  5. The Rift Guardian will drop loot regardless if the timer has run out or not.
  6. If the Rift Guardian is killed before the timer runs out he will drop a Greater Rift Keystone.
  7. 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.

greater rift progress bar

Ahead of the progress 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 Patch 2.0.4 Now Live: Full Patch Notes

Posted 8 Apr 2014 by

Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls Patch 2.0.4 is now live on the servers. It’s a big one affecting all classes and multiple areas of the game. Has it got the tweaks you were looking for you?

General

  • Greatly increased the survivability of pets summoned by several items and skills, including:
    • Skycutter
    • Maximus
    • The Gidbinn
    • Genzaniku
    • Litany of the Undaunted
    • Call of the Ancients
    • Falling Sword – Rise Brothers
  • All Town hubs have had the placement of the Nephalem Rift Obelisk, Orek, and Kadala adjusted to help reduce the chance of accidental clicking
  • The Blacksmith’s Belongings box in Act I no longer has collision

Classes

Barbarian

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Barbarian

Philosophy

Many skills that spend DiabloWikiFury feel great, but when it comes time to generate Fury the single-target options don’t feel meaty compared to the generators that can hit more than one target at a time. As a result, we are increasing the potency of those single-target generators to be more competitive.

Active Skills

Bash

  • Increased base damage from 170% to 215% weapon damage
  • Skill Rune - Clobber
    • Increased chance to stun for 1.5 seconds from 30% to 35%
  • Skill Rune - Onslaught
    • Increased additional damage from 80% to 100% weapon damage

Frenzy

  • Increased base damage from 120% to 155% weapon damage

War Cry

  • Bug Fix: Fixed an issue preventing the 5 seconds of paused Fury degeneration after casting War Cry from working.

Weapon Throw

  • Increased base damage from 150% to 185% weapon damage
  • Skill Rune – Mighty Throw
    • Increased damage from 210% to 270% weapon damage
  • Skill Rune – Throwing Hammer
    • Increased chance to stun from 30% to 40%

Crusader

crusader-male

Crusader

Philosophy

Many of the Crusader’s Wrath spenders are below where we would like, while Heaven’s Fury – Fires of Heaven was over-performing. We are toning back Fires of Heaven while increasing the potency of most of the other Crusader spenders to encourage greater build exploration.

The single-target DiabloWikiWrath generator spells, Punish and Justice, don’t feel meaty compared to generators that can hit more than one target at a time. As a result, we are increasing the potency of Punish and Justice to be more competitive.

We are making a few adjustments to improve Steed Charge. The cooldown and duration of the skill have both been reduced. Overall, this makes the total uptime for the skill slightly higher and, more importantly, you’ll be able to hit the button more often. We’re removing the ability for Steed Charge to break stuns, which allows us to focus on Steed Charge being primarily a mobility skill that can still get you out of root effects, such as Jailer. We still want Steed Charge to be useful in combat, so we’re also increasing the damage on damage-focused runes.

General

  • Crusaders now take 15% less damage from all sources

Active Skills

Akarat’s Champion

  • Skill Rune – Rally
    • Fixed an issue where Rally would not reduce the cooldown of Condemn

Blessed Hammer

  • Skill Rune – Burning Wrath
    • Increased radius from 5 to 8 yards
    • Increased pool damage from 95% to 150% weapon damage
  • Skill Rune - Icebound Hammer
    • Bug Fix: Fixed an issue where Icebound Hammer wasn’t chilling enemies
    • Icebound Hammer no longer goes away when exploding

Blessed Shield

  • Increased base skill damage from 280% to 340% weapon damage
  • Skill Rune – Combust
    • Increased damage from 105% to 270% weapon damage
  • Skill Rune – Shattering Throw
    • Increased damage from 50% to 333% weapon damage
    • Known Issue: The tooltip for this skill rune does not reflect this change

Fist of the Heavens

  • Increased base skill’s impact damage from 250% to 340% weapon damage
  • Increased base skill’s bolt damage from 210% to 340% weapon damage
  • Skill Rune – Divine Well
    • Increased damage from 14% to 80% weapon damage
    • Increased bolt zap search radius from 12 to 18 yards
  • Skill Rune – Fissure
    • Increased area of effect damage from 80% to 400% weapon damage over 5 seconds
    • Increased Arc capsule damage radius from 3 to 6 yards
  • Skill Rune – Heaven’s Tempest
    • Bug Fix: Fixed an issue where Heaven’s Tempest was not moving around in its intended pattern

Heaven’s Fury

  • Skill Rune – Fires of Heaven
    • Reduced damage from 950% to 735% weapon damage

Justice

  • Increased base skill damage from 175% to 240% weapon damage
  • Skill Rune – Burst
    • Increased damage from 25% to 30% weapon damage
  • Skill Rune – Hammer of Pursuit
    • Hammer of Pursuit now seeks targets more quickly after cast
    • Increased damage from 200% to 300% weapon damage

Phalanx

  • Increased base skill damage from 295% to 380% weapon damage
  • Skill Rune – Bowmen
    • Increased damage from 85% to 160% weapon damage
  • Skill Rune – Bodyguard
    • Increased damage from 200% to 285% weapon damage
  • Skill Rune – Shield Charge
    • Increased damage from 75% to 180% weapon damage
  • Skill Rune – Stampede
    • Increased Stun chance from 25% to 30%

Punish

  • Increased base skill damage from 200% to 270% weapon damage
  • Skill Rune – Retaliate
    • Increased damage from 70% to 94% weapon damage

Shield Bash

  • Increased base skill damage from 325% to 370% weapon damage
  • Skill Rune – Crumble
    • Increased on death proc damage from 550% to 660% weapon damage
  • Skill Rune – Pound
    • Increased damage from 550% to 740% weapon damage
    • Increased bonus damage from shield Block Chance from 150% to 500%

Steed Charge

  • Reduced base skill cooldown from 25 to 16 seconds
  • Reduced base skill duration from 2 to 1.5 seconds
  • No longer breaks Stun
  • Skill Rune – Endurance
    • Reduced duration from 3 to 2 seconds
  • Skill Rune – Ramming Speed
    • Increased damage from 475% to 515% weapon damage
  • Skill Rune – Nightmare
    • Bug Fix: Fixed an issue where the Fire pools were not lasting their full intended duration
  • Skill Rune – Draw and Quarter
    • Increased damage from 125% to 185% weapon damage

Sweep Attack

  • Increased base damage from 400% to 440% weapon damage

Passive Skills

Lord Commander

  • Now reduces the cooldown of Steed Charge by 25% and Bombardment by 35%

Demon Hunter

demonhunter-male

Demon Hunter

Philosophy

Many skills that spend Hatred feel great, but when it comes time to generate Hatred the single-target options don’t feel meaty compared to the generators that can hit more than one target at a time. As a result, we are increasing the potency of a few single-target generators to be more competitive.

Active Skills

Evasive Fire

  • Increased base middle shot damage from 160% to 200% weapon damage
  • Increased base side shot damage from 80% to 100% weapon damage
  • Skill Rune – Covering Fire
    • Bug Fix: Fixed a bug causing the side shot damage to be lower than the amount listed
    • Increased the damage of the side shots from 160% to 200% weapon damage
    • Increased the range of the side shots from 50% to 80% to match the range of the middle shot

Hungering Arrow

  • Increased base damage from 125% to 155% weapon damage

Sentry

  • Skill Rune – Guardian Turret
    • The damage reduction from this rune will now be reflected in the Toughness display

Monk

monk-female

Untouched Monk

Philosophy

Monks are working as intended and Dashing Strike is perfectly balanced.

There are no Monk changes at this time. Monks are currently in a fairly comfortable place, but as with all aspects of the game, we will continue to monitor them and make changes as needed.


Witch Doctor

witchdoctor-female

Witch Doctor

Philosophy

The Witch Doctor was lacking good options for when they were low on Mana. A lack of attractive Signature spells results in builds primarily focused on sustaining Mana for long periods of time. We are increasing the potency of a few single-target Signature spells to be more competitive so that there are still aggressive options while waiting for Mana to regenerate.

Haunt has received some changes to provide a low-Mana option as well as to emphasize options for a damage-over-time (DOT) play style.

Active Skills

Poison Dart

  • Increased base skill damage from 155% + 40% to 185% + 40% weapon damage
  • Skill Rune – Splinters
    • Increased damage from 65% to 105% weapon damage per dart
  • Skill Rune – Spined Dart
    • Increased amount of Mana returned from 25 to 50
  • Skill Rune – Flaming Dart
    • Increased damage from 275% to 425% weapon damage over 4 seconds
    • Damage over time from Flaming Dart can now stack with itself
  • Skill Rune – Snake to the Face
    • Stun chance increased from 25% to 33%-35%

Corpse Spiders

  • Increased base skill damage from 216% to 324% weapon damage
  • Skill Rune – Leaping Spiders
    • Increased damage from 238% to 383% weapon damage
  • Skill Rune – Blazing Spiders
    • Increased damage from 259% to 400% weapon damage

Firebomb

  • Skill Rune – Pyrogeist
    • Increased damage from 560% to 880% weapon damage

Haunt

  • Reduced Mana cost from 200 to 50
  • Increased base skill damage from 1465% over 6 seconds to 4000% over 12 seconds

Wizard

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Wizard

Philosophy

Two skills on the Wizard, Arcane Orb – Frozen Orb and Electrocute, have bugs with their implementation. Unfortunately, these bug fixes do have the side effect of weakening these skills. Ultimately, this brings these skills back in line with other Wizard skills, which is why we chose to implement these fixes.
Teleport is receiving some changes to allow it to work in more situations. The range is being increased overall for each cast of Teleport. As a result, the Wormhole rune is receiving a reduction in the number of successive casts that can be completed. Previously, you could cover 140 yards in 4 casts and now you can cover 150 yards in 3 casts. Overall, this is a buff.

Active Skills

Arcane Orb

  • Skill Rune – Frozen Orb
    • Bug Fix: Fixed an issue where Frozen Orb was chilling for longer than intended
    • Bug Fix: Fixed an issue where the Frozen Orb bonus damage radius was hitting a larger area than intended

Electrocute

  • Skill Rune – Surge of Power
    • Reduced proc scalar from 0.25 to 0.166

Teleport

  • Increased range from 35 to 50 yards
  • Skill Rune – Wormhole
    • Reduced maximum allowed teleports from 4 to 3

Passive Skills

Arcane Dynamo

  • Bug Fix: Arcane Dynamo now properly grants bonus damage to channeled spells

Prodigy

  • Bug Fix: Fixed an issue where Electrocute was granting double the intended amount of Arcane Power when used with Prodigy

Adventure Mode

Nephalem Rifts

  • Nephalem Obelisks now have a short cast time before they activate
  • Adjusted the potential layouts for Sewer and Aqueduct style dungeons to include more randomized options

Crafting

  • Level 70 crafted sets no longer require Flawless Royal gems and instead now require Marquise gems
  • The drop rate of unique Legendary crafting materials has been significantly increased
  • This matches the drop rate of Death’s Breaths
  • Death’s Breaths are no longer required for level 61-70 Rare crafting recipes

Bug Fixes

  • Legendary crafted shields now provide the correct amount of Block Value for their level

Items

  • The treasure from Resplendent Chests has been improved to feel more resplendent
  • Malthael is now much more afraid, and will more consistently drop the Reaper’s Fear Legendary crafting material

Bug Fixes

  • Legendary Follower relics will no longer roll incorrect Primary stats
    Gloves of Worship no longer grant 60 minute buffs for Empowered or Fleeting Shrines

Monsters

  • Damage from ghosts with the Soul Siphon ability has been reduced

DiabloWikiPoison Enchanted:

  • Duration of each Poison Enchanted globule reduced from 8 to 6 seconds
  • Maximum number of Poison Enchanted globules has been reduced from 4 to 3 per cast
  • Poison Enchanted is now triggered with more variation in timing from Champion packs

The “Kill Malthael” quest is now required to be completed before Malthael will drop loot

Quests

  • The Crazy Climber event now requires players to kill the monsters spawned during the event to complete
  • The Jar of Souls event now spawns additional monsters in Torment I and higher
  • The Matriarch’s Bones event now spawns additional monsters in Torment I and higher
  • In Campaign Mode, Manglemaw now only drops loot and gives XP before the player progresses to the Chancellor’s Tomb quest

User Interface

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue where game objects were prioritized over chat links in the chat window
  • Fixed an issue where players were sometimes unable to click on chat links at the bottom of the chat window

So, did patch 2.04 bring the changes to your preferred class you were hoping for?  Was a bug missed?  Were you hoping for changes to another area of the game?


Tagged As: | Categories: *Big News, Diablo 3 Patches