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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 PvP: Dueling Day One

Posted 16 Jan 2013 by

Diablo 3 PvP was available on the PTR as soon as the v1.07 patch went live for testing, and plenty of fans leapt in and had a shot. Just one shot, quite often, since the system seems to be functionally-identical to PvM, but pointed at each other. There are no allowances made or balances included, and battles are fast and lethal, with the irresistible force of 500,000 DPS attacks meeting the very moveable object of 50,000 hps characters, fast-hitting stun lock skills that can’t be escaped, game-breaking insta-kill builds, and more.

Not everyone’s getting glass cannon one-shotted, and some chars with big armor, life regen, and blocking can take a huge amount of damage before succumbing, but things aren’t exactly balanced, on the whole. That appears to have been Blizzard’s plan, though it’s unclear how much this “plan” differs from throwing out a quick and easy stopgap.

It might work, if the devs pay attention and provide support, making nerfs and tweaks and buffs as needed. Still, I’m surprised they didn’t have *some* framework for that right from the start. Yes, the “T” is in “PTR” for a reason, and Jay’s RIP PvP post told us to expect a very raw system… but what were they doing all last year anyway? Any system of PvP, whether Team Deathmath or FFA or Capture the Flag, had to have included some damage/CC reduction mechanics, and I expected we’d see some evidence of that right from the start.

Some other players did too.

So getting one shotted is dueling?

Really? I am so disappoint.
Lylirra: We implemented dueling to provide interested players a way to battle each other — no objectives, no scoring, just Nephalem against Nephalem. It was something the community has been asking for, and with additional PvP modes still in development we honestly didn’t have a good reason to keep saying no.

Dueling isn’t intended to be balanced, though, so don’t expect a fair fight. That’s not what dueling is about. There will probably be some match-ups in which you’re one-shotted (this is a big reason why we have no permanent Hardcore deaths at the moment). There will also probably be some match-ups in which you one-shot other players. Your heroes are designed to kill things quickly and without mercy, and in this case those “things” just happen to be other heroes.

We don’t anticipate that everyone will like dueling. That’s fine. While some players might really love it and find it a cool challenge, we’re okay if most people don’t make it an integral part of their gaming experience. The system exists to give you the opportunity to obliterate your opponents in an environment designed explicitly for that purpose, but that’s it — and we feel it achieves that goal pretty well.

Now, we’re still open to your feedback and will be keeping a close on eye on it throughout the PTR process. We’re not opposed to making changes if they benefit the game; in fact, that’s what a PTR is all about. In return, we just ask that you keep in mind the scope of what dueling is supposed to be, and that you give the system a fair shot before jumping to conclusions or making sweeping requests for buffs/debuffs/etc. Explore new builds, try out different tactics, and then let us know what you think. If we make changes, we want them to be informed, and that tends to work out best if the feedback you give us is also informed (i.e. not just a judgment based on only a few minutes of gameplay). :)

A good answer there, and after some thought, I agree with it. Better they gave us a totally open system, without any artificial constraints or controls to start with, since those would have been an immediate modification on player behavior. Just throw down the sandbox and let people play in it… providing that Bliz is actually watching and staying involved, so that after some weeks when there are obviously unbalanced or unfair things, they can make some tweaks based on more data and knowledge, rather than just their pre-game suspicions.

Click through for a couple of more blue posts on PvP issues, including maps, dueling vs. team play, and more.

why not give a damage reduction for pvp. at least give every class the 30%
Lylirra: Like I said, we’re not opposed to making changes, even ones along the lines of a universal damage debuff while in the dueling zone. The point of the PTR is to get feedback from players so we can make those kinds of tuning adjustments if necessary.

We’ve only got a few hours of feedback at the moment, though, and we’d like to get a better picture of what players’ general experience has been before we start talking about possible changes. For example, I’m betting that a lot of players are still dueling in their farming builds, rather than something that’s been refined and tailored for PvP-style combat — which can make a difference. We also want to make sure that the people who are providing feedback understand what dueling is supposed to be (i.e. not a place you go to for super balanced battles).

May I ask why on earth did it take 8 months to release such an embarassment of a pvp mode? Seriously, you guys could have given this during the release… It’s obvious very little time and effort was put into this system, yet it took this long to give the community such a simple pvp mode?? what a head scratcher.
Lylirra: We didn’t spend 8 months on dueling. In fact, we had no plans to add dueling to the game until very recently, and that was both based on the community’s consistent feedback as well as our decision to postpone the release of any additional PvP modes. You can read more about that here.

Everyone’s who’s given the issue of DiabloWikiHardcore dueling any serious thought can see why a perma-death *only* system would never work, but might we see some option for that someday, even though it would virtually never be used?

Is perma-death or at least a perma death option in the feature-plan for a future patch? Based on all of the complaining I see from the SC community, I can understand why perma-death is not available – an endless wave of complaining HC players on being 1-shotted would ensure. But as the community acclimates to dueling, will this feature be provided?

One of my greatest motivations to play D2, aside from wealth acquisiton and ladder climbing was to try and permanently kill other peoples characters.
Lylirra: Don’t read into that too much. We always tend to ground statements in a particular moment in time. :)

We currently have no plans to allow permanent death for Hardcore characters in the dueling world. That said, we’re not really keen on the word “never,” and we may make changes depending on player feedback and what we feel would provide the best user experience (something which can change as the game evolves).

Another post asked about the map layouts, and got replies on that and other issues:

I dont understand why so much time was wasted to create new maps for duelling which have no purpose other than for duels, which they state are just for fun, no reward, no added benefit…
Lylirra: The world that you play through normally wasn’t designed for player vs. player combat, so it doesn’t translate well to dueling. There are just too many variables that could wreak havoc during a duel: non-PvP friendly geometry, events, scripted sequences, monsters, level-up effects, portals, etc.

For example: What if someone duels a player while they have Leah (or another hireling) as a follower? What if someone accidentally clicks on an NPC and opens up a dialogue window or a vendor screen? What happens when someone transitions through a portal or to a new zone? Sure, we could try to make accommodations for dueling to assist with each and every of these situations, but not only would those changes require a significant time and resource investment, they’d also have to be flawlessly integrated into the main game world. It’s a lot of work for a feature that not a lot of players will see or really take advantage of.

Thematically, we agree – it’d would be cool if players could fight wherever they wanted. But having an environment that actually supports PvP combat, was specifically designed for that purpose, and doesn’t interfere with the rest of the world is much more important when it comes to how the actual gameplay feels. This is one of the main reasons why we created a separate zone for dueling.

The reason you don’t understand it is because it wasn’t. These maps were created back when there was a plan for more than dueling. Better to get some use out of them then let them go to complete waste.
Lylirra: Not exactly. The Scorched Chapel is an entirely new map, not one we retrofitted or otherwise re-purposed. (Also, just to clarify: there’s only 1 dueling map, but it features 4 different areas.)

As for why we didn’t use any of the maps we previously designed for Team Deathmatch? Similar to our concerns with the normal game world, those maps weren’t designed for non-team based play. It might not seem all that different, and you might be thinking “Who cares! It supports PvP combat, so just let us use those maps!”, but many of the design elements (like where barriers and lanes are located, and their respective lengths) aren’t quite right for a 4-person Free-For-All and would ultimately make the experience not-so great.

In other words, level design is a little more intricate then you might think. :)

Is it going to be like WoW where you right click someone’s portrait and select “duel”?
Lylirra: There aren’t any plans for it, and here’s why:

One of the big goals with the current design for dueling (in terms of where it exists and how you get there) is to limit opportunities for griefing. By having a separate map that can only be accessed by speaking with an NPC, we’re able to give players a means to beat each other up, but without a way to really harass anyone.

We definitely considered the right-click > duel option, but there’s a downside to it. If we allowed players to just initiate duels by right-clicking on a player’s portrait or in the Friends List, that feature could and probably would be used to grief people by pulling them into duels at arbitrary moments. Heck, even if this system required that the invited player interact with some sort of confirmation dialogue before a duel could be begin, someone still could theoretically spam the bejeebus out of the invite system and use the dialogue feature to interrupt other players’ demon slaying fun time. =/

We’ve heavily talked about adding NPCs in each Act hub, rather than just having the one in New Tristram to give players more flexibility, and there is/will be a dedicated PvP channel to help would-be duelers find other willing participants. Even so, we’ll be paying close attention to your feedback from the PTR, so please let us know about your experiences and what you feel could be improved.

How many of you guys have gotten onto the PTR and tried out the dueling? I haven’t yet, but perhaps today. In fact this is probably the best time ever for dueling, since no one really knows what they’re doing yet and you might have a chance without totally devoting yourself to the PvP project.

I didn’t care that much about the plans for D3′s Team Deathmath — 1v1 would have been fine with me — but I was very interested in a PvP system integrated into the game, with arena combat and auto-matchmaking. That way I figured I could just hop in every now and then for a break from farming and get slotted against another player doing the same thing, and we’d have a basically even battle. Amateur vs. Amateur, and if one of us was much better than the other then the system would adjust and seed us against someone better or worse next time.

Alas, now we seem to be just getting the D2 system over again. It should still be fun to throw down with your friends, if you can construct some even matchups, but very soon the public dueling games (if such things can ever exist in the no-game-lobby, no-named-game B.net 2.0?) will probably come to repeat what we saw in D2, where you either duel full time, or you’re helpless meat against the highly specialized characters who do.


Tagged As: | Categories: Blue Posts, Diablo 3 Beta Patches, Lylirra, PvP