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Diablo 3 Patch Monster Changes: Reflects Damage

Posted 17 Jan 2013 by

Aside from all the new crafting recipes, one of the most awaited-changes in Diablo 3 patch v1.07 is the nerf/change to how the DiabloWikiReflects Damage monster modifier works. The official description goes thusly:

The Reflects Damage affix has been redesigned:

  • It will now apply a short duration buff to the monster and will only reflect a percentage of damage dealt back to the player while that buff is active.
  • A visual effect will display whenever the durational buff is active.
  • Damage dealt by pets to monster with Reflects Damage affix will no longer be reflected back to the player.
  • This info seems to be correct based on my testing thus far, but I’m not the best one to speak about it, since my two main chars of late don’t find the affix very impactful.

    Reflects Damage.

    Beware the tiny swords.

    My Monk was originally built for MP5 key runs and while I’ve lately repurposed him to more general MP1 or MP2 farming, he’s still skewed way towards the EHP end of the survival continuum and thus he does not take visible injury from Reflects Damage. (Especially since the version of my characters the PTR copied over is from last weekend, and my Monk is thus missing several new DPS-boosting item upgrades I acquired on Tuesday.)

    My other main char (of late) is a Demon Hunter, and she doesn’t have any problem with RD either, since any pre-v1.07 RD encounter has a binary result. Either she gets DiabloWikiGloom active before her first volley of shots hits the boss and cruises through, or she doesn’t get Gloom active and dies in an instant. There’s not much in between, really.

    So, playing on the PTR my Monk hasn’t noticed any difference from Reflects Damage other than the visual, and often not even that since it’s far from noticeable enough. The visual is a bunch of orange swords swirling and orbiting around the monster and moving a bit like sparks of light coming off of a rotating disco ball.

    Two things about these screenehots. 1) I took several shots of each encounter and the ones in this post had RD the *most* visible. 2) I took these while standing back to get a clear view. While actually playing it’s much harder to pick up, especially if you’re using big flashy visual skills, like um… all of them, really.

    The RD visual is okay on dark levels, like the endless staircase levels of Act Three, but on brighter levels it’s much harder to see. I got it on a Golgor unique tonight while playing my Monk, and literally didn’t notice it on the boss, since the little swords blended into his huge bright-yellow belly. Only when he was dead and exploded and I’d moved on to slaughtering his minions did it notice it around one of them.

    So my take on the new Reflects Damage after seeing it in-game on maybe a dozen bosses so far. I think the “fix” to the mechanic is okay. It doesn’t totally nerf the property and characters who want to go full on glass cannon should still find it dangerous. (And those almost the only players who were dying so fast and complaining so loudly anyway.) But, I think the graphic is *much* too subtle and doesn’t serve the intended purpose of providing a clear warning of the danger of RD. The orange swords blend into the glowing aura ground effect, they hardly show up on bright levels or around some bright monsters, etc.

    Furthermore, the mechanic conspires to make the effect harder to notice since there’s nothing visible around the monsters that aren’t currently flashing the RD effect. There needs to be a much more visible graphic, and something to demarcate monsters that aren’t currently active with it, but may be soon. Good start and good idea, but the execution needs some work. Which is fine; it’s on the PTR for a reason, after all.