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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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Guide: Legendary Gems

legendary gems guideLegendary Gems were first officially revealed in the Patch 2.1 preview blog back in June of this year.   They will be added to Reaper of Souls in Patch 2.1, and are currently undergoing testing on the PTR.

The gems add special bonuses when socketed in rings and amulets (only on Characters and not on Followers), and can be upgraded in power via DiabloWikiUrshi, the NPC who appears after Greater Rifts are cleared.

While the developers are calling them “legendary gems” these socketables have nothing in common with regular DiabloWikigems in stats or appearance, and are more analogous to the Rainbow Facet unique jewels of Diablo 2. The main difference in Diablo 3 is that these gems can only be socketed in jewelry, and the way the gems can be upgraded to improve their functions over time.

Legendary Gems Listing

While the Legendary Gems are still undergoing development on the DiabloWikiPTR, their stats and bonuses are changing constantly. A major revision was created on July 15, 2014 with new or upgraded stats for almost every gem. The following are the most current details about Legendary Gems.

 

DiabloWikiBane of the Powerful
bane of the powerful
  • Gain 30% increased damage for 20 seconds after killing an elite pack.
  • Upgrade rank grants: +1 second buff duration.
  • Rank 50 unlocks: Gain 20% bonus damage to elites.
DiabloWikiBane of the Trapped
bane of the trapped
  • Increase damage against enemies under control-impairing effects by 20%.
  • Upgrade rank grants: +0.5% damage.
  • Rank 50 unlocks: Gain an aura that reduces the movement speed of enemies within 15 yards by 30%.
DiabloWikiBoon of the Hoarder
  • 30% chance on killing an enemy to cause an explosion of gold.
  • Upgrade rank grants: +1% chance on kill.
  • Rank 50 unlocks: Gain 30% increased movement speed for 3 seconds after picking up gold.
 DiabloWikiEnforcer
 enforcer
  • Increase the Critical Hit Chance of your pets by 20%.
  • Upgrade rank grants: +0.4% Critical Hit Chance. Max +20% upgrade (+40% total).
  • Rank 50 unlocks: Your pets are unkillable.
Bliz Note: As was discussed in another thread, allowing this this gem to rank up to +100% pet Crit would likely cause undesired gearing issues and probably be a little out of line.
DiabloWikiGem of Efficacious Toxin
gem of efficacious toxin
  • Poison all enemies hit for 1000% weapon damage over 10 seconds.
  • Upgrade rank grants: +20% weapon damage over 10 seconds.
  • Rank 50 unlocks: All enemies you poison take 10% increased damage from all sources.
DiabloWikiGogok of Swiftness
 gogok of swiftness
  • 50% chance on hit to gain Swiftness, increasing your Attack Speed by 2% for 3 seconds. This effect stacks up to 10 times.
  • Upgrade rank grants: +1% chance.
  • Rank 50 unlocks: Gain 2% Cooldown Reduction per stack of Swiftness.
 DiabloWikiInvigorating Gemstone
 invigorating gemstone
  • While under any control-impairing effects, reduce all damage taken by 30%.
  • Upgrade rank grants: +1%. Maximum +50% upgrade (80% total).
  • Rank 50 unlocks: Heal for 20% of maximum life when hit by control-impairing effect.
 DiabloWikiMirinae, Teardrop of Starweaver
 Mirinae, Teardrop of Starweaver
  • 15% chance on hit to smite a nearby enemy for 1000% weapon damage as Holy.
  • Upgrade rank grants: +20% weapon damage.
  • Rank 50 unlocks: Smite a nearby enemy every 5 seconds.
 DiabloWikiMoratorium
 Moratorium
  • 30% of all damage taken is instead staggered and dealt to you over 3 seconds.
  • Upgrade rank grants: +0.1 second to the stagger duration.
  • Rank 50 unlocks: 10% chance on kill to clear all staggered damage.
 DiabloWikiPain Enhancer
 Pain Enhancer
  • Critical hits cause the enemy to bleed for 500% weapon damage as Physical over 3 seconds.
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Diablo III: The Art of Distance

Posted 30 Apr 2012 by

Distance has been a topic of discussion for DiabloWikiDiablo III communities, as there is no real determinable metric that can be gleaned from the interface, nor any specific relative distance to compare with. Generally, players have estimated distance by the use of skills. While that is a very effective way to judge what a skill actually does, it still left many wanting more.

One community member in particular, mwille, took this information into his own hands. By creating an overlay image to match the game, he was able to map the distances of skills to give meaning to the numbers that are pertinent for nearly every skill that has a range. I won’t elaborate, as he provides a very thorough explanation and clear distance guide for everybody to view.

He poses a question at the end of his analysis as well, so if anybody has a definitive answer, please comment.

Update: I’ve updated this article with all of the respective tool tips for skills to aid the distance metric. Hover over the skill names to get the tool tips.

Update 2:  Mwille has been kind enough to provide the images he used and a link to download the program that allows you to have an always-on-top overlay so you can test out your skill distances. As a note, these images cannot be uploaded to the IncGamers galleries because they are PNG, and uploaded files have all transparent areas blocked in with black. These images are hosted on my personal photobucket and are very light on the background. Rest assured that it’s there, just very faint.

You can download the program: here.

Update 3: Below the fold you will see the rest of the article. The following is from mwille to explain some of the problems people might experience with the images and the program:

It wasn’t until I downloaded the overlays you posted & tried them on a Win7 machine instead of XP that I noticed a problem. For some reason it would use a double image (even with only one image in a folder) using the center option. However, I found that it worked using the “Display at Location Offset” option, but had to then change the offset to get it to line up right. Speaking of which, I tweaked the images again so that it outlines the UI at the bottom & added a “pointer” to line up with the center decoration. It should make it easier lining it up. Also, I realized it would be better to have the images with a vertical resolution of 1000 dpi to make it a lot easier to figure out the scale. I uploaded the new images to the hosting account at where I work in case there is a maximum size allowed on photobucket. You can post these links or whatever you think works best.

You can download the proper images:
Image 1
Image 2

Click through to see his general calculations and explanations for available skills and a huge thank you to Mwille for making this available to the community.

I’ve read several forum posts about estimating just how big a yard is in the game. Since there really hasn’t been a definitive answer (due to the camera angle), I decided to do a little more research myself. I looked up a little about drawing in perspective to see if that would help in measuring things. One of the pictures I saw got me to thinking about using a grid of squares & trying to match the game perspective. So that’s what I set out to do. Then it was just a matter of getting the right scale, which I accomplished by using the Vault skill. Of course it’s still just a guessing game, but I think I got it pretty darn close.

Overlay 2Overlay Image

Diablo 3 Distance Map

So what I came up with is what I think of as a “distance map” by adding reference lines to a screen shot. It uses a checkerboard style grid with each square being 10×10 yards. It also has circles centered on the character, each with a radius in 10 yard increments and with minor lines every 2 yards. Then thinking about how several skills have an area effect at the cursor position (or point of impact), every 20 yards out I placed circles serving as “target zones” (each one has a 10 yard radius marked in 2 yard increments). My thought was that it might help give an idea of sizes at a distance (and it’s kind of interesting to see the different shapes of the circles all at once). To finish it off, I added dotted yellow lines showing the visible area for the different resolution aspect ratios. The image is attached.

Note: The lines of potions are from using skills originating at the same spot (the corner on the floor). From the center out, I used Vault, Leap, & then a double Vault.
FYI: While getting the reference lines using Vault I found that its distance isn’t always consistent & posted about it on the official bug forum (link).

After making the “distance map” above, I thought it would be cool to be able to actually use it while playing the game. So, I downloaded a freeware program that keeps an image “always on top” & used just the lines to create an overlay. I then started playing using that overlay which allowed me to estimate distances a lot better, as well as making accurate positioning possible. My curiosity and OCD personality led to the list of ranges & distances below.

Misc. Distances of Interest
2 – stone rings on waypoints (can be used as a reference for +gold/globe pickup radius)
4 – default gold/globe pickup radius
8 – approximate stride while running
10 – radius of town waypoint
20-22 – the radii of the outermost ring on the large circular designs found throughout the cathedral levels

Maximum Distance/Range for Skills
A range of values is listed for a few skills due to them being random. Also, distances for skills that don’t touch the ground (& go past the left/right edge of the screen) have their perspective affected by their casting elevation. I’m not sure how to adjust the perceived distance to compensate, so their actual range will be less than the observed distance listed. The skills that are affected are marked with an “*”. Also, some skills were harder than others to judge so there’s no guarantee it’s error free.

DiabloWikiBarbarian
8 – Cleave (12 area effect)
10 – Bash
10 – Frenzy
11 – Revenge
12 – Rend
16 – Hammer of the Ancients (6 radius centered 10 yards in front of the barb)
50 – Seismic Slam (possibly random)
50 – Leap
70* – Ancient Spear

DiabloWikiDemon Hunter
80* – Chakram (with a 3 radius)
80-90* – Rapid Fire (average due to being random)
85* – Bola Shot
86* – Impale
90* – Entangling Shot
100* – plain arrow
120-130* – Hungering Arrow (kind of guessed here since it goes off screen)

DiabloWikiMonk
9 – Fists of Thunder (no rune, first 2 hits): third hit is 14 yards
10 – Crippling Wave
10 – Lashing Tail Kick
16 – Deadly Reach
27 – Wave of Light (initial area effect has radius of 16 centered 11 yards out from the monk)
28 – Fists of Thunder (with Thunderclap rune, teleport range); only 14 if not targeting
50 – Dashing Strike (only when cursor is close to a target, otherwise 10)

DiabloWikiWitch Doctor
30-50 – Plague of Toads (average due to being random)
30 – Firebats (no rune)
50 – Corpse Spiders (with random radius somewhere around 15 max)
60 – Grasp of the Dead (with 14 radius)
70* – Firebats (Direbats rune) : not the listed 40 (It’s been posted on the official bug forum already.)
78* – Haunt (but when cursor is close to a target, it reaches all the way to the top corners)
100* – Poison Dart

DiabloWikiWizard
14 – Spectral Blades (only 10 if not targeting)
20 – Frost Nova
20-30 – Shock Pulse (average due to being random)
26 – Wave of Force
50 – Arcane Torrent (with random radius about 8 yards, radius of 4 individually)
50 – Energy Twister (average due to being random) (with 8-10 radius)
55 – Ray of Frost
86* – Magic Missile
88* – plain wand missile
94* – Arcane Orb

Does anyone know if weapons still have ranges like they did in D2? From what I can tell, it doesn’t seem to make a difference when I switch weapons. I tested mainly with Bash, comparing a simple dagger & a flamberge (two-handed sword). I suppose it’s possible that the difference was too small for me to notice.

As far as I understand, the answer to this question is that weapons do not work as they do in Diablo 2. Weapons themselves have an increased range that can offset what is actually seen on screen. In a previous article, Bashiok explained that it was intended, and the range affects enemies as well. If my memory serves me well, they did this because they didn’t want players to feel like it was easy to bypass content and never get hit.

Was there anything I missed, or perhaps the community can elaborate?


Tagged As: | Categories: Diablo III Classes, Fan Stuff, Game Features, Skills