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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 III Expansion: Reaper of Souls Revealed

Posted 21 Aug 2013 by

Update: MANY additions to this post Wednesday morning. Scroll down for screenshots, cinematics, ninja videos of the presentation, full Loot 2.0 details, the official HQ videos, the D3RoS press release, and much more. All in this one post for handy viewing.

Official D3:RoS logo.

Official D3:RoS logo.

Blizzard kicked off their Gamescom press conference with a new cinematic revealing the Diablo 3 Expansion: Reaper of Souls. There’s also new gameplay footage, news of the new class the Crusader, the official RoS press release, and much more.

  • The new class is the DiabloWikiCrusader, a strength-based brawler. This sword and shield user is affiliated with the Diablo 2 Paladin and is described as a “mid-range melee” fighter. Video shows him using numerous flashy-graphic magical attacks, many of them Monk-like at a glance. The skills Shield Bash and Fist of Heavens were demonstrated during the press conference. Also Shield Flare, which can be used to blind your enemies. The Crusader is playable in the Gamescom demo!
  • The Archangel DiabloWikiMalthael is the main villain of the expansion. Returned from the void as the Reaper of Souls, with his wings turned skeletal. Malthael wants to end the Eternal Conflict by destroying all demons and he’s not fond of humans either. He can turn the dead against the living.
  • The Expansion is set largely in DiabloWikiWestmarch, an area not too distant from Tristram. It’s described as very gothic in design and levels in the streets of Westmarch and in the Temple of the Zakarum are being shown. These areas will be playable in the demo at the Gamescom event, so fans will get to see it and we’ll have video shortly.
  • RoS adds many new forms of the End Game, with changes to the Paragon system and new types of loot runs.
  • Max level is raised to 70. New skills and runes for all classes.
  • DiabloWikiParagon 2.0: Paragon going account wide, so all chars will benefit. No longer a cap on max Paragon. Unknown how this will affect max Magic Find and Gold Find.
  • DiabloWikiLoot 2.0: Fewer total items will drop, but they’ll be of better quality, much as the DiabloWikiconsole is promising. Josh Mosqueira gave a hypothetical example of drop changes: D3C sample drops: 256 white, 399 blue, 275 yellow, 1 legendary. D3X sample drops: 73 white, 266 blue, 83 yellow, but some Smart Drops. And 6 legendaries, which will be build-changers.
  • A new item feature is “Smart Drops,” items that will drop with stats tailored to the class you are playing.
  • Enchanting will allow you to reroll an affix on a Legendary or Rare item via the DiabloWikiMystic.
  • A new Artisan will allow you to transmogrify your items, as detailed in a recent blue post.
  • Loot runs are shorter dungeons, 15-20 minutes and completely randomized.
  • It’s due for release in 2014.

Loot 2.0 will go into D3C as well as D3X, in a free patch. Translated from Polish B.net forum:

It’s likely that when the expansion comes out (or shortly before that) there will be a 2.0 patch.
Wuluxar: Changes to the game systems will come in a patch preceeding the release of the expansion – they will be available to all players, including the ones that don’t have the expansion (of course for free).

 

Screenshots

We’ve got 20 screens from the gameplay trailer, showing the Crusader, new areas, new dungeons, new monsters, and more. Click to the Gamescom 2013 Gameplay gallery to see them all, and we’ve got another gallery of Cinematic shots coming soon.

One interesting thing you can note in some of the gameplay video; they show several current dungeons in Acts 1-3 with new color palates and new monsters in them. For example: glowing skeletons in ZKs tombs and Corrupted Angels in Leoric’s, and more new skelies in Act 3 Keep. I like this idea; nice that we’ll have fresh-feeling content through all the acts, rather than just the new Act 5.

 

Cinematic Images

Holyknight turned loose his love for the artwork and selected more than 50 images from the RoS cinematic. The stills can all be seen in the Reaper of Souls cinematic gallery, and a few of them are excerpted below.

Videos

The videos have arrived!

Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls Intro Cinematic:

Click through for the gameplay video and some more stills from the presentation, plus the full Loot 2.0 discussion, shaky-cam footage of Josh narrating the action in a gameplay video.

Reaper of Souls Gameplay Teaser:

Shaky cam of Josh narrating some Act 5 gameplay footage.

Loot 2.0 Presentation

Stills from inside the theater and shots of the powerpoint presentation. Interesting tidbits abound.

 

Official Press Release

Diablo ® III: Reaper of Souls ™ Unveiled

Upcoming expansion to the fastest-selling PC game of all time playable at gamescom

“Death, at last, shall spread its wings over all . . .”

COLOGNE, Germany–(BUSINESS WIRE)– The defeat of Diablo, Lord of Terror, should have given rise to an age of hope. Instead, it has drawn out a shadowy being of immense power, whose malevolent purpose is yet to be revealed. Announced today at gamescom, Diablo®III: Reaper of Souls™,the upcoming expansion to Diablo III, opens a dark and terrifying new chapter in the ongoing conflict over the mortal realm of Sanctuary.

Malthael, the fallen Archangel of Wisdom, vanished after the events depicted at the end of Diablo II: Lord of Destruction®. In Reaper of Souls, he returns as the Angel of Death and seizes the Black Soulstone, which contains the essence of the Prime Evil. It now falls to the players to track down Malthael and stop him before he unleashes irreversible havoc on the world.

Fortunately, a new hero is ready to join the cause and bring Malthael to justice—the Crusader. Driven by a centuries-long quest to cleanse the corruption blighting their beloved Zakarum faith, Crusaders are warriors of righteousness who have been hardened through relentless, brutal combat with the foul evils plaguing eastern Sanctuary. In addition to wearing immensely heavy armor and wielding a wide range of cruel and punishing weapons, this new playable class in Reaper of Souls uses battle magic to strengthen allies and weaken foes. A natural walking tank, the Crusader adds power and versatility to any party of adventurers.

“From the beginning, Diablohas always been about the struggle between good and evil, and Reaper of Soulsexplores the darker notes of that conflict,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “This expansion also represents a big milestone in the ongoing evolution of Diablo III, with key enhancements to the core gameplay, along with a new act to experience, a powerful new character class, tons of new loot, and even more end-game options. We think players will love playing Reaper of Souls,and we can’t wait to get it into their hands.”

In addition to taking the story of Diablo III from the legendary city of Westmarch to the unhallowed halls of the Pandemonium Fortress in Act V and introducing the incorruptible Crusader class, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls increases the game’s level cap to 70. Players continuing on with their existing Barbarian, Witch Doctor, Demon Hunter, Wizard, and Monk characters will benefit from an array of fearsome new spells and abilities as they advance in level.

The expansion also accentuates the key features of the Diablo franchise, with a greater emphasis on randomized environments to explore; epic new quests; horrific new monsters to defeat; and substantial updates to the loot experience, enabling players to further customize their characters with new and improved multilevel Legendary items, new Blacksmith and Jeweler item-crafting options, and more.

Diablo III’s Paragon progression system is also being majorly upgraded for the expansion, adding even more end-game character advancement and replayability. Two new game modes— DiabloWikiLoot Runs and DiabloWikiNephalem Trials —are being added as well, providing fun and rewarding challenges for players to tackle when they’re not busy saving the world.

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls is playable on the show floor at Gamescom, and Blizzard will be revealing further details about the expansion at BlizzCon and beyond as development progresses. For further information related to today’s announcement and all the latest news about Diablo III: Reaper of Souls,visit http://www.diablo3.com/reaperofsouls.

With multiple games in development, Blizzard Entertainment has numerous positions currently available—visit http://jobs.blizzard.com for more information and to learn how to apply.

About the Diablo Universe

Widely regarded as a benchmark for the action–role-playing game genre, Diablo(1996) introduced players to the dark, gothic world of Sanctuary and placed them at the center of what would be revealed to be a conflict between the angels of the High Heavens and demons of the Burning Hells over the fate of the world and its inhabitants. Diablo II(2000),along with its expansion, Lord of Destruction(2001), and several content patches that followed, took the series to new heights and depths, with an elaborate multi-act story, bold new character classes, and an intricate skill system. In Diablo III(2012), players return to the world of Sanctuary to again confront the Lord of Terror, supported this time by a vibrant cast of characters who join them in battle and aid them in other ways. With the upcoming release of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls,players will face a powerful new adversary, uncover his dark plan for humanity—and take the fight to him in a desperate bid to save Sanctuary once more.

About Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.

Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft® and the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® franchises, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. (www.blizzard.com), a division of Activision Blizzard, is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry’s most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard Entertainment’s track record includes sixteen #1-selling games* and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company’s online-gaming service, Battle.net®, is one of the largest in the world, with millions of active players.

*Based on internal company records and reports from key distribution partners.

Thanks to Eurogamer.net for live stream details. Also to Matthew Poland for spotting other news tidbits. Also to Arreat.de and JudgeHype for photos of the powerpoint.