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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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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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Diablo’s Curiosities

Posted 8 Jan 2010 by

There is more to the Diablo Universe than just pixels and polygons (pre-rendered sprites or through DiabloWikiHavok physics). The world is vibrant with information and experiences that go beyond mere graphics.

Of course, you might think of the many novels written by various authors to flesh out DiabloWikiSanctuary, but while those are both interesting and entertaining, this is about actually entering the world of Diablo in a (sort of) literal sense.

What you probably never heard of before is the Diablo II pen and paper roleplaying game. The various games and moduels were made back in 2000-2001 for the Dungeons and Dragons franchise but despite containing some interesting facts it never caught on to be as popular as the WarCraft Roleplaying Game is today. Not that the WC RPG is massive by any RPG standards…

The validity of this information, and whether or not it is DiabloWikicanon is unknown (as is true with all RPG books), but Blizzard have said all previous official sources of information are canon with the exceptions of any DiabloWikiretcons. You can read it and decide for yourself after the break!

The (RPG) Awakening


Diablo II was released not long before DnD changed to the much improved Third Edition of their rules, so the first roleplaying game for Diablo, named The Awakening came out in the older “AD&D 2nd Ed” system. Since it was in production at the same time as Diablo II was developed the book includes content not available in the PC game.

Among other interesting facts, the Dark Wanderer is named as Qarak, the last surviving member of the Order of the Gauntlet, an order of adventurers.

    “The adventure starts in DiabloWikiTristram, the battleground of the original Diablo game, where Diablo, Lord of Terror, rules a legion of demons. There, the heroes explore the mysterious Monastery – full of dangers and challenges pulled right from Diablo but enhanced for your tabletop game!”

If you were interested in getting your hands on it, you’ll have to look for a second hand copy. As you may have guessed, it didn’t have a second printing.

Diablerie – What is that?


Later in the same year, Diablerie was published, but in the much more streamlined D&D 3rd Ed.

It features the five classes from the original Diablo II: DiabloWikiAmazon, DiabloWikiBarbarian, DiabloWikiNecromancer, DiabloWikiPaladin and DiabloWikiSorceress with spells, feats, skills, monsters and items.

The material also includes one simple adventure to explore the “Morgen Keep”, and save an item called the “Siegehammer” from the demon “Crushskull”.

Diablere received terrible feedback from fans for it’s low quality and lack of insight into the then new D20 system. The fact that it was only just under a hundred pages long probably didn’t help either.

To Hell and Back


The much longer (almost two hundred pages) stand-alone “supplement”, To Hell and Back, was at least appreciated as a nice monster supplement to traditional roleplaying with the wide variety of Diablo II creepies.

The book contains quests, adventures and monsters as well as rules for hirelings (the Rogue, the Desert Mercenary and the Ironwolf). It’s possible to play this module without Diablerie, but more Diablo world gameplay is available when using both.

    A super-dungeon-crawl for use with the Diablo II rules for D&D. Includes every level level and all four acts of the computer game.

All in all, interesting to get to read, but in practical terms, not that useful. As you can see, the fronts of the two books fit nicely together, however!

A New Secret Cow Level


What’s quite funny is the fact that these two roleplaying books actually have content for the Secret Cow Level, which still can be downloaded for free online if you are so inclined.

    “The Secret Cow Level is the most popular Easter egg in computer gaming history, and now you can milk it for all it’s worth in your D&D/Diablo games. All you need is a party of adventurers powerful enough to kill Diablo. You do have one of those, right? No? Well, send ‘em back to Hell till they’re tough enough to take out a demon lord. Because when they’re done with that, a thousand moo-licious bovines intend to inflict udder depravity until they lay the adventurers low. Are you still checking your vision on that last paragraph? That’s right, we said a thousand cows, all with poleaxes. Got damage resistance?”

Quite simply amazingly weird. Considering how D&D combat works, that sounds like a whole day worth of just constantly rolling dice…

The Bloodstone Tomb Explored


The third related release is the DnD Adventure Game: Diablo II Edition (sometimes known as The Bloodstone Tomb, after it’s content) and is a DnD stand-alone tabletop adventure game that basically is “DnD for newbies”, but this one has a Diablo II twist.

It’s a very simplified version that is made for younger players, to introduce them to the more advanced DnD rules. This version is of course made to attract Diablo II fans into the DnD world.

This box contain rules, quests, pre-printed heroes (DiabloWikiAmazon, DiabloWikiBarbarian, DiabloWikiPaladin and DiabloWikiSorceress) and dices to play from the minute the box is opened. The game can also be downloaded for free from Wizards of the Coast’s homepage, if you have the dice yourself.

Just why the DiabloWikiNecromancer was left out could possibly have been a practical fact such as it would be quite hard to adapt rules to apply to minions and the summoning and management of them. This book is interesting if nothing else then for the “new” artwork in it.

Looking to the Future

If we’ll see more of the RPGs is likely just a question of time. The WarCraft franchise has done well for the RPG, and Sanctuary has a lot to offer. The fact that many Warcraft fans bought the RPG books just to get an insight on the lore shows there’s more of a market than just the D&D fanbase.

Blizzard has also taken a lot of inspiration from D&D in Diablo III, with spells like DiabloWikiDisintegrate and DiabloWikiMagic Missile. It would be surprising if they do that and then not allowing RPG fans access to the world of Diablo.

Regardless, it won’t be released before the game itself, so once again, we’re waiting for Diablo III!